Boxing tips Exercise At Home Exercise Tips Fitness Regime Motivation Uncategorized Weight Loss

7 Essential Exercises to Build a Boxers Physique

Strong beautiful boxer.

Want to know how to get the body of a fighter?  Todays blog comes from guest writer Jamie Stewart at www.warriorpunch.com

Fighter’s bodies make the average guy (or gal) on the street extremely envious. I mean, these guys walk around cut up while packing serious muscle. A fighter’s body is the epitome of fitness and good health; strength, speed, flexibility, functionality – it’s all in balance.

Getting a body that is muscular and combat ready requires hard work, but it isn’t out of reach for the average Joe. Even if you never have any intention of stepping into the ring, it’s still possible to have a physique comparable to these modern day gladiators.
And you don’t need any specialist training or fancy equipment; you can get ripped by doing simple bodyweight exercises. Stick to the basics, and do the basics well.. just like boxing.
The following seven exercises are the bread-and-butter of any fighter’s routine. They’re not glamorous – and you’ve probably done them a thousand times before – but they are highly effective. If they’re not already part of your routine, you know what you’ve got to do.
The Dreaded Burpee
Everyone’s favourite… not! Although you may cringe whenever your coach shouts the dreaded B word, there is no better body weight exercise for building stamina and burning calories.
You should be grateful for the punishment (honestly), as this whole-body movement works several major muscle groups while building the cardiovascular endurance required to go the distance in the ring.
Squats for Punching Power
With boxing being all about an exchange of fists, the legs are often neglected and replaced with upper body strength development. Leg training is often substituted for press ups, sit ups, or training that has a more direct payoff for the fight game, such as smashing pads and bagwork.
However, strength conditioning for the legs will provide that strong and stable base required to absorb punch impact while also loading power into your punches. Yes, power is generated through the torque in your shoulders and hips, but it also comes from pushing off the ground. Uppercuts would be nothing more than a slap without the upward thrust generated by the legs.
Add squats to your routine, and you’ll notice the difference in your balance and power.
Get Explosive with your Push Ups
Push ups work way more than just your arms as they also engage your chest, back, shoulders, and core. They’re part of every boxing coach’s arsenal and rightly so. They help to build upper body strength and that all important arm endurance required for the sport.
But if you want maximum impact from push ups, try clapping push ups. This plyometric exercise mimics the explosiveness of punching instead of the longer time under tension associated with weight training. The result? Snappy, knockout punches!

Muay thai fighter doing push ups - Coach training his athlete for a boxe match - Sportive men working out in a martial arts gym

Build Highly-functional Upper Body Muscle with Pull Ups
Pull ups suck at first, but it’s worth persevering as this compound exercise utilises nearly every muscle above the waist.
Using your body weight as resistance is highly effective for building lean, functional muscle. Meatheads that are all about loading up the barbell on the bench press may have an inflated chest and be gym strong, but it comes at a price; mobility. As a boxer, you want to pack power behind your shots but remain supple; which is where pull ups come into play.
Sit Ups – My Arch Nemesis
If there’s one exercise I hate, its sit-ups. There’s no pain like the crippling pain you get from crunches. Yet, as much as hate sit ups, I regularly do them.
A strong core is vital for boxing. The muscles in your stomach and back are responsible for generating a lot of the force behind a punch, and mid-section muscles are also necessary for absorbing body shots.
Make sure you do every variation of sit ups you can think of to target the upper, mid and lower stomach muscles as well as the obliques.
Improve Footwork with Jump Rope
There’s nothing like jumping rope for building endurance, cardio, cutting weight and improving coordination. Jumping rope builds the fast twitch muscle fibres in the calves which leads to an increase in responsiveness and faster footwork.
Varying the intensity of jump rope also means you can use it as a warm up and cool down, or a frantic, calorie-burner between rounds.
Are You Doing Your Roadwork?
While it takes you away from fight training, road work (or running) is still one of boxing’s most essential training tools. Roadwork is imperative for fight conditioning. Fail to put in the miles, and you’ll be gassed in round two on fight night.
To get the most out of your roadwork, you need to vary your intensity and duration. That means doing those slow and steady five mile jogs in the morning as well as hill sprints. Including both aerobic and anaerobic training will prepare you for the rigorous energy demands of a fight.
Wrapping It Up
Contrary to what you or anyone else thinks, it is possible to have a boxer’s physique without having it out in the ring. Building lean, functional muscle is as simple as performing these movements properly, frequently, with high intensity, and of course, while sticking to a healthy diet.
If you want to get the most out of these exercises, my advice would be to combine them all in a circuit. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the fastest way to carve out the body of a fighter.
Author Bio 
Jamie Stewart is a muay thai fighter and boxing enthusiast with a passion for martial arts and fitness. When he’s not training, he likes to write about martial arts, health and fitness, nutrition, and mindset.

