TITLE Boxing Blog

From inside the gym to around the world of combat sports, the TITLE Boxing Blog keeps you up-to-date with the latest MMA and Boxing news, training tips and fighting techniques. This is the kind of info you need to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.

Training

  • On-the-Job, In-the-Ring Training

    On-the-Job, In-the-Ring Training

    By Fernando Vargas - TITLE Board of Advisors

    Boxing is competitive. It's dog-eat-dog. It is mano y mano, so it's hard not to think about losing or winning, but as an amateur, it's NOT about winning or losing. It's about the experience.

    I tell my fighters all the time to focus on getting the experience and learning the lessons that you only get from getting in the ring.

    It's easy to get caught up in your "record," but lots of successful amateurs don't do well in the pros. It's not the same. So having a good record is something to try for, but it doesn't really mean you're going to be successful unless you get good experience along the way.

    As a coach, you have to be smart with your fighters and not baby them, but don't put them in over their heads either. You have to be real about where they're at and give them time to grow, but know when to "push them out of the nest" too.

    There's no perfect situation, but if you care about your fighters you'll know the right time and the right moves to make.

    At the end of the day you have to be a smart coach, but have fighters who fight. Getting wins feels good, but getting experience and the right kind of it is what makes champions.

    Bio:Fernando bio image_BOA

    Three-time World Champion, “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas fought with an elite class of
    fighters throughout the 90s and into the 2000s. He holds wins over Yori Boy Campos (which also made him the youngest Jr. Middleweight to ever hold that title), Winky Wright, Ike Quartey and others. Vargas faced the best fighters of his era in Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and Felix Trinidad, in what many consider modern-day classics. To this day he remains a fan-favorite because of his accessibility and take-no-prisoners style in the ring. Vargas currently owns and operates the Feroz Fight Factory in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he trains a stable of rising amateur and professional prospects.

    TITLE Board of Advisors:

    A running series of blog posts collected by TITLE Boxing through our relationships with individuals inside the sport. Fighters, trainers, managers, dieticians, referees and more have offered their words, and we bring them to you here.

  • Fighting: In the Ring and On the Scale

    Fighting: In the Ring and On the Scale

    By Chris Johnson

    At 6’0” and 245 lbs, I was grossly overweight. I had tried “the salad diet”, Atkins, intermittent fasting, juicing...heck even one I invented on my own now infamously dubbed “the burrito diet” (don’t ask). In the end, each attempt to lose the weight had a very brief positive effect while my motivation was a peak, followed by a loss of motivation and subsequent weight gain. I was what you’d call a “YoYo dieter."

    As I stepped on the scale in early December 2008 and read “245,” I realized something seriously needed to change. I needed something that would give me structure. I needed a target that would enable me to form habits rather than look up a quick fix on the internet.

    chris johnson weight loss journey 1

    Now was a better time than ever to pursue a lifelong goal I’d had of being a boxer. I’d always viewed boxers as the pinnacle of fitness, nutrition, skill and finesse. I admired the guts needed to get in the ring. Despite the skill and knowledge I lacked for the sport of boxing at the time, I recognized an even bigger fight was looming to get my weight under control.

    I found a boxing gym nearby called Front Range Boxing Academy and spoke at length with the head trainer and coach Dave before joining. On our first call he outlined the boxer’s basic regimen needed to be ready for a fight:

    Sprints (every single day), bag work (heavy bags, double end bags, speed bags), jumping rope and shadow boxing during each workout in the gym, daily calisthenics and sparring 2-3 times per week.

    At the time, I could tell this was a routine he had run several people through over the years. I wasn’t the first guy who wanted to lose weight through boxing and then fight, despite having zero experience.

    All things considered, I quickly dug in on the work outlined by my new coach. Every day started with running and sprinting at sunrise, capped by work in the gym on the bags and in the ring each night. All told I was surpassing 3 hours per day of training.

    The weight came off with the hard work- 245 to 225 in the first 2 months. As 5 months passed I came down to 200 which was fantastic progress, but not yet where I needed to land. My goal was to reach 177 pounds so I could box in the light heavyweight division of the Golden Gloves the upcoming spring. My weight dropped to 200 and stayed there. I wasn’t concerned when it stayed there at first, but as two months passed and I hadn’t lost another pound I became concerned.

    I sat down with my coach to talk about my concerns-- what was I doing wrong? I had followed the old school boxer’s workout regimen to the letter, and I had adhered to the boxer’s diet outlined in similar fashion. Since the old boxer’s workout routine had fueled such good early results, I hadn’t stopped to question my use of the diet method of old pro fighters. As I took a step back and looked at the “old school” boxer’s diet I’d been following the last 8 months, I realized there were some serious issues which were preventing me from losing more weight:

    No Calorie Restrictions, big meals, especially before sparring or fights (Steak and potatoes were a traditional fighter’s favorite pre-workout/fight meal), high fat, high carb and eating big after night workouts before bed (Dinner was the biggest meal and with late night training it often came right before bed).

