Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Wednesday's Small Training

I didn't do much training today; it was another hectic work day. I did manage to get in 20 minutes of roadwork, so that is something. :-)

Tuesday: An Unplanned Day Off

I planned to work out today. However, work got in the way, so I will have to resume tomorrow. We had our practice tonight, so I had to miss that. Argh. It's always something. Nevertheless, I'll be back at it on Wednesday.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Taking the Holiday Off

Today is this week's day of rest. It's a planned day off, so I am not slacking. Heh.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sunday's Training

1 hour and 24 minutes of roadwork today. Ah, gotta love these nice long weekends!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Saturday's Training

Beautiful day outside. 60 minutes of roadwork today. I feel more fit already! :-)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wednesday Practice

This was a good workout. Here's the breakdown:
  • 33 minutes of roadwork
  • 9 rounds on the pads with Bernard
  • 3 rounds on the heavy bag
  • 2 rounds of shadowboxing
  • 2 rounds on the double-end bag (the bag that hits back!)
  • 2 rounds of stretching

We had a decent turnout today. Mike B. and the Judge were there. Tim stopped by for about 60 seconds; he's getting married this weekend (congratulations, Tim and Christine!). We had a new guy, Ron, who worked out with us for the first time. Hopefully, he will become a regular. Overall, it was a good session.

A Friend Celebrates

Over at Boxing Aches, my friend Duncan Higgitt recounts his Tuesday night sparring session. I know the feeling he describes. Good job, Duncan! I hope you and Paul keep up the fine work!

Tuesday's Day Off

I took today off from training. I have a feeling Wednesday is going to be really intense, so I want to be ready for it. I also want to be careful not to overtrain. While I am certainly not fooling myself into thinking I am training at some elite, advanced level that is really beyond me, I have experienced overtraining to a modest degree in the past and it is not a fun experience. Therefore, while I am committed to fitness and improving my skills, I will remember to practice moderation. I do look forward to a very hard workout on Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Monday's Workout and Learning a New Combination

The first day back at the gym this week was good. Tim was not there, but he promises to be back in action on Wednesday. Joining Bernard and me were Rich, Mike B., the Judge, and Andrew. Here's the summary of tonight's workout.
  • 31 minutes of roadwork
  • 8 rounds on the pads with Bernard
  • 5 rounds on the double-end bag, working the 1-2-1 combination (left jab, right cross, left jab)
  • 2 rounds on the heavy bag
  • 2 rounds of shadowboxing
  • 2 rounds of situps and crunches
  • 1 round of stretching

That makes 20 rounds plus the roadwork. Not a bad start for the week (especially counting yesterday).

I got to work on a new combination that I am going to like. In fact, I really like it already. It starts with the basic one-two (left jab followed very quickly by a hard straight right). Then I take a short step forward and to the right (and my opponent's left) and throw a quick left hook, being sure to pivot on my left foot to get the weight behind the punch. The finisher is a straight right or right cross, depending on the angle from which I am facing the opponent.

The key to throwing that combination successfully is this: you must complete the short step forward before throwing the left hook. It's tempting to try to step into the punch to give it more power, but that really doesn't work because you're supposed to be stepping forward and to the right. Another problem is that stepping into the punch leaves you facing slightly away from the opponent and in no position to throw the right hand. Even worse, the opponent can hit you and you are in a very awkward position from which even defending would be difficult, much less counterpunching.

This combination is new and is going to take some work. I can already see how my eagerness to throw it is tempting me to throw the left hook before I have finished the step. I'll work on it with some visualization and will be practicing it many more times on Wednesday and in the practices to come. It will probably be a while before I attempt to use it in sparring, but that is fine; I have plenty of other techniques to use.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Saturday's Workout

Today was a good workout day. I met Tim this afternoon. Earlier in the day, I did 50 minutes of roadwork. Later, I also did:
  • 4 rounds of shadowboxing
  • 3 rounds on the heavy bag
  • 2 rounds on the double-end bag
  • 1 round of stretching

I saw Cory briefly at the gym, too. I feel good about today's work.

