What boxing training with a Personal Trainer should look like!

Here’s a video I dug up on my old computer from a couple of years ago. It’s of me and my friend Daniel going through some boxing drills at Doherty’s Gym where we both work as Personal Trainers.

Boxing drills are such an excellent form of cardio training! In fact, boxing is about the only form of cardiovascular training that I enjoy. Without it… I’d probably have to start jogging again or something. Ugh! No offence to anyone who enjoys jogging, of course, but I personally find it a bit of a drag and lose motivation really quickly. Boxing though? Great fun, lets do some right now!

In Personal Training Sessions we’re really only using boxing as a way to get our heart rate up and burn lots of calories, but it’s still important to work on good technique, hard punches and really getting our weight and breath behind every movement. Even though we’re not training for self defence or to get into the ring competitively, you will get a much greater workout by learning good technique and really loading up the punches.

Video demonstration: overhead dumbbell lateral raise

Some friends asked me for a video demonstration of this great exercise for shoulders. As I explain in the video, side lateral raises are usually done with arms raised to about parallel to the floor to maintain tension on the middle deltoid, but in this version my aim is to target the rear deltoid and trapezius muscles so extend overhead with a full range of motion.

Lets talk about dead lifts

One of the most important exercises I really believe the majority of people should be utilising is the dead lift. This is one of the lifts competitive power lifters specialise in, but it’s also a very good functional exercise that carries over into day to day life.

If you’re around my age you should be able to remember those “think back” and “back attack” tv advertisements trying to help prevent people from injuring themselves at work through unsafe lifting techniques. In my opinion practising the deadlift as a part of your resistance exercise routine is the best way to be in the habit of using a safe and correct lifting technique in the workplace or at home. This applies to heavy lifting for example rearranging furniture, or just carrying a box of paper from the store room to the printer. I seem to use those two examples a lot! Whatever it is, if it’s on the ground and you need to lift it up, this is the way to do it without risking spinal injury.

Here’s a video I made with my phone camera at the gym, going for a new personal best dead lift. This isn’t really a huge amount of weight by body building or power lifting standards, but I was quite pleased with it. I’m only a little guy after all!

I shot this video mostly because I wanted to have a look at my form and make sure my technique was good. You can see that before I start the lift, I pull the bar back closer to my shins, roughly at around the middle of my foot. I move my backside backwards and downwards (actually I would say I should drop a further inch or so closer to the floor) and bend forward from the hips, and then stand straight up pulling the weight with me. The important part here is in bending from the hips, NOT bending the spine. The idea is to maintain the natural curvature of the spine throughout this lift.

The dead lift is usually considered a back exercise due to use of the erector spinae muscles along the lumbar spine, although the gluteal and hamstring muscles are utilised heavily. The exercise also recruits all of the core muscles and therefore is useful in promoting good posture, especially in relation to pelvic girdle and lumbar spine.

Use this exercise in your workouts, but take special care to ensure you are using good safe lifting technique. Ask someone to observe and teach you the correct form if necessary.

Home workout program, part 6: Advanced Bodyweight Circuit

At long last here is video #6, which is me demonstrating the advanced version of the Bodyweight Resistance Circuit we started in part 5 of this series.

In this video I start out with a super-set of lunges and squats, hitting my quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes hard right away. Consider the size of the muscles in your thighs and buttocks and you should be able to imagine that by working them with this kind of intensity we are burning off a lot of calories while we develop our strength and endurance.

From here I go into what you might call a push-pull super-set, starting with push ups targeting the pectoral (chest) and tricep (back of arms) muscles, and then going into pull ups targeting the opposing latissimus dorsi and rhomboid (back) and biceps (arm) muscles.

You’ll also notice that I’m moving straight from each exercise into the next without a rest break, which keeps the heart rate up into that fat burning or cardiovascular conditioning zone. We did rather a lot of videos very quickly (including doing a few takes of some of them) as we were sure it was about to start raining, so by the end of this one I was quite out of breath. Doing 3 – 5 rounds of this circuit should leave you in a similar state!

So, here’s the video!

There really is no limit to the variations you can put into this routine. You could alternate between upper and lower body exercises as we did in the previous video. You could make individual exercises easier or harder depending on your ability level, take longer rests in between exercises, or add some running in between to increase the intensity even further.

