It’s been a while but the boxing mailbag is back! I answer nearly 80 questions on boxing training, use of punching bags, defensive methods, and ideas to get started on training.
Due to the amount of emails I get, I will have to filter questions in order to increase quality and deter repeat questions in future mailbags.
I will not answer the following questions:
- stuff that’s already in existing guides (unless you pose the question in a new way)
- stuff that’s already explained in past mailbag articles
- requests for a training routine
- requests for a diet plan
- requests for me to email everything I know to you personally (yes, I actually get these—LOL)
1. Why aren’t beginners taught to punch without weight-shifting?
I’ve been researching your punching with two feet and find it interesting. I’m confused though as if this is a progression from shifting/dropping why don’t we start this initially as it does seem similar to a karate punch? Great articles on the site
- As mentioned in the article, beginners are usually not taught this method of punching because their rotational body mechanics is not yet fine-tuned to use their entire body weight…thus, “falling” is more powerful for them. If you tell a beginner to use 2-legged punching, he will end up rotating only his upper body and not his hips because he doesn’t have the leg coordination for it yet.
2. What shoes do you recommend for an over weight person?
What kind of shoes do I need to use cause I’m a little over weight and I walk a lot? I can’t jog or run cause I messed up my cartilage in my left my knee from jogging. Ya I tried to jog to soon while over weight. I used to weigh about 400 lbs but I’ve lost about 60 or 70 pounds already by walking. The only thing is my feet hurt after my 3 or 4 mile walk. I can’t do my routine like a normal person.
Thanks for your time!
- Check out a local running store and have them analyze your stride. Some running stores will have machines that you can walk on or they watch you run and explain how your feet arches, turns in or out, etc. And from there they will be able to recommend the best shoe for you. Congratulations on losing the 60lbs!
3. How can improve my conditioning and lose the remaining flab?
A big, big fan of your videos and site. Thank you for freely and willingly sharing all you know.
I have a question about my conditioning and strength. Quickly: I started training in January. I weighed about 197 lbs as the result of lifting weights. I am 6’2″ by the way and 33 years old.
I’m now at 182. I’m trying to comfortably get to 178 and fight at amateur light heavy weight at some point early next year. Once I got a look at 190lb fighters in great shape, I wanted no part at that weight
At any rate, my body, conditioning, and strength isn’t at all what I envisioned when I started losing weight. I’ve lost muscle, strength, and feel skinny and puny. I get muscle fatigue when I’m in the gym. I’m not cut and I still have a bit of a “table” gut. If you looked at me you’d swear I could get down to 165 comfortably. Maybe I could but I seem to be burning more muscle than fat. Also, I quit lifting weights, or at least “weight lifting” as we know it. I instead do strength sets a few times a week for the major muscles: chest, shoulders, back and legs.
I’ll admit my functional strength, speed, and coordination have come leaps and bounds. I just don’t have that lean, finished look. I estimate I get at least 3,000 calories a day. I drink about 3x protein shakes a day. I try to eat healthy. Greek yogurt/oatmeal, bananas, egg whites for breakfast. Chicken/fish, broccoli, beans/rice for lunch. I have at least two protein/meal bars for a brunch and afternoon snack before the gym. I drink water all day besides an early morning Amp energy drink. After the gym, I eat salads with meat, Greek yogurt, and a protein shake. A few times a week I may get adventurous and have pizza or a huge steak but I’m mostly pretty consistent.
I’m not saying we can all look like Victor Ortiz, but I definitely feel like a much weaker man now. Any guidance you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
- A 182 should definitely be cutting down! January is not that long ago so congratulations for sticking with boxing. The first initial months can be quite difficult. Ok, let’s talk diet, training, and appearance.
- Diet: you’ve got a solid diet and it’s good that you’re consistent. Here are some suggestions I would make. 1) chop down the protein shakes to 1 or 2 a day. They’re not as effective and I doubt you need that much. I would also eat more greens. See if you can get more of your carbs from greens/leafy vegetables instead of rice. I would also chop down the protein/meal bars to 1-2 a day and substitute with a handful of nuts and an apple. If you’re going to have “cheat” moments, make sure you do it right after a workout because the adrenaline after a workout gives you an hour timeframe to eat whatever you want without an insulin spike. It’s also better to do all your “cheating” on one day instead of spreading it out over numerous days. I think 3,000 calories a day should be your max if you’re trying to trim down. Anyway, try to get more nuts and fruits in as a snack instead of protein bars. (apple or watermelon or blueberries are great choices).
- Training: the real secret of the body is the core. The core is the number one most important and most effective muscle. The more work the core does, the less the work the rest of your body has to do (especially with punching/defending). Unfortunately, it’s hard to measure the strength of your core since it doesn’t benchpress or squat like your chest/arm/leg muscles. The core is also a hidden muscle that can’t be seen and can’t be shown off like biceps/chest. (Your REAL core muscles are hidden deep inside you.) Nonetheless the core is the most important muscle. For starters, I would rack up a minimum of 1000 sit-ups a day and 1000 push-ups a day. Don’t bother with the weight-lifting for chest/shoulders/back/legs for now. I’m serious about this one… if you want to try something new, try this for a month and write back your results. (The number one reason why anybody gets tired is because their core is weak as hell. Once the core is weak, the rest of your body has to work so much harder. Which then makes your shoulders tired of punching, legs tired of moving, back tired of holding you up…everything goes down when the core fails.)
- Conditioning: feeling weak is obviously a sign of something going wrong. If you’re still lifting weights, that might be the problem. Calisthenics can be done every day without requiring recovery time (once you get used to it). The same is not possible with weights–weights always requires you to rest. And if you keep training when you need rest, you will eventually feel weak. I would also limit your training to 2-3 hours TOPS. I don’t know how you train but I recommend you take 1 hour to warm-up (jumprope/shadowboxing/stretching/wrap-hands), than 30 minutes doing whatever you want at an intense rate (sparring/mitts). After that you cool back down with the usual core exercises and bagwork and footwork drills.
- Function & Appearance: ultimately, you will look the way you eat/train/function. Right now you’re eating right. I think the training could be adjusted. Focus on moving with more speed, more movement, and some sharp power punching…not strength power punching. Use your legs more often. Even the way you breathe can affect the way you move and ultimately the way you look. Look around the gym and compare your breathing to the other guys. Are you breathing with sharp hisses like the slick athletic guys? Or are you breathing with a big whoosh like the big strongman guys?
- I’m in the process of writing a 30-day diet guide I think might help you. In any case, I hope all goes well and that you get a chance to try my suggestions.
4. Which punches are more effective in a street fight? Push punches or snap punches?
Hi thanks for making such a great site to get boxing info. I have been reading it for a while. I was wondering if I could ask you a ? if you don’t mind. It is a ? about push through/snap punches which is best in a situation.
I am a musician and play out frequently and mostly in bars. Most of the time everything is fine and if a scuffle happens I go outside or to a safe place. Unfortunately once I went to the bathroom and a guy came in there and thought he girlfriend was eyeing me etc. I wasn’t looking at her. I was just playing in the band and doing what I normally do. He wouldn’t let me leave the bathroom and I think he had a friend keeping people from coming in. I yelled but couldn’t be heard over the loud DJ music. So while he was yelling and threatening I could tell he wasn’t going to let me out so unfortunately I hit him. I know it may seem cowardly but I knew he was going to start a fight soon and he was bigger so I hit him as soon as I saw the opening. I mainly used push through punches and threw them as fast as I could until he wobbled so I could run out of the bathroom. I was really lucky and hope it never happens again.
What is my best strategy in case I get cornered and can get away. Should I just through as many push through punches as I can until I can escape or should I really concentrate on snap punches. My goal is not to stay and fight. I just want to get that person away from me so I can get out of the situation. Would the best approach be through as many and as fast as I can in hopes to make an opening where I can get away?
I have some boxing training but not a lot. I do work the heavy bag as regular exercise and am left handed. I have pretty good strength in push through punches and am still working/learning snap punches properly. I am 160 lbs and 6’3.
I greatly appreciate any help you have to offer.
- The snap punch will always be better, especially on the street. Their speed can surprise and stun your opponent faster allowing you to finish off with whatever you want. Besides, with bare hands, you don’t need much to knock out an unsuspecting opponent assuming you hit him clean.
5. What boxing routine and diet would you recommend for a female?
Hi Johnny my name is Danni i am 25 female weight 58 kl,1.69height from Spain i woud like a boxing routine and diet, i work in a bar from 6pm till 3am.
Boxing has changed my life big time i started last year got away from a hard relationship,and started to learn how to live again!
