Saturday, August 24, 2013

Workout #10

I was expecting a lighter workout focused on technique, but the trainer had me spar today again which is great. I have to travel for the next week so I won't have access to a gym, so I hope to do shadowboxing and lots of walking if I can.

Total rounds: 9.5 rounds

1) Shadow boxing 1.5 rounds

2) Light Sparring - 2 rounds
  • I sparred a new guy today. He's a really gentle nice man, about early 30's, 5'10, and maybe 190 pounds or so. He's never been in a match, but has been working out for about 3 years just for exercise, sparring very irregularly. He has no interest in being in a real match so doesn't really like to spar. 
  • The 2 rounds went by fast. He was already tired and was in much better shape than I was, but I just got there so I had more energy. 
  • Overall it was a good session. He got me with a bunch of body shots, but since he doesn't spar much he didn't keep his hands up very much so I got him a number of times with my jab. 
  • Since he's a beginner like me, when he went for a body shot he went too low so he got me but I was able to get him in the head almost every time. 
  • My jab came out much better today since I read this article on using my hips to launch a jab:
  • I think I'll have to work on the drowning style but I think it'll work for me even though my reach isn't very long. I have to move and try to use conditioning to go in and out, in and out with my jab since that's my best hit. 
  • I still got hit a number of times on my head and body, but for the most part I was able to get him with my jab whenever he came in. 
  • I think just the few times I've been able to spar has given me a bit of an advantage with another beginner, since I haven't panicked so far and tried to go for aim. 
  • I notice that if I'm relaxed then I can be a lot more accurate, and in amateur boxing I know it's not about hitting hard but being accurate. 
  • He got me with a lower body uppercut a number of times, but I was able to hit his head only b/c he wasn't defending it very well. I think for better boxers, they'd protect themselves more while trying to go for the body shot. I think I have to give up body shots to some degree since I'm not sure I can avoid them all, but overall I think my presence in the ring is getting better. I do have to work on moving around more, I'm kind of like a statue just sitting there and blocking mostly b/c I'm too tired to move. 
  • My opponent said that my jab was really strong even in the 2nd round. He said when he tried getting in to do some kind of combo I would just jab away at him really hard. I didn't feel like I hit him that much, but I was surprised at how calm I was when he was trying to hit me with combos. (My previous sparring match, however, was totally different. The 20 year old strong guy nailed me really hard and I couldn't even see where his hits were coming from after a while.) 
  • Overall the best session so far I've had in sparring. My left arm and shoulder are hurting quite bad. 
  • I've ordered boxing shoes, so I think it'll make a difference when I start using those in a real match. It's hard to slip using my gym shoes.  
3) Mitts - 2 rounds
  • I didn't expect to go hit the mitts right after the sparring session. I was pretty exhausted. The trainer said I still need more counters, I was just avoiding and doing just offense. 
  • The trainer has been really trying to help me do as much sparring as possible. 
4) Speed bag - 2 rounds
5) Double bag - 1 round
6) Shadow - 1 round

The last time I felt like this was when I was 14 years old and won my very first wrestling match with a pin. Of course this is just a light sparring match, and we weren't hitting very hard. However, I could tell what it would have been like if we went the 3 rounds at 2 minutes each. With someone my own level, someone who has been doing this less than a year, I think I could actually stand a chance.

Today I felt half my age. It has been a good 10 workouts so far.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Workout #9

I was the only one in the gym today with the trainer. I feel myself getting better even though the learning curve is very high. In particular, two weeks ago I could barely go 2 rounds on the mitts but now I can go 3 rounds. I also feel my punches popping more, at least in the 1st mitt session, so I feel better. Fridays are usually empty he said, but Saturdays are more full throughout the day.