Unplanned Day Off

Work got busy, so I didn't get in any workout today. Tomorrow is another day and I plan to use it well.

Friday, May 19, 2006

A Good, Healthy Feeling of Soreness

I'm feeling just a little sore today after yesterday's hard workout. It's a "good" soreness, though. The soreness is not really pain. Rather, it is the feeling that my body has worked well and is recovering from that work. I'm happy to have had the opportunity to work hard on cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, strength, speed, and flexibility.

I don't know exactly what today's routine will involve. Tim is supposed to be back in town today. He had mentioned working out together on Friday or Saturday. If he's flexible, I'll probably recommend that we do the workout tomorrow and I'll focus on some roadwork, shadowboxing, and visualization today. If he won't be available tomorrow, I'll meet with him today.

In any event, it's good to feel just a little sore. Onward and upward!

Thursday's Training

I'm pretty psyched today because I broke the 30-round barrier. I don't know if that means I will always do workouts of more than 30 rounds, but it is a good feeling to have gotten past that point today. Here's the recap.
  • 36 minutes of roadwork
  • 11 rounds on the pads with Bernard
  • 3 rounds of shadowboxing
  • 3 rounds on heavy bag
  • 2 rounds on uppercut bag
  • 7 rounds on double-end bag
  • 3 rounds of situps
  • 2 rounds of stretching

It's a good workout; I'm happy with it. Tonight, Tim was still away on business, but he should be back next week. John C. stopped by and said he'll join us next week. Cory, Mike B., and Rich P. were at tonight's workout with me. More details to follow tomorrow.

Wednesday: A Day Off

No training today. Took it easy. Resting up for Thursday.

Light Workout on Tuesday

28 minutes of roadwork today. An easy day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Monday's Practice Session

Today was good. Today was focused. Today was productive. I worked hard and felt really good. Here's my training report.
  • 25 minutes of roadwork
  • 8 rounds on the pads with Bernard
  • 5 rounds on the heavy bag
  • 4 rounds on the double-end bag
  • 3 rounds of shadowboxing
  • 3 rounds on the uppercut bag
  • 3 rounds of stretching and situps
In total, that is 26 rounds plus the roadwork. It's not the 30 rounds I had hoped to do today, but it's a decent workout nonetheless. I am eager to resume sparring.

We had a fairly good attendance today. In addition to me, Rich, Cory, Kevin, and Mike B. were there. Tim is out of town on business (I am sure glad I don't have his job!) and he won't be back until Friday, which means he won't be back to our practices until next Monday. I am hoping to recruit a few more guys to join us. I know that they will probably become regulars after they attend just one or two workouts with our team. Pat also told me he is hoping to join us soon.

I have a few more club updates, but I'll post those next time when I am not so tired. Now, it is time to get some sleep!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mental Training on Sunday

I took today off from a physical workout. While I was feeling up to doing some punching and shadowboxing, I believe periodic rest is important to allow us to recover from the intensity of training. Therefore, I took a break from physical activities.

Instead, I focused on mental training. I did some visualization of myself in the ring, practicing punches and footwork. I also practiced seeing myself as the winner of the match, getting my hand raised at the end.

Soon, I am going to write some scripts for the mental imagery to make this part of my training more consistent. I will probably record them on my digital voice recorder so I can play them back as a guided imagery session. I think that will help me a lot. If I like the results, I may even upload some of those voice sessions or scripts to this site so others can try them out and adapt them to their own training preferences.

As I am writing more here on the blog and getting more focused again, I find my training is going better; it is more fun and I have a more positive attitude about it. I will continue this way and adapt the training as I go along.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Saturday Roadwork

Today I did 1 hour and 1 minute of roadwork. It was a pretty good day outside. I am staying with the program.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Friday's Outdoor Work

Today I did 34 minutes of roadwork.

