Delivering and taking blows to the dome are part of being a boxer; but protecting your cage is critical—not only to prevent physical damage but also to preserve your mental toughness in the ring.
An extensive arsenal of haymakers will only get you so far. You also need an indestructible shield of mental toughness to help you stay on your sticks. That’s why professional middleweight boxer Shawn Porter, guided by his trainer (and father) Ken Porter, incorporates exercises that develop mental toughness into his training regimen.
“We do a lot of plyometrics, push-ups, sit-ups, dips, pull-ups and things of that nature to develop strength,” says Ken. “I will have [Shawn] perform those exercises for two minutes and give him 60 seconds rest to mimic a boxing match and also to develop mental toughness.”
Before you slip through the ropes, try Ken’s Circle Push-Ups to improve your strength and mental toughness. The exercise helped mold Shawn into the 2006 USA Boxing silver medalist and 2007 Golden Gloves champion.
• Assume Push-Up position
• Lower body to ground and perform Push-Up
• Rotate body 360 degrees by walking feet in circle
• Repeat for specified time, adding additional Push-Up after each rotation
Sets/Duration/Rest: 2×2 minutes with 60 seconds rest
Coaching Points: Place hands on ground slightly wider than shoulder width // Keep back as flat as possible // Perform continuously for specified time
Ken Porter: This is working on the strength of the body, [because it’s working] against [Shawn’s] body weight. It’s also a very mental exercise, because mentally you’ve got to be strong to do this.