Total rounds: 11 rounds

1) Jump rope - 1 round
2) Shadow Boxing - 2 rounds
3) Mitts - 3 rounds

  • He had me working on slipping more and then counter punching out of the slips. 
  • Slip left+body uppercut, or slip right-straight right. 
  • I have to remember when I block a jab with my glove not to move the head of the glove down, but just hold it up and then return the jab
  • Like most heavyweights, my right hand is a lot more powerful than my jab. My jabs are really kind of slow, especially if I have to do more than one. 
  • Doing two left punches is difficult: left uppercut-left hook or something like that
  • I learned from the title punch videos to always finish with my left hand to prevent the person from hitting me with a straight right
  • I have to pick my poison, if I don't want to get hit in the head I am open to body shots and uppercuts. I have to keep my eyes open. 
4) Heavy Bag - 2 rounds
  • The trainer had me work on just the left body uppercut. 
  • He said I was moving my legs like a left hook, but actually my leg stays the same. The left hand goes right to the body and is a quicker punch then a left hook which is more powerful. 
  • He says my eyes need to stay open to keep my eyes on the target. I remember flinching a bit during my last sparring match. 
  • I didn't hit the bag very hard. Maybe I'll work on the heavy bag twice per week. 
5) Double bag - 2 rounds
6) Speed bag - 1 round

I'm trying to change my diet so that I can have a big lunch, maybe eat 70% of my calories in one meal. This way I'll be fueled for my workouts. My post workout meals have been mostly protein shakes, chicken/beef, and vegetables. If I'm disciplined at night I hope I can make weight for my match. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Workout #8

Today was one of my lighter days. I'll try to have 3 harder workouts and 2 lighter workouts per week.

Total rounds: 12 

1) Jump rope - 1 round
2) Shadow boxing - 2 rounds
3) Mitts - 3 rounds

  • I felt better going more than 2 rounds. The trainer asked if I wanted to do another round and I said yes, though I was pretty tired by the end of it. 
  • Today I worked on a bunch of blocks and counters. Slip left and then 1-2. Or back up with a step, and then coming back with a right hand. 
  • None of this seemed very natural, but I was thankful for the work. Rather than just having me hit the mitts, the trainer actually threw things at me with the mitts so I had to parry or slip. 
4) Shadow boxing - 2 rounds
5) Speed bag - 2 rounds
6) Double bag - 2 rounds

I could have done more but I decided to have a lighter workout. I'm debating whether to add pushups or crunches afterwards. I was pretty beat afterwards. I know for sure that by not doing any weightlifting before my workout, that I had more energy for my boxing workout. Once I'm in better shape, I do want to lift weights at least once/week and also do some bodyweight exercises like body weight squats, or pushups, situps, etc. 

I still haven't lost any weight in the last 2 weeks. I lost a few pounds, and then when I went on my trip I gained it back. I have another trip next week, and this time I'll have no time do much. I'm hoping to go for a short run or a long walk, but I'll be very busy. I also know there will be lots of great food so I need to discipline myself so I don't come back too heavy. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Workout #7

Wed we have boxing class. It's a one hour class of mostly technique, some shadow sparring, and the like. It's not too tough a workout, probably really easy for most of the group, but it's mostly to learn skills from a pro boxer. I usually get to the gym an hour earlier to warmup and shadow box.

Total rounds: 7 rounds + class

1) Jump rope - 1 round
  • The head trainer asked me to spar with a young guy so I didn't have that much time to warm up. I saw a bunch of other guys jumping rope, and the better they are you know they're skill is high. 
  • It's actually kind of intimidating to see a great jump roper at a boxing gym since you know they've been doing it for a while. 
  • I hit 10 multiple times as usual, and am getting the hang of two footed jumping. Now I have to work on my one foot alternating jumps. 
2) Shadow boxing - 2 rounds
  • I tried working on snapping my arms back quickly as the trainer told me yesterday. I realize that I don't keep my hands up enough after I throw my combos. 
  • The left hook is still tough for me to do quickly, I use my body and then find it's hard to go back to my original position. 
3) Light sparring - 2 rounds
  • Today they had a 20 year old boxer my size. He was my size when I was 18, over 20 years ago. We were about the same height, and if I lost 35 pounds I might look like him with less muscle of course. 
  • He was an experienced boxer and so many times let me hit him. I didn't hit very hard, but he let down his guard so I could hit him a bit. 
  • He started hitting back, and got in a number of shots. One shot was fairly hard to the head on a left hook, and the other time he got me with a right uppercut inside. For sure, if we were going 100% I would have been knocked down with the upper cut. I went in for a straight right and he ducked under and just got me under my chin. It hurt. I should have had a mouth guard. 
  • A few times he got me in my stomach area, and though he didn't hit too hard, he did hit hard enough that I wasn't breathing very well afterwards. If this were a real match I'd be in real pain today.
  • This guy already had a full hour+ workout and was pretty tired, yet in the ring he was so calm. I guess having great conditioning makes you calm even when you're tired. 
  • The major takeaways for me were: better conditioning, keep my hands up, and use more the drowning style. In particular, my hands have to be up. I can take a shot to the body, but it's much tougher on the head. This guy was great. 
  • If I sparred him once/week I know I'd get much better since he knows he's better, but he does hit back pretty hard. 
  • He's the biggest guy I've sparred so far, and even his light taps hurt. I wonder if I could have been that good if I started in my teens. 
4) Double end bag - 2 rounds

