Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Like Home Alone with an Axe to the Face

New tattoo!
This week's blog reading music is Scream by The Misfits because I got a couple of tattoos done this week by Matty D'Arienzo at Into You tattoos in Clerkenwell, one is a Misfits 'fiend' logo and I also got a little Space Invader tattoo which I adore.  I've loved The Misfits since I first heard them and it's such an iconic image that represents both the band and my love of cheesy horror and b-movies, more on which later.

This week 12 Rounds Boxing celebrated the 1st anniversary of opening their gym in Clapham so there was celebratory drinks which I attended even though I'm still mostly utterly uncomfortable and anxious in any sort of unfamiliar social setting.  But you have to put yourself out of your comfort zone to overcome and improve right? It's the same as anything else we do at the gym - you only get better if it's hard.  I did spend an evening in a pub without booze too.

12 Rounds has gone from strength to strength in a year though, lots of new members, new coaches, new classes.  I know I'm a cheerleader for them on my blog but I feel like I can't not be, they've shown me so so much support and encouragement, above and beyond what you'd ever expect from just paying a gym membership.  Kat, John and the team really take an active interest in their members and every class feels like a personal training session.  Although I don't live far from the gym a lot of people travel some impressive distances to get there which only goes to show the loyalty they've got from their clients, and well earned loyalty at that.  So happy birthday to 12 Rounds, here's to many more, and enough gushing.

Happy Birthday 12 Rounds!

Looks sore right after being done.
I celebrated an anniversary myself this week, 2 years since I since I left Essex and moved in with Diana which means it's the same amount of time since I had a cigarette (Diana will happily take credit for every positive thing that's happened since then, thank you Honey x).  I don't even think about the fact that I used to smoke any more and it actually feels weird to think that I did, I was glad to remember that's something well in the past.  I used to drink and smoke all the time and live on pizza, what's happened to me?  If you smoke tobacco, please don't, you'll be much happier without it. Trust me.

Since I did the 12 Weeks program last year where everything was measured and doing my own 12 Weeks to start this year off I've not been weighing myself or measuring anything really, I was just going to check in at the end.  8 weeks in and that's turned out to be not a great plan, the exercise side has been great but the diet's been slipping so as of this week (at Kat's urging) I've weighed myself, measured all the appropriate bits of anatomy (not that one) and installed My Fitness Pal on my phone to keep a record of everything I'm eating.  My Fitness Pal is an easy way to keep track of your diet, exercise and your nutritional requirements and is a good way of keeping you accountable.  I'll be bang on it for the next 4 weeks.  The plan is to take photos every 12 weeks so I've got to show some improvement in the next month.  Like everything else in the world you can add friends on My Fitness Pal too so feel free to join in and add me as a friend to check I've not binged on a massive packet of cookies.

Healthy cooking continues to be brilliant.
It's winter, so I'm all about big bowls of comfort food at the moment.

As predicted last week I didn't see any sensible films this week but I did get stuck into horror movies with gusto.  The Nightmare on Elm Street remake was about as good as you'd expect but I thoroughly enjoyed Demons (1985 Dario Argento classic, utterly bonkers), You're Next (messy, fun, home invasion - like Home Alone with an axe to the face, check it out on Netflix), The Loved Ones (Australian indie about a teenage girl who doesn't take prom rejection well), The Descent (potholing is scary enough, even without monsters) and topped of with The Greatest Movie Ever Rolled which is a road movie in the which the great pothead stand up Doug Benson attempts to smoke all the weed in America and accidentally makes a movie along the way.  We actually got out of the house this week too to the Soho Theatre to see 'Dracula! (Mr Swallow: The Musical)' which is not a horror but is hilarious.  Mr Swallow (Nick Mohammed) is seriously one of the funniest comedy creations I've ever seen.  Highly recommended.

Thanks for reading.  Here's a Red Panda playing in the snow which might be the most adorable thing I've ever seen and also further evidence that cats are dicks.

Follow me on twitter @savageless
Or instagram.com/savagelessx


Check out the brand new 12 Rounds Boxing website here
www.12roundsboxing.co.uk
12 Rounds Facebook page
Twitter @12_roundsboxing

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Of sadomasochism and gluten-free pancakes.

This week's blog reading music is The Touch from the 1986 animated Transformers movie.  We always have music on on in the gym and my favourite is to have a bit of 80s cheese, this is a prime cut of that very special style of music that should really be on our playlist.  Also, Transformers the Movie is amazing - unlike those new Michael Bay directed monstrosities.

