Testosterone: The X Factor In Your Routine


We all know the situation:


Training is very consistent, diet is excruciatingly good, sleep is regular and everything is as it should be... Well, at least it looks that way on paper.

You start to wonder why you don't feel as excited about training as you once did.

You start to wonder why you're sore for days when the soreness used to last for only a day or two at most.

You also wonder why you no longer look at the opposite sex when they walk past you in the gym or out on the street.

These are all classic signs of low testosterone and they are continuing to occur in an ever increasing number of people in this day and age.


So how did we get here?


Things just aren't like they used to be in the good ol' days of hunting and gathering or outdoor agricultural work.

These days most of us enjoy a routine of waking up as the sun has… Read More >

writen by: Christian Baker 2 years ago 1748 views

The Use and Abuse Of Pre Workout Supplements

Do you remember the first time you ever took a pre workout supplement?

Which one was it? No Xplode, Super Pump, Jack3d, Black Powder?

Whichever one it was I bet there's a good chance you ran around in circles like an excited little school girl telling all your friends that you've just discovered the best supplement in the world and that you can train like an animal and it makes you feel high, happy and invincible all at the same time.

And then what happened?

One day it just didn't feel the same right?

You took your usual 1 scoop, waited a few minutes and then ... A little bit of a buzz but certainly no "I'm high on crack" feeling like you used to get.

So then you went to 2 scoops

And for some of you, even 3 scoops or more

And then came the crash...

If the above scenario describes your… Read More >

writen by: Christian Baker 2 years ago 187624 views

Boxing Olympic Trials: Sometimes, Shit Happens.

Katie Skinner and Marizza Medcalf sparring at my gym, last year. This year, they faced each other for the national 48kg division.


Sometimes, I like to sit back and view the sport of boxing from a distance, if anything to distract myself from my own training, and gain perspective on why we are punching each other in the first place.

2012, has been a big one for amateur boxing, and we’ve only just crept into the month of March. The Olympics are still to come, and as much as some have failed or crept forward themselves, in the selection process, the hard work of staying on top of the best, hasn’t even started.

When I look at the results of the important Aussie based comps, in both the male and female divisions, I’m seeing a change in status, and I’m reminded that boxing is about timing in so many different ways. Elite… Read More >

writen by: Keeta Nova 6 years ago 2348 views

Push ups

Push ups. In just about every martial art somewhere along the coach, sensei, sifu or seargent tells you to get down and try bench pressing the earth. For good reason too, the push up works so many muscle groups and is so easily modified to target other groups that it has remained a staple of sport science since before it was considered science (back when the world was flat).

I’m going to focus this article on the basic push up, it’s the one people get wrong most and the one that is most effective. You run of the mill push up works the following muscles:

Primary muscles
•    Anterior and medial deltoids
•    Triceps
•    Pectoralis major and minor
Secondary muscles (synergists or stabilizers)
•    Rhomboid major and minor.
Read More >

writen by: Sam Atkinson 6 years ago 2491 views

The Dramas of the Boxing Business

Occasionally people ask me if I'd turn pro. Only if I get old and bored. Pro boxing is a different sport. There are different goals and different objectives. Primarily, the main goal is to make money - for yourself, and for the team who support you.

Pro boxing fans often get frustrated when money gets in the way of great sport, and the same can be said for the fighters themselves.

Joel Brunker, the former 2004 Athens Olympian and undefeated professional boxer, who possesses an impressive record of 21wins 0 losses 13KO’s, was left shattered after recent news that he would no longer be given the opportunity to face top ranked featherweight fighter Chris Johns for the WBA Super Featherweight World Title in Singapore on 31st March 2012.