    After researching how modern diet techniques were in stark contrast from these older diet “techniques” I made immediate changes to correct my diet:

    Cut the calories from liquids/drinks such as soda, no more late night snacks, no late-night carbs or big meals before bed, my meals got smaller over the course of the day: dinner being the smallest, I added poly-unsaturated fats to help me with hunger (almonds, spoonful of peanut butter), no more steak and potatoes—especially before sparring sessions (my only meats were fish or chicken) and still no calorie counting, but tried to watch portion sizes.

    After the changes were made, the weight loss picked up again almost immediately. As the weight dropped, new challenges emerged: I needed to learn how to move in the ring at a lower weight. Each time I sparred, the focus became taking advantage of the benefits of my lower weight. With two months leading up to my first fight, I focused exclusively on movement within the ring as it was quite awkward at 180 pounds compared to the near 200 I’d recently been stuck at.

    Having tried both the old school and modern diet techniques it was easy to contrast their impact on not only my weight, but also my boxing; I found I had more energy in the ring, and the sluggishness I previously felt (likely from the overloaded steak and potato meals) had vanished. I also noticed improvements in my recovery time between sessions. In short, the difference was day and night; I was a different athlete.chris johnson weight loss journey 4

    In the years since, I’ve worked with numerous clients as a personal trainer and boxing instructor. They see the appeal of boxing as a great weight loss tool, which it certainly is. I caution my new clients with my story. Weight loss through boxing has to be equal measures of hard work in the gym AND in the kitchen. When pairing boxing with a proper diet you’re hard pressed to find a better combo to lose weight, but without both in concert with each other you’ll likely only make it halfway to your goal.

    I was lucky enough to win my fight with weight loss and even luckier to win some great fights in the ring as well. Luckily, in the 9 years since I started, I never had to look down at the scale again thinking “something has to change." Both in the ring and outside of it, I keep fighting in hopes to never stop improving and to never return to where I started.

    Bio:chris johnson weight loss journey author pic

    Chris Johnson is a Golden Gloves boxer, CPT and boxing instructor from Boulder, CO. After spending the last 8 years working with both professional and amateur athletes he started his business, Cerus Fitness. It's an online site for people who want to work out and lose weight at home.

  • Facts vs. Opinions

    Facts vs. Opinions

    By Mike Gillette - TITLE Board of Advisors

    “Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts…” - Bernard Baruch (former adviser to Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt) 

    "I perform my push-ups fast for muscular endurance…” - some athlete

    "I perform my push-ups fast to gain muscle size…” - some other athlete

    "We perform our push-ups fast to build strength…” - some coach

    As illustrated above, when it comes to training, there are opinions and there are facts. Which means that the most import mystery for you to solve is figuring out which one is which. This is because we tend to do things that we like to do. And we usually like those things which are familiar. So, all too often, an individual athlete or coach defaults to doing things which are familiar in lieu of things which could be much more productive.

    This is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, what you’re doing might be working for you. But is it? How do you know? Do you test your methods or do you just “put in time”? In other words, are you basing your training on opinions or facts? I often use the expression, “Measurement eliminates argument.” If you don’t test your methods, you’re not actually training as an athlete with a valid athletic process. Without testing, you are simply “acting like” an athlete.

    An effective training program must be premised around two key elements: a ‘process-orientation’ and ‘methodological metrics’. A ‘process-orientation’ focuses on perpetual improvement. These can be improvements in strategy, technique or some other facet of overall athleticism. These are the building blocks upon which you can achieve eventual victories.

    But many times coaches and athletes gravitate towards an ‘outcome-orientation’. Wins and losses. Wins are desirable outcomes, no question about it. But you can’t always win. Does that mean that you or your team are not making progress? Depending on your circumstances, a sixth-place finish in a tournament could be a fantastic achievement. If you were launching a brand-new team or club and only looking at ‘wins’ (outcomes) as your barometer of success, you’d be looking at the wrong end of the developmental spectrum.

    Without going on a tangent about the variables of things you can’t control as a coach or athlete, your time is better spent, particularly with a new program or one which is in “rebuilding mode”, by making your athletes better. And you cannot, strategically at least, make your athletes better without ‘methodological metrics’.

    Methodological metrics is a term which refers to the things in your training program which are the sub-categories of overall performance; increases in strength, speed, work-capacity, etc.  There are two reasons why performance variables such as these are good to focus on. The first reason is that they are all measurable. In fact, they’re all rather easy to measure so long as measurement is built into the process. Secondly, all of these sub-goals contribute to an outcome which is completely under the control of both coach or athlete: improved performance.

    Make no mistake, winning is great. Really great. But for coaches or athletes, the weather, judges, referees, jet-lag, injuries and a myriad of other variables will never be under our control.  So focusing solely on the wins and losses (outcomes) will provide only a partial glimpse of your overall progress.  But your own efforts, intelligently applied (and monitored with regular testing) will lead to the long-term goal of getting “better”. And you can control the process of bettering yourself. You just need to have a process by which to do it.

