Thursday, November 27, 2008

Is the Shadowboxer VRT too expensive?

To all those that think the Shadowboxer VRT is too expensive...We just noticed this review of the training DVD that comes FREE with your purchase. The boxing capital gang reviewed the DVD. Now I must admit we didn't know they did this but it makes for interesting reading. Click here to read the full review. Now remember the guys at Boxing Capital are either ex-boxers or still keep their hand in so they are talking from experience. They know about punching, overall cardio fitness and competitive fighting. So it's an informed opinion. They also provide in my opinion the most thorough reviews we have had and we are planning to use this expert feedback for future product development, which we could tell you about but then we have to kill you ; )

Anyway, they think it's worth £15+ when compared to all the celeb fitness DVD's out there, so bearing in mind the VRT is selling for £64.99 Free P&P we believe as a total package it represents fair value when you compare it to what's currently on the market. Consider this:
  • One months gym membership would cost about the same
  • Multi-gyms would cost substantially more and you can't really take them with you. They would be a rather large suspicious bulge in your bag and you might need a forklift to help!
  • NO product currently offers you dynamic & mobile resistance to your punching and fitness exercises quite like the VRT
(ok ok I'll get off my soap box...and step away from the keyboard).

You gotta be in it to win it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Urban Krav Maga & Shadowboxer

We recently visited the Central London School of Krav Maga, in Oxford Street under their Senior Instructor Stewart McGill. Stewart has impressive credentials, having been trained by Yamaguchi Hanshi, Goju Ryu and been an instructor with the International Krav Maga Federation. He has also trained with the Israel Krav Maga Association and trains in boxing and MMA so it should come as no surprise that Stewart has a no nosense, no frills and very direct attitude to training. What better place to test the Shadowboxer VRT out but with his students.

So Nigel (Bald guy, professional PT, 20 years of Jujitsu) and I took them through their paces with a 15-20 minute work out. See the video clips for a taste of the session.
After a nice gentle loosener we got them doing some military press sets...just to warm those shoulders up and great for developing punching power and stamina...

As you can see it's hard work and it really works those shoulders. I won't go through the entire workout. But we also did some punching (milling) sets with pads. You don't really need to do this with pads but it is a martial arts class so we thought it would be rude not to.

We finished off with some reverse crunch situps (see 1st picture) and paired resisted sits ups. All in all the Krav Maga students seemed to like the workout and realised how versatile the VRT truly is. As we always say "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". The Krav Maga guys have voted with their pockets and bought quite a few units.
Thanks to Stewart McGill for graciously inviting us to his class and allowing us to teach and thanks to his students, whom gave it everything they had for the workout, they didn't hold back and were truly knackered after the workout. If you would like to know more about Krav Maga Stewart McGill, despite being pretty lethal, is a friendly, approachable guy and would, I'm sure would welcome enquiries.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Work Those Legs...Drive with the HIPS!

Sorry we haven't had a chance to blog recently, but is seems that everyone's is rushing to buy the VRT's for Christmas, so we've been rushed off our feet!

Here's a little exercise that we borrowed from a boxing gym, courtesy of Tony Cesay. We have shared this with many fighters and here's a picture of Dean Amasinger, MMA Team Rough House, trying it out.

Wear the Shadowboxer VRT as shown in the picture and make sure your coach or training partner has a firm grip of the handles.
  1. Get within range with a heavy bag and then make sure your trainer/partner pulls back so the cords are under tension.
  2. DON'T LEAN FORWARD from the upper body. which is the temptation but instead use your legs to drive forward from the hips keeping the body position upright. Get your trainer/partner to periodically correct you.
  3. Do your usual punching sets or sequences on the heavy bag
Advanced tip:
If you're feeling energetic your partner should move rapidly from side to side destabilising your stance. This means you really have to grip the ground with your legs and drive forward from the hips to hit the heavy bag.

