credit: Elissar Azar, taken with permission.
For all you exercise junkies out there, you’ll be stoked to hear that a form of cardiovascular exercise has received much popularity- kickboxing. Combining both a high intensity cardio workout plus mega strength training, it packs a punch (get it) with an estimated 500 calories burned every hour. It’s a favorite choice for celebrity supermodel Gigi Hadid and famed actress, Angelina Jolie. Interestingly enough, I tried it out…
*I am no Ronda Rousey. I am 5 foot 4. 124 pounds. And definitely in no way, shape or form physically suited for serious kickboxing. My favorite exercise? Running. So why, you might ask, did I attempt at picking up this up and coming sport? Beats me. However, my cousin, Elissar recently picked up the sport- a frequent boxer (usually around twice a week) and offered me to go with her one day for some cousin to cousin bonding time. I’m up for anything and enjoy working out, PLUS Title Boxing offered me a free first time trial.I said why not. Little did I know what was up ahead.
I enter the boxing club and the first thing I notice is heavy metal music- I think ok, I’m smelling what they’re stepping in, I can work with this, if anything, I DIG this. Luckily, I wasn’t the only newbie in the 6:30 class, my sister Isabella joined in for the fun. Wisely, my sister, my cousin and I chose a matt in the back to hide from the potential humiliation. But who knows? What if this was my secret calling.
Ha, wrong. The heavy metal music signified something- these people were hardcore. Ahead of me is a woman shaped similarly to that of Jennifer Lopez- the woman is stacked and knew how to pack a serious punch. I would never want to mess with her.In the first minute, the head trainer with a voice that could make a grown man cry barked instructions- “jab, hook, kick”. I kicked and it hurt, the matt physically hurt me. Despite the pain, it was an easier combination and I got through it, with a mere bruise on my left leg.
Then it heated up. He then incessantly shouted “left jab, right jab, super punch, hook, double kick, super punch” and combinations similar. Lol. I seriously could not recover from kicking the punching matt that the last super punch was pitiful. To end things, maybe to set me up for failure and also for detrimental humiliation, the trainer told me to set up at the front of the class and straddle a matt (a very uncompromising and un lady-like position) that laid on the floor, and just “punch the hell out of the thing”. I laughed. I laughed at his face, disrespectful considering this was his profession, but I seriously thought he was cracking a joke. But I did what he told me to do. With my head down, I walked toward the front of the class, completely avoiding eye contact with everyone else in the class made up of 30 plus people. So there I was straddling a 5 foot boxing matt, in front of nearly 40 people, punching and punching and punching. It was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life.
In conclusion, I would definitely recommend kickboxing to get in serious shape fast and for those looking for a full body workout. Learn from my mistake, and maybe research the basic combinations or check out a video or even ask for a private basics class. The results were rewarding and definitely made my muscles sore the next day.
Sophomore, Nina Alberdi and regular kickboxer agrees. She says, “I enjoy kickboxing because even though it may be for an hour or an hour and a half, it will be one of the most intense and rewarding workouts of the week.In addition, I feel proud of what I have done, and it helps with stress relief from all the work I have done during the week.”