In order to train like a champ, you have to rest and recover like one.
Recovery has always been an important aspect of individual wellness for boxers and is just as important as your actual workouts. Especially for a high-impact and high-intensity sport like boxing.
Being aware of proper rest and recovery habits is key to recovering quicker, being less sore and getting the full benefits from each workout. In this blog post, we will share with you some practical tips you can apply to your routine to help you bounce back faster from your boxing training.
HOW MANY DAYS A WEEK SHOULD YOU REST?
The biggest question is how many rest days you as a boxer should have.
Floyd Mayweather is known to give himself two days a week off to recover because his training regime is so intense. The late great Muhammad Ali also had a similar routine.
The main thing is to give yourself at least 1 day a week off. That’s the minimum requirement because your muscles and joints need it. All competitive boxers need at least 1 day off.
If you don’t allow yourself at least 1 rest day a week, your muscles and joints won’t grow to be as strong, as powerful and as useful as you want them to be. You’ll be playing yourself.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF REST DAYS?
There are numerous benefits to taking a rest day and allowing your body to recover. Here are just a few of the top reasons you should start incorporating rest days into your routine:
Muscle Tissue Repair
Your muscles experience small microtears after training. During recovery, the body heals these tears. During the repair process, the tissues are built back slightly bigger and stronger.
Rest allows your immune system to function at its best. Your immune system works overtime to restore muscles, joints, and the entire body after strenuous exercise and training and without adequate rest the immune system is unable to restore itself properly, resulting in inflammation.
Reduces StressWhen you are stressed, your body releases stress hormones that may be good for short-term survival (like when you are in a fight), but they are not so good for long-term health. Stress can also lead to anxiety disorders and depression. Taking time to rest helps your body recover from stress, which can improve your health, happiness and performance in training and in the ring.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO DURING REST DAYS?
All boxers should build rest days into their training schedule. Overtraining can lead to exhaustion, sore muscles, and moodiness, which may also make athletes more susceptible to illness or injury. Although it may seem counterintuitive, rest days can actually improve athletic performance.
Here are 5 things that boxers should be doing to make the most of their rest days.
When you are sleeping this is the primary time when your muscles will be recovering through protein synthesis and human growth hormone release. Try to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep to maximize your recovery. This in turn will make you feel well rested and ready to take on the day ahead!
Spend your rest day hydrating your body. Drink more than 5 glasses of water to prevent muscle cramps and eat lots of water-rich fruit, such as strawberries and especially watermelon. If you are too dehydrated after training, your recovery will take longer.
3. GET A MASSAGE
Getting a massage can be extremely useful for recovery as they are able to target those muscles that are usually hard to reach and get used so often in boxing training. Research shows that a massage can actually delay muscle soreness after working out.
4. ICE BATH
Lifting, punching, sparring and conditioning create a great deal of microtears in your muscle fibers.
Ice baths are one of the best ways to help reduce inflammation and increase the way blood and other fluids like lactic acid flow through the body. If you don’t have access to an ice bath try having a cold shower or going for a swim in a cold lake.
The heat in the sauna imitates similar stress patterns to the cardiovascular system, like running or jogging. It makes your heart beat faster, opens your capillaries and hastens the blood flow around your body. This can help muscle soreness and improve circulation.
Boxing is one the hardest sports in the world. Don’t fall into the mindset of going hard and ‘out-hustling’ every day. While that’s a compelling way of thinking, and while it seems like it would give you a competitive advantage against, it’s actually counterproductive. Work hard but rest smart. Listen to your body so that you avoid the exhaustion and stress that comes from over-training.
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