Fighting Fit Part 1: Kern Fitness

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll know that my next fight is on May 6th and that for most of this year so far, I’ve been plagued with injury.  Not a great start.

I’m a HUGE #FitnessVoyeur and had hoped to maintain the leanness I achieved in December when I hit my fighting weight but due to injury, fatigue and resulting lack of training (and bingeing) it just hasn’t happened, so, long story short we’re three months on and I’m almost two stone heavier.  Let me clarify, my weight gain was partially to do with my next fight but not wholly done in the best way and now I’m in a position where I feel ready to get back on it and convert some of this fat into muscle.

Now, anyone can box, you learn the technique, the footwork and the combinations and you learn the hard way to keep your hands up; but not everyone can be a fighter, that’s either in you or it’s not, and it’s definitely in me.

So, in order to get in the best fighting shape I can, I’ve enlisted the best of the best, trainers and instructors who understand my mentality and who will push me as far as I can go and beyond.  First up, Kern Fitness….

Rehabilitation Is Key

Kern Fitness is a pretty new fitness studio in Newcastle city centre, specialising in EMS (Electro-Muscular-Stimulation) which is used by the NBA to rehabilitate injured basketball players and get them back on the court faster and the technology and theory are sound.

the principle of EMS is simple, but sounds complicated;

“We electrical stimuli from a control unit to an individual adjustable vest. The control unit generates a harmless milliAmp electric current with carefully controlled impulse, frequency, duration, intensity and shape. The individually adjustable vest is integrated with 10 electrodes which send the stimuli to all body parts: arms, chest, back, abdomen, hips, buttocks and legs, so agonist and antagonist muscles are trained simultaneously, e.g. triceps and biceps.”

Muscles are stimulated with low frequency current, like a TENS machine, to generate resistance that you then work against. The stronger the impulse intensity, the more muscle fibres are recruited and the stronger the muscle contraction.

Let me break it down for you, you put on some high tech equipment (all black so bonus points for the added slimming effect) and you’re hooked up to a machine which delivers a pulsed current direct to your muscles and you work out using slow and controlled movements during the 20 minutes that you’re plugged in to the matrix.

This week I started an 8 week programme with Kern which will focus on strength and rehabilitation for my injured back an shoulder, once I’m hooked up to the machine we go through a familiarisation round where the current is set low and I hold a squat until we find the right frequency and we can begin.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that sessions are short, 20 minutes of EMS training is equivalent to 3 hours of conventional training, every second of EMS activation, your muscles are stimulated 85 times generating a resistance that you have to work against with every movement or exercise you do.  So, Josep (my Kern Trainer) puts me through a series of exercises specific to my needs including boxing which we do fast during the non activation period, and slow during the pulse period, a plank series, a weight series and a squat series.  It might not sound like much but after 20 minutes of EMS training the sweat is running off my face.

At the end of the session, Josep unplugs me from the matrix but leaves my lower back plugged in and we work on a series of stretches with constant activation in order to try to rehabilitate my injury – I’ll keep you updated with how it’s working out.

The best thing about Kern Fitness is that you don’t need to bring anything with you, no gym kit, no sneakers, nada.  Everything is provided and at only 20 minutes long, you can squeeze it in during your lunch break, whilst you’re out shopping or in between meetings.

I’m doing 2 sessions per week – this is what’s advised so that your body can recover in-between sessions and incase of DOMS so I’ll be back on Thursday for more and I’ll post about my progress every fortnight so you can see how I’m getting on but for now I’m signed up, sold and committed!

EMS via Kern Fitness is not just for boxers, it’s suitable for anyone, whether you want to tone up, lose fat or just try something new to compliment your existing workout routine, I’d strongly recommend giving it a try, particularly if you have a niggling sports injury.

Pixie x

Kern Fitness are currently offering a trial package which includes 2 sessions for £25

Kern Fitness, Arch, 7 Forth Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne
United Kingdom

0191 447 5850


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  • Fab write up Pixie, Josef is absolutely amazing! I honestly can’t believe how intense the work outs are. I absolutely love my sessions. Great read and good luck with your fight!!

  • Sounds awesome! I didn’t realise it was you at the time at the bloggers event at Mineral House Spa bloggers event but I think we just went past each other in the changing room, think I was leaving and you were arriving and I almost said to you – ‘you have amazing arms’ but I didn’t! Now I know where you get them from! Good luck with your training and fight!