As I mention in the video, we do a lot of this style of training combined with boxing and kickboxing drills and other activities in my group fitness sessions. For more details on these, see my posts on Corporate Group Fitness In Melbourne CBD and Outdoor Group Fitness In Brunswick.

Once again, if you haven’t seen the first four videos demonstrating the individual exercises in detail or you need to see them again, here are the links;

Video One; How To Perform Push Ups.
Video Two; How To Perform Squats.
Video Three; How To Perform Lunges.
Video Four; How To Perform Pull Ups.

Thanks again to everyone who has been following this series of blogs and videos and given me such positive support and feedback!

Home workout program, part 5: Bodyweight Resistance Circuit

Video number 5 is finally here, and this is the big one where we put all of the exercises we’ve learned together in a circuit. Circuit training is a great way of combining resistance training with cardiovascular training, and in this way we have created a full body, muscle building, fat burning workout.

In this circuit we utilise the simplified versions of our Lunges, Push Ups, Pull Ups and Squats. As I suggest in the video, you can take around a minute rest in between exercises, just pacing up and down and catching your breath. Also use this time as an opportunity to give your self some encouragement, because yes – you are actually doing this, and it is going to make you fitter, stronger, leaner and healthier. Congratulate yourself, and then get stuck into the next exercise.

Here’s the video of me demonstrating the circuit.

You’ll also notice in this video that I use Step Ups as an alternative to Lunges. These are a similar movement but a lot easier and a good way to work towards full lunges. Simply step up to a bench with your left leg first, then step back down with your right leg first, then back up with your right leg, down with your left leg, and so on.

Push Ups

Before I forget, a lot of you have been telling me you’re doing your squats and lunges but have given up on the push-ups because you can’t do the full movement on the ground. Guys and girls, DO THE MODIFIED VERSIONS to start off with! To draw an analogy to my music career, I did not write “Master Of Disguise” the first time I picked up a guitar – I started out with simple country songs. It’s the same as walking into the gym for the first time and going straight for the heaviest set of dumbbells in the place, you just can’t do it! Start out with the easier versions of the exercise and soon enough you will progress to the full traditional version. From there, I can teach you how to make them harder still!

If you haven’t seen the first four videos demonstrating the individual exercises in detail, or you need to see them again, here are the links;

Video One; How To Perform Push Ups.
Video Two; How To Perform Squats.
Video Three; How To Perform Lunges.
Video Four; How To Perform Pull Ups.

Stay tuned, next up is the advanced version of the bodyweight resistance circuit.

Home workout program, part 4: Pull Ups

Here’s video #4 in my series, following on from “how to perform lunges“, “how to perform squats” and “how to perform push ups“.

Today we are looking at modified version of Chin Ups, also called Pull Ups or more correctly in this example Supine Rows.

This is a very demanding exercise for the back muscles such as latissimus dorsi and trapezius, as well as the biceps. In this video I demonstrate two variations of the exercise, in the first I attempt to simulate the more vertical movement of a traditional Chin Up, but starting from a seated position on the ground. The second version is a more correct Supine Row, hanging at an angle with heels resting on the ground. It was rather a cold day here in Melbourne so unfortunately I’m wearing a baggy pullover which hides the differences in form a little bit.

Even this modified version of the Pull Up is very challenging. Increasing the height of the bar reduces the resistance somewhat, and for beginners it may be necessary to stand at a close to vertical angle to start off with, similar to how I demonstrated Push Ups against the wall in my first video.

As with all the other exercises so far, lets aim for 3 sets of 10 pull ups to start off with.

Next up I will be demonstrating how to put all four of these exercises together in a complete Body Weight Resistance Circuit.

Stay tuned!

Home workout program, part 3: Lunges

Here is video #3 in my series of body weight resistance exercises for you at home.

This follows on from my features on “how to perform squats” and “how to perform push ups” for beginners.

Today we are looking at LUNGES which of course are everyone’s favourite exercise. Extreme sarcasm should be noted, because lunges are quite difficult for a lot of people and they are a particularly exhausting exercise to perform. Of course, what this also means is that they are highly effective and should be utilised in your training program.

As well as working the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and other supporting muscles, the lunging stance can also be utilised in stretching the psoas (hip flexor) muscles. Tight hip flexors are a common symptom of modern lifestyles and can be a cause of back pain and postural issues.

Step-ups are another similar exercise that can be used in the progression to full lunges. Simply step up onto a bench, or up steps two at a time to simulate the upward phase of the lunge.

