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

The Art of Solving Any Problem: Advice from the Greats

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Today I'm going to share with you all some recent thoughts I've had about problem solving. If you think about it, who in your circles do you go to for good advice? Who are the most pragmatic. Are these people hot-headed? Do they have a wild temperament?

I've been quite horizontal these past couple of weeks and I've found a very relaxed stable frame of mind has helped unravel a lot of complications. I've solved quite a few complex problems because I've managed to emotionally detach myself from said problem.

It's that same old adage, why can you always give good advice but never take your own. Because when you're knee deep in your own problems, it's harder to be objective. There's too much emotion involved.

I've done some more research, looked up a couple of smarter dudes than I on YouTube and wanted to share with you some content on how to be a better problem solver.

TONY ROBBINS 

Motivational speaker and author Tony Robbins was immediately top of my list, and Google's list when it came to finding an authoritarian on the subject of problem solving. 

Here are some quotes and synopsis on the art of problem solving from Tony Robbins: 

Problems are part of life. Life would be boring without problems. As the Chinese say, 'may you live in interesting times'. 

What you should be doing is once you've assessed the problem, work on the solution. Break it up into chunks, 80% of your time should be spent on resolving the problem, whilst only 20% on the problem itself.

Little problems become monsters the longer you dwell on them. First ascertain what is the challenge and how do I turn it around? 

You need to control your focus. And spend less time on the negatives like, 'Why is this happening to me. Why now, why always me?' 

None of that redundant thinking will get you anywhere. Instead use role models in your life to help get you out of a bind. Who else has been through similar crap and how did they manage it?

Imagine you're a parent and your problem is sleep deprivation. Or you can't get your kid enrolled in the school you wanted. Well look around, leverage your rolodex. Who managed to solve this problem previously. Or who has been through similar experiences that you admire and respect. Get their take and have them hand down their secrets on problem solving. 

Important tip

Don't get emotionally overwhelmed. 

Your inherit ability to handle any problem gets squashed because you have not managed to control your emotions.

Remember how great it feels to solve problems. Get in the problem solving business. Take on a massive challenge and pull it off. Be happy. Confident. Systematically handle every problem. It gives you great confidence and ensures a pride of accomplishment.

Manage your own state. Keep your shit together.

Define the problem, then solve the problem.

Come up with a brilliant plan and have momentum. A problem hates your momentum. It really hates when you have a rocket up your arse and won't quit.

3 by STEPS TONY MAZE 

I've never heard of Tony Maze either but I liked his take on reframing the word problem. I've done a quick summary of his theory below. 

Eliminate the word problem from our vocabulary. The oxford defines the word problem as a thing that is difficult to deal with or understand. This implies difficulty which leads on to destructive emotions.

Instead of framing a problem as a problem, call it a 'situation'.

The definition of a situation is as follows: All the circumstances that are happening in a  time and place.

A situation is what is happening. A problem is the difficulty we assign to the situation.  Remove the destructive emotions.

BEN SHAPIRO 

Ben Shapiro famously took down Piers Morgan on his argument for gun control. His take on how to solve problems are closely linked to his theories on how to win arguments. A lot of people’s problems are linked to others that hold some sort of domain over them. How can I confront my boss? How do I stand up to him/her etc. I've summed up some theories by Ben Shapiro below:

Facts don't care about your feelings. (Great quote). 

When you go into debate, say what you want to say. Know what the lead tactic is before you go in. When I took down Piers I knew going in he was going to bring out a kid whose parents had been killed by guns. 

I immediately told him that content of the argument was intellectually dishonest. That he was standing on the graves of murdered victims to make his point. Bring it back to facts, not emotions. If you want to attack me for being emotionally detached, then you're attacking my character not attacking my argument.

TED TALK Shreyans Jain 

God love me a Ted Talk. I often think what would I be able to do a Ted Talk on. Maybe the art of cooking steak. I make a mean steak. 

I digress. 

