Christian Schembri's training camp diary
Malta's favourite boxer, Christian 'Coqqus' Schembri (23-9-1, 8KO), is preparing for his 34th professional bout on September 30.
British fight fans will already be familiar with 31-year-old Schembri after he took Stoke's Nathan Heaney the distance over 10 rounds for the IBO Continental super-middleweight title in 2020.
Ahead of his showdown with Czech Republic's Milan Dvorak, Christian has agreed to share a unique insight into his training camp by sharing weekly diary entries written personally all through September, exclusive to BBN.
I had a good, strong start this week, with a good Monday. I went into the week fresh, having had a couple of rest days over the weekend. Saturday I had my weekly ice bath, which helps to speed up muscle recovery by increasing blood flow to keep the body warmer. Then, on Sunday, I spent the day with my family, relaxing and visiting some places where my little one can run around and play a bit.
First thing in the morning at 6am, was an easy 4km run and 15 minutes shadow boxing after. This is a nice workout which helps me think about how i want to box and practice techniques which I want to use. I usually do this on sparring days, and today was one of those days.
Sparring was with Niclas Elfstedt, Swedish pro boxer, and it was a good one. We did 6 rounds, high volume of punches thrown every round, with 40 seconds rest in between. After that we went 12 minutes on the bag, interval training, 15 seconds just moving around and 15 seconds going all out, letting the punches rip on the bag. It's a killer, but one which gets your gas tank full for the fight. On days like these I eat a bit more carbs as well, making sure I have enough energy for demanding workouts, and not feel flat doing it.
Tuesday morning I was supposed to have a 6AM start at the gym, so I got up earlier and started my morning run at 5:15AM, running 7KM. The weather has taken a turn for the grey, and I got caught up in the rain mid run. Funny, I had to take my top off to cover my phone, people must have thought I was mad running bare chested in the wind and rain. After that, hazards of the job, my 6AM guy did a no show, so I continued and got my push ups, pull ups, abs and neck training out of the way for the day.
After completing my morning P.T. sessions and having my mid day break, I went for padwork witn Mr. Dixon at Spinola bay. It was quite windy, so the waves were crashing on the shore, and we stepped into a couple of puddles, but it's all a part of being comfortable in the uncomfortable. I warmed up with a couple of rounds of shadow boxing and then we proceeded with 8 rounds of really intense padwork. My best attribute is my pressure and work rate, and he's really concentrating on perfecting and implementing that into my current style. He says, don't fix what ain't broken, and if it's what worked mostly up until now, it should not be changed, only improved.
We finished with a couple of cooling down shadow boxing rounds and three rounds skipping rope, then it was off for my last three afternoon boxing classes in the gym.
Another sparring day, and after two intense training days, I was feeling stiff, so I skipped the morning session to be fresh for sparring, and I clumped all my training together.
I try to change my sparring regularly, to keep me on my toes and not get used to the patterns of the boxers, and today it was two amatuer boxers who I've known for quite some time, Darren Scerri and Matthew Caruana. Darren Scerri has a fight coming up as well so he's in very good shape, and Matthew's a fitness freak, so no question about his shape.
First I did five rounds with Darren and then finished off with three with Matthew so it was quite high paces rounds, all with 40 seconds rest in between. After that it was two rounds on the double end bag (managed to set it up properly).
Now it's time for conditioning, since I skipped in the morning, and I jumped straight into it after sparring. Twelve rounds of three minute skipping rope, with the minute in between consisting of 10 push ups, squats and situps. Not my hardest conditioning workout, but tough and long after sparring, good for mental toughness as well.
A good fifteen minute stretch was in order after that one, to help with my recovery, preventing extra tightness and injury in future workouts.
Today was supposed to be the day I do a 10km run, however the weather was quite dreadful, with heavy rain and wind during the day. So instead, I did a different kind of cardio. 20 minutes each on the ski-erg, row-erg and assault bike. It's a different kind of training to running, since all machines involve upper body movement as well as the legs, but it's a killer nonetheless.
After three days of heavy contract training, I did a low impact boxing session in the afternoon. I spent about an hour in front if the mirror shadow boxing, working on techniques that did not come off in sparring the day before, and working on having my hands in the correct position after every punch, slip and roll, as well as making sure my balance was right during all the movements.
After that was about ten minutes on the
Olympic Rings to work my core, where I do some hanging L-sits and other moves to improve my body punch resistance and core strength, which in turn improves my punching power.
Following that, I finished my workout with some neck raises and twists. I do these almost every day, as I'm a big believer in having a strong neck for good punch resistance, as well as for general health in your life. The neck is one of the most under trained parts by everyone, which is why a lot of people suffer with stiff necks and neck strains.
The best paid plans go awry, and today was one of those days where you have to dance to the beat of life. Instead of a morning run it was again a circuit on the machines.
5 minute rounds on the ski-erg, rower and assault bike for three sets to get my heart rate up, since when driving to Sliema, the gym location, dark clouds could be seen everywhere, and I didn't fancy getting caught up running in a storm again.
After that was my usual morning shift in the gym, and then I had to change stuff up as there was still a lot to do before we leave for my friend's wedding and I needed some rest in between sessions as well. So instead of going for pads with Scott, I had to rain check it and train by myself at the gym. In this session I decided to focus on technique and tightening up loose ends again, so I did four rounds in the mirror shadow boxing, four rounds on the punching bag and four rounds skipping rope. Followed by one round burpees, one round squats and one round hanging ab exercises.
That's a wrap for the week, now it's off to Sicily for my best friend's wedding, which will be the ultimate exercise in self discipline to stay away from wine, cake and delicious food!
Article sponsored by HÖRFA