Recently i was over training doing hard cardio from 9am till 1pm skipping,push ups sprints,steps crunches,circuit training,heavy bag,ill have a nap there yes might sound sad i practically live at the gym, then start again at 3pm till 5pm,skipping,sparring,pad work
and at work at 6pm,not resting enough and only eating fruit,result burn out and not being able to concentrate think straight lack of motivation.
At the moment i have taken a couple of days off and am feeling down lost a bit depressed and exahusted,dont know how to relax or how to recover
I really want to start again but i want to start the right way my trainer thinks the world of me and never tells me what to do because i give the impression that i am recentless and want more all the time, everyone at the gym looks up too me and expects me to carry on wich sometimes can be hard ,i never complain or put a bad face and i always give a 100% in my training,i can get nervous and block sparring sometimes due to having a bad time in the past ,its very frustrating
so any help woud be grately apreciated!
wow sorry your the first person i unloaded all that onto feel a bit better already!
- Don’t burn yourself out. Over-training is a common problem amongst athletes. Keep working hard but learn to appreciate your progress. When you feel tired, it is because your body needs a break and because it DESERVES a break. Feeling tired is a result of working hard, not because of weakness.
- Eat everything, not just fruits. Please check out my common sense boxing diet.
6. Can you create a weight lifting program for boxing?
My name is Shane I live in Auckland new Zealand all i was wondering are you able to do me up a weight lifting programme for boxing ? i am a aiming to fight as a middle weight but currently weigh 89kgs I want have a problem stripping the weight.
- Sorry, I don’t have one right now. Most conditioning routines will use some form of resistance whether it be from your body weight, lighter weights, or even resistance bands. I will let everyone know when I put something like this together.
7. How can I find a good boxing gym and also avoid a black eye?
Hey man..kudos to you man cz ur tips are rily helpful…first of all,I am a nigerian, 6’4,20yrs and 195 pounds and i have a passion for boxing but the problem is that is not rily a sport that people engage in over here because everybody wants to be a footballer so finding a good boxing gym is my first problem and secondly,I also model so I want to know what possible ways I can take in order to avoid being hit on d face to avoid a black eye…thanks for your reply in anticipation..God bless
- Ask around, look online, or check out every boxing gym in your area until you find the one you want. If you want to avoid injuries, where a boxing headgear with more coverage and avoid tough sparring.
8. Do you have any tips for improving my boxing stance?
Thank you, and as soon as I know I have a fight I’ll let you know
Any tips on improving my posture for boxing, kind of an oxymoron! After spending all my life having perfect posture drilled into me for horse riding I find it hard to hunch my shoulders and tuck in my chin, I guess just practice. Properly when I get hit hard a couple times I’ll learn quicker
- Tips for improving posture: stand with a stronger back, not a hunch! Tuck your chin BACK towards your neck, not down towards your chest! That should make it better and feel more natural.
9. Do you have any advice for body punching?
My name is A. First off I want to say that I really like your website as I have been reading it for about a year now, especially the articles on technique and training, and mental focus. I’m an amatuer fighter in the ____ area, I have 2 fights under my belt and alot of sparring, my last fight in the Golden Gloves tournament I got robbed of a close decision but the reason I’m emailing you is because my last fight I had some real success with one of my favorite combos(left jab to the head, right to the body, left hook back upstairs). I like using this combo but I have been watching some videos of Ricky Hatton, Mickey Ward, and Roy Jones on youtube to try to find some different ways I could attack the body more in the future. I couldnt find any articles on your site about body attacks, so I figured I would ask you directly what your philosophy is on attacking the body. Also let me know if I missed an article you may have written about this strategy I was looking last night for about 30 min. but I could have missed it so let me know. Also if you want to see the video of my fight I can send you the link, if you have time let me know what you think, if not I understand either way.
Thanks for the help hope to hear back from you,
PS I know you post emails in the mail bag portion of your website, Its ok with me if you put this in that section as long as you take out my name and where I’m from and my experience just so possible oppponents don’t look me up and scout me out.
- I have a body punching guide coming out in the near future.
- My #1 philosophy about body attacks is to always maintain the threat of throwing to the head. Most fighters make the mistake of ducking too low or positioning in a way that it becomes so obvious that all they can hit is the body. If you always position yourself in a way where you can threaten BOTH the head and body, you will find endless opportunities to raid the body. Learn how to reach your opponent’s body by rotating your body forward, NOT by leaning your body forward. You can also confuse him with ambiguous shots like ones to the chest (at high speed, they can be hard to decipher as head punches or body punches).
10. Can you send me complete notes on footwork?
First I thank your team for sharing your informative boxing notes with me. And I will appreciate it more if you plz send me complete notes on footwork. I really need it.
- I will post this information on the website as soon as I finish writing it.
11. How can I figure out my natural boxing stance? Orthodox or southpaw?
First off I have really enjoyed reading your website, every single article is easy to understand and extremely useful! I have trained a little bit of everything over the years trying to find my perfect style and done some boxing, Taekwondo, BJJ, Muay Thai and finally found myself in Kempo Jiu Jitsu. While those styles have their strengths none of them teach me grace under pressure in the same way boxing does, i.e. staying calm and applying my training when my face is being pummeled in by some random dude on the streets, so I’ve decided to add boxing to my Kempo. That’s where stuff goes downhill..
I’m left footed, right handed and with a dominant left eye. I’m used to orthodox stance but everything feels a little awkward due to one, or more, of my body parts being on the wrong side.
Considering your substantial knowledge and expertise I figured you’d have some tips or recommendations concerning my odd issue.
Thanks for taking the time to read my essay and take care,
- I would guess you are right-handed. Especially if your right cross feels more powerful and more accurate than the left cross.
12. How can I develop a stronger left arm if I’m a right-handed southpaw?
Thank you alot for all the articles u made, they helped alot; i hav a question if u could answer me plz, would appreaciate alot
so the thing is im right-hander and fighting in southpaw because i enjoy it more like this – finding holes in ym opponents defence and throwing quick punches with my lead arm, never could do that with my left lead hand. And here the question; how should i train my left (rear) arm the quickest way to gain some power, because its kinda weak?
- Develop it the same way you would with any hand. Drills, exercises, speed bag, mitts, etc. No matter what you do, that left hand will not develop as effectively as your dominant hand. You will always find that the right hand hits harder and more effectively with less effort. Training will make the left hand more effective but not as naturally effective as your true dominant hand.
13. How can I train through a hernia?
Greetings johnny! am from Venezuela, i have a herniated lumbar disc at L4-L5 discs and a discopathy in S1, went i get notice of that, i felt desvastate because i have 27 years. I would like to know if I can train Boxing or some exercises of the rutine of boxing? One doctor say you can’t another doctor say yes you can, and thats why a prefer your opinion. I know the boxing its great to get confidence and thats what i need right now, Not in a competicional level of course and obviating some exercises like jumping rope, but yeah like “LA Boxing”, or something like that, I am already training weights in a regular gym, and i feeling great, the exercise works better than therapy at the clinic and my confidence is returning. Thats why I am feeling motivated to train boxing, to continue building my lost confidence…. thats why i would like to know if you have some testimonial of people that could train boxing whith hernias and discopathy or if there exit some kind of method to do it… thanks in advance for the time, i really apreciated your help and orientation!
- We had a great fighter at our gym a few years back that tried to train through his hernia. He dream was to go pro after he competed in a national amateur tournament. He was able to do very well in the amateur tournament and make it to the semi-finals. But when he preparing for his first pro fight, his back couldn’t take the pain required for professional-level boxing training. He ended up retiring and becoming a coach. The risk is yours to take, maybe you can and maybe you can’t. The real risk is in injuring yourself further. I think lower level boxing training is ok but not the crazy serious ones. I’m sure you might have to adjust all your technique and stay away from the risky conditioning exercises that place stress on your back.
14. How do I train with the Mexican double-end bag?
hi i was wondering what are some tips and workout when working with the Mexican double end bag? as my gym has lots of them but i don’t know how to use it properly (my gym doesn’t have single double end bags). Will this still work on my hand speed, and reactions? how does it compare to the standard double end single bag?
thanks in advance
- Use it like any other double-end bag. Hit it with rhythm and when you like, mix in some body shots with some head shots. Mexican double-end bags will usually move around less than the single ball ones.