Class was great. We do some shadow sparring, but during the session one of the guys clocked me in the head. I didn't even see it coming. I was so focused on my own combos that I didn't see his hit. It wasn't too hard, but I wasn't hearing headgear and so it hurt. I have to be quicker on my feet. 

I've decided to only do one workout per day for the short term and stop lifting weights for a while until I get in better cardio shape. I get too tired from lifting to focus on my boxing. I'll focus on this after I have my match. I've found myself too weak physically when I get in a morning lifting session. I should focus on my diet, getting rest, and then giving it my all during the daily gym sessions. I want to go on Tuesdays to Saturdays and the occasional Sunday if I have time. Mondays the gym is closed. It's hard to know when I'll have a tough or easy workout. Generally, if I spar then it's a tough workout. Sparring is the single hardest thing about boxing but it's the most fun. 

Once/week I just want to do pure skills. So 10 rounds shadow boxing, maybe 5 rounds each of double end bag and speed bag,  and then footwork. Doing the mitts also is pretty demanding. I barely do any heavy bag work. I don't think I'm quite ready for it yet, mostly I'm not in shape. I'd like to hit the heavy bag once per week too. Ideally I'll do jump rope and at least one double end bag, one speed bag round, and mitts every time I'm in the gym. My focus will be: 

Tue - Full workout (jump rope, double, speed, shadow, mitts, footwork) 
Wed - Skills Class
Thur - Full workout 
Fri - shadow 3R + mitts 2R + Heavy Bag 3 rounds (add one round per week) 
Sat - 10 rounds shadow, 5 rounds double end bag, 5 rounds speed bag
Sun - some kind of cardio, or Full workout

Today I actually felt like a boxer even though I barely got hit. I should never fight that level a boxer, but if I am getting beat really bad the only thing that will save me is conditioning. I'd have to use my jab and walk away, and just try avoiding contact much even if I lose. Use the drowning style of jab and retreat, jab and retreat, etc. If I'm in really good shape for someone my weight, I feel like I could use 80% jabs, 15% straight rights, and 5% other hits. The quickness and not getting tired would allow me to be in the ring and have him chase me. If he got too close, I'd have to use my jab. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Workout #6

It has been really hard working out while traveling. I was planning on doing lots of shadow boxing, but I had roommates so it wasn't easy. Also, I had to work late/wake up early so barely had time. I won't make excuses the next time, I'll get something in every day even if it's just going for a walk (can't really run) and going through combinations in my mind.

