I began 2011 ferociously, attacking my goal to gain five pounds of muscle within six weeks. This had nothing to do with a New Year’s resolution, but everything to do with the time that I was available to escape my busy schedule and register for a gym membership.
Nothing held me back. I ate as much high-calorie, nutrient-dense food that I could handle. I trained brief-and-brutal. I slept at least eight hours every night, and avoided strenuous activity like I would avoid a bad business deal.
My program was dubbed “Project Five: Six Weeks of Training, Five Pounds of Muscle!”. True to my goal, I was five pounds heavier, six weeks later. The results were astounding: friends and associates saw my fuller face and stockier upper body and marveled at the difference. My buggy-whip arms were starting to take shape. Finally, I was beginning to look like a bodybuilder.
Then boxing happened. My lifelong love affair with the sport had become immediately important to me. A partial reason for this is the volume of self-defense videos that I had been watching on YouTube. Another is that I had been discussing the need for safety to my children, with predators and sex offenders all over New York City.
It dawned upon me that a well-trained, disciplined boxer could easily disable an aggressive, larger ruffian and have the opportunity to escape to freedom. That’s what I wanted. An imposing size and extreme musculature do not necessarily translate into the ability to manhandle a miscreant. Skill and power do so more effectively.
Why I Stopped Bodybuilding
Consequently, I abandoned my bodybuilding aspirations to become a recreational boxer. This will allow me to be able to defend myself much more efficiently than simply having the appearance of being a bruiser. I don’t want to just talk the talk, I want to walk the walk.
My weightlifting will be reduced dramatically because a bodybuilder’s style of weightlifting is detrimental to a boxer. Larger, conspicuous muscles reduce your range of motion and tax your respiratory system more than a leaner physique does. A boxer can be lean, yet densely muscled, like “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather without lifting lots of weight.
So bodybuilding is finished for me. My training will shift into that of a boxer. Plyometrics, running, sparring, and hitting the bags will make up the bulk of my routine. I believe I’ll squat and deadlift occasionally, albeit with much lighter weight than in the past. Chin-ups and dips will remain. The new method of training that I expect to perform will likely give me a reasonable, attainable musculature that is aesthetically pleasing and functionally acceptable.
I begin lacing up the gloves soon. I’ll keep a positive outlook while I wait and see.Read More