My Unexpected New Favourite (Boxing!)

December 17, 2015

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One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about taking time away from bodybuilding competition prep is the opportunity to try other types of training.

I’ve ridden a horse (not mine sadly), a bike (mine), done some Strongman training, and even went along to my local boxing club to do a session.

That was in March. I’ve barely missed a session since.

I didn’t think I’d like it at all. Back when I was a Fitness Class Devotee (sometimes I’d do two, back to back… !) I tried Body Combat and other “punch-along-a-music” type classes and totally hated them. Sorry, Combatters. I just felt like a giant bell-end.

Who doesn’t love a boxing movie? (My dog is named after a character in Million Dollar Baby). So, lured by daydreams of being Hilary Swank, I went along to boxing, secretly assuming I’d feel just as much of a bell-end as I did at Body Combatx100, because this was proper boxing, with real boxing coaches, in an actual boxing club.
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I absolutely loved it from the first session. Although I did nearly walk out (and I can count the number of times I’ve nearly walked out/given up on a sport on one hand). The warm up (!) was SO HARD that I genuinely didn’t think I’d be able to get through it. I only stayed because I knew that, if I left, I’d never go back.

I did go back, the next week, and it was much easier. Still hard (it always is), but doable. So I stuck at it.

Here’s a typical format. It’s a ladies-only session at an amateur boxing club.

  • warm up: 10-15 minutes of jogging, skipping, plyometric moves, “speed jog”, shadow boxing
  • main session: 25 minutes or so of bag-work and pad-work with a partner. We do things like “20/20/20” (20 seconds boxing the bag, 20 seconds boxing whilst jogging on the spot, 20 seconds big power punches… repeated twice), burpee followed by 4 punches (for a minute), 1-15 punches then back down from 15-1, slips, combinations, 10 x star jumps then 10 x punches (for a minute). You get the idea. Very little rest, with intense intervals of work.
  • circuit session: imagine an old-school boxing circuit (if you can’t, then just imagine any boxing movie you’ve ever watched) and you’re along the right lines. Sit up variations, press up variations, burpees, squat jumps, tuck jumps, med ball work. Either with a partner (so you get a bit of rest), or without (so, er, you don’t).
  • stretching at the end

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What I love about boxing

It’s good, honest, proper hard work. I’ve always liked watching boxing as a sport, because (on the face of it, anyway) it seems a very “pure” and honest sport. Two bodies, one ring, that’s it. Our training has the same feel. Work hard, get on with it, nowhere to hide.

It’s the hardest cardio/conditioning work I’ve done in a long time. You get a proper sweat on (which is something I miss from my cardio days). It’s challenging. It’s teaching me new skills and a new way of working with my body (not something that necessarily happens very often once you’re an adult). I’ve been going for nearly a year and I’ve recently started hearing “well done Nic!” and “you’re getting better”. ðŸ˜€

I also love the social aspect. I’ve made a new bunch of female friends through boxing and this isn’t something I even considered when I started going. They’re women I probably would never have met. We’ve got very athletic people, and people for whom boxing is the first and only exercise they’ve done. We’ve got people who have boxed in competition and won titles, and we’ve got people who can’t yet do a press up on their toes. We’ve got older ladies, Mums, college students and even an under-10 (she comes with her Mum and she is badass!) I really look forward to my twice-weekly boxing sessions and I realised recently it’s for the people as much as it is for the training.

And lastly I love it because this year it’s been a way of getting two guaranteed hardcore conditioning sessions in every single week.
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As our coach says when we’re flagging: “come on girls, get your money’s worth!” (to which we reply, “We got our money’s worth within 5 minutes… it’s £2 a session!”) 😛

Tonight is the final session of the year but if you’re interested in joining us in January, we’re at Folkestone Amateur Boxing club, Tuesdays and Thursdays 7-8pm (don’t be late!) and everyone is welcome – age, ability, fitness levels don’t matter. It is a ladies only session, but obviously the club itself caters for men and boys too.
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Have you done boxing training? Did you fall in love with it too?

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My Unexpected New Favourite: Boxing is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

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Guess who’s back! (And where the hell have I been, anyway?)

October 9, 2015

*tap tap* Is this thing on?

HELLO, WEMBLEY!

I haven’t blogged here since April. In fact, my last post (an event report from a Strongwoman comp) was exactly six months ago.

Yeah, sorry about that. Really no excuse other than getting out of the habit (and being busy).

I’ve got a huge list of blog posts planned. But, before I launch straight into things, I’d better bring you up to date.

I had to kind of guess the questions you lot might like me to answer. Here goes (if there’s still anything you want to know, let me know in the comments!)

