So, recently we had the biggest sporting event in our lifetime, (if you’re a boxing fan!) – Mayweather v Pacquiao. This event benefited from a huge global audience and even non-boxing fans clamoured to get a look at this not-to-be-missed spectacle – (Beyoncé on the front row, anyone…?).
Whatever your views on boxing, you have to admire the training and work put in by both fighters. Pacquiao, although he may have been a little slower than usual, is a machine – constantly working and throwing punches. The fitness level required for this is phenomenal.
On the other hand, Mayweather’s style is geared more towards counter punching and evasion. Mayweather’s style requires total concentration for 12 rounds – his brain is constantly working. To keep that level of concentration while being hit hard you need to be very fit, (believe me I know!).
By keeping my focus, I won matches which could easily have gone out of the window if I was worrying about not making it to the next round. I fought most of my fights on mats on the open circuit using a style similar to Pacquiao (not the same of course – if I could do it like him I’d have been on pay-per-view….). In my last ring fight, taken at short notice, I was down twice in the first round. It wasn’t my best performance, however, years of fitness training got me through, and it was probably my greatest performance and the one I’m proudest of. If I didn’t have that level of fitness, I wouldn’t have been able to get back up and see out the match.
When I first began training double world champion Laura Wylde for competitions, the priority was fitness. She had been sparring and training for a while, and we still needed to work on technique, however, we needed a strong foundation. We had an almost political slogan – FITNESS, FITNESS, FITNESS! Around two years later she was in the final of the world championships in Italy, where she won. The technique was there of course, but her superior fitness got her through – like old style Pacquiao – if he was a kickboxer of course 😉 A year later she won again, this time in Portugal. Fighting more like Mayweather on this occasion, choosing her shots, working the area, keeping the focus, and winning. Without proper fitness training none of this would have been possible.
So what am I saying? Your physical fitness carries over into everyday life. Most of us have jobs to do or do activities where you have to concentrate. Driving, administration, talking to clients, and general problem solving. The better you feel physically, the sharper you can be mentally. Studies have shown that fitness training also helps with depression and anxiety; you can stay alert longer and perform under pressure, as superstar boxers and my own world champion d0.
We’re all champions in the training room, we can all take the big-money title fight in the gym (these clichés are getting worse, sorry….) However, in our real lives – work, hobbies, family, there are all sorts of mental and physical challenges – prepare like a champ in your own way!
Watch this space, I may well post videos of Laura in action if requested. Or even one or two of me….
In the meantime,
Feel good! Feel fit!