I nearly puked in the gym this week.  The day after I gave blood (should have been taking it easier) we finished our boxing skills school with a particularly rough circuit of bodyweight exercises and box jumps and battle ropes and chucking medicine balls around that left me woozy and running for the bathroom by the end of it. This felt a bit like self abuse, felt amazing once the nausea had passed though, that endorphin rush you get from pushing your body really hard is difficult to beat.  Seeing as the world's gone mad for 50 Shades of Grey this week it seems appropriate.

People at work being as supportive as ever.  Must make good choices

I've done hardly anything else this week, I've been to boxing and weight training classes at 12 Rounds, my yoga class in Old Street and swimming in the local pool and been a total homebody the rest of the time. The only thing I've done is attain 100% completion on Grand Theft Auto 5. Wait a minute - THAT'S HUGE!  If I had dedicated as many hours to the gym as I had to exploring the greater Los Santos (and Blaine County) area I'd be a total beefcake by now.  Actually that's the second time I've 100%'d it...  I'm such a nerd.

Comfort food a-go-go in this cold weather.
 Bean, pepper and bacon stew.
It's pancake day this week and pancakes always make me think of  staying with my grandparents when I was little.  Nan would make the best pancakes and not just on pancake day either which would lead to my Granddad complaining that "Why should he get special treatment?" and that he never got pancakes (while she was making a batch for him too) followed by his getting his own back by terrifying me with his dentures. Scarred for life I am! It still makes me shudder to think of him popping his teeth out at me...  so, so gross.  I loved my grandparents though and while traditional pancakes with syrup or lemon & sugar are clearly awesome maybe try this furious recipe for flour-less pancakes.  Seeing as I'm trying to avoid eating gluten I tried these at the weekend with berries and Greek yogurt and they were wicked. I wish all recipes were written this way though, it'd make that awful mockney git Oliver boy more palatable and Delia telling everyone to go fuck themselves would be great, I bet she's got a mouth like a docker when the cameras are turned off.  Speaking of food, have a read of my trainer Kat's blog this week on food and our attitudes towards it, if you'd ever struggled with food or diet (who hasn't) it's a good read.

The fact that these are allowed on my 'diet' gives me happy.

A couple of film recommendations this week.  I've been on a horror movie tip lately and really enjoyed Housebound which crosses a ghost story with a whodunnit and also manages to be equal parts horror and comedy without sacrificing either. Also Dead Snow 2 which I guarantee is the best Norwegian Nazi Zombie movie you'll see all week and is a total splatterfest.  I might watch a sensible drama by next week's blog but it's much more likely I'm going to try to squeeze in as many ridiculous horrors as possible.

Thanks for reading.  Here's a 109 year old man who knits sweaters for penguins a bunch of capybaras sharing a hot tub and proof that there really is a monster under the bed.

Follow me on twitter @savageless
Or instagram.com/savagelessx


Check out the brand new 12 Rounds Boxing website here
www.12roundsboxing.co.uk
12 Rounds Facebook page
Twitter @12_roundsboxing

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Blood & Sugar

This weeks blog reading music is Endless Fantasy by Anamanaguchi. When I listen to this all I can think of is my friend Simo dancing around to it like a manic Fraggle which makes me very happy, so chances are you won't enjoy it as much as I do.  It's joyous though, especially if you have any kind of love for old school video games.

It was (almost) this bad.
Feel like I've overdone it a bit this week.  One of the big things about trying to get in shape is not to get too carried away with the exercise, especially when like me you tend to be a bit injury prone. Aches and pains a go-go this week so it's time to take a couple of days off.  I also had the crappest injury this week when I sliced the end of my finger open on my food processor blade  (Wish I'd taken a picture for the blog as it bled like a champ and I like a bit of gore) it wouldn't stop bleeding wouldn't stop so I carted myself off to A&E for a couple of stitches, after waiting half an hour or so to be seen with it wrapped up tight and elevated it had stopped and looked kinda pathetic, I checked myself out and went home without being treated.  The moral -  If you're going to hack yourself up in the kitchen do it on some high-grade equipment and keep your blades sharp, you'll get all the fun of making your girlfriend cry due to blood drama but the wound will be so neat it'll heal up so quick that you'll only miss one yoga class and be back to boxing before you know it.

