The Practical Way to Stay Fit: Boxing

Why Boxing Is One Of The Best Ways To Work Out

Keeping fit is essential, which is why finding a way to make it more engaging or fun is important. Boxing is a world famous sport, but it also serves as a practical way to work out and stay fit. By practicing boxing in a fitness gym, you can hit the sandbags and practice with mitts that allow you to feel the thrill that comes with being inside the squared circle, without the risk of head injury.

What It Shares With Other Workouts

Fitness boxing starts with the basics of ordinary boxing. You perform traditional stamina building exercises like running and weightlifting that are meant to build endurance. In this way, you’re already given the incentive to perform regular exercises necessary to a normal workout routine, but with the added motivation that comes with knowing you’re training for the more unique workouts that come with boxing training later.

Once you’re done with your running or sprinting drills and head back to the gym, the most common next step is to work with either a trainer using punching mitts or a sandbag. These drills require more than simple speed or strength. Instead, they encourage you to practice timing and pattern recognition as you work out, which can increase hand-eye coordination and overall reflex. Plus, hitting mitts allows you to work out with others to generate a sense of community.

Learning The Motions

These drills also have a dual nature, as they serve to teach you the punching and swinging motions of professional boxers. Many exercises can be used to teach you important self-defense techniques. But fitness boxing allows you to exercise properly while learning not only the sport of boxing but also how to protect yourself and others under threat of physical violence in an emergency.

It’s Less Aggressive Than You Think 

Doing this inside of a gym or fitness center with trainers also allows you to avoid the most dangerous part of boxing; the part where someone hits you back! Though sparring inside of a ring with practice gloves is always an option, professionals usually spar to learn the punching patterns of their opponents and practice dodging or guarding against specific timing.

Practicing with a punching bag still teaches you to strike properly, and provides a full body workout that requires learning careful footwork and deftly placed punches. But the risk of concussion or head trauma is minimized since no one is swinging back. Real boxers practice defense because their opponents have to follow the rules in their bouts. Learning to bob and weave is less useful in a real-life scenario, where attackers are more than capable of fighting dirty.

Boxing can be many things depending on who uses it. It can be a sport and profession for some, while for others it can serve as a way to learn self-defense to protect themselves in a worst-case scenario. But it’s also a way to stay fit and keep your body in shape without the need to ever throw a punch at a real person. That’s why learning to box can help to fulfill your fitness needs, no matter what they are.

William Joppy Featured on RingTV.com

Recently, The Ring did a profile on Champion Boxing & Fitness trainer William Joppy. A familiar face to all of you, Joppy has been with us since November 2011 with a unique training style that mixes cardio and boxing technique.

From the article: “His first recollection of boxing came in 1976 when, along with his father, he watched the Montreal Olympics which spawned the careers of Leon and Michael Spinks, Sugar Ray Leonard and Howard Davis.”

Read the full post here.

“Too Busy” to Work Out?

Too Busy To Keep Fit?

Americans are busy, really busy. In fact, there’s a busyness epidemic in America at the moment with research showing that more and more Americans value being busy ahead of their own leisure time. There are still compelling reasons to workout but a reduction in leisure time means less opportunity to exercise, which is a contributing factor to the continual rise in American obesity, with 29.9% of Maryland inhabitants being obese in 2016. How can you find time to workout and stay fit when you have a busy life?

Make Every Workout Count

When you are short on time, efficiency is key so find exercise which gives you the most bang for your buck. For example High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) consists of intense workout periods with short recoveries and has proven fitness benefits.  Boxing is an efficient exercise as it is a full body workout and a great balance between cardio and resistance training burning a lot of calories in a short time. Or keep it really simple and go for a bicycle ride in your lunch break or combine your regular dog walk with a run to make efficient use of your time.

Keeping Fit At Work

With Americans spending more hours at work than in most other countries, keeping fit whilst at work is key. If time and location allows, walk, run or cycle to work instead of driving. When at work, walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator and make time over lunch to workout, or at the very least go for a walk. Workplace competitions may also help. For example, challenge your co-workers to see who takes the most steps in a day or climbs the most stairs.

