August 2006
Andy and JamieKeeping your boxing equipment clean and in top condition is just as important as keeping your body in top condition. In this issue we give some tips on keeping your gear clean and ready to use. In the Fitness Tip, we discuss powerful nutrition for optimal performance. Lastly, in "Ask the Trainer", Andy and Jamie work with a reader who is looking for some help to solve a hard to fix problem area. Good Luck!

The Balazs Team - Knock Yourself Out!


Boxing Drill #33: Proper Care of Your Boxing Equipment
When you do a boxing workout you will perspire. Your hands are wrapped tight and are stuffed inside thick, padded gloves; they will sweat a lot. The moisture, salts and bacteria from your sweat contribute to the degradation of the foam, leather and fabrics in your boxing equipment. Moisture is the major culprit in this degradation. Moisture causes the foam to rot and break down more quickly. The presence of moisture provides a great growth media for the bacteria that are present. The bacteria will increase the rot process and contribute to the foul smell boxers are used to. Eliminating the moisture will go a long way to making sure your gloves stay in good working order.

Be sure to dry your gloves, headgear and groin protectors after each use. By using a small fan or glove dryer between workouts, you can keep your equipment dry and odor free. There are other tools such as Glove Dogs that help absorb moisture, provide odor absorption and some antimicrobial action to limit the degradation of the inside of your gear. You can clean the surface (outside) of your gloves with a little warm water and gentle soap or use a leather/vinyl conditioner to keep your leather supple and clean. Avoid leaving your equipment in direct sunlight, or in extremely hot conditions- and don't leave it in your gym bag until your next workout or else it won't be your left hook knocking people out, but the odor emanating from your gear!

Your hand wraps should be washed after every workout. Clean dry wraps will absorb moisture and keep your gloves odor free. The dry wraps are easier to put on too!

Check your gloves and headgear regularly for tears and cracks or other signs of wear. For boxing gloves including bag gloves, check to make sure the foam padding material inside the gloves isn't getting soft or has void areas. As for sparing gloves, since padding is key not just to you fist but your sparring partner, don't take risks and replace them often to keep the padding fresh and useful.

Andy & Jamie's Health & Fitness Tip: Nutrition for Optimal Performance
Carbohydrates for Quick, Long Lasting Energy

For peak performance, an athlete's diet should include a sufficient amount of carbohydrates on a daily basis. Carbohydrates provide the body with the main energy source, glycogen, and this is stored in the body tissue. Good, high carbohydrate foods include cereals, pasta, rice, vegetables such as corn, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and fruits, and bread.

Eating properly, including sufficient sources of good carbohydrates will both increase and maintain glycogen stores in the cells, ready for use during physical activity. Other carbohydrates like candy, sweets and processed foods will negatively affect your performance, as sufficient minerals and vitamins are not provided in these foods. Fatigue occurs when the muscle cells run out of glycogen and are unable to provide this energy source to the working muscles, resulting in reduced stamina and endurance workout.

Ask the Trainer:
"I was out of training for about a year due to an injury. I compete in boxing and martial arts. Since I've started training again over the past few months, I find that I can't get rid of the weight around my midsection. I know it's more difficult to lose weight and get definition after age 35 (I'm 45), and I'm a female, which can add to the difficulty. But I wanted to know why the other areas of my body are coming along great, but the stomach isn't? I also want to know what exercises I can do that may target my problem area? (I also try to eat clean to aid in my process.)"

As your training continues, the extra fatty tissue will come off the mid section. Everyone has an area where they carry more fatty tissue and it will be the last place you notice a difference, (and you are correct, women over the age of 40 years find it even more difficult to reduce their fat percent). Being off training for a year has changed your muscle to fat ratio. Since the more muscle tissue you have is directly related to the rate at which you burn calories, it is important to include a weight-training program in your schedule.

Lifting weights two to three days per week, 2 - 3 sets of 10 - 15 repetitions at lower weights will increase the amount of muscle tissue and also increase your metabolic rate, (the rate at which you burn and use calories). Keep up your cardio training and vary the intensity and type from day to day. Jumping rope is a basic aerobic exercise and could be incorporated into your weight program in between exercises. Your heart rate will be elevated, thereby burning more calories. Some basic advice is to never eat late at night, reduce the basic sugar and simple carbs in your diet and take a day off.

- Andy Dumas

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i-Box Speed Bag PlatformBalazs Inc.'s latest product, the i-Box Speed Bag Platform for home gyms. Read all about this exciting product on-line.
Product Recommendations:
PK0116 Mexican Style Hand Wraps
GS0135 Balazs Combo Boxing Gloves
GA0025 Glove Dogs
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Endorsed by the World Boxing Council
Balazs fitness tips are endorsed by the World Boxing Council.