Train like a fighter and you’ll not only sculpt a knockout body but also tap the powerful feel of rock-solid confidence.
If there’s a workout that can make your whole body lean and mean in record time, it’s boxing. No wonder more and more studios are turning to the mixed martial arts (MMA) magic.
Now, Reebok is partnering with the largest MMA company in the world, Ultimate Fighting Championship, and some of the most influential MMA gyms on earth to make it more mainstream than ever.
“Boxing requires power and endurance, working every single muscle, which is why it cuts fat fast,” says Eric Kelly, a boxing coach at Gleason’s Gym and Reebok Combat Training coach (he trains the brand’s athletes, ambassadors and staff in all things combat). “It’s the total package.” After all, each punch you throw is strengthening and sculpting you from your shoulders to your calves.
But it’s not just what happens in the ring that gives boxers their muscles and staying power. Much of the credit goes to their training sessions, made up of cardio (including jumping rope), plyometric exercises like burpees and mobility drills, which build flexibility and brawn. (For example, the Duck Walk is a walking super-low squat, which works you through your full range of motion, opens your hips and strengthens your core and lower body.) “Cardio enables fighters to outlast their opponents, plyometrics help them stay explosive and powerful, and mobility keeps them fluid and agile,” Eric says.
A former Olympics boxer (who was once ranked fourth in the world), Eric used some of his favourite moves from each category to create this workout for Shape. You’ll start with a five-minute jump rope session – the classic go-to for any boxer – then do high reps of 10 body-weight exercises. “Finesse your technique, then increase your intensity,” he says.
And take a cue from the pros in the ring and always keep moving. “When you stop moving, your body gets cold and your muscles start to tighten up,” he says. If your muscles need a breather between exercises, jump around a little until you’re ready to get back into it.
Remember: You’re not actually fighting anyone or even training to fight anyone, so make each session all about you, he says. “Push yourself out of your comfort zone during this workout so you can feel great physically and mentally.” Stick to his plan and you’ll get leaner, stronger and quicker in four weeks.
“You’ll see your hard work in your tighter muscles when you look in the mirror, in your performance as you do more and faster reps, and in your mind when you realise you’re better able to take on a challenge,” Eric says.
That’s definitely worth fighting for.
LEARN THE LINGO A combat sport is any activity where you won’t get penalised for punching someone in the face. MMA involves a little bit of everything, including elbows and take downs. Boxing is mainly the art of self-defence. And kick boxing is boxing plus kicking (makes sense, right?).