The Knockout Workout

The Ten-Round Pound

Jul 1, 2005
Outside Magazine

The Ten-Round Pound
After you learn the basics (see "Four for Fighting"), step up to our 40-minute routine from Steve Petramale, owner and trainer at Shadowboxing Gym, in Hollywood. This workout follows the traditional training format of three minutes of exercise followed by one minute of rest per round. For the last 30 seconds of each round, jack up your intensity. During the one-minute break between rounds, sip some fluids, walk around, and let your heart rate drop. But don't sit—real boxers always keep moving when they're training.

ROUND 1: Jump Rope
It's difficult to jump with a rope mistake-free for 60 seconds, much less three minutes, so take a break with side swings: Spin the rope at either side of your body while you keep jumping in place.

ROUND 2: Shadow Boxing
Use a mirror to examine your stance, hand position, and punching mechanics. Start shadow boxing by assuming the basic stance, then move forward, back, and side to side in small, quick steps. Next, incorporate a couple of jabs with each step, throwing a left as you step in with your left leg. Go slow to make sure you've got your form dialed, then try throwing overhand punches, taking care to turn your hips into the blow. After 90 seconds, begin to throw punches at an imaginary opponent. Throw two or three jabs and combos, back off, then repeat. Concentrate on form, not speed or power.

ROUND 3: Heavy Bag
Stand an arm's length away from a bag and start popping it with the right hand after throwing a few jabs. "A quality punch does not cause the heavy bag to sway all over the place," says Petramale. "You should feel a solid thud and see the bag shudder." Land some combos, then take a few small steps clockwise, gliding around the bag.

ROUND 4: Heavy Bag
Pick up the pace and step closer, landing combos like the double jab, triple jab, one-two (a left jab followed by a right punch), and one-two-three (left jab, right punch, left hook).

ROUND 5: Heavy Bag
The goal of this round is "tempo" punching. Keep your knees bent and butt down, hands up high, body square with the bag. Pivot with your shoulders and torso—not your arms—to throw a punch. Alternating hands, tap the bag lightly in the same spot (around chin height), without varying the punches, until a rhythm develops. The lighter and faster you punch, the more you'll get out of the drill. Every 30 seconds, increase the intensity of your punches for five seconds.

ROUND 6: Heavy Bag
By this point in the program you're loose, mechanically primed, and ready to put speed and power together for the most intense three minutes of the workout. Start with a left jab and a right overhand. Stick the combo and then move. Step closer to land another combo, then spring back outside of your imaginary opponent's reach. Concentrate on hand speed more than power. Finish it off by punching nonstop for the last 30 seconds.

ROUND 7: Jump Rope
Repeat Round 1.

ROUND 8: Shadow Boxing
Cool down by throwing short, easy jabs and punches while staying light on your feet and moving around.

ROUND 9: Speed Bag
Hitting a speed bag correctly takes time and practice but pays off in sharper timing and reflexes. Stand square with the bag, about 18 inches away. Hold your fists up by your ears, elbows out, and strike the bag with short, slow circular motions, keeping the ball side of your fist forward. Hit the bag three times with one fist and three with the other, maintaining a consistent rhythm as you alternate sides.

ROUND 10: Core Strength
Do the following exercises in quick succession, finishing within three minutes. Complete ten reps of each to start; work your way up to 20.

1//Leg Raises
Lie on your back, left hand behind your head, right hand on your waist. Keeping your legs straight, lift your feet over your head until your soles are facing the ceiling. Lower your legs slowly back to the ground while you push the back of your head into the floor to complete one rep. Alternate hand positions with each rep.

2//Fist Push-Ups
Lie facedown and cross your legs, then push yourself up on your fists and one foot, keeping your torso straight. Lower yourself and touch your left cheek to the floor. On the next rep, touch your other cheek. Do as many as you can.

3//Modified Bicycles
Lie on your back, with your hands laced behind your head, elbows out, and legs straight. Lift your shoulders off the floor while bringing your left knee toward your chest. As your torso rises, twist your shoulders so that your right elbow almost touches your left knee. Alternate elbow and knee with each rep.

4//Fist Push-Ups
Adjust hand width (closer in or farther out) and switch feet position from last set.

Lie on your back with your legs perpendicular to the floor and spread wide. With your hands pressed together as in prayer and on your chest, extend your arms toward your left foot, while lifting your shoulders off the ground. Lower yourself back down and then reach for your right foot to complete one rep.

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