Fitness boxing
Punch up your stamina without hammering anybody
By AJAY BHARDWAJ, Edmonton Sun
Boxing coach Andy Dumas hopes the release of Ali, the movie about legendary heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali, puts a punch into the sale of his new fitness book.

Dumas co-wrote The One-Two Punch Boxing Workout (McGraw-Hill, $26.95) with fitness instructor Jamie Somerville.

"There's kind of hard-core boxing fans and then every once in a while there are things that come along that take it into the mainstream," Dumas said in an interview from his Oakville, Ont., home.

"You can't pick up a magazine without seeing (actor) Will Smith (who plays Ali) on the cover. I'm really happy with the timing."

Ali premieres Christmas Day.

Dumas, who's also a fitness consultant, figures his book shows workouts don't need to be the monotonous weight-lifting, treadmilling ordeals some of them can be.

"There's so many different elements to (boxing) that no one can say it's boring," Dumas said. "You can really develop an amazing body by boxing if you stick with it."

Dumas's book takes "the best of boxing" - shadow boxing, hitting the heavy bag, punching combinations, jumping rope and working on a speed bag - and combines it with strength and stamina-building exercises like running and weightlifting.

"If you put yourself through the program, you won't burn yourself out," Dumas said. "This program isn't designed to bulk you up. There's a creative feeling about hitting the heavy bag that you don't get with lifting weights or jumping on the treadmill. I've never really gotten bored of it."

Dumas covers boxing fundamentals like stance, throwing a punch or combinations of punches, footwork, using a heavy bag, taping and protecting your hands, weight and cardiovascular training.

Dumas figures the program will provide results in 12 weeks, about the time a boxer spends in training for competition.

There's even a logbook to chart progress over three months.

Edmonton fitness consultant Brigitte Cormier said fitness boxing increases stamina and tones muscles.

She agreed it can be used to relieve boredom from regular routines.

"If it's something new, it might be motivating," said Cormier. "Sometimes we all fall off the wagon and we need something to pull us back on.

"I think what you have to keep in mind is an end goal. Do you want to lose a few pounds or do you want to make a lifestyle change?"

Muhammad Ali, left, and Will Smith, right, give each other a jab at the premiere of the film "Ali," Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2001, at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. Smith portrays the boxing legend in the film which opens Dec. 25. Also pictured is Smith's son Trey.
(AP Photo/Rene Macura)
Dumas grew up surrounded by boxing. His father, Cliff Dumas, boxed professionally and sparred with former middleweight champion Jake La Motta.

Andy Dumas fought as a middleweight boxer (71 kg - 75 kg) in the amateur ranks for six years. At 22, he came to a crossroads in his boxing career and considered turning professional.

While Dumas loved boxing, he figured the professional sport was too brutal.

So he retired from competition and got into coaching. Now he works with young fighters and with what he refers to as "white-collar boxers," those who enjoy the workouts but never go face to face with another boxer.

"They'll probably never get into the ring but they really want a sense of what it's like to be a boxer," Dumas says.

Return to Press Page