5 Tips to Help You Survive Your First Kickboxing Workout
Taking kickboxing classes at 4GK Martial Arts in Patchogue is a great way to lose weight and get fit. But it could seem intimidating if you have never done it before. Here are some tips that will help you feel confident walking into that class for the first time.
1. FILL THE TANK
Researchers have discovered that working out on an empty stomach actually causes you to lose muscle instead of developing muscle. That’s no good because, for the most part, muscle is what drives your metabolism. The less muscle you have, the lower your metabolism will be, which makes it harder to lose weight. You will also need fuel for your body to burn during the class. It may seem counter-intuitive, but you need to take in calories to fuel your workout. Without enough energy to turn up the intensity, you’ll burn fewer calories, which defeats the purpose of working out in the first place!
To ensure you have enough fuel to burn, have a small snack 30 to 60 minutes before kickboxing class. Something small (yet healthy) like an apple or a protein bar will give you enough energy to power through your workout. But don’t overdo it! Having a full meal just before working out could leave you feeling bloated, nauseated, and lethargic because large meals signal your body to focus on internal processes like digestion instead of external functions like kicking some butt. Your last large meal should be at least 2 hours before class so that you give the food time to digest.
2. WATER UP
Kickboxing is a very intense and physical activity. That means you will sweat a lot. So you need to replenish those fluids. Begin hydrating well before class begins. Your body can only absorb water so quickly, and by the time you are sweating and thirsty in class it is too late to try to catch up. On the other hand, don’t drink a whole bottle of water right before class because doing so will only leave you feeling sloshy and barely capable of working out. Once the workout starts, take small sips throughout the class, just enough to keep you hydrated. Plain water, Vitamin Water, or even sports drinks like Gatorade work well, but avoid juice or protein shakes. Those are better AFTER you’re done working out when your body is in recovery mode.
3. LEAVE THE CAPE AT HOME
When it comes to working out, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Not everyone can do extremely intense physical workouts, particularly if it’s your first class, so you need to ignore everyone else and go at your own pace. While it’s great to feed off the energy of the class to spur your workout to new heights, it’s not a competition. You don’t want to hurt yourself because you’re trying to keep up with your buddy. Please stay safe and go at a pace with which you feel comfortable… no need to be a superhero. (If you DO find you need to up the intensity, check out this article: 7 tips for a better & safer kickboxing workout)
4.THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS
During class the instructors will check on you frequently, especially if it’s your first class. But even with all the attention, it’s still fine to ask the instructors questions if you’re not clear about something. Remember: there is no such thing as a stupid question. In fact, if you need to ask a question, chances are, others are confused as well but don’t want to ask. Because of the intensity of the workout and because there is contact involved, your question may, in fact, be the thing that helps keep you safe. (Of course, you can also post those questions in the 4GK Fitness Tribe Facebook group if you want to discuss it further)
5. YOU CAN DO IT!
This may be the hardest thing you have done physically, but you CAN do it. And you will have fun while doing it! You will walk into that class, sweat, have fun and at the end you will be able to say “I DID IT!” Changing your life and your body takes time, and while we all have that perfect picture in our head of what we want to look like and feel like, your very first goal is to realize that you CAN survive kickboxing, and that you WILL.
An intense kickboxing workout at our Patchogue martial arts school can burn up to 800 calories per class, and you’ll have a ton of fun while you’re doing it. Keep these five tips in mind when you start kickboxing and have a great time!