dadbod2boxer

Author - Brandon

2017 Kick Off Starts – Cleanse what?

What’s been happening and where have I been?

When DadBod2Boxer started waaaaaay back in 2015, the aim was to show that an every day Joe, like yours truly, could change up their lifestyle for the better with good eating and a bit of training. It now seems so long ago since the journey began and the results were achieved, that you may well think that the inevitable has happened and I’m back to Mr Slobby McSlobFace and I’m saying to myself “I’ll never do anything so stupid again in my lifetime”.

Truth is, and in hindsight, the pain was enjoyable because I can now look back and see that the commitment and sacrifice was worth it. I achieved everything I wanted, but what it gave me most was the return to the active lifestyle I used to lead. It gave me a great base of fitness to do pretty much anything I used to do back in my dirty younger years. Which now leads me to what’s been happening the last 12 months and what are the goals going forward.

Footy

A long awaited return to Football

I guess there were two main things happen, firstly, I finally joined the local Aussie Rules Football club and what started out as training a few nights a week, turned into a return to competition after a hefty 20 year layoff. The hits were harder, mostly because my opponents were close to double my weight, but fortunately, they were also a lot less precise. I always loved my footy and was OK as a junior, so this re-stoked my passion for playing again.

And secondly, the passing of my father around mid-year. Which happened just before my debut for the premier team that weekend, being fortunate enough to get a promotion to the team. I played a stinker. A lot of things fell to the wayside after that in terms of eating right and training. But I guess that was to be expected. I didn’t have the care or inclination to do anything.

By October though, Footy was done for the year and so I need to fill the training gap and ensured I was back in the boxing gym. Surprisingly, I felt like I hadn’t lost any fitness and so I felt like I needed a new challenge, or to at least try something different.

To be clear, the end goal is to one day get in the ring (if I can get over my fear), so I’m looking at around October 2017 and now the preparation starts. I’ve got an OK base of fitness, I’ve put more lean muscle on (which I’ll get to in a minute) than fat in the last year and it’s time to take it to the next level.

 

There’s a skeptic in all of us, but mostly in me

Eat CleanSo as we all know, a part of my last challenge was a basic, no-nonsense diet that wasn’t exactly Paleo, but not far from it. And it works. I can categorically say (and as a skeptic, nay, the ultimate skeptic) that the key to losing weight starts with your diet. You see, there is weight loss and then their is fitness. They kind of go hand in hand, but kind of in a loose ballroom dancing way when you were back in Grade 4.

I can be cardiovascularly fit, but be still carrying 12kg or so of fat around with me because I like to still eat large portions of the wrong thing, too often. Conversely, I may eat or have a metabolism that dictates I have a skinnier build, but I’d prefer to grow out my hipster beard and wear my skinny jeans, rather than put one leg in front of the other in the name of fitness. But combine the two: better eating and more exercise, well that’s the formula for feeling like a million bucks, still being able to play with your kids past 50 and staying on the planet extra 15 or 20 years longer. At my age, whilst I feel I am reasonably fit now, I have trouble moving the stubborn fat around my midsection, which I was warned from the outset would be the hardest to remove.

Where am I going to with this? Well, I somehow bumped into an ex-Aussie Rules Football player, Matthew Ferguson, who incidentally played for my beloved team St Kilda, and he was talking about a cleansing, weight loss and performance supplement program called Isagenix. So a few things hit me, cue the ultimate skeptic.

  1. Cleansing sounds like one of those buzzwords and call me a lone sheep, but I shy away from buzzwords
  2. I feel uncomfortable with a “meal replacement” program, if this is in fact what it is. It’s just not natural
  3. A quick review of the product online has a clear division of staunch anti-Isagenix vs. pro-Isagenix. Admittedly, most are against
  4. It sounds like a pyramid scheme where they incentivise you to sign others up

So I then watched the marketing material and it was some of the cheesiest American marketing I have seen in a while, like it was the Sham-wow(™) Guys poor second cousin. That was terribly off-putting. I parked the idea for some time. But re-visited it again once I started getting back into training once the Footy season finished. I just tried to block out the marketing aspect. I wanted to see others who are everyday people who are using the product and getting results.

Isagenix Swag

Whoah nelly, that’s a lot of product!

Weeks went by and I mentioned this product to my boxing trainer, Dave. A close relative of his was using the product and he actually vouched for the weight loss. I trust Dave, so I thought the only way to see if this works is to give it a shot. Our friends at Isagenix might very well see this as a bit of a test case as I feel that I am pretty clued in to these things and combined with my skepticism, well, if it works, they will have a convert, if not, well it’ll be “I told you so” from all and sundry around me.

