How 1 year of KOBOX changed my body and brain!

I actually can’t believe that I had my first ever Kobox class in October last year. If you happen to have stumbled across my instagram, you’ll know it’s an essential part of my week – and most days! I wrote this post after a few months of Kobox, and everything I said is still true. (I also had a chat with the Kobox Brand Director here, if you fancy nosing around the careers section of this site!)

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It’s worth reiterating that nothing I’ve ever written about Kobox has been sponsored or in exchange for free classes. Although full disclosure Ollie did give me a pair of Team Brown Bear wraps, but that’s just because he’s a babe. True – I bang on about Kobox A LOT but that’s because I CHOOSE TO and I personally pay for the privilege!

New KOBOX Marylebone studio

Today, they’re launching a brand new studio in Marylebone (COME TO THE LAUNCH PARTY AT 7PM! Check their instagram here for details! And classes begin on Saturday) and I attended a Chelsea class this morning, my 94th every class… nearly at that 100 milestone!

And I wanted to write this post because I’m not the kind of person you’d imagine boxing. People are always surprised I even watch it on TV too. But that’s the beauty of Kobox – they’re a studio that opens boxing up beyond just blokes with balls big enough to hop into a ring and get punching no questions asked, and guarantees EVERYONE can have a great time and get results, regardless of your background or experience – fancy-ass pro or boxing newbie.

What makes KOBOX so good?

The trainers are all super knowledgable and passionate but most importantly they’re just f*cking great human beings. No massive egos. No intimidation. Just people who give 110% energy every time, and will chat with you after a class over a shake, dunk biscuits in their tea in the middle of class occasionally (OK so that was just Antoine aka. @PTDunn!) or take the piss out of you on instagram… literally, the best, most down to earth bunch you can find… but they’re the bloody BEST at what they do.

So if you’re nervous about trying it, really, really don’t be. It might be the best thing you ever do! It’s absolutely changed my relationship with my body and brain – I can’t even imagine life without it.

How KOBOX changed my body… and brain!

(& I’ll share a transformation pic once I’ve completed my 100th class!)

Finally found my fitness peak

I’m now the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been thanks to full on beastings that target all areas of the body.

New skills & strength

I can do things I couldn’t even do before like push ups on my toes (literally I used to not even be able to do ONE!), wall handstands and planks (my arms would’ve given out before!) and crazy primal sequences that get the body doing what it’s designed to do (if you go to Miranda’s #fuckedupFridays – you KNOW!)

Transformed into a morning person (the IMPOSSIBLE happened!)

I’ve gone from being someone who could never get up in the mornings to VOLUNTARILY getting up at 6.30am to get my Kobox fix!

Improved mental health

I also now use it as a big part of managing my depression (which I’ve suffered with for over 20 years!) and I genuinely think it makes as much of a difference as medication. But wherever you’re at with mental health, I guarantee battering a bag ALWAYS makes you feel better!

Best relationship with my body

And for the first time in my life, after a long time of eating disorders and generally just a bad relationship with my body, I now love it for what it can do, and am completely comfortable in my skin. I don’t give a f*ck about weight anymore.

Boosted motivation and drive

It has also transformed the way I train and my motivation levels – I now WANT to go harder, or do more reps than I could before, and I’m so much more disciplined and able to push myself to the next level.

How can you join?

Check out their website here and get yourself booked into a class. They have studios in Chelsea, City and Marylebone. There’s a great offer of £25 for 2 classes and free hand wraps, or you can try a city single class for £10 at weekends (in City only).

The trainers also do one to ones and I was lucky enough to win a session on the pads with the legend Ian Streetz in Jan which was amaaaaaazing and I’d 100% recommend it – check out his website here.

PS…

They’re doing a really cool Halloween FRIGHT CLUB that I can’t make it to, but you 100% should because it sounds awesome and I’m just gonna have to live vicariously through you guys… check their insta @kobox and website for more details.

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Photo by Stephan Müller on Pexels.com

B xox

 

 

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Top 10 reasons to join the next KOBOX Fight Club: Review & all your q’s answered!

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So I suppose I have to say #sorrynotsorry for the Fight Club spam last week…! (and also a special thanks to the instructors who made my Fight Club INSANE – Miranda, Ian & Jacob THANK YOU FOR AN EPIC WEEK!).

I’ve made no secret of how much I love Kobox – the workout, the incredible instructors (literally never been to any gym or boutique fitness concept where the calibre is as consistently strong but they’re all also consistently pretty freaking awesome humans, with their own personalities!), the convenient city location, the gorgeous Chelsea studio with the ring and chillout area… I could go on, but I won’t because I posted all about how much I love Kobox (and boxing workouts more generally) here.

