Eat Like a Boxer: Standard Boxer Diet
By Bryanna Fissori
Boxers have to maintain a consistently healthy diet to perform to their highest potential. This is true for most athletes. If you have watched the movie classic “Rocky,” rest assured that it is not necessary to drink raw eggs. One of the differences between boxers and many other athletes is that they must also maintain weight their within a certain division in order to compete. Heavyweight fighters are the exclusion, as they don’t typically have a top weight cap.
The three components that make up the majority of a standard boxer diet are:
Carbs are essential for maintaining sufficient energy levels. The correct carbohydrates gradually release energy over the course of the day, replenish depleted glycogenic levels and increase stamina for workouts and competition. Carbs have a negative connotation in the fitness and diet world, but they are essential for a number of things including processing protein. More on protein later, but generally the body requires a 2 to 1 carb to protein ratio to adequately process protein. There is a strong distinction between good carbs and bad carbs, which is based heavily on their effect on blood sugar levels.
Bad (Simple) Carbs
Simple carbs cause notable fluctuations in blood glucose and are considered high glycemic. They assimilate too rapidly which floods the body with excessive amounts of sugar. Insulin is then released to regulate the sugar, which triggers a tired feeling commonly known as a “food coma.” Going to sleep instead of burning off that sugar will result in it being stored as fat.
- Anything with a White/Wheat flour base
- White bread
Good (Complex) Carbs
Carbs that are complex are low on the glycemic index because they have little immediate effect on glucose and insulin levels. They take longer to absorb, which is by they provide long-lasting energy. Complex carbohydrates can also reduce cravings, help in weight loss or maintenance and reduce the chance of diabetes and heart problems.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Wholegrain Bread
- Oats and Rice
- Fruits and Vegetables
Protein is crucial to the foundation, construction and care of muscles, which are not only important for training and competition, but also for functioning in daily life. Boxers specifically put a lot of wear and tear on their bodies. Injuries, muscle fatigue and occasional pain are often a factor in a boxer’s overall health.
Protein work to prevent long-term muscle damage through regeneration of cells and tissue as well as increasing muscle mass. Will you get big and bulky and veiny by eating protein? No, that takes a whole other level of training and nutrition, so fear not. In general, nutritionists recommend boxers consume between 35-60% of their daily intake as protein. The large variance is primarily due to the body fat percentage a boxer must maintain to make their specific weight division.
When preparing meat, avoid options for frying or breading in order to achieve the best results. Also remember to have adequate carbohydrates, fiber and hydration levels when consuming higher amounts of protein.
- Lean Chicken
- Lean Beef
- Dairy (Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese)
- Peanut/Almond Butter
- Protein Supplements: Whey, Cassin, Hemp, Pea, Rice
Yep, you read that correctly. Not all fats are created equal and “good” fats are important to a boxer’s diet. Fats help the body maintain energy, promote cell building functions and assists in vitamin and mineral absorption.
Unsaturated fats are usually considered good fats. There are also fats that cannot be made by our bodies and are considered “essential.” Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids can be obtained through proper nutrition and are also important in stimulating brain health. For competitive boxers who take frequent punches to the head, these should be a crucial part of the diet. Even good fats should be consumed in moderation. Some sources of good fats include:
- Flax Seed
- Oils: Macadamia, Coconut or Canola
- Fish oil or Flax oil supplements
Water is not often considered part of a “diet,” but it is absolutely crucial to overall health, weight loss, performance, energy levels and so much more. Your specific hydration needs are dependent on your energy exertion and size, though it is very difficult to drink too much water. We recommend carrying a water bottle with you as often as possible.
Standard Boxer Diet
This is the basic diet that helps most boxers stay in healthy, athletic form. A specific diet will change with each person’s individual needs and goals, just as it changes for boxers as they get closer to competition, depending on their necessary weight loss requirements.
Take a look at your current diet. Are you getting enough protein? Maybe you are getting too much without enough carbohydrates to process it. Do you feel fatigued? Maybe you should add in some good fats. We hope these guidelines help you find the diet that is right for you.
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Top 10 Protein Supplement Types for Boxers
By Bryanna Fissori
Protein supplements dominate the fitness nutrition world. Muscle and strength are built on a foundation of protein. Not only does protein build the muscles with which you punch and block, it also assists in recovery of those muscles so that you can get back in the ring tomorrow.
