Return to Homepage

Lose Fat, Gain Muscle, or Both

by Corey
(La Vista, NE, United States)

I am looking to get involved in amateur boxing. Currently I weight about 235 lbs and am in bad shape compared to 2 years ago.

When I was in high school, a couple years ago, I casually lifted weights and did home exercises for about 30 minutes everyday. I had an athletic body type, with definite muscular definition, but not exactly washboard abs, though my arm strength was very good.

I am 6'1" and weighed 175 lbs at the time and was in good enough shape to compete at local MMA (mixed martial arts) tournaments with very good results, turning out a 5-0 record with 4 KO's, 3 in the first round, and one submission victory.

However in the fall of 07, I pulled a muscle in my lower back that was enough to put off fighting for at least 6 months. Upon completion of those 6 months, I found that I have gained about 35 pounds or so, due to little exercise.

Now, about a year later, I am looking to make a return to that lifestyle, but in amateur boxing but at a heavyweight level of 205+ lbs. I have since ballooned up to 226 lbs, but still have pretty muscular arms and legs. Most of it lies in my belly.

Should I first focus on exercise routines that trim my fat (i.e. cardio based programs), focus on gaining permanent muscle, then trimming fat, or should I look for routines that quickly trim fat and gain muscle at the same time?

I should also note that I am a full time student, and have a part time job, but am determined enough to seriously exercise at least 4-5 times a week.

Your response is much appreciated.

Comments for Lose Fat, Gain Muscle, or Both

Click here to add your own comments

Getting in shape for boxing
by: Dr. Dan


Fitness is very sport specific. A person might get into excellent condition for long distance running for instance, but then not be in proper condition for a sport that requires explosive speed like basketball.

Boxing requires three things -- speed, strength and stamina. If you don't have all three when you enter the ring you can get hurt.

I don't think that you need to concentrate on exercise routines that trim fat. If you eat foods that increase the power in your body -- lean protein and lots of vegetables with fiber -- and avoid fried food, fast food and liquid calories then you'll lose the fat with your training.

So what about the training? You need to divide your workouts into sections in order to get everything you need. You need roadwork for stamina. Add in sprints for speed. And jump rope to improve agility and coordination.

You need upper body strength. You should probably concentrate on functional fitness. What's functional fitness? It means you are fit to actually do things with your body. It includes things where you use your body weight to build up your strength. That would include movements like push ups, pull ups, squat thrusts and jumping jacks.

You can set up your own circuit where you sprint -- push ups -- sprint -- pull ups -- jump rope -- jumping jacks. This will give you a tremendous boost to your metabolism and really burn up fat.

You'll work out on the heavy bag for power. And the speed bag for hand speed and coordination.

You need to develop your core. Crunches are an obvious choice. But what about sit up? You hear that full sit ups are not necessary because they exercise the hip flexors and not the abdominals.

Well, your hip flexors are important too and shouldn't be ignored. You are better off doing movements that use many muscle groups (like sit ups) that you are doing isolation exercise (like crunches.)

But your core has more than abdominal muscles. There are the muscles in the front of the abdomen (rectus abdominis.) But you've also got the muscles at the sides (obliques) and you've got the muscles in the back. These are all part of the core.

And they are all important for stability of the trunk in boxing. And they all need to be exercised hard.

Finally, you have to be in the ring. You should be sparring on a regular basis. You need to do 3 minute rounds with one minute breaks, just like in a match. That will help with your stamina and your speed when you are in the real match.

How should you organize your workouts? You could do 5 sections of 15 minutes each. Warm up with your core movements. Go to your circuit of sprinting, jump rope and push ups. Hit the heavy bag and speed bag. Spar 4 rounds. Finish off with roadwork.

If you do that 5 times each week you should be in excellent boxing condition in no time.

Dr. Dan

Motivation is the key to reach your goal!!
by: Joshua Curtis

(Editors note: These recommendations are from my son Josh. He trained in martial arts and boxing, and later became an Army paratrooper. These days he's concentrating on power lifting. What he doesn't know about hard-core training isn't worth knowing. -- Dr. Dan)

Motivation and intensity are key to what you are trying to achieve. Short duration workouts of 20 to 40 minutes a few times a day with a combination of strength training and explosive drills like sprints combined with plyometric pushups is ideal.

Heavy bag work is good but can hurt your wrists and joints and you will never fight anyone with hurt wrists or torn ligaments.

Take a large thick bag used for construction clean up and fill it with water. You can fold and melt the top of the bag to prevent leaks or just crimp and tie the bag and hang it like you would your heavy bag.

This bag is now suitable for heavy hitting and will give under pressure more than a heavy bag would, saving your wrists and elbows for the real fight.

The most important tool any kind of fighter can possess is conditioning. Your workouts must mirror the kind of fighter you want to be but be modified to be more intense and explosive than what you will actually need.

You can achieve this through finishing drills. Get a large tire and a heavy sledge hammer. After your last workout of the day strike the tire with your sledge as hard and as fast as you can for 6 30 second rounds with a minute break between rounds. This will train you to draw on your heart and finish your opponent when there's nothing left.

Good luck to you and I hope some of my tips could help. Stay consistent and motivated and you will be the warrior you wish to be.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Do you have a weight loss question?.

Where to start:

There is a lot of information on this site. The links below will get you off to a good start.

Most popular pages:

These are some of our most popular pages. They are also some of the most helpful if you are finally ready to lose weight.

You can always reach us:

  • 28960 US Highway 19 North, Suite 115
  • Clearwater, FL 33761
  • (727) 771-8282

  • Or to use our contact form click here.

top of the page