If you’re new to the idea of KOBOX it’s a boxing workout, but not like any other (the combo of the club inspired studios – epic beats, lights down low, off-the-chain instructors and the innovative exercises for the wall/circuit style portion, you’ll see changes in both your body and mind STAT) . It’s also non contact, don’t worry – you don’t have to take one on the chin girls! (you alternate between punching a heavy ass bag and between doing circuits on the wall). It’s an explosive combo of high intensity cardio, resistance and plyo style moves, but you can find out more here and here.

 

Fight Club – the lowdown

Fight Club is this amazing offer Kobox do (this year so far in February and June).

It’s very simple, super effective, a massive challenge but hell of a lot of fun.

7 classes. 7 days.

It’s that simple. I book mine as one per day, but you could book doubles if you wanted to be super hardcore or knew there was a day when you would need to skip a class.

It’s for the bargain price of £80 so individually the classes work out to be quite a lot cheaper than usual (go to the KOBOX website for details of the regular class packages – costs vary depending how many you want to buy at one time. If you’re gonna go three times a week I recommend the treble [£50 for 3 classes in 7 days] as an economical option! I also buy the packs of 10 to uses as and when, as they last for 6 months)

Why do Fight Club?

Okay, so normally I don’t train 7 days a week and I advocate for 1-2 rest days a week.

But every once in a while a shake-up is GREAT, and a challenge is EVEN BETTER.

These are my top 10 reasons you should do the next fight club

  1. THERE’S NO FEELING LIKE IT.
    Boxing is an empowering workout anyway, but 7 days of it is an INCREDIBLE challenge but there’s no endorphin pump quite like it!
  2. YOUR BODY WILL CHANGE – NO, REALLY!
    You may think 7 days isn’t enough time to see changes in your body but I promise you, both Fight Clubs I’ve done, in combination with staying on track with nutrition have DEFINITELY given me some strength gains, and tightened my quads and glutes which is where I store my body fat most. I felt so much stronger, leaner and more confident after both fight clubs (Feb & June) too.
  3. SET YOUR ABS ON FIRE.
    Even if you think you have a strong core already – 7 days of this training with all the boxing rotations, abs to finish and even core day will take it to the next level. This style of cardio-resistance-plyo-boxing workout torches fat, improves cardiovascular fitness and strength, but one of the other fun benefits is it will really help your abs pop!
  4. CHALLENGE YOURSELF – BOOST YOUR MENTAL DISCIPLINE!
    It’s so much fun to challenge yourself and see results, and stick at something. For my first Fight club I got up at 5.30am every day to make the 7.15 classes in city and I am not a morning person. It boosts your willpower, perseverance, and stamina so much!
  5. THE ENERGY.
    At the risk of sounding super cheesy and American, it’s actually true… the energy, carried by the incredible KOBOX squad of epic instructors is ALWAYS HIGH. Whether you’re with pocket rocket Maciela, primal badass bitch Miranda, mega jokes PT Dunn (Antoine will eat biscuits in front of you, watch out!), the legend that is Ian Streetz, the complete dude Jacob, the kick ass Wayne, and Ollie who may be the lovable #teambrownbear but he WILL make you do burpees… everyone brings their A game EVERY SINGLE CLASS. You get so much motivation from them.
  6. THE SHAKES… MY GOD, THE KOBOX SHAKES.
    I had to add this, I’m sorry haha. So helpful to grab and go for breakfast after a morning class when you’re rushing to the office… There’s a shake loyalty card now too, so you’re practically investing 😉 I highly recommend getting creative, the lovely team are always nice and will adapt – I go for the blueberry brawler (coconut water, blueberries and protein) but swap vanilla protein for chocolate – or the peanut uppercut (but I ask to add coffee, and for the end of fightclub I had an extra scoop of choc protein). One bone to pick though guys… pleeeeeeeease bring back the mocha ali one *begs*
  7. IT HELPS SMASH YOU OUT OF ANY PLATEAUS.
    In a training rut? Not feeling your normal routine? Stopped seeing results? Had a few weeks where you’ve been to busy to train? Been feeling blue and need a kick? Fight Club is your guaranteed fix.
  8. ALL ABILITIES CAN DO IT.
    Yes, it’s tough. Yes, 1 class is a challenge, let alone 7. But tell the instructors if you’re injured, or if you’re a beginner with any concerns. Make modifications (the instructors usually give a range of options and definely will if you let them know about any injuries etc). You can also go at your own pace – you’re in control of your punching and your time on the wall. If you want to slow down and focus on technique and form, you can. If you want to speed up and really fight for that cardio, you can.
  9. IT’S A BARGAIN!
    It’s a cheap offer – if you divide down the amount between individual classes it’s super great value compared with other boutique studios (that aren’t as good!), it’s a great jumping off point for a more energised training regime and you’re investing in your health, your mood and your energy levels… winning.
  10. YOU FIND OUT WHAT YOU’RE MADE OF.
    There’s a little fable… If I told you to get down and give me as many push-ups as you can, maybe you do 5, maybe you do 500. Whatever your fitness level, eventually you tire. You stop. You lie down. Then I say okay look, I need you to do 10 more push-ups. Just 10. You’d do it. It might be pretty tough but you’d do it. That’s what Fight Club is like. You empty your tank – but when the going gets tough you find a little bit more left in there. And you’re always, always made of more than you think. Your mind gives up waaaay before your body does!