Why? Contract terms and conditions had been agreed upon and were drawn up in December 2011. Everything was going to plan until Joel’s manager Angelo Di Carlo received a phone call from Chris John’s management to inform of… Read More >

writen by: Keeta Nova 6 years ago 1657 views

Self defence and sport martial arts

I’ve been in quite a few street fights. More than one who calls himself a martial artist should do, but nonetheless I have learnt a great deal about the difference between a sanctioned match up with weight divisions and a throwdown in the local boozer. In this article I’ll try to explain some of those differences and help to clear the air regarding style vs. style and what actually works. At the risk of having the Brazilian mafia come for me and choke me out, I will say that using the art of Jiu Jitsu is a great way to get yourself hurt in a streetfight. Let me clarify though that Jiu Jitsu techniques have saved my skin from serious beatings in the past but at the same time the chunk of flesh removed from my hamstring is testament to the fact that men are animals and will do what they must to avoid an armbar, even resorting to biting a steak out of you. No, if you end up on the ground in a streetfight (which is often where streetfights end up) it is wise to use the principals of… Read More >

writen by: Sam Atkinson 7 years ago 1797 views

Road to London – Tongan Boxing and Olympic Dreams.

By Lomalito Moala for Brilicious Magazine

I started boxing when I was eleven years old, and in my second week of training I had my first fight. I didn’t even know how to fight, just gave it a go. I guess my trainer believed in me, even though I was so young and only 36 kilos.

Before school I would run at the beach, or up hills, and at night I’d train at the gym – hit the bags, lift weights and lots of bodyweight exercises. Even though I was eleven years old, I trained every day. I used to want to be a world champ, make the Olympics, and obviously win a medal. That’s still my dream today.

The highlight of my career so far, would be winning the Commonwealth Games… Read More >

writen by: Keeta Nova 7 years ago 3346 views

Boxing in Skirts

The official push for women to box in skirts for London 2012 has stirred up some feisty female boxers. Most oppose the decision.

From a sport’s marketing point of view, the change from trunks to skirts, is about boosting the popularity of women’s boxing. How can a bi-gender sport be publicised as such, if both the women and men look the same from a distance?

The skirt is a small attempt to rid the stereotype of female boxers as butch lesbians who lack class and femininity. The end result would be an increased global interest, more television broadcasts, and more girls getting in the ring because they feel accepted doing so, even though they are chicks.

What’s my opinion on skirts? I like them. I don’t feel the push is sexist or for the benefit of perving men. I think any guy who’s turned on by two chicks bashing each other up, is going to feel the same if they are in trunks anyway.  

At this stage, anyone with… Read More >

writen by: Keeta Nova 7 years ago 3694 views

Old guy in the sauna - part one.

An old guy tried to argue with me in the sauna. I think I left him disappointed.

Firstly, as opinionated as I may be, I don't argue about boxing. Secondly, saunas are hot enough without any added controversy from old men.

So, I've saved up all my opinions, and I will air them on this blog instead. This way, if he's going to grumble back, he can post a comment, and I don't have to hear any of it.

He was telling me that a boxer should always move forwards. No big deal, a fair share of other boxers and their coaches reading this would agree with him. Except those with any international credibility, and me.

A skilled boxer can move forwards. They can also move backwards, laterally both ways, and punch on the move. If you can't do it, what's your plan when your opponent can?

I'm personally impressed with body shots thrown on the back-foot, and boxers who can use the ropes creatively to set up an attack. Of course they have to get away… Read More >

writen by: Keeta Nova 7 years ago 2003 views

Sparring etiquette – part two

Today’s lesson in Sparring Etiquette is the proper way to set up a spar, so listen hard kids.

As a trainer myself, I’m used to setting up my own spars. Here is a recent effort of my own, to set up a spar with another boxer.

I looked through my Facebook friends, found an interesting boxer, explained in my status that I wanted to spar this particular guy. My reason was he’s the only boxer left in his gym that I haven’t ‘done’ yet.

‘When did ya want that spar tooth fairy?’ was his response.

A comment like this means the boxer is interested, and is seeking a time and location.

‘Come and get me. I’m wearing a skirt and no mouthguard, but I’m ready for ya princess.’

‘Alright. Gonna fight ya with one arm and my eyes closed.’

‘Like a pirate?’

‘Like a ninja with his scarf tied around his eyes.’

‘Bite my pink… Read More >

writen by: Keeta Nova 7 years ago 2422 views

Sparring etiquette – part one.

I explained to a mate once, that you need to look after your sparring partners. If you put them out of training, you no longer have them to spar.

‘I don’t care,’ he said, ‘I like variety.’

