All the tips and tricks needed to shape up for 2011. Each day brings new, expert advice on how to look your best and live life to the fullest, while having a little fun doing it.
When it comes to looking good, J.P. Mastey is an expert. The president of grooming brand Baxter of California, when he's not working on new products, he working out in the boxing ring. It turns out, boxing is one of the best workouts a man can do to sculpt a lean, but powerful body. We asked Mastey about how he got into fighting shape and how the average guy can get started.
I was in my late 20s, looking for a workout that would get me fit. I had it in mind that I'd get myself into the best shape of my life by the time I turned 30. I was a fan of boxing, and always wanted to see if I had what it takes to get into the sport and into the ring. So I just walked into a gym that was near my home and asked the trainer if he provided one-on-one lessons. Seven years later, I'm still with him—Jorge Urbina, an ex professional champion from Mexico.
Honestly, I'd say it's the best way to get into shape. The sport centers not simply on skill but weight. It's about being lean and fast. If you look at the body of most boxers, they tend to have the most natural looking physiques—not overly muscular nor too out of proportion. The fun factor is something that keeps you focused and coming back. Plus, there's a certain fantasy being fulfilled—having your hands wrapped professionally, gloves laced up and hitting a heavy bag or speed bag with skill.
Health and toning aside, boxing is a great confidence booster. The skill that you now hold is something that you may never need to use, but having it in your pocket is liberating. I mean, who doesn't want to have the ability to kick some ass?
For me, the gear is one of the best parts. Everything from proper hand wraps or gloves (16 oz. is recommended for training) to a quality jump rope that's sized for your height. Ringside is a great resource for products.
At home? I'd recommend starting with some simple fitness. Push ups, pull ups, crunches, skipping rope and running. I believe a lot in form when it comes to boxing. Getting the proper technique by a true boxing trainer is essential, as bad habits and form can be difficult to correct. Once you're trained, you can add shadow boxing to your home workout.
At the gym? Come prepared. I've seen people come in that aren't fit and quit after the first day because they weren't prepared. If you can run three to four miles, you can jump into boxing with ease and learn much faster. And keep in mind, not all guys actually get into the ring. Some just train as a boxer but don't want to get into the ring and spar. Though the experience of sparing and being in the ring motivates most guys to push harder.
Designer Steven Alan boxes regularly for exercise.