Tag Archives: Circuit training

Unite for Africa: Blog #2 How does she do it?

Twenty-eight year old Gemma Simmons likes to keep busy. As well as working for The Office Group (TOG) as one of their community managers, a role which entails looking after nine of their buildings across London, Gemma volunteers, works out and has signed up to compete in the ‘Unite for Africa’, white collar-boxing event on November 30.  Phew!

Gemma’s days are long – at 6.30am you might find her at one of Morning Gloryville’s sober early morning raves in east London, she cycles approximately ten miles each day visiting the TOG offices in her remit, as well as organising ‘after hours’ events for the businesses and co workers who are part of her community. In spite of all of this, she is a self-confessed volunteer junky. In February she headed to Greece to help the refugees landing on some of the smaller islands off its coast, she is a regular volunteer for Calais Action helping with their backpack appeal and she’s a ‘love pixie’, selling love specs for a Malawian charity Love Support Unite.

Supporting charities is one of the reasons that Gemma has signed up to Unite for Africa, a night of white-collar boxing raising money for a hospital and orphanage in Africa. She was unable to take part in the first boxing event that TOG co-hosted as she was out of town – although she was not there in body, she certainly was in spirit as she watched the first round of her friend and colleague Amnita’s fight via FaceTime from New York.   What Amnita achieved has inspired and pushed Gemma to have a go herself. She claims that it will be a massive personal challenge to get into the ring, to keep up the ten weeks of training and to try and win on the night but she knows that it’s all for a fantastic cause.

Fitting all of the training into Gemma’s already packed schedule will be the biggest challenge in the next few weeks as TOG has just undergone a massive rebrand and to help communicate this, Gemma is involved with more events than usual. Her days will be longer but she still intends to take part in the twice weekly intensive group boxing sessions, the two fitness classes that she loves as well as one-to-ones with Ben Wood her boxing coach. She feels that if she can keep everything on track over these next three weeks then she’s cleared a major hurdle.

I do wonder just how she does it all – she claims it’s simple, “I love routine so I just need to build myself a little routine and I’ll be fine. I’m learning so much in the group and one-to-one boxing sessions but most of all I’m sharing this experience with an amazing group of people.”

If you want to see the fruit of Gemma’s hard training – click here to buy a ticket or if you want to donate to Unite for Africa click on https://www.gofundme.com/uniteforafrica

Written by Susan Finnegan.

HIIT WORK

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training and is typically a 10-30 second maximal effort burst with 1-3 minutes of lower intensity exercise or rest. Generally speaking a session is short and sweet, lasting no longer than 10-20 minutes.

Example HIIT session:

2 minute warm up (30 seconds each x 2)

Star jumps

Walkouts

1-minute rest

4 minutes (part 1- STRENGTH) 20 seconds on 10 seconds off x 8

Press-ups

Lunges

1-minute rest

4 minutes (part 2- CARDIO) 20 seconds on 10 seconds off x 8

Burpees

High knees

1-minute rest

2 minutes (part 2- CORE) 20 seconds on 10 seconds off x 4

Sit ups

Mason twists

Some of the benefits of HIIT are that it’s challenging, it’s time efficient, extremely fun and has the ability to burn lots of calories in a short period of time. Due to the intensity, there is an increased risk of injury, so make sure you are properly warmed up and that you don’t choose exercises that you cant perform correctly.

There is no equipment needed for the above workout so there should be no excuses! If you have any questions about this blog, or anything else fitness related, get in touch.

Happy training guys!

Written by Charlie Watts

Unite for Africa: Blog #1 Chaka’s motivation

Chaka’s motivation

In life there are givers and takers and Chaka Clarke has both feet planted firmly in the giving camp.

While the rest of us absorb the daily news and ponder the plight of our great planet, Chaka absorbs and acts. It is this action that is driving the next night of Work-it’s white-collar boxing co-hosted by Chaka’s team Spartanfam. The night is titled Unite for Africa and will raise money for a struggling medical centre in Kinshasa and renovate the crumbling infrastructure of the Masika Centre, an orphanage set up by and for victims of rape, abuse and displacement.

