Kickboxing demands an extreme level of fitness and as martial arts begins to rise in popularity you’ll notice more and more gyms looking to try and incorporate that same level of intensity in their workout “environment”. For example, go to any gym and you’ll probably find a class called “kick fitness”. In other words, kickboxing is clearly doing something right! The discipline offers an excellent level of fitness through an array of different drills that keep the interest and build ability!
It’s no surprise cardiovascular (or aerobic: running, swimming, cycling) exercise is fundamental to any athlete in kickboxing. It’s vital to maintain a strong level of fitness and a powerful advantage to be able to assert your physical dexterity when your opponent begins to flag.
But when breaking kickboxing down, it’s clear it’s not all about aerobic exercise; and this is where martial arts truly stands out. Break the discipline down and it’s immediately clear fighters need to train their explosive ability; that anaerobic start-stop action as well as their endurance based aerobic skills.
Interesting fact: according to MyProtein writer Kelly McFie, (2nd Dan black belt in Ashihara fighting kickboxing) “The term anaerobic basically means that the body’s demand for oxygen is greater than the oxygen available. Therefore, anaerobic exercise burns glycogen to meet the body’s energy requirements. Kick boxers should be able to demonstrate the ability to work at a high intensity for frequent, short spurts with little rest between activities”.
What’s one of the strongest ways to hone your kickboxing aerobic and anaerobic ability? Circuit Training.
Circuit training and high intensity interval training (HIIT) is a successful drill utilized by many martial arts disciplines, ranging from Krav Maga, Muay Thai, boxing and of course, kickboxing. It’s so fundamental because it mimics that start/stop activity in any kickboxing fight or boxing bout. Here you have the opportunity to improve your overall physical and mental ability through the use of calisthenics and resistance based exercises. The idea is to reduce your recovery time between each exercise, giving you that explosive burst of energy where it’s needed the most! (A healthy athlete will need about 30 seconds to recover) It’s crucial to be able to accelerate straight to your “maximum” and simultaneously push limits and build endurance.
If you find yourself feeling lethargic, either mentally or physically, be sure to try our new circuit classes at Stoke Newington (you’ll find them running every Monday and Wednesday at 10am, or on the Sunday at 12.15pm), or alternatively try the workout class at Swiss Cottage which will not only push your limits, but will allow you to put your aerobic and anaerobic ability to the test when sparring towards the end of the class.
Remember, what you put in is what you get out! If you’re looking for that fitter, faster and stronger version of yourself to aid your technique, balance and flexibility, circuit training is an excellent place to start! Be sure to give it a go!