Friday, May 12, 2006


MaxBoxing has a short piece on Teddy Atlas' first book--an autobiography of sorts.

Teddy Atlas was a fine trainer, but what he's given back to boxing fans as a commentator for ESPN has been perhaps even more notable. He is, bar none, the most knowledgeable and interesting boxing analyst on television.

How does that translate into book form? I don't know. I would imagine that it's possible the book is uneven, as this Publishers Weekly review maintains...

Boxing trainer and ESPN commentator Atlas ruminates on fighting as a form of masculine psychotherapy, from his own youthful street brawling to his stints training a young Mike Tyson and heavyweight champ Michael Moorer. His theme is the male psyche's craving for paternal approval, evinced in his juvenile acting out against an emotionally distant dad and his ringside relationships with a succession of surrogate sons. With them, Atlas's mentoring toggles between fatherly tenderness ("I care about you. You're important to me") and tough-love harangues ("hit him in the fuckin' balls and become a fighter or you get on the next train and you get the fuck out of my life!"). He also becomes a spiritual guide to celebrity clients like Twyla Tharp, whom he lectures on the need to face one's fears, and Willem Dafoe, with whom he discusses the nature of truth. Atlas's exhaustively transcribed motivational sermons can be wearisome, and in his self-serving accounts of boxing industry intrigues he is always loyal and principled. But he and amanuensis Alson tell his story with plenty of atmospherics, Runyonesque characters and an illuminating focus on the boxer's internal battle. Photos. (May 9)

But I'm going to pick it up. I think it'll be fascinating regardless.


Wednesday's Exercise:

Abs- 3 sets obliques on machine - 4 sets obliques (2 each side) using 70 lb machine weight - 150 crunches (continuous, to semi-exhaustion)

-3 sets bench press, 2 50 lb dumbbells - 3 sets seated machine press, 140 lbs - 3 sets incline machine flyes, 120 lbs - 3 sets dumbbell pull up, 65 lbs - 3 sets reverse flyes, 2 30 lb dumbbells

- 3 sets military press, 2 30 lb dumbbells - 3 sets shrugs, 2 50 lb dumbbells
(continuous, no rest: bench press, dumbbell pull up, reverse flyes, military press, shrugs)

- 6 sets (single grip; 3 sets per side) latt pull-down at 80 lbs; 3 sets bar latt pull-down at 140 lbs, wide grip - 3 sets upright rows at 135 lbs

- 3 sets incline leg press at 720 lbs (high, middle, feet together) - 6 sets incline leg press at 700 lbs (high [15 reps], middle [10 reps], feet together [8 reps], with no rest; repeat) - 2 sets at 600 lbs (high, then feet together; 10 reps each) - 2 sets at 500 lbs (same) - 2 sets at 400 lbs (same) - 2 sets at 300 lbs (same) - 2 sets at 200 lbs (same)
(after the first nine sets, no rest between sets for the 2-set combos from 600 lbs to 200 lbs)
- 3 sets leg extensions at 180 lbs followed by 1 exhaustion set at 100 lbs
- 6 sets leg curls at 70 lbs (3 sets each leg)
- 70 calf raises using own body weight (shifting position to hit the muscle differently every 20 or so)

Arms- 4 sets of bicep 21's using 40 lb barbell immediately after doing a set of latt pull-downs (this really hurt) and followed by a set each time of forearms curls with a 30 lb barbell - 1 set of bicep curls using 65 lb barbell
- 4 sets of machine tricep pull-downs at 100 lbs (yeah!) immediately after forearm curls
- 1 set triceps using 2 30-lb weights

Cardio- 1/2 mile run to start, followed by 1 lap sprint
- 30 minutes on exercise bike, mostly at level 21, so close to doing stairmaster, in terms of effort
- 2 lap all-out sprint to exhaustion

I'm really happy because the first few times I went to 700 lbs on the leg press, I was amazingly sore the next couple days. But now my body has adjusted to it and I can begin adding on a little bit of weight gradually over the next nine weeks. I'm also psyched about the strength gains from doing 21's for biceps and mixing in machine work for chest and triceps. Next week, I will up the cardio on non-gym days and being to alter the exercise routine so my body doesn't get too used to it. I also think this three-days-a-week full-body routine (about 2 to 2.5 hours of weight work, 40 minutes of cardio) really is doing the trick. It's helping with flexibility, power, and core strength. I haven't lost very much weight, but I have definitely toned, as everything is fitting me differently. My obliques are more toned than at any time in my life.

I've cut my chai latte consumption down to two a week, which means I've cut 200 calories a day out of my diet five days a week. When I drink beer now, I never drink the night before a heavy exercise day and keep it to one beer or a half-beer, if that. I am trying to eat more vegetables and keeping bread other than wheat to a minimum.

I must add that Ann is in incredible shape--she does the gym stuff with me. Absolutely incredible shape.


At 10:06 AM, Blogger Avi Abrams said...

I am thinking of going public with exercize routines too - it should keep me disciplined...

BTW, hi from Canada - i keep a blog of my reading experience -
and some nice photos of our last year Europe trip
(maybe i have a tip or too for your future Europe trip destinations...)

maybe you can have a quick look:

Avi Abrams

At 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Hey-thanks for the post. Your blog is really interesting, especially the way you have it divided up. I'll try to take a longer look later.

Yeah, I try not to itemize the exercise in such detail every day. I usually use a shorthand. But I have to say, recording it helps a lot in keeping with it, for me.

Feel free to drop me a line.


At 6:25 AM, Blogger Joe said...

I too am in incredible shape. Mostly round, but that's a terrific shape. And given the Scottish winter I need that layer of insulation real ales give me. That's my excuse and I am sticking to it. And I can't blame it on Anne's wonderful bourbon balls either.

Today's exercises: intense, ambidexterous tummy tickling for the cats (big calorie burner, works out arm muscles) followed by a bout of Extreme Litter Tray Cleaning.


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