|Training to be a Boxer|
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Boxing Training For Fight Night
Many people do not realise just how hard it is to sustain the high level of movement and intense exercise required for a single round of boxing. Championship bouts consist of 12, 3 minute rounds of boxing. This calls for an elite athlete in peak condition.
Combat sports are unique in the fact that they require an athlete to take part in very intense and draining activity whilst also being under constant threat of harm and usually whilst taking punishment from the opponent. Throwing punches is a very high level cardiovascular activity. When you add the foot and body movement which a boxer must employ to avoid taking punches and the adrenaline rush of being involved in a fight you end up with one of the most psychically demanding sports possible.
Some other sports involve high levels of concentration and fitness. Motor sport for example can be dangerous and very physically demanding, especially in hot climates and calls for intense concentration but unlike boxing the action is often repetitive and competitors are not usually in pain as they drive.
Marathon runners must complete intense endurance activities but they are not under constant threat of harm whilst they run.
This unique set of conditions which make combat sports so demanding means that fighters must complete a very rigorous training schedule to ensure they hit peak condition on fight night. There is also the added complication of making weight. Boxers are categorised by weight class, this means that very often boxers will fight in a class that is below their natural weight. This allows them to be strong for the weight class they are in by cutting fat and leaving behind muscle.
In the 24 hours before a weigh in boxers will often employ measures to cut weight extremely quickly to make sure they qualify for the correct weight division. This involves cutting the amount of water in the body by taking periods of intense exercise followed by warm baths and then wrapping the body in several layers of blankets. This process is repeated until the boxer has lost enough water to make the weight. This can lead to the fighter feeling weak and light headed. If too much weight is cut in this manner the boxer will not be able to perform well on fight night.
The main training program begins around 6 to 8 weeks before fight night. Some boxers prefer 12 week training camps and some prefer to always stay in intense training whether they have an upcoming fight or not. The majority of fighters will complete a 6 to 8 week camp that aims to build fitness to a peak on fight night.
The exact details of the training camp will be unique to each trainer and fighter and are often closely guarded secrets to avoid giving away details of the fighters game plan to the opposition.
Usually the camp will consist of road work, which is long distance running designed to increase fitness and endurance. A fighter will also complete hundreds of sessions of heavy bag work in which the fighter simulates the strain of being physically active for 12, 3 minute rounds by constantly punching a large bag filled with sand. The final important part of a training camp is technical sparring. The trainer will identify similar fighters to the opponent, or fighters will be asked to fight in a certain way against the boxer in training in his own gym.
It is important that sparring is competitive but the fighter will not want to be injured during sparring. For this reason sparring is usually carried out at 60% power using head gear to protect both boxers. The whole point of technical sparring is to build technical ability and practice certain aspects of boxing that will be relevant to the upcoming fight.
Author : Claude Evans - UK Boxing store