Cardio Kickboxing

I have a new addiction. Unlike my addiction to baking and cooking and baking and cooking, this one actually helps me burn calories. It's cardio kickboxing.

This new addiction hasn't replaced my love for yoga, but it is adding a nice new component to my fitness regimen.

Aside from yoga classes (which I adore), I've never been really big on fitness classes. I took one aerobics class as an undergrad and entertained the notion of teaching aerobics myself to make extra money for about five minutes, until I realized I am not peppy enough to be an aerobics instructor. Seriously, can you see me doing that? I don't think so. I'm more of an introvert when it comes to working out. It's my thinking time, my decompression time.

But I had talked about trying out some of the classes at the L-Town rec center a few times. Then Kid Sister and Conservative Mom started going to cardio kickboxing. And they loved it (even though it made them so sore they could hardly move for days after).

So I decided to tag along and give it a try a few weeks ago.

Lest you males in the crowd roll your eyes and think that's sissy work (ahem ... Conservative Hubby), I would like to tell you that there are a number of men who attend each class—some of whom are rather burly and probably could bench press two of me at one time if they so desired. And certain men have come to one class and never made it back again because it was too intense. Just so you know.

Each class is totally different, so it's hard to give you an exact description of what each one entails.

Basically, we start out by getting our heart rates up and our muscles loose. This may involve running around the room holding weights or running suicides or any other form of intense cardio for short bursts of time. There are plenty of different types of squats and lunges and jumps and kicks. Lots of push ups. Plenty of core work. Most of the class, we carry around weights and use them for myriad forms of personal torture. Then there's always a boxing portion, where we're kicking and punching at boxing bags with an intensity that undoubtedly makes people cower.

(Until now, my boxing has been rather weak as I've been doing it bare-handed. But today, I found a lovely pair of (pink!) boxing gloves on eBay. They're on their way, so boxing bags, you better watch out.)

I'm pretty dedicated about working out on my own—between yoga, cardio, and lifting weights, I stay relatively fit. But one of the things I like most about the cardio kickboxing class is there's someone there to push me. The instructor yells at us to get going, that we only have to do three more. And then she says just kidding, five more. And five more. And somehow, we groan and grunt and power through it.

The voice yelling at me in my own head to do one more set when I'm lifting or to run one more mile when I'm on the treadmill isn't nearly as loud and persuasive. Although I've noticed, since I started attending a cardio kickboxing class once or twice a week, that I've kicked up my own workouts a notch. Even when I'm not in the class, I'm motivated to work harder, to push my body to the limits.

That makes it worth it.

Photo: KWDesigns via Flickr


Clifton said...
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Josue said...

Kick boxing is one of the sports that involves using almost every part of your body. You have to have good hand eye co ordination and your brain has to keep working hard. There are many places that train you for kick boxing but I feel kickboxing classes sydney is the best among them.

Lynsey James March said...

I am glad to read about someone who finds cardio kickboxing so worthwhile! It is something that I plan to try as well, and your post has convinced me of such!

Julie said...

Lynsey: It was great! I definitely recommend trying out a class.