Training without gyms
As I write this blog on a sunny, Wednesday afternoon, on March 18, 2020, the world battles a vicious pandemic. Gyms, fitness centers, swimming pools across certain cities are closed and people are being forced to find alternative methods and venues to maintain their fitness levels. My own training centre The Fight Hub, Gurgaon is temporarily shut leaving me for the first time in years, without a place to train. I feel a terrible void, not being able to work my kickboxing, muay thai skills, like I usually do a few times a week…
The need for adaptation often stems from necessity and I found myself in the colony park today morning, in my muay thai gear ready for a quick circuit training, interval training followed by some shadow boxing. It reminded me of my early twenties when I often trained in public parks, with a few training partners or by myself because the boxing gym was too far away or closed.
The lack of equipment, training partners, heavy bags, mirrors, music can feel disorienting at first but once I settled into a rhythm. I found the silence, the grass, the open space quite invigorating and pleasant. The smell of the flora surrounding me and subtle sounds of my movement and actions brought back fond memories of the past.
Where mirrors and videos show you mistakes in form and techniques these days, I remember what it felt like to throw a kick or punch into thin air and try to judge it’s technical correctness by feel and mental judgment. What I miss most, more than the gear, the bags, the soft matting on the floor is the sound of the gloves hitting pads or body parts. The rhythmic tap, smack, pop of contact between leather and leather or leather and muscle, is a sound that is almost melodic to I would assume, most boxing, kickboxing, muay thai coaches around the world.
If the weather and circumstances seem against you, I would also recommend clearing out space in your home, spreading out a carpet or mat on the floor and working those training routines. Once you can try interval training with various combinations of strength, cardio, core exercises to get in a full-body workout. I personally find pushups, burpees, box jumps, mountain climber, crunches, etc in repetitive cycles as a rather effective home workout. I do agree that the experience is far from ideal but complicated times demand adaptation and making do with what we have.
Doing the entire workout with your boxing gloves on adds some extra weight and resistance to the whole circuit which will help you burn more calories and increase the lactic acid build up in your muscles. This will, in turn, have you better prepared for training rounds in your muay thai, kickboxing, boxing academies, once they open and we return to a more regular method of training.
It is especially important to get in a workout, a few days a week during trying times like these, to keep oneself in a better mental and psychological state of mind. A journey in martial arts teaches and trains us to handle challenging and hard days with logic, strength, and calmness. Our spirit is strong, humanity will come together to face this pandemic and better days will return. Eat well, train hard and let’s all hope we get back to our respective ways of life as soon as possible. This too shall pass…