Boxing Mailbag 2-22-12

February 22, 2012 February 22, 2012 by Johnny N Boxing Basics, Boxing Mailbag 56 Comments

The latest boxing questions on boxing equipment, punching technique, safety issues, and boxing training.

1. What headgear do you recommend for better vision?

Thank you for your excellent website. I am a grappler (wrestling & BJJ) who is focusing on boxing right now to grow as a mixed martial artist. I am new to boxing. I take punches well (I still have yet to have my bell rung or even be stunned despite getting bloody bruised and cut) but I feel maligned with most headgear since my peripheral vision is compromised. One of my trainers told me to take off my head gear recently and when I did I was un-hittable. I even threw my hands down and slipped everything. With the headgear on I took about 50 shots in a 3 minute round. Big difference. I read your list of headgear and tried them to no avail. I get the claustrophobia going and get blindsided as soon as the Hannibal Lecter mask comes on. I feel like a swarm of bees are coming at me. Any new headgear you recommend? – Ali

  • Try the competition headgear like Adidas/Everlast/Title…and get the ones with the open face and no cheek protectors. There’s also a chance that you’re wearing the wrong size which could make your face feel buried in there.

2. Is it possible for smaller fighters to beat bigger fighters?

Hi Johnny!

I’m from Italy and i joined boxing a few mounts ago…Boxing is really difficult O_o!!!! First of all I want to thank you for your site. Very interesting, I learnt a lot!!!!

Secondly I wish to ask you something about boxing…You said that the force of a fist is proportional to the weight of the boxer. Is for this reason that weight categories exists? I mean can a smaller boxer beat an heavier one? Or it is just impossible? I guess smaller one are faster than the heavier ones.

I thank you, and I hope that you’ll never get tired to write articles! I’m sorry for my bad english -_-‘…

 Goodbye and arrivederci a presto!

  • Hi Alessio. It’s definitely possible to beat a bigger fighter. Assuming all attributes are the same, a fighter with an advantage in one area can win. Having an advantage in size is a whole other story. Being bigger allows you to punch harder, absorb shots better, be able to push your opponent while not being easily pushed back. The bigger fighter might also have advantages in height and reach.
  • So it’s possible but fighting someone bigger, you may give up many advantages and just because you’re smaller doesn’t guarantee you’ll be faster.

3. Do you have any strength exercises using free weights?

alriight johnny,been reading your website for a while now and i have started boxing training 4 months ago.I really enjoy going the gym and currently go 3 times a week for maybe 1 1\2 hours per workout consists of 15 mins interval running ,30 secs slow jog 1min faster pace,3x3mins d/e bag,3x3mins hook and uppercut bag,3x3mins heavy bag and 3x3mins speedball, to finish off i do some weights not heavy just enough to do 20 reps 3sets(back,shoulders,arms),what i’m asking for is some strength exercises using free weights ,i do a few sets of clap pushups and medicine ball throws against a wall ,just want some new exercises to keep my workouts from getting too repetitive,by the way i’m 44 ,6ft 5 and weigh 110kg.Great website mate, really enjoy reading it! Thanks, robby

  • I really like the exercises using a medicine ball. They’re all over the internet.

4. Are Title heavy bag gloves any good or Everlast better?

  • I prefer the bag gloves by Title. They’re good.

5. What how many sets/reps/recovery time should I have during my workouts?

A few last things – I am interested in trying to increase speed as well and have been hearing about plyometric exercises. Is there an exercise routine with detailed information like number of sets/reps/frequency you would recommend? I am also wondering if there is any recovery time recommended between workouts (like with weight lifting)? Right now I’m doing 4-5 days a week 60-90 minutes per day since I have more free time. When work gets busy I can usually only fit in 3 days or so. – Mike

  • There’s a workout I released on this website. A good break time is 1 minute as most.

6. Can you tell me if my workout is good?


When I am unable to work in an actual training class here is the workout I do. Check it out and tell me if this an effective way to train or what I can do to improve on it.

30 min run 3.5-4.0 miles

10 min jump rope

10 min shadow boxing

20 min heavy bag

10 min pushups

10 min ab work

10 min pull ups

Any input you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

How long before you get t-shirts?



  • I would take time off the heavy bag and put it into the speed bag and double-end bag. The t-shirts are on their way! (Thanks for asking.)

7. What size boxing gloves should I use?

Let me start by saying I love your newsletter, man. I’m a beginner and I’m looking into buying my first set of boxing gloves. I weigh about 220, do you have any suggestions of what size of glove I should use? Also what are some of the better brands out there?  – Juan

8. Do you have any tips or ideas to fight like James Toney?

Hello Johnny, I am Spaniardguy… I enjoy your site and now I am enjoy your boxing intructional video and ebook. Sorry to bother you, but I take a motivation that you can help to resolve partly. Yo are a great fan to James Toney. I too. If you have time, could you tell me some tips or ideas about fighting like him (I wouldn´t go that far, hehehe)?

