Slovakian Muay Thai wonder Zuzka Borosova is currently kicking up a boxing storm with us by teaching Fitboxing and Gymboxing at Gymbox Farringdon. "I love seeing members break into a sweat, giving me the “I hate you but I love you” cringe in their face" she says.
Hi Zuzka, you are a Muay Thai boxer currently fighting with our very own Team Tieu – how’s that been so far?
I joined Team Tieu last year, and since then I’ve made a lot of progress. I started off with boxing in an old school boxing gym in Canning Town, after three years of white collar bouts (boxing fights) I decided to give Muay Thai a go. I fell in love with it. Philip (the head coach) and the rest of the coaching team have had a lot of patience with me – I’m a pretty stubborn person! I’ve had the team in my corner in every bout, and I really appreciate the support. I’ve been given a lot of opportunities (in training and teaching)). I love it!
Your last fight was a First Pro C class fight at the O2 in November 2015, can you explain what sort of fight that was?
It was a 5 rounds x1.5 minutes bout. C class fight is pretty much the first step for those who would like to take fighting further. The rules won’t allow knees and elbows to face, however everything else is allowed. Plus, you have no protection apart from a mouth-guard. I was used to fighting without head and body protection (in inter-clubs and amateur bouts) but it does make you feel a bit scared when you step into the ring for the first time without shin-guards. Nerves and adrenaline, however, won’t let you to feel the pain – it’s only after your fight when you feel it!
You won it, congrats! What was your training and nutrition schedule leading up to the fight, and after?
I usually train like a mad person regardless of having a fight or not, I do tend to overtrain (I’ve been called all sort of names, Gym-rat, Miss OT, i.e. over trainer) – but before the fight I do add a lot of early morning trainings – sprints, pads, explosive weight (low weights) exercises and sparring. Lots of automatic drills where you get your body using the muscle memory to answer all strikes. So in total I would train twice a day at least six days a week. But, as I said before, I do tend to overtrain, so I get carried away and end up training seven times a week (good five hours a day). Nutrition-wise I stop drinking and eating sweets at least for a month before the fight. Two weeks before the fight I cut out all carbs and survive on spinach, eggs, tuna (I hate white fish, and meat in general makes me heavy) and quinoa.
How did you celebrate?
Everyone knows I like a glass of wine! I usually treat myself to sweet potato chips and a good drink! I’m Eastern European, so it’s in our blood.
Are there things that you love that you’ve had to sacrifice for your training?
I’m not a big party animal anymore, but yes I do love my glass of wine and a G&T. I absolutely love cheesecakes and pasta, so yes I do have to avoid all of these. You get to know your body and cravings better – what works and what doesn’t for you – and to have a detox is healthy in general. It’s easier to diet when you have a motivation, plus my body gets in a really good shape so it’s always nice to see results. It’s worth it.
Do you allow yourself a ‘pass’ every now and again? And if so, what do you like to do?
Of course! I love trying new restaurants and catching up with friends for a really nice dinner. I also love cooking and baking, so I try all sort of new stuff. Travelling is my absolute passion – life is too short, and there’s so much to see in the world!
You’ve recently started teaching Fitboxing and Gymboxing with us, what’s have been the highlights so far?
The best highlight was when the manager of Farringdon branch came up to me saying that she'd received really positive feedback for my Thursday classes – that made me incredibly happy. I was really nervous starting teaching but seeing the clients improving their fitness and technique is an amazing motivation. They all give me 100% performance.
Do you find people respond differently to you in any ways due to you being a female boxing trainer?
Absolutely, but in a positive way. I think it’s getting more common for women to teach combat sports, so I don’t feel special in any way. But I do feel proud. Two years ago I would have never thought I could teach.
Do you get nervous before fights?
Of course I do – I think my face goes through pale and green colours! I think I handled the stress in my last fight much better than the ones before. I do get nervous in front of people, but once I step into the ring I say to myself: 'Well it’s too late to run away now Zuz, just keep your hands up and let’s do this, we’ve got this!' I keep talking to myself all the time, throughout the whole fight. The most important thing is to listen to your corner and trust them, the rest is easy if you train hard. Your body goes into automatic mode, but you have to relax otherwise you’ll freeze. If you have a corner that you trust, it’s all cool, and I do trust them.
Members respond well to you, who do you think this is?
I love teaching them. After a long day at my day job I get tired, but once I start the class with the members it gives me energy. I love seeing them breaking the sweat, giving me the “I hate you but I love you” cringe in their face – they actually really motivate me as they push so hard, it’s incredible.
For those members who really want to try boxing, but are shy to, what can you say to encourage them to come and try it out?
The only thing I can say is you can't regret something you’ve never tried, life's too short to feel shy. Beginnings are always difficult, but the results are amazing, just do it!
Find out about our classes right here.