Nutrition Rocks interviews Model and Boxer Frankie Pullen
We’re taking to it to max this Spring and thought that we’d mark rocking this month by introducing you to the TKO that is Frankie Pullen—the female boxer and model with determination and courage as powerful as her punch.
Frankie, tell us how you came to be a boxer…
I participated in a White Collar Boxing Show, where the aim was to train in just 12 weeks at the end of which I would be matched up with someone of the same sex and roughly the same weight to put what I had been taught to the test.
The newly recognised trend of White Collar Boxing, started off as an idea influenced by Fight Club — the film starring Brad Pitt — about an ordinary office worker who took up fighting as a hobby. Officer workers, bankers, lawyers, nurses, doctors, and practically everyone who wears a white shirt to work or not, hence the name white collar.
Anyone who takes part in this event definitely feels empowered, and I was fortunate enough to be one of those few. I found a new love and confidence — which guys seem to call balls, and if that’s the meaning of balls, then I have a big pair of them! Selling tickets to friends and family to come and watch me preform in front of a packed crowd of hundreds of people at one of East London’s well known boxing venues, “Troxy”, with the possibility of being knocked out in front of work colleagues (who would never let me live it down) was something I wouldn’t have done a few months ago!
Anyone with an ego will recognise the extroverted nature of boxing. Writers, actors, stockbrokers, doctors, bring ‘em all in here, in the ring it’s you and it’s your show, so it’s no surprise that professional boxers have such big personalities…how could you not?! When you’re in danger of being knocked out, you have to show the world that you have balls, and that you worked, trained, and combined your mental and physical abilities—in the ring you deliver.
Do you feel as though boxing is a pretty misunderstood sport?
What is not taken into consideration is that each individual has to complete a hard, intense, and gruelling training regime set by professional trainers, such as Barry Smith, Ben Doughty, and Darren Hamilton. Hamilton, dubbed “the modern day Cinderella Man”, the “fittest man in boxing”, and “the machine”, won a Lonsdale title with five days’ notice and a cold, this shows how fit a mentally determined he is —so just imagine the training sessions! All the trainers put you through your paces though, and all specialise in different areas. Barry Smith specialises in fighting endurance, and Ben Doughty is the man for speed and ‘dazzling’ footwork. A combination of all of these training you is a challenge in itself, but definitely an exhilarating experience.
It is one of those sports that really does push your limits. If you think you’re fit, you should try punch fitness. I’ve seen fitness fanatics—the ones who have the gym bodies and wear the spandex, and claim to have run marathons and competed in strong man competitions, come to the class and end up out of breath in minutes!
Whoa Frankie! How do you manage to keep up with all of the physical demands?
It’s mental as well as a physical sport. When you push yourself to your absolute limits, almost beyond your physical threshold, you need to dig into your mental capacity for focus, as a lack of concentration can result in being punched in the face.
You need the mental toughness to complement and enhance physical endurance. Three mile runs become the norm, as do 200 sits ups per day, and salad and steak. If you don’t do these things you WILL lose, and lose in front of a crowd (a crowd of 1500 at Troxy), so you do them. When you’re in the ring, it’s just YOU. There Is NO team to back you up, all you have is your training. Any sidestep from training, whether you indulged in a takeaway, or a late night involving alcohol with your mates, matters at all levels: white collar or world champion.
How has being a woman within a very masculine and testosterone driven sport affected your body-image or self-perception?
Before, I would never have stepped into a gym with all of the gym heads and fitness freaks, but now I am one of them and I’m not only physically stronger, I’m also mentally stronger.
Growing up I was always told “you should be a model”, not once was I ever told “you should be a boxer.” It proves that body image should never hold you back from doing something you want. I love my body now: slim, proud, and strong—capable of walking out in front of a crowd and delivering. Each punch and each hit is a testament to my body and what it can do for me, and I’m proud of it!