 

The rules

As mentioned earlier, it was a no go for me if this was a pure meal replacement program. And whilst there are select days (1 per week) where you go the whole day drinking Anti-oxidant blends and mini-snacks, the other days are a balance of two (2) well balanced meals and the rest are supplemental. My daily meal & supplements are made up of the following (take a deep breath):

  1. 3x Whey based protein shakes
  2. Vitamins & Minerals supplements in capsule form (6 capsules in total, 1 of which is specifically aimed at Men’s health)
  3. A naturally formulated (plant based) tea known as Ionix
  4. Snacks in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon (eg. egg white omelette, greek yoghurt, boiled egg, almonds, etc.)
  5. 2x Balanced meals. I’ve pre-prepped Chicken breast, broccolli and sweet potato
  6. Plenty of water, up to 3 litres

And that’s it. And this is for 16 weeks as I have agreed to take part in their 16 week IsaBody Challenge. Look, there’s cash prizes involved, I’m a sucker for cash prizes!

110249_make-it-rain

 

And finally, my starting point…

So I will still be doing my boxing with Trainer Dave (I picture him now, wringing his hands and grinning like a villain), coupled with an extra session solo here and there and also combining this with Football training which resumes around the 24th January 2017. I hope that by then, with the training and if this Isagenix program lives up to the hype from the handful of current users who sweat swear by it, we should be in good shape by the end of January. And to measure the results, I’ll be taking the usual body measurements and photos every 2 weeks and a Dexa scan every month. And to kick things off, you’ll find below the latest Dexa scan I’ve done to mark my current baseline.

Interestingly in this scan, when compared to my last scan from around this time last year, whilst I have put on 2kg, 1.4kg of that has been lean muscle growth. I feel that has been put on by keeping an OK diet and doing a lot more running in the past 12 months, the lean muscle mass has probably been gained in the quads, hamstrings and calves.

dexa_dec2016

Dexa Scan 2016 – Looks like I’ve got some love handles to shift!

 

So we’re on our way, more updates to come naturally. Drop me any questions if you have on my Feedback form.

Till next time, box on!

Boxing Trainer Q & A – with Dave Trotter

I’ve had plenty of Personal Trainers and Fitness Coaches in my time, stemming from as far back as Primary School. My Primary School Phys. Ed. teacher was called Mr Clarke and his intolerance for 10 year old shenanigans was what started me on a reasonably successful running pastime that lasted until just after I finished high school 8 years later.

me_dave

Dave Trotter & his whipping boy

An active AFL boundary umpire, who ran till his nose bleeds was my High School running coach and he made sure we got the most out of ourselves. No running session was ever easy. I still have nightmares relating to sand dunes…. and same to goes for my current trainer and general overseer of fitness challenges at Dadbod2BoxerDave Trotter. A man who ensures that he get’s the most out of their clients. Without YELLING.

So I thought I would go one-on-one with Dave and rip through some journalistic repartee, so I could give you an insight into a bit about the man himself and how he’s seen through the training he’s put me through since Day 1. So without further ado…

 

Dadbod2Boxer: So Dave, who are you? Tell us a bit about your background and your personal training approach?

Dave Trotter: I have always been active with a lot of different sports played under my belt. I have been boxing since I was 15 but didn’t take it seriously until I finish my service in the Australian Army. I started fighting in amateur Boxing, then moved into Muay Thai and finally into MMA. I have always felt that boxing has been my strong suit so decided to focus on that which landed me a couple more boxing fights and the job I’m in today. My training style is to cater for what the client is after. Clients who want to fight, I will teach them. Clients who want to learn but want to get fit I will teach as well and push them to achieve 100% effort out of the session. I also train clients for strength and conditioning where I will also focus on teaching them correct form but push them too their limits. I am a firm trainer and don’t believe I have to yell to achieve that.


Dadbod2Boxer: You’ve overseen the entire Dadbod2Boxer program, what sort of condition was Brandon in, in terms of fitness and skills before he started? You can be as brutally honest as you like!

Dave Trotter: Brandon wasn’t in great shape both in body and fitness or skill. He definitely had weight to lose and his fitness levels were definitely below average. I didn’t expect his skill levels with boxing to be anything special as I wouldn’t expect from anyone else who has just starting out at boxing. It’s a very hard sport to become good at and takes along time to reach it.

 

Dadbod2Boxer: How have you tried to structure Brandon’s training program?

Dave Trotter: Brandon’s program to start with was focused on fitness and conditioning and the boxing skills he needed for the FightFit Training Camp that he signed up to. Now we are expanding his skills in boxing with more advanced movements and footwork etc. We are also working on some kickboxing skills and advanced strength and conditioning.

 

Dadbod2Boxer: Did you think he was going to be able to achieve getting through your own program as well the FightFit Training Camp? Don’t tell us you went easy on him!

Dave Trotter: My program for him was surrounded around what he needed for the FightFit Training Camp. I thought he had a good chance of passing the training camp as he was very focused on his training and diet requirements to lose the weight. I definitely wasn’t easy on him and I’m confident that we/him did everything we could to get Brandon ready to pass the training camp. Unfortunately he didn’t quite get there but that wasn’t his failure as the training camps requirements were set very high and as I said I think he did what he could and left nothing behind leading into it and on the day of testing.