FAQs

How much is it?

£80 for 7 classes in 7 days.

What if I miss a class?

You can rebook and reschedule if you do it in advance (I think over 24 hours) otherwise it’s a late cancellation and you lose the credit.

However, if you cancel ahead of time you get the credit back and can reuse it! Then maybe if you still want to use up all 7 you can double up classes one day…

But I need a rest day, 7 in 7 days is too much…?!

If you stretch and eat right you can manage it and take care of your body, but if you definitely need and/or want a rest day or two, then book 2 classes on certain days, so you can complete your 7.

Do I get penalised for not doing all 7?!

Nope. It’s totally your call. Your challenge, your call.

What if I get injured?

You can cancel 24 hours ahead of your class and reschedule, or if it’s a minor injury you feel okay to train with TELL YOUR INSTRUCTOR. They’ll adapt and give you modifications and make sure you’re working out safely.

Basically though you shouldn’t really be getting injured in class – follow the instructors’ tips on form and safe execution of moves, and don’t try to show off – good form is better than any ego, and the safest way to train.

Is it quite cliquey like some other boutiques or boxing gyms?

Not at all. See above haha, but basically the instructors are all absolute f***** gems. Genuinely cool, down to earth people, super knowledgable boxers and trainers, most are amateur/semi-pro or former boxers and stuntmen, all are INCREDIBLE.

What’s the music like?

Depends who you train with!!!! Get an idea for the different instructor vibes here though.

I’ve never done KOBOX before… can I do Fight Club?!

YES! Absolutely. But if you’d rather start slower, there’s a really good 2 classes for £25 beginner offer with a pair of free wraps included.

So… what are you waiting for?!

I think that’s all the questions I’ve had via insta… if you’d like to check out the KOBOX website now and get booking then I’d hiiiiiighly recommend it!

I’m not sure if Fight Club is just twice a year or if there’ll be more so keep an eye out, follow KOBOX on instagram, and in the meantime you might be interested in this careers post in my Inspire Interview Series with KOBOX Brand Director Kris Pace, formerly of Men’s Health. Check it for some major inspo!

B xoxo

#1 Inspire Interview Series – KRIS PACE, BRAND DIRECTOR of KOBOX

Welcome to the first in this series of Inspire Interviews! These will be permanently available on the careers section of this site, which I’m currently expanding so keep your eyes peeled…

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It’s no secret how much I love KOBOX and their awesome Brand Director, Kris Pace  has generously agreed to answer some questions for us today on all things work, fitness, boxing, branding and a cheeky quickfire round!

It’s always really interesting to go behind the scenes of our favourite brands and companies, as I think so many people aspire to work for places they can be proud of doing what they love.

Don’t get yourself into a position where you’re representing someone or something you don’t care about, because anyone you meet will see right through it. Genuine passion goes so far in this world, and if you’re proud of and fervid about who or what you’re representing, you won’t go far wrong. If you don’t believe in what you’re showcasing to the world, you don’t deserve to be doing it. – Kris Pace, KOBOX Brand Director.

Kris, as mentioned above, is KOBOX’s Brand Director, and formerly worked for Men’s Health. In addition to being a boxing badass (check out his instagram here) he’s doing an incredible work for a boutique fitness concept that has shaken London up a storm, with celebrity fans including supermodel Jourdan Dunn, singers Cheryl Cole and Ellie Goulding, Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts, Made in Chelsea stars JP, Jess Woodley Oliver Proudlock and more.

We touch on this in the interview, but KOBOX really does change lives, and so it’s no wonder the ‘fight club meets nightclub’ has been a roaring success. While KOBOX’s brand is amazing, clearly part of what makes it so incredible is it’s so much MORE than a brand, there’s a real sense of this KOBOX community that they’ve built, and as Kris says below there’s a sense of pride in everyone working there in getting to contribute to something bigger… so let’s dig in to chatting with Kris and find out his secrets to work success, how he ended up this amazing role, and his sport and fitness approach… Plus find out which KOBOX instructors he’d rather hug, marry and waterballoon…!

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B: Can you tell us a little bit about how you came to be Kobox’s Brand Director – did you always know this was the kind of work you wanted to do?