Lets start out with a target of 30 lunges, in 3 sets of 5 lunges on each leg, and work towards 3 sets of 10 on each leg. As an other option you can use alternating lunges.

Next we will look at pull ups, working the muscles of the middle and upper back. Stay tuned!

Home workout program, part 2: Squats

As promised here is part 2 of my series of videos demonstrating body weight resistance exercises you can do at home, without any equipment as part of your fitness or weight loss strategy.

This video looks at body weight squats, and includes bench squats as well as full range of motion “ass to grass” squats. As I explain in the video, the squat is a primal or natural movement for humans and would be utilised frequently in a primitive or traditional culture in day to day activities. However due to modern lifestyles squatting has become a less frequently used movement and many people may find that they have a limited range of motion due to flexibility or postural / biomechanical issues – in fact this can be said for all of the movements in this program, and for this reason I include simplified versions of the exercises which can be used as a starting point before progressing to the full movement.

As I already said my “how to perform pushups” video,  everyone needs to start somewhere, so do not be at all discouraged if you cannot perform the full movement to begin with. Rather, train consistently to the best of your ability and you will make improvements over time.

Practicing squats is also a form of functional training as this is the correct lifting technique to be used in the home or at work to avoid spinal injury. This technique should be used for any lifting from picking up a pet, a small child, a box of stationary, all the way through to heavier lifting.

As part of  our home exercise program, start with a target of 30 squats. For most people new to exercising, this will be enough to feel a good workout in the legs. Do 3 sets of 10 squats if you can, but 6 sets of 5 is fine… just do as many as you can before you need to rest, and then repeat until you have completed a total of 30 squats.

You can do your push ups before, after, or in between sets of squats – whatever you prefer.

Stay tuned, everyone’s favourite exercise LUNGES is coming up next.

Home workout program, part 1: Push Ups

For all of my friends out there on the internet and anyone else who is looking for some tips to start getting into shape, but lives too far away to come and train with me in person, here’s part one of my home workout video program.

I’ll be adding more exercises for a total body workout that you can do at home without any equipment, using body weight resistance exercises. If you’ve been following my blog you will already know I am a big fan of body weight resistance training and I utilise it a lot, especially in my group fitness sessions.

This week we are doing PUSH UPS.

Now, for all of you who are going to tell me “Dave, I can’t DO a push up” – relax, and watch the video because I am going to demonstrate how to get started with descended (ie – easier) versions of push ups. We all have to start somewhere, so regardless of whether you need to start with easiest or the hardest version (or anywhere in between) you will be getting a good workout.

To get started, set yourself a target of 30 push ups. Choose a form of the exercise that allows you to do at least 5 push ups in a set. If you can do more than 10 at a time, you need to choose a harder version of the exercise. Take between a minute and a minute and a half of rest between each set, and do as many sets as necessary to reach a total of 30 push ups.

I’ll be adding more videos soon doing squats, lunges, pull ups and more, and we’ll be breaking each of these exercises down so you will be able to find a variation suitable to your current level of fitness.

Add me as a friend on youtube, and keep watching for more videos and blog entries!

Protein Muffin Recipe

Here’s the recipe for my world famous Chocolate Protein Muffins, so you can have your cake and eat it too, and still not get fat! Watch the video of me baking these at the bottom of this post.

I managed to burn these ones a little.

Makes 12 muffins.

Ingredients:

3.5 Cups of Oats
Alternatively, substitute some muesli instead.
1.5 Cups of Skim Milk Powder.
5 Scoops Chocolate Protein Powder.
Whey Protein Isolate is best, but use whatever you have.
(I used 4 scoops in the video but have since increased for extra protein and extra chocolatelyness).
2 Egg Whites.
1 Cup of Apple Sauce.
You can reduce the amount of Apple Sauce if you prefer a drier texture.
1 Cup SUGAR FREE Maple Flavoured Syrup.
0.25 Cup of Juice – Orange, Cranberry, Pineapple, or whatever you have.
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Essence.

Method:

Preheat oven to around 325°.
Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl, ensuring the ingredients mix evenly.
Beat the egg whites with a fork, then add applesauce, syrup and vanilla. Stir well!
Pour liquid mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and blend together.
Prepare muffin tray with non-stick spray (canola or other) and add mixture using a table spoon or similar.
Bake until edges are crisp and brown. Check regularly and make sure they do not burn!