Participating in an athletic competition is something everyone should try at least once in their lives. There’s something truly special about competing with others who share a similar passion and determination with you. That, and think of all the glory and accolades that you can enjoy if you’re the victor at the end of it all! Competitive boxing is no exception here either. In fact, winning a boxing competition can even lead to a career in boxing for some fighters.
And speaking of competitive boxing, the England Boxing National Amateur Championship (or EBNACs of 2023) is happening at the moment! This specialist competition is considered to be the most prestigious amateur boxing title in the United Kingdom. The EBNACs date back to the late eighteenth century. Amongst the competition’s past winners, you’ll be able to find some renowned household names. Fighters Henry Cooper, Nicola Adams and Carl Froch are actually all former winners of this exciting national title belt.
This annual competition is open to male and female boxers aged between 18 and 40. It has weight categories from under 49 kg to over 92 kg for males and under 48 kg to 81 kg for females.
But what exactly does it take to compete in the EBNACs, of course aside from all the right boxing equipment? After all, you really don’t want to enter the ring without some trusty boxing head guards or a mouth guard!
This helpful article will share what routines and regimens amateur boxers undertake to compete in this prestigious event.
Weight and Strength Training
There’s no denying that boxing requires strength and stamina; thankfully, weight training is an excellent way to build up both. Boxers looking to compete in the EBNACs will undergo a strict weight training regime leading up to the competition. This ensures that they have the right physical preparation and body conditioning required to do well in this national competition.
Boxers looking to compete are also expected to complete a general weight training session a few times a week, also for the purpose of ensuring that they have generally strong conditioning. These training sessions may include squats, leg presses, bench presses, deadlifts, cable rows, bicep curls and overhead presses, just as a start. All of these exercises aim to build strength in the chest, core, legs and arms.
In addition to general weight training, amateur boxers gearing up for the competition will also focus on developing strength and power. They’ll do exercises such as incline bench presses, pull-ups, squats and combo crunches. And remember to include some rests between sets to avoid overtraining, though more on this later!
Furthermore, boxers training for the EBNACs will also focus on developing their speed and agility. They should be able to perform broad jumps, single-leg lateral hops, and box jumps with ease. You can train up your ability to perform these movements by adding a few leg days to your training routine.
Losing or Gaining Weight
Depending on what weight range an amateur boxer aims to compete in during the EBNACs, they may need to lose or gain weight to ensure that they’re ready to fight their opponent. If fighters fall out of their weight range before a fight, it can result in the match being cancelled, as it’s unfair for fighters to go up against opponents that may be physically bigger or smaller than them.
Those looking to lose weight may focus on cardio, such as jogging, running, cycling or swimming, as this is the most effective way to lose weight. Those who may be wanting to gain weight will focus on weight training and bulking. They may even opt to use weight gain supplements such as protein, creatine or mass gainers to help them reach their goal weight in time for their next fight day.
They Don’t Overtrain
Boxers preparing for the EBNACs are mindful not to overtrain, as this can lead to fatigue on the night of the fight. It’s important to be at your peak before every competitive fight. You don’t want sore muscles to be the reason why you lose your next tournament.
Of course, regular training is essential, but experts suggest keeping training sessions to an hour in the two weeks leading up to the big fight. Boxers will focus on cardio basics and agility training to maximise physical conditioning and technique.
Remember too that boxing is not just a test of strength. It is a test of endurance, agility and mental fortitude; the boxer that’s fit in all of these areas will often be the one that takes home the belt, so to speak.
Boxers Learn About Their Opponent
Boxers aiming to compete in the EBNACs will, if possible, study their opponents before entering the ring. They will look for videos of them fighting and gauge their technique, height and possible weak spots. Consider watching previous matches that your opponent dominated in to gain even more insights into their fight tactics and style.
By analysing your competitors, you’ll be more likely to find any potential opportunities to counter. And any opening or advantage is beneficial in a boxing bout. The great Sun Tzu said to know your enemy, which applies to boxing as much as it does to warfare.
Mindset is Incredibly Important
Mindset is an integral aspect of any sports competition, and boxing is no exception. Amateur boxers competing in any competition must have the right mindset – confident but not cocky. Part of this is ensuring that they get enough sleep and rest. Late nights and outings are probably off the table leading up to the EBNACs.
They must be mentally present and alert during training and on the day of the match. Some boxers might practise mindfulness techniques or meditation to keep a clear mind. The night before the fight, they will mentally prepare themselves for the next day – keeping a quiet and peaceful routine without any excitement or stress.
A Crucial Conclusion
This helpful article has shared what it takes to compete in the England Boxing National Amateur Championship, which is happening right now. You’ve learnt about the physical and mental preparation boxers go through to prepare for the competition, including training regimes and mindset.