Monthly Archives: August 2014

What if I’m too far out of shape?

Some of you might be asking yourself this same question. Speaking from personal experience, I faced this dilemma about seven years ago. A co-worker of mine was involved in a local boxing gym. I always was a fan of the sport and it piqued my interest, and I decided to go check it out. While I was  involved in athletics in the past, I had let it slip away for a period of about 4-5 years. All I really did during my mid to late 20’s was work and go out to bars. Needless to say, the booze and smokes are not conducive to cardiovascular health. I found this out the hard way. My first round hitting the heavy bag since high school proved difficult to say the least. F#ck that….it was damn hard. I didn’t even make it through one,  two-minute round. Damn, I got some work to do. Well, here’s how I got back into it…. and you can to.

Most boxing timers either have two or three minute work intervals, with either a 30-second or 1- minute break. Instead of timing the rounds in the traditional manner, I turned it around. What I mean by that is this: Instead of punching for 2 minutes with a 30-second break like you are supposed to, I used the rest portion on the timer to work, and the work portion to rest. Confused? No prob. It’s simple.

Let the timer start and run out the traditional 2- minute work interval. When the 30-second bell goes off to rest, you will then begin to punch. It’s only 30-seconds, so go hard. You’ll have two minutes to rest in between rounds. It makes it easier to mentally handle.

As a few weeks go by, change the rest portion on the timer to 1- min. Keep the timer’s work interval at 2 minutes. You will now punch during the 1 minute “rest” portion,  and then take 2 minutes in-between rounds. So you see, you’re just making a gradual increase (30-seconds) in the amount of time spent hitting the bag, and you keep your rest at 2min in-between rounds. Simple….but not easy.

After another couple of weeks, you should now start to really see your conditioning levels improve. You are now ready to work for the full 2-minutes on the timer, and keep your rest at 1-minute in-between rounds. As you progress even further, feel free to try to work for the full three minutes with a 30-second break in-between rounds. If you can do this, you now know that you have built a solid base of conditioning.  Who knows, you might even be ready for some sparring??

**Tips** -When first starting on the Heavy Bag, make sure you get some good hand wraps to go under your gloves. You have to allow time for tendons and ligaments to get use to the blunt force trauma of punching the bag. For your first few sessions, your hands, wrists, and elbows will be extremely sore. Don’t worry, this is only normal. Look at it as a way of “paying your dues,” so to speak. What’s happening is that the trauma induced on your joints and wrists is actually  causing acute micro-tears in the muscle and cartilage, and your body just needs time to adapt. This adaptation will take place; just stick with it. Also, try to find a heavy bag that is already broken in. New bags are notoriously stiff and they take a while to soften up. You’re best bet would be to try to find a used bag online, or go to a second-hand sports store. Your hands and wrists will thank me.

 

boxing timerThis is similar to the first timer I picked up when I started hitting the bag. It can be found at most any major sporting goods store, and it is relatively inexpensive. Good buy.

 

General health tips

For any of you out there who have allergies or sinus problems, this one is for you. Speaking for myself, as soon as I hit about 30-31 years of age, I started to develop some allergies. It just happens. First, I noticed that if I eat any dairy products or bread, my head fills up and get all that sinus junk and it just sucks. No bueno. I really started to notice it when I would go out drinking on a Saturday night, at the end of the night have some McDonald’s or a burrito, and pass out. The next day, to beat the hangover, I would go workout and try to get some sort of cardio in to sweat it out. Well, I soon realized that the booze wasn’t the only thing coming out of my head. All kinds of ‘good stuff’ was coming out of my sinuses. Shortly thereafter, I noticed that this not only happened after a night out, but also during the week when I ate or drank certain foods. If this sounds like you, there are a few things you can do:

1). Try to lay off the wheat and dairy. Milk is for baby cows, not adults. As far as wheat, I know it’s everywhere, but keep in mind, grains have only been introduced into the human diet in the last couple of hundred years. Some people can get away with eating breads and grains; unfortuneately I’m not that lucky. If you’re reading this… you probably aren’t either. No big deal though, at least you know that going in. The reason a lot of people can’t tolerate them is because they are inflammatory foods and they wreak havoc on your system. Bloating and swelling are two major effects, along with digestion problems. You’re probably just better off finding other food alternatives. No big deal.

2). If you do splurge, and everybody does, here’s what you can do. Let’s say you go out on a Saturday night and gorge down pizza and about 16 beers. The next day you feel like sh*t. Well, go get some kind of cardio in, say about a good 20-25 mins should do the trick. Really try to ramp it up at the end. When your done and have caught your breath, do some sort of push-ups or planks. I have found that the holding your head in the correct position that it needs to be in to perform these exercises really starts to loosen up all the junk that is lodged in your head. Note* have some sort of towel or rag nearby, its gonna get ugly. Don’t be that guy (or girl) at the gym. Alternate planks and push-ups for about 3-4 times. That’s it done. Hit the shower; start it warm for a few minutes, and then finish with cold water for about a minute or two. As long as you can handle the cold. Don’t like it?? Tough. I didn’t tell you to go out drinking. You do the crime, you do the time pal. Do this and I gaurantee you’ll be back to brand new.