If you would like to learn more, you can find him blogging at www.warriorpunch.com.

Boxing tips Fitness Regime Uncategorized Weight Loss

Boxing Fundamentals – FAQs


What’s boxing fundamentals all about?
Scrap any ideas you have about beating a punching bag by yourself, boxing fundamentals is very much a social way of learning how to box. Classes are usually made up of around 8 to 16 people and concentrate on pad work, bag work and building your fitness. This means you will learn basic punches, defence and movement all whilst having fun.

When, Where and Whats the Structure?

The programme involves 12 sessions run over 4 weeks and you attend 3 x a week.

There are 3 courses to choose from:

  • Course A – Monday & Wednesday at 8pm and Saturday at 10am
  • Course B – Tuesday & Thursday at 8pm and Saturday at 10am
  • Course C – Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:30am

Sessions cannot be carried over to next course.  It is your responsibility to complete your sessions within the 4 week period

Sessions take place at our gym in Clapham Junction. 1A St John’s Hill, SW11 1TN

What benefits will I see?

Weight loss, increased agility and coordination, muscle tone and greater fitness all result from boxing. Many people think that boxing is all about the arms but it is actually a cardio work-out for the whole body.

There’s no need to worry about bulking up. Boxing is very much a high repetition work-out so you’ll see tone rather than muscle. It’s also very empowering and people really get pumped up and stuck into it during the moves. While it’s not a self-defence lesson, by the end of the first class, you should be able to throw a solid punch.

Is there anything to be cautious of?

Weak wrists are probably the only thing that might present a problem however once you learn how to box properly, you shouldn’t be putting any unnecessary strain on your wrists. The aim of your punches is also important. Align your punches correctly and your knuckles should feel no pain. You must also wrap your hands before the start of class this will help prevent any injury to the wrist or hands.

We also start each session with a full body warm up to prevent injury and make your work out more effective, so we recommend arriving early to ensure you have your hand wraps on and are able to warm up.

Will I get hurt?

There is absolutely no body-to-body contact allowed in boxing fundamentals, so any risk is minimal.

What will I need to bring?

We provide gloves, pads and also hand wraps (£6 to replace if you lose).

You might want to buy your own boxing gloves (can be purchased in club) — boxing is a sweaty sport and gloves don’t always smell that great. Other than that, bring a small towel, a bottle of water — and make sure you’ve taken off all jewellery. Wear what you feel comfortable in and remember that you’re going to get hot.

How long are the sessions?

Sessions last for an hour.  During that time you will be taken through a warm up, introduced to technique which you will practice in pairs on focus pads.  There will be fitness work throughout the session and it will end with a circuit and cool down

I’m interested in losing weight & getting into great shape. Is 12RB the right gym for me?

Most definitely! Everyone who trains with us religiously sees dramatic results. The best part is you’re going to have a great time. 12RB will become your hobby, so losing weight becomes secondary. You will get into the best shape of your life. At 12RB, we will exceed all of your expectations.

Do I need a partner? I’m not confident and nervous about coming on my own

At 12 Round we create a very warm and welcoming environment.   You do not need to worry about having a partner for pad work. Our instructors will partner the group up according to height, weight and ability

I’m over-weight, unfit or over 50, can I still train? 

Absolutely.  Our aim is to make boxing accessible to everyone.  We believe that there should be no barriers.  Our instructors will work with you to take things at a pace you are comfortable with

Do you offer private instruction?

Yes, we offer personal training packages. Please note we have a high demand for Personal Training at 12RB and are only able to work with a limited number of people.