Thursday's Workout

OK, I made it back to practice today. The workout was decent, but not stellar. I'll keep improving. Here's the breakdown.
  • 36 minutes of roadwork
  • 5 rounds of shadowboxing
  • 5 rounds on the pads with Bernard
  • 2 rounds on double-end bag
  • 1 round on heavy bag
  • 1 round on uppercut bag
  • 1 round of situps
  • 1 round of stretching

All in all, I got in 16 rounds plus the roadwork. I prefer it to be about 25, but I got a late start today. Also, I was fighting some inertia that threatened to hold me back from my workout. It was the little voice inside that was saying, "Ah, it's raining today. You can go back on Monday..." I am glad I resisted that little voice!

We had a decent turnout. Bernard was back. Also, Mark V., Cory, Andrew, and I were there. It was a good workout, even though I was a little sluggish.

Bernard mentioned that Dr. Kevin is working to get the doctors vs. lawyers charity boxing match arranged. He said so far Doc Kevin is willing to box and one other doctor. I promised to help with finding other Chicago area physicians who would like to participate. I'll phone my friend Glen who coaches the boxers at the East Bank Club and see if he has any guys who want to do it. From my club, we can easily field a whole team of lawyers, so that should be no problem. I've already told Andrew that he needs to be ready for the event. :-)

Who knows? I might even get to face Dr. Kevin in the ring. That would be fun. He's a good guy. I believe the event will raise money for a children's charity, so we'll be doing it for a good cause. Bernard jokingly mentioned that the name of the charity is the "Victims of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Fund." He's trying to have some fun with the doctors-vs.-lawyers theme, but somehow, I doubt there is such a charity. However, it will be fun however it goes.

If any of my readers are physicians in the greater Chicago area and you would like to participate in this event, send me an e-mail at and I'll get you information as it becomes available to me. Even better, I'll get you connected to the guys who are organizing this event. I'll also post further details here when I have them.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wednesday Update

Well, it's not quite what I planned, but I squeezed in 50 minutes of roadwork. (Yeah, Todd, I know. I know.) Tomorrow will be the day for my triumphant return to the gym. The schedule this week has been a bit confused. Bernard has been officiating at a tournament for high school kids, so our practice days were rearranged and I did not know we were going to have a practice on Monday. Anyway, hopefully, I will be back in regular action on Thursday.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Tuesday's Unplanned Day Off

OK, today didn't go as planned. I'll keep trying. Hopefully, I will get some training in on Wednesday.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Monday's Program

Today didn't go quite as planned. I did 23 minutes of roadwork today. Hopefully, Tuesday will be more productive.

Sunday Routine

Today I just did 34 minutes of roadwork. Tomorrow is a gym day, hopefully with Tim.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Boxing with a Poker Face

No, I'm not talking about five-card draw. I'm talking about an excellent article by Ross Enamait about boxing strategy, specifically mental strategy. In this well-written and practical essay about the importance of the mental aspect of boxing, Ross explains how to hide your own fatigue from your opponent and how to capitalize on the situation when you perceive fatigue in him.

As usual, Ross gives us plenty to think about and to implement in the ring. While I am sure I have heard or read some of these pointers before, in various scattered places, Ross neatly packages them into one article for us. This information is really helpful. Learn it. Master it. Use it.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Saturday Outside, and Inside

I got out and did 30 minutes of roadwork today. I also did some visualization, picturing myself boxing with an evenly-matched opponent while performing all offensive and defensive moves, including footwork, perfectly. I am going to develop some more detailed scripts for the visualizations, but since I am easing my way back into this invaluable training method, I am taking my time to get reacquainted with it. I don't want to take on too much too soon and end up discouraging myself when my progress does not meet my expectations!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Friday at the Gym

I did get back to the gym today. As planned, I met my buddy Tim there. I also saw Andrew, another friend of Tim and me. It was a decent workout. Here's today's breakdown.
  • 41 minutes of roadwork
  • 4 rounds of shadowboxing
  • 4 rounds on heavy bag
  • 2 rounds on uppercut bag
  • 1 round on double-end bag
  • 1 round of stretching
  • 1 round of situps

Also, I did some sports visualization today. I'll write much more about this, I'm sure, but my friend Todd has recently reminded me of the important role visualization plays in an athlete's training. (Thanks, Todd!)

