ICIW Gym wear | Be the Best Dressed in the Gym

Today I'm going to talk to you about ICIW, an athleisure brand out of Stockholm that have sent on a few garments for me to wear to my KOBOX sessions. 

I'm always keen to champion the brands that share the same belief system as I. That have a similar narrative that often includes starting from nothing, taking a leap of faith. 

When I read the backstory of founder Gustaf Ollas and learned how he too switched paths from full time employment and pursued his vision of creating training clothes that he would like to wear. 

Gustaf worked as Personal Trainer and sold dietary training courses online, but knew very little about the textile industry when he began his journey with ICIW in 2012. 

I think at everyone at some point in their lives have ideas on setting up their own tee shirt company right? They get fixated on a theme or slogan, order up about 1000 and then have to deal with boxes of unsold tee shirts clogging up their garage 2 years down the line. 

For anyone that has had any modicum of success in starting up their own brand they'll know the process for producing new garments generally takes between 6-12 months, from idea to prototype and finally to finished product. If you're interested 

It's a tricky business especially as trends and fashion waves move quicker than seasons in today’s current retail climate. ICIW offer high quality training clothes at a competitive price. Most products are manufactured in limited edition to make the customer feel unique.

SOCIAL MEDIA PHENONMENON 

Again, for budding entrepreneurs, take time to familiarise yourself with the ICIW website. It's clean, easy to use, strong imagery and they empower influencers and leverage their social media accounts in very creative ways. 

For example the Hashtag #icaniwill has been used more than 1,600,000 times in writing.

Today, ICIW are a team of seven. A close knit community that provide awesome training apparel and generate positivity and health through the medium of fashion.



My Thoughts on 3 Month Achievable Body Goals

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Is anyone else feeling the footy void? Luckily we have the women’s World Cup to carry us over for a few weeks but then what happens after that?

Maybe instead of looking around for discounts on your Sky Sports subscription, it's time for some physical action.

What can we do before the start of the next season? What kind of body goals are achievable before the start of the Premier League's 2019/20 season on Saturday 10 August 2019. How do we achieve them?

Try for 3 months

Cut out bread. Cut out sweets. Get off your phone and take control.

Plank Challenges: 

You've heard of the 30 day plank challenge? Well why not stretch that out. The plank challenge encourages routine, discipline and is one of the best exercises for developing your core. Grab a matt, do it first thing while the kettle is boiling, add more time incrementally for better results.

Regain Your Fitness Plan:

Take a look at other plans that are specifically designed to help you shed weight. Regain Your Fitness’s online fitness programs for women and men boast that past clients have lost 7 – 10 kg in the first 30 days. I'm not affiliated but I've done some HIIT training before and I can tell you it's gruelling, but worth it.

Start KOBOX

I am a brand ambassador for KOBOX and I can tell you that the classes are fantastic. The instructors are like family and it's a very sociable way of working out. If you stick to weekly classes you will not only increase your overall stamina but will be well on your way to learning a new skill.

Personal Trainer 

As a rule of thumb, the average amount a personal trainer in the UK will charge is around £30 an hour. Though if you're London based that can rise quite steeply.

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Set aside a budget. Develop a plan with a personal trainer and explain the body goals you would like to achieve. Have pictures of naked dudes at the ready to help your trainer. Only kidding. Don't be weird.

Remember the Diet

So how much weight can you realistically lose in 3 months? You can possibly lose as much as 30 pounds according to this article by Live Strong.  But so much centres around your ability to maintain discipline around your diet. A low-calorie, highly nutritious eating plan combined with increased physical activity brings about weight loss.

Gadgets that will help you lose weight

Lemon squeezers, blenders (not juicers) veggie steamer and salad tossers. You can find a bunch more on the Everyday Health site. I'd say out of all the gadgets, the best one is the alarm clock. Get up early, don't dodge the best part of the day when no one is around.

Best Apps to help you lose Weight

Check out all the fat-busting apps in this article by Gotta be Mobile. Personally I'm always keeping an eye on the step count and know some friends have eulogised over Tabatas which is themed around more HIIT routines. (High Intensity Interval Training).

If you so happen to find yourself in a Novotel hotel like I was last week, check out the CALM app they have which helps facilitate sleep, positivity and meditation. All crucial ingredients if you're serious about achieving your body goals.

Document your 3 month work out

Be honest with yourself. Set yourself some very open goals with your online audience and pictures of yourself naked. Only kidding, come on, liven up!

But take personal pictures of yourself in the mirror. It's not easy to see gradual improvement but you will come a long way within 3 months and before you know it your body transformation will be there for everyone to see.

13 at KOBOX: The New Boutique Pay-As-You Gym Studio

As a proud ambassador of KOBOX I'm very pleased to announce a new option to their work out schedule.

For anyone not wanting to be tied to a gym membership this is for you. For anyone fed-up with not being able to access their workout station due to overcrowding, this is for you.

At KOBOX 13 you have all the space and time to train how and when you like. It's festooned with all the trimmings you'd expect from a KOBOX gym. There's state-of-the-art equipment as well as a full size boxing ring as its centrepiece.

The concept is brilliant. I'm not claiming it's solely original or exclusive to KOBOX, you'll find others like Barry's offer a similar format. But Barry's have a PT that offers a pre-programmed schedule to around 40 people. KOBOX has more flexibility, you can work out at your leisure or have the KOBOX team organise your station before your arrival.

I had the option of having a programme put together for me by either Toby or Shane the trainers, targeted towards my body goals. It's a unique and holistic approach to working out.

This is the response I got from KOBOX when I booked a 13 Class.

“Hi Carl

Hope you are good? I see you’re booked in with a few space for a session with us tomorrow. If you need help planning what you want to do when you’re here then please let us know. We’d be happy to prepare a training plan that will make sure that you get the best out of your visit. Just let us know what you want, maybe you want to sweat, maybe you want to lift, maybe there is a specific body part you want to work on, or a sport you are training for. Let us know and we’ll have it ready when you arrive. 

If you want to come and just use the space yourself that’s also cool."

FINAL THOUGHTS

What I loved was the freedom it gave me. I felt like I owned the place. Very few people, easy access to all the equipment. It allowed me to focus on what I came to achieve. It's a perfect way to train if you're working out infrequently, maybe you're not in the City that often. Perhaps you just enjoy the freedom of space and don't want to hang around waiting for your station to free up.