Our application process is to ensure that we offer our services to those who are most committed to getting results and also to ensure that we can match you to a trainer most suited to your needs.

What happens after boxing fundamentals?

Once you successfully complete boxing fundamentals you can move on to one of our memberships middleweight or heavyweight providing we have space for intake if not you can put your name on our waitlist.

What if I have no interest in fighting or boxing?

That’s ok – the majority of our members have no interest in fighting either. We are for people who are sick and tired of regular gyms & for people who are bored & not seeing the results. We provide you with a full body workout from head to toe. The training of a boxer will get you into the best shape of your life.

Can I attend on a drop in basis?

Nope – we don’t offer drop in. To get results requires consistency so you need to commit to regular attendance. If you require more flexibility – see our PT packages

How much are memberships?

You can see our membership options on main site and and payment options.

Fitness Regime Motivation

Fighting a losing battle with yourself?







Sometimes we all lose a round or two or even a fight

Lately I feel like I’ve been fighting a losing battle

With my body

Lack of sleep, stress and poor diet management has caused me to gain weight

I don’t feel good about it

And I realised what’s been behind some of my anxiety

Pressure to look the part of fitness instructor
Pressure to feel the part by being fit and strong

Every week I’ve been telling myself that I’m going to get back on it. Back to proper training programme of 5 sessions a week and strict diet. Lose that extra 5kg that I’m carrying by Christmas

But my body’s been saying no.

Agonising pain in my shoulders caused by years of overuse has stopped me being able to train
My anxiety and poor sleep had left my body feeling exhausted
My strength and fitness are a fraction of what they formally were

I’ve been feeling broken and fed up watching clients following my programmes get fitter and leaner, while I get fatter and weaker…

But the pressure I’ve been putting on myself is only creating further anxiety which results in me sleeping even less

A session with my own coach has given me some clarity to take a different approach

Would I tell my clients to train more and eat less when there struggling with injuries and stress?

Hell no!

I’d tell them to rest and be kind to themselves
Allow their body to heal
And eat well to support the healing process

The body knows what it needs

And if we listen to it we can come back stronger

So I’m taking my own advice and re-thinking my strategy

I’m putting myself on a different type of programme

One of rest, recovery and good eating

And allowing myself to be ok with this even if it means I don’t lose those extra kgs

Here’s my recovery plan for next 4 weeks

1. Weekly weights session to balance out my body. Stretching tight muscles and strengthen weak ones
2. Weekly sports massage
3. Maximum of 3 boxing sessions per week
4. Clean eating food plan. Avoiding sugar, grains and processed food
5. Lots of rest. Stick to my bedtime routine of switching off from work in the evening and getting to bed on time

You might even see me doing yoga instead of hitting the bag 🙂

If you too are dealing with injuries or stress, be patient and listen to your body

Continually fighting it will only result in further injury and stress

Caring for yourself will help you come back stronger

Battling your body is one fight you can’t win

Exercise Tips Fitness Regime Motivation Weight Loss

Are the stories you tell yourself keeping you fat?

Most of you probably think at 12 Rounds were all about hard training and restrictive diets but here’s a few thoughts I’ve been sharing with my clients recently.

Since entering the fitness industry I’ve changed my views so much on what’s important and what gets results. Most of us who want to lose weight want to do so because we want to be happy right? We’ve been told from the experts to train more and eat less. Yet for some us us it doesn’t matter how hard we train or how much we restrict out diets those numbers on the scales don’t move. And instead if moving towards our goal of happiness we end up miserable in the process. Frustrated and sad that we can’t achieve what we set out to. We tell ourselves stories that it must be something about us, we’re lazy, not working hard enough, have no will power or are greedy….

But what if it was these stories that was keeping us fat?

I get you, because I’ve told myself those stories too. Even as a personal trainer I always struggled with my weight. I had a picture in my head of how I thought a trainer should look like. I thought if I looked like a fitness model, if I had a six pack and below 15% body fat then I’d be more confident, I’d have more clients and my business would be more successful, ultimately I’d be happier. That was my story. So I really pushed myself to train hard, I consulted nutritionists and tried different diet plans. I tried to follow the rules. At one point I ate virtually no carbs and almost passed out during one of my high intensity boxing sessions. But the measurements didn’t change, I fact some weeks I’d actually got bigger. Seeing those numbers not change was so demotivating. I felt like a complete failure. Why did it work for everyone else and not me?

