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How Kickboxing Helped Me Discover a Confidence I Didn't Even Know I Was Missing

Or, The Hardest Workout I’ve Ever Done 

kickboxing silhouette

I’ve been working out for years: running, jogging, hitting the gym, cycling. You name it. I’m in relatively good condition for my age.

Or, so I thought.

As I get older (above 40 that’s where I believe it starts) I’ve got to shake things up every now and then. I was doing a lot of those things (cycling, running, lifting) but each year I felt slightly weaker than I did the year before. It’s sort of a battle against the clock. I watched a kickboxing class and saw people working out unlike any way I’ve ever seen before.

As someone who considers himself decently in shape, I knew it was time to switch things up a bit so I gave kickboxing a try. And I can tell you, without a doubt, it’s the hardest workout I’ve ever done.

Kickboxing is amazing and I’m completely hooked.

The workout incorporates so many different routines and movements making it the perfect workout both physically and mentally. As humans, we should always be striving to push outside of our comfort zones and try new things. This not only helps build confidence and self-esteem for our personal lives, but trickles into our work life and relationships.

Here’s how kickboxing totally kicked my ass outside of my comfort zone.

Kickboxing is strength training and it’s endurance. It’s understanding your body more than ever before. It’s all about active rest at a kickboxing class. Other than a few seconds to sip some water, it’s a lot of constant movement. For instance, when you put your gloves on you don’t stand there. You do it while you run a lap.

Something that’s been said to me for ages is about letting your aggressions out. I remember being told about biking, running, jogging, kayaking: “Hey, it’s a great way to get your aggressions out.” Go hard, go long, get tired. Maybe get angry. The truth is none of those things do that at all. At. All. They’re a great way to expend energy but not aggression.

It just doesn’t happen. You might have a moment here and there but it doesn’t truly exist because we’re not inherently used to that. You know what does get your aggressions out? Punching and kicking.

Most people hear kickboxing and think combat with another person. No need to worry about that - there’s no physical contact with human beings at a kickboxing class. It’s just you and a 120lb heavy bag. You wear shorts (or tights), a shirt, and kickboxing gloves (a lighter duty glove with fingers free). That’s it.kickboxing gloves

I’m not an aerobics class expert – but I have taken them. With kickboxing you’re focused more on getting the combinations right than how tired you are and it helps you get through the time.

After my first class, at noon, I was so exhausted I thought I’d be insanely hungry. I didn’t eat the rest of the day (not recommended). I was dead. I went home and passed out. My body was in shock.

I thought I was fit. Nope. I was sweating so hard I was creating literal puddles of sweat.

The first five times I just wanted the class to end. Eventually I started to feel like they go by fast. They’re not any easier but you feed off of them. It happens in a relatively short period of time. For me it took a month. If you’re younger it might be a lot quicker.

You can’t believe how you feel after kickboxing. You feel like you’re accomplishing something. You feel the strength and the flexibility like you’re a kid again – especially if you’re above 40. Going to gyms for years or yoga you don’t necessarily feel this accomplishment.

And it’s not just strength but the confidence you gain is tremendous. Didn’t realize I could get so winded, so exhausted and stay on and keep going. The feeling and the confidence you gain is hard to measure. It’s one more arrow in your quiver of confidence builders. Remember, you’re doing it for yourself.

It’s amazing to see someone come in who’s in relatively good shape struggling and looking around like, “How are these older guys doing this?”

It’s the hardest working gym I’ve ever seen. There’s almost no socializing whatsoever. My first time some folks came up to me and said hey great workout man. So now I do that for newbies, too.

Pro Tip on Kickboxing Class

Don’t stop before they finish counting down. They are very strict about that. If anyone stops before 1 – and someone does, every class – they will go back and start the countdown over.

You can get addicted to this. If you’re not feeling reinvigorated from your workout – try kickboxing. Anything you can feel different in one month. That’s a big deal. That’s fast.

You also learn a little self-defense as a bonus.

Pro Tip on Finding a Kickboxing Class

Most places offer the same promo. $20 – three sessions and they give you a pair of gloves.

Go and see the quality of instructors. The best way is to test them out using their trial pricing before you commit to anything. See what the instructors are like and see how the classes are run.


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