Athletes use protein supplements primarily to repair and rebuild muscle that is broken down during exercise. Protein also serves to enhance carbohydrate storage in the form of glycogen, which is used for energy. All of this is crucial to optimize training and performance.
There are countless brands of protein supplements to meet this need, and they vary in more than just cost and flavor. Different types of protein may serve to satisfy various needs. All protein is not created equal. BoxingInsider.com has broken down the basics of 10 of the most popular protein types that you may come across.
1. Egg Albumin is not commonly used in the powder form, but rather bought in a carton or container and cooked. People may have thought Rocky Balboa was crazy for drinking his eggs, but he knew what he was doing. Eggs are fat-free and high in protein, which is great for weight-loss, plans. They are also versatile because unlike most other supplements they can be consumed in liquid or solid form.
2. Casein Protein is the only form recognized for its benefits during sleeping hours. This is due to its ability to keep the body anabolic throughout the night. It takes anywhere from 5-7 hours to fully break down. When used during the day it helps to curb hunger.
3. Whey Concentrate is the least expensive and most common form of whey protein. It can be used for both pre and post workout or as a snack between meals. One downside of whey concentrate is the occasional digestive irritation, which may leave some consumers a bit bloated.
4. Whey Isolates are quick absorbing and pair well with low carbohydrate or low sugar diets. Isolates are different from concentrates in that they yield a higher percentage of pure protein and can be filtered to become virtually carb, fat, cholesterol and lactose-free.
5. Whey Protein Hydrolysate is enzymatically predigested for maximum absorption speed. This process provides a rapid spike in blood amino acids is beneficial for protein synthesis as well as the breakdown of amino acids for energy. Though this boost may be especially helpful during a long workout or post-workout/ pre-day job, it is not ideal for those looking for storage of the protein for continual use. It is also on the pricey side.
6. Milk Protein Isolate (MPI) is a combination of 80 percent casein and 20 percent whey protein. Because casein is slow to digest and whey is quick to digest, the combination of the two provides short-term and long-term muscle recovery. Most forms of MPI are not lactose-free.
Vegetable Protein Sources
7. Pea Protein is also highly digestible and as an added benefit, research shows that it may help prevent hypertension and kidney disease. It is also gluten-free and is a good choice to also curb appetite. Studies have shown that pea protein supplements lead to better satiety than milk or whey protein.
8. Soy Protein is made from soybean meal that has been dehulled or defatted. Aside from being a good vegetarian option, it is loaded with glutamine, which assists in recovery. Soy has been found to boost thyroid hormone output, speed up metabolism and support cholesterol health.
9. Hemp Protein is said to be easier for the body to digest in comparison to soy. It also contains essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6 in a three-to-one ratio. Its overall protein content is not as high as other forms, but it is high in dietary fiber.
10. Brown Rice Protein powder is also gluten-free and has nearly as high a protein concentration as soy. It is also a good option for those who may have gastrointestinal issues, though it is not always easy to find.
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Supermodel Boxing Workout
By Bryanna Fissori
Over the last several years boxing has become the go-to workout for elite supermodels such as Gigi Hadid, Jourdan Dunn, Adriana Lima, Karlie Kloss and a plethora of other beautifully sculpted bodies.
Many of the workouts these women do involve one-on-one training sessions with a professional pad holder. Having a coach who can provide a solid “pad feed” is an excellent addition to your normal boxing workout and it looks cool on camera, but it is not necessary to complete the everyday supermodel boxing workout.
Here is a sample Supermodel Boxing Workout you can complete at home or on your own in the gym.
- 2 minutes of moderately paced jump rope
- 10 push ups
- 15 squats in an orthodox fighting stance (left foot forward)
- 15 squats in a southpaw fighting stance (right foot forward)
- 30 crunches
* 1-minute break
Repeat initial warm up
* 2-minute break
2 minutes of head movement
-Stand in front of a mirror or something reflective. Find a center point or use a piece of tape to mark one. Keeping your hands up, elbows tight and using your obliques (abdominal muscles on the sides of the body) move your entire torso from one side of the marked spot to the other while standing in your fight stance. This should engage you abdominal muscles mimicking the motion you would make to avoid a punch coming straight at your face.
