As a Boxing Coach in Watford I spend a lot of my time training clients, if I am not in the gym training, whether that is pad work or sparring then I am out of gym and still working, that could going for a run or it could be updating social media and writing articles such as this. Now in 2019 I had just 3 days out of the gym, New Years day, Christmas day and Boxing day. This means I have to really make sure I am taking time out to sufficiently recover as I am pretty much doing this seven day weeks and if I don’t work I don’t get paid and if I get injured I don’t get paid again so recovery and ensuring I don’t fall ill or get hurt is tantamount, add that to being 41yrs old then you really have to make sure you keep a grip on your health – so what is my first tip to ensure recovery?
1. Vitamin C
Every time I spar or every time I finish a run, I make sure I have a vitamin C drink, this is usually a water soluble tablet of 1000mg Vitamin C, sometimes I will purchase a Vitamin C drink which has added Iron or multi minerals but generally I just get a plain supermarket brand which only costs a pound or so and that has done the job for me. Now I do take multi vitamins and minerals but I am more regimented about my vitamin C intake than anything else.
2. Taking a Nap
Now I realise it is not always possible for you to nap depending on your work life and family life but when you have a physical job such as being a boxing trainer and you are still working out yourself then adding a nap to your sleep routine is something I believe makes a difference. You won’t always get a good night’s sleep so having the routine of getting a nap, whether that is a 30min power nap or a 90min mid afternoon sleep is crucial to your recovery. If I have sparred in the morning or early afternoon and then I have to go back to the gym in the evening I always make sure I get a nap in between, otherwise you will need a lot more caffeine to get you through the evening shift and that is not a good thing if the extra caffeine ends up effecting your sleep.
3. Minimise the Weight Training
Most of you reading this will not be getting paid to fight, you are likely working or going to school etc what this means that as a boxer or trainer you have to spend more time on learning your craft and give a little less time to lifting weights. Weight training especially the heavy lifts such as the deadlift and squat, can place a huge drain on the body and its recovery especially the CNS(central nervous system) so you must manage your workload. I would say it should be the first thing you drop in your routine when things get a little tight because you have to give time to training others, if you are training yourself then the running and technical work must come before the weight training – in boxing you have to work certain muscles, you don’t need to have these muscles showing for all to see. I know I wrote a book on Strength and Conditioning for Boxing but unless you can cycle your training and take days or weeks off, if you a busy trainer like myself then weights should be low down on the priority list.
4. Alone Time
When you are constantly in the gym day in and day out you must find the time and space to get your peace and just switch off, this is somewhat related to making time for a nap but we do also need some time to switch off mentally from all the noise and other bits and pieces we do and just do nothing. For some this could be aimlessly scrolling through YouTube or Netflix watching videos for others it could be going for a long walk or drive, whatever it is you must give your mind a break to drown out the noise around you in your working environment. I don’t talk much at home simply because I am talking so much at work when training others and I just need to sit back and be quiet to help me recharge.
Those are my four main points, I am not going to talk much about diet because quite frankly my diet is pretty poor but I still got through the year with barely any time off. I will state intermittent fasting has helped otherwise you would be snacking and eating all hours of the day, by fasting I am limiting my eating hours to 8-10 hours a day(I tend to fast between 14-16hrs every day) so this has helped manage my weight, you don’t want to become overweight when you are working seven days a week. I could discuss caffeine intake which I take in tablet form either 25 or 50mg to help get through the sessions and I also use the RCR Nutrition pre workout booster around once a week but I am very cautious on taking too much caffeine or anything which gives you a temporary spark or lift in mood simply because I don’t want to get so used to it that I either have to take more for the same effect or I can’t ever work without it. OK so those are my top tips on surviving as a boxing trainer, hopefully if you find yourself flagging one of these tips will help you!