Boxing is one of the single best sports that you can take up for whole-body fitness, even if you don’t get competitive or spar with another person. However, boxing is notoriously old school, with the methods of former champs, such as those alluded to in the When We Were Kings documentary, being the most trusted of them all. Roadwork (running on the road), working the bag, skipping, and shadow boxing are all still founding pillars of a lot of boxing training, but that doesn’t mean that innovative technologies and exercises haven’t been able to muscle their way onto the scene.
Here, we’re going through some of the aspects that are perhaps not as heavily advertised as advancements in other sports, but greatly help pros and boxing enthusiasts to improve their training.
Enhancing aerobic training
Running on the road is one of the most tried-and-trusted segments of any boxers’ training regime, even though Pledge Sports finds trail running to be far superior. In any case, as boxing pushes your drive, stamina, and aerobic capabilities to the limit, boxers need to train to that point and beyond to ensure that they can handle to most demanding occasions. To help emphasize the work being put in, many turn to elevation training masks (ETM). The jury is still out on how well ETMs reflect high-altitude training, but Science for Sport finds evidence to suggest that they work well as respiratory muscle trainers.
One of the leading brands in this field is the Altitude Mask, which has received several testimonials from sportspeople across the UK. One such endorsing sports icon is Anthony Joshua, who partnered with and used Altitude Mask for a time. Inevitably set to join the highest-earning athletes in the world list in the years to come, Joshua says that the use of the mask specifically trains key aerobic areas while also helping to increase recovery time – which is vital in boxing. The Altitude Mask range has a couple of different forms, with the Pro Series costing £79.99 and regular series costing £69.99.
Specific muscle and technique training with less-used equipment
Training with your bodyweight is the best way to go for boxing, but mixing in some specialized and focussed weight workouts can help to target, strengthen, and improve key areas. To achieve a heightened level of physical conditioning, long-time WBC title mandatory Dillian Whyte started training with the experts at Loughborough University. A very interesting part of his workout was the use of the oft-avoided bit of gym equipment known as the Smith Machine, for which Whyte trains his range power and jab pop by doing one-handed barbell throws on the machine.
It’s an innovative use of what was once seen as near-groundbreaking gym equipment. Even basic Smith Machines do cost a lot of money, though, with the Marcy SM1000 Deluxe coming in at £549.00. However, Whyte will reap the benefits of his reps on this machine in his upcoming bout with 35-2-1 Russian brawler Alexander Povetkin. The Brit faces his opponent on 22 August, and, as of 6 July, he’s the favorite at 1/4 in Betway’s boxing betting. Provided he utilizes his three-inches of reach and rangey jab, as Joshua did to keep Povetkin at bay in 2018, Whyte should fulfill his tag as the favorite. The Russian can be devastating on the inside, so the 27-1-0 heavyweight from Brixton will need to hope that his jab now has enough pop to oust his foe from a distance.
Tracking is now available to all
Many elite-class boxers utilize specialized tracking technology, statisticians, and professional coaches to analyze data and build plans to improve. Now, boxing tracking technology has been democratized, with several companies developing the exciting tech. Chief among these is the Manchester-based wearable tracker simply called ‘Corner.’ Testing of the tech was aided, by the likes of now-world champions Anthony Joshua, Callum Smith, and coach Joe Gallagher, with it helping professionals and coaches to tack performance.
Having looked at the reviews across the board, including the glorious endorsement from the storied Boxing News publication, it looks as though Corner is the best boxing tracking tech on the market. Its price point of £89.99 doesn’t vary from store to store and marks a competitive rate for the current scene. Purchasing the Corner Boxing Trackers gets you two trackers, a micro-USB charger, two wristbands, and access to the Corner app. The trackers are sweat and water-resistant, lightweight, and boast a seven-hour battery life. The specialized app boasts a huge range of features, including interval training, manual training, hands-free control, punch breakdowns, round-by-round breakdowns, and volume and power tracking.
Combining boxing with technology hasn’t been an easy process, likely due to it being such a pure sport with such fine yet all-encompassing margins. Still, these examples are certainly helping pros and casuals to enhance their training.