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The New Pugilist: Part 2

Do Work Son

With all the equipment in check, I attended to the task of doing work. Every day I followed a ritual which soon matured:

  1. As the sun begins to set I slide on my shoes (no socks), wrap my hands and put on a hoodie
  2. Drink 20 ounces of water, fill another 20 ounces and bring it outside
  3. Lay the gloves/water on a wheelbarrow filled with wood next to the bag
  4. Untie the tarp and throw it aside
  5. 10 minutes of fucking around/stretching/light punches without gloves
  6. Gloves on, headphones on, 1st track is for a warm-up of slow, basic cross jab combinations
  7. As the 2nd track starts start going at full force, doing complex combinations with precise footwork
  8. When i’m near to my “target heart rate” begin extremely rapid inside body shots to fully gas out, followed by immediate return to power punch combinations
  9. Drink when necessary, take short breaks in between “sets” of powerful combinations
  10. Work until I can no longer raise my arms (30-45 minutes) or until i’m out of water
  11. Cool down involving hugging the bag/light punching/headphones off and drinking
  12. Putting the tarp back on, wrapping it around and tying it tight

I found that after my first few sessions that I would become distracted while working out, and my motivation was wavering. So I decided to try to use music. In the past when I lifted weights I would always perform better when listening to good music, and figured it might also enhance boxing. I’m lucky to say it did, and I only work the bag with music now. I use music as a workout plan: when its a fill or a chorus I do combination work, and when there is a fast or riffing part I drop down and do rapid body shots or throw hooks off both legs as fast as I can.

After a few days I discovered great benefits: a great deal of energy, a more positive attitude and a general feeling of robustness. I have found a greater flexibility and surprising speed with my hands. I did eventually experience what some would refer to as “overtraining” though, I think my muscles grew in strength much quicker than my tendons and tissues in my hands were able to accommodate, and I did have some hand pain from time to time. I had to take a few days off to let the hands heal.

Nutrition

Nutrition is critical to mastering the body, without it, you will fail. I used to eat a lot of garbage before recently, mainly due to being poor and just eating whatever I could find. I made a promise to rather go hungry than to eat garbage. This is not to say that I intentionally starve myself, only that I refuse to eat cookies, salt and sodium filled snacks and other unnatural foods.  My primary food types consist of:

  • Tuna
  • Nuts
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Lettuce
  • Wheat breads in small moderation
  • Whey protein
  • Milk
  • Berries
  • Steak in moderation
  • Granola/Oats
  • Eggs (without yolks)
  • Salsa
  • Beans
  • Some peanut butter
  • Flax

The only indulgences I make on a daily basis is some mayonnaise on the cold cuts and in tuna. I have eliminated all regular consumption of fast food, and only eat it when there is a special occasion (out with friends or a holiday for instance). I refuse to eat simple carbs and avoid sugar. I only drink water, never juice or soda. I also eat much less, never feeling bloated, instead eating throughout the day in various meals rather than a great deal at one time.

It’s also been fun to learn how to cook in a healthy way. I count something as simple as making your own protein bars from scratch (recipe courtesy of Scooby’s Workshop) as cooking, and it’s damn satisfying when you know you are eating something which is insanely healthy but also tastes good. It’s also nice to know EVERYTHING you are eating. I much prefer to make my own food, because I know exactly what I am putting in my mouth. It’s amazing how unhealthy 99% of pre-made food is. Ever looked seriously at a food label?

Lessons and Recommendations

Music:

I experimented with a lot of music. Some music made the workouts lag on or become tedious. However, good music will greatly enhance performance, at least for me.  My favorite albums for serious sessions are Hatebreeder by Children of Bodom and Ballsy EP and The Greatest Band of All Time by Arnocorps. These albums get me insanely pumped up and have a tempo which is essentially designed for boxing. It’s macho as fuck, especially Arnocorps, which is exactly what you need when you’re not working with someone and thus have no person to tell you to stop being a pussy and do another set. I haven’t tried them yet, but I have a feeling that Bane and Hatebreed (not to be confused with Hatebreeder) would be quite good. My friend Thom also swears by Fear Factory, a band I also imagine would be good.

Wraps:

Do NOT use the default 108” wraps which come with Everlast bags. They are complete crap. Buy yourself some nice 180” wraps for added wrist and hand support. The bones in the hand will really start to take a beating once your knuckles become resistant, which can cause some serious pain and form problems. I made the mistake of using the default wraps for about 2 weeks. Fuck that, get some Amber Mexican 180” off Amazon and really wrap the wrist good. While you’re supposed to wrap in between your fingers using 180” wraps, for some reason that was really tearing up my skin. I just use the extra inches for support elsewhere. The material itself is also many times higher quality.

Whey:

You should use whey. Not for all your meals, but nothing is better pound for pound for protein content. Most whey sucks and is a rip off. Look for Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard. It goes amazing with milk and berries for a shake. It also can be used to make your own protein bars and in oatmeal. That particular brand tastes delicious (I reccomend double chocolate), and has solid ingredients.

Looking Forward

I have found that the resistance of boxing is only toning, and not growing, my upper body anymore. While I had huge gains in the first few weeks and a noticable “pump,” it just doesn’t happen anymore. I have a plan to do the same boxing routine except with dumbbells.

I also want to start lifting weights for a full body workout once this new routine is sufficiently settled. I have found that I had tried to do too much at once in the past, and that caused me to quit. Slow additions are ideal.

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