 

Dadbod2Boxer: So now that the first phase of Dadbod2Boxer is done and dusted, how do you feel Brandon went with the rigours of your training schedule and how much progress has he made compared to your very first session?

Dave Trotter: Brandon is a new person, he has lost a lot of weight, he seems happier and is always very keen to train. His boxing skills have come along way and he is now looking at taking part in one of our fight challenges next year which is definitely not for everyone. As I said earlier, we are doing some advanced boxing work as well as advanced strength and conditioning and kickboxing, so he has come along way in the space of time he has been training with me. His fitness levels are high now and can only keep getting higher.

 

Dadbod2Boxer: Overall, what’s it been like training Brandon? Does he get grumpy when you give him too many burpees?

Dave Trotter: Brandon is a pleasure to train, I love to train clients who don’t complain, want to train hard and want to learn. Brandon is great at all of these so training him is easy and enjoyable.

 

Dadbod2Boxer: So the training is still continuing, right? So then where to from here? Where is it you would like Brandon to be in the next 3-6 months?

Dave Trotter: Training is still going strong and as I said earlier, he is learning more and more skills from our sessions and is looking to take part in our next fight challenge next year so that is the next big focus for his training sessions with me.

 

Dadbod2Boxer: Well, thanks Dave. I best get out of here before you throw more burpees at me to do!

 

So there you have it. Seriously though, Dave has been and continues to a great trainer. There’s so much more for me to learn, which always makes me eager to head in to the gym and get as many sessions underneath my belt as possible.

One of the key’s to consistent training is to find something you love and do it. Don’t over think it and feel you have to “mix it up” a bit if you don’t want to. If you are happy just to run, then just run! Expanding your training horizons will come with time.

Till next time, Box On!

 

 

 

Dadbod2Boxer – The Results!

So here we are, the end of Dadbod2Boxer (well, not quite, but more about that later). This post was a little late in coming, but hopefully it’ll be worth you reading!

My goals for this challenge was 2-fold:
(a) Transform my body from something that resembled something of a flat truck tyre to a low profile bit of race rubber;
(b) Get fit, stay fit and hopefully inspire by documenting my journey.

I’m pleased to say that after 12 weeks of hard work, pain and some logistical gymnastics on the home front, I’m confident I’ve achieved both, and more. I really couldn’t have completed this without my beautiful wife Petra and my two kids, Isabelle and Kai.

Results!

Results!

In a number of ways I really had to put myself first, and in a family environment trying to live the day to day, that can be difficult but they’ve supported me every step of the way, emotionally, physically and financially. Thank you!

My workplace at SEEK (www.seek.com.au) have been super flexible, Hatchy and the team have been hugely supportive and made sure I stayed grounded with plenty of wisecracks and ribbing and my expense, but it kept me smiling! Thanks guys!

Bash, Sally and the whole team at FightFit who have encouraged me and supported this challenge from the start, you’ve been awesome and despite popular opinion Bash, you’re actually pretty funny! Kudos team! Similarly, Stu from Primal Food who has ensured that I was eating right and supplementing where I needed to. But just learning the importance of eating and how you can’t out train a bad diet has been critical. Thanks Stu, you’re a champ!

Lastly but by no means least, my trainer and drill sergeant, Dave Trotter. Truth be known, when Bash at FightFit said that Dave would be the best man to train me, I naturally stalked him online to try and determine his creds.

My trainer Dave Trotter. Not quite as mean as he looks.

My trainer Dave Trotter. Not quite as mean as he looks.

Bash promised Dave would make me vomit (he hasn’t yet, close, but not yet, kind soul he is). Dave is a former Military Gunner in the Army, a CrossFit Games 2015 competitor and former professional fighter competing in Boxing, Muay Thai and MMA. Indeed, I was crapping the proverbial, but I couldn’t have asked for a more patient or awesome trainer/coach than Dave. Dave mate, thanks for opening my eyes to your world of boxing. I still have a long way to go, but a lot of my garnered fitness and overall result is thanks to your keen eye and punishing program. Legend!

Formalities done, let’s get stuck into some of the results ‘eh?

Dexa Scan – The Real Deal

During Dadbod2Boxer, I’ve been utilising Dexa Body Scan services from BodyScan Melbourne. This was my one true way to see the continual benefical affect my diet and training and been having on my body. When I started, I was surprised to learn, that by World Health Organisation standards, I was in fact just dipping into the first stage of Obesity. I weighed 84.6kg when I started and carrying 18kg of fat, mostly in my mid-section, which is a common place to have it when you have Eastern European heritage like my good-self. That’s a 21.67 body fat percentage and according to the Fat Mass Index, I was well and truly overweight.

