My functional fitness journey on planet UK: Part 4

BoxerSkipping

So, with subscapularis suitably tweaked I set off to find a viable alternative to life listening to Euro Dance music in a vest. Looking back I realise I may have overreacted somewhat but boxing was where I next landed. The shock in terms of both environment and routine is not something I can easily describe, it is however vivid in my memory. What it did show for the first time was the benefit of having trainers mixing with the athletes – something Globogym doesn’t have the scope or schema to really deliver. This was my first lightbulb moment of the massive benefits of watching someone else receive coaching – much more on this in future posts. First order of the day was some tutelage on the bags; heavy, shaped and speed. Then into the ring to understand the all-important footwork – no crossing! There was also the ear bashing (literal) suffered whenever you let your non-throwing hand drop from your temple. Then came the core strength and stamina conditioning; sit ups to the point of failure, lateral high jumps, broad jumps, box-jumps (be seeing those again soon), medicine ball mayhem, burpees (old enemy’s first appearance), skipping, skipping and a bit more skipping. Oh yes, and running. Over my two years of boxing for fitness I have a handful of distinct memories. Getting schooled by a bantam weight teenager who laid so much leather on me I eventually just cowered on the ropes until the bell rang was one. Stopping a sparring session (3 x 3 minute rounds) with a straight right through the guard of particularly menacing heavyweight who had all the attributes of Rhino. Then there are the more fitness based revelations. This is where I learned to breathe. I thought that weight training had nailed this but not like boxing. There is nothing like the panic of trying to deal with an opponent who is clearly attempting to hit you as hard as possible whilst you are trying to put conscious unconscious motor skills into action. Breathing becomes the last thing on your mind and the first thing to put you on the canvas. Sweating; I can honestly say that only Krav Maga and Crossfit have come close on the liquid output scale. Working bags and skipping are uniquely exhausting. Wrist strength, foot and hand speed, and love-handle loss were the other two primary takeaways. Boxing was always slightly scary (Krav and Crossfit have the same quality) but the post-training feeling was tough to match. The fitness was a little narrow however, with all of your conditioning aimed towards peak performance over 3 x 3 min rounds (standard sparring in our Gym). My body composition changed forever. It also left me with a lasting respect for the pugilist. It truly is a sweet science and a brutal test of fitness and sheer will.

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