Total rounds: 12 rounds

1) Jump rope - 2 round
  • I finally was able to get in multiple rounds of 10 jumps in a row. I can't go a minute yet, but that would be the goal. I can't do single leg, so have been doing double leg but perhaps my knees will hurt b/c of this. 
  • If I warmup doing this every time I hope it will improve my footwork.  
2) Shadow boxing - 3 rounds
  • I'm way too slow. I feel like I can't throw 5 hit combinations very well even in shadow boxing. I need to do more than 3 rounds, maybe 5 rounds in the beginning, so that I can work on my technique. 
  • It's harder to work on technique when I get tired, I just want to get through the workout. 
3) Mitts - 2 rounds
  • There was a trainer I hadn't seen previously who was there today, the Tuesday trainer. He was the toughest trainer out of the 3 I've seen so far. He was about 50 years old but had an incredible physique. 
  • He said I was swinging too hard and way too slow with my body. 
  • First, my hips weren't rotating fast enough. Next, my hands didn't come back to guard quickly enough. In particular on the left hook, I have to hit in a semi circle, but once I hit my target I have to pull my hand in directly to my side. Finally, he said I'm not popping my punches. My legs are turning too much. 
  • It's pretty hard to think about all this at once, I need to work on this at home in my free time. 
4) Shadow boxing - 2 rounds
  • The trainer went over some of my techniques with me and I need to go wider with my punches/longer by standing up straight, but then return to form more quickly go shorter as I go back to my position. 
5) Speed bag - 2 rounds
  • If I keep the speed slow, I find that I can hit it for a while. I should do this to warmup as well, it's a good way to develop coordination. 
6) Heavy Bag - 1 round
  • I find my knuckles hurt by hitting the speed bag. I'm trying not to hit the heavy bag very often, mostly for my shoulder, but I'd rather spar. Perhaps I can hit one to three rounds when I'm in better shape. 
  • I can make my punches pop on the heavy bag, but only in short numbers. After a few combinations I'm beat. 
The trainer and I had a conversation and he said I'm nowhere near ready to be in a match. Overall he said my stamina needs to increase or I won't even last. He said not to worry about much else until I get my stamina up. Good advice. It has only been two weeks, and I need to sleep better, eat better, and train harder. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Workouts on the road

I'll be traveling for the next week so I won't have access to my regular gym. This is a challenge if I want to learn this demanding sport and prepare myself for my first match. Rather than counting these workouts towards my boxing workout, I'll just make a list here as to what I've been doing. This list will vary depending on accessibility in terms of equipment. I wish my knees were better so I can just run, but I have to find other means of getting in my cardio for the day.

August 12, 2013
- Dumbbell squats, dumbbell bench press, dumbbell row. I did 3 sets each but I think from now on I'm going to just do one set each and go to failure for 2 minutes. Hopefully I can survive.
- Shadowboxing 3 rounds. I could have done more but just didn't have time. Ideally I'd get in at least 6-8 rounds of shadowboxing with some kind of cardio. 

August 13, 2013
- Bodyweight squats. One round. I could only manage 64. I may alternate between bodyweight and weight workouts, but still do it by round.
- Shadow boxing. 5 rounds. I was feeling pretty weak. It has been really hard to have a good workout by myself.
- I downloaded a boxing app that has a 6 week training program so I'm going to use that so at least I have some clear direction in every workout. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Workout #5

I was busy today so I ended up eating a late lunch/ate more than I should have b/c I was hungry. I then had to go to the gym an hour and a half after my meal. I thought I would throw up b/c I was kind of full, but to my surprise my large carb intake actually helped me. I felt stronger today, but of course this isn't something I want to do regularly since I'm trying to make weight for this match.