I got my head into a few Ted Talks regarding the art of problem solving so here are some thoughts shared by a gentleman by the name of Shreyans Jain. 

"We'll figure it out." The more you say it, the more you'll action it. Make it your mantra. Deconstruct any problem and kick ass in life. Say that every morning when you get up. 

Break down your problems, consider it a war of attrition, distil them. 

Important tip 

Problems are solutions waiting to be found. Stay cool. 

You to visualise the outcome. The power of visualisation is incredible. You need to focus on how we fix the problem. 

STEPHEN DUBNER

Fascinating dude that offers alternative sideways views on solving problems. Basically Stephen encourages the notion that you have to be creative to solve complex problems. Sometimes it takes an outsider, an anomaly to view conventional problems in an unconventional way. 

Many big problems are hold to solve because they're multi-layered. They include a lot of variables and people with perverse incentives. How do you solve the famine in India? Not doable. That's why the Brits moved out years ago, there was no hope in solving that problem. 

But what after many years of calcification, you have an anomaly, a freak of nature that comes along. Once in a lifetime like a Ghandi, or Bob Geldof or a Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Nelson Mandela. Someone that can galvanise people to look at problems for what they are.  

How did they solve problems? Through belief. Through optimism. Through peace. 

 

 

 

Switching off over Christmas

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If I could ask one thing of all my readers this Christmas, is to take a break from checking your social feeds. Be present and respect the company of your family and friends whom haven't seen you in a long time. I'll be looking forward to a digital detox in the next couple of weeks and reflecting on what has been another incredible year. 

Whilst my career and public profile has steadily climbed, it's not been without personal sacrifice. Another spurned relationship, more fledgling friendships have materialised, only to turn out to be just that; materialistic. 

My Mistakes

I've made some mistakes with my e-commerce site as I relied heavily on one supply chain that let me down badly, which consequently left me out of stock. I've made those tweaks and the business is continuing to grow now in its 5th year. 

Tips - Make sure you're not being held hostage by anyone in any collaboration. Imagine what you'd do if your business partner walked out on you. Imagine if you're employer makes you redundant tomorrow. What transferrable skills do you have? What options are out there should the worse come to the worse? 

How to be more independent - I've learnt the hard way and one of the best words I learnt this year is called 'optionality'. Meaning if one of my videographers calls in sick, my entire campaign isn't going to fall down like a house of cards. I've networked furiously and built my rolodex so now my round table is filled with knights that bring value, different skills, different opinions and counsel that I depend on deeply. 

Plus points this year

The campaigns have been truly wild and humbling. From working with Reiss, to BMW, (more on that next year) the calibre of brands that resonate with my personal style are reaching out to me is very exciting. I know that might sound a little big-headed, but if I don't blow my own trumpet who else will? 

I also got shortlisted for the Vuelio Menswear Blog of the year for the first time. I lost out in the end to a worthy winner in Ape to Gentleman, but it was an honour to be shortlisted, but next time I'll simply have to lobby harder and pay the judges more. 

The year ahead

After listening to a few development classes I aim to lead a more fulfilling life in the new year. What do I mean by fulfilling? Have you ever wondered how rich people in western society can be miserable, yet some of the most impoverished people around the world have such a buoyant approach to life? 

It's because whilst money can make you happy, it can't fulfil you. Only by leading a life that has value, that has meaning, can you feel fulfilled. 

 Anyway, stay tuned for more 'new man' hokum from me in the new year. Thanks again for reading and for all the engagement on my social platforms. I read every comment and appreciate them all. 

The La Mer Moisturiser Products that are Perfect for Summer

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These past couple of weeks I've been experimenting with the latest La Mer moisturiser. As a side note, the bathroom shelf has become overrun with products of late. The products that I'm becoming inundated with have now started to bleed into other areas of the house and shortly I'll need a conversion to accommodate them. But how about that? Not just a wardrobe for clothes, but a walk in wardrobe for grooming products. 

I digress. 

