The great thing about my membership at MMA Fitness Center is that all of the classes are included in my membership fee. Which means that I get the opportunity to try out different classes because I feel like a change or sometimes because I’m free at a particular time and fancy training.
This is what happened to me last week. I fancied a workout at 8.30 am and as my regular class was not operating due to some changes to the timetable to accommodate Ramadan hours I decided to take a Muay Thai class instead.
In typical me style, I hadn’t done any research prior to class, I just turned up with my boxing gloves and hand wraps and went to the half cage to train. I have to tell you, that the first time I saw the half cage and the full boxing ring on my initial tour of the gym I was quite intimidated by it and found it a bit scary, but now I’m really comfortable there. This is partly a credit to the great instructors, but also the general ambiance of the gym which is friendly and welcoming and not at all intimidating. Its the sort of place where you feel at home and know that nobody is there to judge you, they are just regular people there to do a workout.
There were only three of us in class, which I like as it means you get lots of time with the instructor, the downside being that there is no time for slacking ! LOL
The first part of the session was a warm up, so some gently jogging around the half cage for five minutes or so. This was followed by us practicing a number of Muay Thai moves – firstly we warmed up our joints by doing various moves from one side of the half ring to the other – think high kicks, front kicks, walking on all fours etc – not terribly glamorous – but a necessary part of the warm up. This was followed by us practicing some combinations of moves as we went from one side of the ring to the other eg jab, jab, cross, front kick (repeat). We also did a lot of roundhouse kicks. We also did a lot of moves using our elbows as weapons and the instructor spent a lot of time correcting our form and position as we put together the combinations.
I was really to pleased to note that all the training I have done at MMA in particular in ClubEnergize, LBT and Boxercise came in useful as a lot of the moves were familiar as the classes have been developed to train for real martial arts in practice.
After thoroughly warming up and doing the practice combinations we then teamed up with our partner and spent three minutes doing the combinations against pads which our partner held. This sounds easy, but when you are putting your energy behind the kicks and punches and focusing your energy on hitting the pads – it is quite a hard workout and not only do you sweat, but you also start to breath heavily too. It also makes you appreciate just how long three minutes is when you are under heavy exertion, particularly as you do this four times over !
In between each set of combinations, you have a quick drink and also have to do ten full pushups on your gloves, which sounds easier than it is to do in practice !
Having practiced two different combinations with our partners which involved a lot of front and side kicks as well as jabs and crosses we then moved onto the punchbags at the side of the gym. Here we did the combinations again, but this time against big punchbags which is quite a challenge as you have to time your moves to meet the swing of the punchbags – if you don’t then be warned – you will feel like you have broken your toe and scream out loud – sorry guys the piercing scream early in the morning was me ! (and yes, I have the bruised toe and foot to prove it since this class is done in bare feet !)
Having been reassured that I hadn’t broken my toe ! (I’m such a drama queen!) we then moved to the final part of the class which focuses on strong abdominal muscles. It always seems like a relief to lie down when in the gym, but this relief passed shortly as we began a number of tough abdominal exercises involving slow sit ups, quick crunches and holding a plank for two minutes as well as holding some static positions for two minutes at a time. The class finished with the instructor telling us to do a bit more stretching, alas this was not for me as I had a 9.30 date with an LBT class !
I didn’t wear my heart-rate monitor, but this has to be at least a 450 cal burn class due to the intensity of the combinations. It’s a sweaty class (but I’ve yet to do one which isn’t if I’m honest!).
UPDATE : I wore my heart-rate monitor at yesterdays class and clocked up a great 606 calorie burn in this one hour class 😀
I’ll definitely do it again, just need to figure out how to build this into my already busy exercise routine.
Equipment – You need your own gloves and hand wraps – though the instructor often has a spare pair if this is your first class.
Muay Thai (Thai: มวยไทย, RTGS: Muai Thai, IPA: [mūɛj tʰāj]) is a combat sport from Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. The word muay derives from the Sanskritmavya which means “to bind together”. Muay thai is referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs” or the “Science of Eight Limbs” because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight “points of contact”, as opposed to “two points” (fists) in boxing and “four points” (hands and feet) used in other more regulated combat sports, such as kickboxing.
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Our Instructor was Ventura who works at MMA Fitness Center.