  • Spar at slow speed and try to evade your opponent’s punches without taking a backstep. See if you can become more creative at slipping. Instead of just moving your head, see if you can angle your body so that your opponent misses entirely. I have a guide coming out to teach more advanced body movement.

9. Can you please help me with my reflexes? – Zach

  • Spar slower so you can see everything. It’s hard to have fast reflexes when you can’t see what you’re suppose to react to.

10. Do you have any recommendations on the Fighting Sports Tri-Tech gloves?

Hello Sir,

First, I want to say that this is the most valuable, real and useful information I got over the internet about spurring. My name is Yuval, and I am new to the fighting sport. I am doing Krav Maga, Spurring, Bag, Cross fit, and I love it. I totally hooked.

I bought my gear at Sport Chalet, and after the guy at the fight store that I went yesterday told me how poor quality they are, I decided to return them and do some of my research before I am investing hundreds of dollars in high quality gear. Your website and experience have been very useful and helped educate me about the field.

I am thinking on getting Fighting Sports Tri-Tech brand. Any recommendations? Laces? Loop & Hook?

Also, thank you for the recommendation to put hand wraps on anytime I train.

I could not find any review on grappling gloves or mouth pieces?

Is the Dr. Shock brand worth the price? or is the plain, cheap Everlast mouth piece is good enough?

Is the Hayabusa MMA pro gloves are the way to go with those sort of gloves?

Again, thank you very much. Sharing you knowledge and experience have definitely made a difference for me.


  •  I like the Fighting Sports Tri-Tech gloves, a couple of the guys here use them. The hook & loop are a much better choice. They secure the wrist well and make it easy for you to strap yourself up. I’m not an MMA expert and never use those MMA gloves so I can’t give you any advice there.
  • Doctor Shock mouthguards are definitely worth it. The cheap mouthguards wear down fast and don’t seem to lock my jaw as well.

11. Do you any good body weight exercises to stay in shape?

Hey Johnny,

I’ve got a question. I’m away from home for about a year and that means no boxing either, unfortunately. Do you know any good body weight exercises that will me keep in shape? That means no dumbbells, or any other type of equipment. Thanks in advance!

– S.J.

  • Push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, dips (use a chair). Search the internet for calisthenics (bodyweight exercises). As long as you have gravity, you can get a full workout using only your body weight.

12. Is 33 too old to start boxing and compete?

First of all, I appreciate the website. Very informative, and positive. Not the brash, tough guy, in-your-face talk that I see on some sites.

I am 33 years old, and I work on computers for a living. I sit a lot because of my job so I workout after the workday. I have always been interested in boxing but never did anything about it. Just over two months ago I found a gym, and I love going there. I am still working on basics, as well as my weight, but I am making pretty good progress on all fronts.

My question for you is, how old is too old to get into the sport? Now I know that I am not too old to train, spar, etc.., but is 33 too old to begin the pursuit of possibly fighting an amateur bout or two?

Thank you very much.


  • There are open divisions and masters divisions for older fighters. 33 is not too old at all, there are many people who get into the sport late and still have a  great time. You might be too late for the olympics and a pro career but it’s never too late to get in awesome shape and challenge yourself.

13. What I do to increase jab strength?

hi johnny

first of all great site and thanks for taking the time to share this with us.

i just wanted to ask regarding the jab im a cruiserwaight boxer and have a weak jab, thus setting up other shots after the jab can be a little difficult in the ring. my arms are conditioned so im not to sure what to do although my coach think not too much of it however i my self know i realy much on the jab

so what if anthing would you recomend i do to help my jab strenth wise

once again thanks for all the time


  • The jab’s strength is its speed and accuracy. The power comes from the snap, not necessarily the strength behind the jab. You can add power to the jab by stepping forward an inch when you throw it.

14. Should I adopt the outside boxing style?

Johnny, I am 12 years old and I have just begun boxing. I am medium-height and am pretty fast, but I don’t have much power. Would a outboxer be a good style to adopt? – Ty

  • Everybody who wants to learn how to box must learn how to box from the inside, outside, everything. Boxing from the outside is not a style, it’s a part of boxing. You have to be ready for whatever situation presents itself.

15. Can you help me with ______?

Hi Coach,

first off, great website, I’m a big fan.

I am a newbie to boxing and have been training for about the last 6 months. I am looking at signing up for a locally hosted charity fight night between us and our sister boxing club. I have several questions in regards to my training over the next few months:

1. Roadwork – I do none at present. I am EXTREMELY flat footed and use customised orthotics. Being on the heavier side, I avoid running as it tends to hurt my knees. Is there any effect from replacing running with an elliptical cross trainer or other low impact cardio machinery in the gym? How much and how often should I be doing? – do you have any guide on this?