Anyone knows anything about La Mer, knows they're an indomitable force in the moisturising market. In March they announced the release of their latest innovation The Moisturizing Cool Gel Cream. As with all La Mer products, the Moisturizing Cool Gel Cream features La Mer's signature ferment, the Miracle Broth, as well as the powerful antioxidant the Lime Tea Concentrate, which helps defend the skin from environmental stressors such as pollution.

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Since its inception, La Mer has incorporated the renewing powers of the Miracle Broth in all of its products. Designed to leave the skin with an even and balanced looking complexion. Its worthy to note that they have decreased the percentage down to 5% from 10% for this product, which might not sit well with some of La Mer's ardent fans.

Anyone that has been reading some recent grooming product reviews will discover I've got a somewhat unstable fetishism for an emollient. Will it manage to penetrate your pores and hydrate your skin? Or simply sit on top of your skin and claim squatter’s rights? 

As I'd expect for the price point it does penetrate well, it does enrich and has calmed some mild blemishes I've experience recently. (Easter Eggs take their toll people). It has a citrusy finish, which is satiating but not as pleasant as the Aesop Mandarin Facial Hydrating Creme, believe me it’s yet to be usurped in the great smelling moisturiser department.

I'm not entirely sure if this is designed for oily skin or people prone to bursts of acne, I haven't seen indications or slug lines from the campaign telling me so. So I'm dubious of some of the product reviews on the La Mer site. However, I will say the adverts featuring Kate Hudson are seriously highfalutin. Reminds me of those empty calorie signs you'd see hanging in corner coffee houses reminding you to smile and the world will smile with you

La Mer is really the Mike Tyson of Moisturisers, you might not like all the publicity surrounding him, but he does all his talking in the ring. Not sure if that analogy works but I'm sticking with it. 

 

SHOP LA MER PRODUCTS

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. 

Simba Mattress Review | Get a Better Night's Sleep

It is Easter bank holiday weekend and I've completed a social media poll asking "what are you looking forward to most this Easter" with the options going out or catching up on sleep. Catching up on sleep got 86% of the votes and if I could vote on my own poll that would have been my answer too. Sleep is something that I've taken seriously lately for my wellbeing but it is not just about the number of hours sleep you're getting every night, it's also important to get a good quality night's sleep.

With that in mind, I have been testing out the Simba Luxe Mattress in search for the best possible night's sleep and boy did I get it. I've always been a very active person, playing all the sports from my youth, teens and continued into adulthood. The gym, HIIT classes and boxing is my way of life, so over the years I have put a lot of pressure on my body and in particular my mid and lower back. Over the last year I have suffered continuous problems with my lower back, so much so that I now visit a chiropractor every 2-4 weeks for an adjustment. That has worked wonders, especially during exercise and I no longer have 'twinges' whilst working out and the next day my back isn't aching. 

Saying that, there was still one major problem that I HAD to address and that was my sleep quality. Although the chiropractor adjusted my spine, it doesn't change your lifestyle and habits. I was still waking up in the morning with my lower back painful to move. I would have to move gradually with small movements to loosen my back up before I was able to even get out of bed. I always had an inkling that it was caused from my previous old spring mattress that I have had for about 5 years. My pervious mattress had a dip in the middle and regardless of where you went to sleep you would wake up in the dip! It was also higher near the head, dips lower around my back area and again up at my legs...causing my spine to curve especially if you sleep on your front - like I do.

My Simba Luxe Mattress was delivered exactly when arranged with the courier company called prior to their arrival to double-check you are in. They then install the mattress on the bed that you require (as they are quite heavy) and they take away your old mattress as part of the service. You have the leave the new Simba mattress about 6 hours to settle in to its new home before you lay or sit on it for the first time. Trust me it is worth the wait. Fall back into this mattress and you do not bounce up uncontrollably, the mattress absorbs you and moulds to your body. 

