Monday, 29 February 2016

Get to Class: Foxy Kickboxing

Ok, so it has been ages since a 'get to class' post.  I think I have probably tried new things in that time, I just haven't thought to post. Today's class was something totally different: Foxy Kickboxing! The closest I have come to a kickboxing class is probably the old Les Mills classes. They have changed names and formats so many times, but I think it was called Group Kick... or maybe strike??  Knowing that I loved that class, I jumped at the chance to try out a Foxy Kickboxing class.

What to expect:

Arrive early to learn how to wrap your hands. You receive purple boxing wraps with your registration which seems more intimidating than it is.  Once your hands are wrapped, you do a quick warm up followed by sets of drills.

Beginners and intermediate boxers are split into two groups and the newcomers learn technique and do slightly simpler drills. Think jab cross jab cross later followed by a snap kick.  You also learn to hold the pads and punch properly with the gloves on. It took me a few punches to get used to keeping my knuckles down.

Here is a summary right from the website:

If you liked your Tae-Bo video’s from the 90’s our kickboxing classes will be like that but 1000 times harder. Why? Well we actually use pads and gloves. You will be hitting and holding Thai Pads throughout class so you get a lot of resistance training (e.g. muscle building). In fact holding the pads is just as exhausting as the actual hitting! And don't worry if you struggled with rhythm - we aren't a 'cardio-kickboxing' class so we don't hit to the beat of the music either. 

It was really fun to do something different for a change.  Run-bike-run can get old after a while, so mixing things up can be a welcome change.  I can definitely see how this class would be a shoulder burner.  Whether you are holding the pads or throwing the punches, you get a workout!

Most of the class was partner work. This is the only part I didn't love, but I think I would have if I was with a friend who wasn't afraid to hit hard and vice versa.  With a stranger, I didn't feel I got those hard hits in, which made the workout not as challenging as it could be.

I would love to go back with a friend who would keep me on my toes! I can see how that would really bring it to the next level.

More info:

Currently, Foxy Kickboxing classes are only in SK, AB and BC. There are plenty of locations to choose from however, so finding a class a short drive or run away shouldn't be a problem.

6 weeks of classes 1x/week is $95 and classes are 1 hour long. That is less than average for other drop in classes in Edmonton.

Are you a fan of kickboxing or martial arts type classes? Have you tried out Foxy Kickboxing in your area??

Note: While I was provided the opportunity to attend at no cost, as always this review represents my honest feedback.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Strength for days!

It is a long weekend here in Alberta and I am so happy to have that extra day for family time.  Today we got a bunch of new books from the library for Weston and we have a couple of little valentines day treats planned for him.

Today I want to talk about strength training.  I don't think it is a secret that it is the weakest part of my exercise regime. When I do get in strength work it is usually in a HIIT class, which is no doubt a great training option, but not necessarily runner specific.  Also, in full disclosure, given the option I am likely to do anything but strength.

As I reflect on some of my running injuries and the frustration that comes with taking time off, I decided it was time to make a concerted effort to get stronger.  Here is what I was looking for:

  • Runner specific training
  • Minimal time for maximum benefit
  • An easy to follow plan that didn't make me feel intimidated
  • Exercises that I could easily do at home when the gym isn't feasible.
After spending a bit of time on youtube trying to put together some semblance of a plan, I decided to take another route and look for injury prevention specific training.  This search led me back to Strength Running.  I have been a follower of his blog for a while now but had never actually purchased a plan.  Last week I finally did! 

His question is simple: Do you want to run faster with fewer injuries? Umm, yes please!

I chose the injury prevention plan which includes 2 books, PDF descriptions of the workouts, and access to videos demonstrating the exercises.  The books were very informative.  As a runner who has had almost every injury he talks about I had a few aha moments where I realized what I may have done wrong to rehab.

Here is the best part: the workouts are not super time intensive.  I have done one six days this week and the max time was about 20 minutes.  I do the core workout watching TV.  

The most interesting thing I have learned so far is this: strength training is just one part of an injury prevention plan.  Other elements are smart training and nutrition amongst others.

Ahh the complexity of being a successful runner ;)

If you want to see more, here is a link to the core workout (my new favourite!!) 

Are you a frequently injured runner??
Do you love or loathe strength workouts??