Sundried ambassador Kris Hughes tells us how to use boxing as an effective way of getting fit.
Is boxing a good way of getting fit?
Yes! Boxing training is beneficial for so many training goals and the workouts can be adapted to suit just about anyone. With a high cardiovascular demand, boxing is great for burning calories, leaning out your upper body and abs, building strength in your arms and shoulders as well as boosting your endurance for various sports. Also, as much as it receives a view of being aggressive in nature, it can be a very relaxing and soothing form of exercise by releasing daily tensions in a safe and managed manner to help you get that much-desired beauty sleep.
Can boxing help me lose weight?
Definitely! Boxing burns a lot of calories with its physical nature so expect to see some great results. Also, with most calorie burning exercises being viewed as your standard cardio workouts of running and cycling, it is great to put more focus on your upper body and have some fun variety from the usual routines.
Is boxing easy?
I like to describe why boxing is tiring in a simple way. We tend to use our legs for cardio (as in cycling or running), so imagine doing the same duration and style of work but on your hands! All of a sudden it sounds brutal. Boxing is a cardiovascular work focussing more around these muscles so trust me it will be tiring (but fun) even for the seasoned athlete. Yes, you can just use pad work or heavy bag exercises but there is so much more to a boxing workout than just flinging big punches: the techniques, the footwork, the utilisation of your core and base strength and endurance exercises make this a full body workout to remember.
Can anyone do boxing?
Absolutely. Boxing can be suitable for anyone whether it be kids, athletes, beginners or even pregnant women. As long as the session is adequately designed for your specific needs then there is no reason why you can’t fling a few punches for fun/fitness.
Lisa made the change from a career in property to a career in fitness and never looked back. She tells Sundried how competing in a charity boxing match got her hooked on the sport and she now competes professionally.
Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up.
I did a white collar boxing fight 18 months ago for charity having never put on a pair of boxing gloves! I won and was instantly hooked. I have since competed in 10 fights, winning all of them and competing at the famous York Hall in Bethnal Green on 3 occasions. I currently hold a middleweight belt and will be competing again on the 2nd of September 2017 to defend my title and fight for another belt in a different league at the end of the month. Fight camp begins in July!
Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?
I spent 20 years working in the property business and decided 2 years ago to make a change. So I trained as a PT, set up my own business running outdoor training, and opened the Rock Health and Fitness Studio 5 months ago. I have always had an interest in fitness and exercised regularly but I started boxing 18 months ago too and I absolutely found my forte! It empowers me and challenges me so I am opening a boxing gym in two months' time.
What are your training goals now?
I am presently taking a2-monthh rest break from competing so I am working on my mobility, strength, and improving stability and balance. My training is based around maintenance, rehab, and recovery so I am ready to push to my limits come July!
Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn't know about you:
I fractured my back sky diving in my 20s but didn’t find out until 15 years later during an MRI. I now have degenerated discs, a fusion and a prolapsed disc as it was left for so long. I am very careful in my training and I have rehabilitated myself so I am able to do pretty much everything! My core is bullet proof and my posture is perfect so my lumbar spine is always supported and I can even exert rotational force when I box which is not recommended with disc issues due to the axial rotation.
What would future you, tell yourself when you were starting out?
Knowledge is power! Study and keep updating yourself as there is always more to learn! Listen and be humble
Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?
I change my nutrition depending on my training cycles. If I am fighting I add my carbs in pre-training as I can train for 2 hours at each session if I am sparring. I use protein for recovery and as I am 45 years of age I am very aware of my physical limits and the need to avoid over training and allowing my body to rest. I never cut fats from my diet and I am passionate about promoting balanced, clean eating to my clients. My main hates are crash diets, shakes, meal replacements etc as they cause metabolic damage.
What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?
It’s all about the mind! I spend a lot of time getting my clients heads in the right place as well as the physical training. Building confidence in women who have had children and have seen their bodies change and age, I teach children to box so they can control their anxiety and anger, I give my clients a goal and I set them realistic but testing challenges to give them a focus. I also contact them regularly so they have the accountability factor of knowing I will be there checking on them and also encouraging them if they falter. Failure is only the failure to try, and I am so proud when I see clients pushing the boundaries and smashing goals. I trained a client to run the London Marathon this year at the age of 70. He completed it and was pain free the next day apart from two blisters. This is what keeps me motivated too!
Talk us through your training regime.
3 x boxing technique and fitness sessions with 2 x sparring sessions per week (min 8 rounds)
2 x strength sessions
2 x runs
Daily stretching sessions of 45 min – imperative to keep my body mobile
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
I pick a subject each week to research and I also go back over things I have learnt too as its surprising what you can forget! I also spend time researching injuries and sports injury rehabilitation so I can pass this onto clients. I test training programs on myself and I am booked to do a sports massage qualification at the end of the year to improve my knowledge, skill set and provide another service to my clients at Rock Health and Fitness
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
- Mobility/flexibility is key – Stretch and mobilise as you will hit a level where you cannot move forward if your movement is limited. Keep the thoracic and lumbar spine mobile and stretch hip flexors as this muscle group is a powerful pelvic stabiliser and often ignored
- Be consistent – yo yo training is just as pointless and yo yo dieting. If your schedule realistically allows you to do two gym sessions a week then stick to that each week, train hard each time and mobilise at home. But keep at it! Don’t stress yourself by taking on too much and setting unrealistic goals. Have a solid program to follow and you will see results!
- Good Nutrition is vital - You cannot out train a bad diet and nailing the nutrition is the hardest part to stick to. Write regular food diaries so you can see what you are eating and look at patterns where you mess up and fall off the wagon .
If you could only do one workout for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Sparring. The intensity is extreme and you learn something from every session. For my last fight I did 50 x 2 min spars to prepare. I was the fittest I have ever been. Being fit and being ‘fight fit’ is not the same!
What are your training goals?
My main fitness goal is to be strong and stay injury free, rather than the aesthetics. I need to be fit and healthy to do my job and maintain such a busy schedule with work, training and life with my three sons, so this is my main priority.
Why work with Sundried?
I love the ethics behind the brand. The low carbon footprint and the way the wellbeing of their staff is taken into account. Plus the charitable contributions the company makes from each purchase. Plus I love the clothing!
Favourite fitness quote:
You cannot have full strength without full flexibility