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Fitness experts: Mayweather won’t wither away


Steve Marcus

Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, connects on WBA super welterweight champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico during their title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday, May 5, 2012.

Floyd Mayweather denied house arrest

KSNV reports that a judge denied boxer Floyd Mayweather's plea to be transferred from the Clark County Detention Center to house arrest due to inhumane conditions, June 13.

Mayweather 90-Day Sentence

Floyd Mayweather Jr. appears in court at the Regional Justice Center on Friday, June 1, 2012, to start his 90-day jail sentence for domestic battery. Launch slideshow »
Click to enlarge photo

Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa presides during a hearing regarding the sentencing of boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Friday, Jan. 6, 2012.

Now that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is stuck in an isolated cell at the Clark County detention center 23 hours a day, his bid for house arrest rejected by a judge who said he can darn well drink tap water and eat jail food, is his career really at risk? Without access to exercise equipment, will his finely honed body wither away as he completes his 90-day sentence? Is he doomed to a flabby future?

Nope, unless that’s what he wants.

“There have been a lot of athletes who have been out of training for extended periods of time, but it’s not that uncommon for them to come back pretty quickly,” says Carl Foster, a professor in the department of exercise and sports science at the University of Wisconsin La-Crosse and a member and former president of the American College of Sports Medicine. “While an athlete never likes to not train, sometimes it proves to be less harmful than they think.”

He can still commit to a regimen of push-ups, crunches and jumping jacks. Not high tech but useful nonetheless, trainers say.

“I suspect that a lot of the simple stuff is pretty effective. There’s a lot that can be done from basic methods,” says Foster. “Athletes have done creative things before. Is it optimal? Probably not, but it can work.”

Lester Pardoe, an exercise physiologist at Boulder Center for Sports Medicine in Colorado, says he doesn’t understand Mayweather’s fears that jail time could end his career.

“It would take pretty extreme circumstances for a person to be affected that severely,” says Pardoe.

He suggests, though, that a break from training can be beneficial for athletes.

“It’s easy to get burned out. From an athlete’s perspective, a little time off can be helpful,” says Pardoe. He said he took a break from training prior to the 1998 Winter Olympics — his last as a New Zealand speed skater — and, when he returned to exercising, performed even better.

What would the athlete do during the down time? Pardoe says it can be an effective opportunity to focus on mental and emotional issues.

“There is a big mental side to boxing,” says Pardoe, who explains that visualization can be key to sharpening an athlete’s mental state. “He could visualize himself winning, visualize his last fight, what went wrong, what he could do better. He could practice working on relaxation or how to keep calm as well.”

Mayweather is in jail for beating his girlfriend.

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