Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Workout #26

The underside of my left forearm is really bruised. It doesn't hurt to punch, but when I block it definitely hurts. Also my upper left chest, I feel like I have a pulled muscle there. Thankfully it doesn't hurt much when I box, but when I sit down it feels like a muscle strain. My 40 year old body is having to deal with this intense sport.

Total Rounds: 11

1. Jump Rope - 1
2. Shadow - 3
3. Speed bag - 2
4. Mitts - 3
  • The tough trainer was there today. He said my jabs are too slow when I do a 1-2 combo. The reason they're slow is b/c I'm not pulling it back hard enough as I let my right hand fly. He said I'm still thinking of the 1-2 as two movements when it's actually like one continuous movement. I'm supposed to hit with my jab, and then pull back hard as I release my right hand so it's a continuous motion. Mostly I'm too slow and tired. 
  • Today, he had me go 2 rounds of just 1-2 and a 3rd round of just 1-2-3. He told me to work on my speed, mostly by pulling the other arm back fast. 
  • I notice my combos are really slow, though I have decent one shot speed with a jab or a right. I feel more and more I have to stick with a jab mostly style, and then counter when my opponent comes in. 
5. Sparring - 2
  • I found out DavidT is 45 and has been boxing on and off for 20 years. (He looks 10 years younger, boxers all look so young.) I could tell he's got good form. He's one of the thickest guys I've seen in the gym, roughly 5'8 and 180 lbs or so. His legs are like tree trunks, and he's got a wicked hook. 
  • The 1st round we sparred lightly, DavidT doesn't usually spar very hard. He almost never jabs, and just waits to counterpunch. He usually just backs up when I do combos. I worked on mostly my jab, and occasionally did a 1-2 combo. He's fast enough that I can't hit him unless I step forward or he steps forward, my jabs are too slow/he's too quick for the most part but once I switched up angles, and then changed it up I was able to get him a few times with my jab.  
  • The 2nd round however, thing changed. He started coming in more aggressively. He's fairly quick so I couldn't get him much with my jab, but I kept the pressure on. The head trainer yelled at me to throw even more jabs, double jab, etc. I started to but just couldn't do it very quickly, so I ended up jabbing and then feint jab, etc. As DavidT kept on coming in and got me with a few hooks and a few straight rights, he's quick for a thick shorter guy. I got him several times with a solid jab at the same time he got me with a hook, and one time I hit him pretty hard while dodging his hook. I said sorry, and he said no problem. He was quick so he was able to get inside, and he was able to counter my right hands pretty well. I should have done a 1-2-3, but in the heat of the moment I ended up just stopping with my right hand instead of finishing with my left. Bad mistake, since he got me a few times with a bunch of left and right hooks. 
  • After a while, he trapped me on the ropes and started to come inside and tried to hit me with a bunch of hooks. Since I was much taller, I could tell he was looking down, and so I started hitting him with a bunch of uppercuts and hooks, and then he hit back on my body and swung at my head but missed mostly b/c he had his head down/blocking since it was easy for me to swing up on my uppercuts since my eyes were open the whole time. 
  • If we had continued I know I could have hurt him pretty bad, I just had too much leverage. He may have hit me in my body, but b/c of my height and his head being down/he couldn't see my head was missing it with his hooks, my uppercuts were hitting him and if I hit hard enough he would have been hurt for sure. After I got him a few uppercuts and a hook, and I kept on going/he kept on going - the trainer yelled out to stop several times. 
  • [I've only seen one other time where the trainer had to yell to get the guys to stop. Last week two guys were getting it on and the older guy who was losing, trapped the younger guy (MannyP) on the ropes and kept on hitting him hard and MannyP couldn't do much. It's interesting, unlike other sports it's pretty easy to lose one's cool in boxing. I think in a real boxing match, it's much more important to keep one's cool and be calm.]
  • We then went back, and just fought on the outside. Afterwards I said thank you very nicely, so he was nice about it. 
  • He was really surprised that I had never sparred before I joined this gym, and then asked if I did martial arts or practiced on my own b/c it looked like I was much more skilled than someone who had been boxing for less than 2 months. I said about 10 years ago, I did some boxercise for a year but never sparred - just hit the heavy bag, shadow boxing in group classes. He said I have really strong punches, and complimented me. That was nice of him. I told him I was a wrestler in high school, so I am used to combative type environments even if I've never really boxed. 
  • What he doesn't know is that in 1.5 months I've already had 26 workouts and 15 sparring sessions (including today). That's a lot of sparring for a short period of time. The good part about doing so much sparring in such a short period is that I get to work on things right away/try new things/fix my mistakes, since most white collar boxers like myself (esp. those of us over 40) come in 2-3x/week and maybe spar 1x per week. In that sense, coming in 5x/week and having sparred as much as I have in a short time I'm much more calm in the ring, and know what works for me.
  • Anyways, I won those two rounds I believe even though he hit me. After my match, the tough trainer told DavidT that he's not moving his head and so he's a sitting duck for my jabs. He was working with him just to move his lead slightly, which will alter the trajectory of the punch so it will hit you on the side of your headgear vs. in your nose/face/lip where I was hitting. That's good advice for me too, move my head more. 
  • Things to work on for the next sparring match: 1) double jabs, feint-jab, jab-feint-right, 2) counterpunch rather than looking for the 1-2 combo, and 3) move my head more! 