2. Do you have any tips or aids to ensure your wrist/forearm is aligned the right way when punches impact. I tend to use a fairly powerful cross and recently my outer wrist has been hurting after every session. I have tried taking some time away from training and the usual icing of the affected spot. I also try and wrap my wrists tighter. This has all helped but not reduced the problem. I am trying to change my punching style from a “great big powerful cross” to a “snapping punch”. Do you have any other recommendations?

3. The common sense boxing diet is logical, but can you provide some advise around quantities? I am unable to keep up with 6x meals a day due to work/study/training commitments. I can only manage 4 meals a day. I am currently 110kgs at 6’0 tall. My objective is to get down to 95kgs over the next 6 months. What macro break down shall I aim for with the proteins/carbs/fats split in terms of weight (g) per day. eg: 180g protein, 250g carb, 50g fats, etc.

4. I know this is subjective, but how many training sessions do you recommend?

At present I attend:

2x squad sessions a week – these cover technique/drills/sparring

1x technique session a week

2x conditioning sessions a week

I am looking to add one bag session with several rounds on the heavy bag followed by the speed ball.

Is that a suitable target?

5. Lastly, I like to add in 1x session a week of heavy compound lifting – military presses, bench presses, squats, deadlifts, etc – I know you aren’t a big fan of weight training, but I definitely feel like these help my “power shots”. What are your thoughts?



ps: Is mailbag a fortnightly/monthly feature – just so I know when to expect an answer and don’t get fired from work for refreshing your webpage every minute waiting for a reply 😉

  • Hey VV, I update the mailbag whenever I have time which isn’t much nowadays. For you, I will make this one special exception and answer it now because the next one might not be for a month. I don’t have a guide on running alternatives but will certainly make one.
  • The reason why your wrist hurts is usually because of punching form and/or technique. My suggestion is that you stretch the INSIDE LENGTH of your arm when you throw those crosses. That’s the distance from the index knuckle to the inside of your shoulder (where it meets the chest).
  • The Common Sense Boxing Diet already answers the recommended number of calories to consumer per day. How much should you eat? This is what your body needs, according to the American Dietary Guidelines 2010 (from the US Department of Health): 2400-3000 calories for active men (reference size 5’10″ 154lbs), 2000-2400 calories for active women (reference size 5’4″ 126lbs)
  • Everyone’s body is different. You will have to experiment with different amounts to know what is right. There’s a section in that guide called “Meal Portions”. Other than that, I recommend you follow what is recommended by the American Dietary Guidelines. If you are unable to keep up with the 6x meals schedule, you will have to find a way…otherwise, your diet will be less than perfect. That’s simply the way the body works. I use to pack food in a plastic container everywhere I went. It was a hassle but I made health my priority and always found a way.
  • Your current training session is pretty intense so I wouldn’t recommend any more training than that. I would say it’s perfect for competing amateur boxers.
  • Lifting weights to punch harder is like trying to build muscle so you can jump higher. Can it work? It depends on how you do it. Is that how the old school greats did it? NOPE. Are there far better exercises than weightlifting for building power? OH YEAH!
  • I’m not a big fan of heavy weightlifting for boxing because I use to be a powerlifter and it turned out to be a huge waste of time for boxing purposes. But since you asked… I beg you to try 2 months of weight training…and then 2 months without weight training. And see for yourself which period allowed you punch harder, with greater punching range, with higher punch output, using less energy. I’m not asking you to believe me…I’m asking you to see for yourself how big the difference is.

16. What can I do to improve my ability to see punches better?

I just love all the advise u give us!!!!it helps allot. I just wane know(if u can help) what can I do to basically make myself to see the punches coming my way? – storm

  • Spar at a slower speed so that you can learn to SEE the punches. Once you can see it, you can slowly pick up the pace. If you spar too fast in the beginning, you’ll never be able to see it and you’ll flinch for ever. Of course, I don’t want you to watch every punch being thrown at you. The goal is to build your sensitivity to punches so that you can feel them coming.

17. When are you considered a boxer?

I had a question, when are you considered a boxer? Is it when you are training and full on sparring with other ametuer fighters? Or when you are actually competing? – Vinnie

  • In a literal sense, you’re a boxer if you train and participate in the sport of boxing. But if you want to be serious boxer, then it will take a least a couple months of hard training before you will be respected as a fighter.

18. Do you have any advice for sparring body shots?

hi was just wondering if you could do an artical or give me some advice on body sparring. We do it alot at my gym in england and i know it can give you bad habbits because you always block your body rather than your head. Can you tell me how you should block and where you should hit your opponent and how to look good. thank you rob

  • Block wherever your opponent tries to attack you. Aim anywhere you can reach your opponent (chest, stomach, solar plexus, heart, liver, kidney, ribs). A good idea is to intercept with an uppercut straight up the middle when your opponent throws a wide hook to the body.

