The Importance of Good Conditioning

In my career I have met a lot of people who asked me on what they should focus on in order to become better athletes, or to lose more weight, or to achieve certain goals. Right away, I found the perfect answer: conditioning. You do not have to focus only on strength training, or running for miles, or a single physical activity. I believe that true conditioning comes from the heart, but it helps knowing how to vary your physical challenges and activities in order to become better, stronger, faster, more flexible and so on. I am now going to talk to you about conditioning, in its various forms, so you can start training like you should.

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How cardio conditioning helps you with any kind of physical activity

Focusing only on the type of physical activity you are involved with is not a clever thing to do. If there is one thing I recommend to all my students is to never forget about the importance of cardio conditioning. This type of training helps you with strengthening your heart and it helps you with almost anything, from jogging to swimming and even weight lifting. Half an hour of cardio training every day or at least once every two days is necessary if you want to be able to run for longer periods of time, develop more endurance and so on.

 

Interval training is recommended for speedy recovery

lv3If you are an athlete or you are often involved in competitive events, you may have noticed how you feel in top shape while you are competing, but you are almost always coming down hard once the event is over. This has to do with your recovery and it depends on you to be able to recover properly. Here is a hint on how to speed up your recovery times and how to avoid feeling so down after going through intensive and strenuous physical effort. Interval training is the most indicated for developing muscle fibers that react and recuperate faster. This type of training involves short bursts of intensive exercise that demand your heart to work at the maximum, followed by rest periods of time.

 

Muscle mass and strength

Having more muscle mass is great for all kinds of activities, even something as low impact as golfing. Muscles are much better at physical activity than anything else in your body. That is why strength training is highly recommended for anyone who practices a sport, no matter which one. Dumbbells are ideal for strength training, or you can add resistance bands to your cardio training.

 

Endurance

More muscles are nice to have, but they should also be able to endure high levels of activity. This is achieved by including resistance training into your routine. Here is how you should go about this type of training. Using resistance bands or weights, you must exercise at about half of your capacity for half a minute, followed by a 15 second break, and repeating the same type of routine for at least half an hour. This way, you will send your muscles into the alert mode, so that they gradually develop ability to face challenges.

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Develop reactive power

Your core is not called this way for no reason. A strong core is at the center of a strong, flexible body that can take on any kind of physical challenge. That is why I highly recommend core training, so you can develop more reactive power. The faster you can spin, bend or twist, without straining or even hurting your muscles, the better athlete you will be. For any kind of sport, core training is the kind of conditioning I recommend for achieving great results.

Basic boxing training routines

It’s not uncommon for people to avoid adding boxing routines to their workouts simply because they think that these workouts might be to hard for them. I often say this is due to watching too many “Rocky” movies, and if you want to be the next champion than you should expect the workouts to be ridiculously hard. On the other hand if you just want to improve your overall health, and change up your regular workout plan adding a basic boxing training routine might be perfect for you. Best of all basic boxing training routines are relatively easy to follow, and can be done by almost anyone. Here is an example of one of the routines I often put my clients through.

 

  1.  5 to 10 minutes of warming up.

 

This is one of the most important steps to follow in any workout routine. Your muscles need time to warm up, which means to basically loosen up. Just by spending a few minutes jogging, stretching or even jumping rope will significantly reduce your risk for injury. Trust me, straining or tearing a muscle is painful and it can be easily prevented just by warming up.

 

  1.  The stance

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Before I let my clients start swing at a punching bag or sparring with each other they must know the proper way to stand. While this might sound silly, your stance is important since it is responsible for stability, balance and even the amount of power you put behind your swing. The first few minutes of the basic training routine deals with the proper stances for attacking and defending. This is also a good low impact cardio workout, which is always beneficial for your overall health.

 

  1. Punches and jabs

 

Once my clients have mastered the footwork, or are at least familiar with it, I move onto the basic boxing punches. One of the first tips I have is to remember to breathe, and to stay relaxed. Pivoting, stepping back and throwing a punch or jab at the same time can be overwhelming, and this is way I like to divide the routine into sections.

