There are two unavoidable things happening in Ireland right now: summer (or swinter, as the other half calls it) and sports.
And there's just no point trying to escape either one. So I decided on a combo: shaping up for summer through sport.
So I found myself signing up for the Fighting Fitness Week run by Martial Arts Inc, who have two dojos in Dublin: one in Blanchardstown, and one that straddles Smithfield and Stoneybatter. I'm not a total stranger to Martial Arts Inc since a friend introduced me to it a while back. I go to kickboxing classes every now and then, where I "kickbox", as opposed to actually kickbox. It's a thoroughly welcoming and inclusive place, where everyone trains together and at their own pace: beginners and black belts, young and old, men and women. There are loads of women, training and teaching, as well as a women only class each Saturday.
Ya want a piece of me? DO YA?
Intense. Strict. AAAAGH!
But the Fighting Fitness Week was going to be different. Oh yes. This was going to be five consecutive days - In. A. Row - with two hours per day of intensive workouts. Plus your own exercises in the evenings (if you're able to move). Not only that, but there was a diet plan. A strict one. (In fact, if you stayed on the diet much more than the week, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you developed scurvy or rickets, or some other disease from the Middle Ages. So don't! Our instructions were to keep it at five days tops.)
The week as a whole is based on the regime a professional fighter goes through to shed the kilos ahead of a weigh-in. The idea is to take in fewer calories than are expended, and burn whatever fat reserves are clinging to your bod.
Unsurprisingly, I was starting to get apprehensive as it drew nearer.
I wasn't wrong - read my diary of the week for a snapshot of how I was feeling. Be warned: there's a lot of Satan and cursing God in here.
Read it and weep
But in another way, I loved it.
Yes, I was sore, tired, and sweaty on a daily basis. But everyone on the course supported one another and helped keep the motivation up. And I lost around 2 kilos (I was hoping for better, but that was certainly a good start.)
My plan now is to maintain a decent level of daily excercise, and a healthy, balanced diet. (Once I've booked myself in for a fabulous massage somewhere.) Watch out belly.
So tell us: Are you getting toned and buffed for the Irish "summer"? Do you have any tips, queries, routines, worries? Share with us!
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