I knew there had to be something else as this just wasn’t working for me or so many others.

Now I truly believe that the key lies not in how hard we train or how little we eat but in brain science and how much threat we are under.

Let me explain. The more we push ourselves to do things we don’t want to do the more we push our brain into threat. Our brain thinks we’re in some kind of danger and we revert to our reptile brain that’s only concern is survival. It’s often the stories we tell ourselves that place us under threat.

How much threat we are under has a direct effect on our stress levels.

Our stress levels then have a direct impact on our hormones.

Our hormones have a direct impact on our body’s ability to burn fat.

So how we feel is so much more important than what we eat or how much we train.

Makes a lot of sense right? If we are constantly making our selves miserable with behaviours that don’t serve us, then all we are doing is telling our brain we are under threat.

Think about how you feel every time you step on the scales and those numbers don’t move. Is this how you want to feel? So why put yourself in that position and makes yourself miserable everyday?

Instead of doing something that makes you miserable and focussing on your goal, reverse the cycle and start with how you want to feel. Learn to love the journey, not just the results.

Do something everyday that moves you towards happiness and the results will take care of themselves 🙂

Something to think about…..


Kat xx

Exercise Tips Fitness Regime Uncategorized

The Queen of Over-training….

Been a while since I last posted a blog, I’ve been so busy running sessions in the gym I’ve had no time to come up with any entertaining stories (or education posts 🙂

It’s been two months since we opened the gym now and we are happy to say that the 12 Rounds family is growing! We want to thank all our members for their continued support and welcome in all the new faces who have joined us lately. The 12 Rounds gym was a dream for us for a long time and it’s through you’re support that we’ve made it into a reality!

And we have been getting busy! Members, bear with us over Easter.  We will be updating the timetable soon and introducing more classes.  If there are times/classes you want to see on please let me know. We’ll be running a limited timetable over the bank holiday weekend which will include some out door classes. All other classes will run as normal.

Also due to the demand, we will be increasing our prices after Easter so if you or any friends are swithering about joining up, nows the time to do so to take advantage of our unlimited offer.

Now for a bit of education!

Members, it’s great that you love the classes so much but we’ve noticed that some of you are training without any structure or adequate rest.  This is actually counterproductive to getting results.  A lot of us (me included) have been conditioned to believe that if we are not literally beasted ourselves into the ground during the session then we haven’t trained hard enough.

Believe me I used to be known as ‘the queen of overtraining’.  The other trainers would laugh at me in the gym as I tried to get in as many training session as physically possible! I’d even be joining in with the burpees while teaching a class (even though I’d done my own training earlier that day)

Did I look amazing from all the extra training?

No! I looked exactly the same or possibly bigger.  (Its actually known as fat aerobics instructors syndrone in the industry) Trainers who do up to 30 classes a week but still can’t shed the body fat!


Because training MORE is not the way to generate results.

The key is to train SMARTER

Whether you want to lose fat, build muscle of even just improve your performance, the changes your looking for happen in the RECOVERY phrase NOT during training.  Exercise is simply a stimulus for the body to respond and adapt to.  It’s during the recovery phrase we burn fat and grow muscle tissue.  And if you’re looking to see improvements to your technique the brain needs recovery too in order to reboot itself and develop the correct neural pathways.

If you train consistently without adequate recovery all you are doing is keeping your cortisol levels high which will actually prevent you from burning fat.  All you will achieve is fatigue and most likely injury!

So forget about the QUANTITY of your training sessions and instead think about the QUALITY.  You will see much more progression from 3 good quality sessions a week where you are able to give 100% than 6 mediocre ones where you gave 50-60% because you were still so fatigued from your last session!

Training smarter means sticking to a structured training programme and ensuring your body gets the right rest and nutrition.

That’s why the girls on my new 21 day kick start programme are kicking ass and getting amazing results.  Instead of training more some of them are actually training LESS and still dropping inches.  They are following a structured programme combining boxing training AND weight training.  With rest days in between.  And they’ve cleaned up their diet, which is the most important thing.  (I’ll be running this again in May, if you’re interested in joining email me asap as only 6 places available)

Because if you’re spending all your time training, you have no time for food prep right? So not only are you unlikely to eating the correct mix of nutrients to fuel your body and convince it to burn fat!