It's located on the first floor of KOBOX's new flagship Chelsea studio - 107 King's Road, SW3 4PA

https://www.koboxboxingclub.com

Get in Shape Like James Bond: Nutrition & Diet

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If you've caught my Instagram stories of late you would have seen I've been investing in some new cook books. Nutrition is going to be a massive thing for me in the year 2019 and today I want to talk about one man’s diet in particular, James Bond.

You may have seen stories circling the press recently about Daniel Craig giving up drink in preparation for the role of James Bond. (Although he was seen drinking Stella at the golden Globes right?) Truth is he would have been getting into shape for Bond 25 months ago.

Today I want to talk a little bit about nutrition and what you can be implementing in your diet.

PROTEIN

We all know that protein is a must when it comes to developing and packing on more muscle. Simon Waterson (Daniel Craig's trainer) will attest that you should marry the amount of protein you eat with the weight you aspire to be.

Your protein diet should consist of skinless chicken, eggs (the literary Bond loved his eggs) kale and of course, protein supplements.

I also have a lot of red meat from the grill, this is an excellent source of protein but of course, not everyone will prescribe to eating red meat in today's society.

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SNACK FOOD

It's nuts, its low sugar fruit. Almonds have a great sweet taste, that will nullify your sugar craving and provide your body with some Omega 3's.

I wish I knew back then what I know now about fruit. Juices, even freshly squeezed juices are packed high in sugar. It peaks your blood sugar levels and your body is thrown off course. I tend to keep it simple. Eat apples, get the fibre and the natural sugar.

They're also good for your teeth. Bond has amazing teeth in all his films. In the novels Bond had a 160- a day smoking habit, Moorlands being his favourite. I bet he had teeth like one of those case studies they put on a pack of cigarettes.

REBEL BOND

In the movie Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery gets ordered to Shrublands to undertake a detox. However, he does manage to sneak in a whole suitcase filled with naughty treats. One of which being Foie gras. This is a misstep as Roger Moore actively campaigned against the use of Foie gras claiming it cruel and inhumane.

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GLUTEN 

Bond loved to lather up his huge chunks of bread with marmalade. The word is out on bread, it bloats you, it doesn't move around your body well. To substitute this I've moved over to sun-seed bread. It's a bit tough, it's like Ryvita’s but it's wholesome and plugs that bread gap. Available in all supermarkets apart from mini Co-Ops it appears.

BOOZE

'How much do you drink?' - Madeline Swan

'Too much'. - Bond.

Love that line from Spectre. But how true. The calories and the sugar content in alcohol can be off the chart. And please don't think you're dodging that bullet by ordering a slim line tonic for your Vodka.

Just remember Bond only gets drunk in the movies once. Considering how much he drinks, that's quite a feat.

That's it for now. Remember working out is important, especially if you're going heavy on the protein. But nutrition is about 2\3rds of the battle. Let me know your thoughts and how you're getting on with your 2019 body goals.

 

Fighting Back Against Poor Oral Health

How guilty are we all when it comes to neglecting our oral hygiene? It's something I've been putting off for a while so was delighted when dentist Dr Saul Konviser at Dawood & Tanner General Dental Practice reached out to me and invited me in for a check-up and a chat.

The practice is located in the most central of locations and just down the road from the KOBOX on Baker Street. The location in the Montagu Mansions has a very 'homely feel'. 

After having a sit down talk with dentist Dr Saul Konviser, a young and enterprising gentleman, I started to feel pangs of guilt that I hadn't come to the realisation earlier. Poor oral health has larger ramifications than just poor teeth.

There are detrimental effects to your heart that can lead to respiratory disease. Not to mention that neglecting oral health can directly impact sporting performance, which was an instant red flag for me. 

I have been around fighters who had told me their diet is suffering terribly due to cracked teeth. Imagine training for a fight and having to eat through a straw because it's too painful to chew your food! 

Dawood & Tanner have come up with an innovative way of emphasising the importance of this issue; personalised mouth guards. It's such a novel idea and the prototypes that Dr Konviser showed me were fantastic. Incredibly unique. The gum shield is such a crucial part of the fighter's armoury, protecting not only the teeth but the jaw. 

Although I don't do any sparring at KOBOX, it's a place where fighters do come and train. Most are savvy enough not to get the entry level self-moulded guards. As well not offering offer inadequate support and protection, they can be super uncomfortable. 

I've invested in a mouth guard, not for fighting, (Hey I don't want to mess up the cash register at my age) but as I grind my teeth at night. A mouth guard for evening wear will be thinner than a gum shield, although created from the same mould. 

If you're interested in a mouthguard Dawood & Tanner offer a 1 week turnaround to reduce away time from training and competition. Let Saul know I sent you. You can find further articles on Dawood & Tanner online. If you're interested in teeth whitening my friend Peter Brooker has written a decent article on his blog. It stresses the importance of why you should leave teeth whitening to the professionals.

Take Your Home Workout to the Max With Bowflex

What is the best home gym equipment currently on the market? There is so much to choose from and anyone that's been watching The Apprentice will appreciate. You might already be thinking of joining the gym to avoid those lofty January sign on fees. I've got one better for you. Save that money and invest in a home gym starting with the Max Trainer® M7i by Bowflex. 


How does it arrive? 

It comes in two boxes and is easier to assemble than any flat pack furniture. It is possible to assemble on your own but I recommend finding a friend to help you out. For the record I got some help, but none from the cat. 

How does it look?

You know me, it's got to look the part. And this is one of the best things about the Max Trainer® M7i. It's super-sleek, really polished and beautifully designed. It's perfect if you have a modern space, this will sit unobtrusively in either your home gym or viewing from. 

Work out and watch Match of the Day at the same time! 

How does it work? 

It's the top model from the Bowflex portfolio and has innovative features that help you push your fitness levels to the MAX.

You can set your own burn rate and resistance levels and with the new aerobar grips it makes that workout less abrasive on the hands. 

Like our other models the M7i burns, but M7i also learns thanks to its all new performance targeted programming. 

Would I recommend it? 

Absolutely. It's a modern sleek looking home gym that doesn't look cumbersome or out of place. It's also super quiet which is important if you want to have a workout whilst others around you are sleeping or reading. 

It's also a lot more streamlined than your average treadmill that will take up twice the floor space. 

Don't forget to use the mat and place underneath the machine because you'll sweat profusely. 



FIND OUT MORE (CLICK IMAGE BELOW)

*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with Bowflex.

Why I'm Addicted to KOBOX and You Should be too

If you're following me on Instagram you'll know I've been hooked on KOBOX fitness classes for the best of 2018. It's truly been a revelation in my life and it's been great to see the brand grow and expand into different corners of London. 

There are currently 3 KOBOX studios you can find in London, Chelsea, City and Marylebone. They must be pumping up the music in the Baker Street studio to 11 because it feels louder and more energised than the rest! 

I'm sketching out some feel good thoughts today on why I love, neigh, why I'm addicted to KOBOX and why you should be too. 

Learn a new Skill 

Not only are you getting fit, you're learning something new. You're learning poise, balance, how to plant your feet and throw an effective punch. 

Sure you can just run on the treadmill every day and dream of that last holiday you were on. Here at KOBOX you get to develop your pugilistic skills as well as burn some calories. Win win. 

Stress reliever 

I don't think about anything else when I'm at KOBOX, other than my present environment. It just feels awesome parking all that mental crap outside for an hour or so. Ok so I might imagine the odd face or two when swinging at the heavy bag, but that's all part of the fun. 

Mental Health 

I touched on it, but I can't stress how important it is right now to expunge some of those demons. No better way to do it than to kick the crap out of a punch bag. It would be great to know some stats behind mental health and exercise. I'm positive that more people would look out on a brighter horizon if they were able to apply themselves physically. You know, release all them en-dolphins. (Sorry, not big on the science as you can tell). 

It's for everyone 

KOBOX is not prejudice when it comes to your boxing ability. Don't feel like you have to be Ivan Drago, or Ivan Drago's son (stoked for Creed 2 btw) to participate in a KOBOX class. The instructors are all there for you, to help you along no matter what level you're at. 

The Instructors 

Yeah, lets mention the instructors. They truly are awesome, with everyone. They make me feel like they want me there. You're made to feel like a community and when I visit a KOBOX studio, I feel like I'm dropping in on old friends. It has that close knit family vibe, two of the instructors got married this year. All the best to you Maciela and Ian.

Great for the kids

As Rocky says in Rocky 5, "You know Adrian, ain't nuttin' wrong with showing the kid, you know, some lethal punches'. They host a kids class, a great way for the children to expend all that run-around energy. Channel it into something decent and instil some discipline. 

Personal Confidence 

I'll finish here but I'm feeling a lot more confident in myself since starting these classes. I know the bag doesn't punch back, I know I'm not sparring or anything. But I'm feeling good that I can throw combinations, I can plant my feet, I can shift my weight. 

Knowing how to throw a punch or two, will ultimately lead to you having better self-esteem. Trust me, this is what KOBOX has done for me. 

Water Wednesday | Wake up and Smell the Addiction

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Has coffee become the nation’s scourge? My beloved pubs are taking a battering in light of societies palpable shift from Carlsberg to Costa (other watering holes are available) and at the current rate of growth, researchers expect coffee shops to outnumber pubs by 2030.

Charlie and I have too much of a steak dependency to embrace 'No Meat Monday' but I can get behind the new Water Wednesday initiative set by Aqua Optima. It's aimed towards encouraging more people across the country to give up their caffeine fuelled beverages and calorific drinks in exchange for water every Wednesday. 

Coffee is like any form of ritualism. You must first recognise your dependency, and accept the substitutes will be more beneficial. Replacing water with these drinks borne out of a fraught medley of societal dictum and egregious commercialism, will be no mean feat. Going against the grain; breaking patterns, I know, it's time to start moving to a strange new rhythm. 

 

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Breakfast: Coffee? Of course. How many of us hit the kettle before we pull our eyes into focus? Drinking water stimulates the metabolism which is far more productive for your body.

The six to eight hours of recommended nightly sleep is a long period to go without any water consumption. "Drinking a glass or two of water right when you wake up, however, is a good way to quickly rehydrate your body," says Rania Batayneh, MPH, a nutritionist and the author of "The One One One Diet," about the potential benefits.

"Most people have their coffee first thing in the morning," she says. "Although it is a good source of antioxidants, it is also dehydrating. You can offset this with water."

 

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Lunch: Oh coffee. Let's just meet for coffee. Of course you drink soya milk which is an extra 50p in every damn coffee house. Of course you want to try a hazelnut cappuccino because it's the most expensive damn thing on the menu.

Let's just reign in it shall we with this lunacy. Let's also stop turning everything into a damn hashtag, no one is interested in your flat lay laptop and coffee Instagram pictures. Knock that off millennials, please. 

I switched my flat white to a cup of hot water with lemon, and when my lunch date arrived I ordered a bottle of large Evian for the both of us. I offered her a hot water with lemon and of course she ordered a macchiato. What can you do, I tried. 

 

 

Afternoons: I normally take a bottle of water to my KOBOX boxing workout, but sometimes slip into vending machine mode. They say you shouldn't shop in a supermarket when you're hungry, same goes. Don't hit the vending machine and think that sugars going to be the antidote for your dehydration. 

I know a blogger that has given up alcohol that talks about hidden triggers. What lies down the track that could cause imminent derailment. The vending machine is one, the McDonalds on the way home is another, and the cinema! Don't get me started. Well actually, let me finish with that. 

 

Evenings: I've been feeling good all day. I haven't lapsed into a coma or felt like my eyelids are tied to 10k dumbbells. In the evening I took a friend to the cinema, and I figured out why I love the cinema. It's just a glorified Willy Wonka Factory for adults. There is a 100g of Sugar in a large 32oz post mix Pepsi. It's lunacy. 

Of course every assistant encourages the bumper bundle large drink and popcorn deal, that should come with a list of all the local dentists you'll need to fix the holes in your teeth once the movies over. 

I ordered a bottle of water and snuck in some apples slices, of course my friend had the sugary treats and I just cried all the way through the movie. Maybe I should move movie night to the Weekends. 

It's a great idea, 'Water Wednesday'. Shame it's only once a week, but it’s a start. 

 

Watching Every Beat With the Braun ActivScan 9 | Blood Pressure Monitor

Here's a matter close to my heart, pun intended. I've recently road tested the ActivScan 9 which is one of two new blood pressure monitors recently launched by Braun. The ActivScan™ 9 is a comfortable and intuitive blood pressure monitor. It measures and stores your blood pressure, which you can access through the dynamic user interface.

The monitor is fully compatible with smartphone devices via the Braun Healthy Heart app, which lets you access your data anytime, anywhere and enter lifestyle data to create a complete picture of your health and lifestyle.

 

 

Why do I need an ActivScan 9?

It's time to start paying attention to what your body is telling you. High Blood Pressure is one of the major contributing factors to heart failure and research conducted by Braun tells us that almost two thirds of adults don’t consider themselves to have a healthy lifestyle.

Ask yourself what is more important, following the progress of your own blood pressure, or following the progress of some stranger and their cats on Instagram?

With ActivScan 9 you can synchronise this data with your calendar, include some lifestyle features like sleep, exercise diet etc. You can then see how all these variables impact your blood pressure. This information will be a great source of reference for your doctor when it comes to prescribing illnesses and monitoring your health.

Braun, whose new generation blood pressure monitors provide smart, intuitive readings that are easy to understand, is working with experts to help raise awareness of the benefits of regular monitoring and the positive lifestyle changes.

Their four leading experts specialise in Sleep (Elite Sport Sleep Coach), Mood (CEO of the Happiness Research Institute), Diet & Nutrition (@FitnessOnToast) and Hypertension (Medical).

 

 

My personal story

Around 5 years ago now I had a heart operation to correct a congenital heart defect, which remained undetected since birth. The condition was a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) which is common in premature babies although rare that it would have been undetected through 30 or so years of my life. The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel that connects the two major arteries (Aorta & Pulmonary) whilst the baby is in the womb and is an essential part of blood circulation. This connection allows blood to be pumped from the right side of the heart straight to the aorta, without stopping at the lungs for oxygen. While a baby is in the womb, only a small amount of his or her blood needs to go to the lungs. This is because the baby gets oxygen from the mother's bloodstream. When the baby is born, the ductus arteriosus closes, allowing normal blood flow to your own lungs to get oxygen. Mine simply didn’t close and remained open or Patent.

In short having a PDA for 30+ years caused increased strain on my heart and therefore the heart was working harder to pump blood around my body, leading to my heart (left ventricle) becoming enlarged to counteract that increased workload. I always think about my heart now and how to care for it and monitoring blood pressure is an essential part of that.

It is hard to say what long-term strain or damage has been done to my heart if any, but what I do know is that this heart defect could have been fatal. I guess I was lucky that a) the PDA diameter wasn’t large (b) I have always led a healthy active lifestyle.

Detection of my heart defect was simple; the PDA causes a continuous heart murmur, always present, always detectable. The Braun ActivScan 9 can help detect high or low blood pressure and irregular heart beats, so if I had this device years ago, who knows I may have detected it much sooner.

 

How easy is it to use the ActivScan 9?

I know, it's another mouth to feed right? Another piece of technology we have to get to grips with. Luckily the ActivScan 9 is swift and easy to use. (Even I didn't need to read the instructions).

Once it has read your blood pressure it colour-codes your results, from green to red so you can interpret your heart’s health at a single glance.

The dynamic user interface is simple and intuitive to use and the full colour display is controlled by an easy navigation wheel and soft touch buttons.

Their custom-made, pinch-to-open cuff fits easily around your upper arm and uses soft inflate technology. This provides gentle measurement, enabling you to discover your blood pressure comfortably.

 

Where can I get my hands on one?

Braun blood pressure monitors are available to purchase from Boots. For more information visit the Braun website at www.braunbloodpressuremonitors.co.uk

 

*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with Braun Blood Pressure Monitors.

New Motion Fitness Launches in Vauxhall, London

If you're thinking that the treadmill is becoming a bit of a bore of late, then you should try out New Motion Fitness; a bespoke 4 class workout that has been specifically designed to challenge and excite people of all fitness abilities. The instructors skilfully utilise the hypnotic and captivating lighting as well as premium sound systems to give participants a workout like no other. You have 4 different cardio workout classes to choose from.

Box ‘n’ Bass: A workout that incorporates pad work, technique and strength combined with the best bass soundtrack.

4Kardio Dance: Easy to follow, full of energy and sweat-inducing workout is perfect for all abilities.

HIIT vs House: A high intensity workout accompanied by an insane house soundtrack to help you hit every muscular component in 45 minutes.

Vinyasa Flowz: A workout that harmonising the movements of your body and breath in creative sequences in this fully rounded modern yoga workout.

Henry Weston created New Motion after spotting a gap in the market for developing real human connections in the health and fitness world. Inspired by non-conformers, Henry believes in constantly finding new ways to move, new ways to live and wants to push boundaries to create a truly unique fitness experience for Londoners.

Following the launch, all classes and packages will have an incredible 50% off for the entire month of July. Each workout has been specifically designed to challenge and excite people of all fitness abilities. The instructors skillfully utilise the hypnotic and captivating lighting as well as premium sound systems to give participants a workout like no other.

Weston comments. “But it can also be a very isolating place. There is a real lack of sense of community in not only the health and fitness world but in London as a whole; I would often leave workouts not knowing anyone else’s name in the class.

I created New Motion as a way to combat this. I wanted to create something more than just fitness, I wanted a community of likeminded people.”

Not only does New Motion actively encourage and train their instructors to get to know their participants, but they also host monthly socials, give out awards, celebrate personal achievements and get to know each other over a drink or two in the food garden.

Henry comments that “this simple notion is one of the most effective when it comes to creating a space for success and empowerment for all involved.”

Henry previously worked with outdoor fitness start-up Rabble, where he helped created an incredibly strong fitness community and is bringing his expertise and knowledge to New Motion.

Leading by example, Henry will be at Lightbox, (30 seconds from Vauxhall station) every night welcoming guests, driving the social environment to new heights and instructing his signature class Box ‘n’ Bass.

Photo Credit Alex Blake

The KOBOX Influencer Press Day | Boxing Fitness

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of attending and hosting an influencer work out at the KOBOX gym in Chelsea. Not only was it a privilege to be asked, and I got to see some familiar faces, (Anton Welcome from Maketh the Man, Edmond from Cuts for Him, naming a few) but it also gave me the chance to meet some of the good people of the Instagram community (the lethal Darren Branch and his lovely other half Helen) that I've been following avidly for the past few months. 

Influencers of the world unite! (Blows heavy sea shell like conch across the London skylines). By the way where are we at now with the term 'Influencer'? Are we Bloggers? Vloggers? Instagrammers? Content creators? Or just good old fashioned digital marketers? I feel like that statement requires a phone in and a cash giveaway! 

For those that have been living under a rock for the past couple of months, Kobox is a 50-minute, high intensity classes that will see you tackle all the fundamentals of boxing.

With two studios located conveniently in Chelsea and Liverpool Street, my best kept secret is now well and truly out. These guys are taking over. 

You may have also seen KOBOX in the news recently backing a recent PROUD campaign, encouraging gay men to pick up a pair of gloves and help smash away the current stigma attached to the sport.

At the end of the work out, which was brutal and possibly the most amped session I've had at KOBOX to date, (we're a competitive bunch) we all got to take away a Fitty London box.