Roll on to 12 weeks later, and the results have been fantastic! All my hard work training and eating right have paid off based on the results. To quote the doctor taking the Dexa scan and reviewing the results with me, I really could not have done any better in terms of the results. I’m now down to 78kg and have dropped my amount of body fat to 13.9kg. That’s now a body fat percentage of 17.45%. Over a 4% body fat change.

Wow, I had two of these in me!

Wow, I had two of these in me!

That may not sound like much, it’s something that you can’t visualise unless you are the person wearing my body, but thanks to a handy prop at BodyScan Melbourne, as you can see from the photo here, imagine two of these lumps and that’s the sort of volume of fat I’ve lost!

From the Dexa image comparison you can see here, there’s been a really noticeable loss of fat over my stomach and trimming down of fat everywhere else. The fat is in yellow and you can see how it’s clearly dissipated over the 12 weeks. And from the graph image, you can see this fantastic linear trend going from overweight (purple) to well into the healthy range (orange) and heading straight for the lean range (green). Lean range is what I am aiming for, give me another 8 weeks and I’m there!

 

Before and after Dexa Scan

Before and after Dexa Scan

Mission: Target Lean!

Mission: Target Lean!

Fit & Trim

The Dexa Scan obviously tells a story, but the comments I’ve had from work colleagues, family and friends has been really were the results have been most obvious. I now catch myself in a reflection and my stomach, which used to reluctantly enter doorways before me, is replaced by a flatter, trimmer unit.

Goodbye Dadbod, not so nice knowing you!

Goodbye Dadbod, not so nice knowing you!

I can’t begin to tell you how much more confidence it gives me. And there’s no doubt that my fitness has gone to a whole other level now.

But make no mistake, everything I have done till now has been extremely hard work. The hardest I have ever worked on my fitness since I did competitive state level running back in high school over 25 years ago. As many as 4 sessions a week for 12 weeks is what it took and the first 2-4 weeks were the hardest by far. But the rewards for sticking it out have been astronomical! I am the fittest now that I have been almost since I left high school and that just allows me to train more consistently and with more intensity. This is the knock on effect, by sticking it out, am now on an uphill trend where I now want to train more and I just get fitter and fitter by doing so.

profile2I recall when I first recorded video for Dadbod2Boxer and remember seeing myself not even being able to do a sit-up almost because quite frankly, my stomach got in the way. That stomach is now gone as too have the less-than-sexy love handles and I am doing core strength exercises that I only dreamed of 12 weeks prior.

I am just so happy with the results that it’s hard to express truly. All I know is that I want more and I am excited for the future!

Becoming the Boxer – bloody hard caper this boxing – seriously

I chose boxing as my go to strategy for getting fit. I took an introductory lesson at FightFit Boxing Centre and saw how physically demanding it was and just knew this is how I was going to get results super quick. And not to mention, after doing a bit of Karate as a kid and recently as an adult for a grand total of 2 sessions), I’d always been interested in giving boxing a try and I wasn’t disappointed. It wasn’t just intense physical exercise, it was fun also!

I came into the whole deal being overly confident in how I would adapt to boxing training. How hard can it be to punch the crap out of a punching bag right? WRONG! Wow, what an absolute eye-opener! The technique, the form, the physical strength & conditioning and most importantly, the mental strength to hold it altogether and do boxing effectively and efficiently is so, so hard. But that’s the challenge of any fight sport as I’ve learnt there are so many elements to it.

The first 6 weeks I spent more time at the physio than I would care to remember. Injured shoulders, wrists, knuckles and elbows, all the impact points in boxing, it took at least that 6 weeks to get any sort of base conditioning into my body to throw any sort of effective punch. Other than strained rotator cuffs in both shoulders, the skin off my thumbs have since turned into callouses and I feel accustomed to the daily pain in my knuckles and hands.

It’s a mighty tough game, but I am now so addicted to the training, the learning, the continual upwards trend of my conditioning that I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. And look, the guys are so great down at FightFit. Bash, Dave, Mark, Ruan, Eric, Percy and Sally, it’s great to have a laugh with them as well. It’s not always so serious down there!

Transformation Time

In most respects, I achieved what I set out to do, I’m pumped to continue the way I’m going and I have transformed my body, but also my lifestyle, my head space and my outlook on health and fitness, especially after hitting the big 4-0 this year. As you’ll see from a number of the pics loaded into this blog, the change has been noticeable on the outside as well as the inside. My plan is to continue exactly how I am training and eating right now, I don’t see any reason not to and I don’t want to go back to the body I used to have, otherwise what was all this for? It would be contradictory to the whole premise of this challenge.

promo_compare

Boxing or TimTam’s. Yeah, the former!

