Tuesday, 18 October 2016

What i've learnt about myself from taking up boxing

I find a lot of stuff people do to keep in shape or get fit or tone up really rather boring. Running bores me, lifting weights bores me (and gives my body the wrong sort of shape), exercise classes both bore me and confuse me, yoga ... i don't even really understand the point of yoga except to just have a really good stretch which i can take or leave. In the past the only things i have enjoyed is hiking and hill sprints. Basically anything that involves a hill excites me. I grew up on a hill so perhaps it's muscle memory kicking in?

I had always meant to start boxing because the idea of being allowed to punch something was really exciting. But without a proper trainer i knew i'd just be wasting my time. Being able to hold the pads for someone is a gift, IMO. It takes a lot of skill to do it right. It was the Little One's father who introduced me to my trainer who, shall we say, is a bit of a character and i keep returning because he is, by far, one of the best in the biz.

I've flirted with boxing before. Mostly just doing circuit training (skipping, body weights, heavy bag, speed bag, etc) but i never stuck it out because to be quite honest it's one of the hardest most exhausting fitness regimes i've ever done.

When i started this year in late February i was about 54ish kgs and had hoped to drop some weight and tone up. It didn't quite work out that way. I also started with not being able to do 100 straight punches in a row, struggling to finish 3min x 3 of skipping to warm up, barely being able to get through a 45 mins without wanting to throw up/die/pass out/vomit.

    Mayweather style padwork (my favorite style)

Currently, as of Oct 18, i am 58/60kg, i can skip for 9 minutes straight and then some, i can do 100 straight punches followed by 100 uppercuts in a row without a rest, i can blitz through 18 rounds (2 min x 18) in a session going at maximum strength, i can spar for 3min x 3 with an opponent (by far the hardest thing of all IMO.) I have pretty much been turned into a machine.

And yet ... i've never been pudgier or more wobbly or, dare i say it, fat.

What i realised is, even though i am working out and probably burning around 500-800 calories per session 3-4 times a week, that doesn't afford me to eat whatever i want. My body is quite efficient and really doesn't need much extra fuel.

    Gennady Golovkin, my favorite of all boxers.

    Freddie Roach, training basics.

I have experimented with a lot with different food to give me the maximum amount of energy needed to complete a session. And what does it all come back to? 1/4 cup of oats and three dates. That's it. That's all my body needs to smash it out. Plus 100gms of lean protein post workout.

It's amazing as well as disappointing at the same time to know how little exercise affects my weight. That weight loss/body sculpting is 90% diet. That my trainer, who trains 6-8 clients per day, plus adding his own workout at night time, still struggles with the pudge. And yet, we're probably right now about as fit as we'll ever be in our entire lives.

If i want my slim size 6 body back for summer I gotta go old school in my approach: counting calories, watching portions, and keeping a food diary. Reminding myself that exercise is not a license to go wild with food and alcohol.


  1. I love exercises that make me badass. Crossfit makes me badass and boxing makes you badass. The extra KGs- pure Badassery.

    I am heavier than I've been in a while but have better body image. Mostly because I'm too feckin old to worry too much, and also, I'm badass.

    1. I am very grateful for the extra muscle and increased fitness, that's for sure! They've been my goals for a few years now but always put them in the too hard basket as i never pushed myself enough.

      I think the older we get the more badass our exercise has to be. Especially because it's great for stress.