Training Solo - you can do it!

October 29, 2015

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.


Before 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!