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The amount of time that my clients spend workout out with the bag really depends on their fitness level. I have trained some that can punch, jab, attack and defend for 20 minutes before feeling winded, whiles others can also push themselves for 5 to 10 minutes. There is nothing wrong with working out with the punching bag for a shorter amount of time, especially since if you stick with the training you will soon be able to go a full round in the ring.

 

  1. Cool down

 

The final 5 minutes of the basic boxing training routine is always devoted to cooling down. This signals your muscles that it is time to relax, and can help prevent painful cramping that often occurs after a workout. Since you want your muscles to cool down and your breathing to steady, I usually have my clients relax on a mat and slowly stretch everything out.

How to get kids interested in boxing

Sometimes, when you want to draw people towards something (in this case, boxing), you need to talk to them about things related to that sport rather than about the sport itself.

I understood this when I started teaching box to young boys and girls. It is true, some kids come into my gym determined to box, sometimes they stay, other times they give up along the way. Usually, it is the emotional commitment that keeps a child connected to the sport he practices. The stronger the bond between the sport and the student, the more chances are they become great boxers. I personally believe that the best way of convincing my students from giving up boxing is to keep them around enough for them to feel that if they give up, they lose something that they made efforts to achieve. Therefore, before you start training your new students get to know them a bit and approach their training from the one point you consider to be a breach through which you can build a direct connection between them and boxing.

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In my case, the hardest to keep are kids sent to my gym by their parents. They don’t have the same will to carry on their training like those who decide to start because they want it. However, I’ve also learnt that some of these kids have great boxing abilities. If you manage to make your students understand that they are good and can even become great in time, chances are that they continue practicing. If they reach a higher level, you win them over.

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In some other cases, I just try to reason with their parents to let their kids do something else because the gym is really not the place where they should be. Not because they couldn’t box, I believe that we are all born with some physical skills that can be improved in many directions, but I don’t want them to come into training forced, when they made it clear they want to be someplace else no matter how positive their evolution. I had such a case, a boy that was really gifted in boxing, but wanted to become a figure skater and his father insisted that was a girls’ sport and he should take on boxing instead. He was unhappy with this, so I had to have a talk with his parents, explain them that figure skating was as much of a tough sport as boxing was and that their boy would do a much better job if he was allowed to choose for himself.

Anyway, long story short, if you want to have new students, offer them something else besides physical training in the beginning. Tell them boxing stories, give them books about boxing, make a special lesson about boxing equipment: how boxing gloves evolved, who wore them, interesting or funny facts, ask them about their favorite boxing movies, explain them that boxing is not only a punching sport – whatever works. You’ll see that most of them will appreciate this approach much more than the traditional one.

 

Boxing equipment – what you should know and have

There are several advantages to taking up boxing. It can be a great way to get some strength and cardio training in, along with helping you keep a lean toned shape. Another advantage to boxing is how affordable it is compared to some other sports. While you will probably have people telling you that you need a ton of expensive gadgets, as an experienced boxing teacher I can assure you there are only a few things you absolutely need to know and have.

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The first thing is to make sure you have clothes to workout in. Since you need to be able to move freely and you will get sweaty a comfortable t-shirt and pair of loose fitting gym shorts are really all you need, along with supportive athletic shoes and socks. When it comes to the clothing it really is up to you and what you feel comfortable in.

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If you are working out at home you will need a heavy punching bag and you can find several used ones for sale that are affordably priced. There are also online tips on how to make your own if you are on a really tight budget. The other items you will need are also affordable and easy to find at any sporting goods store and this includes a jump rope, hand wraps and some very good bag gloves. You will also need a timer, and this can probably be found in your kitchen.

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When you are ready to start training with a partner I recommend always wearing a mouthguard and headgear. I also want to point out that this protective gear is required at most gyms. For obvious reasons a groin or chest protector is another good piece of equipment to have, and wearing it could be the difference between winning or losing the friendly training match. A good pair of sparring gloves is something else you might want to consider, especially if you are training in a gym. Otherwise that is really all you need to start participating in boxing.

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Once you get into the ring boxing does become a little more expensive. Now you will want to spend more money on expensive sparring gloves and you should also think about upgrading to a pair of boxing shoes. You might even want to consider adding a weight machine and speed bag to your home gym so you can really take your training to the next level. These extras are only necessary if you plan on competing in the ring or if you really want to impress your sparring partner at home.