15. How should I start training for boxing from home?
Im an 18 year old college student, out of shape and 260 lbs, and for some reason, for the past couple of weeks I have had a spark of interest for boxing, mma and the like. I don’t know what it is but this is the first time I have ever actually been interested in something athletic, and I want to use that interest as an avenue for finally getting into shape. I have been reading and reading about boxing online and I think I really want to do it. My older brother has been into MMA for a long time, even traveled out to Oregon to train with Dan Henderson for a year, so he will make for a good sparring partner if I can get him to do it. Also, I go back to college in september, where I have access to a full student Gym for free, so it really won’t be hard to start boxing. What is hard however, is starting to actually get my body into boxing shape. The only equipment I have is a set of 10 lb dumbells a heavy bag, and gloves currently coming in the mail. I guess I just want an expert’s opinion on how to make the first steps toward getting into shape. I already have the mindset, which I think is the hardest part. What do you think would be best for me at this point? When should I start sparring? What can I do at home with what i have before moving back to campus?
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
- I would start by getting on a good diet. And then you can follow as much of my easy boxing workout as you can. Sparring is not necessary unless you actually want to be a good fighter as well. In which case, I would start slow sparring at a local gym or something.
16. Do you have a 7-day diet for boxers?
I was wondering if you had an eating boxers 7 day diet that i can follow i would really appreciate it i do well following work out but i suffer with eating properly please help….
- At this point no. I am however writing an extensive premium diet guide to be released in the near future.
17. Can I build lean muscle without weight lifting?
Hey, i’ve been skinny all my life. I’ve joined a boxing gym and have enjoyed it so much. I want to go further now! Im jus asking that if I was to have 6 meals a day, good ones, and stick to boxing which I love as a sport, will I look more lean without weight lifting? I mean you used to be skinny right? Did u lift heavy weights etc? Or do I stick to js boxing? Im thin and jus want good tone and look average, in good shape, I dont want to be hulk
- Yes, boxing conditioning alone is a great exercise and will give you that incredible muscle tone–just look at the typical competing boxer’s body! I got mine without any weights, but I still had to train hard.
18. Is it ok to drink alcohol in moderation at the amateur competition level?
Hi Johnny, I would like to know if drinking alcohol in moderation is still okay for competition at ameteur level? Many thanks Will.
- There are all sorts of factors that contribute to victory. Good factors like good training and good diet will help. Bad factors like skipping training or bad diet will work against you. I suppose if you are more talented, you can get away with more. Is it ok? Well it depends on what level fighter you want to be. If you want to compete at 100%, then I would focus 100% on the best winning factors. Whichever fighter that stays more focused will probably win. You get to decide which one you want to be.
19. How can I start boxing better?
I’m from india and i am of 15 years n i have recently started boxing..can u help me by giving suggestion how can i do my boxing better
- The easiest answer is to find a good trainer and do everything he tells you. Also find good sparring partners and copy everything they do.
20. How can I get better at boxing through sparring?
First, I want to say I really enjoy your website and keep up the good work! Currently, I am a 17 year old who is a year into boxing. I have spent day after day working on the mitts, bags, jumprope, etc, and I have seen a steady improvement! I am thankful my handwork has shown in that area. I am emailing you because I am ready for the next step and it is unclear for me on how to get there. I have sparred in the past but have not recently because, like your article states, it always ends up in a brawl between me and some amateur who is at least 20 lbs heavier than me. I don’t mind this kind of sparring, but I believe it isn’t making me a better boxer. Any idea on how I can overcome this obstacle?
- Find better sparring partners. You need someone that is better than you but willing to tone down the pace and let you learn. He will know how to test you in a way that improves you instead of breaks you down. There are many skilled fighters out there. Keep working with one. You may have to find a new gym.
21. Why do I feel like puking when I spar really hard?
What does it mean if I feel like im gonna puke sometimes when I spar really hard. I dont get why either, because i dont really get hit often or hard, and im never out of breath or build up lactic acid and its really annoying because i have good cardio, its just sometimes i feel sick. Would it be because of when and what im eating before sparring?
- You’re right about your guess. It might have to do with your digestion. Make sure you don’t spar with food or water in your stomach. Take sips of water before and during sparring but not gulps. Intense exercise can easily upset your stomach if there’s anything in it.
22. Is this workout good enough?
Hey, I was wondering if this workout is enough or not enough. I don’t want to hurt myself training but i want to be the best i can be so here it goes:
15 minutes shadow boxing
15 minutes jump rope
15 minutes stretching
3-6 rounds of punching mitts
6-9 rounds of sparring
100-200 push-ups (depending on the day)
3 sets of 15 ab roller
3 sets of 15 pull-ups
5 mins of shoulder rolls
15 mins of stretching
Just wondering if i should amp it up or cool it down. It usually takes about 2.5 hours to 4 hours 7 days a week.
- Good enough for what? For weight loss? For amateur competition? For world champion? Your workout should take you towards a goal. A good workout should be hard enough to push you but careful enough not to injure you or prevent your body from recovering. I would add more variations of exrcises and mix it up more on different days of the week. And always adjust to your body!
23. How should Cotto beat Mayweather?
Hi Johnny !! I want to congratulate you for your awesome website . Its fun and very helpful, it helped me a lot with my counterpuncher combos.
Also one question that most people doesn’t seem to have a great answer. If you were training a fighter with Cotto style and skill what would be the game plan to fight and possibly beat Floyd Mayweather??? Attack the body , short punches , feint punches like Mosley did and landed that great right hand?? I really want to know your thoughts on this subject . Thanks
- I liked what Cotto did which was walk in behind the jab and hammer shots at close range. Of course there’s more to it than just that but I’m not going to write a theoretical guide on beating a fighter I’ve never fought before. I’d rather just get in the ring with him and see for myself. Cotto doesn’t have a killer right hand like Mosley, all his power is in his left. Nonetheless, Cotto did a good job.
25. When should a fighter start full contact sparring?
What are your thoughts on when it’s time to start full contact sparring, at least a few rounds at a time? I’ve been working out at a boxing gym for a year. I’m having a hard time getting over my reaction to good boxers and their punches (lean back, expose chin). Never do more than 1 round of light contact, no gear sparring. Feel like I’m never going to get over the hump until I start doing full contact, gear on sparring to get over my reaction to punches.
- All aspiring fighters should start sparring ASAP, but under safe conditions. Doing light contact is good, I would try going for an hour straight to really start developing those reflexes. You should always be using gear though, I have no idea what gym you came from that didn’t tell you to do it. Without gear, the punches hurt harder and stun you more making it more difficult for you to learn. Anyways, even if you do it right it will still take time. Boxing’s a tough sport.
26. Is my gym treating me right?
Dear Expert Boxing,
I have been regularly read your articles about boxing and when I built up my cardio, I decided to join a boxing gym. The boxing gym I managed to find was an amateur gym in a university. I paid for a whole year of tuition but refund is possible.They have several coaches and amateur fighters which train 6 days a week. The thing is, I am having doubts about this gym due to a few things:
1. I am a beginner and have no background in any form of striking based arts aside from hitting a heavy bag at home and watching combat sports.
So, bearing this in mind when I did my first two sessions, the coach that was assigned to me taught me the basics very fleetingly- he showed me the jabs, hooks and straights. Without critiquing my form (although he did say to keep my hands up all times). Didn’t really teach me footwork or other fundamentals. Is this normal for a beginner or am I asking for too much since its only been two days (2 hour sessions per day)?
2. The second day I sparred with a beginner. I busted a my lip open due to my sparring partner going at full intensity.
Is it normal to start sparring at the first few sessions?
3. It feels like as if the trainer/s ignore me while they pay more attention to the other beginners. I read on your column that this happens and maybe I don’t fit the archetype of what they want from a boxer?
4. Should I look for a new boxing gym due to my above concerns?
Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you.
- Your suspicions are correct. Either the gym isn’t a good one or the coaches don’t care much for you. Real boxing trainers drill many techniques and yell at you for every single detail. They pay close attention and don’t let you get in the ring until you EARNED your right to be in the ring. They shouldn’t be letting a more experienced destroy when you don’t even know how to defend yourself. Maybe this gym is feeding you to the better fighters. I would find a new gym ASAP and preferably one that cares about you. To be fair, you must know that many good trainers do not like to spend time with people that are only boxing for fun. They prefer to work with only the serious boxers and the ones that really want to fight.
27. Do you know any good boxing gyms in the San Fernando valley, California?
Hi Johnny, I’m a CSUN student and i’ve recently gotten a lot of interest in boxing and I was wondering if you had any recommendations around the area that would be a good places for a beginner to start out in the SFV? Thanks,
- Ten Goose, Outlaws, the CSUN boxing gym is good for learning the basics too. Those are some good places to start.
