Your mind might be occupied with your boxing skills when you step into the ring, but as important as knowing how to throw and avoid punches can be, proper conditioning can give you the stamina to move around the ring. Boxing is a physically demanding sport that requires its athletes to be in tip-top condition; if you carry too many extra pounds, you likely won't have the agility and endurance of a fighter in better shape. Whether you're new to the sweet science or have had several amateur fights, regular workouts can help you burn calories to lose excess fat.
Use the term "road work" in front of a handful of boxers, and you're more than likely to get a few cringes from the group. Although it's far from exciting, road work is integral to any fighter's conditioning. The term is a fancy name for jogging, and boxers must run several days per week to not only increase their endurance, but also to burn calories to lose fat. Although the amount of road work depends on the boxer's conditioning and weight-loss goals, RossBoxing.com suggests running two to four miles three days a week at a pace of six or seven minutes per mile. Harvard Medical School notes a 185-pound person will burn 444 calories in 30 minutes of running at 6 mph.
Everything you do in the boxing gym helps you burn calories to keep in shape. If you're severely out of shape, your trainer will likely suggest increasing your cardio -- typically in the form of more road work. A boxer's typical training includes jumping rope, lifting weights, calisthenics and boxing-specific drills such as hitting the heavy bags, focus pads and double-end bag. Each of these exercises burns calories at a different rate. A 185-pound person will burn 444 calories in 30 minutes of jumping rope, 133 calories in 30 minutes of lifting weights and 355 calories in 30 minutes of vigorous-intensity calisthenics. HealthStatus reports a 185-pound person who hits the heavy bag for 30 minutes will burn 249 calories.
All your cardio, weight training and boxing drills finally pay off when you're able to step into the ring and hone your skills. Sparring isn't a way to just release your frustrations -- in a controlled environment, it's an important way to develop your fundamentals while also burning calories to keep in shape. Harvard Medical School notes a 185-pound person will burn 400 calories in 30 minutes of sparring, which is almost as many as running and jumping rope.
Sample Workout Week
A boxer's typical workout week varies according to the skills in need of development. If the boxer is an experienced fighter but needs to lose weight, he'll spend more time on road work and other cardio exercises. If the boxer is in fighting shape and gearing up for a bout, he'll concentrate on fine-tuning his skills. In a general six-day training week, a boxer might spend two days weight training, three days doing a combination of cardio and bag work and one day sparring.
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