We're 6 weeks in to 2015 and as much as I've been more and more enthusiastic about being in the gym the diet has started to slip so it's time to refocus. Last weekend Kat at 12 Rounds held a nutrition seminar which covered a lot of the ground we went over last year in our 12 Week program which was good for a refresher and plenty more besides and gave me lots of stuff I need to read up on.  Did you know protein is good for weight loss, or that eating carbs at night can be beneficial, what about the role your sympathetic vs parasympathetic nervous system plays in health and weight loss?  All interesting stuff (for me at least) but the main points for a healthy diet I'll pass on are these -

  1. Avoid stress, you can't expect to take care of much else if you're stressed out.
  2. Your body needs fats to work - don't just cut out fat and expect to lose your own.
  3. Don't eat things that are made in factories, eat things that come out of the ground.
  4. Get plenty of sleep.
  5. Sugar is the Devil and artificial sweeteners are even worse.
Yeah, that's what you need, to undereat.
Jesus.
Number 5 especially is a bastard.  'Low Fat' processed foods tend to be packed with sugar (look at the back of a low fat, flavoured yogurt) and all the flavour that comes in a zero calorie Diet Coke doesn't come for free, have a look at this to see how awful aspartame is.  I was looking at the box of my work colleague's Special K which proudly points out it's only 2% fat but if you look at the back it's 21% sugar.  That's horrendous! You might as well have sugar puffs for all the good this 'healthy' cereal is doing you. Here's a good article with tips on how to reduce sugar in your diet.


Saw a great fun film this week.  An unlikely role for Keanu Reeves who is at long last finally starting to age as John Wick - an absolutely ridiculous, stylised, uber-violent revenge thriller that packs more kills into 90 mins than maybe any film since the equally bat-shit mental Commando - but don't get me wrong, nothing's as good as Commando.  If you're a fan of that kind of cheesy b-movie you have to see it.  I can't believe I just recommended a Keanu Reeves movie as a must see, clearly a sign I need to stop typing.

Thanks for reading, here's a cat with it's head stuck in a paper cup being rescued.


Follow me on twitter @savageless
Or instagram.com/savagelessx


Check out the brand new 12 Rounds Boxing website here
www.12roundsboxing.co.uk
12 Rounds Facebook page
Twitter @12_roundsboxing

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

C-c-c-c-caffeine Bomb

This week's blog reading music is Bombtrack by Rage Against the Machine, 24 years old this song and it still manages to sound awesome.  This came on the playlist in the gym this week as I was in the shower, if only it could have come on 10 mins earlier it could have pushed me into Hulk-mode.

Loving being in the gym, have been in 4 days out of the last 7 including some more boxing skill specific classes rather than classes where the focus is more on getting a good workout. Of course you still get a workout doing the skills school but in thinking mostly about technique and what you're trying to learn you sweat your guts out without really noticing.  It really is a case of the more exercise I do the more I want to, as my fitness gradually improves it becomes mentally easier to push my body harder and I've been loving it, on rest days I've been hankering to wrap my hands and get back to hit something.  This is such a long way from the days of having for force myself back into Fitness Worst a couple of times a week for an ineffectual session on the cross trainer because I felt I should, now I can't wait for my next session.

Poison, clearly.
It would have been 5 days in the gym this week with Sunday midday weights session but I skipped that one for safety reasons.  Diana and I went to the Prince Charles Cinema on Saturday night for an all-night Avengers movie marathon which was wicked fun but clearly not the healthiest thing one can do their body, even if I did pack a bag with healthy snacks to keep me going the body still needs sleep but movie marathons don't feel right without the delirium that comes from too many energy drinks (generally one is too many, these things are horrendous for you).  We came home, sleep deprived and totally wired on CGI and Monster Rehab at about 9.30am Sunday, Diana crashed out immediately and I settled down watch the previous night's UFC event.  There was a point where I seriously considered heading to the gym and had to convince myself that I was probably not in my right mind, after being awake for 30+ hours I'd likely pass out mid-kettlebell swing and brain someone.

12 hours in the cinema and no popcorn or M&Ms.
Times have changed.
Daniel, one of the trainers at 12 Rounds is blogging the run up to his first fight so check that out, he gives film recommendation on his blog and I'll give another here too. Whiplash, I went with a friend after yoga class last week and it's fantastic. You know how you (probably) don't care about drumming?  I don't either but Christ did I care about this drumming movie.  A really tight, tense, controlled film with fantastic performances and an amazing and unique finale, really something special, even if in my mind JK Simmons will always be J. Jonah Jameson from Spider-Man.

Thanks for reading, this weeks cute cat video really is a must watch, trust me, and here's another cat just being weird.


Healthy eating is boring right? Nope. I made this pulled pork recipe this week and it was AMAZING


Follow me on twitter @savageless
Or instagram.com/savagelessx


Check out the brand new 12 Rounds Boxing website here
www.12roundsboxing.co.uk
12 Rounds Facebook page
Twitter @12_roundsboxing