My first night's sleep was better than I've had for years, it was so comfortable I found myself able to sleep on my back with no problems. I didn't wake up at all in the middle of the night to adjust and I woke up feeling incredible, I just wish I had changed my mattress years ago.

If you’re a lover of luxury, a craver of quality or you just want the pinnacle of mattress technology, the Simba Luxe is for you. Limitless luxury, and all in a mattress that fits in a box. An inimitable combination of 10 sumptuous comfort layers, the finest hand-picked fabrics, 10,500 patented conical springs and an ultra-high-definition ‘7-zone’ support base; the Simba Luxe reduces pressure on key compression points across the body and enhances ease of movement throughout the night, whatever your size or sleep style.

Layers of luxury We reinvented what we can put in a mattress, and then layered an extra level of luxury on top of it. The topper alone contains 4,000 of our patented conical pocket springs. It could be a mattress in its own right. But with Luxe it’s just the beginning. The new comfort zone For ultimate support, we developed smaller, finer and more responsive springs - a total of 10,500 over three layers.

Then we varied the tension in the lowest layer to match the zoning in our expertly engineered support base - holding your body in perfect equilibrium. Soothing sleep We re-engineered our supportive, cooling material, Simbatex, especially for the Luxe. It uses charcoal, a natural purifier that delivers superior air flow and durability, so each comfort layer holds its shape and firmness impeccably for 10 years. It’s so soothing to sleep on, we included it twice.

 

Experience the Traditions of the Maasai at Essque Zalu Zanzibar, Tanzania

We all know that a new year brings ambitions for the year ahead with most of us choosing to travel more or to look after ourselves better. I've been looking to combine the two for 2018 by choosing health and wellness holidays and top of my travel bucket list is to visit Tanzania. Whilst researching these types of holidays in Tanzania, I've found an incredible place called ESSQUE ZALU ZANZIBAR which I would like to share with you. Zanzibar is an archipelago off the coast of mainland Tanzania of East Africa, renowned for white sandy beaches with traditional food and culture. Tanzania is blessed with tradition, history, beaches, nature and safari which makes it the perfect holiday destination for 2018.

The Maasai of East Africa have a long tradition of healing rooted in the powerful natural surroundings of the land. Resonating with local techniques and inspired by nature’s energy, the unique Zanzibar Spa at Essque Zalu Zanzibar has partnered with the award-winning AFRICOLOGY brand to create a series of locally inspired spa rituals designed to take guests on a unique, multi sensory wellness journey.

This experience is created to transport their guests to another place, offering a complete break from reality, treatments are carried out in a specially designed Maasai ‘Village’ by Zanzibarian and Tanzanian therapists with an in-depth knowledge of the culture. Guests are cocooned in traditional tents, with variants of the instantly recognisable red and black woven fabrics synonymous with the tribe and intricate wood carvings creating beautiful Maasai-inspired interiors. By the soft glow of suspended lanterns and the heady scent of locally sourced essential oils, the two hour ritual takes place during or after sunset and is intended to take guests on a journey of renewal steeped in the sights, sounds and sensations of Maasai customs.

On further research, the Essque Zalu Zanzibar is more than just a unique traditional spa experience. The accommodation comprises on 40 suites with views of the Indian Ocean amongst lush tropical gardens. There are a variety of different bars and restaurants on site including 'The Jetty' which is perfect for kicking back and enjoying cocktails in the sun or during a romantic sunset.

The ESSQUEPADES are the resorts signature experiences including Swahili Cooking. The experience is carried out in a rustic thatched roof kitchen with state-of-the-art cooking facilities. The studio has been dedicated to native Tanzanian Sous-chef Rose Mosha, who has been developing the cooking classes over her six years with the resort. Then cooking course shows you how to prepare mouthwatering traditional dishes and sample the best that the ‘Spice Island’ has to offer.

If exploring out of the hotel is your thing, the resort will help you make the most of the surrounding area, so if snorkelling, bike tours, beach life or trekking the island is you thing then there will be something for everyone. 

 

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