Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ten Least Threatening Boxing Nicknames

Your weekly top-ten list to discuss at work, church, and at the bar; though not necessarily in that order. I'm not sure if any of the nicknames are trademarked, but do the boxing world a favor by not taking on any of these nicknames and quite possibly ruining them.

1. "Baby" Joe Messi. WBC USNBC Heavyweight Champ. KO'd 29 of 36 opponents.
2. Jerry "Wimpy" Halstead. WBB Heavyweight Champ. 74% of wins by KO.
3. Ronald 'Winky" Wright. Light Middleweight Champ. Schooled Trinidad and Mosley.
4. Pernell 'Sweet Pea" Whitaker. Greatest Lightweight Ever.
5. "School Boy" Darrin van Horn. World Light Middleweight Champ. KO'd by Iran Barkley.
6. "Sugar" Ray Robinson. Greatest Welterweight. KO'd 177 in amateur & pro career.
7. "Gentleman Jim" Corbett. World Heavyweight Champ. Had only 24 fights. 
8. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. WBC Light Middleweight Champ. Name means cinnamon.
9. Eric "Butterbean" Esch. King of the Four-Rounders. Owns Mr Bean BBQ restaurant.
10. "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather. Welterweight Champ. Only two have used this nickname. One took on all challengers, the other is Mayweather.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

One Tough Challenge

Boxers and Trainers,

One of the biggest challenges you'll face as a boxer is keeping your weight under control. The biggest factor in that challenge are white carbohydrates. White carbohydrates, the so-called bad carbs, are refined and/or heavily processed foods such as white bread, white rice, pasta and potatoes that break down quickly in the digestive system into glucose (sugar) and flood the bloodstream causing blood sugar and insulin to spike. The physiological effects include fast weight gain, blood sugar spikes, and difficulty in maintaining weight regardless of the amount of exercise. The long-term effects take their toll on the liver, causes overall wear and tear on the body, and makes the boxer and trainer focus on weight management instead of boxing skills. The white carb challenge does have an answer by eating certain foods, making small changes over time, and focusing on small snacks throughout the day.

Boxing is hard enough without having to deal with the effects of white carbs. White carbs will cause you to add more weight than other seemingly unhealthy foods, such as a big juicy steak, carnitas tacos, and steak fajitas. That's right, an innocent-looking plate of spaghetti (that has little to no nutritional value) will cause you more weight gain than a good-sized steak dinner. The resulting flood of glucose causes a blood-sugar spike resulting in tiredness, sleepiness, and even blurry vision. Not exactly the best way to enter a boxing match. The innocent-looking white carbs make it all but impossible to deal with weight in a controllable manner, as if you are driving with one foot on the gas and the other on the brake.

The effects of white carbs are damaging in the long term. The liver is probably what suffers most as insulin levels are constantly trying to keep up with the glucose spikes. Day after day, month after month, and year after year, the liver is working essentially overtime for you. No doubt that losing and gaining weight again and again also takes its toll on the overall health of the body, especially the heart and digestive system. Also, rather than focusing on gaining skill and quality of training, the boxing team instead, especially in the beginning of training camp, focuses on losing weight and increasing quantity of training at the expense of quality.

If there was one answer it would be to cut out white carbs completely. Within a couple of weeks you will notice more energy and see that pounds disappear easily without even focusing on weight loss. But completely cutting out white carbs is neither practical nor would it last. White carbs are everywhere and such a big part of our eating habits. Here are, however, three steps to help you decrease white carbs from your eating habits:

1. Substitute white carbs for good carbs, such as beans, green vegetables, quinoa, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and sweet potatoes.
2. Make small changes, such as avoiding white carbs only after 2pm in the day. That way, if you eat them, you'll have time to burn them off throughout the day.
3. Eating small snacks (mainly nuts and green vegetables) throughout the day will keep those cravings from getting out of control.