Further more, it’s been really humbling to hear from a few people about how my journey has inspired them to undertake their own fitness journey. That was one of the goals of this blog was to inspire and I’m so happy I was able to achieve that, as from the outset I thought that might be one of the more far fetched goals! For those of you who are undertaking your own personal challenge, don’t give up. Push through that hard, initial 2-4 weeks and always remember the hard work you put in know, will make it easier on you in the future. I’m living testament to that. Just check out this promo image I did at the start of the journey compared to now.

What next for Dadbod2Boxer?

That’s the biggest question I get asked now, is now that you’ve completed the challenge, now what? Well, like I mentioned, I’m enjoying the lifestyle and the training and I still believe I have so much more to achieve, that I consider this to be just the first Phase of many.

My trainer Dave made a very good point “Well, you’re not a boxer yet!”. I let that sink in for a moment and he was right. I’ve really just got my body to a point where the Dadbod is gone, but the journey to Boxer is still in progress!

My goal for the next phase of Dadbod2Boxer is to continue my skills training and increase my strength and conditioning and get into the ring to spar with my trainer. Ominously, another poor bugger under Dave’s tutelege who recently sparred with him is nursing tender that usual ribs! But right now, I’m not going to let that bother me (I’m gonna worry about the ribs when they hurt!) and that will sparring will be a true stepping stone of transforming to Boxer.

I hope to provide more video and blog content from here running through some practical tips and tricks for the boxing gym and for general fitness and keep you all up to date on my training to get up to sparring standard. And after that? Well, do I get in the ring? At least once? Only time will tell!

In the coming days I’ll be putting up a Q&A session I’ve had with my trainer so you can get a bit of insight into how he’s seem the journey pan out. So stay tuned for that!

Till then, thanks to everyone for helping me get this far and I hope you continue to follow me on my journey of… Dadbod2Boxer!

As always, Box on!

 

 

 

 

 

Training Solo – you can do it!

With one day to go in the Dadbod2Boxer challenge, I thought I would fill you in a little bit on the last couple of weeks where I have been training mostly by myself.

So I have always been the type of person who feels that the only way to get more out of myself is for a trainer to push me to limits I rarely go to. I’ve found that this has been hit and miss in the past. Some trainers can understand you and over time can measure how intensely you train and therefore know how much further to push it. Unfortunately a lot of trainers I have come across, trainers I’ve actually had sessions with seem to stick to a pre-determined series of activities and rarely change it up or increase/decrease the intensity as required.

I’m happy to say that firstly, I think my trainer (Dave) understands where I’m at and I like to give him feedback anyway (fortunately swear words are rare, but then I wouldn’t want to be pissing off my trainer either).

Oh yes you can!

Oh yes you can!

I think when you get that base understanding over just a few weeks of consistent training, between trainer and trainee, a good trainer will mix up your tasks and create incremental challenges, pushing a little further each session. And just in case he’s reading, my previous PT instructor Adam was pretty good at this too.

But I want to get the most out of myself and love being challenged physically and mentally, so with my trainer led sessions I know I’m getting maximum benefit, it’s about having that strong trainer/trainee relationship.

At week 10 though, the household was a bit behind budget for the month and I wasn’t able to book in the sessions I usually would book with Trainer Dave. There’s no excuses to not train in Dadbod2Boxer so this was the first time to start hitting the boxing gym solo and put into practice all that I have learned the last couple of months. I wanted to leave that gym as close as I could to feeling destroyed, just like my trainer makes me feel. But I also wanted to ensure that I was not dropping off on my core strength exercises of pushups, situps, commandos, planks and cycle crunches. In fact, I wanted to work on those just as much and even better my record counts on those exercises.

Along with the core exercises, I included a solid 3 minutes of skipping and 3 minutes of shadow boxing. Shadow boxing looks easy, but keeping up a sustained shadow boxing with form and technique is no easy feat and it’s a fantastic cardiovascular exercise to kick off a session with along with the skipping. When I first started I thought I looked like a fool doing it, but over time you realise you look perfectly normal, in a boxing gym anyway.

So with my warmups and core exercises, I do 3 solid minutes on a medium to heavy bag and try and stick to form and link together as many combinations as I can and always thinking about weight distribution (left or right) and footwork. I do this 3 times, so a good 9 minutes on the bag. With my middle session on the bag, I try and throw some hard power punching combinations with a lot of body shots/rips. In between the bag sessions is where I do more core exercises.

rocky-meme-generator-even-champions-take-a-beating-f86385Before I started training solo, I’d struggle to get 20 pushups done, especially after a session on the bag with the fatigue in my shoulders, but I’ve now trained to the points where I can get 30-40 out pretty easily and my record is now at 50. Another one I struggled in is the cycle crunches. Before I trained by myself, my record was 80, now it’s 150. And with my plank (prone hold), my record was 2 minutes, now it’s 3 minutes. My goal now is always ensure I leave my own training session as drained as I do when I leave my trainers session.

