My fitness journey started almost 5 years ago after I graduated high school. Between graduating and starting University I had a ‘mini’ gap year and decided to use those 6 months that I had to really commit to working on myself and my body. I got a gym membership, trained 5 to 6 times a week and monitored my diet. With this routine, over a span of one and a half years, my weight dropped from 72kg to 57kg - a solid 17kg! It was a huge achievement, however, I noticed that although I was successful in losing the weight I still wasn’t looking the way that I thought I would - lean and toned. Because I made the mistake of focusing purely on slow, steady state cardio, I looked, for lack of a better word, lanky. This is where I realised the importance of incorporating more strength and resistance training into my fitness routine.
I started weight lifting and sole cardio sessions became practically obsolete in my routine. It was at this point that I started to build some muscle. For someone who had just lost a great deal of weight, the increase in the number on the scale was a little terrifying, however, I soon learned that a gradual increase in weight is actually ideal for someone who is working out to build muscle. I came across a trainer who taught me the importance of incorporating some high intensity training or aerobic exercises into my routine once or twice a week to supplement my weight training and optimise my workouts. This was when I decided to start Kickboxing and it completely changed my body and life.
Of all forms of high intensity and aerobic exercises, I chose Kickboxing because I was drawn to the plethora of benefits that it offered. Not only did it offer superior cardiovascular benefits, but resistance training benefits as well - the best of both worlds! With all the twists, punches and kicks that target and strengthen the core, legs, arms, hips and back - the movements in Kickboxing really challenged every single part of my body. I was pleased to find that my balance, endurance and flexibility were noticeably improving too. By no means am I the most lean person in the world, but I could see my body physically start to transform particularly in my upper body where my arms started to tone up very quickly.
I also noticed a significant mental transformation the more I practiced Kickboxing. I found that each class was almost like going into therapy. I came out of each and every session feeling empowered, de-stressed and ready to take on anything. I was an overweight kid growing up and I remember being bullied by an older kid on my school bus. Since then struggled with major self-esteem issues. I would never want to take photos or look at photos of myself especially where my body was visible, and would only dress myself in baggy clothes to hide my figure. Today, I can’t tell you that my body looks exactly the way I want it to (I don’t think it ever will), but what I can tell you is that I am confident in my own skin. No longer do I hide behind other people when photos are being taken. Nor does my wardrobe any longer only consist of oversized t-shirts and loose fitting pants. Finding Kickboxing finally relieved the mental strain of these insecurities that I’ve tried to fight away for so long!
I think Kickboxing also adds a different dimension to any routine. I’m the kind of person who can’t jog, run or swim as a form of cardio because, quite frankly, I find doing them for long periods of time so mundane (apologies to those of you who actually enjoy these - I wish I did too!). I would never be able to commit to doing any of these on a regular basis even if I tried, and in any fitness journey consistency is key. Kickboxing is different to me because each session is never the same. Within each class you’re working on different kick and punch combinations and typically also performing various types of strength building exercises as well. Simply put, the variety that this style of training allows for makes it fun and easy to commit to doing for the long run!
Kickboxing offers so much more than just a fun workout that can lead you to looking good. I’ve never walked out of a session failing to feel an immense sense of gratification, or without realising the physical and mental strength that I have in me. The sport has empowered me to push beyond my limits throughout my fitness journey in a way that no other form of exercise has been able to, and continues to motivate me to be the best possible version of myself both physically and emotionally. There’s no one in the world that I wouldn’t recommend Kickboxing to!
Kickstart your own transformation with a free Kickboxing workout at 9Round opening soon at Tanjong Pagar! 9Round is a specialized fitness center offering Kickboxing themed fitness programs that incorporates functional, interval, cardiovascular, and circuit training regimens. See you there!
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