I had written cardio kickboxing off as a '90s fitness fad made popular by late-night infomercials. But after taking a class at Equinox's San Francisco location, I'm mad at letting myself miss out on such an amazing workout all these years. Never boring, cardio kickboxing is a challenge in technique, endurance, and concentration. It's also great for time-pressed individuals looking to lose weight fast. In as little as 30 minutes, you can expect to burn more calories doing cardio kickboxing than you would in other hour-long, aerobic-based workouts. Liz LeFrois, group fitness instructor at Equinox and Master Kickboxing instructor, recently shared with us what to expect when taking cardio kickboxing for the first time and who is best suited for this intense workout.
What should you expect? Make no mistake, this is a fast-paced class that will have you sweating buckets. The high-intensity workout fuses together kicks, punches, and jumps into quick combinations that keep the body moving. "Some people get frustrated because it's hard to do it properly," says Liz. "But just as in anything new that you learn, it comes with time." Liz says the key to doing well in cardio kickboxing is being focused and alert during class. This will help you keep up with the moves and easily piece together the combinations. "Even if you are not feeling successful the first couple rounds, don't stop going to the classes; it gets easier."
What kind of person should try cardio kickboxing? Cardio kickboxing is a must for those who are looking to lose weight or build up heart health. It's a major calorie-torcher: one 30-minute class burns over 300 calories! Because the classes are relatively short and the combinations are constantly changing, cardio kickboxing is also great for those who get bored easily. The only requirement, Liz says, is "to be ready to work and be in the moment." Because concentration is a prerequisite for these classes, Liz says kickboxing can also be a great mental workout and huge stress reliever. "A cardio kickbox class is great if you are having a bad day because you'll forget all about it."
Check out Liz's secrets for taking a cardio kickboxing class after the break!
Insider tips: While attention from the instructor is helpful for newbies, Liz warns against standing in the front of the class if it's your first time. "The people in the front are the people you want to watch when the instructor walks around." Also make sure to give yourself plenty of room to move around, since you'll likely be kicking, punching, and jumping from all directions. And even if you don't master all of the moves in the beginning, just keep moving! "Don't get frustrated if you don't pick it up right away. Kick some butt and sweat it out," says Liz.