I’m no longer trying to fit in with society’s image of what men like and want. I’m in that gym focusing on my technique and stamina, preparing for my next bout and loving what good exercise and training is doing to my body. As a woman, I know we all have our body issues and I have many of them. I’m still a feminine female that loves her fashion and making sure my hair looks good! It doesn’t matter what type of person you are or look like, if you have determination, spirit, and focus you can do it. Believe in yourself and love your body no matter what shape or size you are. Your body is your armour—look after it and, as I have learnt, it will look after you.
Whats your eating regime leading up to a fight.
Leading up to a fight I try to eat as healthily as I can. I lovemy food so I have had to make sure I readjust my ingredients rather then just cut stuff out. Mornings ill have toast with boiled eggs or salmon and scrambled egg or cereals always followed by banana or some kind of fruit.
Lunch consists of what ever I can really get my hands on but again choosing something with protein and that will benefit my body rather then slow me down and make me feel sluggish. Throughout the day instead of picking on sweets and chocolate or a bag of crisps I’ll have some nuts or dried fruit or olives with some humus and pitta just little nibbles but good nibbles.
After training I’m ready to eat two man sized portions of food and my body is craving something yummy so I always make sure I eat clean. Grilled fish with sweet potato, avocado salad or replace the fish with chicken . Pasta dishes with mackerel or tuna chicken or just plain you can put loads of different ingredients with pasta. Itrain 3 days a week and after the session I get some pad work in, working on my punches technique and counters. in the evenings when I can I fit in a slow run with small sprints and fitness training whenever I’m free which is an intense 45min circuit work out! Hard work but you feel so good after.
My guilty pleasures.
I love food so to be honest anything! But since I have been training and eating clean my body doesn’t really like some foods I used to love like chicken shops and some other well know fast foods, but I will never turn down a bag of sweets or a slice or two of cheese cake. As long as I’m not over indulging its ok.
I want to bulk up rather thenlose weight so cutting out all fats is not what I’m trying to do I just want to have a healthy balanced diet which is good for the mind and body inside and out.
Modelling and boxing in the same sentence isn’t really common – tell us more about that Frankie
As you can see from my size boxing wasn’t the most obvious sports for me to get into . But modelling I guess you can understand. As a child I was always told you should do modeling and was approached by agencies etc so took it on as a hobby but nothing more as collage and school etc.
My dad is a big boxing fan so I was brought up around the boxing scene Even when it came to my brother and the boys holding WWF wrestling in the back garden I was always involved and didn’t do too bad. Modeling ur getting dressed uphair done make up done and it feels good. With boxing i'm learning techniques skills and becoming fit and healthy in the process another feel good factor I guess. Two very different hobbies maybe not what you would expect in the same sentence but that doesn’t mean its not meant to be andit can’t be done. Break the mould.do what makes you feel good.
Frankie Pullen’s 3 motivational life rules for striking out at whatever life throws:
1) Discipline: The ability to go training no matter what.
2) Hard work: Pick yourself up even after you’ve been hit and feel terrible. Realise that you’re human and that BScs and BAs won’t help you in the ring.
3) Courage: Believe in yourself! The best boxers, I’m told, are those who have had obstacles in their life, hardship and stress, and belief in yourself allows you to punch it all away. Without courage you will NEVER step in a ring! White Collar Boxing is 12 weeks work for a 31 minute exam. How much you can translate on the night determines whether you win or lose, and that takes courage…
In your words complete the sentence .. Nutrition Rocks ..
Nutrition rocks because its all about you and loving who you are. The website talks about more than just how to diet and look like the normal glamour model or magazine pin up .love the skin ur in.
Providesrealistic support to health and fitness and mental attitude rather then just talk about food diets and unrealistic goals to being something that’s not you .
Frankie’s next fight will be held on Friday 11th April 2014
The TROXY 190 Commercial Road, London E1 OHX
For tickets and further information Contact : email@example.com or Call 077236 78193
Frankie trains at
TRAD TKO BOXING GYM LTD
London E16 4SA
Tel: 020 7474 3199
Tel:/Fax: 020 7511 9705