10 Sprawl jumps
-Standing normally, place your hands on the ground and kick your legs behind you. You should end up in a plank position. Pop back up quickly and jump as high as you can with your arms up as if to touch the ceiling. Repeat this motion as quickly as comfortably possible.
Repeat this set two more times to complete the round.
*2 Minute Break
30 Straight Punch Sit-ups
-If you have access to a low-hanging heavy bag, sit in front of the bag and pinch it between your knees. If you do not have a heavy bag, situate yourself in the normal sit-up position with your toes tucked under something to keep you in one spot. Perform a normal sit-up and throw two punches (jab and cross) when reaching the top of the sit up. Repeat 30 times. This number can be increased as your fitness level increases.
-Flip over belly down and rise up to your elbows and toes. Keep your back as level as possible and hold the position for one minute
Repeat this set two more times to finish the round
* 2-minute break
3 minutes of shadow boxing or heavy bag work – Straight punches only
-If you do not have access to a heavy bag, make sure you keep your combinations realistic and intensity high for shadowboxing. In either variation use proper punching technique before power to avoid injury.
*30-60 second break
3 minutes of shadow boxing or heavy bag work – Hooks and uppercuts only
*30-60 second break
3 minutes of shadow boxing or heavy bag work – All punches
You made it! Go stretch a little. Get some water and protein in your body for recovery, and carry on with the rest of your day knowing you just trained like a supermodel.
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Squats and Boxing: Build a Better Booty
By Bryanna Fissori
Squats are an underrated part of boxing, but essential for proper movement in the sport. You may be nicely toning up those arms, but don’t forget to work that butt. There are tons of workout routines specifically designed to create a better booty, but if you have found your passion in boxing, there is no need to stray.
Offensive Boxing Squats
If you have spent every single class trying to punch the heavy bag as if it was someone’s face, you may want to try a new class. Punching to the face is only one of many targets.
Work the Body Shots
It is time to change your level and throw right to the gut! Yes, in order to throw a proper body shot it is necessary that you bend your knees and squat down to hit the target. This squatting motion happens right before you throw your punch. As with any squat, it is important to keep good posture with your back straight. Adding to the booty burn and in the spirit of using proper technique, there should also be a little mini lunge involved. When throwing your lead hand punch (jab), you should always step in conjunction with your punch. This adds a little lunge and a lot of power. If you are up for the challenge, try switching your stance to the opposite of your dominant side. This will help keep your tone even on that sexy booty.
Defensive Boxing Squats
Duck the Punches
There are countless techniques to block and evade punches, but one of the most basic and widely used is a simple squat. Yes, a basic squat. To execute this evasive technique and avoid getting bopped in the head the instructions are simple. Stay in your boxing fight stance (one foot forward) and squat straight down. Don’t lean to the side or get fancy. Just squat. If someone is throwing a punch straight at your head, squat down underneath the punch. Tada! Not only are you building a better booty, you are also using proper boxing skills.
Fun Boxing Drill for a Better Booty
If you have a partner to train with, make it fun. Take turns having your partner throw a jab right at your head. When you see the punch coming, duck directly below it. A good partner will throw the punch straight and not chase your head down as you duck. In most real boxing situations the boxer throwing will be committed to throwing the jab straight out.
While you are down there, instead of popping right back up, step forward and throw a punch the body of your partner. Keep in mind that if you hit your partner like a heavy bag, you will probably not have a partner anymore. Switch on and off with your partner so you both get some work in.
Once you are more advanced you may add hooks and rolling underneath the punches.
Don’t Settle for an Average Butt
There is so much more to boxing than just punching stuff. Take full advantage of your instructor’s knowledge. As questions and get the all-around athletic boxing body you are looking for.
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Building a Better Body with Solid Basic Boxing Technique
By Bryanna Fissori
There are really only a few basic punches that are crucial for boxing. These are the punches you will be using the most in boxing classes. Having the proper mechanics for your punches will not only make them more effective, but it will cause less stress on your body and promote muscle growth and weight loss in all the right areas. Solid basic boxing technique is sure to get you in fighting shape!
This is a quick punch that extends from your lead arm straight out in front of your face. The fist goes straight from point A to point B and back without any elbow curvature. To increase power and speed it is recommended to snap the punch out, finishing with the thumb pointed slightly down. Your lead foot should step slightly forward at the same time as your arm when you throw the jab.