Boxers and martial artists use this to develop strong footwork and using the Shadowoxer VRT in this way makes you very aware of your footwork so you can work it.

Have fun.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Independent Review from

We are interested in feedback from everyone that uses our product but it's always nice to hear views and reviews from boxers, fighters and fitness professionals alike as you know that these people are likely to be more discerning than the average person (you and I).

Boxing Capital is a new website that uniquely combines Boxing News, Comprehensive Equipment Reviews, Technique Tips, Betting and Travel advice. It is run by boxers and enthusiasts for boxers and enthusiasts so we supplied them with a Versatile Resistance Trainer gave them a quick demo in a London Pub which got some strange looks, then we sat back and eagerly awaited the review to see what they thought. In total three guys with fight experience literally fought over trying the product out! A good start.

In summary they said "We believe this products really is an essential training accessory and an item every Professional Boxer and Amateur Boxing Club should give serious consideration to. It is so easy to use absolutely anywhere and can be used in a wide variety of exercises. Add in the potential benefits from regular use and the price of GBP 64.99 represents excellent value."

For the full, detailed, unedited review click here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dean 'The Renagade' using Shadowboxer VRT on a Heavy Bag

We've been really busy at Shadow Boxer UK and so apologies for not posting for a while. Here's a great little clip of Dean 'The Renegade' Amasinger using the Shadowboxer VRT on the heavy bag. The VRT is designed so that you don't have to hit things and risk damaging your hands but if you want the best of both worlds...

Look out for us in the upcoming issue of Fighters Only Magazine. Keep training.

Warning: Do not attempt this unless you are used to hitting a heavy bag, BARE KNUCKLE.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What George Hillyard (Pro-Boxer) thinks...

I recent met George Hillyard a young professional boxer who uses the Shadowboxer VRT. After a short discussion and sharing some ideas on how we both use the VRT, I just had to film him. Remember, we don't sponsor George but I loved his enthusiasm so much that I just had to get him talking about the product on camera, hence you can hear me laughing in the background. See the two video clips.

Suffice to say that we are now looking at sponsoring George such was his enthusiasm, added to the fact that he is just such a nice bloke. He is truly a good role model and we want to support George in the challenges that lie ahead of him.

We have been invited to film one of George's training sessions and will post this also so you can get an idea of the wide range of things that you can use the shadowboxer for.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fighters Only Review This Month

So you don't have to believe us harp on about how good the Shadowboxer VRT is here's a recent independent review...

You should be able to double click on the article so it's not so much on an eye test.

After some exercises that we recently recommended, Dean Amasinger, a professional MMA fighter said "It increases (punching) speed and power and that snap that you really can't you that extra inch that you're really going to need in a will add to your cardio and your muscular endurance we were working the abs also and I couldn't believe how hard it was, it was really working the lower abs and it took a lot of focus to use."

After George Hillyard, a professional boxer was recently shown the ropes on how to use it he said "For my punching it makes me sharper and helps with faster hands speed and power. I'm not just saying this 'cos you're here, but its like a mini multi- gym. I was initially using it just for shadowboxing but now I know I've tried that range of exercises I think it's unbelievable. When you think of it like that it's great value."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

MORE than just a PUNCH -- Reverse Crunch

Recently, we met George Hillyard, a light middle weight boxer who uses the Shadowboxer VRT. Apart from being a throughly nice chap, it became apparent that after a short discussion that he wasn't aware that the VRT could be used for a wide variety of exercises aside from punching. So we decided to give him a quick run down and he was very impressed after our short session. So it is with this in mind that I have included the following exercise.

