Boxer Training Guide

Boxing: A Great Sport
By Katalin Rodrigues Zamiar

"Boxing is a contest of will and skill, with the will generally overcoming the skill, unless the skill of one man is much greater than the skill of the other." Cus D' Amato

The will of a fighter is a quality that most would agree to be inherent in a fighter's character. The skill however is a secret formula of god gifted talent and training. This skill usually begins as raw, blunt punches and clumsy footwork until it is polished by a coach who sculpts the fighter's talent and a trainer whose exercise regiment becomes a chisel that shapes the physique and presence that fighter will display the moment they step into the ring.

The training of a fighter has changed from 30 years ago when Joe Frazier knocked out Jimmy Ellis in the 5th round; and 20 years ago when Roberto Duran won his fight against Sugar Ray Leonard; and even 10 years ago when Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson in what has been named the upset of the decade. There are countless boxers from the last century that have contributed to the respect most have for the physical and mental efforts required to become even known as a contender, let alone a champion! The training that a boxer undergoes requires discipline, guidance, fortitude and heart. Each of these elements must be present in every aspect of a boxer's physical preparation for an upcoming bout.

The training program design of the Y2K boxer is synonymous with the carefully chosen colors a painter uses to create a masterpiece. The world of exercise science has provided the athletic community with a palate of endless colors. The contemporary boxer is utilizing a balanced blend of 'old school methods' and 'new school exercises.' Setting aside the worthwhile addition of women to the sport of boxing, the use of exercise science in a boxer's training regiment is a valuable change. Fighters like Evander Holyfield, Oscar De La Hoya, Andrew Galattoa, Brigette Riley and even Hector Camacho follow a training regiment that encompasses more than just heavy bag and mitt work.

As a boxer builds up to a title fight, the trainer(s) and coach(s) will become responsible for supervising all workouts and the diet, intercepting distractions, analyzing opponents and correcting flaws. This team is often a mixture of different breeds of people; the college graduates who studied nutrition and muscle physiology, the wise man or coach whose years sitting in the corner of a smelly gym has earned him a life's degree, the pad man or ex- contender who understands the mannerisms that a fighter should possess and most enjoyably the masseur who knows how the fighter's body should truly feel. Each of these individuals join in an effort to create a champion.

Training to for the sport of boxing employs rigorous exercise and effort. There are several ways to look at the boxer's training. The 'old school' perspective preaches daily road work (about 3-8 miles a day), 2-3 hours of gym work which will include the pads, heavy bag, speed bag, sit-ups and sparring 4-5 days a week with 4-10 rounds a day. Although these are all important elements of preparing a boxer's body for the dominion of the square ring, they are limited up against a fighter who blends these 'old school' training methods or what are now referred to as the fundamentals, with exercise science. The contemporary boxer is involved in a carefully design training program that incorporates cardiovascular and anaerobic exercise, weight training to build upper, lower and core strength, plyometric training, agility drills, flexibility exercises and naturally the fundamentals.