Building Endurance The Boxer’s Guide with MAX BASNET
We first knew about Max (Manohar) Basnet when we saw him on Star Sports slugging it out in the Super Boxing League organized by Professional Boxing Organization India. But he has been in the Nepalese professional boxing scene for a long time now. Max has won 4 national championships, and was declared the ‘Best Player’ at the 25th Men’s National Boxing Championship. He struggled to get where he is today, training under financially grim conditions in India. But he has always been a fighter in and out of the ring. When he raised his voice against the corruption plaguing the Nepalese Boxing Association the authorities imposed a ban and stopped him from boxing for 3 prime years of his life. However, his effort to develop the sport in Nepal has been unrelenting.
The world witnessed the biggest fight in history on the 26th of August 2017 when boxing legend Floyd Mayweather defeated the most celebrated UFC player of all time, Connor McGregor in a professional boxing bout. Following one of the biggest hypes in modern fighting history the showdown ended in the 10th round when the referee stopped the fight. McGregor started off brilliantly but fatigue started setting in around the 6th round and Mayweather did what he did best, extending his undefeated streak to 50-0.
Now, while there were many factors that led to the final decision, fatigue was one of the undeniable factors that influenced the result. Keep in mind that McGregor is 10 years younger and in the prime of his career while Mayweather came out of retirement for the fight. Yet, it was McGregor who lost steam in the fight. That’s because boxing is a sport that pushes your stamina and endurance to their limits.
While McGregor did train his cardio, it seems he underestimated the demands of the squared circle, articulating the notion that not having to throw kicks would save him the energy. What he did not factor in was that a lot of energy would be saved on his back or while grappling on the ground. On the other hand, boxing has very few rest periods and you’re always moving. And if you’re wearing yourself out in the first few rounds you’re going to be gassed pretty quick.
What we’re getting at here is that getting into a boxing ring and lasting 12 rounds will put your endurance and stamina to the test. To get the best perspective on the importance of endurance and how to get there we got in touch with one of the most popular professional boxers at the moment, Max Basnet. Founder of Max Boxing Promotion Pvt. Ltd and President of Nepal Professional Boxing Commission, Max breaks down what he believes is the best way of to improve your stamina and endurance.
“Boxing is a sweet science;” he explains, “Everything is calculated and meticulously planned from how you train to how you perform during the fight.” Max has been boxing professionally for over 14 years now, and training long before that. We met him at Tikathali (a fair distance out from Ring Road), and he led us up to the local gym where he had been training since he was a kid. Then we began our cash course in endurance training. These are the exercise movements you can follow to enhance your endurance and step up your cardio.
“Shadow boxing is something we use to improve on our shortcomings. You want to better your jab you focus on your jabs, you want to improve your footwork, you focus on your footwork. And the best thing is you never lose a bout when you’re shadow boxing.”-Max Basnet Essentially, what you are doing with shadow boxing is honing your technique, but it is also a great way to prep yourself for what will be equivalent to a certain number of rounds in a boxing match. That means it can be used for conditioning and endurance building. But you get what you put into it.
So aim for completing 12 three-minute rounds with 15- 30 seconds of rest. Work on what you want to improve but keep moving and throwing punches. You might wear out but keep at it and power through, gauging your energy exertion.
Battle ropes offer full body strength training as well as cardio. They’re especially great for targeting your core and upper body, since those are your primary movers in battle rope training. The ropes create forces and tension from angles that are harder to achieve with basic weight training, they confuse and surprise your muscles into making new gains.
Do a basic alternating wave over 30-second on/off intervals. Start with 3 or 4 intervals and then work up to 6 (or reduce the rest) once you’re comfortable. Once you’ve mastered the alternating waves, work both arms in tandem (the double wave) to ratchet up the intensity.
WAVE: Probably the most common battle rope swing, the standard wave is a great way to focus on your biceps. Tuck your elbows into your sides and alternate pumping your arms up and down, creating alternate waves in the rope. When you’re ready to step up the difficulty, switch to a double wave, where your arms move in tandem.
SLAM: Lift both ends of the rope overhead, and then slam the rope down with full force onto the ground. Make sure to maintain good posture. This move engages your shoulders, arms, back, and core, especially your abs.
CIRCLES: Move each arm in independent circles in front of you. You can rotate each arm outward (left counterclockwise, right clockwise) or inward (left clockwise, right counterclockwise). It’s a great way to focus on your shoulders. You can also hold both hands together and make a single circle with both ends of the rope—start moving clockwise, and then switch to counterclockwise halfway through the set.
FLYES: Squat low and whip each end of the rope in tandem, as if you’re flapping your arms like wings. Keep your elbow bent only slightly. It’s a seriously challenging workout for your whole back.
GRAPPLER THROWS: Keeping both your feet grounded, pivot your torso from side to side. During each pivot, flip the ropes over as if you were throwing them to the floor on the side you’re pivoting toward.
This workout focuses on improving your footwork and balance. What you do here is basically shadowbox while you bounce on a tyre laid flat on the ground. The tyre is great for balance, and you want to get one that allows you to stands with your feet shoulder width apart. It will give you the hop and teach you to stay on your toes as well as weight shifting. Make sure you get a hang of it at a slow process so that you don’t hurt yourself.
This is a pretty simple workout that is not supposed to be done with a heavy tyre. The movement engages your core, arms and back while demanding cardiovascular endurance.
Another one of the classics, the pushup is a great workout for upperbody strength. To perform the workout, lie prone on floor with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Raise body up off floor by extending arms with body straight. Keeping body straight, lower body to floor by bending arms. Push body up until arms are extended. Repeat.
WORDS:TNM TEAM | PHOTO:PRITAM CHHETRI