Total rounds: 10 rounds

1) Jump rope - 1 round
  • I still can't jump off alternating feet, but today I was able to go at least 5-6 consecutive jumps without messing up. Hopefully I can hit 10, and then hit my goal of doing a full round of 3 minutes alternating feet. 
  • I can see why jumping rope is so good for a boxer, it really does make you light on your feet. 
2) Shadow boxing - 3 rounds
  • My left hooks and right upper cuts felt much better today. I was using my hips more, and could feel myself getting quicker. Of course I'll still tired out and then end up not rotating my hips, but at least towards the beginning I felt OK. 
  • If I hit my left hook really hard with my hips, I notice I drive my legs into the ground when I twist my front foot. This puts pressure on my left knee. Of course I doubt I could throw a left hook that hard in a real match since I'll be tired, but at least during shadow boxing my heavy weight and hip rotation does cause pressure on my knees. I have to think about this since I've had bad knees for about 6 months now. 
3) Double End bag - 1 round
  • I can do 3 hit combos now fairly regularly, and am working towards doing multiple 4 hit combos. Mostly jabs and straight rights. 
  • If I had more time in the gym, I would benefit a lot from adding three total double end bag workouts into my training regimen. It's not as intense physically as mitts or heavy bag, but thinking about timing while you're breathing hard is really good for the reflexes. 
  • Rather than a heavy bag, I think the double end bag might be the most useful thing to have at home. It's something you can do just whenever you have a free moment, and one can practice combos near it as well. Unfortunately, my place is really small and I don't have any room to get one so I'll just have to do it at the gym. 
4) Light Sparring - 2 rounds
  • My trainer/owner of the gym usually tells me to do some light sparring whenever there is anyone roughly within 5 inches of my height. He himself can't spar b/c of his bad eye. (He was 8-0 as a pro welterweight with 5 knockouts, but hurt his left eye in his last match and had to retire. He's 58 but looks like he could be 40, he's still in great shape.)  
  • My opponent was a guy about my age, but who was in fantastic shape. He was with his 13-14 year old son, so could have been anywhere from late 30's to mid 40's. He was a few inches shorter than me, but looked like he was really experienced.
  • Light sparring has been really good so far for me, since we're not really hitting each other but more like tapping one another with gloves. I do know when they tap my head or stomach that it would really hurt if we were really sparring, so I'm not sure I'm ready to spar at 70-80%. Light sparring at 50% (or less) has been good. 
  • The trainer said I wasn't doing any counter punching, which I guess is common for beginners. Beginners typically do a combo, move away/parry/or step back, and then just think about our own combos. The advanced boxers of course counter quite a bit, and can think about doing combos and then adjusting by countering the opponent's punches. 
  • I still feel like in light sparring all I can do is mostly the jab since we're not really supposed to fight inside/hit one another but just tap. Left hooks or body shots have been mostly ineffective for me since I've been too slow/too far. However, most of my shorter partners have been quick enough to give me body shots. The idea is to protect one's head, and be willing to take body shots. 
  • I'm going to think about just one counter in my next sparring match, whenever he throws a left hook I'll slip and throw a right to the body or a right upper cut to the body. 
  • Also beginners are supposed to learn to finish all their combos with the left hand, to make it harder for your opponent to counter with his (stronger) right hand. These are my two goals for my next sparring match: 1) slip the left hook and throw a right, and 2) finish all my combos with the left. This means I can't just do a one-two combo, but have to either jab-left hook or jab-jab or jab-right-left hook. 
  • I'm also trying to figure out my most advantageous style. I'm shorter limbed, so I have to fight inside a bit more even if I'm the same height as opponent. 
  • Now that I'm actually sparring, even if it's light sparring, watching training videos makes a lot of sense. I can't imagine someone can learn without actually sparring. As they say, the difference between being a boxer and someone who boxercises is sparring. 
5) Mitts - 2 rounds
  • I could barely hit the mitts in the beginning since I went right into it after sparring. The trainer did say my left hooks are improving. Sliding/stepping into jabs has felt more natural, and my straight rights feel like they have more pop since I'm making an effort to use my hips. 
  • Stepping into jabs is still quite difficult, so I'm trying to practice whenever I get a free moment. 
6) Speed Bag - 1 round
  • I look really pathetic doing a speed bag, since I can't go more than 3 hits max. Frankly, one of the reasons I'm even doing the speed bag is b/c I'm too exhausted at the end of my workout to do anything else. My arms burn however during this portion, and my shoulders feel so heavy. 
  • I can tell that whoever can work the speed bag really well has good coordination and rhythm which is really helpful of course. In an ideal workout, I'll be able to alternate 3 rounds of sparring or mitts or heavy bag, with two of the double end bag or speed bag but I think that's only b/c I'm still really out of shape. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Workout #4

I woke up with shoulder pain again on my right shoulder, though I wonder if it was just sore. My left shoulder felt fine, and then after today's session my right shoulder feels totally fine but my left shoulder is really sore. Such are the struggles of an old overweight beginner boxer.