Am I competing in bodybuilding this year?

Nope! My last comp was WNBF Amateur Worlds in November last year. Since then, I’ve been “off-season” (not dieting, not “prepping”, trying to be as normal as a bodybuilder can be). I knew I needed a break from the rigours of competition prep (mentally, physically, emotionally, socially…) and so… I took it!

Am I competing in bodybuilding again ever?

Ooh. Good question. Honest answer? I don’t know. Never say never. I still love the sport, I still have goals and target which I’d like to achieve. But, right now, I have no desire to compete. Or perhaps more accurately: I do not have enough desire to compete. Comp prep is intense, and I believe you should only do it if you really, really want to. If I compete again, it will be to look better, to show improvements, with the goal of achieving more than I already have. My life, head, emotions and focus aren’t in that place at the moment. But… never say never.

What does my training look like?

Since I’m not prepping for bodybuilding comps, and since I am well-fed and full of energy (!), I’m enjoying all sorts of training
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Weights: the core of my training is still lifting weights in the gym. I tend to go 4-5 times a week and still follow a bodybuilding-type split.
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Boxing: I’ve also added boxing sessions (twice a week at my local boxing club) into the mix. I absolutely love it. The first time I went, the warm up was so hard I nearly walked out (and I don’t walk out on things!) But I stuck it out and, although it’s still the hardest training I’ve ever done, I’m now able to push myself rather than just survive! It consists of a 10 min warm up, 30 min partner session on the bags and pads, then a 20 min circuit. It’s proper boxing at an actual boxing club and it’s exactly how you imagine boxing training would be. I adore it.

Road biking: this is something I really missed when I was doing bodybuilding prep, so I’ve reintroduced into my life with joy. I try to get out 2-3 times a week (weather dependent) and like going out for 2 hours or so at the weekend. I’ve done a couple of events since April: a fairly hilly 60-mile sportive and a dead flat 50-mile sportive in July, and a very hilly 55-mile sportive a couple of weeks ago. I’ve entered an 82-miler in November. Eek! But it starts a couple of miles from my house so… I kind of have to, right? (I’m on Strava here if you want to follow my adventures on the bike.)

What’s my diet like at the moment?

Diet? Let’s call it “nutrition”. I have to be honest: diet/nutrition/food has been a struggle since my last bodybuilding comp in November. This is something I will blog about in more detail when I am feeling a bit braver. But I’m sure what I have to say will resonate with plenty of fellow bodybuilders and fitness industry folk, and nothing I’ve experienced will come as a surprise.

Getting back to “normality” after bodybuilding contest prep will challenge even the most balanced of brains. I’m still a work in progress. But it’s all good!

I am trying to eat 3-4 times a day, to listen to my body’s hunger and satiety signals, and to eat mostly healthy, “real food” meals, but not to be worried about eating junk and treats as well. Lots more to say on this topic – you have been warned! 😉

What’s my next goal in sport/in life/in general?

My goals at the moment are mostly to do with life and business, rather than sport or body. I’ll always train, and I’ll always (try to) eat well. But at the moment, my focus is on some exciting (and slightly scary) business plans (I can’t wait to get you involved!) Training will be an important part of my day/week just as it’s always been. But I don’t have any one single, big sporting goal. I’m just staying healthy, getting strong, and enjoying being fit and sporty.

What have I been doing with my time since April?

When you put it like that… um…
– buying a house
– pushing my copywriting business forward
helping my fitness industry clients with ebooks, email marketing, website content, blog posts, books, content marketing, sales pages, newsletter copy and social media
– planning a new business venture which excites me so much I want to cry 😀
– dating (with varying degrees of success, but plenty of LOLZ)
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– going on holiday (I’m just back from a week in Croatia with Tara of Sweat Like A Pig fame)
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– I did another Strongwoman event at the end of July, which was fun. Highlights included 95kgs deadlift for reps (60 seconds) – Terry Hollands was counting my reps. And I did a truck pull (here’s a video of it)!
– riding my bike, going boxing… and not writing my blog! 😉

How is Frankie thefitdog?

He’s absolutely fine 😛
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Right, that’s quite enough for now. I promise to get back to a regular blogging schedule from now on (twice a week) and will be talking about my training, sports events, diet/nutrition, as well as about copywriting and content topics, and industry trends. If there’s anything else you want from this blog, lemme know!

You can always find me on Facebook (mostly copywriting and marketing stuff), Twitter (work, personal, training and everything in between) and Instagram. Oh and I’m on snapchat too (therealnicjoyce) Come and say hi 🙂

Guess who’s back! (And where the hell have I been, anyway?)t is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


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