Plan Ahead But Be Realistic

A key element when setting a fitness objective is to be realistic about how often you can workout and when. Plan ahead to ensure you know when you are due to be exercising so you can eat at the right times and have the correct gear to hand. Try to choose only workouts which you really love as you will be more likely to achieve your aims. For example, don’t set yourself the aim of going swimming over lunchtime if you really only have time for a short, intense boxing workout. Importantly, if you have even less time than usual, choose to do something, regardless of what it is, instead of doing nothing.

By changing how you exercise, being efficient and planning ahead, it is still possible to keep fit, even when you are struggling to find spare time.

Improving Mental Health with Exercise

One of the best ways to improve one’s mental health is exercise. Studies show that moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day, five times a week, can treat mild to moderate depression as well as any anti-depressant medication without the side-effects. This is true no matter what your age or fitness level is.

Exercise causes your brain to release powerful chemicals called endorphins that energize and improves one’s sense of well-being and self-confidence while helping with depression and anxiety.  Other benefits include a boost to your immune system, better sleep, better brain power, and better social interaction.

Some exercise is better than none! If you are not able to get five days of exercise in, do what you can to help relieve your tension and stress while you promote your physical and mental health.

Shadow Boxing

All of us have observed athletes shadow boxing. Shadow boxing is the art of moving around by yourself as if you are in a boxing match; throwing punches in the air, moving in and out, and fending off imaginary punches thrown by an opponent that is not there. It is as old as boxing, with fighters honing their skills as they warm up to begin training, or shadow boxing to cool down after an intense training session. Fighters also shadow box before a match to prepare themselves mentally.

When done properly, shadow boxing will improve one’s overall boxing skills, endurance, footwork, flow, quickness, and strength.  One can shadow box anywhere to work on specific punches and combinations, as well as work on footwork and defensive moves.  It is most helpful if performed in front of a mirror, as you will receive immediate feedback.

How to Increase Your Hand Speed

Hand speed is very important in most sports, especially in boxing. Following are three drills that should be incorporated into your upper body workout at least twice a week to get quicker hands. As your strength and endurance increases, do not be afraid to increase the length of time for each exercise.

1. Sideways Hand Drill

In the push-up position, with your hands under your shoulders, center your hands midway down a 45 lb. plate and to the left of the plate by a couple inches.

Begin by lightly touching the plate with your right hand and then your left hand one time each, as you move across and over the plate.

Both hands should now be on the ground to the right of the plate and you should be in a push-up position. Without hesitating repeat the exercise in the opposite direction and continue the same.

Perform three sets of the exercise for seven to ten seconds.

2. In and Out Hand Drill

Begin in the push-up position with the 45 lb. plate centered between your hands.

With both hands at the same time, lightly touch the plate and return to your starting position.

Your hands should touch both the plate and the ground at the same time.

Perform three sets of the exercise for seven to ten seconds.

3. Alternating Hand Drill

In the push-up position and a 45 lb. plate a couple inches in front of you, lightly touch the plate with alternating hands as quickly as possible,  returning each hand to your starting position.

Perform three sets of ten for seven to ten seconds.

 

Health Benefits Of Boxing For Women

3 Health Benefits Of Boxing For Women

The start of the year is the perfect time to take up a new activity to improve your health, and one of the best ways to sculpt your body and achieve muscle strength is by boxing. Despite the stereotypes, boxing isn’t just a man’s game as models such as Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and Adriana Lima have fallen in love with the sport. Apart from being an effective way to get in shape for the runway, there’s a reason why these models and actresses such as “Jane The Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez are enamored with this sport. Here are the health benefits of boxing for women.

It improves your physical strength and tones your body

No doubt about it, boxing can improve and enhance your strength. During a boxing workout, you may have to hit a bag or a sparring partner numerous times and this requires your core, upper body, and lower body to engage while you’re pummeling a bag. While you’re training, you may also have to do some strength training exercises as part of your workout. Apart from getting stronger, your body also gets toned without the bulk, and this makes boxing an ideal workout for women who are concerned about getting bulky or bigger.

It reduces stress and improves mood

Dealing with the demands of work and responsibilities at home can take a toll on anyone. But you can cope with stress in a positive way by participating in a boxing workout session. Boxing is a great way to manage stress as you get to take out your aggression, frustration, and anxiety while tearing into a heavy bag. Moreover, intense physical activity can decrease stress by boosting endorphin levels, which can lead to improved mood and feelings of happiness. Doing any form of exercise also improves sleep, so you wake up feeling refreshed and recharged the next day.

