Written by Alistair Knight | 05 October 2019
It all started when…
One sunny summers evening in 2017 at the age of 17, I joined a UK boxing gym.
Before joining the gym, I felt nervous and afraid because my dad would always tell me stories about how he boxed a young man and hated being punched.
But my sense of adventure got the better of me and after one training session of jumping, punching, and heavy breathing: I was hooked!
I loved the sport so much I started training more often. My weekly training volume increased to a point where I was training six days per week, twice per day. I was becoming a better boxer and I wanted to become a professional, but…
What I didn’t realise at the time, was the fact that I was making one of the most classic mistakes of being an athlete: I was overtraining…
After three months of continuous, back-to-back, high-intensity training sessions (my body was not used to)… I had nothing left, like a car which is on its very last litre of fuel.
After one training session, I threw a left hook and I could feel my lower back alignment disconnect. Three seconds later and I had my back to the floor in agony… I was injured.
It took three months to recover from my lower back injury, and while I was out, I researched information online about ‘how often I should be training’ and ‘how to recover from my injury’.
However, the outdated information I found was wrong! I was told to “train as much as I can” and “as hard as possible”.
This advice is correct if you’re a professional athlete with a conditioned body, but I was just a skinny kid. However…
I believed what I read and took action on it.
I repeated the same mistake of overtraining by developing ligament issue in my knee and muscular strains up my back and down my calf.
Shortly after, the coach asked me how often I was training (because some days I trained at home too).
I replied with a sense of egotistical pride: “6 days per week, sometimes twice per day”.
He replied with shock, “that’s way too much – you’re still young and you need to develop stamina before you’re able to train like professional athletes do!”.
After realising my mistake, I started trained carefully.
I spoke with professional fighters about what they ate, what their ambitions were, how and when they trained and a lot more questions which helped me make better decisions with my training.
Over the course of three years, I still trained hard, but also now very smart.
My boxing skills improved enormously and I was outperforming my training partners in sparring. However, as fun as the sport of boxing is, boxing is also dangerous and sometimes deadly.
Suddenly, the feeling of holding a WBC belt in front of a crowd and being paid a million pounds a fight didn’t seem attractive to me. I couldn’t get the thought of ending up in a care home out of my head so I decided to throw in the towel.
The brilliant sport of boxing is suited to many people but: I was not one of those people.
As a digital marketer with website experience, I thought it would be a wise decision to build this website so that accurate answers I used to try and find online could finally be found by fighters and athletes with more determination than me. Which is why:
Every article I now write has to be relentlessly researched, based on my own real-life experience, accurate and enjoyable to read.
I’m delighted to say this blog (with your support) is helping thousands of new people every month just like you.
Thank you for reading my story and I hope you can avoid the mistakes that I made as an amateur boxer (you may find these mistakes within each article).
Please follow us on Instagram right now so that you don’t miss out on educative and entertaining content!
Share this story with your friends! 🙂
Alistair Knight is an amateur athlete in boxing and the founder of Healthy Principles. He spends most of his time practising and learning more about boxing to ensure you get the best experience-based and evidence-based insights to learn. Learn more about Alistair Knight