19. How can I box professionally if my country doesn’t have professional boxing?

Hello Johhney,

first of all i want to convey me greetings to u and your team. i am ahmad sadeed and i live in afghanistan. i am really a boxing fanatic and i have been following ur site for a long time. i have a bachelor degree in law and i am working with an american company in afghanistan right now. previously i was going to a kickboxing gym but it was not what i wanted. after graduating from law school, i started going to boxing gym. i exercised a lot and tried to be a smart and sharp boxer. no exaggeration, i am good at it. coming to the point, in my country there are no pro boxers who participates in any kind of competitions. all of them are amatuer and our boxing national team has never taken part in olympics or any major championship. maybe the reason is our poor boxing quality and less interst of our officials. i don’t know. i am really suffering and frustrated cause i am getting older. now i am 22 but until i reach the level i have to, considering these conditions, it might take so long. i am looking forward to ur comments. every day inside the gym i discuss ur topics and my trainer likes them a lot and he encourages me to continue my hard work. i want to sacrifice every thing of my life for boxing. even i refused my promotion at work cause it will prevent me from concentrating on boxing. but i am scared that after losing every thing i may not reach anywhere. is there any other way to become a pro? i will try my best to get to our national team and maybe through that i reach other competitions.

  • Ahmad, I suggest for you to enter the amateur boxing competitions in your country and do really well. Record videos of yourself doing well in competition and send them to promotion companies and boxing managers around the world. Somebody may be willing to sponsor you and handle the paperwork for you to fight in another country. Your best bet is to talk to an experienced amateur boxing coach, maybe he has connections.

20. Can you recommend a couple of quick snacks to eat before training?

Hi Johnny.

I train twice a week at a local club for fitness and weight loss. I have lost over 30lb in 3 months and really enjoy the training. I leave work and go straight to training and then have my evening meal when I get home ~ I’m usually ravenous by the time I get home.

Please could you recommend a couple of quick snacks I could eat a couple of hours prior to training as I have tried bananas or sandwiches but I can’t find the right balance. I either run out of energy or get a stitch.

Brilliant site especially from a beginners point of view.



  • I’ll eat a large meal about 2 hours before training, and then a small meal like protein bar and a fruit right before training. You can also eat something small (even a candy bar) during training.

21. What can you tell me about hand problems and safety issues in boxing training?

Dear Mr.Nguyen,

My name is Santos, and I currently attending the Science Academy of South Texas. I am enrolled in a course named Engineering Development and Design in which I am required to identify and create a solution for a problem using engineering. I am interested reducing felt force in the hands during boxing training sessions in order to help prevent hand and wrist injuries.

I found your website, and I was wondering, as an expert, what you could tell me about common current hand protection during boxing training (i.e. using a punching bag).

You help would be greatly appreciated.



  • The biggest problem with hand injuries is that boxers are punching an irregular shaped object. The human body is shaped differently and hard and soft in different places. You can use proper form to keep the wrist from bending but often, you attack and whatever angle is available. An opponent could easily move or parry which may bend your wrist. Hundreds of punches can be thrown in a round at high speeds making it highly likely for the wrist to be at slightly angled upon impact.
  • All safety equipment can only cushion the impact, it doesn’t keep the wrist from bending. I guess the solution would be to find a way to secure the boxer’s wrists during punches. Maybe better handwraps or gloves would be the solution.

22. How much should I train?

Hello, thanks for the website, it has helped me a lot in my boxing goals. But I have some questions.

My name is Kurt, and I’m currently 18 and I’ve been interested in boxing since I was 17. I just turned 18 in July and I want to one day go pro. I just had a few questions on some things. Now the first is concerning my age. At 18, is it too late for me to want to turn pro if I’m just starting out? And if not, How long do you suppose it will take me to do it?

Also, I’m 5’11 1/2 – 6′ and I currently weigh 218. Now I can cut some body fat off to be a good fighting weight and I’ll probably get down to 200 or 205. Now I’ve been weight training for about a year before I got into boxing and my current trainer said I should stop lifting and I did stop and now I just do a lot of calisthenics. My trainer also told me that for my height I should be fighting at cruiser-weight because heavyweight is mainly has taller guys. But here’s the problem, I gained A LOT of muscle mass in just a year to the point where many thought I was on steroids. And 90% of my family has a long history of having big people. So genetically I’m prone to gaining weight. Which means that even if I do calisthenics, I’m still probably gunna gain muscle from it. I’m a good example of a mesomorph. So is this a problem? And if I do become a heavyweight, what are some of the pros and cons of the situation.

And one last question. I like to train a lot and I want to be the best conditioned boxer I can be. Now I looked up some boxers routines online and the only boxer that has any resemblance to my body type that I can think of is Mike Tyson (and by no means am I saying I’ll be anything like Tyson). But I looked up his training program and I watched some videos of him talking about it, and I found out that he jogs 3-5 miles everyday, he does a ton of calisthenics every day, and he does a lot of other boxing training (like ring work, mitts, heavy bag, speed bag, slip bag, jump rope, etc.) and he did this at least 6 days a week. If I wanted to be well conditioned could I follow this routine, or would I risk over-training?

