One of the biggest challenges for amateur and professional boxers, or fighters in other combat sports, is weight management. It is difficult to stay in the same boxing weight class when you are not competing and getting back to that weight can take them towards some extreme measures.
Boxers don’t need to take any extraordinary weight loss measures if they maintain their weight properly.
There are 3 keys to keeping your weight at a manageable level, so you don’t have to scramble to lose weight during training camp or in the weeks coming up to the fight.
Boxing Weight Management Key # 1 – Proper Nutrition
Many boxers change their diet when they are not training for a fight, which is natural. But you shouldn’t let the diet get out of hand.
This is the reason the switch over to a high protein and low carbs diet, so they can lose weight, during training camp. That diet spells disaster for boxers and fighters.
Protein is essential, of course, but the grueling nature of the training camp requires carbohydrates as well.
Without carbohydrates in your system, your recovery after the workouts and other functions of the body will be impaired.
Make it a rule to have carbs along with the proteins when you have a meal. These carbs should be good ones, like whole wheat foods.
What happens to your body without Carbs?
When you aren’t eating enough carbs and you still train like crazy, then your body goes into a catabolic state.
This is where the body starves without the carbs and starts using muscle as an energy source.
In simple words, you will burn your muscle mass, decrease your energy output, and eventually your performance. All because you aren’t eating enough carbs in your diet.
Boxing Weight Management Key # 2 – Measure Body’s Performance
Most boxers perform weight checks after regular periods, whether they are in training camp or not.
But weight doesn’t tell the whole story about the kind of weight that you need to manage.
This requires a bit of explanation.
How can you make sure you are losing the right kind of weight?
The weight that you are losing might be muscle and not fat. The weight checks will only show that you have lost weight but not the kind of weight that you have lost.
You should have a medical professional examine your body and tell you whether your body is storing fat and burning muscle or not.
Some boxers have storage of fat on their lower abdomen which goes unnoticed. This means that you are retaining water and fat and it will difficult for you to make weight even with difficult weight loss methods.
There are also urine tests for ketones.
They can tell you if your body is using muscle as fuel instead of fat.
Boxing Weight Management Key # 3 – Choice of Workout Routines
Some fighters stay away from weight training when they are in training camp.
They believe the myth that weight training will make them slow and make them gain weight.
This isn’t true.
What does strength training do for boxers?
Power and strength exercises are crucial in building punching power and increasing the speed of your hits.
Weight training can affect your weight, however, you can manage that with the right diet, selection of exercises and timing of the exercises.
In the early days of your training camp, you should perform pure weight training routines.
As the camp progresses, lean towards exercises that help you build your speed and power.
This way you will not gain weight and still get the workout that you require when you step into the ring.
For boxers who don’t have an upcoming fight, they should stick to their normal weight training routine.
By sticking to these keys, you will not only have a good handle on your boxing weight but also lean muscle, strength, power, speed, and a healthy body when you step into a ring.