    Bio:

    Mike Gillette’s life story reads like an action-adventure novel. A life that includes time spent as an Army Paratrooper, SWAT Commander, Government Counter-Terrorism Expert, Member of the Martial Arts Masters Hall of Fame, Bodyguard to Fortune 500 Executives and Motivational Strongman whose feats have been documented by Guinness World Records and Ripley’s Believe it or Not.bio - Mike Gillette image

    Mike is a relentless student of the factors that allow people to perform at their maximum. His quest to live the motto “strong mind, smart body” has led him to many different disciplines. Mike’s research has produced a body of knowledge which has been put to use by high-risk professionals, high-level athletes and ordinary people who want to experience the power of extraordinary performance.

    To learn more about Mike, click here.

    To view the video series on Mental Training from TITLE Boxing/Mike Gillette, click here.

    TITLE Board of Advisors:

    A running series of blog posts collected by TITLE Boxing through our relationships with individuals inside the sport. Fighters, trainers, managers, dieticians, referees and more have offered their words, and we bring them to you here.

    Shop TITLE Boxing.

  • Caring for Your Equipment

    Whether you typically spend a lot on your equipment or as little as possible you still want to get as much “life” of it as you can. A large factor in how long your gear lasts is determined by how well you care for it.

    Hockey great Wayne Gretzky was once quoted as saying, “I don’t like my hockey sticks touching other sticks, and I don’t like them crossing one another, and I kind of have them hidden in the corner. I put baby powder on the ends. I think it’s essentially a matter of taking care of what takes care of you.” What a great mindset that is to have about treating your tools of the trade with a level of professionalism no matter what sport you’re talking about.

    Starting with hand wr3.29.17 caring for your equipment sub imageaps, you should allow them to dry thoroughly before putting them away in your gym bag. You should also wash them regularly using a hand wrap wash bag. The cleaner you keep your wraps the longer they will help prevent your gloves from getting stinky. They’re your first line of defense in making your gloves last longer.

    Next, when you’re done using your gloves wipe off any excess sweat, oils or dirt. This prolongs the glove life. These contaminants break down the leather and foam materials that gloves are made out of. Also don't leave them in your humid gym bag to form bacteria and mildew. Instead, store them in a cool, dry place and only put them in your bag once you're ready to head off to the gym. It's even beneficial to periodically use a mild lubricant or leather cleaner to keep them supple. Leather can dry out and crack and, that alone, can shorten the life of your gloves.

    The same rules apply to your headgear and groin protector. Let them dry out thoroughly after use and be sure to wipe off any sweat, blood, moisture or Vaseline you applied during sparring. All body fluids weaken the materials used in construction, man-made or natural, and reduce the protective properties of the equipment you use. The faster you can get the equipment to dry, wipe it down and get the moisture out, the less time those fluids have time to do damage.

    Lastly, but no less important, is taking care of your skin and
    what the equipment is coming in contact with. If you sweat a lot, take a towel or extra shirt with you and don't bask in your own nastiness. Yeah, you're going to sweat and be somewhat unpleasant, but don't be THAT GUY/GIRL who wears their bodily functions like a badge of honor. Towel off once in a while. It's not only courteous, but will save your gear from being forced to absorb every bit of blood, sweat and tears you produce.

    It only takes a few minutes to properly care for your gear in order to get hours and hours of more good out of it.

  • Delayed Gratification

    Delayed Gratification

    By Fernando Vargas - TITLE Board of Advisors

    3.24.17 BOA Fernando champ pic Photo via BoxRec

    The mistake that many fighters make and one I definitely paid the price for in my own career is keeping it all in perspective. The success. The money. The praise. It all means nothing if you aren't disciplined enough to make it last.

    Speaking for myself, I got caught up in having everything I had worked so hard for and sacrificed for, right now. I wanted to be the champ and live that life, when I should have been dedicating myself more. I didn't wait to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

    I think the majority of fighters make that same mistake. They start celebrating their success too early. To be a real success in boxing and in life, not a temporary one, you have to think long-term. If you just focus on having it all, experiencing everything right now and getting everything you want immediately, you won't dedicate yourself enough to build long-term, lasting success.

    If you want to be a world champion, you have to live for and dedicate your life to the work. Pay now and play later. You have your whole life to party. Commit yourself to the continuing sacrifice and life of a disciplined fighter and then, only then, you get to live the rest of your life as a champion.

    Fernando bio image_BOABio:

    Three-time World Champion, “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas fought with an elite class of fighters throughout the 90s and into the 2000s. He holds wins over Yori Boy Campos (which also made him the youngest Jr. Middleweight to ever hold that title), Winky Wright, Ike Quartey and others. Vargas faced the best fighters of his era in Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and Felix Trinidad, in what many consider modern-day classics. To this day he remains a fan-favorite because of his accessibility and take-no-prisoners style in the ring. Vargas currently owns and operates the Feroz Fight Factory in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he trains a stable of rising amateur and professional prospects.

    TITLE Board of Advisors:

    A running series of blog posts collected by TITLE Boxing through our relationships with individuals inside the sport. Fighters, trainers, managers, dieticians, referees and more have offered their words, and we bring them to you here.

    Shop TITLE Boxing.

Items 1 to 5 of 192 total

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. ...
  7. 39