  • You’ll only get injured if you try to train like Mike Tyson, or any other professional boxer. It takes years to develop the body to handle that amount of punishment. You’ll have to trust your coach to guide you at the right pace. I would match the workout of other boxers in your gym before you increase the workload. Don’t forget that rest is an important part of strengthening the body.

23. How do I shadowbox properly?

Hey Johnny – I really dig your site and put lot of your ideas to use.

Just seeing if you’ve already done a write up on how to properly shadowbox..I can’t seem to find anything. In particular, how many rounds, pacing, things to concentrate on etc

Cheers dude!!


  • Shadowbox by throwing punches using proper form. Once you can throw single punches with proper form, you can start throwing combinations and increasing the speed. There’s no set rules, you throw punches and work on your defensive movements like slipping and rolling while you do it. It helps to do it in front of a mirror for you to check your form. You can shadowbox to warm up, work out, or warm down.

24. What’s the footwork when coming forward with the 1-2?

Hey man,

I love your site, it’s awesome! I’ve got a quick question for you please.

Can you explain the footwork for coming forward with a 1-2? Usually, my weight is 40-60, front foot back foot. If I come forward with a 1-2. I’ll step forward with my left foot AS I throw the jab and then I twist into the right hand, with the right foot twisting with it and slightly pushing so my weight comes forward to my front foot. I get a lot of power with this.

This is all fine, but if I want to throw the jab, 1-2-1, I literally have to jump into it because my weight is now more on the front foot after throwing the right.

I asked a guy at the gym and he said that the right foot moves forward after the jab and just before the right hand, so the stance is shortened back to normal. This allows me to throw the second jab as normal, but I don’t get any power on the right hand at all? :S

I’d really appreciate if you could explain this please, thanks man!


  • Hehehe…great question, many boxers will fight for years before learning this. If you’re moving forward, you have to bring your feet with you in order to reach with both hands. If you have a strong weight transfer, you can fire the right hand while sliding up the right foot. If you take a smaller step, you can plant the right foot before firing the right hand. If you’re really clever, you’ll get into range without letting your opponent know.
boxing ebook Advanced Boxing Techniques 30 Day Fighter's Diet Advanced Boxing Footwork Drills
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Spaniardguy February 23, 2012 at 3:23 am

Thanks for th answer.

“I have a guide coming out to teach more advanced body movement.” Waiting….. 😉


Laura February 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm

I was going to submit a question but I thought you had stopped doing the whole mailbag questionnaire. My question is (if you have time to answer it):

Is it possible to compete in Boxing if you’re dependent on corrective lenses (glasses, contact lenses etc.)?

I happen to be short sighted, its never affected my Boxing in the ring (I don’t wear corrective lenses when I spar) at my local club, but sooner or later I would like to compete in amateur Boxing. I’ve heard that there are some rather strict medical requirements, I have considered getting laser treatment but its a very costly procedure.


Johnny N February 24, 2012 at 3:55 am

I use soft contact lens, Laura. They work just fine and my optometrist says they’re great for boxing. I would read up on the drawbacks of laser treatment. I’ve heard that some of the outdated procedures thin part of the eye making you more vulnerable to going blind if it gets hit.


Laura February 24, 2012 at 5:36 am

Thanks Johnny, my dad is an optometrist and he recommended the same. Though he wasn’t sure about the specifics, hes worked with professional athletes and boxers in the past.

Are you allowed to wear soft contacts for competition?


Johnny N February 24, 2012 at 5:38 am

Soft contacts are definitely allowed in competition.


J February 24, 2012 at 10:18 pm

I thought of an article last night, i understand your busy and have alot to do, but hopefully you can find the time to make an article about “ring generalship” i remember reading an article about how so many world class boxers lack that quality, i can dig and find that article if you like, but not only will that help others become better boxers but it will enhance boxing itself, just an idea sir


Johnny N February 27, 2012 at 3:00 am

Good idea, J. Ring generalship is definitely a part of overall boxing strategy. Definitely and I shall write that article for you guys.


Labeeq February 28, 2012 at 3:54 am

HEY Johhny the great

I am a huge fan of your website and watched it grow actually lol Learned a lot too I actually came Across your website before i joined A gym , my inspiration well its from Japanese cartoon (anime) called “Hajime no Ippo” lol i know its funny but its really inspiring.

I have a suggestion or more like a request could do a full in-depth guide to advance countering , the 7 easy counters are great but its too basic and could you include pictured illustrations like the upgrades slip guide,

I hope you can right about my request sometime because i want to increase my countering ability



Johnny N February 29, 2012 at 4:46 pm

That’s such a popular cartoon, I’ve met some guys at the gym who were inspired by that same anime. The advance countering stuff is in the works. Showing the counters is easy but explaining how they work will take some time. Soon enough, Labeeq.


