How to Change Up Your Boxing Workout Routine
Although there are aspects of training that are repetitious and actually require doing a movement or exercise over and over so that it becomes second nature, it doesn't mean that some change isn't good. In fact, change is necessary and extremely beneficial in boxing.
The human mind and body are highly attuned to routine and after a while they figure out a way to adapt. At that point, they take the easy path and growth stops. Your body learns how to adjust and what it is being asked to do becomes easy. To keep muscle memory and your neuro-pathways off-balance and guessing about "what's next" puts more demand on your central nervous system. Most people hate the word "change," but it is the only way you adapt, get challenged, and then learn and grow.
Adaptive Training is the same principle that is used in many other sports, like; cross fit, bodybuilding and especially "chaos training." It focuses on the importance of changing your routine constantly, session-to-session, weekly or every three-four weeks. That doesn't necessarily mean completely different exercises every workout, but the order you do them in, the duration and intensity can consistently be varied. Keep it fresh and make it constantly inconsistent. Your workouts should almost always leave fighters feeling like they were challenged and that they progressed.
Let's be honest, it’s easy for coaches and fighters to shift it into automatic and just do "the usual" routine. It requires less planning, effort and execution, but it won't get you where you need to go. Change it up and you'll become a better boxer, a more adaptable fighter who can deal with anything you're faced with, even if it’s something a little different than what you've seen before. By training differently, you will have conditioned your brain to think in the ring, not just fly on autopilot.
Change doesn't mean buying into the latest, greatest fitness routine, fad or fancy gadget. It’s more about getting creative with what works. Don't get caught-up in getting too cute, but simply change-up the variety and keep your fighter guessing about what's coming next.
Sometimes coaches, fighters and strength and conditioning experts push the boundaries of practicality by inventing new methods of training and tricky machines that supposedly help you improve. Although there are some gadgets that can add new dynamics to your workout, what works best are the tried-and-true methods. The right combination of bag work, mitts, technique-driven drills, sparring and a good mix of strength and conditioning exercises is crucial to creating a well-rounded fighter. How you attack your workout and approach the session is more important than any new invention.
It’s always been said that survival is mandatory, but change is necessary. The best way to prepare for that is by how you operate in training. Change it up regularly and you'll reap the rewards of being conditioned to adapt.
Douglas Ward is the Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing.