Simon de Broise, 34, is a member of Gymbox Holborn. He finds the time during his busy life as a lawyer and a dad to train with us and explore his love of climbing and surfing. "I've been a member of a few gyms in London, and Gymbox is head and shoulders above the rest" he says. We meet him.
Hi Simon! You're looking sharp in the photos, is Muay Thai boxing your main focus for training?
Hi there! I try to box on the bags one or two times a week – mostly for cardio, but also because it's great training for all-round conditioning, flexibility, coordination. I usually do three sessions a week of weight-training on top of the boxing – mostly heavy compound lifts, with a few accessory lifts to finish.
Impressive! Do you train with our Muay Thai boxing VPTs at Holborn, or do any of our classes?
I attend the Muay Thai classes and sparring sessions whenever I can. They are a great opportunity to sharpen up your technique, and put your skills into practice. I'm not currently training with a VPT, but a few of the guys will give me a the occasional bit of advice (usually it's, "you need to add more weight, bro!").
What you do like most about training at Gymbox Holborn?
I've been a member of a few gyms in London, and Gymbox is head and shoulders above the rest. The equipment is great, the space is great, the atmosphere fantastic. It somehow manages to do a lot of things to a really high standard. Whether you want to focus on weight-training, boxing, circuit-training, one of the countless group classes, or just pound the treadmill for an hour – you can find the space (and the equipment) to get on with it.
What other areas of fitness do you like to pursue?
I'm a keen climber and also a keen surfer. I try and make sure that our holiday destinations include a surf break. We've had some great trips to Mexico, South Africa, France and Bali. Since my daughter came along a couple of years ago, we've stayed closer to home – mostly in Cornwall, which we love.
As a lawyer and a family man, is it hard to fit training into a busy schedule?
Yep! It takes a bit of planning, and some early morning starts, but I usually manage to fit all of my sessions in. If I'm busy with work I might have to skip a few, but I try not to let that happen to often. Having an understanding wife also helps a lot!
Is the family into fitness also?
We're all pretty active. My wife surfs and stays fit by chasing our toddler around – plus some yoga – and my daughter (who's not quite two) is developing some good skills on the local climbing frame.
Do you find boxing is a good stress reliever, especially being a lawyer?
I find that all forms of exercise are great at relieving stress. Boxing is certainly the one you think of when you imagine someone venting their frustrations after a difficult day (and I do do that occasionally!). But really, it's more about taking yourself away from everything else and just focusing on what you're doing during your session – it works for me!
Do you have any fitness goals in the pipeline?
There are a lot of areas of my climbing and surfing that need improvement, so I'm using my gym sessions to focus on those weaknesses at the moment. Generally my goal is to get (and stay) as fit and strong as I possibly can.
You're also a guitarist in a covers band, tell us about that
I play with some good friends in a band called the Mandarin Dukes. We've been together for around four years. It's quite laid back, as we're all pretty busy with families and jobs, so we only play around 10 gigs a year. We do weddings, parties and the occasional pub gig. It's great fun, and allows us to live out our rock-star fantasies before we get too far over the hill!
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