Men’s Health: Eat Yourself Lean

On the one hand, boxing is a squalid business.
Blame it on the trash-talk, the wilful mismatches, the
ill-advised comebacks of punch-drunk 40-somethings
in desperate need of fast cash. Blame it on the stench
of corruption evoked by judging decisions that strain
rational thought. Blame it on the alphabet soup of
sanctioning bodies – IBF, WBC, WBA and WBO – that
devalue the currency of a world title. Blame it on men
like Don King, boxing’s most famous promoter, who
was once convicted for stomping a man to death in a
Cleveland street (the unfortunate man’s last purported
words: “Don, I’ll give you the money”).
And yet…
There is also a strange integrity to the sport. Inside
the ring there is no place to hide. Stepping between the
ropes, taking a punch on the snout and trying to work
out how to return it with interest, teaches you many
things – discipline, courage,
maybe even self-knowledge. But
there are more instantly tangible
benefts, too. Boxing will make
you ftter than you’ve ever been
in your life.
For the frst rule of fght club
is that it’ll transform you into
knockout shape (hence our boxing special on p115).
Between the heavy bag and the innumerable rounds
of skipping, the roadwork and the raw exhilaration of
sparring, boxing forces you to put your body on the line
and train with real intensity.
I got a brief taste of this some years back when – in
order to write a MH story – I did 10 weeks of intensive
boxing-training to prepare for a white-collar bout.
What I learned was that I defnitely couldn’t have been
a contender. In the ring I had the clumsy footwork of
toddler and flailed my arms with zero composure. Yet
boxing also redefned my ftness levels and slashed my
body-fat percentage to single digits. Most signifcantly,
those results came from training that was actually fun.
That noise you can hear? It’s the bell and it’s ringing
time on half-arsed workouts. The sweet science is
calling. Ding, ding

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