Today's visualization was pretty simple. I visualized one round of an amateur bout where I was matched against a taller opponent. I visualized myself doing perfect footwork, being full of energy, and landing hard, quick punches. Again, it was basic, but I haven't done visualization for a while. I'll get back to it more and write more about it soon.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Thursday Roadwork

Today was a fairly simple day: 32 minutes of roadwork. I will be back at the gym tomorrow. I'll have more to post on that topic. too.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rats! Foiled Again! (Sort of)

I mentioned in an earlier post that "it's always something." Today was another example of that. I am feeling much better today, although I can't quite explain why in relation to the pollen and mold reports for my area. I'm not complaining, but according to the reports on the allergens in the local air, I shouldn't be feeling this well. Very strange.

However, despite feeling well, I did not get to boxing practice this evening. I got stuck doing some work projects, so the boxing had to wait. It is frustrating, but a man's got to pay the bills. As a result, this is the only workout I did today:
  • 30 minutes of roadwork
  • 3 rounds of shadowboxing

I hope to do more tomorrow. Also, I am meeting Tim on Friday afternoon for a workout, so things are looking up.

I Guess I'm Not the Only One...

I've been whining about my allergies for the last few days. I'm not the only guy who has missed some training due to allergies/colds/flu and so forth. Duncan Higgitt, one of my counterparts in Wales and the author and publisher of the Boxing Aches blog, has had some difficulties recently, too.

He reports that a "nasty little virus" caused him to miss some training. Happily, though, he is back in training. Good job, Duncan, and get well soon!

Is Boxing "Losing the Battle of Evolution to UFC"?

In this article, Keith Terceira, a respected sportswriter at, suggests that boxing is indeed losing the battle. Mr. Terceira points out valid concerns and he makes a lot of good points. However, there is no reason boxing can't rise to the occasion and be every good as the mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting. Where there's a will, there's a way. The fundamental question, though is: do boxing and its people have the requisite will? We shall see.

White Collars Are Off and Boxing Gloves On

Here is an interesting article from Blackpool, England, about some regular guys training and boxing in a charitable fundraising event. While I'm not wild about the term "white-collar boxing"--I don't care what someone does for a living as long as they are participating in the sport on a recreational level--it seems the event was successful and, hopefully, will generate more support for a growing segment of our sport.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Planned Day Off

I had planned to take a day off from training today. Having the allergies and sinus congestion just confirmed my decision. Back to the gym tomorrow!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Monday's Training

I got back to it today, despite still not feeling 100%. But I am determined. Bernard, our coach, was not able to attend the practice, but I saw Cory, Kevin, and Andrew there. Not my usual intensity, but at least I got back in action.
  • 32 minutes of roadwork
  • 3 rounds of shadowboxing
  • 3 rounds of stretching
  • 3 rounds of practicing pivoting on my left foot and punching, as Bernard recommended
  • 2 rounds on heavy bag
  • 1 round on uppercut bag
  • 1 round on double-end bag

Overall, 13 rounds. Not great, but not terrible. I continue to recover from the "attack of the pollens" and get to a more regular routine.

Allergies Day 3

Today was a bit better, but I am still not at 100%. I remain hopeful because the forecast calls for a "low" level of tree pollen on Monday, so that should let me get back to a more normal routine. Also, we have our scheduled practice on Monday; that provides a bit more motivation and focus and maybe even enough of a push to get in a workout even if I am feeling less than fully well. I did manage to squeak out 31 minutes of roadwork today, so it was not a total wash.