  1. Loop the Shadowboxer VRT over your feet as shown on the image.
  2. The start position is to lay with your back flat against the floor with your legs vertically pointing up to the ceiling. Your feet should flat, do this by pulling your toes back. Your hips is on the ground at this point and you will need to pull the handles back to your waist to they are taught. (hold the handles however feels most comfortable for you, personally I hold the handles in a gun like position by the orange plastic body)
  3. Now as you breath out lift your hip in a controlled manner (i.e. don't throw the hips) 1-2 inches off the ground, keeping the legs in a vertical position.
  4. Slowly lower them back to the floor, in a controlled way, breathing in.
  5. Repeat 15 reps, 3 times.
This exercise targets the lower part of your abs, which many people struggle with. It is a very tough exercise and so an easier version is to do this laying on your back with your knees bent and the VRT over your shins, so there is less tension on the cables.

These muscles are very important for posture and weaknesses here are the root cause of a lot of lower back pain due to bad hip position. If you exercise this area not only will you look considerably slimmer but your posture will improve. If a beer belly is your probem a few weeks of this and you'll be shocked by the difference.

George and the numerous MMA fighters we work with loved this exercise and that's why we're sharing it...Enjoy.

Warning: if you feel back pain when attempting this exercise, stop immediately and seek the advice of a doctor or professional gym instructor.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Media Appearances #4

We always believed the product was good, now it's officially The Nuts. Nigel (our model) is popping up everywhere...! We featured in Nuts magazine under the gadgets section so word is spreading. Where is he gonna pop up next?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Paul 'Semtex' Daley Vs Bojan Kosednar

Our newly sponsored MMA fighter Paul Daley fought this weekend and had a decisive victory. The following fight report is provided courtesy of Fighters Only Magazine and pictures courtesy of MMAweekly:

Fight Report

Welterweight star Paul Daley made an emphatic return to action after a self-imposed exile of six months with a stunning first round knock out over tough Slovenian fighter Bojan Kosednar.

Daley dropped his opponent three times in the first round, with the third and final knockdown a perfect left hook that left Kosednar face down on the canvas. In what was touted as a tough test for Daley, Kosednar was made to look less than average, such was Daley’s skill in handling the European.

Cementing his position as the UK’s top pound for pound fighter, Daley’s status as the UK’s top welterweight is difficult to dispute.
Paul already has recognised explosive punching power and he now incorporates Shadowboxer VRT into his training regime and believes this will improve his power, speed and core fitness. His opponents should beware...!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Paul 'Semtex' Daley joins the Shadowboxer club

We are proud to sponsor the Cage Rage World Welter Weight Champion, Paul 'Semtex' Daley. We visited the Bushido MMA Academy that Paul trains at in Nottingham to see him going through his paces before his next fight against Bojan 'Zelva' Kosendar at The Rough House 7. Paul is headlining and we wish him luck, not that he needs it. Paul already has explosive power and an impressive (T)KO record with 12 (70.59%) of his opponents Knocked Out. So what did this lean fighting fit athlete have to say about using the Shadowboxer VRT? Paul said "Shadoxer is a great piece of equipment, it's very versatile, as a mixed martial artist our training covers a lot of different aspects of combat and this fits in with all of it. It increases power also, I've got a good knock out record as it is and this can only benefit it". Bojan watch out.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Feedback from a customer

Tonight I did 7 sets of 100 on the pads and put the heavyweight resistance cords on to take the sting out of my punches as my fiancee was holding the pads for me and she is only 7.5 stones. Lets just say it worked, she had no problem holding the pads for me and within 15 mins I was completely burnt out and had a better pump on my shoulders than any weights session that I could have done. I am truly impressed at how much effort the shadow boxer takes and think it is a definite fast track method to improving speed and strength.

P.S. I've been wearing it backwards so even with hands in guard position I am under tension which can only help to train those hands to stay up at all times in the future, also I can agree with you that it will help correct punching technique as concentration is required to throw a straight punch as the cord is pulling down on the fist at the full extension of my reach especially when tired at the end of a good sesh.

If someone is holding the pads for you when using shadowboxer then the pads should be positioned at the end of your reach so that you have to fully extend the arm to hit the pad this helps for a better workout and also helps if the person holding the pads for you is a lot smaller like my fiancee 7.5 stone vs me 13.2 stone just to make sure that there is less chance of jarring or damaging the shoulders of the pad partner.