So training solo, it can be done, but you need to learn how to train first. Not to mention that with some of these activities, without the right training & guidance, you can easily injure yourself in the most innocuous way. Interestingly as my technique and fitness has increased, the less visits I’ve had to the physio too, which is always a bonus.

This is the final week of the first phase of Dadbod2boxer. I hope to be able to share with you all in the near future what the next phase holds and start posting more instructional video, now that I no longer look a walrus trying to handle a bar of wet soap!

Next week will be some video of my final week, some insights from my trainer, some final measurements and the body shape comparison pics.

Till next time, box on!

 

 

 

Week 10 – Recovery & the Run Home

So I haven’t updated everyone for a while, truth be known I have been waiting for the results of the FightFit Training Camp program, dealing with the logistical nightmare that is school holidays and have been a bit unwell.

The last fortnight has not been blessed with freakish, day after day training sessions as there has been up until now. I decided to become an eager participant for my workplace’s football team and being that it’s an annual event I certainly didn’t want to over train or injure myself prior to the match – missing this match was not an option. So the training tapered off because of that and as previously mentioned, school holiday logistics meant I needed to work from home and home is a long way from the gym.

football

Reliving glory days on the SEEK Footy Day

Thankfully, I got to run out on the ground in a veiled desperate attempt to relive my glory days on the football field, resulting in a win for the mighty “SEEK Saints” and I’ve navigated through school holidays successfully. There has been less training as a result, but this has been a blessing in disguise as it’s given my body a chance to heal from the sheer amount of training I’ve been putting away. My shoulder niggles have settled as to have my knuckle bruising, going from “ouchy ouchy”, to just “ouchy” (which is good in my book).

It’s also given me time to reflect on how far I’ve come, which only makes me excited for the next 3 weeks. I even knocked out my first 5km run for a few years and other than some calf tightness I still had a reasonable amount of gas left in the tank. I could not do that 10 weeks ago.

The body shape has definitely changed, I look slimmer, feel slimmer and continue to have bounce in my step. Am I at where I wanted to be at this stage of the journey? Yes, I think so. Still 3 weeks to go and a lot can be achieved in just 3 weeks. From here I just plan on hitting the training as hard as I can and hope that a spew bucket is not required!

And the results of my training camp? Well, first things first, I didn’t pass. Strictly speaking, I needed to complete ALL components of the camp. However, given that my first day of this 12 week journey happened to be first day of Training Camp, comparing where I was then to where I am now, I’ve come a loooooong way.

comparison-1

Getting there

On day one, I had no technique, didn’t know how to throw a punch, with either hand, didn’t know how to block, slip, weave or use my feet. But strangely enough, it was all the technique with the gloves and pads, and the fitness around my bag boxing work, where I actually passed with flying colors. It was only the last 30 minutes of the 90 minute session where I fell down, and to be honest, it was where I thought I was going to fail.

The structure of the camp sessions are always 90 minutes and start with an hour of full on technique and solid bag work and at the end of that 1 hour, you are well and truly spent, but need to back it up for the core exercise component. These consist of:

  • 100 burpees
  • 30 pushups
  • 30 commandos
  • 50 alternating situps (opposite elbow to knee)
  • 150 cycle crunches
  • 2 minute plank hold (prone hold)

So I knocked out the 100 burpees (on day 1, I could only manage 20), but I had already spent all my petrol tickets in the first hour and the rest of the core exercises were a struggle and couldn’t complete all reps. I ended up doing the following:

  • 100 burpees
  • 15 pushups
  • 18 commandos
  • 23 alternating situps
  • 80 cycle crunches
  • 90 second plank hold

And what did the other work look like? Well check this monster out!

  • 3 minutes skipping with last minute using high knees – done!
  • 2x 3 minutes of shadow boxing showing form and technique – done!
  • 3x 3 minute rounds on the bag showing good footwork, defence, punching skills and fitness – done!
  • 3x 1 minute rounds on the bag against an opponent on the opposite side – done!
  • 6x 20 second work on the bag at 100% effort, 40 seconds rest between each – done!
  • Technique culminating up to Jab, cross, left hook, right cross – done!
  • Technique culminating up to Jab, cross, left uppercut, right cross, left hook, right cross – done!
  • Technique culminating up to right uppercut, left hook, right cross, left hook – done!
  • Technique culminating up to right cross, left rip, right cross, left hook, right cross – done!
  • …and a whole tonne of weaving, slipping and blocking combined with the above combinations – done!
endoftraining_camp

Master of Pain – Paul Fyfield – I forgot not to smile

Am I disappointed I didn’t pass? Ummm, yes and no. Ideally I would have liked to have able to have summoned the luck of the Irish and pass all tests, even with a struggle, but it wasn’t to be. But I am happy when I consider how far I have come in 8 weeks with all of this.

