Boxing in Base Layers

Base layers for me have always been something that you see athletes wearing (or my brother when it’s really cold outside and he’s playing football…) so I’ve never really given them much thought. 

Until now…

I was invited along to a special boxing session at my new favourite place, Moreno Boxing, to try out some new compression base layers from the guys at Glenmuir. 

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First impressions were that they were really soft and silky, very light to wear and totally not restrictive which I always thought base layers would be. Although they are clearly designed to be worn underneath other workout gear because OMG VPL. 

The session started with some skipping, dynamic stretches and then we got stuck into some technique practice with footwork, boxing stance and punching. 

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Then in partners we practiced responding to other people’s movements by played some tag, trying to tap the other person on the shoulder which is a pretty tough cardio workout as well as testing out our footwork. At this stage the sweat started to appear and I was impressed with how comfortable the base layers were as they kept me dry. 

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We finished up by throwing some combinations in pairs, practicing all of the moves that we’d learned in the session. My only complaint was that at this point the top started to ride up slightly and because I had boxing gloves on I couldn’t pull it down! 

The part of compression base layers I’m really interested in is how they can help with recovery by increasing blood flow to the area through an increase in pressure on the skin. They can also help with decreasing DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and to be honest, anything that can get me out of bed the day after a workout without wincing is good with me! 

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Watch this space as I’ll be testing the clothing in my triathlon training to see how it helps with recovery in tired muscles… 

Disclaimer: I was given the Glenmuir base layers by the very lovely people at Trace Publicity but all of these views are my own

Review of Moreno Boxing Lunchtime Classes

I’ve been interested in boxing since the lovely Kate of Form Fitness introduced me to it in her weekly classes. Even back then I always felt better after sweating and punching for an hour, it does wonders for the brain!

Fast forward 18 months and I’ve started going to weekly sessions with Carlos Moreno from Moreno Boxing. His new studio is conveniently opposite my office meaning that there’s no excuse to get down there during a lunch break.

I mean, it’s literally about 50 yards from my desk….

Carlos is an internationally competitive boxer and currently holds the Portuguese national champion title as well as numerous others. What more could you want from a trainer?

Each class starts with a warm up consisting of skipping (which I can confirm that I’m getting better at luckily), shadow boxing, lunging, footwork and some dynamic stretching.

Then onto the boxing. Firstly, technique, which is something that I need to work on as although my offensive movements aren’t too bad, I have no defence at all, as Carlos showed me by pointing out exactly where he could punch me. Not that he did but lesson learned anyway.

We then did some 3 minute rounds (I have no idea how many, I got into the zone and lost track) of sparring, mixing up punching and defensive manoeuvres which equated to a serious cardio workout. The sweat was real.

Trying to concentrate on lots of new things all at the same time can be a bit daunting but it’s brilliant for clearing your head of all other worries as you focus 100% on where the next punch might be coming from and where there might be a chink in the armour that you can take advantage of.

Then followed 3 minute rounds on the punchbags, alternating ‘freestyle’ minutes with all-out 1-2s to keep the heart rate up.

My face says it all…

Each session is then ended with taking the gloves off and getting stuck into something a bit different, whether it’s TRX, circuits or something else to mix it up. Yesterday we did a circuit of heavy deadlifts, battle ropes and sit ups with a ball to isolate the core. With 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest this circuit was a killer.

To finish everything off you can look forward to a series of planks, just in case you haven’t had enough.

This is exactly the kind of class that I love because it’s tough, works you hard but also dedicates some time to technique. There’s nothing as satisfying as that thwack when your glove connects with a pad correctly. You also know that you’ve worked hard because the next day everything is that right amount of sore.

Details

What? Moreno Boxing Lunchtime Sessions

Where? 1 Bailey Place, Dalston, London, N16 8BA

When? Check out the timetable here

How much? Classes are normally £12 but you can get your first class for just £6. Or for those on ClassPass, they’re included in your monthly fee! If you’re interested, sign up here for £50 off a month’s membership, total bargain!

Warriors Assemble

I like to think of myself as someone who could handle themselves in a fight. Whether this is actually true or not I’ve (luckily) never had to prove and long may it continue that way.

But when the opportunity came up to start working out like a fighter and training in boxing techniques I was far too excited… Introducing ‘Warriors’ from those lovely people at London Fields Fitness Studio.

I dragged a friend (Kristina) along with me to the first class because I had no idea what to expect and I was oddly terrified! Quite rightly…

We started off with a gentle group warm up before getting stuck into the first circuit – 15 reps, 5 stations, as many circuits round as you can do within 15 minutes.

Circuit 1 (cardio): burpees, military press + triceps with 5kg plates, crossover star jumps, stepper, sprint up the road and back

I pushed myself hard and managed to fit in 4 complete circuits. I might have pushed myself too hard based on the muscle soreness today.

Circuit 2 (strength): abs + obliques, knee + arm blocks, jump squats, slow push ups, punches with weights

My weak back and I were rubbish at this circuit as I really struggled with the ab work – very frustrating!

At this point Kristina and I were dripping sweat and looking at each other in terror contemplating what was coming up next.

Luckily, next was some boxing technique which gave us a brief breather before we were skipping round the gym working on our footwork. Every time ‘don’t cross your feet’ was shouted, all I could think of was ‘don’t cross the streams’. Particularly useful, thanks brain.

The session ended with a 3 minute round of sparring putting into practice our newfound punching and blocking techniques. We walked out into the fresh air feeling on top of the world (if not quite like Rocky yet…).

Details

When? Every Tuesday 8-8:45pm

Where? Railway Arch 379, Mentmore Terrace, Hackney, E8 3PH

How much? £5 per class, no booking necessary

Mash Up – circuits and boxing all in one… ouch…

This week’s new class was Mash Up with Kate from Form Fitness at my favourite place in East London, London Fields Fitness Studio.

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Picture credit: Kate Stewart (http://www.formfitness.co.uk/about-me/)

It’s an hour’s worth of circuits, boxing and some core work. Now, I like circuits because you get to work lots of different muscle groups and just when you think you’re about to pass out from effort, it’s time to move on to the next exercise.

I’ve always been a bit sceptical about boxing because my upper body strength is largely non-existent. However, that is one of my aims for 2014 so along to the class I went.

The circuits were a great combo of squat jumps, skipping, punching with dumbells,  slips to tuck jumps (yeah, I had no idea either) and some core-activating downward dogs to plank moves.

By this point everyone was glowing nicely and I was sweating heavily. As usual.

We paired up, put on the gloves and pads and got down to some serious padwork. Kate paired punch combos with sprints and core work which was great for hitting some cardio as well as conditioning.

By the end we were all glad to lie down on our mats and do some quick core blitzing.

Overall this was a great class. As it is split into sections the time flies by but you’re working hard all of the time. Kate helps to count down the sets and keeps everyone laughing and encouraged.

The most important things that I learnt were that I punch like a baby, I have less than no strength in my puny left arm but I bloody love boxing!

Details

When? Mondays 19:30 – 20:30

Where? London Fields Fitness Studio, Railway Arch 379 Mentmore Terrace, Hackney. E8 3PH

How much? Only £5 for a right a**e-kicking!