Kickboxing conjures images of martial arts or a self-defense class. As I discovered on a recent visit to ilovekickboxing, however, it is actually a fantastic, fun and intense way to get in shape. The program, based on the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) model, features intense bursts of exercise followed by short periods of rest. Classes are designed for any age or fitness level, and offer a complete body workout in just 60 minutes. I was hooked after just one class.
My introduction to ilovekickboxing began with my pre-class meeting with a personal instructor who stayed with me during class to make sure I got the hang of the moves. My instructor showed me how to tape my hands, a necessity before putting in the personalized boxing gloves. I wrote my name on the black gloves with a gold sharpie, which I personally found very cool.
The class is a really hard workout, but you can go at your own pace and join back in if you need a break. The workout began with a jog, including knees up and butt kicks as we ran. We also did some killer planks, abdominal work, push-ups, squats and mountain climbing moves. I was sweating and winded at times, even though I considered myself in decent shape before this class. After the boot camp like workout, we did some excellent stretches, rarely done in many classes. Finally, it was time to put the gloves on.
My instructor and I went to the bag, which is a stand-alone apparatus that sits on the floor and bounces back when punched. We executed various moves, including right and left jabs, upper cuts and punches to the side of the bag. I received expert instruction on how to execute these punches. Legwork included front kicks and shin kicks. Putting the footwork and legwork combination together made me truly appreciate professional boxers. The last phase of class involved partner work and jabs toward each hand. It was one of my favorite parts of class as I got to punch my instructor, with whom I had developed a love hate relationship at that point. He pushed and encouraged me throughout the class in a good way. Stretching concluded the class, and by then there wasn’t a dry shirt in the place.
So what keeps everyone coming back for more? There was a distinct camaraderie among the members of the class, and it felt so good not to be in a room full of mirrors. We could all just focus on our workout instead of how we looked. As New Yorkers, it also feels great to be able to relieve stress in such a visceral way. The instructors are amazing, and help guide you throughout the class. I unequivocally recommend this workout to anyone who wants a true full body exercise class. In one hour I felt like I worked upper and lower body and did intense cardio. It was like having a personal trainer workout without the hefty price tag. I will absolutely return to ilovekickboxing, as soon as my soreness subsides.
For more information, and to enroll in classes, visit, ilovekickboxing.com. There are several locations in New York City.