N February 28, 2012 at 9:58 pm

my coach keeps saying we need to get our books for boxing. what is that? i guess its like a certification to boxing in the USA i dont know, do you know what that is when a trainer tells you to get the books? i think their for competition or something, it would be appreciated if you can get back to me on this


Johnny N February 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Your coach is referring to your fight books. When you register for USA amateur boxing, they give you a fight book which is kind of like a fighting ID that you take to amateur fighting events. Your fighting record gets put in there so you have an official fight record of wins & losses. It helps for them to make fair matches so nobody gets put in with a guy with far more experience.


J March 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm

ill hit the bag and try to punch as fast as possible but im not getting winded but rather feels as if my arms are getting weaker and weaker should i do more shoulder exercises?


Johnny N March 2, 2012 at 4:26 am

It’s a common problem. Jump-rope, speed bag will help. Also doing fast punches high on the bag for the last 15 seconds of every round for bagwork.


J March 2, 2012 at 9:33 am

will shoulder exercises with weights help? and one more question. can i get a visual on the difference between a fast punch and hard punch? im guessing a fast punch is more of a tap, and the power is more of a shock, am i correct or?


Johnny N March 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Shoulder exercises with light weights and high repetitions will help. A fast punch is a lot of arm speed. A hard punch is a lot of body weight rotation.


J March 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm

thats great johnny that reminds me of your previous article “how to punch harder” wow i just became an even better boxer thank you sir!


Anna March 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Hey Johnny, i train boxing for 7-8 months and i think I’m pretty good, my offense is okay but i suck at the defense. Can you give me some advices so i can see the punches coming and block them, i do know the blocks but sometimes i forget which one to use. I’ve practiced them with my uncle and i had a slight improvement but then i stopped doing that because it didn’t show much results. And I’m 15 now but i can’t regularly box because I’m much too busy with school.. When i turn 18 i want to compete as a amateur and i will have much more free time to box then but do you think i will have the time to get the condition, and master the techniques cause I think that it will be too late when I’m 18 to start working again to go in the ring.And one more thing, i dont want to be just some local fighter, i want to be on some higher level, i want to improve my power and speed so if you know some workouts for that or you have already written articles on that can you please give me the links of them.
Thanks a lot


Johnny N March 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Here are some good boxing workouts, Anna:

If you want to reach a higher level, I can’t help but recommend reading everything on this site. And if you’re looking for a little extra instructional info check out my ebook.


J March 5, 2012 at 10:29 pm

i was instructed to spin my torso as i throw a punch and it feels like i punch alot smoother, is that another muscle for punching that should be used?


Johnny N March 6, 2012 at 5:39 am

Spinning the torso is a required move for generating and delivering power. It’s ONE of many necessary punching motions.


J March 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm

can you please tell me all the muscles that are put in use during a punch? i also added turning my torso when i slip and i slip alot smoother now, im not asking for complete detail for all the muscles that are used in a punch but a brief summary i understand you dont have much time on your hands


Johnny N March 6, 2012 at 11:49 pm

If you are clever, you will find a way to use ALL the muscles in your body for one good punch.


j March 7, 2012 at 10:50 am

That’s what boxers do right Johnny they always think i heard ther are different types of boxers fighters brawlers and boxers brawlers brawl fighters fight but a boxer thinks your right because no one knows my body better than me


J March 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I dont know if you ever watched “dragon ball z” the more i learned about martial arts the more i realized how much it has to do with it, i remember goku saying “your mind has to be in sync with your body” which is true body control which all great athletes understand in any sport, and many other physical activities such as dancing body control comes into play


javier March 7, 2012 at 9:46 pm

hey johnny i have my ameauter bout in 2 weeks and i was wondering if a swarmer style is good for ameauters? because i feel comftrable boxing outside and pressuring inside but i feel more confident on the inside i just want to know if its a good style since the judging and everything is different thanks for your time wish me luck and god bless you


Johnny N March 8, 2012 at 8:26 am

Fight in whatever way you need to win. Don’t worry about picking a style. Get in there and fight. In general swarming is effective because it looks aggressive and puts a lot of pressure. The disadvantage is that you’re walking into punches all the time. It all depends on your abilities and how you and your opponent adapt to each other. May the best man win, GOOD LUCK JAVIER!


Reinaldo March 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Greetings Johnny , What are the Best Punch Mitts on the Market ? ,I would like to help me to choose to choose a good punch mitts, one that actually absorbs the impact of blows without injuring my shoulders and hands, thank you and sorry for the bad English, written in Portuguese and translated on google, I’m from Brazil .


Johnny N March 10, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Tough question, Reinaldo. It depends on you. Some trainers like big mitts to absorb heavy punches whereas other trainers like small ones to develop speed and accuracy. For heavy impact, I like the big Rival Russ Anbar punch mitts. The new d3o’s might be very good, too but I haven’t tried them yet.


