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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.


  • Fighting: In the Ring and On the Scale

    Fighting: In the Ring and On the Scale

    By Chris Johnson

    Boxers Diet Plan for Weight Loss

    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.

  • Scaling New Heights... and Weights

    Scaling New Heights... and Weights

    By Douglas Ward, Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing

    While many fighters continually struggle to compete in the lowest weight class possible-they diet, use sauna suits, sweat it out and will go to great lengths to make weight-there are still others who are only kidding themselves into thinking that they are competing at their optimal weight.  These fighters typically eat poorly, get beat when they shouldn’t and take unnecessary punishment by consistently going up against guys that are naturally bigger than they are.  The truth of the matter is, when it comes to participating in a sport that has distinguishable weight categories, there really is no excuse for a competitor to be fighting out of their ideal weight bracket.  The topic of weight is such a prominent part of the sport because it is so crucial to being competitive.

    No, the rules and regulations are not perfect (in fact they're far from it) and the entire weigh-in process is flawed, but the sport does at least provide some regulatory standards for fighting in categories that were established for helping even the playing field.  If you are negating that regulatory standard by choosing to be overweight, eating irresponsibly or being undisciplined, then you are really doing yourself a huge disservice.  By not maintaining your optimal competitive body weight, you are giving up an advantage even before the fight starts.  In preparation, slacking in this area may feel like the easy way out, but the price you pay in the ring isn't easy at all.  It could be a hard lesson to learn.Sub01-ScalingNewHeights-Blog

    Whether it’s in the amateur ranks or on a professional level, it's a shame to see promising fighters lose on this premise. They should be winning. They should be more successful, but they're fighting a battle with a handicap. Too often THEY don't even understand why they're not winning the big ones.  They're good enough.  They're tough enough.  They have all of the skills and yet they continually come up short. Is this you or a fighter you know? The answer to this can be found in how feel, how you look and what the numbers say.  If you feel lethargic, you may be carrying around extra weight.  If you work out like a fiend and still look doughy around the middle, you could probably stand to lose a few pounds.

    This extra weight could be attributed to many different factors.  It could be due to inadequate training, a poorly designed nutritional plan, a lack of discipline in the gym or in your lifestyle outside the gym.  Regardless of why, if boxing is your passion or your profession, there is no reason, at the very least, for not knowing, scientifically, exactly where you stand.Sub02-ScalingNewHeights-Blog

    There are three basic methods that cost little or nothing to administer and yet can give you a good idea of your specific body-fat ratio.  Once you know where you stand, it’s easier to set a goal to get there, whether that will require a change in eating habits, approach to training or an over-arching recommitment to the sport.

    One method is to use a body fat caliper. These can be purchased for a few bucks online (ex: and with the help of a friend or coach, will give you a fairly accurate reading by just taking a few quick measurements.

    The second method is by using a body fat calculator. These are found at various businesses on the internet as well and, after you plug in a few body measurements, it will automatically calculate your percentages for you.  All you need is a tape measure, a scale and access to the internet (

    A third approach is a new spin on an old classic and that’s a scale. Only now, scales come with built-in diagnostics that also help calculate body fat percentage and even body water content. This is a simple, consistent way to continually monitor your weight and track your ongoing progress.Sub03-ScalingNewHeights-Blog

    None of these methods are 100% exact, but each are very affordable and will give you a baseline indication if you are carrying around extra weight-weight that is keeping you from being as competitive as you could be.  It isn’t even a bad idea to use more than one of these methods or all three to check them against each other and/or find an average that you can then aim for.

    The bottom line is…not showing up in prime athletic shape is not only detrimental to your pursuit or passion for this sport, but it also demonstrates a level of unprofessionalism and a real lack of discipline.  Granted, there are those athletes who, no matter want kind of shape they're in or what their diet s are like, will ever have that lean, sculpted look.  Natural body type and genetics certainly play a role, but there are few athletes that can't be at an ideal body fat percentage if they want to be and are attentive to their nutritional approach.

    All it takes are the proper tools, time and attentiveness to your nutritional intake, but it is bound to pay off by tipping the scales in your favor.

    Get your weight management tools here.

  • Fight for Your Life

    When it comes right down to it, everyone is a fighter in one respect or another.  You may be fighting to become the next champion of the world or simply fighting for a better life. You may be fighting to get that next big promotion at work or fighting to improve your health.  No matter what your particular pursuit may be, it has similarities to what a boxer encounters every time he enters the ring.  That’s actually part of the allure of the sport.  It can easily be seen as a great metaphor for life.

    Continue reading

  • The Fight with Fast Food

    Healthy Fast Food Options

    In today's society, the fast food mentality that so many people posses is quickly becoming the norm. People want everything accomplished, purchased or finished yesterday and feel entitled to have everything now, now and now. This is most apparent in our food choices and if you're a fighter or just someone trying to eat healthy, this mindset is even more detrimental for you.  Think about it. If you take your training seriously, there is so much more to take into consideration when it comes to food choices. For a fighter to be successfully following a diet he has to be constantly evaluating food quality, quantity, including a variety of food groups, convenience and the time it takes to eat.

    Continue reading

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