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.

  • 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.

  • Risk Missing or Risk Losing

    Risk Missing or Risk Losing

    By Douglas Ward

    Boxing Psychology

    Although every bag and piece of equipment has a unique purpose, I've always felt that the double end bag is the most demanding and, therefore, the most beneficial. When used correctly, it forces the action, keeps you thinking about offense and defense and, in general, requires more focus. It can test your willingness to go all-out in training and could potentially expose you if you can’t match its pace or speed. That's the exact reason why many fighters avoid it.

    Frankly, it is hard. It requires focus. It's frustrating. It's not easy work.

    When you think about it, approaching the double end bag kind of parallels life. Many boxers, especially when they’re starting out, tend to hold back. They hesitate. They won’t fully commit to a punch because they want to wait for the "right time" to throw and they only want to throw when they know the punch will land. Specifically, on the double end bag, they want to be sure they can catch-it and land a solid, satisfying hit. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. For some, their approach to life is very similar.  Most people are scared to make mistakes. They're afraid to look silly and risk being embarrassed, so they make the easy choice. They take the path of least resistance. They try to fly under the radar and do just enough to get by. That's not how you get better. You get better by doing uncomfortable things. You improve by taking risks. The risk = reward dilemma is what boxers have to confront every day in the gym. It’s the only way you ultimately win.

    The moral of the story is; you have to throw punches, not knowing if they're going to land. You have to have faith, confidence and know that, eventually, you'll connect. One punch landed, leads to two. Two punches lead to four and eventually you pick up the rhythm of the double end bag. Once you get the rhythm and timing down you can really begin to excel. That’s when you improve. That's when life comes together for you...when you stop waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect punch and you just throw.

    In the end, it has to start with that first step into the unknown, no matter how uncomfortable it might feel. This is where most people fail, due to fear. They don't fail from an inability to learn or lack of physical skill. They fail due to the crippling fear of the unknown and unwillingness to take a risk. Muhammad Ali put it best when he said, "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

    Live life. Throw punches and be willing to make mistakes. Whether it's a bag or big dreams in front of you, dare to risk, miss and even completely fail. It might be a little rough at first, but being comfortable is highly overrated. Put yourself out there. No one ever achieved anything great by playing it safe.

    Douglas Ward is the Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing.

  • Change Encourages Growth

    Change Encourages Growth

    By Douglas Ward

    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 and, 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 them (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.

  • No Plan is Fool Proof

    No Plan is Fool Proof

    By Douglas Ward

    Boxing Fight Tips

    German military strategist Helmuth Von Moltke once said that "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy." His belief was once a hypothetical plan collides with a real world situation, nothing goes as planned. Assumptions made prior to combat play out incorrectly, errors pile up and predictions clash with reality. Mike Tyson put it in boxing terms when he said, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."

    So does that mean you should go into a fight blind, with no strategy and no gameplan? No. It does mean that you shouldn't become totally reliant on your pre-fight plan. You should think positively and that it will work. Believe that what you have mapped-out, based on your experience, perceptions and strengths, will play out exactly as you've predicted. But if it doesn't, be prepared to adapt. Once your blueprint starts to unfold and it’s not going according to plan, be willing and able to change.

    Some fighters and coaches have difficulty with this. They map out the perfect pre-fight strategy. They work on executing their gameplan and they can't change once it’s in action and doesn’t work. They have no "Plan B" and can't think fast enough in the heat of the battle to see what adjustments need to be made.

    The fact is, information and perceptions gathered before a match can be beneficial, but have to be negotiable. Part of any pre-fight planning should be a plan to adapt. There are too many variables to have all of the answers. The other fighter could decide to fight a different fight than usual. A foul or head butt could come into play. The referee's level of involvement could become a factor. An unexpected knockdown could occur. You can't plan for or expect any of these incidents to happen, but just knowing they might gives you the permission to alter your game plan without feeling like you've failed or made a mistake.

    It’s true when Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” But sometimes there comes a point in the ring (and in life) when the best way to control the future is to let go of the past and present, no matter how well you thought you had planned for it all.

    Douglas Ward is the Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing.

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