Birmingham-based boxing and fitness centre, Team Des Fitness, has been working with professional boxers for the last decade.
The gym has been home to both world and Olympic boxing champions, including Olympic silver medallist Ben Whittaker; Kal Yafai, former WBA world champion; Lennox Clarke, British and Commonwealth champion; Shakan Pitters, WBC silver champion and Zach Parker, WBO interim champion.
Among the gym’s offerings is its Versaclimber, which is used by its roster of national and world champions, as well as amateur fighters, with the aim of enhancing training performance.
Des Witter, an experienced personal trainer with over 16 years’ experience, shared his thoughts about his career and how the Versaclimber benefits athletes in combat sports.
What does your career background look like?
I started out in the fitness industry 16 years ago. After 5 years, I opened a personal training studio, later extending the services to offer gym facilities alongside. During lockdown in 2020, I moved to Birmingham – where I’m now located. I’ve been working independently for over 10 years, training some of the very best fighters, both professional and amature, in the UK.
How many athletes do you currently have?
We have over 20 professional boxers, but there are other coaches at the gym who also have professional boxers, from other areas too.
How did you come to learn about the Versaclimber machine?
I saw the machine many years ago in a film and, more recently, I saw that former professional heavyweight and World Champion, David Haye, used it as part of his training. Prior to his retirement from the sport in 2018, David was using it for high-interval boxing, and was at the top of his game at the time. It inspired me to get a machine for our studio, and we’ve now been testing its capabilities for 6 years – there’s no wonder so many champs across the world of sport use this machine to keep them sharp.
Which Versaclimber machine do you use?
We’re using the Versaclimber Sport. We can use different variations and hand attachments with it, and the grips on the handles are also ideal for building strength, but also upper body coordination.
I chose this machine because boxing is an impactful sport; it’s all about punching, skipping and running. We needed something that gives our boxers high-intensity workouts, but without the heavy impact. For me, the Versaclimber machine in fighting goes hand-in-hand.
How does the machine, and its capabilities, benefit your boxers?
The team uses the machine for high-interval, full-body workouts to enhance training performance. They can do a combination of high-intensity training in short sprints, mixed with other training methods, allowing them to mix up their regimes to avoid fatigue. For example, we’re using it for 100 meter-sessions as fast as we can, swap to another exercise, and then come back to the machine to repeat.
It’s also beneficial if there is a shoulder injury, or if the client wants to focus solely on leg performance – we can still use the stepper of the machine to perform leg exercises, by simply removing the handles.
For more information on our Versaclimber machines, and our payment options, visit: www.versaclimber.co.uk.