I’m not sure what got into me last week. I saw an ad on Facebook and signed up for a free kickboxing lesson at a gym within walking distance of my house.
Well, I do sort of know what got into me. At the beginning of this year, I grew aghast at the post-menopausal weight that had crept upon my thighs (and butt!) with little pig’s feet, so, I signed up for Noom, an app that helps you track your food intake, exercise, steps taken, and thought processes around food.
The program has been very helpful and effective. I’ve lost eighteen pounds so far and still have a few more to go. I can tighten my belt three or four more notches than before. Pretty soon I’ll need to buy smaller jeans!
I noticed the gym when it opened a few years ago and joked with my girlfriends that we should try it, but in my mind, I figured the sport was for people younger than those in their late (ahem) fifties. But since losing weight, I’ve been feeling a bit feisty and ready to try something new. Plus, the more weight that comes off, the harder it is to lose because your body becomes more efficient using calories. One of the things Noom suggests to counteract this is to up the intensity of your workouts. Kickboxing would certainly be more intense than walking, biking, and elliptical striding, which is what I’ve been doing.
My main goal with this lesson was not to get broken. Having fun would be a plus.
I just returned from my lesson and I *think* I’m still intact (I’ll know better tomorrow after the stiffness sets in). And, it was FUN. I enjoyed punching the crap out of something without any social consequences. I must have subterranean anger that needs an outlet! Plus, the music was good.
Here’s how it works: The instructor interviews you about your fitness goals, motivations and any injuries you may have. Then it’s time to get moving. There are nine stations. You exercise alone at a station for three minutes. Then there’s a thirty-second interlude where the staff call out different exercises for everyone to do, like holding a plank position or doing mountain-climbers. Then everyone moves to the next station. Instructions for what to do are written on placards at each station. Time is kept by a lighted box on the wall.
Station exercises include sit-ups, kicking a heavy bag, doing uppercut punches on a wrecking ball-type heavy bag, and practicing traditional punches on a speed bag. The exercise I failed miserably at was jump roping. Apparently, jumping is not in my adult repertoire of activities. The activity I was surprised I could do fairly well were sit-ups while holding a medicine ball.
I like that, even though you work out at a station alone, you’re with other people who are working out in the same room. It’s rather like weight-lifting that way. But on the thirty-second interludes between stations, everyone works together doing whatever torture, er… exercise the instructors call out.
At the end, the instructor had me step on a machine that calibrates body composition. It basically said what I already knew – I’m doing pretty good for my age but could lose a few more pounds.
Then, the instructor outlined the three monthly exercise plan options they offer. I chose the cheapest one (because I’m cheap) and was issued my VERY OWN boxing gloves (I chose pink and black), wrapping tape, and heart monitor. I was also able to choose my own boxing superhero name, which will be shown on the public monitor display in the workout room. I chose “Magma” because it starts with M like Marie, plus cuz I’m so hot.
I may regret all this tomorrow when I can’t get out of bed, but for now, I’m feeling pretty darn good, and for a Minnesotan, that’s saying a lot.