28. Would the 2-legged punching technique apply to hitting a baseball?
The two legged boxing stance is a very interesting read. As I was taught to jab and then roll up on my toes to extend the reach by several inches. It is a hard habit to break but I’m trying. Do you think the same thing would apply to hitting a baseball. I see some lift a leg and step into the pitch. Thanks again, Bruce.
- Rolling up on the toes during the jab is not the best idea although it can be useful in some situations. For the common scenario, it’s best to leave the front foot flat and stay grounded so you can prepare a more powerful follow-up punch. As for comparisons to baseball, I really don’t know.
29. Which manufacturer makes the widest boxing shoe?
I love the site and been using it for quite some time to supplement my training! I was hoping that you had a minute to help. I’ve been boxing for the last 5 years with a wrestling shoe because of my very wide feet (4E). Well, the shoes are worn down and I was hoping that somebody now makes a wide boxing shoe. Who makes the widest shoe?
I’ve looked all over the Internet and really cannot tell so any help would be much appreciated.
Thanks again for the great boxing resource,
- I have the widest feet of anyone I know and I use Nike shoes which feel great. I would say Adidas are definitely more narrow than Nike.
30. What kind of diet do you recommend for building muscles and getting in shape fast?
I’m 40 years old. I am just getting into boxing. I’m a wife, mother & a grandmother. I promised my husband I’d get into shape before joining a gym. That’s how I found your website on Youtube. That’s how I train for now.
Question: What kind of diet do you recommend for building muscles and getting in shape fast? The do’s and don’ts.
- Please check out my “Common Sense Boxing Diet” guide. The only diet I recommend is a healthy diet and unfortunately, it’s not easy to answer. The short answer is: eat the right foods, at the right time, in the right portions.
31. Is my training good enough?
I am 63 kg, 1,79cm tall.
Give me an advice about running, i dont want to lose my mass beacuse I dont have much.
I was training boxing 5 months, now i cant beacuse i look for better club. I train near my house. I know some technics, and thanks to you for sharing information on your site.
I do what i can , training etc. its much beacuse i will get a lot of information from you. So i can train to make me better.
I did push ups routine so now i want pull ups. And after that circuit routine will be that good?
- Good enough for what? If your goal is to get in shape then yes, a circuit routine will be helpful. If you want to be good enough for boxing competition, I would look for something more complete.
32. Is it good to run in the morning?
I have a questions..
what do you think about running at the morning? is that good…
Beacuse today i run 3 miles but i did not eat before running… then i used my jumping rope then i went my home and took a shower, and ate 2 sadwiches with natural honey, (not from a store)
Of course i drunk water enough much.
When i was running i run not quick but slowly , but sometimes quick.. what about mass? will morning running make me lose fat?
- Yes, running in the morning can help jumpstart your metabolism and also help burn off stored fat.
33. Does anyone know were I can buy a good heavy bag thats durable for outside?
- I would get a canvas bag from any reputable place online. Some leather bags get too easily worn out in the sun. Here in the United States, I order from Titleboxing.com.
34. Can I be a boxer even without A-level athleticism?
I’m currently a high school junior. I play football at my school, but I’m not technically very athletic in a classic sense. I can’t dunk a basketball and I don’t have great straight line speed, but I’m strong, I have good hand eye coordination, and my reaction time is good. As such, I’ve been looking into the combat sports (primarily boxing and BJJ) as a way to give me an athletic challenge for the future. Because of my lack of speed, future team sports at a highly competitive level seem pretty much out of the picture. I love sports because of the competitiveness, and boxing seems like a pretty accessible sport to get into going into college that can keep me competitive and in good athletic shape for the rest of my life. Would you recommend boxing for these reasons? I know I’d be no Olympian, but it looks like there is a niche for people of all skill levels. Also, how easy is it to walk into a gym somewhere and begin training even if it may be on an incredibly basic level?
- Yes. Give it a try. Find the best local gym you can and go have fun. Trainers will be happy to work with anyone willing to learn and work hard.
35. What are some good drills for slipping techniques?
Thank you for your website. It is super hard to come by good sites these days with legitimate information on boxing.
I have one question. What are some good drills for slipping techniques?
- Lots of shadowboxing while doing SLIGHT slipping motions will help you drill the muscle memory. Mitts and slow sparring will help you develop the ability to see and react to incoming punches. You can do stuff on a slip rope. Also have one person following you while throwing constant jabs and you keep moving your head while pivoting into him and around him.
36. How do you improve at sparring?
I came across your site months ago when I was looking for a good resource for boxing advice and assistance. I’ve been learning boxing for maybe about 6 months now, which means I attend a class three days a week where we run through drills. Many people attend this class mostly for fitness. I wanted to learn boxing. In the last week or so I have begun sparring. At first it was fun but the more I spar with boxers who have been boxing longer than I have the more I realize that getting hit is getting old.
Do you have any advice on how to improve at sparring? Do you know of a good resource (books, videos, anything) that give advice on strategy and what to do in sparring? It seems like all of the technique and everything I’ve been practicing is almost useless in sparring because it’s too fast and too spontaneous.
I did look over the three articles on your website about sparring. We could use some more articles on sparring up there!
I’m starting to get frustrated with it, like I’ll never improve, because I really don’t know what to do except to keep stepping in there and taking hits. Any advice from your experience would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for your website and for all you do to help people advance in boxing. Your articles always seem pretty wise and balanced, more than just the “get out there and be a man” type of advice.
Thanks in advance,
- Work on sparring with only the jab. Non-stop jab sparring until you stop getting out-touched by your opponent’s jabs. Theoretically, you will only keep improving but you’ll never feel your improvements if your opponents are that far ahead of you. The better you do, the better they do. If you want a confidence booster, spar someone below your level and you’ll see how good you really are. Ultimately, you may need to use a more advanced mitt drills. And again like I’ve already said a million times on the site: you need more slow sparring. Your body will never learn or develop any muscle memory until you first learn how to see everything through slow sparring.
37. How can I increase speed and snap of my punches?
Iam gopi from india (chennai). Your tips are very useful for my training . And i want another tips for snap punches . And how to increase my speed .tell me please. In recent matches i lost due to my opponent throw counter punches no me . I go only back for right punch but it not work . Please tell any idea.
- Shadowboxing and relaxed punching technique on the heavy bag. Throw 3-5 punches, move, throw 3-5 again, move again. Work on that breathing and staying absolutely relaxed. If you have to decrease your power, do it.
38. How can I develop faster reaction?
i was wondering whats another way of building my reactions up faster?
i can’t do the slow spar stuff because i havn’t got a partner willing to do it. So what other drills can i do?
i have a jump rope and heavy bag.
Also i noticed in sparring yesterday that my opponent telegraphing his jab but i only noticed this when i asked myself these questions:
“wow he has a lot of power in his jab”
“where is that power coming from?”
me noticing him telegraphing his jab
so what other questions can i ask myself to pick up my opponents bad habits?
Thanks Nooby boxer
- Without someone throwing punches at you, you will not be able to develop the awareness to see punches. It’s like asking me how to get good at hitting a baseball without having someone actually throw one at you. As for figuring out opponent’s habits, try throwing the same punch over and over again and see how he responds. Then do something else, next time.
39. How fast should I do my roadwork?
I read one of your articles where you suggest to run 5 miles 3-5 times a week to improve boxing fitness. I am currently doing this run twice a week. What time should i be aiming for? What time is also an indicator of good fitness? I done the run last night in 38:30. Im 5’9 and weigh 82kg.
Also do you have any suggestions on different running methods, techniques, interval running, etc?
By the way, youve developed a brilliant website, ive been boxing for 2 months now, and ive probably spent more time on your website then in the gym.
- I do have many suggestions on different running methods but that is way too complex to answer here. I’ll do a post in the future. For now, I would suggest for you to work on your breathing and never run on your heels–stay on the ball of the foot always. Do long distance, short distance, uphill, downhill, on the sand, on the grass, rubber track, etc. I like doing interval workouts that sprinters do.
40. What is the best filling for heavy bags? How high should I hang them?
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, or is 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.
- I would fill with whatever the manufacturer recommends. Usually, I buy the punching bags already filled. I don’t like bags that are too hard or too soft. Also a good idea to make sure it’s packed consistently so you don’t feel weird lumps inside when you hit it. I like to hang the bags so the middle of it is about my shoulder level or neck level. Double-end bags can be both tight for fast punching rhythm or loose for more defensive work and accuracy practice.
- Thanks for the idea, I will make an article out of this.