It improves self-confidence

Apart from enhancing physical strength, boxing can also improve your inner strength as it can boost your self-confidence. Not only do you get more confident in the ring, but you’ll find that learning this skill can also help you overcome certain challenges in other aspects of your life. As you learn discipline, courage, and perseverance during your boxing workouts, you may find that you also start to feel more secure and comfortable in your own skin.

Learning how to box can be empowering for women and everyone else who needs to improve their strength, look after their mental health, and gain self-confidence. This year, try enrolling in a boxing workout class for your happiness, overall health, and well-being.

Get A Fitness Buddy

Having a workout buddy will increase your commitment to working out, making you much less likely to “blow off” your trip to the gym, knowing that your partner will be waiting for you.  You and your buddy planned a time and place to workout in advance and you will hold yourself accountable to show up, knowing someone is depending on you.

Your workouts will be more enjoyable with a partner and you will find yourself more motivated, working out harder and longer.  With longer and more intense workouts you will reach your workout goals faster, which will motivate you further.

With two heads you are more apt to change up your workout routine, staving off boredom, while shocking your body for further gain.  You are less likely to hurt yourself when you workout with a partner,  as you check each other for correct form.  If your workout involves lifting weights, you will always have a spotter.

So, if you find yourself “blowing off” workouts, find a workout partner. If you are taking classes and you are not able to find a partner outside of the gym, find a friend inside the gym.  Make a commitment to someone in the class and plan to meet them at the next class!  Now you will have a time and a place to be at a certain time.  A commitment!

More Reasons To Workout

When we exercise our body “feels” stress and it releases endorphins in response to brain chemicals or neurotransmitters. Endorphins are secreted from our brains, spinal columns and other parts of our body and reduce pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive or euphoric feeling in our bodies by binding to our neuron receptors, just as some pain medicines do. This positive feeling is similar to morphine but, without its’ addiction or dependence. This positive feeling is often described as a “runners high” or a “second wind”.

Physical activity improves our self-esteem, reduces stress and anxiety while fighting off depression and improves our sleep. Keep all this in mind the next time you are debating on whether or not to get your workout in and get in the gym! Remember, the hardest part of a workout is getting started.

Member Feature: Brient Rodriguez, Amateur Boxer

Our amateur boxing team has more members than any of the 16 other boxing teams that are affiliated with USA Boxing in the Potomac Valley Region.   USA Boxing is the national organization that sponsors local, regional and national amateur boxing events in the United States leading all the way to the Olympics.

This past winter Brient Rodriguez, one of our team members, competed in the local Golden Gloves boxing tournament.  Brient made it to the finals and then lost a split decision to his opponent. His opponent went on to Las Vegas and won the National Golden Gloves Tournament in the Super Bantam weight (122 lb.) division.

Like most of his teammates, Brient is local and graduated from Walter Johnson High School in 2016.  While at WJ, Brient did not participate in any sports, yet he always had an interest in boxing.  In 2013 a neighbor told Brient about Champion’s and an excited Brient joined and began boxing.  Since joining, Brient has become a fixture at the gym and is now a part-time employee, helping with our youth (8 – 12-year-olds) boxing program.

When asked about his experience at Champion’s, Brient says he has made many great friends and he was pleasantly surprised when he first joined and he found that all of his teammates were friendly, encouraging and anxious to share their knowledge and experience. From his experience boxing, Brient says,” I have learned to never give up, no matter how hard life gets”.  Brient encourages everyone that is just a little curious about boxing to get over their anxiety and come check out Champion Boxing & Fitness.

Here is what Coach Bruce has to say about Brient:

“Brient is a special young man. He started boxing with me at the program here and has become not only a great fighter but a mentor, leader, and coach to many of the younger athletes coming thru the program. As a boxer Brient has developed so well, I recently made him a training partner and fight-camp member of one of our professionals, IBO International Champion Alexandru Marin. Brient and two another young men we have here, Stephon Jordan and Christian Hamilton, represent exactly what this program is about. These are young men of high character. They are kind, respectful, gracious, goal oriented and responsible young men using boxing to elevate themselves and those around them. As a coach, it is rewarding to see this in so many of the men and women that come through our program. It is hard not to love all these kids”.