Tom's Boxing Blog

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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- One week until I have my live one-minute round on Daybreak. I’m still nervous about the idea of stepping into the ring; however, I know Art has a plan.

The theme this week with exercises was three minutes. Each drill I did, no matter how tough, was timed out to simulate how long I would be in the ring next Thursday.

We started off doing shadow boxing with small weights. Nothing major here, but the length of time throwing punches made me work up a sweat. Do not underestimate how long three minutes is. It may seem short, but when you’re giving 100 percent and throwing punches it seems far longer.

We moved on to the heavy bag drill next. Throughout my two weeks of boxing training, no drill has been tougher. The exercise involves me throwing non-stop punches into a heavy punching bag for three straight minutes. The weight of the bag is supposed to simulate what it would feel like hitting a person. We did two rounds of this. You can begin to imagine how exhausting this is when I say I was winded after about three-quarters of the way through the first round.

Next up were medicine ball drills. I was paired up with another boxer at the gym, and we did dual exercises with the ball. Throwing the ball, catching it, and doing sit-ups with the ball were all a part of the drill. This did a lot of work on my abs and it helped build my strength and endurance. I’ve seen athletes in other sports do this and now I know why. This is a full body workout.

Last, but certainly not least, were endurance and strength stretches; push-ups, sit-ups, and “Superman stretches”. None of this was easy. The funniest part about it was the kids who were also a part of the class were making me look silly. I was often far behind were they were in the drill. I clearly have to build up my endurance.

One week to go and I am feeling more confident. This was a tough workout but I felt much better about myself afterwards.

We’ll see how the match goes. Until then, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at tdempsey@whsv.com.

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Week 1) Art wasn’t lying when he said boxing was going to be one of the toughest workouts I have ever been through. Within 15 minutes of being at the Staunton Boxing Gym, I was wondering what I had gotten myself in to.

We started off by doing the ropes drill: Two things of rope that you hold in each hand while picking your arms up and down. It may sound simple, but it is far from an easy workout. Fifteen seconds of doing this can tire you out. I especially felt the burn in my shoulders and arms quickly after the drill.

Next it was the catching drill. Art says this will help with my defense when I step into the ring on Feb. 20. The drill requires me to wear a pad on each hand, and then command my partner on what punches to do and in what order. This was a little nerve-wracking at first, but after a while I got the hang of it. I’m sure it will be much different when I actually have punches being thrown at my head and body with the intent of winning a match.

The punching drills were truly when the workout started to pick up in intensity. Just throwing a series of jabs for 30 seconds is a workout in and of itself. Art showed me the 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-punch combo moves (all are a series of jabs and hooks). It took me a while to get the hang of the maneuvers but by the end of it, Art said I had good technique and power behind some of my punches. Learning all of the punching techniques will obviously take some time. I expect this to be one of the areas we work on over the next two weeks before the bout.

The last exercise was the most that brought the most agony: Cards. It involves going through an entire deck of playing cards with each card representing a different workout. Squats, pushups, sit-ups, and “Superman stretches” are all a part of it. It took us about 15 minutes to get through the whole deck and by the end of it, I was truly exhausted. My shirt was covered in sweat, parts of my body ached, and I was dying for a glass of cold water.

My first boxing training session is over and I feel good about it. This reminds me very much of summer drills we used to do when I played football in high school. It’s a tiring experience but one you feel better about yourself upon finishing.

Two weeks to go before I step into the ring for a live 3-minute bout on Daybreak. I still have lots of things to learn, steps to practice, and exercises to complete. However, I know if I stay focused on the goal this will all be a rewarding experience.


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