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Is Kickboxing Better Than Lifting Weights?

If you're looking for a great workout that will help you tone up and burn fat, you may be wondering if kickboxing is better than lifting weights. Both options have pros and cons, so it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. In this post, we'll take a closer look at the benefits of each workout and help you decide which one is right for you. Let's get started!

Kickboxing FAQs

Kickboxing strengthens and tones your legs, arms, glutes, back, and core all at once. You're moving through the entire workout, causing you to burn more calories while strengthening your muscles. This equates to fat loss, not muscle loss!

So generally authentic kickboxing is practiced barefoot, like most martial arts, but some gyms allow you to wear just socks. The problem is that socks don't provide traction and it's easy to slip and fall.

Kickboxing can help reduce breast size because it is a full-body workout that engages the key muscles in the body, leaving the kickboxer with a leaner and toned body. The adipose tissue (fat) in the breasts will be reduced over time if practicing regularly.

When you feel the urge to relieve some stress, kicking a punching bag is perfect for taking out your frustrations — while getting in a solid workout.

If your primary goal is to burn fat and get in shape, training kickboxing three times a week will get you in excellent condition. If you want to compete in the sport on a high level, five or more Kickboxing practices weekly will be required.

Reasons We Guarantee Kickboxing Is Better Than The Gym

Gyms Are Boring

Let’s face it, going to the gym can be boring. For example, doing the same exercises for the same reps and sets.

There is no personal attention, no direction, and gyms are designed to make you fail. Yet, their business model relies on it.

Boredom is not a problem with kickboxing. Every session is different.

The warm-up will change, the class content will change, and the techniques taught will change. Thousands of possible techniques, combinations, and exercises to master.

Plus, your instructor is there to guide and support you every step.

You will never do the same class twice, and boredom will never be an issue.

We guarantee that every session you attend will be different.

You Won’t Work As Hard At The Gym.

It’s human nature to slack off when you train alone. You may work for the first few sessions, but to achieve long term results, you need to work hard every session.

That’s where an instructor will help.

You need to turn up to kickboxing class, and your instructor will take care of the rest. They will take you further and help you work harder than you ever would alone in the gym.

The other students in your kickboxing class will help push and motivate you to perform at your best.

We guarantee that you’ll leave every class sweaty, smiling, and having worked hard.


The Gym Is Not Mentally Challenging.

Most people go to the gym, run a bit, lift a few weights and go home. This is great for your body, but it does nothing for your brain.

Kickboxing and martial arts will develop both your body and mind. The techniques and exercises used in kickboxing will help you burn calories, tone up, lose fat and develop flexibility, but they will also challenge you mentally.

There are over 1000’s techniques to master and complex strategies to learn on your journey to a black belt.

We guarantee Kickboxing will work for both your body and mind.

Stress Release

The gym is great for releasing stress from the body, but kickboxing is even better.

Why? Kickboxing is an instinctual way to release tension.

Many of you may be familiar with the feeling of being soooo stressed that you want to lash out and smash something.

Of course, we don’t, but this tension stays locked in our bodies, causing illness.

Kickboxing offers a safe physical release of this tension in a way that feels natural.

Had a terrible day at work? Been a victim of road rage? Is the kid driving you crazy? Kickboxing allows you to vent those tensions on the bags and pads (…never on another person).

We guarantee no matter how stressed you feel when you enter our Academy after your session, you’ll feel calmer and able to cope with the stresses of life.

And this isn't just conjecture - studies have shown that "martial arts training as an efficacious sports-based mental health intervention for improving wellbeing and reducing symptoms associated with internalising mental health".

Worthwhile Goals

is kickboxing better than lifting weights

You set goals at the gym, but they tend to be short term unexciting goals.

Losing five pounds is a common achievable goal, but what happens when you reach that goal? Lose another five pounds? And then what?

You can reach the same fitness goals while training in kickboxing, but why not also set a goal that will excite you?

How about getting your black belt in kickboxing?

We’ve helped people from 10 to 60 years old get their black belts. It normally takes 3 to 5 years of consistent training to achieve.

This big goal is divided into manageable short term goals by grading every few months for a new belt.

It takes discipline, patience and dedication to earn your kickboxing black belt, and many instructors brag about how few people they’ve promoted to black belt.

However, we specialise in guiding people safely through the journey from novice to black belt.

We’re so good at this that we have graded over 50 people like you to black belt and beyond.

And at the same time you will lose weight, get in the best shape of your life and have lots of fun.

Now that’s a worthwhile goal!

We will guarantee to help you reach your Black Belt and beyond.

Benefits Of Kickboxing: Taking Your Workout To The Next Level 

New to kickboxing? You’re in for a treat! Here are six benefits of adding kickboxing classes to your workout routine. 

Improved Power, Fitness, And Agility.  

It’s no secret kickboxing offers an intense workout that improves your overall fitness, power, and agility. 

A recent study on kickboxing was done using healthy men in their twenties who engaged in kickboxing three days each week over just five weeks. These men showed significant improvement in their lower and upper body strength by 7 per cent. Not only that, but they shaved off more than a second on their previous times for a 50-meter dash. 