  • The tough trainer said actually 2 minutes rounds is harder than 3 minutes. With 3 minute rounds, people naturally pace themselves and take a break sometime in between. However, with 2 minutes it's non-stop. 
  • The tough trainer mentioned again how I need to be in better shape. That's so true. My mentality has changed since I just wanted to box to get in shape. Now, I want to really be in great shape so I can box. Again, this has been my mantra/thought/vision for my new start on boxing. I know there's no time like the present, even if I'm kicking myself for not continuing from the age of 30. Even though I hurt my shoulder, eventually I would have learned not to do the heavy bag so much and join a real boxing gym. 

My style
  • I have so much more to work on, but I know what style I have - it's more like Wladmir Kitschko. A defensive style where I jab relentlessly, and then counter when he throws a right or hook. I can counter with uppercuts and 1-2 combinations. 
  • I also use the uppercut a lot more than a typical beginner boxer. I think b/c of the way people work the heavy bag, and also mitts, that the uppercut is a really neglected punch. It's kind of like a more advanced punch, but when people come nearby I know I can throw a hard uppercut. Of course the uppercut sometimes leaves me open for another punch so I need to be faster, but I think in my sparring sessions I've rarely been hit with an uppercut, just once or twice. Since I'm taller than most guys I've sparred, it would be good for them to come in and throw more uppercuts, but so far beginner boxers don't really practice it much. It may be b/c people spend a lot of time on the heavy bag. Not me, I only hit the heavy bag for 3 rounds or so per week since my focus is more on accuracy, but also I want to practice uppercuts more which is hard to do on a heavy bag. 
  • The head trainer told me he thinks I'm at level B. (There are 3 levels for this particular match. C is the lowest, B is middle, and A is the highest.) I thought I was at level C, but since I've been sparring guys who are mostly B and have been holding my own, the head trainer said that's no problem for me to be at B. That's nice to know. 
  • I've only sparred 3 guys who are about my height, so that will be a problem. My gym just happens to have a lot of shorter guys, and so I wonder how my jab will fare against taller folks. So far I think I've been able to tag taller guys as well, but again that's only in sparring and not in a real match. 
I still am about 30 lbs overweight and there's only about 10 weeks to lose it. Frankly, I know I can probably lose 10 lbs the last week by eliminating salt, eating no carbs, drinking tons of water/no water before the fight/rehydrate but this will really weaken me since the fight and weigh-in are all on the same day. My biggest challenge will be the first 12 days of November. I'm going on an international trip and will be extremely busy. I know I'll be tempted with all the food as always when I travel. If I gain weight during that trip, I'll have only 17 days to lose the weight before the match on November 30. (I've thought of just eating every other day to maintain weight, since I've done that before. Eat a light breakfast + 2 meals whatever you want - no snacks. Then the next day fast all day (water only), and then eat a really small dinner of 600 calories or so. I know if I I can do that, I'll maintain or lose weight for sure. It's hard to do though when one is busy/stressed/thinking of work.) 

During that trip, I want to do interval training cardio daily + just lots of cardio + shadow box + body weight exercises (pushups, situps, plank) daily. If I can get in two 30 minute sessions daily that would be really helpful. In the morning work on interval training/intense cardio, and in the evening work on bodyweight exercises and shadow boxing. In the middle of the trip, I have 3 days where it may not be as busy so I'm really hoping to get to a gym just to do some light sparring if I can. I have to realize I'm a boxer all the time. 

I want to box until I can't box anymore. I think I can probably do these white collar amateur boxing matches until I'm 50, and then just spar or just train for fitness. Of course that's hard to do. I think the reason I stopped boxing and didn't do it for 10 years was my fear of sparring. Now I realize how much I love sparring, and that if I'm skilled enough I won't really get hurt (at least not too much), I want to box as long as my body allows. 

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