With all the gyms and varying attitudes out there, a few boxer bitch fights in sparring are inevitable. Not everyone will get along and misunderstandings happen.

Same goes with the trainers who sometimes seem better at picking fights than their fighters. Isn’t this the whole reason anyone shows support for the masters? They know a few grey haired trainers who have been at it verbally for the past fifteen years, and they are ready for some long awaited ring action.

Sparring etiquette applies to boxers, trainers, by-standing girlfriends (and boyfriends), gym-dogs and anyone or anything else that could spark some controversy during a spar.

The whole idea, is show some respect.

If you’re looking for a hard spar,… Read More >

writen by: Keeta Nova 7 years ago 2097 views

My gym has hairdryers

My gym has hairdryers, a few of them in fact, and hair straighteners. I’m not certain if they are in the boy’s dunnies too, but I don’t think I’ll look there.

I did try and use them once, with a great deal of enthusiasm, but I’m just not good at that stuff and I soon gave up. But the point is, my gym has them, and now my standards are getting high and snobby.

I first started boxing in a garage in rural NSW. I was the only girl there, and the only white fella. The whole place was simple, with two bags and a cement floor. At the time I didn’t complain because I was just stoked to be there.

My trainer used to ride his bike beside me for road runs, and in all my time boxing, I doubt I’ve ever received so much genuine encouragement.

But they didn’t have hairdryers.

I’ve been to a stack load of gyms, for sparring. I’ve been to mixed martial arts gyms that stink of sweat and are only open… Read More >

writen by: Keeta Nova 7 years ago 2085 views

Stupid stuff to call out in a crowd.

Here’s my collection of random comments I’ve heard called from a crowd.


‘She’s f&#kd your boyfriend. Punch her.’


‘Where’s the jelly?’


‘Wake up, ref, everybody’s wiggling. Wake up, ref, we really need you.’ (Taken from The Wiggles ‘Wake up Jeff’ song.)


‘No blue – you’re not Roy Jones.’


‘These guys are huge…. Oi Tokyo wants Godzilla back.’


‘You’re a boxer, not a fairy.’


 ‘Oh you’re so cute. Go little boys!’


‘Leave his nuts alone!’

Read More >

writen by: Keeta Nova 7 years ago 1720 views

Bogans getting brain damage.

Despite popular belief that amateur boxing is for aggressive mugs, I am still convinced it is a safe sport.

The rules and training strategies have changed over the last hundred years. Try and use statistics of injuries and brain damage from back then, and it doesn’t work. There is no real evidence that the sport offers a high risk, compared to others, as it stands today.

Common brain injuries among athletes are often attributed to dodgy rules that existed early last century, or negative lifestyle factors including drugs and street fights. Medical associations will disagree, but reading any documentation they’ve published only demonstrates any rules they’ve read were on the back of some dunny paper. They haven’t even researched the sport on a basic level.

Boxing, like anything can be as dangerous as you’d like it to be – just like driving a car or playing footy. And I swear if you have a high number of fights and spar hard… Read More >

writen by: Keeta Nova 7 years ago 1822 views

Weightlifting part 3

Welcome to the last instalment of my 3 part series on weightlifting for sports. In my last article I dealt with the bench press, chin up, squat and deadlift. In this article I will be addressing the Olympic lifts, the snatch and the clean and jerk, by far the kings of all exercises.

Olympic lifts not only require strength but power and technical ability. Efficiency is key to both the lifts; the idea is that through technical lifting minimal effort will be required to lift maximum weight. This technical ability, combined with a great amount of strength and power, is what allows Hossein Razezadeh of Iran to snatch 213.0 kilograms and to clean and jerk 263.5 kg while weighing in at 162 kg.

In weightlifting the snatch is the first lift performed. The lifter starts by establishing their grip on the bar which can be as wide as the collars of the bar, they then proceed to bring the bar upward in one explosive movement utilizing the hips, glutes and quads. This… Read More >

writen by: Sam Atkinson 7 years ago 1503 views

Weightliftin part 2

In my last article/rant I spoke about weightlifting and the types of weight lifting that are beneficial for fighters. I wrote a lot about Olympic and powerlifting and how they are better than the pin weighted machines that lock you in place and restrict your range of motion.