Once again thanks for a great product and your interest in my feedback 10/10


[note: Just to put the feedback in context Carl used to train for 30+ hours a week in Thai Boxing]

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Russian Twists -- Lose those 'love handles'!

The Shadowboxer VRT is not just for "super-charing your punches" as one customer put it. There are a variety of exercises that you can use it for. So here's an exercise for not only strengthening your core but it also tones up that common problem area...your obliques AKA 'love handles'. If you're interested in combat, strong punching power comes from a powerful hip rotation so having good abs and obliques is essential.
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent
  2. Attach the Shadowboxer VRT just above the knees allowing for some space between the legs. Ensure the velcro is firmly in place you can test this by trying to pull your knees apart. The velcro shouldn't budge.
  3. Place you hands at chest level so there is a right angle between your forearm and upper arm...this is your starting position
  4. Now twist to the left and forcefully swing your arms in a circular motion, maintaining the distance between your chest and hands
  5. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side
  6. Repeat 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Points to watch
  • Don't let the hip rotate forward. Try and maintain a neutral tilt in the hip or even slightly up turned if you can. The buttocks will be held firm if you do this correctly.
  • Hold a firm stomach as this will engage the abdominal muscles. Tilting the hip as above will help with this also.
The beauty of this is no need for bulky multi-gym equipment or humongous crossover machines. You certainly can't take those outside with you to exercise in the little sun shine that we might get in good ole' blighty!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Stretching - Figure of '8' Shoulder Rotation

Now if you're anything like me when you get your Shadowboxer VRT you just want to get it on and start punching...BUT WAIT. As I'm sure most of you know but only a few of us do we should stretch before and after an exercise routine. The most commonly agreed upon way to prevent injuries is to stretch. For those of you that do stretch the question is 'do you stretch both major and minor muscles (the muscles that are responsible for keeping the joint aligned)? These minor muscles are often the cause of many injuries, just ask any physio. The best way to stretch them is to roll the joint in a circular motion. This loosens up the minor muscles.

So here's one stretch that is particularly good before using your Shadowboxer VRT.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and 'soft' knees (slightly bent) and your arms by your side
  • Starting with the left look down at your left hand and (slowly) swing the arm backwards in a large circular motion keeping your eyes on your hand as you go. Also try to go to full range.
  • The arm should now swing forward diagonally across the front of your body continuing downwards toward the right hip.
  • The arms now completes the second part of the figure of '8' movement circling upward to the right shoulder.
  • Finally from the right shoulder the arm continues downwards to the left hip and the original starting position.
  • Remembering to keep movements smooth and let the hand position move naturally, don't force anything, but do try and swing to full range.
  • Repeat 15-20 times on each arm and also reverse directions of the swing.
Note: Following the swing with your eyes and going to full extension will give you a full stretch without putting too much strain on the neck vertebrae or stress on a part of the shoulder that might have a low grade rotator cuff injury.

This stretch comes courtesy of Bruce Miller 7th Dan Quan Li K'an. I attended one of his courses on Acupuncture and Stretching recently. Bruce is a Physician Assistant and Internal Medicine Practitioner also. However, there's no hocas pocas with Bruce as he surprisingly applies Pragmatic Scientific principles to what he teaches and his knowledge of anatomy is deep as it is wide. We hope to get contributions from Bruce in the Future. Click here for his web site.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Is the VRT strong enough?

We have just been asked the question about the Shadowboxer VRT and we think it is a good one. We wanted to share the answer with people considering buying a VRT or two.

I am quite strong and this looks like a great piece of kit. My worry is that it will not be of any real use, is it strong enough?

