Boxers wear hoods while training and prior to starting a fight for plenty of reasons some of which make a lot of sense, some simply for aesthetics, and some for a way to ‘cheat’ the system by appearing to have less weight than they really are.
Well let’s be honest here what’s the least thing you want to see at night, for me a muscular hooded guy fits on top of that criteria. A lot of fighters like to emit that vibe of danger / mysterious, which has some psychological effects on both your mind and that of your opponents. Training outside will make you feel more badass wearing a hood, entering the ring can keep you more focused and mentally prepared to take on your opponent.
Benefits Of Wearing A Hoodie
Well besides the badassery look hoods have they actually do have benefits for boxers. A good practise to wear a hoodie while entering a ring is that, prior to entering the ring a boxer will be doing some warm up drills, shadow boxing, stretching to get his muscles all warmed up. This is because cold muscles are stiff meaning they are more prone to injury and less effective than warm muscles, therefore wearing hoods while entering the ring help to keep the blood flowing preventing the muscles from going stiff.
While training with hoods there are many myths that are still believed to be true by plenty of people but in reality are not as great as most claim. One of the reasons that a boxer or anyone really might wear a training hoodie while training is for the believe that wearing one increases drastically the amount of calories burned, which seems legit when you go on your scale after a workout wearing a hoodie will make you notice a drop in weight instantly which continues to fuel this myth. But what really is happening is that you are loosing a lot of water from your system hence the reason for your drop in weight, once you rehydrate that weight is regained again. The whole reasoning behind being hotter increases the amount of calories one burns is totally inaccurate, the amount it increases is insignificant for a weight loss goal.
Another more obvious benefit for boxers to be wearing hoods is that of providing a protection against the elements. If your gonna go for a jog in the morning it’s probably going to be cold having a hoodie on will keep you warm and possibly even prevent you from catching a cold.
While training at the gym it can also be used as an addition barrier between your skin and the gym equipment for preventing germs, you never know the hygiene standards of the person using the machine before you.
Boxers also wear hoods to condition their body for hotter countries. Having a competition overseas could mean different climates, if it were to be in a hotter country than your own it would be wise for boxers to train in hoods to stimulate a hotter country.
How Boxer’s Use Hoods To Bypass Weight Regulations For Competitions
A practice Known as Weight Cutting is very common in any fighting competitions, where the fighter has to reach a specific weight to be able to compete in a specific fight. Losing 5 pounds in a time span of a week would be rather hard but by removing water from your system you can achieve those goals way faster. This leads to a lot of practices such as training with a hoodie to increase the amount of sweat you produce. This practice is very dangerous it’s considered more dangerous than the actual fight itself, and there have been chases where athletes have died due to extreme dehydration. Here’s a documentary by BBC Three featuring Dean Garnett with a normal weight of 69 kg having to lose 7 Kg in just 19 hours 10% of his normal body weight.
Due to the dangers of this practise The California State Athletic Commission is hardening its penalties for extreme weight-cutting the new rules can be seen here.
I hope I have cleared some misconceptions about why boxers wear hoods while training and enlightened you with the answers you were seeking. If you like to train with hoods on make sure you stay well hydrated and you will not suffer any bad side effects, If you start feeling way too hot remove the hoodie to prevent things such as heat stroke.
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