What white carbs do you crave the most?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

10 Meanest Boxing Nicknames

Your weekly top-ten list to discuss at work, church, and at the bar; though not necessarily in that order. I'm not sure if any of the nicknames are trademarked, but do the boxing world a favor by not taking on any of these nicknames and quite possibly ruining them by not living up to their magic.

1. Andrew "Six Heads" Lewis. Welterweight champion.
2. "The Dark Destroyer" Nigel Benn. Middle/Super Middleweight champion.
3. Rafael "Bazooka" Limon. Super Featherweight champion.
4. Mike "The Body Snatcher" McCallum. Light Middleweight/Middleweight champion.
5. "Homicide Hank" Henry Armstrong. Welterweight champion.
6. "The Manassa Mauler" Jack Dempsey. Heavyweight champion.
7. Nikolay "The Beast From the East" Valuev. Heavyweight champion.
8. Iran "The Blade" Barkley. Middle/Super Middleweight champion.
9. "The Easton Assassin" Larry Holmes. Heavyweight champion.
10. Thomas "The Hitman" Hearns. Welter/Light Middle/Middle/Light Heavy champ.

Which is your favorite? 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Boost Your Boxing With Interval Training

As a boxer or trainer you may have heard of interval training. It’s a type of training, typically used for sprinters, long-distance runners, rowers, cyclists and others that need extended or explosive lung and cardiovascular power.  Interval training alternates between high intensity and low intensity use of the same exercise during a workout.  Interval training increases cardiovascular strength, speeds up fat and calorie loss, and can be used in nearly any type of exercise a boxer does. It’s basically training in a more efficient and especially more effective way. Used by top athletes in a wide variety of sports, it’s time that boxing started using this method more consistently.

The most important benefit of interval training is the added lung and cardiovascular capacity it provides. Boxing is a sport in which, like the other sports which use interval training, has varying intensity throughout the event. As the rounds progress, and depending on how the opponent is reacting, a boxer either picks up the pace, slows activity down, or sets into a medium pace. Interval training provides that boxer who is boxing at a comfortable pace to pick up the pace instantly, for longer periods of time if need be, and not get winded or, at least, get less winded. In training, the boxer will be able to train harder, longer, and recover easier and sooner.  The lower intensity part of the exercise (called the rest period, though the boxer is not resting, just going slower) is the key to interval training. It’s this part of the exercise that prepares the body to most efficiently process the lactic acid build-up that is responsible for muscle and cardiovascular fatigue. The inability of the body to process lactic acid more efficiently is why boxers, especially beginners, feel like there wearing sixteen pound gloves and not sixteen ounces after a couple of rounds of boxing.

Interval training is also the best type of training to burn fat and calories. A boxer should always be in shape and close to fighting weight to begin with, but if not, interval training is the answer. Interval training burns more fat and more calories for the same reason that a car uses more gas and oil driving down a city street, as opposed to a freeway.  Unlike driving down a freeway, a car in the city has to constantly stop, go, speed up, and slow down. That’s why a car always gets more mpg on the freeway than city driving. That’s what interval training does. It makes the body speed up, slow down, cruise, speed up, and start all over again, in a very challenging, calorie burning, fat melting, lung and heart pounding kind of way.

For interval training, the boxer should use about a 1:4 ratio and the high-intensity part should last between 10 and 15 seconds, while the low intensity part should be about one minute. It should be done after the regular workout, and about every other day.  

Some interval training exercises to apply in the gym:
1.   Heavy Bag:  Punching the heavy bag non-stop at 50% capacity for one minute, then immediately 100%  capacity (full speed and power) non-stop for 15 seconds. Repeat 5X.
2.   Jumping Rope: 1 minute at basic speed, then immediately 15 seconds at 100% speed. Repeat process for 15 minutes.
3.   Jogging/Sprinting: 1 minute jog, followed by a 15-second sprint (should be a little more than 100 yards,or a quarter of a basic track).