Is Kickboxing Better Than the Gym?


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Kickboxing is an awesome martial art for self-defense and boosting your confidence. It’s also great if your goal is to become fit and lose weight. But is kickboxing better than the gym?

Here’s what I found out:

Kickboxing is better than the gym because it is a highly intense full-body workout performed under direct supervision. Because of the level of guided instruction, it is more effective than a self-paced, free form gym membership, and it yields better results faster.

An article by Harvard Health (I’ll share the link in a bit) compared many activities one would ordinarily engage in in a gym to martial arts such as kickboxing and consistently showed that one would burn more calories from kickboxing.

If you opt for kickboxing, you’ll be taken through a curriculum.

You won’t have to be deciding what and when to do it. You’ll be receiving structured training from seasoned and certified instructors who have trained many. It is highly demanding and yet incredibly more rewarding than going to the gym.

You’ll lose weight, tone your body, and know how to defend yourself to boot.

In the article, we’ll explore issues around kickboxing’s benefits as it relates to weight loss, being a full-body workout, how soon you should expect to see results, and more.

Let the fun begin…

Is kickboxing a good way to lose weight?

Kickboxing is a good way to lose weight. However, because of its intensity, some people may gain some muscle (which weighs more than fat) faster than burning fat, resulting in minimal results on the scale. But practitioners will lose body fat and inches off their waist.

The main reason why it’s effective is that you could burn a lot of calories fast. It’s a full-body, high-intensity workout that also helps in toning the body. Consider the following:

In an article, healthline.com states that it is possible for a person who weighs 155 pounds to burn 372 calories in 30 minutes of training.

And an article by Harvard Health shows that a person weighing 125 pounds would lose 300 calories, a person weighing 155 would lose 360 calories, while a person weighing 185 pounds would lose 420 calories in 30 minutes. This is very impressive if you ask me.

Can Karate help you lose weight? 

That’s what I explored in a recent article of mine. In it, I explained that Karate would help you lose weight but that it’s ideal to combine it with other fitness and dietary changes.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Is kickboxing a good full-body workout?

Kickboxing is a good full-body workout. It involves the use of the arms, legs, and the arms, legs, and the hips. So, when one is engaged in it, virtually all the muscles of the body are being toned. The core, glutes, arms, hamstrings and quads, and back are all being given intense workouts.

You would have observed that most kickboxers have that lean and mean look, even when they’re not fully ripped.

Of course, a lot are. Because the training is demanding. When we watch a kickboxer, it looks easy. But, it’s because of the highly demanding drills they’ve gone through.

Kickboxing involves lots of punches and strikes. It also involves balance, which you’ll hone, too, because if you’re not balanced, you can’t execute some of the kicks, especially the “signature” kick: the roundhouse kick.

Of course, it is an intense workout, and if you’re not in great shape right now, it’s always a good idea to get a check-up first and get your doctor’s input about starting a new exercise regime.

How long will it take to see results from kickboxing?

If you are consistent with the kickboxing training 3 or more times a week and are eating the proper diet, you can expect to see results within a month. 

How long it will take to see results depends on the intensity of your workouts and the frequency. It’s a no-brainer, right? It’s the ol’ “we get what we put in” law. So, it’s important to be consistent and to put in your best at each session.

Now, what determines the number of calories you’d burn? Your weight and the intensity of the workouts are the key variables.

An article by Harvard Health shows that a person weighing 125 pounds would lose 300 calories, a person weighing 155 would lose 360 calories, while a person weighing 185 pounds would lose 420 calories in 30 minutes.

If weight loss is not the goal, with consistent training and conditioning in 6 weeks to 2 months, you will notice marked changes in your level of fitness and your physique.

Of course, this has to be complemented with proper diet and rest.

Can you do cardio kickboxing everyday?

While a person can do cardio kickboxing every day, it is better to allow the body to rest between workouts to get the maximum benefits from the workouts. When just getting started, ease into it 2-3 days a week and gradually increase the number of days.

That will also help to avoid burnout.

Working out can be so much fun that you’d want to experience the thrill as often as possible. I get it. You may want to do it each day.

But, the muscles of the body need some time to rest before they can become stronger. Two or three times a week is good. Over time, you can increase it to 4 to 5 days a week. So, you still have at least 2 to 3 days to rest each week.

Let’s check out what some organizations recommend.

The CDC advised that one shouldn’t lose more than 1 or 2 pounds each week. Anything more than that could lead to some health complications. If losing weight is the goal, you want to keep this in mind.

The Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health recommends that all adults accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most or each day of the week.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 20-60 minutes of continuous aerobic activity 3 to 5 times a week and 2 to 3 days of resistance training.

Can Judo help you build strength? 

In a recent article, I showed that Judo, like some other martial arts, does help you build strength because virtually all the muscles of the body are being engaged as you would often have to throw opponents who are bigger, stronger, and fitter than you are.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What percentage of people do not use their gym membership?

63% of people do not use their gym membership regularly, and 6.3% have never used their gym membership. The cost of the gym membership for the latter group is $1.8 billion. 

It’s not a surprising pattern, and it’s not unique to Americans either.

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On realbuzz.com, an article on gym stats estimates that about 80% of Americans have gym memberships that they do not use. And, to put this in context, it estimates that about 14% of the population have gym memberships. This is about 45 million people.

In many nations, at the beginning of the year, folks sign up for gym memberships.

After a few visits, a sizable fraction often drops off. But, it’s vital to remind ourselves that the pandemic has also had a huge effect on the number of those who use their gym membership.

Karate vs. Kickboxing: Which one is better for self-defense?

In a recent article, I explained why Kickboxing is better. It’s a blend of Karate, Boxing, and Muay Thai. So, it has an array of the most effective moves in these 3 martial arts. Of course, it’s better than just knowing Karate.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Conclusion

Is kickboxing better than the gym?

That’s what we explored in the article. Yes, it’s better than going to the gym because it’s a more intense and structured path, and you would be guided by seasoned instructors.

We looked at whether it’s a good way to lose weight, how it affects the hips, and whether it’s a full-body workout. We checked out how long it would take to see results.

We also looked at whether it’s okay to do cardio Kickboxing (CKO) every day, and we called it a day by finding out what percentage of the people do not use their gym membership.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell was Academy Director for a large martial arts school for over 7 years, and has trained extensively in a variety of martial arts including Brazilian Jiujitsu, different styles of Karate, the Russian Martial Art of Systema, Aikido, and much more.

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