Rolling with the punches – an interview with Jacob Robinson

Boxing is one of those sports – you either love it, or you hate it. In all honesty, I’ve never been a huge fan, but living with a devoted Anthony Joshua supporter, I’ve become much more aware of what’s involved in this incredibly demanding sport.

While I’m still undecided on whether I’d consider myself a supporter, I’ve developed a great respect for the training and commitment that this sport demands from its participants.

Speaking to Anna Vitality, Welsh boxer Jacob Robinson explained that there is much more to boxing than people think.

“A lot of people think boxing is all about the glitz and the glamour, but boxing takes a huge amount of dedication – and if you’re not prepared to give your training 100%, then you might as well forget it.”

Another challenge boxers need to consider is how to channel and sustain motivation.

“You can do that by setting both long-term and short-term goals,” the young featherweight added.

“Always focus on the short-term objective, while thinking more broadly about where you want to be in the future.”

The 26-year old grew up in Marshfield – a small village between Newport and Cardiff and home to fellow athlete, Olympian Jamie Baulch. He first got into the sport at the budding young age of eight where he and his brother Luke and Dad, professional boxer, Steve Robinson, would attend a local boxing gym on a regular basis.

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At 14, Jacob won his first Welsh title. Fast forward a couple years again, and he found himself in the finals of the 2012 British Championships.

But it hasn’t all been plain sailing. Shortly after the British Championships, Jacob unfortunately missed-out on the opportunity to attend the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow – losing out on a spot to compete to a more experienced athlete. He has also witnessed his fair share of judges’ bias, with some unfavourable scores in his early matches.

Turning point

This up and coming sportsman made his professional debut in December 2017, and is now signed with boxing management company MTK Global. To date, he’s remained unbeaten for eight contests – his performances being aired on ESPN and Sky Sports.

Jacobs’ future goal is to achieve either a regional or governing bodied award. “Once I have a title, it will open doors for me on a bigger platform.”

But, as with any professional sport, big ambitions comes with demanding training schedules.

“When I have a fight coming up, I train twice a day, five days a week.” This training can involve sparring sessions, morning runs, 200 and 400 meter sprints, and working with his coach.

Good nutrition is a critical element for most professional athletes. And while Jacob doesn’t consider himself as vegan, he does adhere to a largely plant-based diet, which he believes has helped with his success in the sport so far. “I think this is the diet that works best. It helps a lot with keeping my weight down as well as performance.”

To read more about the benefits of plant-based diets, click here.

People are a big part of staying dedicated and focused, Jacob added, admitting that he attributes a lot of his dedication and drive down to his son, dad, and coach.

Jacob with Dad, Steve Robinson, and coach Tony Borg
What are the benefits of boxing and boxing-related workouts?

Boxing is a great way to strengthen the core, legs and glutes; increase muscle mass and improve muscle tone.

Due to the nature of the sport, it can help to improve balance and hand-eye coordination.

It is also a great form of cardiovascular exercise and can improve heart and lung function.

Finally, boxing has also been suggested to reduce stress and anxiety symptoms.

Jacob is a strong believer of this, and feels that this often-perceived ruthless and harsh sport can effectively improve one’s wellbeing.

It’s also a fun and, for some, an interesting or rather different way to exercise.

So, how can you get into boxing?

Well, for starters, there are plenty of specialist gyms in all major cities around the UK. If you’re in London, check out this article, which list’s some of the city’s best clubs.

For my Cardiff-based readers, there’s Champion’s White Collar Boxing, Noble Art Boxing, Ladies Box 4 Fitness, Ultimate Fitness Centre Cardiff, and more.

After a quick Google search, you’ll be surprised just how many venues are out there!

But since we’re (still) in the middle of a pandemic, what you’ll be really interested to know is how you can practice the sport in the comfort of your own home.

Well, there are plenty of specialist gyms in all major cities of the UK. If you’re in London, have a read of this article, which list’s some of the city’s best clubs.

For my Cardiff-based readers, there’s Champion’s White Collar Boxing, Noble Art Boxing, Ladies Box 4 Fitness, Ultimate Fitness Centre Cardiff, and more.

After a quick google search, you’ll be surprised how many venues are out there!

But, at the time of writing this article, we are (still) in the middle of a pandemic, and what you’ll be really interested to know is how you can practice the sport in the comfort of your own home.

Les Mills BODY COMBAT is my all time favourite boxing and mixed-martial arts inspired workout. I attended these classes at my local gym before Covid took hold, but during lockdown I’ve shifted to the online version.

In these virtual classes, you’ll punch and kick your way to fitness and I can honestly say the endorphin release is no joke. To check out these online classes, head to their On Demand App for a free 30-day trial. From then on, there’s a range of subscription options if you want to continue using this App.

You can find other boxing workouts on Youtube too. Here’s another example by Adidas.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for new content on a weekly basis!

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