My last 1-to-1 session before I go away to work! I was a little tired driving down on the day for my 3:00pm. I was awake from 3:00am that morning! Gave my wife a lift to Prestwick Airport this morning and I felt my eyes going just for a second on the way down the hill. I was distracted a little leading up to this whole session and I wasn’t sure how I was going to react to it. But here’s the thing, from the minute I laced up my boots, wrapped my hands and started to jump rope, I felt so much better Like nothing else outside of the gym even entered my head 🙂 – So here goes:
Jumping some rope but not just stationary. From Gary’s advice last week, I needed to move back and forward and side to side. I wanted to practice this on my lawn and I did try but I had problems in that my rope would catch the grass and it would throw the timing off. Unless you have a lawn that’s like a bowling green (or a Golf putting green) I found I couldn’t practice. I was pleased my coordination was decent that I could perform first time of asking. There’s still hope for me and my footwork in the future.
3 minutes of shadowboxing as well. Some of my pivots were a little stiff (Gary saw it and I could feel it on a couple of them) but I’m thinking too much and need to relax a little. Like maybe my brain stops and goes “Should I pivot this way or throw another fist out” – that’s when my legs turn stiff. I should just ease into it and keep flowing, not thinking too much.
Heavy bag circuit
This was good for the shoulder endurance. So Gary’s got 5 heavy bags all lined up on one side of the gym and for each bag:
- 2 minutes moving around the bag and punching with any combination
- Immediately after, 10 push ups with my gloves on
- Then straight into 1 minute continuous hitting – not so much power but constantly popping off shots and making the bag “sing a little”.
This was done non-stop going from one bag to the next. Tiring stuff. Got to keep breathing and blowing air out. Arms burning by the end of it but you’re feeling pretty happy.
Question on bracing yourself against the bag
I wasn’t instructed to brace the bag in the last exercise, only to pivot and move around it as it swung but I wanted to ask Gary more about this. I’m glad I did. Basically, there are different ways to brace. You can do it via a “peek-a-boo” style with your gloves in front of your face or you can stick your arm out and brace the bag with your leading elbow. I wanted to be clearer on how I’m supposed to be balanced. I shouldn’t be leaning forward to push against it. My balance should be centred as the bag swings at me. That makes sense if the bag is a person, I don’t want to lean into “him” otherwise the other guy is just going to step back or sideways and I’m instantly off balance. The “peek-a-boo” style and the “arm-and-elbow” both have their points. It’ a matter of habit but Gary’s preference was using the arm-and-elbow.
Spent some time on the focus mitts again, moving around, firing off combinations and occasionally slipping with the head. I really enjoy this kind of work. I’ve always wanted to be able to flow and move really well off the pads like when I see my favourite boxers training on YouTube and on Box Nation. One day! With a lot of practice and hard work 😉
Double end bag
Just a couple of minutes on this but I used my 1-minute rest period to get my body mechanics going at the start. I’ll use every spare amount of my gym time practicing with this piece of apparatus. The one in Gary’s gym has got a wonderful motion to it actually. Hard to master but it’s very rewarding. I’m still a way off but I saw a clip of myself and I’m a lot smoother than last week. Check out my link below for one of my favourite clip tutorials.
Back in the ring again with Gary holding those two foam poles. Again I’m just practicing my movement around the ring, chasing Gary down when he tells me to, backing and pivoting away when I need to. I’m trying to take everything I’ve learned and putting it into this exercise. Everything’s always a work in progress like I have to remind myself to look at Gary’s collar bone and not what I’m trying to hit.
It’s been a pleasure training with Gary these last 3 weeks. I feel like I’ve got some good concepts that I can work on while I’m away offshore and it was accelerated by the 1-to-1 training. I had a quick look at some of the recordings on Gary’s phone at the end of this session and I look a little smoother and a lot less wooden from the first open day that I walked in on, 4 weeks ago.
How am I going to carry this forward for the next 5 weeks at sea?
Luckily there’s a heavy bag on the vessel I’m signing on… The Atlantic Guardian. It was on a “Superships” documentary back in the day if you’re interested! You can find it on IMDB. (Although a lot’s changed since then – it’s not a cable layer for a start)
I’ve bought a second double end bag. My older Pro Box model, I’m going to take offshore with me. I’ve bought some more bungee cord from B&Q and I’ll hopefully be able to rig something up on the vessel.. I’ll take a few photos when I sign on! 🙂 The new Cleto Reyes one – that’s staying in my garage! 😉
Moments of doubt
When I was training at home this last week and in between when I was sat on the couch or taking a shower I felt something… I don’t think it was sadness but it was something very close to sadness. In my head I was saying to myself “Why are you doing this for? Why are you training so much, you can’t go anywhere with it, 75kg, 85kg – who cares?”
I have these moments sometimes when I’m on a boat tired out from exercise. The truth is I just feel a sense of peace. It takes my mind off things and I feel a bit more focussed. Everyone’s opinion about their own health and body is a unique thing. I can’t say what’s right for me is right for someone else. If you’re happy with your health and your head is in a good place then that’s it… no need to stress. Carry on.
It’s like anything else (or any one) you fall in love with… you just want to take the next step and see what’s round the corner… maybe that’s what boxing has become for me.