The benefits of playing team sports for young children

If you’re wondering whether or not you should take the time to bother with teaching your kid to play football, soccer, baseball, basketball, or any other team sport, I’m here to help. I have gone through a lot of info regarding whether these sports are beneficial on a psychological and social level for children, and I have found that they are extremely advantageous.

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For one, it’s easy for a kid to start being just a little selfish when he or she is young, particularly if it’s an only child we’re talking about. The first word in team sports is team, so regardless of how difficult it might be in the beginning, sooner or later the child will have to play for the victory of the entire team. Plus, if they do win a game against a competitor, they’ll be able to be happy together. However, it is important to explain to you child that winning isn’t the most important thing in the world as the evolution of a human being is filled with disappointment. While it’s definitely not recommended to make a big case out of the hardships one may encounter at some point or the other, it’s way healthier to keep a positive mood by explaining to the child that “You win some, and you lose some”.

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Two other social benefits of playing team sports are problem solving and responsibility. In order to make the game as efficient as possible, one has to understand one’s role and try to avoid breaking the rules as some sports have fixed positions where players aren’t allowed to leave certain areas of the field. With success comes responsibility, in that the child will have to invest a lot of time in defining his or her physique and in practicing for many hours on end to perfect his or her playing techniques. Here’s where the last benefit comes along and it consists of the fact that the kid will eventually have to learn the definition and many advantages offered by patience.

What’s more, there’s the advantage of having a great physique. Let’s not forget the fact that many children are a bit hyperactive and may even have anger fits once in a while. Engaging in team sports makes it possible for these kids to consume their energy which leaves them with little to none for becoming angry.

Welcome to my blog

I used to be a trainer for the YMCA, where I assisted many young men with dealing with their issues and overcome the pressure of daily life. I enjoyed helping them train in various sports, but my favorite one was boxing. I figured that most of these boys needed a bit of support when it comes to dealing with the stress they encountered on a daily basis. However, I’d like to underline that, while boxing for anger management purposes is excellent, sometimes you may need a bit of focus and communication. Talk to a friend, an acquaintance, or even your trainer if you find it hard to concentrate on your tasks, whether it’s about work or personal life. Violence isn’t the answer to any problem, and learning how to box shouldn’t be one of your core goals in life if you plan to use your skills in a negative way.

 

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I decided to share some of my training routines so that other people can enjoy boxing as much as the individuals who came to the studio where I taught used to. If you’ve recently decided to lose a bit of weight and don’t know how to go about things, you ought to be aware of the fact that determination is key to your success. Have faith in God and your abilities because there’s nothing more important in life other than feeling empowered and managing to commit to a higher cause. Think of it this way – if learning how to box and being in shape is what you have in mind, perhaps you might be able to learn other people how to do it, as well. Once you’ve reached your personal goal, you can become a mentor to others.

 

From what I found, interval routines are the best when it comes to efficiency of boxing. You may want to start with some cardio such as a light jog or a 1-mile warm-up, then start hitting the punching bag for a variable amount of time. For instance, I couldn’t help noticing that what helps me and used to help my students would be to hit the heavy bag for around two to three minutes then have a short break consisting of about thirty seconds, where I would stretch and focus on my breathing. If you find it hard to stick to this kind of routine either due to your weight or because of your medical problems, my personal advice is to start slow and work your way toward setting up a weekly routine gradually. I personally recommend that, once you’ve warmed up, you either go to the gym or hit the punching bag in your basement around three times per week. This type of commitment is enough in the beginning. Most people tend to think that it will take you a lot of time to reach your goals if you train for just three days out of seven, but in my experience, small steps are safer. Once you’ve gotten into the habit of boxing three times per week, you can take your workout to a whole new level by adding an extra day. If you practice on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays and then train for three days the following week, you’re set for success.

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In the end, I’d like to add that boxing is a unique sport that should be learned gradually. As such, if you don’t have the money to go to a gym and benefit from the pieces of advice a trainer could give you, I urge you to look for routines online and even check out some boxing training sessions on YouTube and other media streaming services.