K: I met Shane and Ian Streetz when I worked for Men’s Health magazine. The team there wanted to do a 12-week body transformation, through boxing, for a feature. Whilst working there, we’d all heard a lot of good stuff about KOBOX, so we went down to see what it was like, and we knew instantly it was the right place to host the transformation…

Once the feature had finished, I’d loved being there so much that I kept going back, both to train and to socialise. The business was growing rapidly, and the Brand Director role was formed about 6 months later. I jumped at the chance, and the rest is history…

B: Can you describe a (working) day in the life for you at Kobox HQ?

K: Everything and anything can happen in typical day at KOBOX. There are so many variables at a boxing club, you simply have to be on top of everything. My day can vary from cleaning the office and serving protein shakes to conceiving and executing authentic online content or meeting people to further expand one of many sides of the business. But, for definite, the main stream of consciousness for every single employee at KOBOX, daily, is to make sure we’re giving people the best 50 minutes of their day when they come in to take a class.

B: Have you always been passionate about fitness?

K: Sport, all my life. Fitness, all my adult life. I think naturally I like to try new things, and test myself in new waters. I’ve body-built, gone super heavy but then also gone super slim for a triathlon, then tried my hand at boxing… it’s important to see what you’re made of.

B: What advice would you give to someone looking to go into branding/marketing roles?

K: Don’t get yourself into a position where you’re representing someone or something you don’t care about, because anyone you meet will see right through it. Genuine passion goes so far in this world, and if you’re proud of and fervid about who or what you’re representing, you won’t go far wrong. If you don’t believe in what you’re showcasing to the world, you don’t deserve to be doing it.

B: Have you made any mistakes along the way to where you are today and what have you learned from them, if so?

K: Of course, many. I learn something every single day, and I’d never want that to change.

Whether it’s something that has differed from your expectations; something you attested to but it turned out otherwise; or even if it’s something that you’re proved right on, you learn every time. You can’t predict the future, but you can take note and not make the same mistake twice.  

B: What are the best and worst bits of your job? Any top challenges and/or achievements?

K: Genuinely, there are too many best bits to choose from. I get to walk into KOBOX every day, which is a place I fell in love with before I worked there. But to name a few? The team, the ambition, the classes themselves and the difference they make to people’s lives – which is extraordinary, and I feel privileged to be a part of that.

Worse bit? Sloane Square’s on the District Line, which is, without doubt, the most lamentable tube line ever made. Ever. I never moan about it, though. Ask anyone…

B: Do you do KOBOX workouts yourself or do you like to mix up your regime? Any favourite ways to train?

K: If I’m honest, I wish I had more time to do class. It’s tricky for me to pick a class time and stick to it, as my day can change at the drop of a hat. But I love Core Day!

Away from class, I like to lift weights, but with a circuit/HIIT element to it… I’ve started to round up the trainers to participate, which helps with the old wilting willpower!

B: Best and worst career advice you’ve ever been given?

K: Best: Trust your gut.

Worst: Tailor yourself to the role.

B: Do you have a role model or mentor you look to for career inspiration?

K: I wouldn’t say one in particular. A lot of people are full of hot air, but there are also people who talk a lot of sense. Pick attentively what ‘words of wisdom’ you take with you.

B: Who are your fave fitness icons?

K: Eric ‘The King’ Cantona. My all-time sporting hero, but not necessarily a fitness icon. It’s hard to look past Rich Froning in that sense – what he’s achieved is incredible. I think he now defines modern-day fitness.  

B: And finally, what does ‘success’ mean to you?

K: Retiring when I’m 35.

Joke. Building something that will outlast you.

B: Bonus question: which Kobox instructor would you least like to get in a ring with and why?!

Any of them, they’d all batter me in the ring.

**Quickfire Round**

Fave combo on the heavy bags:

2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2…

Eggs or oats?

Oats.

Burpee or bear crawl?

Neither, they’re both grim.

Nature or nurture?

Nurture. It’s the only thing we have control over.

Talent or hustle?

Hustle.

The best KOBOX shake on the menu?

Peanut Uppercut. Or the Suckerpunch (just because I named it).

Chocolate or cheese?

Chocolate.

Boxing or MMA?

Boxing.

You have to hug, marry and water-balloon 3 kobox instructors – which ones do you choose?! 😉

Hug: Ollie. Who doesn’t want to cuddle the #BrownBear?

Marry: Maciela. She’s just awesome.

Water-Balloon: Ian Streetz. He wins at everything and I’ve had enough of it.

Fave movie:

Rockstar.

It’s your last EVER meal of your life. What do you order/make?

A proper, old-school Indian. Not one of these fancy new ones.

Thanks so much Kris for answering all of these questions and sharing your work and fitness insights! You can find Kris on instagram here, and all things KOBOX here. Keep an eye out for the next Inspire Interview coming soon!