For those of you who really want to see a difference to your physique we’ll be offering further programmes like this on the run up to summer.  Look out for our ‘make the weight’ programme (based on a boxers pre fight and nutrition) details coming soon.

These days you’re more likely to see me stretching in between sessions than doing burpees.  And I feel a whole lot better for it 🙂

Kat (learned the hard way) Bryson




Fitness Regime Nutrition Tips

Cortisol soup anyone?

On Sat I spent the day learning about the parasympathetic nervous system. Another course delivered by the awesome Dax Moy. I spent the day learning about the brain and some amazing techniques that can dramatically improve range of movement + remove pain. More about that later!

We have two parts to our nervous system. The sympathetic branch which controls our stress responses. When we are exercising we are generally in the sympathetic nervous system, especially the type of training that we do which is go go go! But what a lot of you may not know, all the results we want to achieve like burning fat and getting stronger take place in the parasympathetic nervous system which is the rest and relaxation phrase.

Trouble is with all the stresses in today’s lifestyle some of us remain in a constant state of stress and completely sympathetic dominant

Meaning we never really calm down and enter the parasympathetic rest and relaxation stage

So matter how much ŵe train or diet we don’t get results 🙁

Eating is one of the times that requires us to be parasympathetic otherwise we cannot digest and receive the nutrients from our food. If we are stressed during meal times then no matter how nutritious our meal was we may as well not have eaten it.

How may of us wolf down our food on the go, check our emails and work as we eat?

I’ve been catching myself doing this all week

This is the equivalent to having a starter of cortisol soup before every meal!

You’ve all heard me talk about cortisol right? the stress hormone that makes us crave sugary foods and keeps us fat? Trust me not the effect you want before a meal!

So before your next meal. Take a few minutes before you eat and take 10 deep breathes. Deep belly breathes from your diaphragm. I know a lot of us struggle with this as we are so used to breathing from our chest. Put your hands on your belly and you should feel it expand when you breath in. As your eating just take some time out to just enjoy your food with no other distractions. No checking emails, working or watching TV! It’s just 10 mins out of your day.

This will improve your digestive function, and stimulate the correct hormones

Meaning your digestive function will improve, you will actually absorb the nutrients from your food, improve your immune system

I’m going to be adding more of these ‘parasympathetic’ techniques to our workouts at the end of class. I’ve already seen massive improvements to my strength, power and energy levels all week. Just from a few breathing exercises!

From now on we’re all going to learn how to breathe properly!

Kat (zen master) Bryson

Fitness Regime Nutrition Tips Weight Loss

Eat some carbs…

Bet you never thought you’d here may say that!

When I talk about following a nutrition plan lots of people get put off as they think it means no carbs. You can still eat carbs. Just healthy low GI ones like sweet potato, brown rice and lots of veg! Vegetables are carbohydrates and also full of vital nutrients and minerals. So wouldn’t it be better to up your veg intake rather than reach for the pasta?

Last night I made the mistake of not eating any carbs all day then going training. (A combination of laziness and being unprepared) The result was I almost passed out during the session! I then had to come home and eat some muesli as I had no other carbs in the house.

Learn from my mistakes! Keep up your carb intake and especially on training days!

Kat (feeling faint) Bryson

Fitness Regime Motivation

Bringing back the belt…

the champ

Back to London today with my husband, the new BBU Scottish heavyweight champion. Proud wife is an understatement!

On Sat 23rd November John fought Kaseem ‘The Mean’ Saleem for the Scottish Heavyweight Title

Johns result hasn’t come easy though. It’s come from almost a years worth of hard work, planning, sacrifice and patience.

Pushing himself to go and train every evening after work

Sacrificing a social life

Not quitting when the sparring gets tough.

Taking a defeat on the chin and instead of giving up coming back stronger

Staying focused on the goal

Success rarely comes easy. Yet most of us quit when we don’t get instant results.

It takes patience, perseverance and a lot of hard work

So if you’ve got a goal, start to make it more than just a dream. Be clear about what your goal is. John’s goal was specific – to bring back the belt.

