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* Individual results may vary. Please contact your physician before beginning any new exercise program.

Welcome back, dear readers,

Thai pads

I’ve had some requests for a description of my kickboxing class. What is it like? What do we actually do? It is difficult to describe a typical class, because there really is no such thing. Some clubs are all about bag work and sparring. At KWest, we do no bag work because we have very few heavy bags. Most of our training takes place with a partner, and we alternate holding Thai pads. If you want to spar, you have to join Level 2, and to do that, you need to pass a test. To see what it’s like to train in Thailand, read about Dave Zuniga’s experience here.

No matter how you do it, kickboxing is one of the best full-body workouts in the world. My kru even offers a class that’s designed to burn 1,000 calories in a one-hour session. As long as you push yourself, a kickboxing class usually burns about 600-800 calories per hour–not too shabby!

This is Grant. Don’t mess with him!

My club’s Stamina Mondays are killer, and even more so when Grant is teaching, like he did yesterday. Here’s what we did.

We started with three rounds of several plyometric exercises. Fifty regular squats, ten rip squats (you start in a low crouch, jump backwards, and then jump forwards before going back into a crouch), twenty-five push-ups, 25 seconds of plank running (otherwise known as mountain climbers), ten pylo push-ups (while doing a regular push-up, you clap in mid-air after pushing your body up, and twelve side lunges (your legs go out to the side instead in front of your body for this lunge. Lunging to the left and right side counts as one rep). If he’s feeling generous, Grant will lower the amount of repetitions required for each round, but usually not.

Then we’re into ab work. Ten regular crunches, followed by ten Thai sit-ups. For Thai sit-ups, you lay on the ground with your back touching a mat and your legs straight up in the air. With your arms straight over your head, your raise your upper body until your fingers touch your toes. Ten more regular crunches, followed by ten more Thai sit-ups. Again. And again. Then we did some straight leg side-crunches, bent leg side-crunches, and bicycle crunches. Finally, the warm-up is over. Anyone who’s still alive grabs some Thai pads and a partner.

We begin with two two-minute rounds of:

30 seconds fast punching (jab, cross, jab, cross)

30 seconds roundkicks
30 seconds switch kicks
30 seconds fast punching
I know thirty seconds doesn’t sound like a lot, but trust me, it can seem like an eternity. After surviving that set twice, you switch up the Thai pads and hold for your partner. After both people have completed the exercise, it’s on to the last round of exercises for the evening.

One minute of combo one (left jab punch, followed by a roundhouse kick). After each kick, you  lower yourself to the ground and do a push-up. The goal is to do as many as possible in one minute, and getting down on the floor and then back up again every time is what really kills you.

One minute of combo two (left jab, followed by right cross punch, switch kick). A push-up after each set.

One minute of combo three (left jab, right cross, followed by left hook punch, roundhouse kick). A push-up after each set.

One minute of combo four (jab, cross, hook, right uppercut, switch kick). A push-up after each set.

One minute of combo five (jab, cross, left hook, cross, left hook, roundhouse). A push-up after each set.

That’s it, you’re done! Dismissed in place. If you haven’t lost five pounds after that, you will at least be too tired to come after me.

What’s the hardest workout you’ve ever experienced?

* Photos of Grant courtesy of Jordan Jenkinson

Grant will kick your butt!
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  1. Chris

    Just reading about your class was a workout – it sounds crazy!

    The hardest workout I’ve done to date was the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, though I suspect that says as much about me as it does about the workout. 🙂

    In terms of sheer muscle fatigue, however, I’d have to call to the podium the climb to the top of Grouse Mountain. That takes the blue ribbon, the gold star, and whatever other Lucky Charms are left in the bowl. The Grouse Grind was an absolute torturefest for someone whose legs weren’t as untiring as he thought. Imagine going up a flight of tall stairs for an hour or two and you’ll get the idea.

    Congrats on surviving your workout day after day!

  2. Story Teller

    Thanks so much, Chris. I have added the Grouse Grind to my bucket list! Race you to the top. 🙂

  3. Chris

    You’re on! I’m going to be lighter and stronger the next time I do the Grind. The only thing funnier than having to rest partway up – because my legs literally couldn’t take another step – was being passed by old men and young kids while I was resting. Bloody elderly, making us sedentary people look bad. 🙂

  4. Story Teller

    I used to swim at the YMCA, and there were a few seniors there who kicked some serious butt. They left the rest of us in their wake. I love knowing that age doesn’t necessarily mean accepting a sedentary lifestyle.


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