Light day (no heavy bag, reduce total rounds)

Total rounds: 9.5

1) Shadow boxing - 3 rounds
  • 2 rounds in the beginning and one round afterwards
2) Double end bag - 1 round
  • Today's session was a little bit better. I can do a 3 hit combo but was unable to do a 4 hit combo or to do extended 3 hit combos b/c the bag was going all over the place. 
  • I still am not really getting the hang of bobbing and weaving with the double end bag. 
3) Mitts - 2.5 rounds
  • The trainer's been working me on a number of the same beginner combos. Today he threw in a number of weaves so I would react a bit. 
  • My reaction is pretty slow, to the point I feel myself moving in slow motion. I can see what he's doing but it's as if I can't react to slipping very well. 
  • I heard that beginners shouldn't worry about slipping so much, b/c it takes up too much energy, but rather focus on good blocks and good counters. I'll try and remember that, since I'm typically wiped out by the 2nd or 3rd mitt session. 
4) Light Sparring - 2 rounds
  • My partner was an experienced boxer. He was about 3 inches shorter than me but had really long arms, so our reach was about the same. 
  • As the taller guy, I should have been able to keep him at bay more with my jab but he was within  striking range when I used my jab so I wasn't able to counter very effectively. 
  • He was able to slip almost all my combos, and I only was able to tap him when he had already hit me. If we were in a match he might have even knocked me out, since he tapped me in the head at least a dozen times. 
  • After our 2nd round I was breathing heavily and I couldn't even hear his breathing. I have to improve my conditioning if I want to last 3 rounds, though we did two 3 minute rounds while my match will be three 2 minute rounds with 40 seconds rest. 
  • I need to work on my footwork. I find myself sometimes having my feet nearly parallel at times after throwing a number of combos, and of course I'll get knocked down quite easily. With my body type, I have shorter legs and a longer torso, I have to spread my legs a bit further and be more mindful of moving a bit more slowly on my feet. 
  • It's better to spar with someone much better than you. When I attempted combos he just blocked and let me try them, and would slip or just block them. When he did his combos, he started slow and then started throwing 3, 4 even 5 hit combos. After a while I couldn't even see where his hands were coming from, surprising since there are really only 6 punches in boxing and the jab is probably used 75% of the time. 
5) Speed bag - 1 round
  • I'm going to try and do the speed bag towards the end of my workout since my legs give out quickly, but my arms were hurting enough that I could barely go a full round on the speed bag. 
I did some situps and neck ups (situps where you just move your neck), and could only attempt 10 and 20. I hope to be able to do 100 sit-ups / 100 neck-ups / 50 pushups after every workout. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Workout #3

I had some shoulder pain last night in my right shoulder. 12 years ago when I spent about 3 months at a boxing gym, I hit the heavy bag 5-6 days/week for at least 10 rounds every class for 3 months. I felt a click on my right shoulder everytime I went, and the pain hurt enough that I couldn't even lift my arms over my head after a while so I quit boxing.

After I looked up some articles on boxing and shoulder pain, I came across a boxing forum where a beginner boxer was told by his trainer to make sure his right shoulder/upper arm touches his cheek/jaw whenever he throws a straight right. He said it really helped his technique/distance and his shoulders were less tired. I tried it and my shoulder did not click when I threw a straight right! Just a few inches makes a difference it seems when one throws hundreds of punches daily.

During today's session, applying this new technique, my shoulders felt much better. They are still really sore, but do not click. I think the weight of my 16oz training gloves + my form put a lot of stress on my shoulders as an overweight and out of shape 40 year old man. I felt 100% better today so I hope this bodes well for the future.

Total rounds: 6 rounds

1) Shadow boxing, 2 rounds

2) Double end bag, 1 round
  • This was really difficult to do quickly. Either I did it too fast and had to wait for my next punch, or it was too slow. I'll have to find more videos on this. 
2) Mitts, 3 rounds
  • I felt better today, my 3rd day, though I still was really tired at the 3rd round. 
Vince Lombardi was right when he said "fatigue makes cowards of us all."

