If you know me well, you know that once I get really passionate about something, I tend to go all out.
It really could be anything - from my all time favorite: animals...to art...to music...to scarves...to my vitamix blender...cooking....perfumes.
Now it's turned to fitness...and every so slowly (or quickly!) has it veered towards the world of mixed marital arts and boxing.
When did it start?
Well...been going to the gym with my gym buddy on and off the last 6 months. We used to go to this totally grody and run down gym (not to mention stinky!!) that was only $10 a month...but you get what you pay for, right? For an extra ten bucks you could have access to classes...well...I thought I knew everything, knew what I was doing...so I said "to hell with classes!" and went about my merry way...
It wasn't until we joined a new gym (waaaaaaay cleaner and more of 'my kind' of people) where one day I said to myself...
"Well...still not losing weight...going to the gym more often...what the hell, maybe I'll try a class" - since my gym buddy wanted so badly to try some and I constantly refused.
The very first class that we took was cardio kickboxing.
I was hooked after that.
Not only on classes in general (now I do mostly classes such as cross fit, bootcamp and kickboxing) but was totally hooked on punching that bag once again.
I had a bag in the past...but during that time in my life I wasn't focused enough...so I would do a few workouts...but that bag was mostly sitting there for decoration before I finally made the decision to sell it to a kickboxer that would actually use the damn thing.
I kinda regret it in a way - but at the same time, had no room for it in an apartment.
I then began to just randomly come across star athletes like Ronda Rousey - who I randomly became obsessed with...perusing all her photo's on IG and articles, her fights and then began reading her book "My Fight, Your Fight"...which is VERY good by the way and definitely recommend it to all you ladies out there for some serious motivation (guys too!). She is also currently on the cover of SELF magazine (of course, I had to pick that one up).
She is one bad ass mother!
And from there, I found Joanna Jedrzej---- a strawweight champion in the UFC who is quite the striker and is a beast in the octagon. AND, she's Polish! So that makes her an automatic favorite...even more so since she's so kick ass!
So...that's how it's started...and cannot WAIT for UFC 193 on (which I will TOTALLY be tuning into).
And thus, my random but over the top love for MMA (particularly women's MMA) has begun.
And kicking ass in kickboxing at the gym has become my favorite time of the week.
So in the spirit of all things kick ass...let's talk about how kickboxing will help you lose some weight, kick ass in the gym and kick ass in every other part of your life too. :)
Believe it or not, you can burn up to 750 calories an hour while punching and kicking that bag! As much as 900 (!!) if you add in conditioning drills and jump rope.
It is said that cardio-conditioning is the most effective way of burning calories and stubborn belly fat.
By the way...conditioning exercises include plyometrics, aerobic exercises and weight training - exercises that are based on body movements and motions done in real life.
You don't necessarily need a bag either when throwing punches, but you do tend to tone up more kickboxing instead of air boxing, you also use your back and core a lot more. Engaging your core will actually improve coordination, and the constant movement will also help with flexibility and your reflexes.
AND, you're learning self-defense! There is nothing more valuable for a woman - or any person for that matter - then to learn how to protect themselves and understand that these movements, albeit a great workout, can also save your ass and kick someone elses.
Exercise, no matter what kind, helps release stress and tension. Kickboxing is no exception - it not only does that but also helps release anger and agression.
Instead of going home and downing a calorie-laden alcoholic beverage (which I must admit, I've been guilty of which led to my 'beer belly'!) instead go to the gym a super intense workout.
Beating the shit out of that boxing bag really IS better at releasing stress and anxiety (alcohol perpetuates it - hangover, anyone?) and not only that but it also gives you a kick-ass nights sleep, mental clarity and crazy feel-good endorphins.
So not only is it an overall crazy-good body workout but it improves mental health, leaves you feeling confident and teaches you some self-defense in the process.
and you look pretty bad ass while doing it all too.