Archive - October 2015

Training Solo – you can do it!

With one day to go in the Dadbod2Boxer challenge, I thought I would fill you in a little bit on the last couple of weeks where I have been training mostly by myself.

So I have always been the type of person who feels that the only way to get more out of myself is for a trainer to push me to limits I rarely go to. I’ve found that this has been hit and miss in the past. Some trainers can understand you and over time can measure how intensely you train and therefore know how much further to push it. Unfortunately a lot of trainers I have come across, trainers I’ve actually had sessions with seem to stick to a pre-determined series of activities and rarely change it up or increase/decrease the intensity as required.

I’m happy to say that firstly, I think my trainer (Dave) understands where I’m at and I like to give him feedback anyway (fortunately swear words are rare, but then I wouldn’t want to be pissing off my trainer either).

Oh yes you can!

Oh yes you can!

I think when you get that base understanding over just a few weeks of consistent training, between trainer and trainee, a good trainer will mix up your tasks and create incremental challenges, pushing a little further each session. And just in case he’s reading, my previous PT instructor Adam was pretty good at this too.

But I want to get the most out of myself and love being challenged physically and mentally, so with my trainer led sessions I know I’m getting maximum benefit, it’s about having that strong trainer/trainee relationship.

At week 10 though, the household was a bit behind budget for the month and I wasn’t able to book in the sessions I usually would book with Trainer Dave. There’s no excuses to not train in Dadbod2Boxer so this was the first time to start hitting the boxing gym solo and put into practice all that I have learned the last couple of months. I wanted to leave that gym as close as I could to feeling destroyed, just like my trainer makes me feel. But I also wanted to ensure that I was not dropping off on my core strength exercises of pushups, situps, commandos, planks and cycle crunches. In fact, I wanted to work on those just as much and even better my record counts on those exercises.

Along with the core exercises, I included a solid 3 minutes of skipping and 3 minutes of shadow boxing. Shadow boxing looks easy, but keeping up a sustained shadow boxing with form and technique is no easy feat and it’s a fantastic cardiovascular exercise to kick off a session with along with the skipping. When I first started I thought I looked like a fool doing it, but over time you realise you look perfectly normal, in a boxing gym anyway.

So with my warmups and core exercises, I do 3 solid minutes on a medium to heavy bag and try and stick to form and link together as many combinations as I can and always thinking about weight distribution (left or right) and footwork. I do this 3 times, so a good 9 minutes on the bag. With my middle session on the bag, I try and throw some hard power punching combinations with a lot of body shots/rips. In between the bag sessions is where I do more core exercises.

rocky-meme-generator-even-champions-take-a-beating-f86385Before I started training solo, I’d struggle to get 20 pushups done, especially after a session on the bag with the fatigue in my shoulders, but I’ve now trained to the points where I can get 30-40 out pretty easily and my record is now at 50. Another one I struggled in is the cycle crunches. Before I trained by myself, my record was 80, now it’s 150. And with my plank (prone hold), my record was 2 minutes, now it’s 3 minutes. My goal now is always ensure I leave my own training session as drained as I do when I leave my trainers session.

So training solo, it can be done, but you need to learn how to train first. Not to mention that with some of these activities, without the right training & guidance, you can easily injure yourself in the most innocuous way. Interestingly as my technique and fitness has increased, the less visits I’ve had to the physio too, which is always a bonus.

This is the final week of the first phase of Dadbod2boxer. I hope to be able to share with you all in the near future what the next phase holds and start posting more instructional video, now that I no longer look a walrus trying to handle a bar of wet soap!

Next week will be some video of my final week, some insights from my trainer, some final measurements and the body shape comparison pics.

Till next time, box on!




Week 10 – Recovery & the Run Home

So I haven’t updated everyone for a while, truth be known I have been waiting for the results of the FightFit Training Camp program, dealing with the logistical nightmare that is school holidays and have been a bit unwell.

The last fortnight has not been blessed with freakish, day after day training sessions as there has been up until now. I decided to become an eager participant for my workplace’s football team and being that it’s an annual event I certainly didn’t want to over train or injure myself prior to the match – missing this match was not an option. So the training tapered off because of that and as previously mentioned, school holiday logistics meant I needed to work from home and home is a long way from the gym.