Dodge March 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Hi Johnny,
I have a question for you. I am a member of an amatur boxing club and have had two fights and lost both. In fact, our club has had around 12 fights in the last year and none of them have been victories. The more I learn I am gettting the idea that the standard of coaching is pretty poor. Fitness heavy bags and sparring but basics like footwork and defence almost not taught at all. The only problem is that this club is the only one in the area so it is that or nothing. I have basically begun to try to coach and train myself. However, there are a couple of keen and talented young lads at this club and I feel bad that they are getting miscoached. We train together away from the club on a sunday and so far have been doing mostly fitness. My question is what kind of things should I be doing with them to get the basics sorted out for them? Both have been boxing for a few years but are riddled with bad habits, three main ones are poor footwork, not fully extending arms on strainght punches and dropping hands when they are stepping back. I also need help with my footwork. Can you help?


Johnny N March 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm

It helps to get a good program going. A set of exercises and drills that you do every week. You can experiment every now and then but make sure you have a program for everyone to follow. You can’t just have guys training themselves on the side and do whatever they want whenever they want. There has to be a reason and purpose for everything. To some degree, it sounds like you guys are lacking technique. There are endless articles on my website that can assist with that but mainly you need to get an effective learning system going.


Henry Le March 11, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Hey Johnny I have a speech on Thursday in Communications (on 3/15) on how to throw a jab. I was wondering if you had any tips on teaching how to throw a jab to a normal citizen. Thanks!


Johnny N March 13, 2012 at 11:47 am

Extend the front hand, rotating the fist to face palm down towards the floor while tightening the fist. Land with the arm straight out. Avoid moving any other part of the body, then can however take a small step forward with the front foot to add power. Good luck, Henry!


Reinaldo March 11, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Johnny Thank you for your attention: between these two gloves of focus that you think best: TITLE Gel Contoured Punch Mitts Ringside or PANTHER BOXING PUNCH MITT, greetings from Brazil my friend.


Johnny N March 13, 2012 at 11:49 am

I would choose the Title because I’ve never heard of Panther.


Juan Jiménez March 12, 2012 at 5:43 am

Hello , My name is Juan Jiménez and I will like to ask you a question. I have a 9 year old son he is practicing kung Fu, and box . What is the proper globe to use for him?, thanks.


Johnny N March 13, 2012 at 11:49 am

Use 10oz boxing gloves.


Gemma March 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Help me! I am struggling with something everyone else at my gym finds easy.
First of all I am a stocky short heavyweight, I am like a miniature heavyweight. I move, and punch like a heavyweight, but most of the boxers at my gym are fast light little things, and I am being trained to be like that and it doesn’t suit me.
My style is not bouncy and quick like tigger from Winnie The Pooh on speed, I tend to fight close, bully, come forward and dominate and like to get people in the corner and mainly use hooks to the head and body a lot like Mike Tyson style… (and what you tend to see in a lot of English pubs! LOL) I have broad shoulders and a large chest (a very ample one at that too! LOL) and I really have to twist and swing right round when I jab etc. Because I concentrate so much on just beating people up, I forgot about my footwork which is sloppy I suppose but MY style and doesn’t cause me a problem. I have found that my main problem is my top half from the waist up is orthodox and my bottom half from the waist down is southpaw LOL. I am right handed but I lead with the left leg. I think this is why I can’t dance too! When I think back to my former Athletics days, I was an unusual high jumper in the fact I was a right hander that jumped from the left side and led with the left leg instead of the right.
When doing a simple exercise of stepping with the left leg and throwing a left, I bring the right leg forward, then to throw the right I bring the right foot forward & twist from the hip to throw the right, but then I get stuck after that as far as stepping forward with the left leg and throwing the left at the same time is concernced. Everyone else can fly forwards and do all three and I either get stuck half way or bring the back foot too far forward when I throw the right meaning my feet are quite close together. I doesn’t help that I have short legs anyway. I can bounce about and move left or right, but struggle with this. I’ve been told I’ve got to start tapping and learn how to dance.
Instead of jabbing and bouncing backwards and forwards in and out, (Like Wladimir Klitschko) I think the reason this is a problem for me is because I have always tended to rush in, (like an angry rhino) throw big hooks, body shots, the opponent starts going backwards and I just go forwards doing more of the same.

Please tell me what I can do so I can stop looking like an idiot when told to do what is supposed to be a simple technique xxxx


Johnny N March 13, 2012 at 11:53 am

Gemma, rushing in is even harder to do if you’re slower than your opponent. Think about it, you’re the one covering more ground so you have to be the faster one. In any case, you simply need more time. It sounds like you’re still developing your body awareness and still lack the coordination.

“Because I concentrate so much on just beating people up, I forgot about my footwork which is sloppy I suppose but MY style and doesn’t cause me a problem.” <------- you answered your own question 😉


Juan Jiménez March 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Hi , I Juan Jiménez. My quiestion is What training program you I have to follow in order to train my 9 years old son ?, thanks.