Fitty are a no nonsense wellness brand that have developed signature boxes to help drive the health and wellness movement. Reportedly they turn down around 50% of products that want to feature in their. Their boxes are manufactured to be convenient, affordable and exciting in a way to discover the products to fuel and recover, fast. 

Book a session with KOBOX today, there are many instructors all with great energy, but I have to give a special shout to Ollie who put us all through our paces that day. 

KOBOX Boxing Club Launches PROUD Campaign

KOBOX Boxing Club has launched its PROUD campaign with Attitude – the UK’s best-selling gay magazine – encouraging gay men to pick up a pair of gloves and help smash away the current stigma attached to the sport. I've been very proud (pardon the pun) to represent KOBOX over these last few months as their ambassador for reasons just like these. 

Not only are they championing fitness, they're also unashamedly egalitarian in the way that they promote their brand. The people behind KOBOX know the true definition of community spirit.

In this campaign Kris Pace, brand director at KOBOX has addressed a glaring misnomer that boxing is a sport exclusive to straight men.  

'The lack of gay men participating in boxing, and boxing-related fitness, has needed to be addressed for some time now, and we felt this was a profound way to deliver a clear message to everyone within the sport.

We welcome anyone through our doors, from any walk of life, and the LGBT community is, without question, absolutely a part of that. On this occasion, after speaking to Attitude magazine and those closest to us, we wanted to start by challenging the perception that boxing is a sport predominantly for straight men in particular. But this is just the beginning...’  Kris Pace, brand director at KOBOX

Boxing clubs are, by some, still seen as hostile, intimidating environments to work out in. Many in the gay community rightly see boxing as an incredibly effective way to get fit, but many say they feel uneasy about trying their hand at it.

Has there never been any famous gay boxers? 

Yes there has, and perhaps more than you think. Emile Griffin is considered one of the greatest welterweight boxers of all time. He killed fellow fighter Benny Paret in the ring on March 24, 1962 and was famously quoted -  

They forgave me for killing a man, but they couldn’t forgive me for loving a man.” 

His bisexuality was only revealed after his boxing career; Orlando Cruz became the first boxer to come out during his professional career in 2012. 

It's amazing to think that we still live in a world where we need these kind of campaigns, but the sad truth of it all is we do. 

So what's the campaign about? 

In the run-up to London Pride in July, KOBOX Boxing Club launches its PROUD campaign with a hard-hitting video, showcasing the isolation and exclusion some gay men may feel when thinking about taking up the sport.

The video is filmed in its London City studio, displaying the visceral environment of KOBOX that runs on the mantra of Fight Club Meets Nightclub. Through the use of deliberate homophobic rhetoric, the film sensationalises the stigmatisation some gay men feel when thinking about getting into boxing.

The video doesn't pull its punches (ok that pun was intended) and has succeeded in delivering some of the underlying concerns and emotions, felt by many people in the gay community. 

No one should feel intimidated coming to a boxing class at KOBOX, or any other gym for that matter. Any perception that gay men aren’t welcome at a boxing club is outrageous.Kris Pace

A host of names feature in the video – which is led by creative director Jerry Reeve – including showbiz journalist James Ingham, TV producer Joff Powell and comedian and TV presenter James Barr.

 

Is Mudho Really the Best Fitness Tracker out There?

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Who or what is Muhdo? Muhdo is a tool that scans your DNA profile and enables you to unlock your natural abilities and get stronger, fitter, faster. When I first skim read the brief and saw the words 'fitness' and 'Mudho', I thought this was Dwayne Johnson doing a sequel to Jumanji. How wrong I was.

Of course those that follow me on my Instagram stories know how hot I am on my fitness, regularly mixing it up at the Kobox gym. (Well mixing it up with the heavy bag).

But maintaining consistency with my work out routines and nutrition has been the true test. And this is what Muhdo sets out to achieve. Muhdo claims to be the answer in making sustainable improvements to your overall health and fitness levels is to listen to and work with your DNA.

Muhdo performs a detailed analysis of your DNA and provides you with personalized health and fitness recommendations to help you achieve your goal. They provide you with free access to hundreds of recipes, workouts and lifestyle advice – all tailored to your DNA.

How easy was it to use?

I need stuff like Muhdo in my life.

I winced at the sound of having to trawl through a 45-page document of any nature. I certainly couldn't do it without a couple of strong drinks, ironically reading about how pickled my liver might be. 

However, the data is presented much like the dashboard of a car. Numerous dials indicate where you're 'gifted' (believe me I'm very tempted to crowbar an anatomical gag here, but let’s keep it professional) and where your ineptitudes lie. 

My read outs were quite clear. Prone to yo-yo diets, lack of discipline in the 'prone to snack' department and susceptible to injury. I quite like the 'likely to injure' warning, would be a great tagline for the next Jason Statham movie. 

It has a very easy to navigate dashboard and disseminates the data evenly, and in quite a fun way. There weren’t too many red flags apart from knowing that my recovery time isn't that of a nubile teenager so I might reduce the weekly sessions as a result. 

I imagine this is how Daniel Craig felt when he over-beefed for his role as James Bond in Casino Royale and was consequently told by the producers, 'he had to lose muscle'. 

It's not the cheapest, £249 for the profiling kit, but as I always say, your body is a Ferrari, it needs to be treated like as such. You wouldn't have some cowboy do an MOT on your Ferrari would you? 

 

THE MUDHO DNA PROFILING KIT

My Pre Workout Spotify Playlist | Get your Gameface on

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One of my keenest pleasures is manicure my Spotify playlists to my immediate surroundings. For example, if I'm on the way to Kobox, I'd put a flurry of what I like to call, 'gameface' tunes together for my twenty-minute hike to the gym. Upon arrival I'm ready to climb the fire escapes, bustle on all fours across the apex roof lean back and scream Draggggggoooooo!!

So when the news broke that Spotify did a superhero landing (one fist, one knee) on the stock exchange last month, I was, pardon the pun, all ears. But before I wanted to chip in with my tuppence worth I thought I'd get into the weeds a little bit and breakdown the Spotify model.

Launched in 2008, it is a tech based freemium company developed by Spotify AB in Stockholm that allows you to stream music, podcasts, and video. Spotify earns the majority of its revenue through premium subscription (ad-free service plus higher quality audio stream) of which there is circa 70 million paid users. They then pay the record companies who in turn pay the artists, everybody's happy. Well unless you're Thom Yorke who once heralded the company as 'the last desperate fart of a dying corpse'. 

