CrossFit sometimes gets a bad reputation, and many hoped it would be a fad that would have passed by now, but the benefits of CrossFit are what’s keeping it very much alive and present.
Boxers can gain a lot from CrossFit, from improving their own personal bests to reducing their risk of injuries.
Boxer Robert Guerrero is proof of what CrossFit can do for you, and has been credited with modernizing boxing training. Despite this, a lot of boxers are still afraid to try it out, but it could be what transforms you to a whole new level.
Reducing the Risk of Injury
Any exercise or sport that involves repetitive movements, as boxing does, comes with an increased risk of injury. Certain muscles will strengthen, which can create an imbalance in the body, and this can increase the chance of an injury.
Therefore, incorporating different exercises into your training can help to strengthen the entire body, which CrossFit is particularly good for, making it an ideal complimentary exercise.
However, CrossFit has been associated with injuries itself, but this often comes down to people trying to do advanced exercises before they’ve mastered the basics, pushing themselves too hard, and poor form.
For boxers, especially ones who are training for upcoming fights, this can be disastrous so it’s important to start slow and listen to your body. Having a qualified instructor who can guide and support you in your CrossFit training can also help you to avoid injury.
Getting Started with CrossFit
Getting involved with CrossFit is easy, but the safest way to do so is by joining a dedicated CrossFit gym, often known as a ‘box’, or a gym that has a qualified CrossFit trainer who you can work with.
Ideally, look for a trainer who has qualifications in other areas of fitness too, as they’ll have broader and more in-depth knowledge. You can also get into CrossFit by getting some of the basic equipment for CrossFit training and working out at home following online videos.
Whichever you choose, start by mastering the basics before progressing. You may be able to find trainers or online tutorials for CrossFit that are dedicated to boxers, and focus on workouts that will improve your boxing.
One big thing to note is that you’re likely to ache and be sore after a CrossFit workout, as you’re using muscles you wouldn’t normally, so it’s best to fit CrossFit into your current training schedule at a time that suits you, such as not when training for an upcoming fight.
Robert Guerrero, Boxer and CrossFitter
Robert Guerrero famously started CrossFit training to prepare himself for his return to fighting. As with most boxers and trainers, there’s a fear of bulking up and getting too tight, and how this will affect movement in a fight.
Guerrero observed others, and soon noticed in himself that he was faster on his feet and that CrossFit exercises translated into boxing moves to help him up his game. For example, the hip movements from Olympic lifts helped with leverage in uppercuts.
Guerrero and his trainers “tailored the workouts to mimic boxing rounds” to get the most from it for his specific goals, and found that his speed, stamina and strength benefitted and he started hitting new personal bests.
He did CrossFit training every day for five months, then dropped down to three, then two days a week before his fight with Yoshihiro Kamegai. Guerrero went on to win this fight in 2014 after 12 brutal rounds, and continues with CrossFit training today.
CrossFit may seem like an unlikely exercise for boxers to use as complementary training, but it offers many benefits, as proven by Robert Guerrero. You can improve your strength, stamina, speed, and even your recovery time, which any boxer desires.