HIIT Your Kickboxing Training

I actually set out to write this yesterday, but the story got sidetracked into riffing on cravings vs temptations, and working out even when you’re feeling lousy. Show up, pay the price, make a change, feel better and maybe even have one of the best workouts ever.

That is exactly what happened to me. I went in feeling sick, and tired, and at the end three people complimented my intensity during class. The funny story is why two of them did so.

I’ve been doing yoga with Tim and Doug (names may be changed to protect the guilty…me) for years now, and they know some of the history of why I’m doing what I’m doing. And the basic reasons I’m doing it are:

  1. I fully and fundamentally believe in what I’m preaching here; live a better, healthier lifestyle through vigorous exercise and better diet.
  2. It is a young man’s opinion that vigorous exercise must be hard, “No pain, no gain.” This is not true but,
  3. Young men are idiots. I know this from painful experience.
  4. Because of points 2 and 3, the regular problems of aging have been compounded by the damages done in my youth. The years have caught up.
  5. Because of point 4, I need an exercise program that, while vigorous, is joint and movement healthy. Enter yoga and Pilates.

To sum up, I spent a lot of hard years in martial arts, years that messed up my back and most of my joints. So what does this have to do with the Iron Price and hot Pilates yesterday? Inferno Hot Pilates is a form of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), and class is broken down into segments, with aerobics being one of them.

Yesterday the final aerobics exercise has some descriptive name, which I can’t remember. What it looks like is a kickboxing move where you’re grabbing behind your opponent’s neck and pulling his head into a knee strike.

I’ve done this class many times, and this exercise is pretty common but (for whatever reason) yesterday I dropped into the old kickboxing pattern. My brain forgot the intervening years and drove my body like I was 25 again. I made the adjustments to turn a Pilates exercise into a fighting drill, drove my body hard and after class the guys were laughing about not wanting to be the guy I was thinking about as I was doing that drill.

This is not the first time it has happened. There have been other occasions when I found yoga or Pilates exercises that were easily modified to become fighting drills. Or when I was doing a posture that I remember being the basis of a karate stretch or strengthening exercise.

Yoga and Pilates have provided a great many benefits to my life; physical, mental, emotional. So much so, they’ve become a part of my very lifestyle, and I’ll show up no matter how lousy I feel. They don’t have to do this for you, but are you looking for a hard, whole body workout? A workout that will leave you physically drained yet mentally fresh, harden your body while making it limber, and wring you out without hurting your joints?

Give yoga or Pilates a go, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You might even find a perfect complement to your other training, up to and including the martial arts.