Boxing bag Interval Workout

February 17, 2010


Equipment needed:

Boxing Bag

Boxing Gloves

Hand Wraps

Interval Timer

This workout is one I did at home the other night, designed around tabata intervals. For more information on tabata interval training or interval training in general see my previous two posts –

For a quick recap tabata is a form of interval training using the method of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest x 8. This gives you 4 minutes doing any particular exercise you like. Today I’ve used boxing as an example. You can use most types of interval timers but the best I’ve seen is the gymboss application for the iphone.  Best thing about it is that it’s free!! (If you own an iphone)

Round 1:

  • Jab/Cross

Advanced: aim for 20+                           

Intermediate: aim for 15+                          

Beginner: aim for 10+

Round 2:

  • Lead Hook/Rear Hook

Advanced: aim for 20+                           

Intermediate: aim for 15+                          

Beginner: aim for 10+

Round 3:

  • Right Roundhouse Kicks

Advanced: aim for 20+                           

Intermediate: aim for 15+                          

Beginner: aim for 10+

Round 4:

  • Left Roundhouse Kicks

Advanced: aim for 20+                           

Intermediate: aim for 15+                         

Beginner: aim for 10+

Round 5:

  • 3 Punch Timing (use the 4 punches we’ve previously worked on, Jab, Cross, Lead Hook and Rear Hook to create any 3 punch combination you like. If you are a beginner or not so confident punching the bag then pick a set 3 punch combination and stick to that for the entire 4 minutes)

E.g.  Jab, Cross, Lead Hook

Rear Hook, Lead Hook, Cross

Cross, Lead Hook, Rear Hook

Advanced: aim for 20+                           

Intermediate: aim for 15+                          

Beginner: aim for 10+

Round 6:

  • 4 punch timing (use the 4 punches we’ve previously worked on, Jab, Cross, Lead Hook and Rear Hook to create any 4 punch combination you like. If you are a beginner or not so confident punching the bag then pick a set 4 punch combination and stick to that for the entire 4 minutes)

E.g.  Jab, Cross, Lead Hook, Rear Hook

Rear Hook, Lead Hook, Cross, Lead Hook

Jab, Cross, Lead Hook, Cross

Advanced: aim for 20+                           

Intermediate: aim for 15+                          

Beginner: aim for 10+

Round 7: Conditioning Round

  • Push Up + Plank Challenge

 Advanced                   10 push ups

                                    6 seconds plank

                                    9 push ups

                                    6 seconds plank

                                    8 push ups

                                    6 seconds plank

Intermediate:             7 push ups

                                    6 seconds plank

                                    6 push ups

                                    6 seconds plank

Beginner:                    5 push ups

                                   6 seconds plank

                                   4 push ups

                                   6 seconds plank

                                   3 push ups

                                   6 seconds plank

                                  2 push ups

                                  6 seconds plank

                                  1 push up

                                  6 seconds plank

Note: You can either choose push ups from the toes or knees. If doing push ups from the toes your knees shouldn’t touch the ground until you have finished. You can transfer from hands to forearms with out your knees dropping to the floor. This will make it much harder and challenging for you!

Feel Free to choose a number to start on or even try doing this in reverse by starting at 1 and seeing how far you can get.

If this is too easy for you then simply climb your way back up to ten! And yes I mean do it twice!

Have fun!

P.S.  If you want to know more about the benefits of boxing on your health and fitness check out a previous blog entry –


Tabata Interval Training – Sample Workouts

February 12, 2010

Tabata is a form of high intensity interval training. The Tabata protocol is made up of 20 seconds of work, immediately followed by 10 seconds of rest, then complete the sequence 8 times! That gives you a total of 4 minutes!

3 reasons why Tabata interval training works:

  1. It allows you to effectively manage your time and plan the perfect workout.
  2. You can use any exercise whether it’s cardio or resistance based to put into the Tabata format.
  3. High intensity interval training such as Tabata is best for fat loss. It increases calorie expenditure during and for up to 38 hours after exercise due to excess post exercise oxygen consumption – EPOC. (See the article Steady state aerobic training vs anaerobic interval training –

 Here are 3 different situations you may be in where you can use my sample tabata interval programs depending on equipment and location. Remember the 4 minutes is made up of 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, x 8! Take a minute break after each exercise to rest and change over and set up for the next set of intervals. All three work outs can be completed in 30 minutes. If you had more or less time to workout then you can add or take an exercise away, Just allow 5 minutes per exercise.


