Why has kickboxing become such a popular group fitness class? It seems like everywhere you look, businesses are offering some sort of kickboxing program with high promises of burning mega calories, improving physical fitness, reducing stress, and boosting confidence. Oh, and of course my favourite part – giving you the perception that you’ll look like a fitness model. This sounds too good to be true right?
I want to set one thing straight – the true meaning of being a kickboxer is someone that is actively training in martial arts to compete in competition. Kickboxing is traditionally a stand-up combat sport that is based on kicking and punching your opponents inside a boxing ring. So just because you attend a kickboxing class doesn’t make you a kickboxer. However, businesses have found a way to bring kickboxing into the fitness world and we couldn’t be happier.
So is all this hype worth looking into for burning mega calories? Can it really be used to melt away pounds and get 6-packed ripped? Let’s take a look!
How Can it Affect Weight Loss?
Let’s look at the facts on using it for weight loss. According to research, one pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. This means that to lose weight you have to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound. For example, if you consumed the recommended healthy diet of 2,000 calories and burned 2,500 calories through your daily activities, you will be at a -500 calories for the day. If you continued for one week at burning -500 calories per day you would lose one pound of body fat. I hope this helps to show you that your diet and activity levels are really going to help determine the rate at which you will the shed pounds.
So how many calories are you burning throughout a kickboxing class? Could you maybe burn a little extra calories to help supercharge that weight loss?
Countless Martial Arts and fitness clubs are raving about how in just a one hour class you can burn up to 800 calories! Now that’s some serious fuel being burned! According to a Harvard Health Publication, a person weighing 185 pounds can burn up to 888 calories! They also found that a person weighing 125 pounds is more likely to burn 600 calories. So maybe kickboxing really is worth the hype. Not so fast! The American Council of Exercise did a study on the calorie expenditure during a cardio kickboxing class and they are saying it is a myth that you are able to burn up to 800 calories. Based on their study which used 15 females with the average weight of 135 pounds they found that 350-450 calories is range that people in the study could expect.
Let’s break this down a little more according to the American Council of Exercise, if you were to burn between 350-450 calories per class you’d burn a total of 1,050-1,350 calories if you attended a class 3 times a week. That would translate to losing between 0.30-0.39 pounds a week. Now I certainly do not have a problem with any of my clients losing an average of 0.35 pounds a week but what is often over looked at first glance is that these numbers are for a female weighing 135 pound. So I feel like the amount of potential calories you can burn will depend on your weight, sex, age, and fitness level. This can potentially leading to higher weight loss and more calories burned.
Now I wanted to put my money where my mouth was, so I went out and purchased some Polar H7 heart rate monitors and had some of my members wear them during a 1 hour class at Creed Martial Arts. I used both males and females ranging in age and weight to determine caloric expenditure. I found participants ranged between burning 500-1,200 calories per class. Females on average burned less calories than males. However, they were still higher than the suggested 350-450 calories. Concluding that kickboxing as an activity for weight loss is highly recommend.
However, more study needs to be done on this topic for more scientific-backed research. Now please note that recording calorie expenditure using the Polar H7 heart rate monitor is not perfect – it is simply a prediction.