Back in April, I wrote a review of the first ClubEnergize Fitness Kickboxing class that I ever attended (here). Usually I only write one review of each class as the class tends to be the same time after time, however, ClubEnergize Fitness Kickboxing is the exception, in that I’ve decided to write a second review, as for me, this is the class that just gets better and better and so it warrants a further write up.
When I started taking the classes I loved them and was hooked, the energy and way in which the instructor (Adam Kechil) teaches the class is great and I love the way in which the routines build throughout the hour session and no two classes are ever the same so they just keep on challenging you both physically (as it’s a demanding class) but also mentally as the routine & moves get more complex.
At first I went to the daytime classes but now, I’m hooked, and often attend the evening classes too. Why ? Well – it seems like ClubEnergize has a core group of regular attendees, including me, and the Instructor likes to challenge the group continually. So in the three short months that I’ve been attending ClubEnergize I’ve seen it become more and more Energized and I and the regular attendees (we’ll call them the Energizers) seem to love it and keep going back for more and more.
When I started the classes, although I knew that the class was a fitness kickboxing class, I hadn’t really appreciated how the moves that we were learning in class could be used in other MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) activities – eg Boxercise, Kickboxing, Boxing – real MMA activities !! How do I know? Well the instructor now runs the classes at MMA Fitness Center in Tecom (where I’m now a member) which is gym and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Center and not only can I see the moves in action in the MMA side of the gym, but I also put them into practice in other classes (but that’s a whole range of other posts).
Anyway, back to ClubEnergize Fitness Kickboxing – the topic of my review (it’s so easy to get distracted as there is a lot to tell). The class takes the form of three phases, the warmup, the Kata (choreographed patterns of movements) and the cool down and stretch. All of these phases are pretty intense and fast paced with the only real respite coming right at the end of the class.
The warmup involves a number of different moves which start to get the heart rate raised and start getting you ready for the Kata phase – so typically this would include practicing a range of arm movements from blocks, jab, crosses, and uppercuts through to a whole range of leg movements from front and back kicks as well as side and roundhouse kicks – all of this done whilst you are moving in time with the fast dance music (which I love),. As always, the instructor demonstrates from the front as well as joining the class attendees to demonstrate the moves alongside them. As well as warming up the joints and practicing the moves where the focus is on the right form, your heart rate starts to rapidly rise as the warmup progresses.
After a very quick water stop, the class moves into the Kata phase which is where it all starts to come together. No Kata phase is ever the same which I love and for fellow Energizers, this is the bit that we talk about the most, as this is the part which keeps on challenging us again and again without exception.
It’s difficult to describe it here (but I’ll have a go) but basically the moves that we did in the warmup start getting put together into sequences of moves which build and build and build and get more and more complex as the Kata stage evolves.
So we will typically start with one set of moves (I’ll call them sets) which is demonstrated to you and then you learn and you do this routine to the right and then to the left. Once this set is done, you learn the next and then you do set 1 and 2 together continuously (it’s a class where the sets have no start and end as such as they keep on repeating). After a short while you add on another set, and do sets 1 -3 repeating and basically you keep on doing this and adding on new sets of moves as the class progresses. Each set gets a bit more complex and more challenging until we reach the height of the class when we put together a Kata which is maybe 5 or 6 different sets joined together which we repeat in a back to back seamless routine with no start or end. This is where the high energy/intensity part of the class really kicks in and also where you need to keep remembering what comes next and in which direction! (Not as easy as it sounds!)
Each week the sets get more complex, they are done in different sequences, they are done with higher intensity, they involve more kicks, they have less transition time, or a kick is added during a transition time or the direction of the class changes or some spins are added, the kicks are higher etc – I hope this conveys to you how different each class can be – quite frankly – we are always kept on our toes – both literally and physically – it’s a fantastic challenge and there’s often a lot of ‘whooping’ during the class as the energy builds and the group feel a real sense of achievement. You can also tell how much our instructor, Adam, loves teaching the class too as his energy is always high and he pushes us to take it up a level throughout.
The final part of the class, is the cool down routine and stretches where you begin to lower your raised heart-rate and to stretch out your muscles. It’s always a welcome part of the class after such a high intensity, but oh so fun, workout.
On the evenings and weekends, where the class numbers tend to be bigger, there will often be two experienced Energizers on the stage in the front who do the routine in front of the class allowing the Instructor more time to spend amongst the Energizers to demo the moves, join in or quite often to act as the other person in the ‘fight’ so you can see how the moves we are doing in the Kata phase can be used in reach fight situations.
Equipment – you don’t need to take any equipment, with the exception of a big water bottle and a towel as you will sweat a lot. Psychologically for me, I feel more in ‘fight mode’ if I am wearing hand wraps so these can be useful too (yes, even if they are pink they do the job !) – they are also great at soaking up a little sweat here and there (well ok a lot of sweat – but that’s me – if I train hard I sweat) !
Over the last 3 months that I’ve been doing ClubEnergize – I’ve really noticed how much my fitness has improved and also how my body shape has changed too. The class offers something different which keeps on challenging me both physically and mentally which I love (I don’t always get it right and occasionally find myself facing the wrong way or a little dizzy leaning against the wall to recover – but I love this class and can always see it being a firm favourite of mine for a along time as it continues to challenge me).
Calorie wise – I can easily burn 600 calories in a class so it’s a great intense workout. One of the guys in class averages between 750 to 800 cals. I’m told this is down to technique so I’m now going to focus myself on improving my technique as this should prove useful for other MMA classes too and allow me to have the odd weekend treat or two (just perfect – it’s all about balance) !
Update :July 2012 – The intensity of the classes has increased now and I regularly hit a burn of 750 in an hour, with one of the guys getting in the high 900’s and occasionally 1,000 – WOW !!
Club Energize Fitness Kickboxing is part of Club Energize UK and operated in the UAE under exclusive licence by Adam Kechil who is currently the only instructor in the region. MMA Fitness Center has secured the services of Adam Kechil so in turn the concept is exclusive to this health club only.
More information about ClubEnergize can be found here. ClubEnergize
NOTE : This is not a sponsored post I am a full paying member of MMA Fitness Center. I’m just a regular member blogging about various classes which I enjoy.
*you may recognise Adam from local TV out here (PhysiqueTV and his popular car show IN GEAR) and for his regular work for better Road Safety and Advanced Driving skills through the Institute of Advanced Drivers.