Reliving glory days on the SEEK Footy Day

Thankfully, I got to run out on the ground in a veiled desperate attempt to relive my glory days on the football field, resulting in a win for the mighty “SEEK Saints” and I’ve navigated through school holidays successfully. There has been less training as a result, but this has been a blessing in disguise as it’s given my body a chance to heal from the sheer amount of training I’ve been putting away. My shoulder niggles have settled as to have my knuckle bruising, going from “ouchy ouchy”, to just “ouchy” (which is good in my book).

It’s also given me time to reflect on how far I’ve come, which only makes me excited for the next 3 weeks. I even knocked out my first 5km run for a few years and other than some calf tightness I still had a reasonable amount of gas left in the tank. I could not do that 10 weeks ago.

The body shape has definitely changed, I look slimmer, feel slimmer and continue to have bounce in my step. Am I at where I wanted to be at this stage of the journey? Yes, I think so. Still 3 weeks to go and a lot can be achieved in just 3 weeks. From here I just plan on hitting the training as hard as I can and hope that a spew bucket is not required!

And the results of my training camp? Well, first things first, I didn’t pass. Strictly speaking, I needed to complete ALL components of the camp. However, given that my first day of this 12 week journey happened to be first day of Training Camp, comparing where I was then to where I am now, I’ve come a loooooong way.


Getting there

On day one, I had no technique, didn’t know how to throw a punch, with either hand, didn’t know how to block, slip, weave or use my feet. But strangely enough, it was all the technique with the gloves and pads, and the fitness around my bag boxing work, where I actually passed with flying colors. It was only the last 30 minutes of the 90 minute session where I fell down, and to be honest, it was where I thought I was going to fail.

The structure of the camp sessions are always 90 minutes and start with an hour of full on technique and solid bag work and at the end of that 1 hour, you are well and truly spent, but need to back it up for the core exercise component. These consist of:

  • 100 burpees
  • 30 pushups
  • 30 commandos
  • 50 alternating situps (opposite elbow to knee)
  • 150 cycle crunches
  • 2 minute plank hold (prone hold)

So I knocked out the 100 burpees (on day 1, I could only manage 20), but I had already spent all my petrol tickets in the first hour and the rest of the core exercises were a struggle and couldn’t complete all reps. I ended up doing the following:

  • 100 burpees
  • 15 pushups
  • 18 commandos
  • 23 alternating situps
  • 80 cycle crunches
  • 90 second plank hold

And what did the other work look like? Well check this monster out!

  • 3 minutes skipping with last minute using high knees – done!
  • 2x 3 minutes of shadow boxing showing form and technique – done!
  • 3x 3 minute rounds on the bag showing good footwork, defence, punching skills and fitness – done!
  • 3x 1 minute rounds on the bag against an opponent on the opposite side – done!
  • 6x 20 second work on the bag at 100% effort, 40 seconds rest between each – done!
  • Technique culminating up to Jab, cross, left hook, right cross – done!
  • Technique culminating up to Jab, cross, left uppercut, right cross, left hook, right cross – done!
  • Technique culminating up to right uppercut, left hook, right cross, left hook – done!
  • Technique culminating up to right cross, left rip, right cross, left hook, right cross – done!
  • …and a whole tonne of weaving, slipping and blocking combined with the above combinations – done!

Master of Pain – Paul Fyfield – I forgot not to smile

Am I disappointed I didn’t pass? Ummm, yes and no. Ideally I would have liked to have able to have summoned the luck of the Irish and pass all tests, even with a struggle, but it wasn’t to be. But I am happy when I consider how far I have come in 8 weeks with all of this.

For the next 3 weeks I’ll just be focused on putting in as much training as I can during the week, and when I’m not training at the gym, I plan to get out and do something. Either 5km lunchtime runs or some park work with a football with work colleagues. All the while I’m continuing to eat right and I’m now including magnesium, BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids) and Electrolytes during my workouts.

So let’s see how far I can get!

Between now and the completion of this journey I won’t be doing the weekly measurement updates, I’ll just do one last one at the end, along with my final Dexa scan. I’ll also have some more video coming, so stay tuned!

Till then, box on!