“Hi guys! When FFT got in touch to tell me you wanted some help staying in shape this summer, I just couldn’t wait to share my training secrets.
You’re probably wondering: ‘What can a boxer teach a footballer?’ Well, just ask the Bolton players how hard I pushed them at my gym during pre-season. And Mauricio Pochettino has been using boxing to condition his super-fit Spurs players. Harry Kane has been hitting the pads as well as the back of the net.
You need to have a great engine for both sports. Fighters duke it out for 12 three-minute rounds. Footballers sprint up and down a pitch for 90 minutes. Both need to be switched on tactically even when they’re getting fatigued.
I’ve got a lot of respect for athletes in all sports, especially footballers. They play in front of packed stadiums and handling that pressure isn’t easy.
However, boxing is tougher physically. Curtis Woodhouse and Leon McKenzie have both swapped football for boxing in recent years and they’ll tell you that missing a chance is easier to recover from than a punch in the face!
Anyway, enough of all the chitchat. It’s time to get started…”
ROUND 1 FUEL YOUR FIGHT
Before you step into the ring or onto the pitch, you need to fire up the furnace with King Khan’s essential diet tips
Don’t take shortcuts
“If you fill your petrol car with diesel then it won’t work, and it’s the same if you eat the wrong foods. I used to cut some corners earlier in my boxing career, but these days I leave nothing to chance. Make sure you don’t, either.”
Stock up on protein
“Shakes are a great way of getting protein in your system quickly before and after training. I have one before and after my first session of the day at 7am, and a third at 1pm. They’re light and don’t bloat your stomach.”
Keep your engine oiled
“My diet is very strict during the training camp. I make sure I eat lots of fish, which contains Omega-3, to help keep my joints in good shape. I’ll also have steak a couple of times a week and eat fruit and vegetables with every meal.”
More after the break
ROUND 2 HIT THE GYM
Upgrade your strength, power and stamina with a muscle-burning circuit from the 2004 Olympic silver medalist
“This is a classic boxing exercise. Place two hands on a bar and then jump over it side-to-side, without pausing between jumps. Do this as many times as possible in one minute. I aim for 45, which isn’t easy. See if you can beat it.”
“As soon as you’ve completed one minute on the bar, go straight to the bag and punch it as hard as you can for 60 seconds. This is great for keeping your heart rate high, building stamina and improving upper-body strength.”
“Your arms and shoulders will be really hurting now, after those first two intense exercises, but you’ve got to dig deep, so see how many press-ups you can get through over the course of a minute. Place both of your hands on the floor in front of you, just over shoulder-width apart, and push yourself up and down at speed for 60 seconds. You’re almost done...”
“Lie on your back and get a team-mate to hit your stomach with a medicine ball for one minute. Tense your abs before each hit to help absorb the impact. Too hard? Try 60 seconds of sit-ups instead.”
ROUND 3 PRE-FIGHT TUNE-UP
Congratulations – you’ve got this far with the right diet and training programme. But before you go to war on the pitch, Khan has some words of advice…
Revive your game
“Training hard is crucial during the build-up to a fight or a new season, but it’s wasted if you don’t recover properly. I have a nap between 10am and 12pm every day before my second session. It feels like a new day when I wake up. Try it before your next match or practice.”
Clarity breeds confidence
“You can lose a fight or a match before it even starts if you’re not 100 per cent clear about what your game plan is. Make sure you know your tactics inside out – it will give you confidence. Speak to your team-mates and make sure that you’re all on the same page.”
Get in the zone
“My life away from the training camp can be pretty crazy. At home in England I can get pulled left, right and centre doing different things, so I go off to the US to get away from it all. It can be a lonely existence at times, but there are no distractions. Before a game or training session, create your own quiet space to help you get focused.”
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