Boxing Blog – November Challenge, Punching Tips, Hand Protection, Raffle

Hi Everyone and welcome again to a new week!

This week marks the official start of the ‘November Challenge’.  It has been great to see some people getting in a bit of early practice – I think everyone who has had a go will admit just how hard and challenging it is just to get through the circuit.  For anyone who wants a reminder of what is involved:

  • 20 x Clean and Press
  • 20 x Push-ups (hands on the barbell)
  • 20 x Upright Rows
  • 20 x Bicep Curls
  • 20 x Bent-Over Rows
  • 20 x Squats

You have to go through the circuit three times – Boys using a 15kg barbell, Girls using a 10kg barbell – to record a time.  Best times will be recorded on the white board located on the wall next to the stereo system/round timer.  Remember though, it isn’t just about winning – it is about having a go and getting a time recorded early in the month – and then seeing how much better you can do by the time November 30th rolls around.  I know a few people who knocked 10% off their times within a couple of weeks, so setting a personal target of a 15% improvement over the course of the month would be a great way to really track the improvements in your strength and fitness.

A couple of Boxing Tips

With so many new people in the gym lately, I thought a couple of timely ‘boxing tips’ might be appreciated:

  • Problem:  Hard to co-ordinate combinations, punches might lack power.
  • Solution:  Make sure you have a good ‘starting point’ for your punches.  Both hands up, in front of your face.  When you drop your hands down around your waist, not only do you reduce the intensity of your workout, you also make it very difficult to throw any ‘straight’ punches (jabs) and loose power from your hooks and upper-cuts due to reduced body rotation.  You need to punch with your ENTIRE body, not just your shoulders.
  • Problem:  Bag is ‘swinging’ a lot when you punch it.
  • Solution:  Punch the bag, don’t ‘PUSH’ it.  First, check you aren’t standing too close to the bag by standing a little bit further than a straight jab away from it – then move forward slightly each time you punch.  Really focus on ‘snapping’ your punches out, rather than just swinging your arms.
  • Problem:  Bag (including floor to ceiling ball) is ‘Spinning’ after you hit it.
  • Solution:  This is because you aren’t hitting it in the middle.  Pick a target spot on the bag before you punch and drive your punch through the target.  The target spot should be small – one of the letters in the ‘Jim Bradley’ logo for example – rather than large to give you a target to really focus in on.
  • Problem:  You find yourself ‘off-balance’ and falling over after punching.
  • Solution:  Get up onto the balls of your feet and move around the bag (well, from side-to-side in any case) as you go from one combination to the next – don’t stand still, don’t set your feet and don’t let your heels touch the ground.  Boxing is an active sport – remind yourself ‘light on my feet, light on my feet’ as you are punching and don’t just ‘stand and deliver’.

Remember that the more you punch and the harder you are able to punch – and the more your punches start at your toes rather than at your shoulders the better your work-out will be.

Sore hands and wrists

The most common injury I am being asked about is sore knuckles and sore wrists.  This is understandable – it is the number one problem amongst boxers – but for most of us it is also very avoidable.

Firstly, if you are attending classes at Round 1 Fitness more than once a week – or even once a week regularly – you really need to invest in some hand-wraps.  These are relatively cheap, easy to put on and, if you make sure they are nice and tight provide a lot of benefit to your knuckles and wrists.  You can buy some of these in the gym for just $12 (12-month members receive a set for free when they join) and they really do help a lot.  If you are worried about how to put them on – just ask for some help…it really is simple and only takes a couple of minutes.

Secondly, you need to think seriously about the gloves you are wearing and whether or not they are adequate.  When I see people hitting the bags with very light weight bag mits, finger-less ‘MMA-style’ gloves, or even just using a set of cheap ‘ezy-wrap’ style knuckle covers, I really do cringe a little bit.  Boxing gloves are used by boxers for a good reason – they do a good job of protecting your hands and knuckles from the consistent impact of punching the bags (including the floor-to-ceiling ball).  There are a number of fine bones in your hands than can begin to hurt and ache if you persistently punch without adequate support and protection.

As long as your hands are covered (punching bare-handed is not acceptable) I wont object too much – they are your hands.  But there is no way I would attempt to do a class without first wrapping my hands and wearing a good pair of gloves.  Without turning this into an advertisement, the SupaTuff PT Trainers I sell in the gym are perfect for the classes – they provide good protection and can be left on when you are doing barbell work (avoiding any time wasting between rounds) and are relatively inexpensive ($45).

Trainer News

I am changing around some of the trainers nights over the next few weeks – this is both to give me a little bit of a break mid-week as well as provide Sean and Jason with a bit more experience in running bigger classes.  Starting this week, Sean and Jason will be working together on Wednesday nights rotating between the lead and support role in each class at 5pm, 6pm, 7pm and 8pm.  I will do the Thursday night shift rather than Wednesday.  My other hope out of all of this is that the regulars on Wednesday and Thursday get exposed to a few ‘different’ sessions that pushes them closer towards achieving their goals – the key to continued improvement is continual change (and high intensity of course).

Closing Notes

The final note I wanted to make is that we are just about to kick off a training/membership raffle for Christmas.  The way it will work is this:

-          For each month remaining on your membership you will receive one ticket in the draw.

-          For each month of a new membership you will receive one ticket in the draw.

-          For each month you extend/renew your membership you will receive one ticket in the draw.

-          For each person who you refer to the gym who takes out a membership, you will receive one ticket in the draw for each month of THEIR membership.

-          For each session you attend you will receive one ticket in the draw (members only).

There will be two (2) major prizes – a mens and ladies mountain bike from Apollo Bikes (www.apollobikes.com.au – Thanks to Tony Walters from Apollo for jumping on board and helping out with the prizes) and secondary prizes of SupaTuff Gloves, wraps and Round 1 Fitness tee’s.  All of this will be kicking off in two weeks (November 15th) with the prize draw scheduled for Friday December 17th at the gym.

Anyway, that is all I have for this week – See you in the Gym!

Michael.