B xox

Body Confidence & Fat Loss: new taboos, and some tips!

63F00890-78D0-4731-AA57-7DB8CA5E6AB7Over the course of, for want of a better phrase (!), my ‘health and fitness journey’ *mini cringe*, my outlook has changed a lot.

Ironically, I discovered that the influence slogans were true – trust the process, fall in love with the process, and you’ll get better aesthetic results.

I didn’t believe it when I first started either.

However, as I have become happier with my body, fitter, stronger, admittedly my goals have shifted towards process-driven ones (to be able to do an unassisted pull up, to improve my boxing technique, to be able to do plyo push-ups) which is a much healthier place to be instead of obsessing over body size.

I’m glad to be in a healthy physical and mental space, and to be trying to share that message more, instead of feeding the ‘must get skinny’ toxicity that still runs through society in a big way.

HOWEVER it does mean that talking about fat loss for me is difficult. How do I do it without promoting orthorexia (we can’t say clean eating anymore) or implying that fat is bad?

A poll on my Instagram lately indicated that loads of you are still super interested in fat

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From post bulimia weight gain to happy with Kayla Itsines BBG programme – the beginning of my fitness love!

loss so I wanted to address it as a topic in a healthy, balanced, sustainable way. Because I think it is possible (though perhaps tough!) to change your body composition and lose some fat in a body positive way… it all depends on your mindset.

 

As always, bear in mind that while I’ve had a successful weight loss journey to a place where I’m happy, that followed times of being underweight and bulimia before my excessive weight gain, and while I’m recovered and I have been active in the online wellness and health community for over 5 years, I am not a nutritionist or doctor. The only qualification I’ve done is a group exercise instructor REPS level 2 course where the nutrition content is minimal. My knowledge is from personal interest and research only, and so you can use it as a jumping off point to conduct research yourself, but you can’t rely on me for personal advice. Ok? 🙂

Fat Loss: how do we do it healthily?

You may or may not have heard the saying ‘you can’t out train a bad diet.’

This is totally true.

So if you really want to alter your body composition (i.e. lose some fat) then you need to address your nutrition first and foremost.

This can be a bit of a minefield as I think it is CRITICAL that you do this in a way that isn’t detrimental to your health (which is where so many people go wrong – fad diets encouraging cutting food groups, for example, are not sustainable long term and deprive your body of vital nutrients).

The way I have approached fat loss that I feel is most physically AND mentally beneficial is:

  • NO CALORIE OR MACRO COUNTING (however I know some people without ED backgrounds can count numbers and not obsess, and I acknowledge that maybe the reason I can eat healthily and intuitively is because I know a lot about the nutritional contents of food because I HAVE calorie counted and macro counted in the past!)
  • But DO address portion sizes! If you’re sedentary in your day job like me, you don’t need insane plates of food! I like to make 2/3 – 1/2 of my plate veggies (mostly greens!) and then a palm size of lean protein and hand-size of complex carbohydrates.
  • Educate yourself on the basics of what your body needs as a minimum – macro (protein, healthy fats and carbs) and micro (vitamins A-Z, magnesium, zinc etc!) nutrients. Books like ReNourish by Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert are the best place to start.
  • Spend a week (or ideally two) keeping a food diary which includes WHAT you ate, but also how you feel mood-wise (before and after eating. It can help you learn the difference between ACTUAL physical hunger, emotional hunger and psychological hunger, and assists you in cutting out ‘mindless’ eating.
  • Give up alcohol for a while. I think this gives you the mental space to assess your relationship with food and your body and confidence, as well as being an easy way to trim out non-nutritious food. I had a 6 month period without alcohol because its essentially of no nutritional benefit, it’s a depressant, and it makes you less aware of the choices you’re making. I’m not suggesting you quit for half a year! I’d say do a 2 week break and then introduce it back in a mindful way – have a drink as an indulgent treat, but stick to one or two and savour them.

Once you’ve mastered streamlining what goes into your body (think 80-90% foods that are top quality fuel – nutrient dense, natural, whole foods, try to limit processed food as much as possible and avoid additives – extra sugar and all kinds of stuff gets added in to things you’d least expect! – and 20-10% treats, because this is about sustainability long term – no food is bad, no food is out of bounds, but you need to get out of a binge-restrict mindset).

Mentally reset: leaning down safely

Once you’ve worked on your dietary approach, you need to check in with yourself about how and why you’re losing weight. You shouldn’t embark on any regime without consulting a GP or medical health professional, particularly if your goal is solely aesthetic – there are a range of health problems that can come from being underweight including loss of bone density, osteoporosis and infertility as well as heart problems, so have a think about why you want to lose weight.

Regularly mentally check yourself that you still love and appreciate your body for what it is and can do NOW.

