January 27: Kickboxing

Yesterday evening, two colleagues and I ventured to a group fitness kickboxing class. It’s becoming apparent that Thursday and Friday classes should be avoided or I need to arrive earlier because they are just so crowded. One colleague speculated that the reason for the crowded group fitness classes was a pre-emptive strike against the carbs in their binge drinking weekend. I haven’t been working here long enough to speak to the validity of that claim, but based on the overflow of crowds at local bars and the red solo cups littering nearby lawns, I’d say there is probably some truth to the claim.

Fortunately, everyone was mindful of their surroundings. It could have gotten ugly during the interval with the burpees lol. Anywhoo, the class was an hour, but we did cardio for 45 minutes. For the most part, we worked at a high rate of perceived exertion. I’d say I remained between a 6 and 7 most of the class, though the instructor was at an 8  to 9. I’m very mindful of proper form because I’m not interested in having a knee problem, but the class was so quickly paced that it was easy to harm oneself. Besides concern for proper form, the lack of adequate personal space had me holding back for fear of striking someone inadvertantly.

After 20 minutes, I had to mentally will myself to push through. If my body could speak, I know it would fuss me out about trying new workouts and shocking it into recruiting different muscles or pushing it beyond its comfort zone. Just as I am becoming faster in the pool, learning to like spinning, and managing in Step & Sculpt, I go and try kickboxing lol. Thankfully, my body hasn’t said “Eff you” since January 2 lol. Following 45 minutes of kicking, boxing, jumping jacks and shuffling from side to side, I welcomed abdominal work. Oh, to be 21 again because our instructor was full of energy. What I thought would be a time to cool down turned into hardcore abs. She made Jackie Warner’s core workout look like child’s play. I toughed it out, though, as my abdominals are much stronger than they’ve probably ever been. Lord knows I would never do such an intense abdominal workout on my own.

It’s been years since I’ve enjoyed working out this much. Even though buying a group fitness pass is more money on top of the gym membership, I definitely enjoy myself much more than I had been when all I did was crank it out on the elliptical or adaptive motion trainer. And based on the variety of workouts I’ve endured in the last four weeks, I just wasn’t pushing myself hard enough on my own. I am definitely stronger and leaner than when I brought in the new year.

Bottom line: Kickboxing is a good cardio workout; spinning still wins in my book, though. It’s really easy to hurt yourself because of the fast pace and quick transitions from one move to the next. I’ll try other kickboxing classes to find a less crowded time, but I will definitely try it again. More than likely come the end of February when the students are overwhelmed with coursework and making plans for spring break, attendance will thin considerably.