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HIIT Training: Boxing with Freedom2Train and Daza Usher at Bicester Boxing Club
Currently, I feel like I’m auditioning for Fight Club - like I’m being put through one of those gruelling training regimes that actresses have to go through to get mega buff for a film (except I’m no Angelina Jolie). Just as I think I’ve recovered from one gruelling session with Steve from Freedom2Train with his squats, slam balls, lunges and sprints, I am back in the ring with Daza from Bicester Boxing Club and there feels like very little respite in between. I found this particularly hard at the beginning and missed my gym sessions where I would pootle about with my headphones on doing whatever I liked really (a weight here, a Tabata there). Instead I now have two particularly hardcore instructors that seem to get great pleasure out of totally and utterly annihilating me, and who will not let me stop.
On Saturday a training session with Daza went like this: three rounds of shadow boxing in the ring to warm up (I had broken into a sweat by the end of that for God's sake), then six three minute rounds of boxing on the pads, then three more three minute rounds smacking the punch bag (when Daza shouts “SPRINT!!” I had to go super fast which left me feeling like I might vomit). Finally I did three circuits of weights, step-ups, and sit-ups with Daza standing on my feet, followed by me smacking a punch bag with a baseball bat (yes you read that right). It was by far the hardest, sweatiest, ugliest workout I think I have EVER done. IN. MY. LIFE.
But you know what? Weirdly I kind of enjoyed it. I went to the session feeling tired, stressed, and with a ‘can’t face it’ attitude, but the almost delirious high and energy rush I felt for the rest of the day was probably the greatest I have ever experienced. If you have any doubt whether exercise releases endorphins, you have to try HIIT - it’s certainly true that the harder you push yourself, the greater the high. I have also noticed what I think is a very rapid increase in my fitness levels - a few weeks ago I probably would have been left on the floor gasping for air like a panting dog for a good while afterwards, I found even after this intense, punishing workout, that within a few minutes I felt pretty much OK.
One other change I have noticed is my mindset during training. Instead of thinking ‘I can’t do this, this is horrible, this hurts’ and complaining like I’ve been known to do at poor Steve sometimes, I’ve noticed myself digging deep and saying to myself ‘Get to the end of this exercise - you can get to the end of this exercise’, and then going on to push myself harder . Have I noticed changes in my body? YES. Maybe it’s all the twisting of hips while boxing, but I have muscles appearing down the sides of my stomach that I never knew existed, and my body just feels somehow tighter all over, like it's shrunk a bit - a bleedin’ good job since I have to get into a bikini in about three weeks.
So what lessons can I take away from the last few weeks?
1. That I need more fuel for this kind of training, and I have just discovered Naked Bars which are totally natural (dates, nuts, that kind of thing) - I can eat them just before exercise and not feel sick.
2. I’ve learnt that all your nails break off in boxing - it’s OK, I don't really like them long anyway.
3. That I have quite a mean right hook.
4. That I’m capable of much more than I think I am.
5. That I need to hit the pad when Steve tells me to else he makes me do ten sit-ups.
6. That I am fitter than I've ever been in my life and it’s an amazing, empowering, wonderful thing.
www.freedom2train.com and www.bicesterboxing.com