Let’s face it, trying to lose weight is no fun.
I mean come on, who wants to be eating chicken breast, brown rice, and salad all day while you watch all of your friends stuffing their face full of high caloric mouth watering deliciousness that anyone can smell from a mile away.
And if that’s not enough torture for you, now you need to go hit the gym several times a week and sweat your ass off either running on the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, or some other concoction the fitness industry claims will help you “melt the fat off”.
Following this routine for days or weeks is tolerable but when your looking at committing to it for 6+ months, its enough to drive anyone insane!
But worry not, because there might be another solution to your fat loss goals.
What if you could punch and kick fat in the face and lose the weight?
Wouldn’t this be way more interesting then sitting on your ass and staring into a blank wall while your buttocks gets more sore by the minute?
Kickboxing has been touted as another great alternative to exercise.
But is it all its hyped up to be?
And is kickboxing a good way to lose weight?
In this article, we’ll discuss how kickboxing helps you lose weight and what other great benefits are associated with learning it.
What is Kickboxing
Kickboxing is a hybrid stand up striking martial arts that has derived elements from a combination of martial arts such as Karate, Boxing, Taekwondo, and Thai Boxing.
The term kickboxing came into prominence back in the 1950s in Japan and became widely popular overseas especially in American during the 1970s-1980s.
Then in the 90s and 2000s, the sport became a powerhouse through the promotion company K-1.
In fact, you may have seen some kickboxing matches on TV in the past which were probably being broadcast from K-1.
K-1 is based in Japan and recruits participants from all over the world to enter their kickboxing tournaments.
In class, kickboxers are taught a number of fundamental concepts such as how to strike using their fists, legs, elbows, knees, how to block, evade or parry attacks, how to clinch or hold upon opponents, and footwork among other things.
In addition, students spend a lot of time working on conditioning and strength drills to help them to either produce more force or to develop strong core muscles that can help absorb damage during fights.
Furthermore, schools also have their students spar with a partner to gain experience.
This teaches the students how to apply what they have learned in class and to work on their reflexes and timing when fighting against an opponent.
You can practice all you want punching and kicking thin air or a punching bag, but nothing beats sparring with a real opponent.
Why You Should Study It
Studying kickboxing brings you a number of benefits in addition to learning a whole slew of kickboxing techniques such as the following:
Great for Weight Loss
Most people when they choose to lose weight never think outside of the box.
Its either the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, or my favorite, the recumbent bike (the world’s laziest exercise machine).
But has anybody stopped and thought about whether or not there are alternatives that burn even more calories yet are functional and maybe even fun?
This is where kickboxing comes in.
A single class in kickboxing can burn you anywhere between 750-900 calories per hour!
If you were to attend classes for 4-5 times a week, you could potentially shed off a pound a week.
How’s that for fat loss?
To be able to do a similar feat in terms of calories burned on a treadmill you would need to bust your chops running at least 8 mph for an entire hour and yet that still burns you less calories at only 600 calories per an hour of work.
Just imagine how your waistline will look in a few months from now!
Now if your not looking to lose weight but rather to maintain your weight while still getting to enjoy the finer things in life such as a Big Mac or a few slices of pizza on a somewhat regular basis, then you’ve found the right exercise tool.
Boosts Your Metabolism
According to a research study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, a 45 minute vigorous exercise bout resulted in an elevated energy expenditure for up to 14 hours after the exercise was done for study participants.
With a good quality kickboxing class, you can expect to be sweating buckets and working vigorously which would elevate your heart rate and get your metabolism working overtime to burn off those calories during and after the class.
How great would that be?
Your body is burning fat during and well after you’ve finished your kickboxing class.
Works Your Whole Body
In addition to being a great tool for weight loss, kickboxing brings tremendous benefit for exercising your whole body.
In classes, you’ll be challenged to perform kicking and punching drills, core work, and lots of it.
Sit ups, crunches, and push ups are all part of the curriculum.
Because all of these moves recruit muscles from your entire body, you’ll end up working everything, all without ever stepping foot inside of a gym.
In fact, you’ll feel your muscles working in places that you didn’t even know you had muscles!
Punches and elbows work your shoulders, arms, chest, back, and core, while legs work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and all of the other leg muscles.
And all of those crunches will target and hit your core like no tomorrow.
Another benefit is that your cardiovascular fitness and endurance levels will shoot through the roof.
You’ll feel ten years younger after a few months of training.
Learn to Defend Yourself
Round house kicks, side kicks, straights, hooks, uppercuts, these will become your new best friends in a kickboxing class.
You’ll learn how to generate power, how to throw the perfect strikes to maximize efficiency, how to block punches or strikes from someone, and put fear in the eyes of bullies!
You’ll essentially become a living breathing human weapon!
How awesome is that?
Now I do have to make a note here that if your goal is to learn how to defend yourself then you should only study at a school that actually teaches authentic kickboxing and none of that cardio kickboxing crap.
Sure, those do still help you burn calories, but you won’t learn a thing about self defense at all.
There’s a big difference between the two.
In a cardio kickboxing class, the goal is to burn calories and move around a lot, while throwing in a few punches and kicks, and maybe knees and elbows here and there, but the focus is only cardiovascular fitness, not self defense, and definitely not teaching you proper fundamentals on how to fight or defend yourself.
If you ever watch one of those cardio kickboxing DVD’s on tv or walked into one of these classes, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Nearly all of the students are females, usually middle aged, and their forms and techniques are just atrocious and the instructor themselves usually aren’t that better off neither. Class is instead taught based on the beats of cheesy dance music that you hear at chain fitness clubs.
Also, when was the last time you saw any of those students spar with each other?
Its a complete recipe for disaster.
If on the other hand, your goal is to actually learn how to defend yourself then I urge you to seek out a real authentic kickboxing class and not one of these community center classes taught by a clown with no martial arts background.
Great Stress Reliever
Unless you love what you are currently doing, I’m sure your like everyone else and stressed about work.
Long morning and afternoon commutes to and from work.
Crappy bosses or dealing with office politics.
And then there’s the issue of “job security“.
Wouldn’t it be great though, if you could just unwind after a hard day of work?
Well here’s the thing.
All you need to do is just take up kickboxing.
Because your putting your body through physical exertion during a kickboxing class, your brain reacts by releasing chemicals such as endorphins, which not only reduce the feelings of pain through acting as an analgesic, it also leaves you feeling great!
Furthermore, after taking out all of your stress and wailing away at a heavy bag for 3 rounds, you’ll feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of your shoulders.
I mean come on, who wouldn’t like to beat the crap outta that poor red punching bag after being stressed out all day at work?
In this article, we talked about how kickboxing can help you achieve your goals of weight loss through several means including increased caloric energy expenditure both during the class and afterwards for up to 14 hours post exercise.
In addition to providing you for weight loss benefits, kickboxing also teaches you self defense, helps you build strength, and is a great stress reliever.
Not only is kickboxing a fun way of losing weight instead of the traditional route of doing cardio on a treadmill, it also burns quite a lot more calories as well.
If your currently bored with your weight loss routine, why not give kickboxing a try.
You might just find that you’ll love it and also learn how to kick ass at the same time!