Bike – seated climb (4/8) sprints (4/8) (4 mins)

1 min rest

Lat Pulldown (4mins)

1 min rest

 Rower – sprints (4mins)

1 min rest

Chest Press (4mins)

1 min rest

Cross trainer – sprints (4mins)

1 min rest

Leg Press (4 mins)

No Equipment:

Running – (4 mins)

1 min rest

Push ups (4mins)

1 min rest

Burpees (4mins)

1 min rest

Mountain climbers (4mins)

1 min rest

Dynamic lunges (4mins)

1 min rest

Step ups (4mins)


Boxing equipment:

Boxing – Jabs  (4mins)

1 min rest

Push ups (4mins)

1 min rest

Boxing – hooks (4mins)

1 min rest

squats (4mins)

1 min rest

Boxing – Uppercuts (4mins)

1 min rest

Bodyweight – abdominal brace (4mins)

Ok, now you’ve got the idea you can go ahead and try some of these workouts for yourself. You can put anything you like into these workouts to target specific goals you may have. One advantage to have would be a gym boss interval timer or some other kind of timer you can set this up on. You can buy them from Hart Sport Australia or get the FREE application on your iphone.

Let me know how you go and if you’ve got any other great workouts that you may have done or created yourself then please leave a comment. Have fun!!

Why anaerobic interval training is the best training method for fat loss

February 12, 2010


Have you ever wondered what the best , most time efficient wat to lose fat is?

Have you been told totally different things about what is the best training method for fat loss?

Read this article from Ultrafit Magazine and it will hopefully clear this issue up for you.

Commonly, interval training has only been used as a time efficient way to increase anaerobic fitness or sport-specific power endurance in the final weeks before competition. However, new research on interval training has shown it to be a very efficient method of fat burning.

Consider some of the following on steady state aerobic training and fat loss:

  • A 1996 study showed that the addition of 5 x 45 minute sessions of aerobic training sessions per week for 12 weeks had no effect on fat loss.
  • A 2007 study showed that 5 x 50 minute of aerobic training per week for 6 months had no effect on fat loss.
  • A 2008 study showed that 3 x 40 minutes of aerobic exercise per week for 15 weeks actually resulted in a fat increase!

 And now consider the following about interval/anaerobic training and fat loss:

  • A 1994 study actually showed that interval training reduced body fat by nine times more than traditional cardio training, despite using few calories during the session and taking less time.
  • A 1999 study showed that the addition of a resistance training program to fat loss increased its effectiveness by 35% over diet and purely aerobic training.
  • The same study showed that 3 x 50 minute sessions of aerobic training for 12 weeks (36 sessions) increased fat loss by only 450g over diet alone.
  • The rise in metabolism after anaerobic training (Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption – EPOC) results in further calories being burnt for up to 38 hours after the finish of the session.


The indicators are clear: this type of information should go a long way in helping fitness professionals design and implement effective fat loss programs. It’s not the workout – it’s the effect of that workout on EPOC.

EPOC is defined scientifically as the “recovery of metabolic rate back to pre-exercise levels”. It can require several minutes for light exercise and several hours for hard intervals.

In layman’s terms it means you keep burning calories at an increased rate after a workout.

If you can imagine a big forest fire, you understand that it doesn’t just burn for an hour and then burn out – it gradually burns out so that over time there is no fire anymore. The peak of the fire may have been a long time ago but there are still flames being produced for a long time afterwards.

We call this the afterburn – metabolic disturbance – elevating EPOC to maximise calorie burn for the 23+ hours per day. Is there much of a real world effect of burning 300 calories per workout (e.g. aerobic work) if we don’t elevate EPOC??

If we could elevate EPOC even an apparently insignificant ¼ of a calorie per minute for the 38 hours that the study showed, then that 31 minute resistance workout would burn maybe 300 calories during the session plus the extra 570 calories over the next 38 hours. That becomes very significant.

In the past, fitness professionals and researchers have looked at how much fat is burned during the exercise session itself. This is extremely short sighted.