In this article I will address the bench press, chin up, squat and deadlift. These movements form the core of maximum strength training. If you can’t do these adequately then you will need to get into the gym and work on it.

The bench press is a fundamental movement in powerlifting and is used for training the chest, triceps and core. First off though, if you can’t do 30 push ups with good form you can leave bench pressing out of your program. In fact if you can’t do 30 push ups with good form then you shouldn’t be stepping in the ring very soon.

Take a look at how powerlifters bench press, they arch their backs, dig their heels into the ground and hook their… Read More >

writen by: Sam Atkinson 7 years ago 1597 views

Hand Speed, Foot Speed

If I could bottle hand speed, and sell it, I would.

I'd then buy a private jet, a large island somewhere, and spend my days sleeping and watching old Calzaghe fights.

Hand speed is one of the most talked about, most bragged about, and most misunderstood attributes of a boxer, or any martial artist. Probably cause everyone wants it, but no one can precisely explain how to get it.

I have a few non-revolutionary ideas.

Joint and muscle quality. If your body is riddled with aches and pains, stiff joints and tense muscles, don't expect phenomenal speed. Every movement requires your body to force through any biomechanical imperfections. If the pathway for kinetic energy is blocked, the force takes longer to execute. Remedies include physio, deep tissue massage, saunas and ice baths – depending on what your individual concerns are.

Warm up. Before training, sparring or competition, raise the temperature of your body. Disregard static… Read More >

writen by: Keeta Nova 7 years ago 2067 views

Ring Girling - The Ultimate Sport

I have been asked to blog about boxing. The good thing about blogging, rather than reporting, is I don’t have to be so politically correct. I can get messy with the real issues that matter to the world, and if my personal opinion slides in, so what?

I choose my first blog to be about ring girls. Sure they get plenty of photos taken of them, but if I don’t start writing about them, I doubt anyone else will. To me, these girls are true heroes, and their efforts never gain adequate recognition. Many of the girls I box with, and one bisexual promoter I know, are determined to overpower these girls with the introduction of ring boys. Supposedly, improving sexual equality in boxing requires more macho men without shirts – especially if they are tanned and smell of baby oil.

Ring girls are quality performers. They require skill, athleticism and the competition is harsh. They enthuse the crowd and stop the refs from having micro sleeps. I could almost step… Read More >

writen by: Keeta Nova 7 years ago 2228 views


Something I have been getting asked about a lot lately is weightlifting, how many reps? What type of lifts? How often to lift? In this article I will try to explain a little bit about different types of lifting and what is preferred for different sports.

The first thing you should know is that apart from specific exercises for rehab purposes the pin weighted machines you’ll find in a massive Mcgym with a name sounding like, oh I don’t know, Witness Wirst, are useless. These hunks of crap hold you in a single position and force you into their limited range of motion in the name of safety. This is at a detriment to your workout for a number of reasons, and not just that you could use the wasted metal these machines are made from to build a nice cage.

The first is a lack of body awareness and coordination needed for these moves, you just strap yourself in and you then have no way of screwing the move up. What’s the point? Is it so you can play angry… Read More >

writen by: Sam Atkinson 7 years ago 1601 views

Boxing stories from the old days

An eighty-year-old, ex pro fighter started talking to me in the gym. He's had nearly as many fights, as the number of years he's been alive. He makes more sense than most of the younger people I know in boxing, and has the ego of a newbie on their first day in the gym.

He also doesn't do much to support the idea that old school boxing was dangerous. No punch drunkenness here. I swear he goes faster on the treadmill than me.

He said, when he first started in the amateurs, no one really taught him any skill. Back then there were thousands of fighters, you just turned up at training and with little notice, suddenly someone had scheduled you a fight for the following night.

Boxing needed to be naturally in you. The top fighters were given little instruction, they were just born talented. I snuck a look at his BoxRec profile – he must have had talent.

He explained that he'd never even been shown how to hit properly, and only recently realised that… Read More >

writen by: Keeta Nova 7 years ago 1859 views


Warning: The following article contains math, science, and big words. Reader beware, you may learn from reading this.