41. Would this be good boxing equipment to buy?
I highly appreciate your page. It’s written in a clear & logical way. I’m 25 years old, 170 cm tall and weigh 70 kg, my head size is 57 cm. I’m studying medicine. I’ve been practicing boxing for 1 year & I think it’s time to upgrade my weapon & armor (just kidding ^^) So, with your experience, can you tell me that this list of item here is worth buying or not ?
My budget is around 200$
1/ Shock Doctor Nano Double Fight Mouthguard – 15 $
Question: we need double jaw mouthguard or just only upper jaw one ? What is pros & cons of each type ?
2/ TITLE Mexican Style Handwraps – 4 $
3/ IMF Tech Training Gloves – Elastic Cuff- White Color – Size 16 oz – 69$
Question: at this price, is it the best one among the gloves that you’ve ever tried ?
4/ Rival Traditional Training Headgear – Medium Size – 69 $
Question:- I don’t have the chance to try it on my head. So, with my headsize cited above (follow this method http://www.genaconti.com/Measuring.htm) , does the Medium suit me ?
- I practice boxing not for fun, but I won’t take it so seriously. In that case, Rival Traditional Vs Rival D3o (more expensive, better protection !?), which one you suggest ?
Thank you for your sincere support.
- The equipment you chose is excellent. The Ringside gloves are definitely a great deal at that price. For headgear sizing, you can contact Rival directly and they will give you the measurements. As for Rival Traditional vs Rival d3o, you should read my headgear review to decide which one you want. The d3o will definitely go over your budget.
42. What do you think of this Mayweather amateur fight as an example of the drowning style?
I just wanna say thanks for all the work you’ve put into your web page and the lessons & advice people are getting from it all around the world, massive respect to you.. its a God send and people’s skills are only going to get better from spending the time to read your articles.
One thing, just focussing on strategy a lot more now and I’m trying to work on the ‘drowning style’ as you say, not my most natural instinct but is very good for counter punching and beating a more aggressive fighter, or to mix it up for a round or two in sparring or a fight, I was watching this mayweather amateur fight and thought it a good example, what do you think? or do you have a better video to demonstrate? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4VvSi2OQMI
anyway! massive respect and very best!
- It’s not so much of a drowning style since he’s standing his ground right in front of Sanchez. I would recommend watching the videos I showed in the drowning style article.
43. How can an experienced fighter improve to the next level?
Hey how you been well I just wanted to say your articles have lots of good tips and also wanted to ask u a question I have boxed for about 2years. And iv been getting better but recently it seems I got stuck in that level and I can’t improve
- This is a GREAT question. So many guys jump right past the beginner level and master everything but then can’t seem to transition to the next level. Well here are some things you will have to do to break beyond the beginner level:
- 1) Relearn the basics. There is more than one way to stand, more than one way to jab, more than one way to throw the right hand. It’s great that you have an amazing jab, now you need to have 10 different versions of that amazing jab. You will notice that the technique will start to change which brings me to the second tip:
- 2) Learn to break the rules. You don’t ALWAYS need your hand up all the time. It’s not ALWAYS bad to back straight up. It’s not always bad to bend from the waist or cock your right hand back before you throw it, etc, etc. You’re not a beginner anymore, so stop fighting like a beginner and stop following the rules. Break the mold and add some variety to your movements. If you change the technique in the right way, it CAN be an advantage if you know how to do it right. It’s possible to lean forward for extra reach and without coming off balance…but you have to figure out how to do it!
- 3) Start sparring different guys. Sometimes, your sparring partners are the ones that limit you. They keep doing the same thing which causes you to keep doing the same thing. By changing your sparring partners, you ultimately have to change yourself to adapt.
44. How can I stop myself from letting the elbow out during the right cross?
I really enjoy reading your website and get loads of useful tips from it. But I have a question for you, relating to getting power from my right cross.
Bare in mind I train in Muay thai boxing, so my stance is slightly different to that of a boxing. We tend to stand a bit less narrow, with a wider stance to help with kicks. We also stand more upright rather than lowering ourselves into a stance. However i have noticed that when throwing the cross I tend to lift my elbow out too far, causing me to lose a lot of power and run the risk of extending my elbow. I am guessing that this results in me using my tricep to throw the punch more than my body, obviously resulting in a loss of power.
What can I do to drill this out of me? Any tips?
- Actually, bringing up the elbow during the right cross makes it more powerful (depending on your body type). Bringing up the elbow solidifies that arm better. It’s not so much that it makes you punch with your triceps, it’s more because it helps you rotate your entire arm better.
45. What’s your opinion of using boxing training for cardio?
Hey, first of all thanks for the awesome website, it’s extremely informative, but I have a quick question.
So as far as I know, there are no boxing gyms in my area, but I’m interested getting started with boxing. I currently lift heavy weights four times a week, and there’s a heavy bag at the gym where I lift. I was thinking that if I can’t spar or fight, I might as well do some training. I realize that weight training and boxing don’t really complement each other extremely well, but I’m pretty focused on the weights right now and would rather not give that up.
I’ve been doing hill sprints for cardio for a while now, but they’re getting kind of dull. What’s your opinion on using a boxing training routine for cardio? Is it effective, and if so, can you recommend me one?
- Boxing is a great cardio exercise. Check out my “easy boxing workout”.
46. How do I get started with boxing?
Jonny, my name Is Matt and I got alot of time on my hands which Is a very bad thing for someone like me. Last week I was at a friends house and was very upset. “This also Is a bad thing for me” I went to the basement where there was an old pair of gloves next to an old heavy bag. I put on the gloves and tried to throw a few blows. After I messed around for a minute I felt so good I didn’t even remember what I was mad about. The reason I say that this could save lives Is because I am a recovering addict who up until last week was having to sit on his hands to keep from relapsing. Since the day with the Bag I have been going to the YMCA for practice. Today was different though. Last night I singed up to Expert Boxing.com and started to read. What I read helped me so much today. What Im trying to say Is that I believe that God put that bag in my friends basement for a reason. I don’t think about using anymore, all I think about Is how can I get better at boxing. I really was hoping to continue to learn but I don’t know where to go or what to do. I know I need to find a gym but do I need to find a trainer? If you could email me back some advice on where to go from here, It would help me so much. Thank you.
- Find the nearest boxing gym (not a fitness gym!) and come inside. They should be able to pair you up with a trainer and off you go!
47. How many times should a beginner amateur spar per week?
I came across your website a few months back while I was learning how to box and preparing for the Regional Golden Gloves Tournament in El Paso, TX. I was impressed with everything on there!
Thing is, I’m 38, soon to be 39 and although I love the sport and the only male in my family to not become a boxer (Puerto Rican Heritage), I had never stepped in to the ring before January.
A lot of good came out of my venture. I dropped weight from 187 to 165lbs. My cardiovascular endurance took a 180 turn, and I a saw abs that I’d never seen before; our sparring sessions seemed more like brawls than opportunities to learn. My first sparring session went to my advantage. I was facing another over 35 year old fighter who had been doing it for a few months now. We were told to just get in there and apply what we’ve learned over the last few weeks and let our punches fly. Well, I did. The sparring session didn’t last very long and I was able to knock him down twice. He stopped. I felt great, a bit guilty but great. Since the match only went one round, the gym owner had me spar his protege. A 19 year old, 7 year veteran. That only lasted two rounds. I continued sparring this kid on a few occasions and could never figure how to overcome his flurries or counters. In the process, I injured my nasal septum, had to get my neck adjusted at the C4-C5 level and was in constant pain. We were sparring at about 75% three times a week. At 38, my body couldn’t take it. I withdrew from the tournament but continue training 3 times a week. I have been able to maintain my weight at 165lb but it haunts me that I did not follow through. I still want to pursue this dream and keep a promise I made to my father before he died. I want to fight in a novice, sub-novice tournament….Win or lose, I want to give it my all and be able to look up at my dad and say, “I did it.”
Just looking for some guidance and advice. As a beginner, how should a sparring session flow, and how many times a week?
- Sparring sessions for someone at your level can just be 2-3 light sessions a week. Keep it light or you’ll hurt yourself. You should only increase the intensity when you can do it without getting hurt. Let me know how you do in that first fight and good luck!
48. Is it a good idea to buy weighted boxing gloves?
Great site! I have learned so much thanks to you. I now have a question. I am currently trying to buy a weighted pair of boxing gloves from Title. Do you think it is a good idea? I am looking to hit the heavy bag with them.