As American conditioning guru Alan Aragon said “Caring how much fat is burned during training makes as much sense as caring how much muscle is built during training.”

Think about that. If we looked at a weight training session that started at 9am and finished at 10am – how much muscle would we see built if we stopped at 10am? None.

In fact we’d see muscle damage. We could make the conclusion that weight training does not increase muscle – in fact it decreases muscle, right? It’s only when we look at the big picture – and look at the recovery from the session – that we find the reverse is true – weight training builds muscle.

Fat loss is the same way. Someone talking about the benefits of the “fat burning zones” or “fasted cardio” is a sure sign that the individual has stopped looking at the end of the exercise session. They have come to the conclusion that, lower intensity steady state exercise burns the most fat and made the massive leap of faith to suggest it’s the best for fat loss.

Using that same logic, these same people would suggest avoiding weight training if you want to grow muscle.

Take home message – focus on the afterburn, not just what happens during the exercise session

There is another, more subtle reason why intervals are superior to steady state training.

The body does the opposite.

If you don’t drink enough water your body will retain it. If you drink too much water your body will excrete it.

Article from Ultrafit Magazine

Issue 123 Jan/Feb 2010

The risks of carrying excess weight

August 5, 2009

Being overweight causes a multitude of health problems: Are you at risk and what can you do about it to prevent these problems from occurring.

Insulin resistance

  • Insulin is the main hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar (glucose) levels.
  • Insulin is secreted from the pancreas in response to elevated blood sugar levels, to remove glucose from the blood.
  • Insulin also plays a role in fat storage.
  • Insulin resistance is where the insulin can’t effectively act on the cells to do it job properly, resulting in high insulin levels in the body.

Type 2 diabetes

  • Type 2 diabetes is categorised by high blood sugar levels, because the body isn’t using insulin properly.
  • Type 2 diabetes usually arises as a result of lifestyle factors such as being overweight or obese and inactive.
  • If not managed, glucose levels become too high and become destructive in the body increasing the risk of heart disease, stoke, circulatory problems, kidney damage, blindness, impotence and other health problems.
  • Losing weight and doing regular exercise improve the health implications associated with type 2 diabetes, as well as preventing the disease.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

  • PCOS is a hormonal condition in women, often accompanied by irregular or absent periods, infertility, acne, excessive hair growth or hair loss, weight gain (especially around the mid section) and difficulty losing weight.
  • Women with PCOS are more likely to have insulin resistance
  • Women with PCOS who are overweight/obese and inactive are at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

High blood pressure (hypertension)

  • Blood pressure is the driving force that moves the blood through the circulatory system.
  • Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80
  • High blood pressure is when pressure exerted by the blood as it’s pumped through the arteries is high.
  • Equal to or more than 140/90 increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

High cholesterol

  • Cholesterol is a fat related compound naturally produced in the liver, and is involved in many important bodily functions.
  • The problem with cholesterol occurs when we consume too many animal products such as eggs, meat, and cheese which can increase the level of cholesterol in the body.
  • Cholesterol is said to be good or bad: The good guys, HDL (high density lipoprotein), clean your arteries and have a protective effect in preventing heart disease. The bad guys, LDL (low density lipoprotein), are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
  • High levels of LDL are linked to atherosclerosis which is the build up of plaque on the artery walls.
  • Triglycerides also contribute to your total cholesterol score, and are dangerous bad fats and can be higher in people who drink a lot of alcohol and eat cholesterol rich foods such as cheeses, fried foods and biscuits.
  • Your doctor can test your cholesterol and tell you if it’s within the normal range.
  • Regular exercise has been shown to increase HDL and decrease LDL.

