In the Gym: Feeling the hurt to reap the rewards

I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a championMuhammad Ali (world champion)

Maybe ‘The Greatest’ said it better than anyone when talking about his training regime, but one thing that can be said about the most charismatic fighter of all time is that he was a ‘great’ trainer. You only have to look back at videos of Ali readying himself for a fight, but not those clowning ones where played up to the media, the real workouts where the three-time heavyweight champion poured his heart and soul into the gym.

Ali was a prime physical specimen and used his speed to it’s maximum potential to bamboozle those who challenged his position in the sport and knew that what he put in day to day would prolong his time at the top.

Like all those at the top of their game in any era, Ali put the work in to get the best possible results, a motto then taken on and immortalised by the current pound for pound best Floyd Mayweather with his ‘Hard work and dedication’ motto.

It is those intensity levels of getting in shape for a fight could be at the core of whether a boxer wins or loses, fails or succeeds, and the training camp is rightly the most important part of any ring career. Most fighters don’t let themselves get out of shape in-between bouts, which makes the transition into full training less strenuous on the body as they prepare for the possibility of twelve full-blooded rounds.

A routine of strength training, fast-paced cardio and sparring, coupled with what can be miles and miles of hills and roadwork is the foundation to any fighter forging a successful career between the ropes.

Nutrition obviously plays a massive part, more so these days than in the years preceding, as more and more boxers employ experts in food and supplements to fuel their bodies into the temples they become on fight night. Online sites are becoming increasingly important for a fighter to gain the balance of supplements they need, with Maxiraw Shop and Bodyfuel prime examples of these outlets providing a much-needed service.

With examples of anti-doping agencies catching unaware boxers who claim to have not known what was in the products on the rise, these businesses are now in demand to steer a fighter on to what is right for them and their regime. All this has to come together at once for a fighter to have sustained success in the modern boxing world, with the fans only catching a glimpse of their heroes in action – without seeing the ten or twelve weeks of blood, sweat and tears preceding.

Appreciating what these human warriors actually put their bodies through on a daily basis should be at forefront for everyone involved in, and in love with the sport, so that the risks of opposing another athlete in prime condition and slugging it out are not taken for granted.