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