- Personally I don’t use weighted gloves and neither does any other competing boxer I know. Speed comes from speed training (fast shadowboxing or other types of speed training like speed bag) and power comes from good technique. If anything, having weighted gloves on will only apply downwards force on your arms instead of a force opposite of your punching motion (which is probably what you wanted). You can use those weighted gloves to develop better shoulder conditioning but don’t expect to increase your punching power by much if at all.
49. How can I tell if my opponent is throwing a straight right or an overhand right?
First off let me Commend on this masterpiece of a website, the manner in which you describe each counter and exchange is inspired.
I have a question regarding the proper evasive maneuver for overhand rights/ straight rights. I have a very difficult time telling whether my opponent’s imminent punch is a straight right or overhand right, this results in me often trying to slip left only to slip directly into a nasty overhand. Likewise I often think the opponent is throwing an overhand and accordingly I try to weave under it but this often leads to me catching a right straight in the skull. I have even tried to adopt the shoulder roll style to help reduce this threat but the style is so different from what I’m used to I’m not very effective in its use.
Is slipping far to the left to avoid the over hand right a viable defense? any advice or suggestions at all regarding defense of overhand rights and straight is greatly appreciated,
- GREAT QUESTION, Austin! Damn, I wish all questions were as fun as this one. Ok, yes: it’s AWFULLY hard to tell if it’s a straight right or a wide right. The reason why is because the right shoulder almost opens the same. (Unlike a jab vs left hook where the left shoulder will open differently.) So since you can’t watch the right shoulder, you now have to watch the fist and see if it’s coming straight or around…but the problem is if you wait for the fist it’s too late by the time you see moving.
- The trick is not to watch his hand but rather to see where YOUR HEAD is positioned. The farther away you place your head, the more likely he is to throw straighter. The closer you place your head, the more likely he is to throw a little wider. Now let’s go over the “what if’s”. IF he throws it wide from long distance, you have little to worry about because you can see it from far away. IF he throws it straight from short distance, any evasive movement you would have done for a wide right would still be effective.
- It’s also not only your head placement but your foot placement. Are you standing more squared up? Or more sideways? The way you stand might be leaving you open for the right hand.
- Another question to ask yourself…IS your left hand down? ‘Cause if it is, then that’s what’s making it easy for him. If you leave you left hand up more often, you can more easily influence his decision to throw straight or wide. Another thing to do is to keep your left hand busy. Keep sticking that jab in his face so that his right hand is never thrown for free, it always has to work around your jab. This greatly cuts down the vulnerability of your face while allowing you to score some points. (Of course, don’t jab in a way that leaves you vulnerable to right hands.)
- Slipping far too the left works but it can leave you off balanced. A better idea might be to slip “UP”. Lift your head a bit so his right hand will miss and pass under you. Most right hands have a slight downwards trajectory and so you can slip them by raising your back (NOT YOUR CHIN) and even firing a simultaneous right hand counter. Please read my guide on [countering right hands]. There are many ways to evade a right hand using head movement, body movement, foot movement, or a combination of more than one.
50. Are you going to put up tips and drills for the double-end bag?
Hey Johnny, love your site! Just wondering if your going to do some training tips and drills for the double end bag?
I’ve been boxing for about a year with one smoker fight (win). Recently I had to switch my training to early morning, and it’s very hard to get training and sparring partners. I can only make it to my gym sometimes once a month at night hours when everyone else is there. Apparently training at 5:30 am is “too early” for all these guys, HA. I am very serious and dedicated to the sport and will do anything to get better. Shit, I’d love to come train with you for a week! Haha
- Yes, I will. It will happen when I do it. Hmmm, I’ve never trained a reader before…
51. How would you teach boxing to beginners?
I found your site the other night and I have to say I love it. You have tons of great information and as a complete newbie to the boxing world it’s really helping out. Thanks for putting in the time to make it.
On the other hand I have a question. There’s not really any gyms around here so I’ve pretty much been reading, filming myself shadowboxing, looking at what I did right and wrong, and working from there. In an attempt to find some people to spar with I decided to talk two friends into trying it out.
When it comes to teaching others, especially those already a bit reluctant to try the sport, how would you introduce it to them, and how would you go about actually teaching?
Thanks for all the help!
- I would probably teach the basic punches along with their numbers: 1-6. And then work with them on the mitts until their technique is good enough to shadowbox on their own. Let them shadowbox and hit the bags. Then teach basic defense techniques and start slow sparring.
52. How can I train my punches without injuring my joints?
I’m worried about the snapping damage done to your elbow when you shadow box at 100%. My trainer says go for 100% speed, not 100% power when shadow boxing – but that makes no sense, to go 100% speed you need to go 100% power to increase the velocity. Which leads me to believe you should never (or sparingly) throw 100% punches (whether you class it speed or power) when you are shadow boxing – because it is actually safer for the ligaments and joints to have something to hit instead of just snapping the punch in the air.
Many guys in my club have had issues with their elbows and shoulders, I noticed a correlation between the injured members and the way they shadow box. The one’s that had nickling injuries over the course of their time in boxing were the ones who were throwing it all in shadow boxing, going as fast as they possibly can. My theory is for long term safety you shouldn’t punch at 100% without something to hit – h.bag, double end, speedbag, pad etc and that when shadow boxing you should concentrate on the technique and movement behind throwing. Do you have an opinion on this, seeing as you are obviously a fan of the speed shadow boxing?
- Your trainer is correct. Go for 100% speed, not 100% power. It’s possible because speed comes from the speed of your limbs (hands and feet) whereas power comes from the core (which you will leave unactivated or don’t activate as much).
- Injuries can result from hitting objects (impact on the joints) or even hitting the air (hyperextension of the elbow). The guys that are putting full force in shadowboxing are the experienced ones. It’s better for them to throw at full force at the air than into an object, it will save the joints over time. I wouldn’t say they got their injuries from shadowboxing. Boxing will injure your joints eventually if you stress them with repeated impact. Even the most well-trained technically correct boxers will eventually experience some joint pain. It’s inevitable when you’re hitting a moving target like the human head/body which can be at imperfect angles and impact the wrist unevenly when punches land.
- The best way to avoid joint injuries while punching is to properly warm-up the joints. There are a list of wrist rolling and elbow rolling and shoulder rolling exercises you can do to prepare the arm before using them.
53. What’s the best way to get in shape for a boxing tournament?
Hello, this is Anthony…I would like to know the best way to get in shape for a boxing tournament ex) Golden Gloves or National PAL Championships
- Train like hell. I’m not going to type out a full training program so I would say go to a gym and train like how the pros train.
54. How can I look more aggressive to the judges?
Thanks for your help man. I was wondering what to do to make judges believe that you are the better one when it is hard to chose from the two boxers. Or, put simply, how to show that you are the agressive one?
- Show more effort: throw more punches and harder punches. Use more forwards and sideways movement instead of backwards movement. Always counter instead of passively defending. If you get hit, immediately score one back to even the score.
55. How should your body feel while throwing a left hook?
After doing some research on the internet, I found your site. I enjoy all the tips I found on your site, thanks for putting them up. However, I am currently a beginner in boxing and currently I am seeking how to understand the movement of a hook (inside and outside). What I mean by that is not necessarily the visual mechanics of your body alignment, but also how it feels through out your body when you’re throwing a hook. I find it is helpful for me to learn a new technique if I can span my awareness to feel the correct motion. When I am throwing a hook, where should I feel it in my body? Thanks for your help on this ahead of time.
- First is the relaxed tension. Your body is relaxed but poised to strike. Then comes the release where you let the left fist and elbow out. Then comes the contracted turnover, where you exhale explosively (with a small short compact breath) and while contracting your left shoulder, left chest, and left bicep all simultaneously, you pivot to the right as your left hand impacts the target while being pulled back home. The left elbow swings just as powerfully as your left fist.
56. How should I train on the double-end bag?
Hi Johnny – Love the website and visit regularly.
I was wondering if you could provide a workout guide for training with the double-end bag. I have one and feel that I’m not getting the most from it. In fact, I’m not entirely sure what to do with it.
I don’t know if I should treat it like a heavy bag where I need to use perfect punches, or, more like a speed bag where punch technique takes a back seat to fluid contact with the bag. For the most part, I’ve been doing something more in the middle, combined with defensive body and head movement.
Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks!
- Treat it more like a speed bag. Use a speed bag rhythm, but hit it with normal boxing punches like you would throw on a heavy bag. Again, you’re supposed to be hitting it with a speed bag rhythm—which is consistent hits and not too hard if you can’t maintain non-stop hits. Mixing in some head and body movement is ok but make sure you can hit it first.