Tone And Strengthen Your Entire Body 

Strength training offers significant health benefits. So what better way to engage in strength training and reap those benefits than with a workout that strengthens your entire body? 

Kickboxing strengthens and tones your legs, arms, glutes, back, and core. You’re moving through the entire workout, causing you to burn more calories while strengthening your muscles. This equates to fat loss, not muscle loss! 

Burn Calories Like Never Before

Kickboxing is a high-intensity workout. You can burn between 350 to 450 calories per hour while improving your overall power, flexibility, agility, and health.

That's a lot of calories* Depending on your maintenance calories (you can use figure that out using a maintenance calorie calculator), that could be between 15-30% of your daily calories - per hour!

Kickboxing is one of the best cardio workouts you can give to your body. Its high intensity will leave you burning calories for hours from start to finish. 

(If your heart rate doesn’t stay high throughout the class, you’re not doing it right).

Relieve Stress And Get Some Zen 

Kickboxing is a workout for your body and mind. It’s a great stress reliever, boosts your confidence, and requires you to maintain your focus. 

Have you ever felt so stressed or overwhelmed that you’re looking for a release? Kickboxing is great for that. As a high-intensity workout, your mind will also be releasing endorphins that aid in stress relief and combat depression. 

Improved Coordination And Balance 

Hand-eye coordination is a critical part of kickboxing. You will always be moving, performing an intricate dance while punching and kicking your way to a whole new you. While this may seem intimidating, you can quickly learn the ropes and improve your overall balance and coordination skills. 

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Regular, high-intensity exercise is one of the best things you can do for your heart. Not only is kickboxing a high-intensity workout, but it is an effective way to reduce belly fat. Belly fat has been correlated with heart disease, diabetes, and other severe health conditions. A 2014 study even showed that participating in kickboxing three days a week for one hour at a time increased VO2 max (maximum oxygen uptake).

Does Kickboxing Build Muscle?

Even though kickboxing is a full-body workout, it does not build muscle. Why? Because it doesn’t satisfy the key mechanisms of hypertrophy (aka muscle growth). These are mechanical tension and metabolic stress.

Mechanical is simply maximising force production through the stretch of the muscle. Meaning lifting heavy weights through a full range of motion. But you can also achieve high levels of mechanical tension when taking lighter loads closer to failure.

Kickboxing does nothing to generate mechanical tension or metabolic stress. This is mainly due to having minimal resistance when throwing punches and kicks and the inverse relationship between force and velocity.

Meaning the faster the movement, the less force that can be generated. Less force means less mechanical tension.

Metabolic stress is simply the build-up of by-products that develop in the muscle from energy production. It is associated with the burn you feel when grinding out those last few reps of a heavy set in the gym.

Again, kickboxing won’t maximise metabolic stress either. For example, while your shoulders may burn in your first few kickboxing sessions from holding your hands up, you adapt quickly that you no longer have this sensation even after a 60–90-minute class.

Does Kickboxing Build Glutes?

While the glutes are highly important when kicking to stabilise your stance leg and generate power, kickboxing won’t grow your glutes. To move your glutes through a large range of motion, you need to bend at the hips under load.

This would put the glutes under stretch with load and create the mechanical tension needed for muscle growth. Bending at the hips while kickboxing is a surefire way to get punched and kicked.

Is Kickboxing Better Than Lifting Weights?

This depends entirely on your training goals. Kickboxing is better for overall cardiovascular health and for learning to fight. Lifting weights is better for developing strength and size. Both activities are completely different and which you decide to do is dependent on what you enjoy.

But guess what? You won’t have to choose one or the other. Lifting weights is an essential aspect of kickboxing preparation. Strength training for kickboxing will help you reduce the risk of injury, keeping you healthy to spend more time on the mats. It will also help you punch harder and, what many people may argue against, help you to kick higher.

Does Kickboxing Make You Thicker?

Kickboxing does not make you thicker. To be thick, you need to have a lot of muscle mass and some body fat. Kickboxing is an intense conditioning exercise that doesn’t spur muscle growth because the energy expenditure will make it harder to put on body fat if training hard and often.

If your goal is to get thick while training kickboxing, then hit the gym! You will likely have to scale back your kickboxing sessions to be able to lift weights 3-4 times a week. If you are not a competitive kickboxer or your goal isn’t to fight anytime soon, you can do this.

If not, then I would not advise doing this. Further, you will need to eat more calories than you usually would today to start putting on weight. A good rule of thumb is to multiply your body weight in pounds by 16-17 to get your estimated calorie intake to start gaining weight.

Does Kickboxing Build Leg Muscle?

Kickboxing does not build leg muscles. There’s a reason you see many kickboxers with skinny legs. For one, extra leg mass is not conducive to kickboxing performance. Therefore, heavier legs require more oxygen and can affect your kickboxing conditioning. Secondly, you can’t throw lightning-fast kicks with huge legs.

