Kickboxing classes can start off very intensely, which can be very overwhelming, especially if you are only a beginner and not used to the intensity. So, the best way to cope with the intensity of the class is to be prepared well ahead before the class begins. So eat, drink and be merry.
The first step is to eat. I recommend you to make sure that you have eaten a healthy meal or snack beforehand. Even if you don’t usually eat healthy, try to make your pre-workout meal or snack as healthy and as nourishing as possible. Don’t use your kickboxing workout as an excuse to fill up on oily junk food or sweet confectioneries. At minimum, have a small amount of protein and some low GI carbs, if possible.
Try to go fat-free for this one, unless you are on a ketogenic diet of sorts. What you want to do is have enough energy to push hard in your training without being so stuffed and so bloated that you cannot move easily. So, try to eat no less than 30 minutes before class to give your body a chance to digest the food and to energize itself. What you eat after class is up to you, but I would recommend keeping it healthy. This is not the time to reward your hard work by pushing junk down your throat.
Secondly, you want to make sure that you are well hydrated before each class. Be sure to drink enough water (at least half a liter) about 10 minutes before class – and don’t disturb the class by taking a water break. Kickboxing classes are about the flow of the class. There is only so much time in a day, and with kickboxing being a group exercise everyone participating needs to be mindful of the restraints of time. So, be mindful and don’t disturb the flow or waste the time. And, don’t forget to have a water bottle ready for when class is over and you need to rehydrate yourself before going home.
Yes, the third, final and most important step of a great pre-workout routine, before your kickboxing class, is to relax and not stress.
There are many ways to relax, but this is how I have been doing it ever since I started doing mixed martial arts. Martial arts is a very tough and very intense discipline. You need to have very sharp focus and be mentally prepared for the brutal workouts and drills. Many a times, when you’ve spent all of your energy on the core exercises, kicking drills and punching bag routines, the only thing that can keep you going till the end is your mental strength. Sometimes, the class starts off with such a bang that you feel your head spinning, your motivation slipping and your body wanting to give up. But this doesn’t have to happen. All you have to do is mentally prepare yourself before class by taking these three steps.
- Arrive at least 10 minutes before class. Being in a hurry is really bad for your stress levels. Your adrenaline will go up and you’ll feel a lack of energy if you find yourself in a rush. Also being on time gives you a chance to do some prep before your kickboxing class.
- After you have made sure that you didn’t forget to drink water before class, you can start by lightly warming up. Run a lap, or half, around the dojo or gym or do jumping jacks.
- Once you’ve warmed up, you can relax by stretching, breathing and thinking happy thoughts while doing it. This will relax you and link your body to your mind. It’s also important to stretch because it will improve your mobility and we tend not to stretch enough.
Okay, now, you are ready to kick some ass in your workouts. Let me know how this works out for you in the comments section.