Day 1 - Ground Zero

August 2, 2015

So Day 1 of training is in the books. Whilst I ease myself into the diet from Monday, I made sure I didn't get up out of bed until I've polished off a massive cup of water.

Rule #1: If you want to save yourself from an instantly squeemish stomach, don't gulp down ice cold water as soon as you get up. This is where I should have listened in detail to Stu (Primal Food), to place the cup of water on your bedside before going to bed and it's down to room temperature by the morning.

Today's training was our first session at Fight Fit's Training Camp, inside word was that it was going to be solid and brutal for the uninitiated. They weren't wrong. Knowing this I made sure that I took plenty of water on board and went extreme and had a banana before 12pm.

As midday approached, which was start time for the first class, I got there a little early and met up with Sally from Fight Fit to discuss some of the finer details of how the training week would pan out the sort of content I was going to push up here. Sally has been great in supporting this initiative and she'll be following my journey separately through the Fight Fit website. So make sure you get on over to their website and see it from the trainers perspective.

Sally also introduced me to our camp trainer Paul Fyfield for the first time. A legendary fight trainer and incredibly fit looking. This was my first inkling into how demanding the session would be. But nontheless, a very approachable and friendly chap. A love-hate relationship ready to blossom.

T-Minus 3 minutes until session start and after some awkward stretching in the corner, I look around at the types of people I'll be training with across this 8 weeks. Mostly guys, but a couple of girls as well. All seem to be wearing boxing shoes and shadow boxing. Have I attended the wrong class? Surely this is for beginners, yes? No, this training camp is for all, but it seems that the camp has attracted those who know the quality of Paul's training and most who attended were people that have been introduced to boxing through Fight Fit. Feel out of place much? You bet!

Rule #2: Always remember your hand wraps. Hand wraps are used to protected your hand bones, joints, ligaments and tendons from the rigors of punching. Whilst looking around at everyone, there was one thing they all had in common that I didn't. They were all wearing their hand wraps! Rush down stairs where Sally spots me a new set of wraps and I'm wrapping like mad before the session starts. My hands looked more like that of an Egyptian mummy than a amateur boxer. Anyway, lesson learned.

Midday arrived and we all gathered and got a quick intro from Paul before kicking off training with some core exercises first. My hope was that we were going to have a 90 minute session that felt like 30 minutes. But as fate would have it, 30 minutes in and I was already starting to question myself. I was cooked. What the hell am I doing here? I felt so out of my league fitness wise.

Here's what we did up first:

  • 50 Burpees (no press up, no jump)
  • 50 Bicycle Crunches
  • 3 minutes of skipping
  • 30 Pushups
  • 2 minute prone hold
  • 30 elbow to knee situps
  • 30 commandos (from push up position, move down to each elbow and then back up again)
  • 2x 3 minutes of shadow boxing
  • 3x 3 minutes of punching bag work

So by that 30 minute mark, we at that stage were moving into the shadow boxing and bag work and I was truly spent.

The next 30 minutes was spent with a partner and alternating between using focus pads and the gloves. As has been the case most of my life, I was not picked up by anyone and I was left to train with the only other person left, which was one of the girls. I saw her working on the bag earlier, and yeah, I was intimidated. Just a little.

I was first on the gloves and after 30 minutes of Left/Right jabs, hooks and weaves, there were a few things abundantly clear:

  • I had every right to be intimidated by my female partner. She was all business and showed me how it should be done. Great first learning experience.
  • I wouldn't last 1 minute in a fight. That mental note to always keep your non-punching hand back on your face was highlighted by a push to unprotected side of my face by Paul. Yep, duly noted.
  • It's all mental. Sure, being physically fit will ensure you can hit harder for longer. But if you don't use your head and concentrate on the form and technique, you quickly become lost in a whirlwind of combinations. A number of times I was draped in the lost little boy look.
  • Holding the focus pads is almost as hard as punching at them. Not well versed in holding the pads, and being instructed to ensure I give resistance to the puncher, I found that I was making it pretty difficult for my partner to hit her target. Yep, hand up on that one, sorry bout that. It must have been frustrating as heck.

So by now, I was beyond cooked, I was extremely well done. The last 30 minutes was back into the core work we did at the start, a little less in the reps, but this is where I floundered the most. I could not keep up with the reps being pushed out by the trainer, but felt relief when I wasn't the only one not able to keep up. Every move hurt, I certainly was not enjoying myself at this stage. And as we were finishing off by grinding out 3 minutes of skipping, which incidentally felt like I was doing them in clown shoes, Paul taps me on the back and says I should put a smile on my face. I think the fact that he sensed my discomfort made me smile. And he remember my name, so that was nice. I just hope he remembers my name for the right reasons by the end of all this and not for getting knocked out by the girl he was holding the pads for.

So all in all, it was a relief to have gotten the first one under the belt. Next session is looking like Tuesday with Dave Trotter with one of our first one-on-ones. As I write this on Sunday morning, the muscle soreness is to the point where I struggle to lift my arms up, my back, pecs and abs all feel like a grenade has gone of in them. But then the endorphin's gained from the session are still flowing and I get that sense of gratification that if I continue down this path and stick at it, I'll be well on my way.