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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.

weight loss

  • 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.

  • The Weighting Game

    How Boxers Lose Weight Fast

    In the sport of boxing, diet and nutrition are a critical component to a fighters success. His body is his weapon and keeping it in top physical condition is essential. However, when most people talk about nutrition and boxing in the same discussion, more often than not, it tends to center around the subject of weight loss.

    Continue reading

  • Flush the System

    Weight Loss Tricks

    According to a recent study published in Obesity, drinking two eight-ounce glasses of water 30 minutes before meals caused participants to drop 44 percent more weight in 12 weeks time than dieting alone. Use this trick, along with a good diet, to feel fuller faster and consume less calories. Most fighters' instincts, when cutting weight, is to avoid water, but water actually helps flush the system and encourages weight loss.

    Spencer Ward is a Nutritionist with the Acupuncture Center in Overland Park KS.

  • Need to Lose a Few LBs? Don't Sweat It!

    Sweat Suits for Weight Loss

    One of the most prevalent demands of boxing is the constant need to monitor and endure weight loss. It's a requirement that casts a looming shadow over many fighters training camps and can be a constant source of anxiety in the gym.  Seldom do you see a fighter who maintains his optimum fight weight at all times, so there are a variety of methods that are often implemented to aid the fighter in dropping pounds. Most practices range from mildly effective, to detrimental, to downright extreme. Coaches use a wide variety of methods to get their fighter on weight, but one of simplest, most common forms comes in the way of the sauna suit.

    Continue reading

  • TBC Success Stories - Leah

    Boxing for Weight Loss

    TITLE Boxing Club provides many opportunities for health and wellness. For some members,  their experience inside the club can merge into their professional lives. Leah Foster, Lee’s  Summit TITLE Boxing Club member, shares how she did just that after achieving her weight loss  goals and meeting massage therapist, Arlene Williams.

    I have been a member of TITLE Boxing Club for a little over a year now.  I joined with some close  friends. We were looking for a different type of workout to help kick-start our goal to have a healthier lifestyle.

    Since joining TITLE Boxing Club in Lee's Summit, I’ve eaten healthy and lost 45 pounds. This full body workout through kickboxing or boxing not only helped me lose weight, but has tightened and toned areas around my body.

    After years of a variety of different diets and gyms, the workout at TITLE Boxing Club offered such intensity, I found it hard to not continue to push myself.  I never leave without feeling as though the class wasn't enough for me. I love that you go at your own pace and make it what you put into it.

    Not only has TITLE Boxing Club helped me with my personal life but has assisted in my professional life.  In the last couple months I had noticed they were offering massage therapy with Cre8u Massage. I thought what a great way to marry both health and wellness together.

    At American Medical Response (AMR), we provide emergent and non-emergent medical ambulance transportation. Our focus is on our patients, our customer, and caregiver inspired. We strive to embrace these values on every call we respond to, in every community we work in.

    It was the perfect opportunity for me to connect with Arlene with Cre8u Massage to help connect patient care and wellness together.  Arlene was happy to help assist at our most recent American Case Managers Association conference, just one of the outreach programs I work with every year. This new found connection with Arlene will help us both reach more people.

    With the help of TITLE Boxing Club, I am enjoying a healthy lifestyle and a connection with massage therapy for an equal balance of wellness. So thank you TITLE Boxing Club and thank you Arlene with Cre8u massage! ~ Leah Foster

    You can find the pair at Greenwood Elementary school this weekend, as they continue to share their experiences with TITLE Boxing Club and wellness.

    Arleen offers single session and massage packages by appointment at the Lee’s Summit TITLE Boxing Club at the front desk or call 816-524-2696—makes a great holiday gift!

    Leah's success story is brought to you by the Lee's Summit, MO TITLE Boxing Club.

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