We performed a series of durability tests on a sample batch of the Shadowboxer VRT products (conducted by SGS a Product Testing Company) and we found that the breaking force required was around 40-45Kgs at an extension of 1520mm or 6 stone 4lbs at 5ft extension in old money (per arm!). So someone would have to have a 6 stone punch AND 5ft reach! In other words they would have to punch pretty bloody hard and have arms longer than a fully grown Orangutan!

We have also had a number of 'high mileage units' in corners at a number of boxing gyms. These get used everyday by virtually everyone that steps into the ring. We continually check up on these units to see if all is well...we've had no problems. So we are confident that the product is durable.

Finally, the bald guy in the photos used to be a body builder and regular uses it and coaches people with it. He's fairly strong and we tested him, attaching it around his legs (just above his knees) and got him to do some military presses (pictures as per blog and web site) he was shocked at how difficult it was and struggled to hold the pose for the photo. By the way this is regularly how we get people to try the VRT out for themselves. As soon as they try it out their wide eyes & shock is worth a thousand words and usually are a good indication that it's much harder than it looks...

We have been selling these for a while in Australia (well over a year and supply Rebel Sports, the equivalent of JJB in the UK) and for the VRT2's we have had no reported breakages. In the UK we have not had one VRT2 unit returned and we've sold getting on for 1000 units (we're fairly new in the UK).

We don't just run the business we're users of the product some of us use it as part of our martial arts & fitness workouts, some as part of a weights set, some for boxing (just so you know we're not a bunch of guy's in suits)

I hope this information has been helpful, if you do have any further questions please do not hesitate to email us.

Media Appearance #3

Some of the guys at Mens Fitness magazine are getting into boxing training as a way to get fit and hence they are featuring our product in the section "This month, we're really into...". The team at the magazine loved using the product and we're kind enough to feature us. Spread the lurrve...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Glamour of a Photo Shoot...NOT!

So you've seen the images a bald, fairly muscular guy modeling the Shadowboxer VRT, but I wanted to share with you a behind the scenes look at how we created the final images. Yes we went to some great locations in the early hours of a Sunday morning (Tower Bridge, Thames Barrier etc) but there were no make up girls and certainly no movie star type trailers! More like bacon butties and some weird looks from passer bys. In order to get the images we wanted we would go to almost any lengths hence that would be the finance guy propping Nigel the model/fitness instructor up. How about that for a finance job description! Well, faceless corporate organisation we are most certainly not. Nigel, our health guru will shortly be posting an article on Fitness. Watch this space.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Media Appearance #2

The Shadowboxer VRT has recently featured in Ultra Fit Magazine in the 'Hot Products' section. Ultra Fit is a magazine for people serious about fitness. and we are proud that they have chosen to feature us in the Hot Products section.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Media Appearances #1

The Shadowboxer VRT recently featured in Amateur Boxing Forum Magazine. This a relatively new boxing magazine targeted at the many Amateur boxing enthusiasts in the UK. Ted and Terry at ABF are passionate about amateur boxing and loved the VRT product. Ted will now be introducing the VRT to the amateur boxing club that he supports. For more info see
Amateur Boxing Clubs UK

Amateur Boxing news, events and clubs in the UK.

The image was courtesy of Tony Cesay. Tony was a world class boxer and Commonwealth boxing representative. He is now a coach and works tirelessly in East London with the community to help young people gain a sense of identity and self-discipline by teaching the art of non-contact boxing. Although he doesn't just teach them boxing he cleverly incorporates life skills in his classes nurturing their self esteem and confidence.

He is a keen advocate of the Shadowboxer VRT and we hope to feature some advice and tips from Tony in the future.
For more info. visit or contact him on 07929 488534.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Milling for basic fitness

The Exercise

Some of you may be familiar with a milling drill for basic fitness. These drills are not just used by fighters but for people that want to get fit in boxercise classes and the like. Your training partner holds some focus pads (keep them reasonably tight together not wide apart) and you stand in a neutral stance, feet should width apart, knees slightly bent and proceed to turn and hit each pad continuously for 1 minute sets. The punches are more thrusting, turning punches instead of jabs.

