You’ve tried running and spinning. You’ve sampled every aerobics class variation and every possible version of the step machine. What else can you do to get that cardio fix? Suggestion: Put up yer dukes.
“Boxing is a great way to enhance a workout program,” says New York-based personal trainer Navin Nandalall. “I’ve been a boxer since my teen years and I still use boxing techniques and principles in my own workout.”
Training like a fighter, explains Nandalall, is a great way to lose weight while building total body strength. “Hitting the heavy bag or, with a trainer, using punch mitts will sculpt your upper body and mid-section,” he adds. “Incorporating a few boxing drills into your workout program will get the results and make your gym time more efficient.”
To get started, try this simple suggestion from Navin: “Go back and forth from body-weight squats—20 reps per set—to punching the heavy bag for 20 seconds. This will get your heart rate up and allow your body to work at a higher rate, even at rest.
You may then want to step up to a high intensity interval training (HIIT) program. “If it’s tone, slimming, losing weight or even increasing muscularity, boxing drills can boost any program with significant results,” Nandalall declares.
• 5-minute warm-up with jump rope: “It doesn’t matter if you trip, get to 5 minutes,” he says.
• Next: Left-right (1-2) punching combination on heavy bag for one minute then jumping rope for one minute. Rest for one minute and repeat this cycle 5 times.
• Move on to 4-punch combo punching on bag (left jab/right cross/left straight/right hook) 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. Repeat 4 times.
• If you have access to a double-end bag for eye/hand coordination, go with 30 seconds of punching/push-ups to failure/abdominal crunches to failure. Rest for one minute then repeat 4 times.
Whether you choose to box for health or sport, keep in mind that staying fit is a marathon, not a sprint. So, if you find yourself on the canvas with the referee counting, heed the words of a man who knows what it’s like to be an underdog, Rocky Balboa: “You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”