This punch is used to determine and maintain distance from an opponent. It is also the longest reaching punch. The jab can be used to distract, frustrate and set up more powerful punches.
The cross is the straight punch that is thrown with your rear hand. This is often the most powerful punch because if thrown correctly it will engage much of your legs, core and back to generate momentum. To throw a cross the rear hand comes forward in a straight point A to point B line and back, similar to a jab. One big difference is that instead of stepping, the back foot pivots toward the center of the body causing the hips to rotate bringing the rear shoulder forward to extend the punch with force.
The cross usually follows the jab but can be thrown as a lead punch. The majority of knockouts come from the cross or other similar punches thrown from the rear hand.
This punch, though basic, is one of the more difficult techniques to master. It can be thrown from either side. In a numbered progression of punches, it is typically learned first coming from the same side as the jab. There are a number of ways to throw a hook depending on your instructor’s style. Generally, a hook is thrown to the side of the body (or heavy bag) with the elbow bent. The power for a hook is generated in the torso and hips as they turn with the arm. The elbow should come up as the punch is thrown and stay elevated as the punch lands.
The hook is a great punch that can be hidden behind straight punches as an opponent focuses on blocking the front of their face or body. It is also ideal for building a strong and toned core.
The uppercut is a sneaky punch thrown at close range. Unlike the other punches, it comes from below the opponent’s line of vision. Targets for the uppercut are usually the ribs or under the chin. The rotation in the body is again, where the power is generated. Your knees start the punch slightly bent. As the body rotates upward the first drives upward toward the target.
The uppercut can be a game changer in competition and can be practiced on a heavy bag or a teardrop bag.
Basic Boxing Technique Benefits
Remember that each punch should return immediately back to the blocking position at face level. This is proper technique not only for defense, but to reload for the next punch to be thrown. Using solid mechanics when mastering basic boxing technique will be crucial in forming the lean athletic build that fitness boxing is sure to help you achieve.
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Five Ways Boxing Reduces Stress
By Bryanna Fissori
Prevention of Anxiety
Many forms of anxiety stem from a feeling of fear and helplessness. One of the greatest benefits of boxing is the confidence it instills. This is derived not only from the physical ability of being able to punch someone should the need arise, but also the ability to react instinctively during a physical confrontation. The strength and fitness gained by spending hours a week with gloves on also instill a level of confidence that serves to minimize anxiety.
Many experts on happiness have stated that people who are able to live in the moment experience the most joy. This is easier said than done. Mediation is one method of attempting to block out all of the negative thoughts regarding failures of the past and fears of the future. The goal of mediation is to focus on nothing but breathing in the here and now. Boxing can trigger this same type of static-blocking mediation. Less static equals less stress.
In a bag-oriented fitness class, the instructor is likely to be giving instructions on which combinations to throw and at what speed. Without complete focus on the task at hand, the combination and pace will certainly end in frustration. This is even more true with partner drills in which complete presence in the moment is necessary to not get punched in the face. This type of meditative focus is a relief to the brain.
Sometimes you don’t even have to have something to be upset about in order to really need some sort of emotional release (for many women this is a monthly occurrence.) The emotional release of punching, moving and sweating can help cleans the body, mind and soul much like a reset button.
Physical exercise is proven to stimulate the release of endorphins, which work with receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain and stimulate a positive feeling in the body. Boxing reduces stress by your emotions from upset or meh, to oh ya!
People who get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day according to a study conducted by Bellarmine University assistant professor Paul Loprinzi. The study sampled more then 2600 adult men and women found a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality.
People who achieve adequate quantity and quality of sleep more like to reach the deep level of snoozing called REM sleep which has recently been equated with allowing the brain to reorganize and positively process memories thus subconsciously decreasing stress. This will have you waking up more bright eyed, bushy tailed, and ready to take on the world. All because you didn’t skip out on boxing class!
For a person with a normal healthy level of irritation, boxing can serve as a way to take out the day’s aggression. Everyone has at some point, been so angry they wanted to punch something. Boxing class allows you to safely do that. The act of punching a heavy bag can be very therapeutic. Though your best technique may not shine during these rounds, power and aggression will increase beautifully. The point of using boxing as an anger management tool is not to fuel the fire, but to allow the anger to surface and expel, leaving a level of clarity and calmness so that any real issues can be effectively dealt with.