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Thom has since returned to the platform with his solo albums. I guess some farts smell ok right Thom? Thom's main gripe was that the money doesn't get filtered down to the artist, that the subscription fees are being swallowed by huge swathes of debt the company has encumbered in order to pay off the royalties to record companies. In September 2016, Spotify announced that it had paid a total of over $5 billion to the music industry. 

So how does a company that has accrued such seemingly insurmountable debt, yet to turn a profit be valued at £118 a share? And an estimated worth of. A lot of analysts are speculating this is an inflated price that $30 billion dollars as already hit the high water mark.  

It’s certainly a strong company in regards to the service it offers,” said Jonathan Johnson, a relationship banker in Portland, Oregon told ReutersI’d consider buying it but not at these (price) levels.

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In an interview with Wake up to Money this morning Mouhammed Choukeir Chief Investment Officer at Kleinwort Hambros said "Spotify's biggest challenge is how it will face scrutiny from shareholders around its business model. It pays a lot to record companies, shareholders will demand profit so they'll pay less to the (music) companies. Certain artists have refused the platform and competitors have sprung up in place of that but not succeeded. $30 billion dollars is a 'punchy evaluation'". 

For a full run down on what the insiders are speculating about the future of Spotify, Angela Monaghan wrote a very thorough and detailed account on The Guardian.

My thoughts? Unfortunately, no one got back to me when I reached out to Spotify for a quote for the article, but I'll just shoot from the hip on this one. The reason why I think this is a more sustainable platform than the likes of other IPO companies struggling (Soundcloud, Twitter yet to turn a profit) is that it listens to its audience. When Taylor Swift and Thom Yorke demurred from allowing their music to be streamed, Spotify recognised that these juggernauts could sink them if they didn't garner their trust. Both Taylor and Thom are now back on board, the argument on whether it reduces music piracy is fairly divisive. In a nutshell a commission report has stated there's "clear evidence" of Spotify reducing illegal downloads, with every 47 streams leading to one fewer bootlegged track. But then factor in how many lost sales there are due to free streaming? An interesting guy to follow on Twitter about this is Jon Fingas from Engadget an online publication for home for technology news and reviews who seem to have the lowdown. 

I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts, please find below a link to my 'gameface' playlist.

Boxing Gyms in the UK | Glove London

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BOXING IS IT! It's up at the crack, before the birds are out. Running around the block. Running on Christmas morning. Running on boxing day. Running on your birthday. It's skipping rope until your shins splint. It's awareness, that the guy on the tube might be bigger than you. Might be gnarlier and have a mean streak about him, but you know he's not got the right footwear that will enable him to plant his feet effectively. You know planting your feet is everything, he doesn't.

The smart thing to do in any confrontation is to walk away, run away if you can. But if you can't, then providing your opponent isn't trained in Jujitsu and isn't armed, you're in the box seat. Even if your opponent is twice the size, his fitness levels won't be on a par with yours if you're a boxer. If the fight goes longer than 30 seconds and it hasn't gone to ground, and you're still standing and unhurt, there's a good your chance opponent would have punched himself out with sloppy, ugly-untrained haymakers. Boxing is fitness. It's knowing your surroundings. It's profiling potential threats and getting out in front, nullifying them if you have to but being prepared.

All the work has been done in the gym, the final tweak only happens when you hear the bell ring.

This is boxing.

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I've been getting into my boxing in a big way of late and was delighted to accept the invite from Glove London to attend one of their classes. Glove London is a high-energy, intense class where likeminded people can get together to work out, sweat and socialise. Created by Tom McClelland, fitness industry expert of over 15 years, GLOVE completely embodies his fitness ethos. After 10 years in the USA, owning and operating a boxing gym in Salt Lake City Utah, and becoming one of New York Cities most sought after trainers; Tom realised that there was so much more to working out than the aesthetic side we constantly see displayed on our social media.

Glove London boasts a fully transportable bag-hanging rig that holds up to 10 punch bags and can house up to 20 people per class. They bring the energy of an intense boxing gym workout - punching, slipping and moving with a real boxing coach to ANYWHERE the rig fits.

My thoughts

The workout and the trainer was brilliant, nothing to improve. After a few conversations with Tom, I've learnt that the business model is not necessarily a pop-up which will continually move locations, but a tool whilst scouting for a permanent location. Which makes sense to me as it will drastically reduce rental costs whilst exploiting the full mobility of the equipment. I've learnt from my own experience that it's good to test the market and different encatchment areas for a while before you decide where to settle....hopefully in Clapham for me!

To find out where their next location will be in the city head to www.glovelondon.com. Users can sign up to the mailing list to be the first ones to hear when we have their next pop up location and receive a schedule of classes and social events on at GLOVE that month, straight to you inbox.

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Introducing KOBOX - Fightclub meets Night Club

If you've been following my Instagram stories of late you'll know I've procured a healthy obsession with KOBOX. Yes, I'm working on my bikini body for my upcoming trip to Tanzania, but square pecs and a six-pack aren't just for beach holidays and showy social posts (well some days they are). I've come to the slow realisation that fitness is a way of life. 

For many people joining a boxing gym can be extremely intimidating. Whilst it's nothing like the movies where a trainer asks you to jump in to the ring within seconds of you entering the gym and asks 'ok kid let’s see what you got', it means completely abandoning your comfort zone. 

One of the reasons I've become hooked on KOBOX of late is because there is an acute sense of community. It's ran like a family business and straight I was made to feel like one of the family. All the trainers and staff live and breathe the brand, and want every person who walks through the doors to feel as at home as they all do. 

What is KOBOX?

KOBOX, 50-minute, high intensity classes that will see you tackle all the fundamentals of boxing. Each class is structured in a series of boxing combinations, displayed in HD on the studio wall, making boxing easier than ever. The classes are boxing combined with HIIT training, think 3 minutes on a bag and 3 minutes HIIT...repeated. 

I started off by using these classes once per week just to mix it up a bit as variation in your fitness routine is important (or so I’ve heard!) Now I’m up to 4-5 classes a week and I’m feeling as fit as I’ve felt in such a long time. Each class focuses on a particular muscle group such as Upper Body, Lower Body, Core or a Full Body workout. 

The best part for me is that I can get a sweat on, throw some meaningful punches and not leave with any marks on the cash register (my face!). The music kicks ass and lends a fantastic pulse to the class. The lights dim, the beat drops and as someone at KOBOX has so aptly coined, 'It’s Fight Club Meets Nightclub'.