Sleep apnoea

  • Sleep apnoea is an interruption of natural breathing patterns while sleeping.
  • People with this sleeping disorder stop breathing for periods of time during sleep, waking up repeatedly as a consequence, sometimes hundreds of times a night.
  • Being overweight increases the risk of sleep apnoea, especially if the weight is carried heavily around the neck area.
  • Sleep apnoea is also linked to an increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease (CVD)

Lower limb pain and injury

  • Being overweight places enormous strain on the joints of your lower limbs, such as knees and ankles, just imagine loading an extra 20kg or more into your backpack and walking around all day and you might appreciate just how much extra pressure these body parts carry.
  • Joint pain is strongly associated with bodyweight.
  • Excess weight is a common cause for many lower limb injuries such as shin splints, patella tracking disorder and plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the plantar fascia which causes severe foot and heel pain).
  • Being overweight is a risk factor for osteoarthritis, particularly knee osteoarthritis.
  • Reducing your weight will obviously reduce the load placed on your joints therefore decreasing the likelihood of the above problems.

It’s one thing to know your overweight but it’s another to do something about it before it’s too late!

Why care about your weight?

August 3, 2009

It seems that the majority of people are obsessed about weight. We have weight loss TV shows, weight loss or weight gain issues fill celebrity magazines and obesity is a regular headline in the newspapers and on TV.

Weight is directly linked to our physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing. Being overweight or obese puts you at an increased risk of: heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, sleep apnoea, gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Your weight can determine your life expectancy, health and risk of disease. The goal of weight loss is to get you to a healthy weight to give you the best chance possible to live a long, happy and healthy life. Losing even a small amount of weight can lead to significant improvements in your physical, mental, emotional and social health.

Weight loss can:

Ÿ            Reduce blood pressure

Ÿ            Lower LDL levels (bad cholesterol)

Ÿ            Reduce risk of chronic disease such as heart disease

Ÿ            Prevent and/or manage type 2 diabetes

Ÿ            Increase your life expectancy

Ÿ            Improve your self-esteem

Ÿ            Increase your energy levels

Ÿ            Prevent and/or manage depression and anxiety

Ÿ            Provide stress relief

Is your weight under control? Check out a previous post to check how you measure up.

The NO excuses morning workout

July 29, 2009


Morning workouts are great to get your day started in a positive way and get you feeling great about yourself.

 1. Go for a run, walk or ride. This is simple but effective, get out in the fresh air and do some exercise. If you want to run then make it on grass or sand rather than concrete. Treadmills are similar to grass when it comes to impact so they are also a better alternative than concrete surfaces.

 2. Don’t have equipment? Do a body weight circuit – include exercises such as; dips, push up variations, step ups, lunge variations, squat variations, calf raises, front and side braces, crunches and mountain climbers. There are heaps of exercises you can include; if you have a bar of some sort you could include chin ups or body weight rows.

 3. If you have a gym membership then USE it! Winter is no excuse for not going to the gym. It’s a great time to be indoors with all the equipment to help you reach your goals. Do some cardio or resistance training or a mix of both! Do a personal training session or group exercise class to mix things up and keep it interesting.

 Doing something is 100% better than doing nothing! Kick start your day with breakfast followed by your morning workout whether it be a body weight circuit, a gym session or a morning stroll and you’ll be feeling great by the time you get to work or whatever else you have planned for your morning.

Your morning sets you up physically and mentally for each day.

July 27, 2009


The morning is an easy time to make excuses but there should be no excuses for not fitting in what you should each morning.

 Your morning should include breakfast. Breakfast kick starts your metabolism for the day. It fuels your body and helps you perform better at work or the gym depending on your morning schedule. Include a drink with your breakfast for hydration other than a coffee as it tends to dehydrate rather than hydrate. Water is best, if not water then try a fruit juice.

 Set your alarm earlier than usual instead of setting it when you need to get up and then snoozing it a few times before getting up! There are no excuses for not enough sleep. If you feel you need to sleep more then go to bed earlier rather than sacrificing breakfast or a morning workout.

 Do a morning workout. Include it in your morning schedule whether it’s a walk outside, a bodyweight circuit or a visit to the gym. You’re almost guaranteed to feel better for the rest of the day if you get a morning workout in.

 Get organised. Be as organised as possible and have what you need prepared the night before ideally so you don’t have to rush or sacrifice things when the morning comes.

 Remember your morning sets you up physically and mentally for the day so be well organised, feel good about yourself and relax. Try this and see if you feel better about your body and about your day. If you’re not a morning person try and implement one thing a week with your goal being to include all these things into your morning.

 Unsure of what to do for your morning workout? Stuck with minimal time? Wait for my next blog to pick up a few ideas you can use.