Realise that losing weight isn’t inherently good or bad; it won’t ‘fix’ your life, and if you have self-esteem issues, for example, a perfect physique (what is perfect anyway?!) won’t solve those problems.

Every time you’re thinking about fat loss, try to tune in to how you feel emotionally. Are you anxious, stressed, self-loathing? These might be signs you need to take a break from this goal and talk to someone. Or are you happy, enjoying being full of energy, with a nice bonus of preferring some of your aesthetic changes, without obsessing about it? Then you’re in a good place.

The fat loss formula

Essentially, to assist your nutritional changes, you want to up your energy expenditure.

DON’T FALL INTO THE TRAP of thinking you need to ‘burn off’ eating food.

DO try to find physical activity you enjoy, and build up slowly. 

Low intensity steady state training (brisk incline walking, swimming, cycling) may burn fewer calories overall but its technically most effective for fat loss as to use fat stores as fuel rather than stored glycogen in the body, you need oxygen available to do this. So while anaerobic exercise like HIIT burns more calories in the same time technically, less of this will come from stored fat.

When thinking about a workout schedule, here are some key tips:

  1. Be realistic. Don’t aim to train 6 days a week for an hour if you hate the gym and have a mad work schedule. 6 days is overkill even if you love training, probably… overtraining can be counterproductive.
  2. Try to pick exercise you enjoy. Basically, consistency is key. Don’t think about ‘I have to just do this for 10 weeks to get my dream body then I can stop woohoo!’ We’re talking LIFESTYLE CHANGES people, because otherwise once you hit your goal, you won’t stay there for long.
  3. Variety helps you stop getting bored. It can also be used if after 6 months of training you hit a plateau and need to re-set and boost results.
  4. SET PROCESS DRIVEN GOALS TO USE AS A FOCUS INSTEAD OF FAT LOSS. It will help you melt the fat off anyway! Examples might be to be able to do your first high box jump or pull up, to do 20 on your toes press ups, to run 2k, 5k, 10k, to go to a boxing class and not feel like death at the end…! Anything that means you’re working on something outside of the fat loss thing. Think about strength, agility, flexibility.

So what kind of training is optimum for fat loss?

The goal here is to lose fat without exercising solely thinking about that, right? I’d say DON’T WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT THIS BECAUSE IF YOU HATE THAT KIND OF TRAINING, YOU WON’T STICK TO IT. And if you can’t stick to it (i.e. see yourself being happy to do something similar for pretty much the rest of your life, obviously amounts will vary, but still…) then the benefits won’t stick.

Personally, I think balanced training is the way to go.

  • Increase your Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). This is energy you burn while not ‘exercising’, so taking the stairs, extra walking, that kind of thing, falls into this category. Do as much of this as possible – for health reasons as much as anything! I ALWAYS take the escalator at a walk / jog, climb stairs if I have the option, and add a 45 minute walk in to my weekend.
  • HIIT is a great way to exercise if you’re time poor. They say it’s great for revving the metabolism and torching calories in a short session. Just be careful not to overtrain in this way as it’s touch on joints where it’s super high impact and the central nervous system. If you’re a beginner I’d do some simple weight lifting first instead to make sure you’ve got the form and stability.
  • Plyometrics – often used with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) uses explosive, often jump-type movements, really rocking those fast-twich muscle fibres. As above with HIIT, while this is super effective and efficient, it can be tough on the body so don’t over do it.
  • LISS (low intensity steady state) – the bread and butter that you should try to get in as much of as you sensibly can.

How do I train these days? I’m not saying copy this, but this schedule works for me:

  • Most of my LISS is NEAT to be fair – weekend walks, climbing stairs. Sometimes I’ll do rowing, cycling or a high incline walk at the gym once a week.
  • HIIT / plyometrics – for my biggest weightloss period I used Kayla Itsines BBG programme which is basically this which involved 28 mins of this three times a week. Now I do boxing style workouts with my PT or at Kobox 1-3 times a week for 50 minutes.

Don’t start at max capacity. If you currently do nothing, schedule 1 high intensity and 2 low intensity sessions a week.

If you do some, up it a little.

But all of this goes hand in hand with checking in with yourself mentally (how do you feel? Are you feeling drained, stressed, desperate to lose some fat? You may need to stop, reassess and do some work on your mindset. I’d recommend Mel Well’s The Goddess Revolution here. Or are you feeling empowered and starting to enjoy the process more and care less about the fat? That’s the ideal!)

Consistency is key

This is probably the most important thing to remember. Consistency with both nutrition and training is the way you see changes in your body. Slow, steady progress means your results are likely healthier, and sustainable long-term.

If you’re struggling with motivation, maybe this will help.

Structure

Structure can be super helpful if you’re a beginner. I guide my own training now, but following Kayla’s programme in the past was perfect as it was basically three 28 minute workouts that fit around work.