KOBOX has two London locations one in Chelsea and the other in the City. You simply sign up to koboxlondon.com and buy a pack of classes which you use to book your slot. The booking system is super easy to use and the classes structured with incredible staff. 

I'm now proud to announce I'm an ambassador for the brand and would love to hear from you on what your take on fitness is. Have you attended a KOBOX class and if so please leave some thoughts in the comments below. All feedback welcome. 

The Kronaby Sekel Smartwatch Review

Kronaby is a part of Anima, a company that was founded in 2015 and specialises in purposefully designed smart, connected products. It is now making a significant push with its ambitious smartwatch collection into the SUV car-equivalent sector of the watch industry, the Hybrid - jostling for position in a very cramped sector of the watch industry along with Movado, Fossil and other large watch brands. On first impressions it's a very elegant looking timepiece. The entire collection is made up of four different lines and 24 variants, with unisex models. It's two-tone sterling silver plated dial face has a chic Sunray brushed finish, with contrast white around the applied indexes.

On the outside, it’s an authentic and beautiful timepiece made of materials and components that will stand the test of time. Its magic lies on the inside: we created a movement that can do more than just keep time. We call this approach human technology. This philosophy is the core of our work, from development to design.
— Kronaby

So they talk the talk, but how do they justify the price tag? What can it do that other hybrid smartwatches can't? You'll have to download the Kronaby APP, easy enough. Thankfully the APP is straight forward and I calibrated the the Kronaby Sekel to my smartphone in a matter of minutes. It's a great watch in many ways, and here are takeaways. 

It has some subtle vibration settings that you can amplify for priority. Letting someone know that they're on the maximum wattage of vibration alert has somehow become the ultimate modern day compliment. Conversely there is a Decline Call button, very handy for keeping me present and in the moment when in the company of others. 

I heard ahead of time about the modest amount of fitness-related features. For me this isn't really a problem. I burn most of my calories down the boxing gym and wearing this whilst sparring isn't practical. Any dog walker will tell you they enjoy step count goals. Earlier in the week I set my step goal from the app which meant an extra lap around the park for Charlie so he was happy. You have the option of viewing the progress as a percentage in the dedicated app section or on the secondary dial on the watch.

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As well as a two-year battery life I'd say another great feature for someone like me is the vibration you get when you've been inactive for too long. This is crucial for someone like me when editing video or writing blog posts. Sometimes I can whistle 2-3 hours away sat at the desk and it's important that you take breaks. 

If I had to offer any criticisms, I could say the price point might be just a shade above what I would be willing to spend on a watch that is a Hybrid and not a dress watch. But only just. For a newcomer this Kronaby Sekel can prove it can definitely stand toe-to-toe with the big boys. 

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Getting Back to the Gym with Lean Active | Reviewed

Trying to stay fit and healthy over the winter months is something I've struggled with all of my life, along with pretty much every other 'normal' non #FitFam Londoner! Winter is party season, it's cold outside and it's just so easy to make excuses not to keep up with your fitness regime that we all had nailed in the summer. Well this year is different, I've booked myself up for a winter full of KOBOX classes as well as a monthly membership to British Military Fitness, which is outdoor high-intensity training plus I've still got my monthly membership to Virgin Active in Clapham Old Town. Yes I'm all or nothing when it comes to fitness and wellbeing! Wish me luck.

Booking all of these fitness classes is actually quite financially painful but doing it this way ensures that I'll make the most of them and keep my fitness goals up all through the cold months. To help me with my #gains I've invested in some new pre, during and post workout supplements from Lean Active. Lean are a brand that I found on Instagram, which seems to be the only way that I find new interesting products recently. I was initially drawn in by their flavours including a Cherry Cola pre-workout, my favourite fizzy drink of all time! However when digging into their products themselves they are more them just fantastic flavours. For my first order, I opted for the cherry cola pre-workout, the pineapple crush BCAA hydrate and the strawberry milkshake whey protein. 

Lean Active Cherry Cola Pre-Workout

Lean Active Lifted Focus is a pre workout powder that contains scientifically proven ingredients at optimum dosage levels and is able to provide an intense yet smooth energy boost capable of changing the way you work out.

  • Increases physical performance during high intensity exercise.
  • Helps to improve concentration and alertness for intense workouts.
  • Supports normal mental performance.
  • Stim Boost Pre Workout Drink - 200mg Caffeine per serving, plus 3,000mg Creatine per serving

Lean Active Pineapple Crush BCAA Hydrate

A truly refreshing BCAA powder blend designed to enhance endurance, performance and recovery.

  • Intra-workout formula provides 5g of BCAAs per serving.
  • Branched Chain Amino Acids also contains glutamine, coconut water and electrolytes.
  • Supports immune function during intense sport and exercise.

Lean Active Strawberry Milkshake Whey Protein

High protein recovery drink for increased muscle growth and formulated with high quality ultra-pure whey protein isolate.

  • Whey protein powder growth and recovery formula in three flavours - Chocolate Orange, Strawberry Milkshake & Vanilla Cream.
  • High protein - 24g protein per serving.
  • Low sugar - 0.8g per serving.

Geared Up: Fitbit Ionic Review

Can it compete with the Apple Watch? That was the question on everyone’s lips at the recent European launch of the new Fitbit Ionic. Approximately 100 of us (press and influencers) were flown out for Majorca for 24 hours of high and low impact activity to test out Fitbit’s first step into the smartwatch market.  

We know that the Apple Watch is a juggernaut, having accounted for 80% of smartwatch sales last year so it’s no surprise that Fitbit’s latest product, the Fitbit Ionic, is clearly designed to go head-to-head with Apple. Having never owned or used an Apple Watch it’s difficult for me to compare, so this review is solely based on the characteristics of the Ionic.

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Design

The design of the Ionic is striking and unique, with a stylish, premium feel to it with a choice of three straps (classic, leather or sport). The watch screen is vibrant and colourful and easy to read even in sunlight. You can choose from a variety of watch faces within the Fitbit app, and there are currently lots of eye-catching choices. Personalisation isn’t possible yet.

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The Fitbit Ionic is a comfortable fit on the wrist and very light; so much so that you'll instantly notice how lightweight this feels on your wrist. As someone who has rarely worn a watch, I quickly adapted to wearing it while working out and throughout the day. It’s also waterproof, so you can take this in the shower or even go swimming with it.

I love the raise–to-wake feature on the touchscreen, even if it is a little slow at times. A quick raise/flick of the wrist and you van have a clear look at your stats during a workout or spin cycle.

