Thursday, 02 February 2012
Most people who are interested in fitness or weight loss know that a regular schedule of alternating cardio and Strength training is optimal. Cardio for the most part is my strong point but strength training... well... that needs work. I can end up spending 2 hours at the gym doing cardio but when it comes to the days when I'm supposed to be doing resistance training (RT), after 20 minutes I find myself getting restless. Some a few reps with the free weight here..a go at the row machine there, and I'm ready to throw in the towel! Honestly to me, RT can be a bit on the tedious/boring side.
However, I have found that if I can find new and inventive ways to get strength training in, it is way more enjoyable!
Here is where I'd like to introduce you to the wonderful world of kickboxing.
First off, I highly suggest going to a center that is designated for kickboxing as opposed to just a kickboxing class at a gym (but this may be a good place to start just to see what its all about). What I find is that the gym KB class often are taught in multipurpose fitness studios that do not have heavy bags. So while you may be doing the basic punches and kicks, you do not have the added affect of hitting and going against the resistance of the heavy bag. Not to mention, its way less satisfying to be punching air instead of an actual bag after a frustrating day at work! What some people may not know about these sessions is that the kicking and punching the bag is only a small portion of it. You'll be doing (of course, this all depends on your facility) drills, ab work, and even more strength training using resistance bands, dumb bells, and/or weight bars. Because of this you get a twofer--the perfect combo of RT and cardio!
As you may have guessed by the title of my post, KB can be intense. It's definitely a high energy experience. Please do not believe the preconceived notion that KB is a woman's activity. I've seen my fair share of men in my classes and some of them are the "tough Guy" type, and they were sweating and huffing and puffing right along with us womenfolk. True story: we did so many squats and kicks, that one week, and please my language, I quite literally ended up with a pain in my ass. I honestly did not know that the Gluteus Maximus was a muscle that was capable of getting that sore! But seriously ask anyone that knows me or rather anyone who has had the pleasure of touching my butt and they'll attest to the fact steel has nothing on me .
Ok! I may have exaggerated there a bit, but you get the point-all the hard work was worth it!
Two Kickboxing centers that I am aware of in the NYC area are CKO and iLoveKickBoxing, but you can check their respective websites for additional locations and details. I have personally gone to (obviously really like) CKO and I know that they offer a free introductory class (which I hope doesn't end up scaring you off!). While I am pretty sure they will let you use a free spare pair of boxing gloves for the intro class, you can bring your own or you can purchase one at your local CKO center for about $25. I love kickboxing, although I have never tried a course there myself, has what appears to be a really good web special for new clients to get them started. The special is $19.99 and it includes 3 classes and a complimentary pair of gloves! Whatever route you end up taking, I hope you find a fun way to stay fit!
Has anyone else tried kickboxing either at one of the places I mentioned above or anywhere else? What did you think of it?