heavy bag

Personal Training – Week 2

“Wrapping the hands is every boxer’s daily ritual. It’s the ten minutes where every athlete/student/office worker transforms into a boxer.” – Johnny N, ExpertBoxing.com

One of my favourite pieces of training scripture!

It’s now the 19th June and on the 31st, I’ll be back offshore, at work, so I’m keen to learn as much as I can in my last 2 sessions of personal training and get as much feedback from Gary as I can because after the 31st, I’ll be on my own training for the next 5 weeks.

Not the greatest weather in Glasgow today, but I was waiting outside Lusby’s still eager.  Time to get down to business…

Warm up…

I’d been walking the 2 dogs, Poppy and Bailey up the hill, in the rain and dropping Bailey back with our nieces and dropping off some parcels at the post office.  My mind was full of distractions so I needed to warm up and try and get my focus back to boxing…

Jumping rope for about 5 minutes continuously.  I can jump rope like I was born with rope in my hands.  If you practice something for long enough and watch closely on something like YouTube, you can learn anything.  You just need time and patience.  There’s hope for me and everyone like me, yet.

3 – 5 minutes of shadowboxing.  I was more relaxed this week.  Gary pointed out when I roll up my elbows continuously to shadowbox a series of uppercuts… I’m sticking my chin up.  I probably look a little stupid.  I’d better tuck my head in.

Double-end bag…

4 continuous jabs for 3 minutes then 3 continuous jabs followed by a right uppercut.  Again this was to get my rhythm and timing and relaxing my shoulders.  Double end bag work is tricky stuff for me.  I still felt a little stiff with my jabs and I was missing a few uppercuts.  I was shown a quick video replay on the cell phone and my hips looked a little stiff as well for the uppercut and my feet weren’t  grounded properly.  When my wife goes on holiday next week with her sisters and I’m alone, I’ll visit Lusby’s more for an open session.  This bag has a lot more recoil than my bag.  I’d like to try and nail down my rhythm before I go away offshore end of June.  I can’t do that on the double end bag in my garage.  The tensions on the ropes are set different and there’s a height difference in the 2 ropes in my garage so my bag doesn’t move in the same way as the bag in this gym.  It’s a different animal altogether.  A lot of work needed with this piece of apparatus.

Pad work (Focus mitts)…

A mish mash of 1-2s (jab, cross) but with some real emphasis on my right hook (Bare in mind I’m southpawed so that’s off my jabbing arm).  It would go: Double-jab, right hook, right hook to the body and back up top for another right hook to the face.  More emphasis on the technique of my hook to the body.  Stepping into it and angling my fist up as if to punch the rib upwards.  I also needed to think about quickly stepping back out after that combination.  So… In… Bang… bang.  Back out.

Also did jab-cross x 4, slip and then back in for a hook to the body. I really like this combination.  A bit of head movement.  Feels great to slip.  I also like the drills where the pads are used to hit the top of your head and the sides of your arm to get used to contact (and to keep your guard up).  None of that today though.  Not yet.

Another useful thing was the low jab to the body.  Gary suggested I look at his collar bone as that gives me a decent peripheral view of the body to try and “read” my opponents body language.  I also don’t want to stare at what I’m aiming to hit.  That would be telegraphing my intentions to my opponent.

Lastly some more focus on jabbing while moving backwards at the same time.  All great stuff.

Heavy bag work…

anglebag

Taking what I did with the pads and bringing it onto the heavy bag.  So it was double-jab, right-hook, right hook to the body, right hook to the face all as one combination.  Not so much power, just technique.  Pop, pop, pop.  But like I said, I’m not sure what it is about throwing  hooks and uppercuts that makes you want to hit hard.  Have to get out of that habit.  The bag wasn’t being held so if it swung too much I had to hold my gloves up to brace it swinging back at me.  I wasn’t doing much, or enough of the bracing though.

I didn’t think I ever hit it hard enough for it to swing back so much that I needed to brace it with my gloves.  Probably my sparrow arms not having enough strength to punch it with enough force.

Next was making the bag sing a little.  What does that mean?… It starts with just popping light shots at the heavy bag.  Any combination but just continuously hitting.  No real pausing.  Then the intensity goes up after a little over a minute, firing harder shots until the final 30 seconds you’re just going for it.  Really going for it.  It’s tiring.  You need shoulder and arm endurance.  Gary calls it “making the bag sing” and asked me to “paint a  picture of violence on the bag”.  It wasn’t exactly a Mona Lisa… more like a cave man painting but I’ll get better through time.

Ring sense…

Back inside the ring again with Gary holding those two foam poles. Same idea as last week.  I throw combinations aiming at the end of one pole and Gary taps me on the head and body with the other pole if he sees an opening.  Here I’m using everything I’ve learned for the last 2 weeks, in this drill.  So different combinations, using my eyes more, movement around the ring.  Trying to remember as much as I can and using it all.

Verdict

Great session again.  I can go and hit a bag all day long but without feedback, I wouldn’t know where to improve or what my punches look like, or if my body mechanics are wrong.  Trust me, you may think you’re fluid and compact but a camera phone doesn’t lie.  That’s also where having someone like Gary is priceless.  It was great to have him letting me know what I needed to improve and being able to see clips of myself.

At this early stage, I’m a bit stiff around the hips so Gary suggested I start to jump rope but in addition, moving side to side; backwards and forwards.  Hopefully that’ll help my footwork around the ring. I’m moving better this week though so that’s something.

That was an hour and you wouldn’t believe how quick that goes but it was time well spent. Thanks again Gary.

 

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Installing the RM-1000 Rafter Mount

 

  • The plate measures 150mm high, 130mm wide, 35mm deep.
  • 2 bolt holes on the main face.  Require 8mm drill bit.
  • 2 bolt holes on the underside for carriage screws. Require 6mm drill bit for pilot hole.
  • The bolts can be tightened using a 13mm spanner.
  • The bolts on the piece that attaches to the straps of your heavy bag require a 17mm spanner.

Additional comments

I bought the brace plate as well – it is used to connect the adjacent joist to the joist holding the main plate (demonstrated below)…

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 9.22.34 AM

…however my joist beams are not tall enough for the angle that the brace plate sits at once attached so I couldn’t use it.  The brace plate doesn’t actually screw onto the main plate it’s only bolted to the two joist beams just so you know.

The heavy bag I use is an Everlast C3 Heavy foam bag.  It weighs maybe 30kg (66 lbs) and to be fair I think just the RM1000 plate on its own is more than enough to hold the bag safely.

Another point is the 8mm bolts that go horizontally into the plate are barely long enough to go through my joists which are around 45mm thick – especially when you add in the two washer rings.  I’d have preferred longer bolts and if you have thick joists you’ll certainly have to purchase longer bolts separately.

Another thing I forgot was that my joists are all around 35 – 40cm spaced apart which wasn’t enough clearance to get my main drill in to drill the holes!  I had to wait for my smaller hand drill to charge up and use that, so just bear that in mind when you’re installing this plate!

The crazy thing was that including the price for importing the RM1000 from the States and the tax charge of 30 GBP, the mounting plate ended up costing more than my heavy bag!  There’s a spring that helps to dampen the vibration when you hit the bag.  Our bedroom sits above the garage and the floor boards are not very thick so there is still some reverberation when you land your punches.

To be fair, I’m working out in a cellar (to call it a garage is being a bit too generous as there’s barely enough space for anything other than a Smart car!) – a little noise is to be expected.  I certainly won’t be able to work out while my wife is sleeping sadly but I’m still happy.