There are tonnes out there – see the free workouts section on this site too! – so find something that appeals and give it a whirl.

Final thoughts

I hope this dive into trying to do fat loss in a body positive way was helpful.

As I said, I’m just a former group exercise instructor and fitness fangirl who loves to connect with people who have similar health and wellness interest. My tips aren’t a substitute for qualified advice.

Just try to remember that our bodies are here for the long haul (our whole lives!) in fact. Don’t sacrifice health and happiness to weigh 5% less people.

However, that said, you don’t need to feel bad for having aesthetic goals. While it’s not why I train now, I LOVED feeling on top form training hard last summer and seeing my abs and myself get leaner (although not my leanest!) whilst also getting stronger.

I’m looking at further study soon because I want to feel more able to advise and share information from a place that’s safe and sensible to do so. If you might be interested in coaching in future if this becomes available, let me know.

B xx

 

Why Kobox is the [@*%£*$&] BOMB


So I’ve kind of given it all away up front haven’t I, with the title of this post?! Sorry. Guess I’m that kinda girl 😉

I have tried a LOT of random boutique classes all across London as well as the standard stuff offered by gyms all over the place… Hell, believe it or not, I used to teach Zumba and body combat at VA and David Lloyd as a freelancer (!) Classes were where fitness started for me, before I got into managing my own training. And now I’ve come full circle…

Kobox is literally THE BOMB. As in potentially the best class I have EVER done.

THE LEGALLYGYMLIVING VERDICT IS IN:

 

Star rating: 5/5 *****

Cost: £££

Instructor quality: 5/5 *****

Studios: 5/5 Chelsea, 4/5 City.

DSC002221

The Lowdown

Where?

If you’ve been living under a rock in London (or if you live elsewhere and can’t get to the city to try it out), Kobox have made flesh their ‘Fight Club meets Night Club’ tag line with swanky studios in City and Chelsea – perfect locations nailed? Check.

What?

Classes  combine rounds beating the hell out of a heavy-ass bag, and circuits which include anything from burpees (Ollie, I’m looking at you!), tuck jumps, weighted squats, lunges, and more vicious challenges depending on the day!

The trainers also offer one to one training, and depending on their expertise it seems you can do different stuff… I’ve seen Wayne mention Muay Thai on the gram, for example.

Is it really THAT GOOD?

If I had to give you one reason only, before we get into it fully… Kobox obviously  have the cool space, perfect locations, a great lighting concept (no-one wants to see themselves red-faced and sweaty in full on daylight!), banging tunes, shakes on demand, gorgeous products to de-sweat yourself post-workout… but the difference with Kobox is the instructors are the BEST of the BEST.

I promise there’s not a single word of exaggeration here. Which pains me a bit, because I know what it’s like on social media – people think a positive review is bought. This post is NOT SPONSORED. I’ve paid for all of my Kobox classes like everyone else, and the one to one training session I have I won during a competition over Xmas 2017 when I wasn’t writing this post.

But the people there absolutely make the place.

They are absolute machines.

They’re approachable.

They’re fricking fierce (however pint-sized they are – don’t be deceived!)

They’re so passionate not only are they bouncing off the ceiling, but you are too by the end of class… even though they’ve made you go balls to the wall and you have nothing left in the tank!

They’re crazy knowledgable. Like, I can’t even.

And I really love that they make boxing accessible to those of us who let’s face it, aren’t going to be training for a white collar fight or actually hitting someone ever potentially, but they open up this incredible way of training so you can reap some of the benefits anyway!

I mean, of all the people you’d think would box, I probably don’t fit the mould. I’m a short-ass girl with zero upper body strength. But I absolutely love it. My fiancé got me into watching it on TV and then suggested I train with padwork at our gym, so Warren got me started. Then a friend of mine wanted to try Kobox, so we went, and now I’m literally ADDICTED.

[scroll down for more info about this session! Footage kindly provided by Ian Streetz]

Which classes?

I haven’t tried 100% of the trainers’ classes yet, but I have tried most of them. And trust me, I’ve not had a SINGLE disappointing class. They’ve all been SO GOOD.

It would be mean to call favourites, but as I’ve said they’re all super talented so a lot of it is a matter of personal style and preference – tunes will vary, style will vary, their aggressive finishers / end of class challenges will vary… so while I love them all, I would say, personally, get to Maciela and Ian’s classes (check them both out on Instagram and you can see their timetables). I actually went to Maciela’s 18.45 City class last night and it was, quite literally EPIC. She’s an absolute pocket rocket (I also can’t believe how strong, stunning and fierce she is… as well as being the loveliest mama of two!) You can find out more about personal training with her here. I’ve given some info below about my one to one training with Ian but you can check out his details here on his website too.