For the next 3 weeks I’ll just be focused on putting in as much training as I can during the week, and when I’m not training at the gym, I plan to get out and do something. Either 5km lunchtime runs or some park work with a football with work colleagues. All the while I’m continuing to eat right and I’m now including magnesium, BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids) and Electrolytes during my workouts.

So let’s see how far I can get!

Between now and the completion of this journey I won’t be doing the weekly measurement updates, I’ll just do one last one at the end, along with my final Dexa scan. I’ll also have some more video coming, so stay tuned!

Till then, box on!

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Measurements – Week 8

school-holiday-is-going-to-an-endFollowing on from the final day of the FightFit Training Camp, this week it was another continuing down trend with the measurements.
But it’s all about to plateau due to some commitments I’ve had planned for a while by way of my works annual AFL Football game, which I’ve been training for in a lighthearted way outside of the gym. And with school holidays upon us for that extra added time at home, the next week or so are going to be tame in terms of training.

I’m now starting to add some supplements to my diet as of next week also. Magnesium is one supplement that I need to get on board with in an effort to avoid cramping mainly, and restless leg syndrome I get from time to time, but there are apparently many benefits to magnesium that even this scribe was unaware of. A great read up on the benefits can be found here – http://theheartysoul.com/powerful-relaxation-mineral/

I’m also combining both extra Electrolytes and Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) during my workouts to help take advantage of the diet and training I am doing. This is to aid in better hydration and assist in building leaner muscle mass along the way.

And now, the measurements and obligatory body pic.

 

(cm)NeckChestUpper ArmWaistHipsUpper Thigh
Week 141.5110341009962
Week 240108.533.598.596.561
Week 339.510833.597.59562
Week 439.5104.533.2979362
Week 539.510533.596.59461.5
Week 639.5105.53395.59462
Week 739.510333.59593.561
Week 839.510432.5949161
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12

 

bodypic_week8

 

 

 

Weekly Measurements – Week 7

Here we are again, another week down and about to head into a weekend of testing through the Fight Fit Training Camp. This week the measurements have been encouraging and the body shape continues to change. More people are starting to comment on how I’ve slimmed down and that’s always a good sign! Anyway, I’ll keep this weeks measurements update short, so here are the measurements for Week 7 and the body pic this week shows the comparison between what I looked like on Day 1 to what I look like 2/3 of the way through this challenge.

 

(cm)NeckChestUpper ArmWaistHipsUpper Thigh
Week 141.5110341009962
Week 240108.533.598.596.561
Week 339.510833.597.59562
Week 439.5104.533.2979362
Week 539.510533.596.59461.5
Week 639.5105.53395.59462
Week 739.510333.59593.561
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12

 

bodypic_week1-7

 

 

 

 

Day 43 – The Half Way Mark

Day 43, or thereabouts, marks the half way point of the Dadbod2Boxer journey. So I thought it would be good to reflect on the last week or two and the journey as a whole so far. By far the most interesting week has been this week, and by interesting, I mean bloody challenging.

Overall, the journey has been rewarding, eye-opening, fun, stressful, painful & frustrating. It’s been eye-opening in terms of what it takes to get your body back into shape. It’s not complicated, but what I have learnt is that you need 3 main things.

  1. Eat Well
  2. Train Intensively
  3. Do the things above consistently

Food is where it all starts

dr-phil-girl

Dr Phil. Telling it how it is.

I have learnt that eating well is where it all starts. And it’s really true. My challenge aside, if you were looking to leading a healthier lifestyle, you cant do much wrong by fixing up not only what you eat, but how much you eat and when you eat it. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Simply steer clear of sugar, too much bad fats (butter, cream), trans fats and add more veggies and greens with each meal, at least for lunch and dinner. Marry that up with protein, be it chicken, beef, veal, fish, etc. The portions are all important as well. Whilst they say you can overeat a little if you are eating the right things, if you want to see faster results, tone down the size of your servings to half of what you would usually have. In my case I probably have portions the size of 1/3 of what I would have had in the past. All this goes a long way to losing weight and losing it fast and that’s before you’ve stepped inside a gym.

Combining the above with solid and intense workouts really helps reset your body’s metabolism to burn the fuel you put into your body faster, which obviously helps you drop your weight even quicker. So for maximum effect, eat right & train hard.

Training like you mean it

But don’t do it for a week and think your job’s done. It’s taken years of not eating correctly and not exercising anywhere near enough to get my body to a ripe pear like shape (no, it’s not the shape you want to have) and only months of hard work will get it back to the leaner, fitter state you desire. I was consistent in doing the wrong things and it delivered my body to what it was and this is where being consistent with the food and the training is the only way to get my body back into shape.

If you wanted to get technical and in detail with your food and/or training, I encourage you to, as I’ve done with the trainers at FightFit and through my diet minders at Primal Food. But as I mentioned before, there’s a lot you can do without it needing to be so complicated.