Then take action, what do you need to do to achieve your goal? Write a plan and then put the work in.

Believe it and continually visualize that end result.

If you want to lose weight, how much weight do you want to lose? Get a picture of how you want to look in your head and think about NOTHING else.

If you want to compete, visualize the win. Do not let any other thoughts come into your head. There can be NO other option

What is your dream?

Want it, Visualise it, Believe it

Go out there and make it happen

Kat (I want a belt now too!) Bryson

Fitness Regime Motivation Nutrition Tips Weight Loss

Lacking Motivation?

I’ve had lots of emails from people agreeing that they’ve been lacking motivation as the winter nights come in.

Once you lose your routine, it’s always harder to get back into it.

We all do it, lie to ourselves saying we’ll start again next week. Then come up with a million excuses why we didn’t do anything about it.

We tell ourselves we’re too tired, forgetting that training will actually give us more energy, help us combat stress, lower blood pressure, the list is endless. We forget that exercise just makes us feel better.

We’re too busy. Really? You had time to watch Eastenders….

I can’t get away from work. With all the extra energy training will give you, you could get in an hour early tomorrow and actually be more productive…..

But don’t listen to me.

Hear it instead from the horses mouth. This is a fb post from my old PT client and good friend Emma about letting her Muay Thai training slide…

‘when am I ever going to learn that when I’m stressed anxious or depressed I need to prioritise exercise. I repeat the same pattern at least every 6 months and every time I finally manage to drag my very sorry arse (and brand new muffin top) back to Muay Thai I wonder why I waited so long’

Enough said. Don’t leave it till January!

Look forward to seeing a busy turnout at classes this week 🙂


Kat (no more excuses) Bryson

Fitness Regime Uncategorized Weight Loss

New Year Resolutions?

So it’s that time of year again where we resolve to quit drinking, get fit, give up chocolate, eat healthier…..however most New Years Resolutions fail within the first few months and are a distant memory by April. By Easter we are vowing to give up chocolate all over again right?

So what’s the secret to keeping your New Years Resolutions this year?

Set achievable goals

The first step is setting yourself achievable goals that are in line with your values. Eg if your values involve going out socialising every weekend, giving up drinking is probably going to be unrealistic and you are setting yourself up to fail. Set yourself realistic goals and commit to them.

Be specific! 

Be specific about your goal and think about the language you use. Saying I would like to lose some weight, means you haven’t really decided. It’s just something you would like to happen in the distant future. I will lose 5kg by April 2013 is a much more effective goal which is more likely to happen.

Measure your progress  

Think about how you can measure your goal.  If your resolution is to lose weight, are you going to have regular weigh ins or bodyfat measurements taken? otherwise how do you know what you are doing is working?


Keep your goals realistic. Most people fail as they try to take on too much too soon.  Don’t attempt to run a marathon if you’ve never ran a km! Start with an achievable goal of completing a 10k.  If you’re planning to start a healthy diet, make a meal plan and go food shopping beforehand. Then you have no excuse to get started.

Set a date! 

Creating a timeline to reach your goal will also keep you focused. If you don’t have an end date in mind it’s too easy to go off track + tell yourself you’ll start tomorrow.


Stay focused on your goal can often be the difficult bit.  Circumstances change and life gets in the way and it can be easy to lose site of your goal. Those who succeed are strongly focused on what they set out to achieve.  They spend time visualizing achieving their goal and do not allow any other thoughts or circumstances to stray them off the path. Having regular check ins with a trainer or coach to monitor your progress can also be helpful.  During the course you’re likely going to up against barriers and need some on-going motivation to continue.  Having someone to remind you of why you set the goal in the first place and why it’s important to you to reach it can be a big help to keeping you on track!

Book a session now! 

Which is where we come in at 12 Rounds Boxing. Now you’ve made a decision about what you want to achieve, what are you waiting for?  Book yourself a training package now!  We have a full range of classes for all levels of fitness and abilities or go a step further and book a personal training package.  Benefit from 1.1 instruction at a time to suit you! Our trainers will be there to motivate you, push you and monitor your progress and ensure that this time you really do get the results you want in 2013!

Contact us now and get your New Years Resolution off to a flying start!

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