Martial arts has been around for thousands of years. It’s not until recently that participants have been using it specifically as a means for fat loss, along with living a healthy lifestyle and gaining confidence. The art does not have to be specific. It could be Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do, Muay Thai, or just strength and conditioning drills meant to condition you for sport activities.

My biggest experience has been with Muay Thai and conditioning. I didn't know what to expect with Muay Thai, but was I EVER glad I jumped in and stuck with it for 3 years. You are frequently pushing, pivoting, and moving your body through different planes of motion. And while you punch a heavy bag or focus pads, you also end up punching repeatedly for a minute. Clinching your opponent, a traditional Muay Thai maneuver,  forces you to fight against your own body weight as well as your opponents.  All of these movements contribute to conditioning your body to make it more mobile, which, in the end, is what we all want.

I will explain how a class might be broken down for you, just so you have somewhat of an idea what to expect if you decide to take on a martial art class (specifically Muay Thai). 

  • 5 minute jog with 4-5 minutes of dynamic stretching and 2 minutes of bodyweight squats
  • 10 minutes of punching drills. Jab Cross. Jab Cross Hook. Jab Cross Hook Hook
  • 10 minutes of straight kicking. Roundhouse and Front Kicks
  • 15 minutes of punch and kick combinations. 1 minute straight drills with a 20-30 second break.
  • 7 minutes of core drills
  • 5 minutes of stretching/cool down

If everyone is a total beginner, the breakdown might be slightly different, but more or less you get the same kind of class.

As a personal trainer, I tend to utilize not just strength training for my clients, but implement martial arts based movements as well to keep things interesting. Punching and kicking for an hour definitely beats running on a treadmill. If you are reading this, I want you to consider giving martial arts a try. I promise that you will not regret it. And if you train with me, you’ll get the best of both worlds.

By Shahab Nilgiri
Shahab Nilgiri is a personal trainer in Milton, Ontario. Learn more here.

Karen Somerville