BIGGEST LOSER "19" — WEEK SIX (KICKBOXING)

We reached the halfway point in the twelve week program, putting Week Six of Biggest Loser “19” in the books. The turnout was really excellent this week, possibly because it was kickboxing week.

Everyone always loves the kickboxing class because it’s such a great workout (it’s common to burn 500-600 calories). There’s also a lot of hitting things, which is great for stress. While one or two of the participants have often done some kickboxing, the majority of the people haven’t, so we always start from scratch.

First we do what I call the Duck-Duck drill. This is where the people gently swipe at each other twice (L & R) while the other just ducks the punches, and then they switch, back-and-forth. It’s a good drill that helps them learn how to react to a partner.

Then we cover the basics: Jab, Cross, Cover, Cover. Typically, I’ll have them work on the techniques just in the air, all facing the same direction. Once they start getting comfortable, the next step is always to add movement: Skip-step in, Jab, Cross, Cover, Cover, Skip-step back out.

To add some zing, I’ll have them change directions quickly between combinations, and also break things up with partner sit-up and push-up drills, and the dreaded command: “Sprawl!” Whenever they hear this, they’re supposed to drop down into a pushup position, and then pop right back up. It’s really designed to keep somebody from taking you down, and it’s a killer!

Finally, we throw in some knee strikes, front kicks, and round kicks, and the prep work is done. Then we do it all again, but with partners holding two square targets. This lets them learn to focus their techniques, and also have some fun hitting things. We’ll do 30 seconds of a drill, and then hand the targets over to their partner, switching back and forth before changing drills.

At the end of the class, I always do one minute rounds where the partner feeds them different looks with the targets, and they have to react with the proper moves. It’s always challenging, and it adds some realism and intensity to the drills.

Later, participants can get 12-16 oz boxing gloves, and do all the techniques on a heavy bag too. They’ll typically do 3-5 minute rounds on the bag, with lots of movement in-and-out, and around the targets. Personally, one of my favorite workouts is to do 10 five minute rounds on the heavy bag, with a quick drink and towel break in between each round!

Our Week Six Biggest Loser was Michelle Clark, who lost 4.6 lbs and 2.8% of her body weight. Cheryl Redman placed second, losing 1.3% and 2.8 lbs, and Brooke Bishop finished third, losing 1.1% and 2.6 lbs.

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