57. Can you email me stuff to eat?
i recently startedd boxing and i was wandering if u can email me soome stuff to eat im 15 years old about 149 lbs and 5’8 …i would like u to give me the food schedule to eat please
- LOL. You mean like send you pictures of food over email? I’m jk. Ok here’s a super easy diet. Breakfast, eat a bowl of cereal. 2 hours later, eat a banana and some nuts. 2 hours after that, eat a sandwhich and salad for lunch. Then protein bar before workout. Then some pasta for dinner. And maybe another fruit or yogurt before going to bed.
58. How should a beginner be training?
Hey, I’m a beginner boxer at the age of 25 (started a month ago at 24 years old) and I’m definitely just out of shape. I’m overweight by quite a bit for where I want to be, and it’s difficult for me to get into a lot of the conditioning that you recommend on your site. I realize I’ll have to work towards this before I intend on doing any actual fighting of any kind, outside of basic sparring. For example, your beginners workout would be way above the intensity level that I can currently do. Would you recommend doing a bite sized version of these exersizes in order to get myself in better condition so that I can actually do the rest of these workouts or do you think there is a better way to condition myself for these things that I am not doing? Currently I’m working out probably 4 times a week for about an hour each time, mixing in mitt work, shadow boxing, jump roping, running, and just general technique work with my trainers.
I also had a couple questions on a few more specific things…
First, do you ever think it is “too early” to spar? Or that there should be a certain amount of training that takes place before you actually spar with somebody? I’m not talking about the stupid version of sparring where the two people are really going after each other, but the sparring with intention of learning that you talk about a lot on this site. I’ve only been boxing for this one month, and I’ve only done about one round of simple sparring with one of my trainers. I don’t want to over extend myself, but I do want to get myself better at boxing if at all possible.
Second, an issue and/or difficultly that I have with my own boxing is that I really want to nail the fundamentals of each punch down so that they look pretty much flawless – that doesn’t sound like a bad thing necessarily, but I find myself being a little bit mechanical at times and even though the form is definitely there my trainer is constantly reminding me (and everyone in our class) that we need to relax more… Got any tips for helping me relax while maintaining form other than just practicing a lot so the form is second nature? Being relaxed while fighting will also likely come to me more when I have better conditioning.
Third, this is a more specific questions… How do you fight against the shoulder roll defense? As a boxer who primarily knows straight punches well (and the left hook) I was having difficulty landing shots against this technique. Is it a matter of movement? Having a larger repertoire of punches and angles that you can throw from? Specific positioning? What are the weaknesses of this technique and how can boxers more adequately make an offensive push against it? Just curious as to what you had to say, as even when I watch professional fights there are certainly boxers who have a lot of trouble against this technique.
I love your website and all the work you do, especially the simple videos.
- Ok, this is a lot to answer and already explained in guides on my website. Please read everything on the site. It will answer all your questions if not more.
- If the workout I suggested feels too much, then simply adjust it to your needs. There’s no rule saying you can’t remove or change anything. It’s never too early to spar as long as you don’t spar beyond your level. You should relax by breathing and letting your body move instead of always trapping it into rigid forms. The shoulder roll can be beat with effective aggression and timing. Stand behind his left shoulder and bomb him with left hoks around his left arm and throw right hands over his right shoulder.
59. How can I train boxing without a gym?
I m a BE student of 18 from nepal. Boxing is my only passion and desired aim so i am wishing to take an formal boxing course and wanna be a the one who i want to be. On your site i found many important tips requires for me. But there are not any such better boxing traning institute for my formal course so i am jst doing exercises like running 6 km , push ups , skipping and sit ups . Are they sufficient for me. I need your help brother as you are expert.
Moreover i want to be your student so i wanna learn from you..
I hope for your positive suggestions
- You should purchase my How to Box in 10 days guide and follow it to learn the fundamentals. Ultimately, you will have a disadvantage against those who train at boxing gyms.
60. Can you teach me how to be evasive?
Can you teach me how to bob and weave and duck punches and how to set up deadly attacks and how to dance around the ring?
- Yes, I can. You can start by reading the guides in the defense techniques and footwork guides. Some of the basic footwork guides are in the boxing basics section.
61. How can I improve my stamina?
Hi, I know you must get a bunch of questions and requests all the time so i’ll try to keep this brief. My name is Simon, I’m 21 and I started boxing roughly a and a half ago. I’m at the awkward stage where I’m not a begginer but I’m not at the amateur level either. Technique and form I have down well enough and can improve on my own. I’m only really concerned about my conditioning. Stamina has always been my problem. What are some good ways i can tweak my workouts to improve my stamina? And could you give a basic ballpark schedule on how many times I should train in order to prepare for amateur level boxing. As of right now I go to the boxing gym 3-4 days a week and workout 1-2 times at my school gym.
Final thing, I want to get a trainer but am strapped for cash. Do you think that they are absolutely necesarry in order to compete and excell? I want to start sparring asap but unsure if anyone will let me if I have no trainer. I’m not new to fighting, I can take hits and fight back. I think if I spar all the time, the experience alone should be sufficient. Getting there seems to be the real issue.
- You will need a trainer if you want to compete. Otherwise, you will be competing against guys with far more experience in their corners than yourself. I’m not saying it’s impossible but I’m saying you’ll be at a heavy disadvantage. Unless you like fighting with disadvantages, you have no choice but to find a trainer. Depending on where you live, there may be some good FREE community boxing trainers available to work with you.
62. Can you make more videos on boxing basics?
hey your website is awesome you should make videos on the basics in boxing
- Yes, I can. Check them out the ExpertBoxing youtube channel.
63. Can you write more guides on footwork?
Dear Expertboxing(i’m sorry I don’t now your name):
I wish to thank you for your excelent and very complete channel of information and your emails with very helpful tips. (Im sorry if it is a bad english mine but I am from Chile)
The way you transmit a complex and excelent sport like boxing in such a simple and easy way its helping me in notourios measure. I wish to thank you again and asking by the way, if you could please write some articles refering to the improvement of footwork, I think that will help me and others.
- Hi David. I’m Johnny. Yes, I will be writing more guides on footwork. Just for you
64. Should I use weighted vests for calisthenic exercises?
Hey there, Johnny!
I recently read your article on weight lifting and found it very enlightening. My question is this: what is your opinion on weighted vests used for calisthenic exercises (pushups, pullups, squats, dips, core work, etc)? Would you still classify it as weightlifting or is there some sort of middle ground it falls into? If the movements performed are explosive, would it be still be helpful? What about gradually increasing in weight?
Let me know what you think!
- I think you can if you absolutely have expert-level mastery of bodyweight exercises. Personally, I wouldn’t use a weighted vest. Instead of adding weight to a regular push-up, I would find a new way or new angle to do push-ups. Some bodyweight exercises can definitely be considered heavy weight-lifting depending on how you do it but I would say the calisthenics will help you balance your body out better. My focus is not on increasing the weight but on increasing the difficulty and level of FUNCTIONAL ABILITY. Adding 10% effort is not as important as adding 10% overall functional ability…as in developing strength in new angles or new muscles.
65. How can I stop being afraid of injury and make my body move faster?
Im 19 years and im doing boxing from 5 months.In this months i’ve done sparing 3,4 times,1st time while doing sparing my nose was broked and i got serious injury second time it broked again and also third time from this i’ve got lil bit of fear inside me so how can i remove this fear and make my body move faster to defence pls help me
Thanks & Regard
- To improve your defense, train your defensive technique! To remove your fear, start working on building confidence, stop sparring beyond your level!
66. How can I create openings in a fight?
- Openings present themselves because your opponent is punching or focusing his defense somewhere. So you can either wait for him to punch first (not always a great idea) or you can attack him somewhere to draw his defense to it and cause him to reveal himself somewhere else.
67. How much do you charge for personal boxing lessons?
hey was sip my name daryl and would like to know do you train? if so how much would you charge?
- I would probably charge an arm and a leg! Well, actually I am not a personal trainer for hire because all my free time goes to training my own competing fighters. If someone really wanted personal lessons from me, he can email me and I will see what I can do. I’d be more interested in teaching at workshops/clinics/seminars where I can train more than just one person.
68. How can I fight with contacts? Any tips for inside fighting?
Been following your site for a while and appreciate all the material you put out. Just thought I’d put out two quick questions:
1. I have contacts and I normally train and spar in them. But as soon as I get hit in the eye, my contacts pop out and throws off my vision/depth perception til my eyes refocus. Besides just not getting hit, any suggestions to deal with that?
