You train hard. You train smart. You leave it all in the gym, on the track, in the ring… and you’ve become a better boxer for it. However, you are starting to question your recovery technique and efforts. It seems like you’re taking too much time to recover from tough workouts. Let’s check out some tips and tricks you can employ to help you bounce back faster from tough boxing training.
Warm Up & Cool Down
Always start your workouts with a warm-up session. You’re about to engage in some high-impact, high intensity training. You want to give your body a chance to raise heart rate, spread oxygen, and prepare muscles for at or near-maximum capacity training. Ten minutes on the treadmill is adequate. Additionally, you should cool down at the end of each workout with some low-intensity walking. You’ll minimize the muscle strain you face, break up lactic acid stores, and bounce back faster from training as a result.
Take Rest Days
Many young boxers enthusiastically enter the gym or the ring each day, training nonstop. This will feel good for a few days. However, over time, the strain and drain faced by your central nervous system (CNS) will become apparent. The body needs breaks in order to rebuild its resource stores. This is necessary for long-term viability. Longer-term wear can lead to muscle tissue damage which might be disguised as soreness. Take a few days rest every six weeks as well, to allow your CNS several true recovery and repair sessions each year.
Most wise boxers keep a journal, recording their training efforts. This allows them to analyze their training later, to see what led to improvements, and what left them run down and weaker. Extremely smart athletes keep a nutritional journal as well, quickly jotting down what they eat each day in order to remain accountable for nutritional choices, as well as to allow for analysis of eating patterns to see what is working, and what is not. Apply this same principle to recovery as well! Write down what time you fall asleep, and what time you wake up. Record how many times you wake up each night – analysis of this may help you to limit how often this happens. Write down any naps you take. Then, compare the rest you enjoy with the training results you see in the following days. You’ll likely realize that more accountable sleep equates to greater training and recovery productivity.
Ice Baths Rock!
If your goal is to defeat soreness from training, then inflammation is your biggest enemy! Lifting, punching, sparring and running create a great deal of micro-tears in your muscle fibers. Lactic acid and cortisol build up. Apply a cold compress to your trained areas to help bring down this inflammation quickly. It may feel uncomfortable at times. However, dealing with some delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) for a few hours such beats facing it for a few days! Use ice packs and baths on a regular basis to recover faster from tough workouts.
Employ a simple stretching routine 2 to 3 times each day to keep your muscles limber and to remove wastes which can accumulate as training time adds up. Target each muscle group individually for a minute or so. Treat trained and untrained muscle groups alike. Complete 3-4 sets of 5 to 7 stretches, holding each stretch for about ten seconds. Use resistance bands for added stretching effectiveness. Record your stretches in your training journal to ensure you use it on a consistent basis.