Johnny N March 15, 2012 at 8:46 am

Hi Juan, please check out my “ExpertBoxing Easy Boxing Workout”. It is a good start for your son and maybe even a little difficult. If you want a more serious training program, you check out my boxing instructional ebook and videos for sale. I wish you guys the best of luck!


Henry Le March 16, 2012 at 12:33 am

Thanks Johnny! My presentation went great.:]


Alejandro March 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I was wondering if you ever planned on doing any pieces on the peek-a-boo style of boxing. I found your “how to beat a taller boxer” article extremely helpful, and I’m very grateful for this site in general, also would you recommend any material aside from the usual tyson/wright studying?


Johnny N March 21, 2012 at 10:07 am

The most notable peek-a-boo fighters on recent times are Mike Tyson, Winky Wright, Arthur Abraham, Joshua Clottey. It’s a very hard style for beginners and not recommended for many people. It requires a lot of energy and high level of skills.


Tanner May 13, 2012 at 11:21 am

I just started boxing about a month ago at home ( Im 14) and there is no way for me to get to the gym because i have no money and my family has no time for it. So i have been training at home using your guides and articles(I really love it by the way). The only thing i have trouble with is my mental strength. Every time i do a work out i seem to give up. It sucks because i keep on trying not to give up but i always do. Is there any way you know to make me not give up?


Santiago May 13, 2012 at 7:06 pm

same age and same problem my parents dont have the time to drive me to the gym. For your mental strength I would suggest — Renegade Mindset Techniques For Fighters- look it up its training for your brain-hope this helps


Johnny N May 17, 2012 at 8:19 am

It’s going to be hard to do something if you don’t enjoy it. There are many people out there who genuinely enjoy hard work and training. Find a way to enjoy it. Maybe you can start by doing only the training part that you like.


Santiago May 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I was thinking about buying mad scientist muscle -its a program that builds mass for skinny guys and stuff , its supposed to strengthen connective tissue and change your bone structure and stuff and it says even when you stop using the program you’ll still have that new frame that you built ? what are your thoughts on this and how it will affect my boxing performance


Johnny N May 17, 2012 at 8:21 am

Any decent exercise program should do all that for you. The claim about having benefits even when you stop using the program sounds awfully fishy to me. Personally, I would choose a standard boxing training regime over a program developed to build muscle mass.


Santiago June 10, 2012 at 11:28 am

Is it a good idea to use some heavy training gloves such as 24 oz gloves so when i use the smaller gloves they won’t feel as heavy. I’m pretty small(5 foot and 90 pounds). If so could you give me a good place online to find some good but affordable 24 oz gloves.


Johnny N June 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm

It’s a logical BUT flawed idea. It’s like saying marathon runners should run with 10lb ankle weights so that their feet get used to running without weights. Your muscles would get stronger but they still wouldn’t be coordinated to moving at fast speeds. I would stick to gloves no heavier than 14oz for a small frame like yours.


Santiago June 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm

thanks for the advice

Stan May 14, 2012 at 2:59 am

Hey Johnny,

I love your site and all the great info.

You have some great tips on equipment, but there is something I want to know about punching bags.

Most bags are bought empty – so what is the best filling?
Do you use different ones for different reasons, oris one type good enough?
When should you change it?
Can it be too hard or soft?

Choice of bag – short , tall, nylon, leather…

How high should I hang it?
Where should the top or bottom of the bag be?

With a double ended bag or floor to ceiling bag/ball, at what height should it be? Head height? Lower?
What degree of tension should it have?

If you have this info already, please point me there, if not, it would make an interesting article.

Thanks mate, and keep up the awesome work on a great site.

Cheers Stan


Johnny N May 17, 2012 at 8:27 am

Heavy or light – determines how much the bag moves. More movement can be useful for developing footwork. Less movement can be useful for developing combination power.

Hard or soft – soft has less impact on the joints but can be less satisfying to hit.

Tall or short – tall bags swing less AND/OR can be more useful if you’re kicking, short bags can allow you to duck under if you like doing that

The height of the bag… hmmm, I like having the middle of the bag at my chin level or eye level. This goes for any bag.

Great questions. I should make a quick little guide out of this.


Stan May 21, 2012 at 3:11 am

That would be really helpful and interesting, looking forward to it


Ramo May 21, 2012 at 11:55 am

I would like to ask you about which stace (orthodox or southpaw) is better to get inside your opponent to land the short punches (hooks and uppers) . and which stance is better to hit an effective front hook against an opposite opponent, because iam a southpaw with a perfect fast right hook, but when i face an orthodox fighter i feel that i cant use it because its too far, so i am thinking so switch my stance (its easy for me) to an orthodox in order to land left hooks. to do you think iam right or what do you


Johnny N May 21, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Every stance has its advantages and disadvantages. The best way to make the most of your stance is to use the one that is most natural for you.


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