Features

The Ionic features the heart rate tracker, which according to the company is even more accurate than on other Fitbits thanks to new algorithms and a design that means it sits much closer to the skin.

It’s suitable for running, cycling, swimming, weights and much more and comes with in-built workouts that you can follow on the watch. There’s built-in GPS and being able to look through your data after you’ve been on a long run or ride is a great feature. For running, the new automatic pause option is quite brilliant, which notices, for example, when you’ve stopped to cross at some traffic lights. It pauses your workout, then restart when you begin exercising again. That’s ‘smart’.

There are tailored workouts to show you exactly what to do, and every time you complete one you can supply feedback so Fitbit Coach can work out whether you need something easier or harder next time.

You can also upload music to the Fitbit Ionic, with 2.5GB of free space at your disposal, which allows for around 300 songs. The big plus to this is being able to listen to music on the go without having to take your phone to the gym or on a run but it’s irritating that you can’t integrate with some of the most popular streaming services, such as Spotify or Apple Music.

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Fitbit has also included mobile payments on the Ionic through its own service called ‘Fitbit Pay’ which will (it’s still to launch) allow you to use NFC to pay on contactless terminals with your wrist. Fitbit is partnering with Visa, American Express and Mastercard for this feature and ultimately it will be a useful extra way of being able to make payments when you’re out exercising.

Apps 

The Fitbit Ionic works alongside the Fitbit app on your phone, which is compatible with most modern iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. Right now it’s unclear what third-party options will be included in the future – it’s only Fitbit services for now and the Strava and Starbucks Card apps. At launch, everything on the Ionic App Gallery is free.

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Performance

The Fitbit Ionic’s battery lasts an impressive four and five days with limited usage. If you’re going to be working out a lot with the watch it’ll be a lot less, and the battery gets hit especially hard when using GPS.

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Verdict

I use it every day and on the whole find it very impressive, but as someone who hasn’t used another smartwatch, I have nothing else to compare it with. Now quite iconic yet, but definitely worth a look.

The Fitbit Ionic is priced at £299.00 https://www.fitbit.com/uk/shop/ionic

Why It's Time for a Life & Body Detox

My life 'Online' is great. Just head over to my Instagram account and you'll see that for yourself, but is it really that great in 'real life'? If you peel back those Instagram filters and Photoshop layers you'll uncover the truth. Just a normal guy who experiences the same highs and lows as everyone else, battling through life. Trying to be successful in work, experiencing different cultures through travel, searching for 'the one', trying to find time for friends and family whilst forever thinking what the fuck am I doing with my life?

This weekend started on a Thursday for me, as I was an usher at one of my friends wedding which was taking place on Friday. Being freelance taking time off work is always quite stressful as you have no holiday pay, no sick pay and no pay in general if you don't put in the effort and hours. Right now I'm working so hard creating content and have a variety of different collaborations of which are focused on creating advertorial and editorial content for the brands. Interesting but time-consuming. Having a few days off work made me think about the blogging industry in general, is it really worth all the work for the reward and why I continue to do it? 

5 years ago I left a very successful career in IT working for a privately owned commodities trading house where I was the global head of networks, network security and voice communications. A role that took me around the globe, from DR Congo in Central Africa to the bright lights of Singapore in Asia and everywhere in-between. If only I knew what a travel blogger was back then! I left this career to pursue a better work/life balance, something that, looking back over the last 5 years I've yet to achieve and although blogging isn't the most challenging in terms of intellect it is extremely challenging creatively and mentally. I now work from home 7 days a week from 7.30am to about 10pm most days, if not later. 

The blogging industry is an odd one, it's relatively new in terms of a career and most of the time it is very individual, a bunch of very ambitious, competitive people all contesting in a saturated market place. I've been creating content on my blog since 2014 and built it from a handful of page views to one that now competes with some of the biggest men's lifestyle publications in the UK. I'm really proud of where I've got in this new workspace, but I'm also immensely proud for each and every single men's or women's blogger out there. The very early adopters of the blogging life deserve so much credit, they were the visionaries of what created the industry that many of us work in today. Then you have the remarkable creative bloggers who have refined blogging with their professionalism and exceptional content. This selection of people are the ones who have elevated blogging into editorial content creation, a segment of this industry that is arguably the most cost effective and desirable for brands. Finally you have the late-adopters trying to make it, who are incredible; their desire and ambition keeps us all on our toes. The way we consume data has changed year on year and is going to continue to evolve over time, so who knows where we'll all be in 5 or 10 years time. Each and every blogger deserves credit as you've seen a gap in the market and capitalised on it.

This year I've been working really long hours creating content for men's lifestyle brands as I feel things have really taken off with not only my blogging but my business too and I need to capitalise on the good times. My business is London shirt makers Hawkins & Shepherd and I'm currently in the final stages of creating a new collection of 'Country Shirts' perfect to wear with a tweed jacket and in the early stages of designing a new premium Made-in-Britain range of shirts. It is all taking it's toll on my work life balance as right now there is very little 'life' going on as it is all 'work'. Even events which seem great on Instagram Stories are actually considered as 'work'. 

At 37 and what seems like a great life, I've been successful in my career, I've started a year-on-year growing business and have capitalised on a new industry in blogging. I've met some incredible people, some intelligent people, some people that make me belly laugh for hours and some amazingly beautiful people. All that said I'm still single and spending the weekend at a wedding with incredible couples and families really hit home. Is work effecting my ability to find a girlfriend? Am I concentrating on work too much, that my life and what I desire in my future are being affected? Is work stopping me from seeing my friends and family? Why does work take up every spare hour of every day I have? And is this the reason why I can't seem to give even what 'on paper' is the perfect girl for me a chance? Am I going to be eternally single and 'Uncle Carl' to all of my friends kids? Work has taken over, fact. Which is why I've decided to take a life detox, that doesn't mean that I'm going to stop working - hell no! It just means that my priority's need to change slightly and I'm going to look at delegating more so that I can focus on life again. 

If I look back at my relationship history in the last 7 years, it's been pretty shocking on all accounts. Other than one relationship that we brought out the worst in each other I've only really had a few two months flings (I don't really know what the call them) as they had potential but went nowhere. But it's not only my love life that has taken a backseat due to work commitments but it is also my fitness. Today I felt normal again after a couple of days of insane drinking, so decided to do a boot camp class on Clapham Common with British Military Fitness. How have I got so unfit?! So it's also time for a body detox which I'm going to record my progress as of tomorrow for a couple of months and see how far I can transform in a relatively short timescale of 8 weeks.

 

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Photography by Sophie Milner