How does one skip rope, work the pads, or avoid nipple rash? If you think that boxing would be a fun way to get fit, this would probably be a useful book for you. Oliver shows a range of fitness practices—many specific to boxing, but others that are used in a number of sports and fitness activities—that will help one improve one’s fitness.
The reader will gain insight into bagwork, padwork, and boxing drills–from beginner to advanced. While the book’s emphasis isn’t on boxing technique, there’s a minimal discussion of the basics of footwork and punching designed to allow a reader to safely begin practice of bagwork and padwork. One also learns about roadwork, the basics of weightlifting as it’s useful for boxers, calisthenics, and other exercise routines that boxers use. It’s a small book and, therefore, doesn’t go into great detail on any particular subject. However, it does offer useful tips in a concise form.
There’s a chapter on equipment, but throughout the book the author gives advice on equipment as it’s relevant to the discussion at hand. The same is true of safety tips. There’s a chapter on injury and illness, but you’ll find insights into how to avoid injuries woven throughout.
I liked the approach of this book. While it shows one the age-old practices of fighters, it also describes more recent developments. In other words, it’s neither crusty and obsolete, nor does it try to re-invent every wheel in order to prove itself cutting edge. I also appreciated the author’s pragmatism—e.g. emphasizing the benefit of a strong core over that of six-pack building and suggesting dietary practices that are sound and simple rather than fads and fables.
Graphics include black and white photographs throughout a few diagrams. Most chapters have photographs, and they are generally sufficient to convey the necessary information without being overwhelming.
While this is a book of the basics, I found it to be a beneficial read and I appreciated the way it was arranged and the way information was conveyed. I’d recommend it for anyone interested in fitness for combative sports or who thinks boxing would be a good way for them to stay motivated to get fitter.