Monday, June 29, 2009

More Maize Bag

There are many designs for maize bags, just like for heavy bags.

Most people opt for a Maize Bag similar to the following video on FightChannel since this is what Mike Tyson was seen using and we all know how good he was in his prime for dodging punches and nailing his opponents.

This is a popular form of the Maize Bag and has great advantages since it’s easy and cheap to make (I used one on vacation made from a sandwich bag, some string and sand I got from the beach).

Another, less commonly seen, Maize Bag is the Traditional Heavy Maize Bag
This bag weighs 66 pounds and has an 18” diameter and is 22” high (or long). Pretty close in dimensions to Reyes Wrecking Ball bag and Title’s Body Snatcher Bag. This is much different than the maize bags most of us see, which are much smaller and lighter. The advantages of this bag are that you have to really move to get out of its way (it’s bigger) and you can really hit it (most heavy bags are 75 to 100 pounds so this is pretty close) most maize bags are light enough that hitting them just sends them bouncing off the ceiling. Video of the Heavy Maize bag:

In the US the most commonly available Maize bags are from Title Boxing (5”x 8”) and Ringside Boxing (an Everlast Bag)
Both these bags are the size of an extra small speed bag and weigh only a pound or so.

Regardless of the bag you use (and all are good) there are a few other variables to consider: Bag position and Length of the Chain or Cord.

Bag Position: some, like me, prefer the bag at a low position about chin or shoulder height while others prefer a higher position at nose or forehead height. Neither is right or wrong as long as you learn to slip and evade punches. Most fighters aim at the bridge of the nose but I like the safety margin of placing the bag lower (just in case).

Length of the Chain or Cord: this determines how fast the bag swings, the longer the chain the slower the swing and the shorter the chain the faster the swing. In my training I like to vary the height that I hang my bag from (10 feet down to 8 feet and sometimes in a doorway – each gives a different feel and speed). Below you can see training off a speed bag mount

I think I’m going to try hanging my 20 pound medicine ball from my 10 foot ceiling for a change of pace and I’ll put up video soon on that.

Get or make a maize bag and have some fun maizing, it’ll make you a better fighter.

(Please post any comments, suggestions or questions to "Comments" below)

Monday, June 8, 2009

This year has been a tough one for me and probably most of you reading this. I’ve had many friends lose their jobs or forced to take lower pay for the job that they are doing. At the start of the year my clinic was in trouble, I thought I even might be forced to close and go work for someone else to make ends meet.

Due to all this stress I’d virtually stopped working out. I’m always motivated by the people I work out with…but…they weren’t coming any more because of financial and time problems (the same problems most of us are all facing). I was “in a hole” and knew I had to “Get myself back in the Game”.

I hate feeling I’m out of shape and now I am so… so I’m doing a 30 day health/fitness challenge and I’m using it as an example of what you can do for yourself following this basic format. Its pretty bare bones but that’s the point. I want it to be simple so anyone can do it. Getting back in shape doesn’t need to require much time you just need to do something active that you like doing – and keep doing it.

Walking, jogging, playing tag with your kids (this can be pretty tough), Wii Fit (it may not get you outside but it gets you moving and it includes some objective measures so you can see your progress).

What you DON’T need:
  • A gym membership
  • A fancy home gym or full set of weights
  • Spending hours a day busting your butt

If you have the time and money for these things then great but if you don’t then you needn’t worry. You can make great strides in a short time with minimal or no equipment.

What you DO need:
  • A living breathing body (yours)
  • A desire to feel better
  • About 30 minutes a day to get up and do something

A Guide for the 30 day challenge:
  • Find an activity you like doing AND DO IT 5-6 days a week (or you can mix up some different activities).
  • DO IT for ½ hour a day. Some of you may need to work up to this, that’s not a problem, just start with what you can do and keep it up. If you’re unable to do 30 minutes start with 5 and work up week to week. You will actually make much more progress in 30 days than those who find 30 minutes of activity easy, and you’re measurements will prove it.
  • Diet: focus on whole foods especially fruits and vegetables (at least a serving every meal). I’ll go into more detail week to week over the next 30 days with tips and tricks to help you reach your goals and be healthier.

To really make the most of this 30 day challenge you need to do 2 additional things (Set Goals and Measure them).
  • Set some concrete goals (these need to be measurable like: how fast you can cover a set distance, max pushups or other exercise or even just fitting into a pair of pants that you want to wear).
  • Make measurements, before and after so you can see how much progress you’ve made. Without some way to measure how far you’ve come it’s easy to get bored or discouraged
If you need some help with goals or how to measure them feel free to email me at just be sure to include “30 Day Challenge” in the Subject portion of your email.

I encourage all of you to post your goals, thoughts or comments under comments below.

My goals:
  • Lower my body fat – I can’t find my calipers so I’m using abdominal girth measured around the waist at the belly button.
  • Increased work capacity – I’m using the 5 minute Kettlebell snatch test for this and total snatches as my measure.
For the diehards – I’m not using an official snatch test, I’m using a 16kg kettlebell and switching hands every 10 snatches (the official test uses a 24kb kettlebell with only 1 hand switch). I have never done a 5 minute snatch test before and won’t be training specifically for it but it’s still a good measure.
  • Max Pull-ups and Max Push-ups.

In addition I am taking pictures and body weight measurements (I won't show you the pictures until this whole thing is done. My non-measurable goals are to get to where I feel comfortable in the ring again.

I started back last week with kettlebell and boxing training and I want you to see what you can accomplish in just one month of training. On June 1st I took measurements filmed my efforts and took pictures of myself.

Below are my starting stats:

  • Weight 165lbs
  • Waist at belly button 36”
  • Snatch test 55
  • Pull-ups 9
  • Push-ups 25

I’ll have video up soon, can’t find the charger for my camera so I can’t put up the video I have of my start until then.