Sweet Sixteens a.k.a. hell on a stick

At yesterday’s Muay Thai class I subjected myself to the most gruelling workout I’ve ever encountered, sixteen minutes of pain which goes by the unassuming and viciously deceptive moniker of ‘sweet sixteens’. Before I decribe the routine so y’all can try it at home I should tell you that the day before I had cycled about 15 miles around town and spent an hour or so moving large boxes packed full of books and the like around my storage locker so I could take inventory of what was in there in preparation for gutting the place. That hurt. A lot. Then yesterday I did my usual early-morning gym routine (it’s soooo much quieter) of an hour on weights and then, for shits and giggles, my first 10k on the treadmill, which went swimmingly I must say but left me somewhat drained. Following that I hate to cycle across town in high winds to Portobello to conduct flat viewings (no-one turned up) and then cycle to Leith in said high winds to the Muay Thai gym.

What I’m getting at is that I wasn’t exactly fresh as a daisy when the class started…

We all found a space and did some nice ‘n’ easy warm-ups to get the blood pumping, essentially just shadow boxing with various combinations. This was welcome as it gave me a chance to check out some of the more experienced folk and concentrate on my form.  This didn’t last long though and it was soom time for torture. Here’s a basic rundown of the routine:

Part 1 – Strap on some gloves and find a punchbag. Alternate left and right jabs at the bag as hard and fast as possible for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat 8 times
Part 2 – Remove gloves, do push-ups for 20 secs and during each push-up alternate raising your left and right knee to your chest then returning it before the next one. Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat 8 times.
Part 3 – Return to the punchbag, alternate left and right hooks using the whole body for power (swing hips and shoulders) for 20 seconds, rest for 10. Repeat 8 times.
Part 4 – Squats – drop to one knee with the other knee out in front of you so both knees are at right angles, keeping both hands raised to the face as if in a guard position for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds, repeat 8 times.

Then relax. For the mathematically inclined that’s sixteen minutes of non-stop, heavy-duty motion, sixteen minutes during which your only coherent thought is, “Am I still breathing?”. That said, by the time it was over I felt amazing – obviously the unexpected strain had launched my endorphin HQ into battle stations and sweet jesus did they earn their living. The resulting sensation of being mildly stoned is actually still lurking at the back of my head…

So that’s sweet sixteens. Try ’em if you dare.

2 responses to “Sweet Sixteens a.k.a. hell on a stick

  1. interesting – we always left our gloves on for push-ups – no meer seconds of rest while tearing them off/putting them back on. granted i was in a powder-puff class with a bunch of women there to hit on the instructor -but i always found them harder to keep balance on and good wrist stengtheners.

  2. I thought of keeping the gloves on, seemed kinda sensible rather than scrambling to undo the velcro, but ended up just going with the herd. Decided if my flat ever sells I’m going to buy a 2-bedroom place and kit the spare room out as a mini-gym so I can punch and push-up to my heart’s content…

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