Chaka will be competing in the Unite for Africa event on November 30th as he did earlier in the year. For many taking part, the motivation to enter into these contests includes improving fitness, losing weight or having ‘a once in a lifetime’ experience. All are admirable motivations and all require discipline to reach those goals over the ten weeks of required training. Chaka’s motivation however, is the Masika Centre in the Congo. He first heard of Rebecca Masika Katsuva a few years back when one of his friends showed him a video of the story of her traumatic rape at the hands of rebel soldiers and her truly inspiring response. He realised that as the soldiers used rape as a weapon of war to destroy the lives of many, Masika’s retaliation was love and humanity to help rebuild those shattered lives. He too would pick that same ammunition and do his bit to fight the injustice.

Battle of Camden

Like many who hear the story, Chaka was moved by it – but in true Chaka style he was moved to act. Having visited the orphanage on several occasions, Chaka has used his massive social media following and these boxing events to put the focus back on Masika’s Orphanage and to raise money for it to make it stronger each day that it’s open.  At Work-it’s first fight night in May this year, Chaka raised a mighty £10,000; his goal this time around is £30,000. In just five days of fund raising in the last week, Chaka with the help of Work-it has raised a staggering £17,000 – a massive thanks to everyone that’s dipped into his or her pockets so far.

Chaka doesn’t just focus on Africa, he puts his many talents to use in West London too. As a busy personal trainer he still finds time through his company Spartanfam to offer free community based fitness. From personal experience he knows the perils of the streets and so seeks to give kids and youths a reason to get active, to find a sense of purpose and pride in oneself and above all else find some enjoyment.

Unite for Africa is just under eight weeks away, it will be a busy time for Chaka and all of the other athletes involved. Over the coming weeks we aim to tell the stories of some of the fighters who have decided to glove up for charity. All will be taking part in two tough group training sessions a week as well as working on their own fitness or boxing development alongside holding down jobs and not forgetting family and social commitments. It is a massive undertaking for anyone taking part.

If you’re not one of the fighters but want to help, all you need to do is dip in your pocket as even £1 will make a difference, or instead of a visit to Starbucks sacrifice a morning coffee and donate the money – really every little act helps make it one big action. Thanks for taking the time to read this and if you want to donate – click on https://www.gofundme.com/uniteforafrica it’s worth a visit, the picture alone will melt your heart!

For tickets click here: https://billetto.co.uk/fight-night-unite-for-africa

I heart Africa foundation: http://iheartafrica.org/

Written by Sue Finnegan.

 

 

Workout of the month – The way of the OX

 

As many of you may know I was a professional MMA fighter for a number of years. My nickname was Charlie ‘The OX’ Watts and I like to think that was because of my raw strength and power. Sadly, It was probably my teammates just mocking my big head.

One thing is for certain and that was my good work ethic. I trained my ass off on a daily basis and was very disciplined with my lifestyle. The OX is also a cycle of the Chinese zodiac, hence the name ‘The way of the OX’. OX’s are diligent, persistent, honest and hold their faiths firmly. This coincides with my values, particularly with health and wellness; moreover I believe simplicity is key. If you sleep well, stay hydrated, eat well and work hard in the gym, you can achieve the results you desire.

This month, I have put together a tough HIIT workout to help you get in top shape for the summer. It requires no gym or equipment and can be done in your home or outside. I would choose the latter, particularly as the weather is starting to brighten up! Enjoy and drop me a line or let me know how you get on the next time you’re in the gym.

Happy training…

Exercises are paired together and done for 8 sets (4 x each exercise before moving on to the next two). You do each exercise for 20 seconds and rest for 10. You can rest for 1 minute every two exercises, but skip the rest if you dare!

  • 2 jump lunges, 1 jump squat
  • Alternating press ups
  • Russian press ups
  • Burpee tuck jumps
  • Toe touches
  • Mountain climbers
  • High knees
  • Moguls

Make sure you have a bottle of water to hand, and a great playlist!

Workout of the month

Each month, we will be sending you a short workout to make sure you are keeping on top of training when you’re not ‘Working it’.

This month we are focussing on BOXING WORK. Get to a class and learn how to throw a punch, work on your footwork and seriously improve your fitness. It is a great whole body, fat blasting, stamina building workout, that will ensure you work up a sweat and have fun whilst doing so.

Lets get to it then…

Round 1 : 3 min Skipping – Alternating between normal and high knees every 20 seconds.

Round 2 : 20 star jumps, 10 press ups, 10 sit ups x 3

Round 3 : 3 mins of bag work  (combination practice) –  Jab, Jab cross, Jab cross hook.

Round 4 : Same as round 2.

Have fun, train hard and give it your all!

Enjoy warriors 🙂