Sunday, 25 April 2010

Health & Fitness Magazine : The Showdown

Coach Cj Swaby

So last Thursday I met up with Lucy from Health & Fitness magazine at NKD Ambition for our first session. Lucy had already sent me her current training schedule. After a quick glance, it became apparent that there was huge room for improvement. Currently training 5 - 6 days per week, twice per day on a split routine of CV and weights (straight sets 15 reps x 3 sets) we made some changes to provide adequate recovery periods, effective utilisation of time, and give her body a nice little shock to get it out of the plateau she was currently experiencing. I'll post more about that in the coming weeks, as the real reason Lucy had come to see me was to learn the noble art of pugilism (boxing to you and me).

After an initial consultation (including taking baseline measurements and a brief conversation about her aims) we hit the gym floor ready for action. Before we got into the mechanics of boxing, I wanted to see how Lucy moved which would enable me to see which route to take. We did a functional movement "screening" working through different movement patterns and directions so I could see what was going on.

After that, we got the wraps and the gloves on. Lucy had already attended a boxing circuit session with Cathy Brown over at Bitch Boxing in Third Space, I asked her to show me what she knew. After a nervous start, she unleashed her full repertoire. Nice. We got to work.

A former gymnast and natural athlete, Lucy picked things up pretty quickly. My aim was to start with the basics to establish a solid foundation, and build on it over the coming weeks. Keeping it simple. We started off with what I consider to be the most important aspect. Stance and foot work. A good stance, solid base and foot work are all essentials to enable you to move around the ring, slipping in and out of range, cutting off the angles of the ring so your opponent has nowhere to run (or conversely enables you to escape should you need too!) Correct connection to the ground will enable to generate considerable power through reaction forces. If you are not rooted, your power diminishes considerably.

We then went on to mechanics of the basic boxing punches, the lead jab and the rear hand. Lucy was popping out the shots rapidly, hitting the mark. As her confidence increased Lucy's shots became more fluid. But her defense needed work. I had to remind Lucy that pads were "interactive" and a few times I gently tagged her on the chin just to remind her, "See, you would have been laid out on the canvas by now!" She smiled and duly raised her guard.

After several rounds on pads, we went on to a conditioning section which consisted mainly of Kettlebell exercises. After brief technique refinement, we hit some timed Kettlebell complexes, then cooled down and stretched out. Next session we'll be turning up the heat, working on her straights shots, plus adding in two defenses, "the salute", and "the stop". Now it begins.

Check out Lucy Miller's Boxing Blog every week at Health & Fitness Magazine.

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