I’m a “train for what you are going to do” kind of person.
Yes, I put in road and trail work, stadium stairs, jump rope, and so on, and none of those things are what I actually do when I roll into the boxing ring. They do give my muscles the kind of balance that only comes from cross-training, as well as a foundation of good cardio conditioning.
And this is a big however…
I do most of my non-boxing-specific training in boxing rounds.
For example, here’s one of my current favorite workouts. All the work (except for the mile) is done in three minute rounds with 30 second recovery periods. And even that I sometimes do in three minute bursts, like a fartlek run, with 30 second recoveries.
- Three rounds stairs
- Three rounds hurdles (The hurdles are so intense I actually don’t make it continually through 3 minutes yet)
- Three rounds jump rope
- One mile to finish (are you happy I didn’t say “to recover” like your coach does? Heh.)
The point is to work hard for 3 minute segments and recover in 30 seconds, and then do it again – because that’s what you do in the boxing ring.
So I see these guys doing incredibly lengthy memorized padwork routines and I think, this doesn’t help me. It looks super-shonuff cool, it does! But it doesn’t look like what I end up doing in the ring.
I hear the arguments that it develops fast hands and punches in bunches, but the situation seems so forced. You memorize a sequence and move through it (like a kata in martial arts). But in boxing you aren’t throwing 32 punches in a single offensive. You have to think, watch your opponent, strategize on the fly.
Maybe I’m just jealous. I don’t have those long combos memorized, and they do seem to carry some cool cred in gyms. I wanna be cool, just like other people.
But I’m gonna stick with training that looks and feels like actual boxing. Check out the video below. THIS is what I think padwork should look like.
One of the things I like about this padwork training session is that the trainer is not smacking down the punches; he lets the punches come to him. The two of them move, stay loose, and circle just like you would in a fight. It’s the real thing, not a show.
Well, okay, it IS a show, it’s part of a press conference, obviously, but you get the feeling that they actually train like this on a regular basis. You know, minus all the reporters crowding the ring.
Padwork is one of the things I love best in boxing.
You get one-on-one time with a trainer or peer who is working on your game, your form, your boxing. You don’t have to share a coach with dozens of other fighters when you’re doing padwork, and you don’t have to factor in a sparring opponent. It’s aaaaalll you, baby. Whipped cream with a cherry on top.
I don’t get much padwork, but when I do, I’m intensely grateful for it, particularly when I feel like it’s going to really move my game forward.
Image by icantu on Flickr
- 13 Round Boxing Workout
- Victorian Doll (with Kitten Friends) Boxing Workout
- Hey! Boxing Training is Not Killing Me! Isn’t That Nice?