That isn’t to say the others aren’t all amazing too, because they are fab – I’ve had so much fun at Kenny’s, Ollie’s, Antoine’s and Wayne’s (incidentally Wayne’s was my first ever Gateway Class that got me coming back, now that I think about it!) sessions so I’d say just rock up to whatever timing works for you and give it a go.

I prefer training in Chelsea as it’s closer to home, but when I’m back at work I’ll probably be in the City more. Both studios are pretty much the same in terms of where you’ll be working out; I just like the chill out area in Chelsea, and obviously the ring is the ideal selfie spot 😉 … did you even train if you didn’t get a sweaty selfie?!

What makes it different?

As I’ve touched on, the instructors and the energy are completely off the scale. There are a lot of other great studios out there too – the boutique fitness studio / concept has exploded across London (which personally I think is amazing as there’s loads of choice!) but I personally haven’t felt quite the same vibe elsewhere in terms of enthusiasm, energy and expertise rolled into EVERY SINGLE INSTRUCTOR ON THE ROSTA CONSISTENTLY.

On a side note, the Ren skincare stuff in the changing rooms is a lifesaver, for the ladies out there [or the soft skinned blokes :P]

I think combining boxing which circuit style training means you can maximise the benefits. With the boxing, you can really lose yourself and enjoy it, and do something that is empowering for its own sake, not just to ‘burn calories’ which is a pretty joyless way of working out (in my opinion!)

Just some of the things boxing is GREAT for are…

  • stress, anxiety and depression management. I can’t tell you how therapeutic it is – complete game changer!
  • improving your body composition – the conditioning means you train for total body strength, the whole workout gives you the fab cardiovascular benefits… and the dynamite combo of cardio and resistance is optimal for your metabolism
  • confidence – almost everyone I know who has tried it says they find it crazy empowering. How can you not?
  • discipline and resilience
  • improved hand-eye co-ordination
  • & learning a new skill!

The heavy stuff

As a woman, I feel suuuuuuper passionately that girls need to be taught it’s okay to be strong (or to want to be, and to train for it!) and you can still be feminine and train in these ways.

Boxing is one hell of a badass way to do it.

*TRIGGER WARNING*

As someone who grew up part-time in a house where I witnessed domestic violence (it didn’t happen to me save the person in question smacked my head into a radiator once when we were kids; I was lucky. I’m lucky I wasn’t a victim, and I only lived in this house with this person 50% of the time, so I didn’t have to suffer exposure to it as frequently as some). Whether or not you can relate to this, there is nothing more reassuring, more therapeutic, more confidence-boosting than learning to throw a punch or two. 

While some people may disagree, I think it also teaches resilience and integrity, and it teaches you a lot about yourself.

So how much will a Kobox class set me back?

There’s a BRILLIANT introductory offer with two classes and free hand wraps for £25 for anyone trying it out so I’d highly recommend that.

Then, if you want to be more of a regular, here is where you may feel a pinch. The beauty of the system, though, is there’s no membership or contract to tie you in – you buy packages, which you can select based on your requirements. For example, you can train in City (weekends only) for £10 per class. If you buy a bigger package (£180+) you get better value, reducing it to £14-18 per class depending on your selection.

Someone said to me they find it a bit steep as it can be almost £20 per class. I mean, in my head, the amount we spend on coffees and alcohol during the week… £20 for the level of expertise you get, the intensity of the full 50 minute session and the insane calibre of the trainers is totally reasonable. They’re bloody experts in their fields, maaaadly talented, super professional…

I get if you’re a student or on a lower income it’s not necessarily the easiest of access. I’d advise, if this is the case, doing two City weekender classes (£10 each) and then buying the 10 classes for £180 package which you can use over 6 months to boost your training to more than 2 sessions a week if you want to.

One to one training

I was lucky enough to win a cheeky one to one session with the legend that is Ian Streetz!  For all his deets check his website here.

It was suuuuch a fab session, and I really recommend trying at least one to try and get to grips with some technique. Ian, despite being insaaaaanely skilled is also so lovely and helps you correct and work on your technique without being intimidating. He’s also great at answering any silly questions you have (I always have at least one haha!)

He obviously knows so much about boxing and training and is just crazy energetic, enthusiastic and passionate about what he does. At the beginning of the session we talked about options which include focusing more on conditioning, technique, or a mix of the two (we did a combination).

For my first proper session back after being ill and doing exams for a couple of weeks, when my heart rate started to climb early on in conditioning I was like oh my god will I actually survive a session haha! But then I got back into the swing of it, and I really love being challenged and pushed and taught new stuff, so it was a really really great experience!

Definitely watch this space for more sessions!

Have you tried Kobox yet, or are you already a heavyweight?! Hopefully see you there! 

B xoxo