So you bit the bullet and signed up for cardio kickboxing. You’ve heard rave reviews from friends, your cousin, even your neighbors and you’ve seen those late-night infomercials for the home video version. It looks pretty sweet, and you think you know what to expect. You may be right, but just in case, here are our tips for rocking your very first cardio kickboxing class.
- Dress the Part, Get There Early & Get a Good Spot in Class
You’re going to get sweaty, so sport something breathable and comfy, and bring a small towel and some water. You can choose to wear athletic shoes or go barefoot. Give yourself ten to fifteen minutes before class begins so you can fill out any paperwork. Most places offer a free trial class but you’ll likely have to sign a waiver at the very least.
Once you’re in the room, an ideal spot for a beginner is somewhere in the back and roughly in the center of the room. Cardio kickboxing movements change direction from combo to combo, and you’ll want to have someone in front of you no matter which way you’re facing so you can follow along. If you’re the last person in the back on the right, odds are good you’ll be staring at the wall at some point with the entire class behind you.
- Don’t Quit
Every cardio kickboxing class, no matter which gym or studio is offering it, is structured in a similar format – sixty minutes of choreographed movements combining punches, kicks and knees designed to get your heart thumping and your blood pumping. It’s fast, loud and downright intimidating if you’ve never done it before. You’re probably going to get hopelessly confused and be a beat or two behind at some point. You may be completely out of sync with the rest of class the entire time. But here’s the thing – everyone in that class has been in your shoes. They’ve all felt overwhelmed and out of breath and sure that they’re never going to be able to keep up. And if you’ve chosen the right place, your fellow kickboxers are likely to give you a smile of encouragement. So don’t quit, no matter how hard it is, no matter how lost you get. Keep your eyes on the prize and imagine how accomplished you’ll feel the day you can nail those combos.
- Keep Moving
The whole point of attending a fitness class like cardio kickboxing is to burn calories and get your heart rate up. Don’t let the confusion that is part and parcel of the first class take that away. Even if you can’t figure out how to replicate those moves yet, keep moving. Try a modified version, give it your best even if you’re out of sync, and if all else fails, just keep jogging in place until you’re ready to jump back in
- Do it Again
Cardio kickboxing is hard. That’s how it’s supposed to be. It’s even harder if you’re only doing it once a week and it’s your only form of cardiovascular exercise. Like any workout routine from which you’re expecting results (weight loss, endurance, whatever your personal goals), consistency is key. A good rule of thumb – three classes a week if you’re looking to maintain your current physique, and four classes a week if you’re trying to improve. So get through your first class and then come back. And keep coming back. It’s an addiction in the best sense – before you know it, you’ll be hooked on all those endorphins.
If you’re want to give cardio kickboxing a try, check this out – Freestyle Fitness offers an entire week for free. Try out different times and instructors, and see for yourself what has all your friends raving.