2. Got any tips for inside fighting (combos, defense, footwork, everything)? Maybe another awesome article?
Thanks and keep up the good work,
- I fight with contacts and don’t have that problem. Then again, I don’t get hit as much. Your contact lens might not be the proper steepness for your eyes. You should check with your optometrist to see if he/she can get you some contacts that more closely matches the steepness of your eyes so the contacts don’t slide around as much.
- I do have inside fighting guides on the way. For now, the big tip I would give you is to try and SURROUND your opponent on the inside. When you go inside, imagine that you are surrounding him instead of him surrounding you. This way he feels more trapped in his shell while you feel like you can blast him from all angles and evade in whatever direction you want.
69. How do you use the reflex bag?
hi johnny i have recently been given a reflex bag but am unsure the correct way to use this could you advise me how to use it effectively thankyou
- We have one at my gym and I have no idea how to use it either. I hate that thing, it swings too slowly and isn’t particular effective for developing power or rhythm. I guess you could say you could use it for timing but it just doesn’t inspire me as much as the other bags (heavy/speed/double-end). Let me know if you ever figure it out.
70. How can I get into boxing competition?
Hi, my name is Jacob, im 17, and go to highschool in Missouri. First of all i’d like to say that your website has helped me alot to get started somewhat and get me excited for a possible future in boxing. Ive been looking and have yet to find a gym or trainer(that i can afford) to do any proper training but i do have handwraps, gloves, and a heavy bag. I also have access to my highschools weightroom before and after school that has a jump rope for me to use. I wont be able to devote myself fully to it until this summer but im very anxious to throw myself into the world of boxing and see how far i can push myself. I do have a history of weightlifting and am currently enrolled in a weight training class at school so i wont be able to stop that until summer either. Id like to train up and have some amateur bouts and possibly even get into the pro ring.
Im contacting you for advice though, im kind of running around in the dark on how i should be training and wondering if you could give me any idea of what i should be doing and in what amounts to get myself ready for this all? I will continue reading your site trying to get a better idea on what to do and a response would be GREATLY APPRECIATED! Thanks for taking the time to read this. i hope that you could help me with my problem!
From a highschooler hoping to become a boxer!
- You have to look up some local boxing gyms and check them out. See how they train, see if they have any champions in there. They should be able to hook you up with a trainer and get you started. Good luck!
71. How do I deal with a hyper-extended elbow injury?
I just saw your post on straight arm punch and I actually replied on there. My range has gotten me into trouble though. I still haven’t figured it out. And while I know I have a range on my opponents, I have yet to figure out how much and how to work it. thus, I have hyper extended my elbow. It isn’t too bad, and gets better when I take a day off but I can’t straighten it all the way. do you have any suggestions for fixing this other than rest? I plan to spar (only with my jab), and take classes (not punching with my cross – right arm at all). I know icing helps inflamation but are there any exercises to speed up the recovery? I fight my first fight in the golden gloves in a month so I just want to get this thing taken care of so I can train properly before my first fight! I really enjoy your website, it is very well done in my opinion. The pictures you post which show what you are explaining is SO HELPFUL as well! Thank you for sharing!
- Good rest and rotating your elbows around helps to loosen up the joints. You can prevent hyper-extension by giving your arms a good warming up before you start throwing hard punches. It really helps to shadowbox slow for a bit. I have long lanky arms so I hyper-extend every now and then too. Hurts like hell!
72. Do I have to wrap up or wear gloves for the speed bag?
To Johnny or whom it may concern,
I have recently started using a speed bag for cardio/warm up work. I have found a lot of info on boxing sites about gloves but not specifically when using the speed bag. Unless I am missunderstanding. Do you recommend using gloves or wrapping your hands/wrists? If so, follow some info on other websites about type and/or size?
I appreciate your help.
- Gloves are definitely not needed for the speed bag. Most people use handwraps or nothing at all. Personally, I like being barehanded so my hands can “feel” and “grip” the speed bag better. Hitting it with handwraps can be annoying as the speed bag slips off the wraps. Some people do not like hitting bare-handed because it feels like the bag is skinning their knuckles although I suspect this might also have to do with poor timing.
73. How should I slip to avoid getting hit?
first of all thank you for all that wonderful info on your site. I am a boxing beginner and have trouble covering the distance to even land my punches. When I do land a hit – i often have to eat some punches myself, also i don’t have a very long reach. So figured I try out those combos that incorporate slips, like the 1-slip-2, slip-2-3-2 or slip-2-1-1. Now you said that you should always slip to the outside of the punch. So when I start with a slip i figure that I expect an (orthodox) jab – but when I punch 1 then slip then punch 2, where do I slip to, or I just mix it up? Or do you look out for his punch before I slip -everything happens so fast…
thank you very much for your time and all the best from Germany
- Well you don’t ALWAYS have to slip outside. And yes, you have to mix it up instead of evading the same way every time. If you’re new to boxing, I would suggest working on blocking and parrying techniques before your learn to slip. Slipping is pretty advanced and quite hard to do if you haven’t yet developed the reflexes and coordination.
74. Is my workout good enough for amateur boxing?
I’m 21 years old now. I train with a trainer for 5 months then he went back home to korea. I than joined golden glove boxing gym here in Goldsboro nc I paid for my private class $225.00 a month for 5 month I took my classes 5 day a week from 2:30pm to 3:30pm monday to friday…i work 9:30am to 2:00pm train at the gym 2:30pm- 3:30pm work at 4:00pm to 10pm but he never train me only hit heavy bag and little pad work and jump rope and go run. out of the whole 5 days a week I’ll only train with him one or two days all the other days I’ll only run and hit heavy bag. Most of the time he’s never there… So I stop going to there gym… Here my what I do now… I train at my house what can I do to improve? Dose my hight matter? People say I’m to short to fight in boxing… I’m 5’2 130lb 8% body fat… I really want to go amateur boxing….
My work out for 3 months now
3.5-4 mile run 2:30pm
10min jump rope
5min shadow box
10 min Speed bag
10min double end
15min pad with my brother
Abs wheel 3 sets of 25
Squat 3 sets of 40 no weights
Abs sit up wit 15lb weight 3 set of 25
Sipper man push up 3 set of 16
Tuseday and wensday
2:30pm 3.5-4 miles run
10min jump rope
5 min shadow box
15 speed bad
Slip line 3 min
Foot work T cone 10 sets
Pad work 15 min
Pull up 3 sets 16
Abs set up 200
Push up 100
2:30pm run 3 miles
100 push up
100 sit up
- It looks like you have a nice routine but I think you’ll need to do a little more than that especially for amateur level competition. Training at home is going to be hard for success in the amateurs. I would at least visit a gym every now and then to learn their routines and also spar.
75. When should I “suck it up” vs when to “let the body rest”?
First of all, love the site: great layout, great content, and I really look forward to updates.
I’d like to know your opinion on rehabbing minor injuries – when to “suck it up” vs “listen to your body”. For example, I recently pulled a muscle in my upper back, and will probably miss a week of training. I’ve worked through injured toes, shoulders, etc. in the past, but I think this one is going to linger if I don’t give it some time. How do you make a call on when to dive back in?
- I usually let my body rest as much as it needs. Either you’re training way too hard or not resting enough or a combination of both. A general rule is to train extra hard only on one or two days of the week. The other days can be hard but not excessively extremely impossibly hard. As for injuries, I will let them rest if I their presence affects the productivity of my training. “Suck it up” is something you say to a little kid that’s crying in discomfort, or a boxer in the middle of a fight, not something a serious athlete training through chronic injury should do. Injuries are a common cause of premature retirements in young athletes!
76. Which hook is good horizental or verticle?
- Both. Use them at the right time. Horizontal ones are better at close range and vertical ones are better at long range.
77. Why is it not recommended to train without wraps or gloves?
I practise boxing on the big bag without gloves or wraps. My fists, wrists and the skin on my knuckles have become super hard as a result of the ‘conditioning’.
My punching power has also radically increased. However, i have heard that this is not a good practise, why is that?
- Wraps and gloves are there to protect your hands. The day will come when you punch hard enough to injure your fragile wrist. Hopefully you’re not barehanded in that moment. It’s also a good idea to train with gloves so you can get used to their weight during sparring or in competition. Hitting a bag with perfect form is easy. The hard part comes when you land punches with your wrist at a bad angle because your opponent was moving.
78. What punch will deliver the most force in a punching game(its a bet)?
- The right cross will probably have the most force if all you’re measuring is pure force in the punch. However if you’re look at the most force applied to your opponent, it might sometimes be the left hook if it catches him in the right angle at the right time.