Physics doesn't allow it. Thirdly, the training required to develop huge legs will sap your energy away from kickboxing training which is the most important aspect of your preparation. And finally, this type of training, essentially bodybuilding, will make you slower through a whole range of strength training adaptations.

Do Kickboxers Lift Weights?

Kickboxers do lift weights. It has become more common in the modern era as strength and conditioning have permeated their way into the martial arts. Many fighters and coaches realise that when lifting weights is done properly, it only enhances speed and power. It is when it is done poorly that the fighter suffers, and strength training is labelled as making fighters slow.

Different Perks Of Taking A Kickboxing Class

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There's no denying that kickboxing is one of the best workouts for your body. It combines cardio and strength training, toning muscles while burning fat. Even celebrities like the Hadid sisters, Adriana Lima, and Ashley Benson swear by its effectiveness and added regular kickboxing sessions to their workouts. However, what's particularly notable about the exercise isn't just how effective it is but how quickly it transforms your body. If there's any single quality that separates kickboxing from other cardio workouts, it's that it's—to put it simply—so much fun. 

It's the perfect form of cardio because you are constantly pushing yourself, typically working with a trainer one-on-one to motivate you throughout your session. Your hour-long workout will be up before you know it. Keep reading for eight kickboxing benefits, according to an expert, that will have you adding this workout to your fitness routine.

Tone Your Entire Body

Whether you're looking to tone your arms, legs, or core, there's no area of your body kickboxing won't tighten and tone. Research has shown that kickboxers tend to have well-developed muscle mass and a low body fat percentage.

Like swimming, this is a full-body workout. Using these moves in conjunction with one another strengthens muscles while reducing body fat, which creates that 'toned' body, a certified personal trainer and boxing expert. The more calories you burn and the more muscles you properly recruit, the more improvement you will see in overall body composition.

Learn Self-Defense

This is a perk not too many workout plans can boast of. Kickboxing is not only great for your mind and body, but it also has a very practical usage as a means to learn self-defence. Kickboxing differs from other forms of fitness by utilising various punching/kicking techniques, teaching you basic self-defence skills, states Kelly. Learning a skill set while working on your fitness is an incredible way to spark self-confidence, and learning self-defence will always stand by you.

Burn Calories

Kickboxing is a high-intensity, high-impact workout that will have you constantly in motion. Your heart rate will be raised throughout your session, which means you'll be burning calories. My clients lose up to 800 to 1000 calories per session.

According to the Mayo Clinic, specific calories burned are dependent on the intensity levels and your characteristics. Kickboxing does fall into the vigorous category of aerobic activity, which means you'll be burning more calories in a short period compared to other moderate activities.

Relieve Stress

Whether it's anger or stress, sometimes there's nothing quite like punching out those less-than-positive emotions. Kickboxing requires constant movement, which helps relieve stress. Studies have also shown that boxing exercises can diminish feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger.

Forget dwelling on your everyday worries—when you're enjoying your kickboxing session, you won't be able to think of anything else; we had so many people come in to train, and they become different people when they leave. It's like a therapy session; they get all the bad energy out when punching a bag or hitting mitts.

Improve Endurance

Cardio-heavy workouts are the ticket to building endurance. A study published by the Biology of Sport journal shows that kickboxing can build cardio and muscular endurance. Kickboxing and boxing are arguably among the best and most fun ways to improve endurance/stamina. The more you do it, the more your endurance improves.

One of the most important components of kickboxing is learning when to breathe during your workout to prevent getting winded. Learning proper breathing techniques and maintaining them throughout your session is equally vital to your practice as throwing the perfect punch.

Boost Energy

You would think you'd be tired after a solid round of kickboxing, but the truth is you might have more energy than before you started. Like many forms of exercise, it aids in boosting energy as it increases blood flow to various parts of the body. The surplus of blood flow and overall muscle activation releases hormones that can aid in increasing levels of alertness.

The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) states that improved oxygen circulation from exercise helps improve your energy almost instantaneously.

Maintaining a routine with your exercise will make daily tasks less draining.

Improve Posture

Put your slouching days behind you! The addition of kickboxing will have you standing tall. Being on your toes and finding balance is essential and helps improve your posture immensely.

To improve your posture, you need a strong core, including the ab and lower back muscles. Kickboxing engages those muscles, resulting in trunk stability, upright posture, and also improved postural control during physical activity.

Build Better Coordination

There is a lot of hand-eye and foot-eye coordination necessary during kickboxing due to the jabs and kicks. Not to mention the constant change of direction when throwing punches. Therefore, kickboxing activates many muscle groups, helping to develop coordination and balance.

The effect of kickboxing on balance has also been researched on individuals with multiple sclerosis, who may have a compromised gait and balance and are prone to falling. The study found that balance can be improved after 11 weeks of tai chi and fitness boxing.


In conclusion, kickboxing is a better option than lifting weights at the gym. You get to learn how to defend yourself, but you also get a great workout in the process. Kickboxing classes offer different perks that you can’t find at your average gym, so be sure to check them out today!


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