Running and fighting. One’s mind is immediately taken to images of rocky getting up before dawn to skoll a pint of eggs and run through the cold streets of Philadelphia to the sound of his very own theme. Awesome. Everytime I see him get to the top of those stairs I leap out of my seat and start shadow boxing with the stallion. My girlfriend the hides her face and pretends not to know who I am.

Running is a staple of training, I am yet to find a sport for which running is not something worth doing in some form or another. Traditionally boxers have used it to help them stay on their toes and to help keep their weight down and sprints to increase cardiac output. The whole thing results in an increase of VO2 max.

Read More >

writen by: Sam Atkinson 7 years ago 1598 views

Women's boxing and the media.

Over the past few years, I have read many newspaper articles about female boxers. They usually appear in small local publications, as an eccentric feel-good story, and the word 'Olympics' is always shoved in somewhere.

The girls are always passionate, and tell us in delight how they lift weights three times a week and spar with the boys. Their coach gets in there with some praise, cause he knows this press will be a great promotion for his gym; and he will boast about how tough she is, how hard she trains, and how he admires her determination to succeed.

I was interviewed once by one of the most condescending male journalists I have ever met. He was at my gym to profile another female, and decided to slip me a testing question.

'If you get your nose broken, will you run to the arms of a big strong man?'

I took a deep breathe, looked at him calmly, and said – 'no'.

My lack of enthusiasm wasn't published in his paper.

I have never… Read More >

writen by: Keeta Nova 7 years ago 1963 views

Injuries suck

As fighters it’s hard to admit when we’re in pain. I mean pain is our business; we can’t be upset by it. It makes you look weak, cowed, some people may not even think you’re telling the truth, that you’re just ducking training.

This idea can make people push through the pain and stay in the gym when you really should be sitting down with an ice pack. It’s a dangerous thing to do as you run the risk of doing further damage. You may not even need to stop altogether, but there are some things you should do as soon as you feel hurt.

First you need to stop working out and assess the injury. Is it something simple like a bruise or cut, or is it something more serious? Cuts and bruises are easy enough to deal with on the spot and don’t usually call for a complete stop to training. Ice, rest and some bandages applied at the direction of an experienced gym instructor almost always do the trick.

When the injury is more… Read More >

writen by: Sam Atkinson 7 years ago 1477 views

Drill it

In my work as a personal trainer for mmapersonaltraining.com.au I get asked a lot of questions. One I get a lot is "How do I throw a punch properly?"

Most people who ask me this question have never thrown a punch in their life, which is fair enough. I then proceed to teach them how to stand, one foot back, heel up, hands up, throw straight, don't overthrow, etc. They always make a few mistakes and I have never expected otherwise.

I then correct them. "It's all so much to remember!" They cry. It is. It is worth it though.

But alas, many give up before they can throw a punch, simply because it's mentally hard to go through the repetitive drilling for hours and hours. You can do something wrong ten thousand times and get it right only once, most of the time it's when the instructor isn't looking.

But this is the process that makes great fighters. If you want to throw a punch right you need to throw a thousand punches. Drill them till you hate them then… Read More >

writen by: Sam Atkinson 7 years ago 1626 views

Training for an Anaerobic Sport

Recently, I've been working with a few different amateur boxing trainers and I'm loving their progressive strategies in training for an anaerobic sport.

The old school approach usually includes a long circuit. Boxers might skip to warm up before rotating through various stations – heavy bags, floor-to-ceiling, speedballs, shadow and maybe some pads. An hour or so later, they're feeling productive and sweaty, but this approach has not mimicked the demands of three two minute rounds in amateur competition.

I'm starting to see some gyms splitting a long training session into shorter sets of 5-10 minutes, followed by a break of up to 20 minutes. And by a break, I mean a real break. The boxers are out the back, phoning their friends or reading magazines. It now seems that even the latest issue of Cornerman can be considered an 'active rest'.

While traditional trainers may consider this practise as lazy, the trainers who are accepting these new methods are… Read More >

writen by: Keeta Nova 7 years ago 1635 views