The Physical Pain

fighters_hands

It ended up looking worse than this

Over the last several weeks, with my training now up to 4 days a week, the toll is being taken on my body. I now see my physio every fortnight and my remedial massage therapist every week. Some of this is to acutely treat my aches, pains and strains. Some of it is a preventative measure to make sure my body is holding up to the task and to avoid injury in the first place. My massage therapist struggles dealing with my “Subscapularis” and I struggle dealing with the pain inflicted by him trying to get that part of my body in order. My shoulder’s continue to flare up and get aggravated, but I can finally see at this point it’s because my boxing technique is still on the sucky side. And my hands, especially my right because quite frankly, my left hand hits softer than a wet sponge (but I’m working on that). Speaking of wet sponges, this is one of the methods I’ve tried to use to protect my right hand which has copped most of the brunt, by jamming a rolled up sponge down inside my glove, thanks YouTube!. My middle and index knuckle are a bit bone bruised and I have various cuts and bruises popping up and gave the inside of my index finger a good tweak that went a tad on the purple side. So managing my hands and my shoulders seem to be the biggest challenge (and pain in the butt) to date. While there’s no broken bones or torn rotator cuffs, I guess we’re good to keep rolling along!

 

Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth – Mike Tyson

 

 

The Mental Pain

This I think so far has been the hardest part. It’s all about staying consistent and having the presence of mind to see a job through. homerPlenty of times I’ve thought the training was too hard, I can’t do this, or the food wasn’t satisfying me, I can’t do this. But I liken the “can’t do this” thoughts to be that little “bad” voice on your shoulder that is trying to convince you that however negative it’s path maybe, it’s the easiest and you should therefore take it. Ignoring that voice was hard at the start mostly, but then got easier, that was until this week arrived.

I was a bit under the weather on the eve of Week 6, which was a Friday, but felt OK again on the Saturday for my morning training session with trainer Dave. But for the next week, I was physically & mentally drained and have been the closest to giving up that I have been since the start. I couldn’t put my finger on it. It’s been a punishing month of training and restructuring diet from cold turkey.

I reached out to Stu at Primal Food for potential answers. I was feeling a little flat about how my measurements weren’t continuing to drop off at the rate that it had been, yet I was still eating well and training hard, if not harder. He just reminded me that this sort of process never follows a linear curve and that it would continue to get better. I also had to admit to trainer Dave that I was born a perfectionist. I’ve always picked up all types of sports easily in life. By now I was expecting to be laying down the Mike Tyson on a regular basis! I think Dave picked up on this anyway as from time to time I can be pretty hard on myself during training.

tired

Yup

So by the Thursday I started to pick up again and think I was doing pretty well in both my Thursday and Friday sessions with Dave, who was nice to remind me of when I started with him that I could hardly do a sit up or get through 30 cycle crunches without blowing out an ab or a back muscle. I would have also laughed if you said I could knock out 100 burpees for instance. But here I am, getting all that done and more and with plenty of room for improvement too. And that’s now what it’s all about, how much room I have for improvement, it’s almost like I am now at a base I am happy with, and now the real intensity starts. So I felt pretty good just post my Friday training session, but then it hit me.

By 6pm Friday night, that’s the Friday just gone, I felt like I suddenly contracted the Flu. Every single muscle in my body ached. I felt weak and severely lethargic. I knew if I was taking myself to bed at 8:30pm, things mustn’t be good. I had one of the worst sleeps ever, yet I was so tired and felt that I was hit by a truck. Night sweats were terrible. There weren’t any warning signs with this, it just hit me. Cutting a long story short, my body basically shut down for the next 24-38 hours. I started to feel better by Sunday morning and I missed my Saturday training session with trainer Paul, but I was never going to be able to make that.

This week, I think a combination of mental stress and over-training probably got the better of me and it’s something I need make sure I keep a check on. Make sure I’m hydrated enough as well, as I feel this may have been a contributing factor also. On Friday I didn’t hydrate as much as I usually would, which was the main difference between any other training day.

Looking towards the next 6 weeks

So with the last week by far being the most trying, I’m now super pumped about what the next 6 weeks will bring. I know that dadbod2boxer will wind down, but I now know that my training and diet wont, so that’s a success story there. Knowing that my lifestyle has now changed for the better. And I have met some great people along the way. My goal from this week is to pick up the intensity now, focus on my technique and try and get that as close to spot on as possible and build it up to the next level. I want to get more accurate with my body positioning and up the tempo of my striking so it’s a bit more snappy. This will allow me to explore more with Dave in terms of what we do during training on the bag and with the pads, any maybe even in the ring!

From here, I think it’s appropriate to quote the great Michael Gerard Tyson: “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.“….

Wait, sorry, I meant this one from Iron Mike: “Discipline, doing what you hate to do, but do it like you love it.

Anyway, I think you get the idea. Thanks for reading, more updates to come during the week. Till then, Box on!