Boxing Master Class
Well Betties it has been a busy week in my world: My new classes started at Canary Wharf last week and I'm pretty sure that I officially have some of the nicest ladies in all of London in my classes; I had my gorgeous and incredible friend Helen's birthday party on Friday; I nursed my sickly husband through a nasty tummy bug and I still managed to get to a boxing induction workshop at The Boxing Clinic (www.theboxingclinic.com) in Angel after my classes on Saturday ... phew!
And now the pain in my forearms has subsided - I can finally write about it!
Seriously - I like to consider myself to be stronger than the average girly but starting something new always brings that joy of two days of PAIN. If I was in any doubt that I'd worked hard, my arms, back, abs and .... hands (???) confirmed this fact! This is of course one of many reasons why trying something new and keeping your workouts fresh is so good for your body. Aside from the mental aspect of keeping you from getting bored, your muscles and nervous system just love trying new things. And usually the resulting pain is a sign that your muscles are adapting and changing to meet their latest challenge (and of course that "I NEED FOOD AND I NEED IT NOW" message from your rumbling tummy is another tell-tale sign).
Ably instructed by the friendly yet fiesty Ben, our intimate group of five were guided through wrapping our hands in preparation for battle (during which I learned the importance of finding the balance between protecting your wrists and knuckles whilst not cutting off the circulation to your fingers); jabs; crosses; hooks; basic footwork (AKA walking backwards, forwards and side to side like a crab); and pad work. By the end of the 2 hour workshop, as promised by the Boxing Clinic, I really did feel I was moving and punching like a proper boxer.
What's different about the Boxing Clinic is that you can do gradings, a bit like in martial arts. So you can actually do it as a sport. There's no pressure to get in the ring or to do gradings, and a lot of members choose to do classes for fitness alone, but the gradings are great goals to keep you motivated and keep you practising without ever having to get in the ring. It's all sanctioned by the International Recreational Boxing Federation ... so you know you are learning the real deal and the studios in Angel, where all the induction workshops take place are new and clean enough to satisfy us fitness princesses but earthy and raw enough to make you think, "grrrr .... I'm boxin'" (in an East London accent).
And for those of you who love the sports science bit ... today's lesson is 'Energy Systems': Boxing is a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Put simply, boxing is a bit like going for a long distance run but having to hurdle fences and sprint up hills at regular intervals. It is an absolutely brilliant way to burn fat because the explosive punches (anaerobic) use energy stored in your muscles, so your body is constantly trying to get more fuel to them. The aerobic bit (moving around constantly through footwork and keeping your heart-rate up) uses fat and stored energy as fuel. So your stored energy is being attacked from all angles. This is why your muscles feel empty after a boxing session and you get that "I'm starving" feeling for the rest of the day, since your body keeps burning calories for up to 24 hours after your workout. So .... if you get the nutrition right and keep practising at it, your body will start to burn stored energy, AKA fat, as fuel.
Wow ... that was a long one, thanks for reading and I'd love to hear from you soon. Karen xx