Focus on aerobic capacity and strength training as boxers return to training post coronavirus-forced lockdown
As training for boxers begin, the focus of the coaches currently is to raise the aerobic capacity levels for first two months followed by block strength training
After going through a long period of lockdown and then quarantine, Indian boxers have now returned to training. Five female boxers had resumed training a week ago and on 27 July, the men too returned to practice.
The boxers had started arriving in Patiala in early July and then served a three-week quarantine period before joining the training camp at the National Institute of Sports (NIS). The quarantine period was divided into two parts where they needed to stay outside NIS for two weeks and then one week inside NIS.
On Monday (27 July) five male boxers - Amit Panghal, Gaurav Solanki, Mohammad Husaamuddin, Kavinder Bisht and Krishna Sharma - started practicing under the guidance of High-performance director Santiago Nieva. Sanjeet Kumar, Ashish Kumar, Brijesh are still serving their quarantine period. Sanjeet will complete his quarantine on 28 July while Brijesh and Ashish's will end tomorrow (29 July).
Under the new protocols, the training will look different for boxers, and Nieva has set out a plan for the same. Some of the boxers were locked inside their homes during lockdown with no training equipment. Those in Red Zone did not even have a place to run. Nieva said that they had concerns when they joined the camp but understand what the situation was.
He told Firstpost, "The boxers experienced that it is not the same when training alone. Each one had a different training method at home. Some of them used local academies or clubs to train. Most of them were very alone, locked down in their home, without a bag or a proper place to run, without any equipment for strength training."
That is why the focus of the coaches currently is to raise the aerobic capacity levels for the first two months followed by block strength training.
"Our focus is on aerobic capacity first. This will go on for the first two months. Then we will have block strength training for at least a month. When the competition approaches, we will have more focus on boxing. Then we go back to do the second phase of aerobic training and block strength training," said Nieva.
With no sparring allowed as of now, Nieva said he does not see it as a problem as currently the focus is less on boxing and more on other aspects like conditioning and strength training. However, he said that boxers can do other technical workouts like shadow boxing and bag work while maintaining a distance.
He also hoped that the situation improves in the coming few weeks and sparring is allowed.
"Normally in the first two weeks, we don't do that much sparring anyway. It is not a big problem. But of course, at some point, we need to start sparring again because it has been many months without sparring. And without it, you lose the idea of distance, etc."
Nieva said that with all boxers and support staff coming in gradually, spending quarantine period, following protocols, and nobody allowed to go out, he hopes sparring won't be a difficult ask.
He said, "I hope restrictions will ease after two weeks. We are all inside. Nobody is going out. So everybody is healthy. We are checking the temperatures every morning. Hopefully, we can go back to our normal training (soon)."
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