ULTIMATE INTERVAL TRAINING FOR ULTIMATE FAT LOSS

By Sean Everingham. Photos by Arsenik Photography, Model Sean Everingham

Looking to take your training to the next level?  Looking to burn maximum bodyfat, lose unwanted kilos, improve your athletic ability and functionality, build real world skills and have fun while doing it?  In a society as fast paced as ours, where many of us are time constrained and lack the attention span to engage in long repetitive activities, it would be perfect if we could engage in a short burst workout that could accomplish everything mentioned above.  Well, I have just the workout for you and it comes from the world’s fittest athletes; boxers (based on studies by scientists with the US Olympic Committee that assesed several aspects of athleticism).  While boxing boot camps and boxing aerobic classes have been around for quite some time, this workout is not only set up differently, but is also an actual boxing workout.  I put the competitive boxers I train through these kinds of workouts to build up their stamina for an actual bout while giving them some variety in their training.  After trying this type of workout on myself in order to get in shape for a bodybuilding routine I did at my last show, I have begun also putting some of my fitness competitors through it as well.

THE WORKOUT

The routine I am outlining here is a finisher for an entire workout.  For boxers and combat athletes, I will take them through a standard workout consisting of skipping, calisthenics, bag work, skills and sparring.  For fitness athletes and experienced enthusiasts looking get an excellent fat-burning effect, I use this workout to replace the more drawn out, monotonous cardio they would normally finish off a weight training workout with.  More details on technique will be included as I describe the various rounds, but for the boxing specific rounds, I want you to remember the rules of boxing: Hands Up!  Chin Down!  Elbows In!  For the purposes of photography my hands are held a little low; I want your hands at the level of your eyebrows.  Also, keep your chin down when throwing a punch. By keeping your hands up and chin down, you are protecting your jaw and in real life situations whether in sport or a self defence situation, you don’t want to get tagged in the jaw because it normally means you’ll be taking a nap...on the ground.  By keeping your elbows in, you protect your body, increase your punching speed and are less likely to let your punches flail about.  For the conditioning rounds, it’s less about technique and more about speed.  While I don’t want people flailing about on these drills with aimless technique either, these rounds are not about targeting specific muscle groups; they are about total body metabolic training meant to test the limits of the cardiovascular system and build up a tolerance to lactate build-up.  Each round outlined in this article can be two or three minutes and the rest period between each round can be 30 seconds to one minute.  For the combat athletes I train, the time will be the same as the length of rounds in their bout and for the fitness competitors and enthusiasts, the length of round and rest period depends on their conditioning, the weight training workout that preceded it, and the diet they are following.  The round is best timed with an actual boxing timer that can be set for your specific work and rest intervals.  Okay so we’re ready to go, so let’s get to it!

SKIPPING

SPEED PUNCHING

Skipping is one of the best cardiovascular and fat-burning exercises around.  Furthermore, it is excellent for improving agility, co-ordination and footwork.  The only excuse to go at a dilly-dally pace is if you’re just learning, but once you get the hang of it, you are expected to include double-unders (rope goes under you twice in one jump), crossovers and alternate knee high jumps.  Those are just a few of the intensity variations you can do with skipping.

When done right, this drill will not only increase your hand speed significantly, but will also really give your metabolism a kick!  To do it, stand in front of a heavy bag with feet at hip width and hands up. Begin pumping your knees up and down, like you’re running on the spot and get your hands punching the bag in sync with your leg movement (when one knee is up, the opposite hand hits the bag).  To know whether you are standing in the right range, your arms should be nearly straight by the time they contact the bag.  Once you get the hang of it, go as fast as possible for 10 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat until the round is over.

TIRE FLIPS AND JUMP THROUGHS

BODY PUNCHING

This is as brutal as it gets when trying to always beat your previous best.  Get a tire suitable for your size and pick it up from one side, keeping your back straight, chin up and chest out and flip the tire over.  Then jump onto one side of the tire, then in the middle, the other side and to the floor on the opposite side you started.  Run back to your starting position and repeat.  Always try to reach your personal best with the number of flips and jumps through in the round.  This drill will improve your strength, agility, stamina and will test the limits of your determination.

This drill is great, not only for revving the metabolic engine, but also for getting out some frustrations.  The rotational component of this movement makes it amazing for the core as well.  However, don’t just aimlessly punch the bag or you risk injury.  Begin standing in front of the bag with feet at hip or shoulder width apart with your hands up.  Bend your knees to get the level of your body down.  To punch, simply let your elbow act as a hinge to drop your hand down to your target on the bag.  Your power will come from pivoting on the ball of your foot and quickly turning your hip in.  Once your hip has turned in, explode your elbow by using your shoulder to make powerful contact with the bag.  You can mix up the combination of body punches you land (i.e. left, right; left, left, right; left, right, left, etc.), but practice bringing your hands back up after every combination.  You can go for speed, power or a combination of both with your punches.  DO this in bursts of 10 seconds of punching followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for the entire round.

STAIR CLIMBER

1-2’S

Not much to explain here; it’s the stair climber.  However, you’re not going to casually walk up the revolving stairs; you should be jogging at the maximum pace you can handle for the round.  And no wussy tactics like hanging on to the railing and locking out your elbows.  Keep your arms pumping at your sides as if you were really running up stairs.  Done right, this round is evil.

This is a simple drill for a boxer, but can be very awkward for many.  However, to get you started assume a boxing stance which will consist of having your hands up, chin down and elbows in.  Put one foot in front of the other by taking a step with the foot it is natural to take your first step

with.  Then aim the shoulder on the leading leg side at the target.  Your jab hand is the hand that is on the leading side; this is also known as your “1” punch.  Your power hand is the hand on the trailing side and is known as the “2” punch.  For the 1-2’s drill, start with this stance and mix up your 1’s and 2’s to hit the bag.  Move around the bag and jab the bag by stepping into the bag.  Throw your “2” punch at the bag by rotating your foot and hip to drive the power of your punch.  It’s also important to rotate your shoulder to gain power and speed in each of your punches.  You’ll notice in the pictures that when the shoulder is rotated, it also protects the jaw so you don’t get hit in the sleep button when you throw your own punch.

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