July 2005
Andy and Jamie Welcome to this month's issue of Balazs Boxing's newsletter. We continue our series on perfect punches with the Left Hook. Andy gives us a few tips on adding this to our arsenal. Andy and Jamie explain how and why rest between sets is important. Finally, in "Ask the Trainer", they offer some advice to a young lady wanting better weight loss results.

The Balazs Team - Knock Yourself Out!


Boxing Drill #20: The Perfect Left Hook
Heavy Bag Drills: Perfecting the Left Hook

This month we show you how to develop a left hook. To review the basics of this punch, please see the Left Hook section on our website.

The left hook can be an awesome weapon if it's executed properly. Just ask Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya or Joe Frazier. One of the most important aspects of throwing the left hook is the set up. It is best executed at close range, outside your opponent's vision. The element of surprise makes this punch effective as it is often not blocked or countered successfully. The punch can be effective following a straight right thrown at your opponent, or used as a deadly counter punch after slipping your opponents straight right. Since you are at close range already, executing the punch can be devastating.

The Left Hook: To throw a hook, transfer your weight to the ball of your front foot as you begin to pivot and throw the punch. Rotate your hips and shoulders from square to sideways toward the bag. The pivot and rotation generates significant power. Once extended, the arm should be parallel to the ground, with the elbow bent at ninety-degrees. Hit the bag with your palm turned down; thumb in towards your core. Once the punch is completed, quickly return to the classic boxing stance. Your hips, torso and arm should move as a single unit. Remember not to wind up for a left hook.

Moving into proper range to launch the left hook is crucial. Use the heavy bag to get used to the feeling of staying close to your opponent and keeping your arm at a 90 degree angle. The Hook can be directed to the head or body. To change the desired landing location, bend your knees. Practice setting up your hooks. Move into a close range position by throwing a quick one-two combination (left jab and a straight right). You should now be in position to launch a short left hook. Move around the bag and repeat.

Andy and Jamie's Health and Fitness Tip: Rest During the Workout
The rest you take between sets is a very important part of your strength training workout; both the quality and the quantity of the seconds or minutes that elapse during this period of inactivity can vastly affect the results you achieve. Although many people use this as "social time," there are certainly more productive ways to spend the moments between sets.

Take the time between sets and reflect on your fitness goals, the body you want to acquire, the work that has to be done, and the intensity you will be investing into the next set.

Another great way to spend these precious moments is to stretch the working muscles. In addition to improving flexibility, this is a great way to accelerate the blood flow and trigger an increase in muscle strength.

Also, be sure and drink water between sets as well. Maintaining fluids during your workout is great for keeping your system replenished and your strength intact. If the exercise session is less than 90 minutes, then water is the best choice for fluid replacement.

Ask the Trainer:
"I'm 18 years old, and have a lot of excess fat on my legs and hips. I have a hard time getting rid of this extra fat. How many calories should take in? I walk and sometimes jog, and I do leg exercises and sometimes aerobic classes. I'm about 5'9 and weigh about 160 pounds. I want to weigh 140-145."

It sounds like you don't have a regular exercise regimen. Regular exercise is an important component of any weight loss program. The more often you exercise, the quicker you will see results. If you want to lose 15 pounds, we suggest you establish a workout pattern of four to five times a week with a minimum of 40- 50 minutes of aerobic activity. Although strength training is important for weight loss, aerobics is the way to go. Boxing workouts (see past newsletters) are heavy calorie burners as are jogging, power walking, and cycling.

A proper diet is also crucial for healthy weight loss. We cannot tell you how many calories you should take in on a daily basis, as we do not know your body type or activity pattern. However, if you reduce fatty foods (fried and processed foods) and increase fruit, vegetables, grain and protein, this will help cut down on "empty" calories, provide a nutritional balance. A healthy diet and exercise are not the quick fix for weight loss but they are the components to a healthy lifestyle and effective long-term weight loss.

(These comments should not be construed as a specific treatment plan for weight loss. See your doctor or specialist for a diagnosis and treatment if required.)

- Andy Dumas

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