Common mistakes
  • Incorrect body position and people tend to bend over slightly as the hit the pad, try and stand fairly upright i.e. keep your bum in and contract the abs.
  • The turning comes from the hips and legs primarily but people often use only upper body.
  • The hip and shoulder move together as one accelerating the punch forward
The Drill

So the icing on the cake is to do this with the Shadowboxer VRT. You need to do this without gloves or some light gloves (such as slim MMA gloves)

3 x 1 minute sets should suffice, if this is too much do less time and/or use lower resistance cables.

If this is too easy for you. wear the VRT back to front and upside down i.e. with the velcro strap facing front and the SB logo upside down facing backwards, this has the effect of shortening the cords, giving you more resistance. My training partner is a professional fitness instructor and martial arts teacher and he even struggled with this.

The Benefits

If you're doing this correctly you will feel it in your legs, buttocks and abs as well as upper body. Torquing the body with each punch (actively using the legs and abs to generate power) is great for an all round body work out.
Try a turning punch after without the Shadowboxer it will feel like you could punch a hole in a wall! It develops great punching power and core punching fitness.

As most combat officiados will know...THIS IS NOT A FIGHTING DRILL. ITS FOR BASIC FITNESS. The paras do this with live opponents, but this may not be everyones cup of tea.

Monday, May 5, 2008

So how do you use yours? A 20 minute workout

Welcome to Shadow Boxer UK. We would like to invite anyone that uses the Versatile Resistance Trainer (VRT) to share with other users tips on how you use yours.

So as a starter for 10. If I'm in a rush and only have 20 minutes for a quick workout in the morning here's what I do.

Warm up and stretch - 3minutes

Basically loosen off triceps, rotate hips, shoulders and neck, a few back stretches, which normally consists of "salute to the sun" (borrowed from yoga) and a lower back stretch.

Punching Sets with VRT - 12 minutes

Repeated turning punches from side to side -- 2 x 3 minutes

  • Borrowed from Wing Chun these are chest level thrust punches that lend themselves well to the use of the VRT.
  • Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and imagine you are trying to squeeze the ground in between your legs (without moving your feet together), otherwise known as adducting your stance, this alone will exercise your legs. If you feel tight contracted muscles along the inside of the thighs and calf's you're doing it right.
  • Now as you throw a left mid level punch driving the left hip forward, pull the right heel sharply in, so that both of your toes should now be pointing in the same direction and your punch is forward at 45 degrees. As a check your left shoulder hip and heel should roughly be along the same vertical line and your weight slightly towards the back leg.
  • Next you are going to throw the right, so still adducting your stance pivot to the right, driving the right hip forward and pivoting on the heels (yes, the heels, not the toes)
  • Now rapidly repeat pivoting from side to side for 3 minutes (with some cool music in the background e.g. I predict a riot, The Kaiser Chiefs). By rapidly pivoting from side to side you should feel this in your legs and abs as well as of course the arms.
  • Pace yourself if your new 3 minutes is a long time!
  • Advanced tip - change the rhythm of your turning. I usually use three paces slow turn 2 turns/punches every second, medium about 4 every second, fast as many as you can manage -- the fast changes really works the abs
Three 3 minute rounds using combination of jab, cross and elbow (boxer would use a hook)
  • With a left leg forward (see Paul Briggs stance and instruction on the DVD) throw a jab followed by a straight cross. I do various combination of jab, cross, elbow. See the DVD for a demo.
  • As you cross twist your hips, contracting your abs to drive the cross forward so again your not just getting a upper body workout.
  • Take a 30 second break in between sets
  • Note: we know the VRT doesn't give resistance to a hook or elbow but you can't have everything -- we're working on that one...
Warm down by shaking off the shoulders and bending the knees as you throw the arms - 30 seconds

Sounds easy doesn't it. Well just try it and let me know how you get on!

Good luck and happy training