World-class boxers are experts at self-examination
Champion boxers come in all shapes and sizes. They can be tiny featherweights or hulking heavyweights, size doesn’t matter. That’s one of the egalitarian aspects of boxing which draws so many fans and participants. The boxing ring is the great equalizer; no matter who you are, you get a fair chance to win or lose on your own merits as long as you’re in the ring.
But if you spend some time studying the great world-class boxers, you soon notice that they’re not all the same. There is no such thing as a prototypical boxer. Just as they come in all sizes, they also come with different skill-sets.
Some champions are masters at moving in and out: hitting without being hit. Others are tough guys who get in their opponents’ faces and slug it out until only the best man is left standing. Still others are one-punch wonders: one of their punches is developed to such an astounding level of proficiency that it’s all they need to win again and again.
What do all boxing champions have in common?
The characteristic that they all share is attention to detail.
Yes, that’s right. Boxers — who some in the general public unfairly characterize as unthinking brutes — are experts at self-examination. Along with their trainers, they can break a skill down into its component parts and drill it over and over until they perfect it. They get to the point that their punching techniques are second nature.
Expert skill training is what separates champions from journeymen. They leave no stone unturned in the search for perfection.
What does this mean for my fitness routine?
Since the thing that separates champs from chumps isn’t fitness, toughness, strength, or luck, it stands to reason that you can incorporate this sort of self-examination into your own routine(s).
For example: weight lifting skills are as important as raw strength when it comes to breaking a personal record in the bench press or other compound exercise. A careful examination of your technique with an eye to comparing it to the gold-standard proper technique displayed by experts will go a long way towards allowing you to improve your totals without actually getting any stronger. And the good news is: as soon as you begin putting up more weight, you will get stronger.
An examination of your form and technique is a fantastic way to break through training plateaus.
Endurance athletes, too, can benefit from this sort of close self-exam. Unless you keep accurate records, it can be difficult or impossible to know whether you are improving, plateauing, or back-sliding. When you’re not running on a track with a time-keeper, this record-keeping is difficult. But it’s what you have to do to succeed.
Boxers do only what works
Boxers — especially the champs — are not interested in fads. They only do what has been proven to work by generation after generation of battle-tested winners.
This is a good case for examining your own fitness routine and removing all the over-hyped stuff that you were influenced to include in your regimen not by successful athletes, but by marketers.
Do you really need the latest workout gizmo or celebrity-endorsed workout video? The answer is probably no.
So, do like champion boxers do. Carefully go over every move you make, remove the superfluous fluff, and keep only what works.