I really feel like in an amateur boxing match, the better conditioned fighter will win 90% of the time even if his skills are lacking compared to the other fighter. I'm thinking of adding a short morning bike ride (running is too hard on my knees), so I can weather more in my training. My whole body is still aching, especially my shoulders and right thigh. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Workout #2: my first group class

On Wednesday nights my gym offers a boxing technique class. There were only 4 students with the pro boxer so it was a great time to learn.

Total rounds: 13 rounds

1) Shadow box, 2 rounds

2) Bob/weave under a rope, 4 rounds
  • We were taught to do combinations while bobbing and weaving under a rope. It wasn't easy actually, since the trainer told us to hit the rope while we were doing our combinations. 
3) Footwork sparring (no gloves), 2 rounds
  • The goal is to do shadow boxing in a ring without touching one another, but trying to step on the other person's shoes lightly. The idea is to see how quick you are with your feet. It was pretty tiring, and I was looking down so was susceptible to my partner's punches. (Though we didn't actually hit one another, if we were wearing gloves he would have hit me for sure.) 
4) Touch sparring (no gloves), 3 rounds 
  • This is another form of sparring, but without gloves. In the ring, we basically just use our hands to touch the person in the arms, chest, or stomach. We don't touch the head though we kind of punch in the way. 
  • The first partner was a 50 year old man who was an inch or two taller than me but was in fantastic shape. He weighed about 160 and was very fast. He got me a number of times on my shoulder and I was too slow to counter. 
  • The 2nd partner was about 30, a few inches shorter than me, but really strong looking/kind of muscular. He too got tired out so was about my level. 
  • The 3rd partner was in his 30's but looked like he was 17. He was 6 inches or so shorter than me and was incredibly fast. 
5) Shadow sparring, 2 rounds
  • No headgear so we didn't hit one another in the head of course, but did some light touching. Mostly it was a way to block jabs with jabs, etc. My two partners were kind of spazzy, and one guy only went to his left as he was throwing jabs. 
  • Although I don't have much boxing experience, I was a wrestler so I know what it's like to be in a match and to try and calm down. Out of my partners, only the 50 year old was in a boxing match about 10 years ago. Like me, he said he wanted to try it once and they were mostly they were beginners who were trying to learn/keep fit. The other two guys had never been in a real match. 
Afterwards we did 50 sit-ups, 50 where you lift up your arms and legs, 50 neck crunches, and then as many pushups as we could. I collapsed at 10. 

Some of the others stuck around to do mitts or the heavy bag, but I was so tired I could barely stand. 

On another note, I ordered a new set of gloves and headgear from Rival Boxing. My 12 year old gloves were around $70 or so, but this new glove was $120 and the headgear was around $110 so I wanted to invest in some better gear for my old hands/head. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Workout #1: first sparring match

On my very first day at the gym, I had my first sparring match. It wasn't a real sparring match, which typically runs around 70-80%, but a light sparring match around 50%.

Total rounds: 8

1) Jump rope, 2 rounds
  • I had trouble with this and couldn't jump very well. I hope to do this several times a week. 

2) Shadow boxing, 2 rounds
  • I felt OK doing this but just knew my technique wasn't very good. I had almost no hip rotation on most of my punches. 
3) Mitts, 2 rounds
  • I was breathing so heavily, I am really out of shape. 
  • It was challenging stepping forward to throw the jab and rotating my hips for the straight right. 
  • The left hook was really challenging. It wasn't easy to rotate my hips, keep my arms at a 90 degree angle, and also keep my right hand up to guard my face. 
4) Light Sparring, 2 rounds

Afterwards, a young college student came into the gym and the trainer asked him to spar with me. He's never been in a match and seemed like a really tentative fella. I was at least 5 inches taller and 80 pounds heavier so he looked a bit intimidated. He was much more skilled than I was but he was very tentative. We weren't really hitting, but more touching our gloves rather than hitting. He got me in the abdomen area several times and would have hurt me pretty bad, but I got him several times in the head mostly b/c I was taller and had a longer reach. By the time the second round came around, I was much too tired and didn't really throw very well. 

It's true what they say: 90% of amateur boxing is conditioning. The better conditioned boxer will win the majority of his fights. 


It starts today.