How I Hacked My Way Back Into Shape
In this post, I lay out a simple formula that got me into the leanest shape of my life in just 2 months. My goal going in was to create a repeatable recipe for leveraging performance data to hack my way into shape as quickly as possible. I did this by using the real-time exercise data from the Hykso and Strava mobile apps to push myself past previous benchmarks every time I trained. Here’s the best part: anybody with access to a set of Punch Trackers (or the FightCamp mobile app) and the free Strava mobile app can employ this same technique and achieve similar results!
As a former fighter and member of the US National Boxing team, fitness has always been a big part of my life. I started training and competing seriously at age 14 and was in phenomenal shape throughout my 12+ year athletic career. But when I stopped competing after the 2012 US Olympic Trials, I lost a lot of my passion for training and eventually found myself at an all-time high of 180 pounds. This was almost 40 pounds heavier than my fight weight and not a good look.
Tommy Duquette finals of 2011 US National Championships in Colorado Springs, CO
“I’m a Champion, So I Turned Tragedy to Triumph. -Kanye"
We all have those moments in life where we become fed up and know it is time for a change. Mine came in April of 2017. I was at the tail end of a 4-year relationship that I sincerely thought would last forever. To make a long story short, it didn’t. Prior to this, I always felt I had complete control over my own destiny. As an athlete on the US National Boxing Team, a top student at Babson College, and as an entrepreneur, I was always confident that my success was tied directly to my personal effort. This incident caught me off guard though and in the weeks and months that followed, I grew increasingly disillusioned with the direction of my personal life. Something had to give, so I decided that the best way to regain my composure would be to focus on sharpening the one thing I still felt I could had complete control over. My body.
Don’t Talk About It, Be About It
As a co-founder of Hykso, Inc. (the parent company of FightCamp)--a fast-growing sports and fitness technology company based in the fitness capital of Newport Beach, CA--I believe deeply in the transformational power of performance data. So much so that 2 years ago, I packed all my personal belongings into my beaten down Toyota and drove 3,000 miles from Boston to California to officially join as a member of the company’s founding team. So, when it was time for me to put a training program together for myself, including performance measurement as the core component was a must! This is the training regimen I used to hack my way back into top shape in just 2 months.
2-3 runs/week leveraging Strava for performance measurement
- 3-mile jog along the coast of Newport Beach
- Objective: To maximize the pace of each run
- Key Benefits: Increases metabolism, increases vitality, and burns body fat
2-3 freestyle heavy bag sessions/week leveraging Hykso for performance measurement
- 6 freestyle rounds of 3-minutes, with 1-minute rest in between rounds
- Objective: To maximize my Intensity Score over the 6 rounds for each session
- Key Benefits: Engages total body and builds lean muscle through legs, core, and arms
I also supplemented the work above with 1-2 days per week of basic weight-lifting and bodyweight exercises. My goal was to go into every training session with my previous results in mind and with a burning desire to surpass myself. I leveraged the real-time feedback provided by both apps to push myself towards that end during each session. I cannot stress enough how much having the real-time training data visible to me as I was hitting the bag or running motivated me to push beyond my personal limits.
Here are my results over the two months laid out in the graphs below:
"My average pace per mile tracked by Strava over the 2 months of running."
“My total Intensity Score per training session over the 2 months of 6-round, freestyle bag drill.”
As you can see, I was successful in increasing my performance considerably over the 2 months. Clearly, it's not simply the act of measuring that brought about my rapid progress. Rather, it is the combining of my past-performance benchmarks with the live, in your face, real-time performance data that empowered me to continuously surpass my previous benchmarks. That is the key takeaway here. Without the combination of previous performance benchmarks and the real-time performance data that I could reference as I was training, I never would have been able to smash through my personal barriers from session-to-session in the way that I did. It is that combination that I credit with my rapid progress!
“Tommy using a combination of past data and real-time data to be better than yesterday”
Reach Your Goals Better and Faster
The desire for progress is innate. Even the best of us look in the mirror and yearn to be a leaner, stronger or more muscular version of ourselves. No new training program or tool will ever get around the hard and painful fact that one must put in the work to make progress, and let’s face it, putting in the work sucks. Hard work is painful and can put a layer of friction between us and our fitness goals. Adding to that, most people who are putting in the work are not doing so optimally, whcih further hinders progress. Tools and programs for simple and accurate performance measurement like Strava, Hykso, and FightCamp now exist and can be leveraged as I describe above to attain better, faster progress. The leading, most-popular training programs of today are doing people a disservice largely because they lack accurate and reliable performance measurement and if these programs don’t adapt soon, they are destined to be left in the past.
Can This "Hack" Work for You?
The process of leveraging performance data described in this post is literally for anyone who desires to make progress as fast and efficiently as possible. If you are an elite, world class athlete, then measuring to improve is a no brainer. If you are just an average person and you cringe at the idea of having to run three miles (or going all-out on the boxing bag for 6 rounds), then just start by walking the 3 miles.
Newcomers to boxing can subscribe to the FightCamp program which provides a growing library of on-demand boxing fitness workouts that are tailored to those at all levels. The workouts are led by a rockstar cast of trainers with decades of combined experience (I recently joined the team of trainers 😊) and the punch trackers are integrated into the program so that you can benchmark yourself off of past performances and the performances of others.
No matter your fitness level, setting a benchmark and then going into every subsequent training session with the intent of beating that previous benchmark, is an absolute must. If you can increase your performance from week-to-week the way that I did, I PROMISE YOU, you will reach your goals faster and more efficiently! Now get to it and stop wasting time training in the dark. A better version of you lies within!
About the Author:
Tommy Duquette is a former US National Boxing Team member and a co-founder of FightCamp and Hykso Inc. His boxing experience stretches back over 15 years. He competed in 136 bouts as an amateur, won over 100 and just missed making the 2012 US Olympic Team. He spent over 15 years leading boxing-fitness classes at Boston Boxing and catered to an elite clientele of private clients in the Boston area. He is a graduate of Babson College where he studied Entrepreneurship and Economics and finished in the top 10% of his graduating class.