Coach Spotlight Series: George Foreman III on Boxing + Cross Training
Transcription provided by Katie Curtis This week’s CoachUp Spotlight features George Foreman III and his insight into the importance of cross training in achieving any sport-specific goal. During his years of experience, George has come to find that athletes of any shape and size can benefit from cross training because it focuses on every muscle group, even the ones that sport-specific training tends to neglect. He further discusses the nature of BOXFIIT™ teaching and why Boston is such a great location for getting involved with the fitness community.
CoachUp: You use boxing as a cross training technique for trainees who are not necessarily boxers or looking to get in the ring. How important is cross training when working towards a fitness or sport-specific goal?
George Foreman III: I feel that cross-training is important for any athlete in any sport. While perfecting your craft is certainly important, nearly every type of workout or sport will focus on certain muscle groups and neglect others. This applies to everyone: basketball players, soccer players, dancers, yogis, and yes, even boxers. Boxing, or BOXFIIT™, is a great cross-training workout for any sport because it involves strength, speed, and full-body coordination. Boxing fitness is also as good for the mind as it is the body. Adding some variety to your routine will help mix things up and keep your workouts fun. Hitting a bag can be very therapeutic!
CU: What kind of athletes do you work with? Are most of your trainees boxing clients? Athletes focusing in other sports? General fitness clients?
GF: I’ve worked with all different types of people, from general fitness clients to professional athletes in a variety of sports. I train amateur and professional boxers, too. Everyone I train has their own reasons for trying BOXFIIT™ and they’re all so equally unique and inspiring. That’s why, regardless of their sport, career, or general reasons for showing up, we refer to everyone as a “fighter.”
CU: What kind of certifications do you offer to your trainers? How extensive is the training you provide for these certifications?
GF: We have a program called Fight School, which teaches the fundamentals of boxing fitness and certifies others to teach BOXFIIT™ anywhere. It’s not a “pay-and-go” certification, or a one-day seminar; it’s an extensive boxing fitness curriculum. It includes over 50 hours of educational video, 200 plus detailed movements, and I provide personalized feedback on all submissions. We designed it so that upon graduation, a BOXFIIT™ instructor will have the confidence and skill to teach anywhere, and we will have the confidence in them to create that experience our fighters expect.
CU: How important are certifications when clients are looking to work with a trainer?
GF: Certifications are of the utmost importance, now more than ever. The increasing dialogue and “enthusiasts” in the health and fitness world have grown exponentially because of social media. An “enthusiast” may be someone who is showcasing their progress and tips online. We love “enthusiasts” and their passion for health and fitness. What has happened, though, is the sheer amount of people out there sharing information can be confusing to someone looking for a resource. An expert who is trained and educated in the field can better identify what may work for a specific individual and tailor a program for them. Certifications are proof, which can make it easier for an individual to identify if a resource can help them with their specific needs rather than hearing someone’s personal opinion.
CU: You have been very successful running your own business. What advice can you give to your fellow CoachUp coaches on how to successfully run their own private coaching businesses?
GF: First thing I can say is that you have to be willing to work really hard and also take time to build relationships with your people. I will never pitch a “silver bullet” or “keys to success” to a trainer, entrepreneur, or even a fighter that I train. In this business, you’re working with people. Get to know them well, identify their needs, and create a positive experience, one person at a time.
CU: Both CoachUp and EverybodyFights are located in Boston. What makes the Boston fitness community so special? How does Boston’s emphasis on innovation and technology influence your business?
GF: For one, Boston is one of the healthiest cities in America and also the hub for fitness classes. The technology, and, more specifically, the amount of startup fitness-technology companies located in Boston is astounding. The business opportunities are clear, but I was still surprised, when I came up here, by the dense network and strength of the community. Boston can sometimes get a bad rap as a city known for being intense or even rude, but I guess I haven’t met those Bostonians yet. The ones I know are real, hardworking people of all shapes and sizes and walks of life. They’re demanding, however, and in the best way possible. They expect a tough workout and an experience that fosters a community of like-minded fighters.