You are a regular at the gym, building muscles with strength training, and enjoy improving your cardio with distance running. In that case, you’ll already know the benefits of exercise and keeping active. Hitting the gym is a proven way to improve physical and mental health. As well as building muscle and fitness, exercising lifts your mood, makes you happier, more grateful for your health, and more likely to help others achieve their fitness goals.
Regular training has many attractions, but there is one element that will make you feel restless once in a while. That’s your ego and desire to keep pushing your body harder, faster, and further. Don’t worry if you struggle with this, as it’s normal. It means you’re reaching your potential and looking for new challenges. Strength training with weights at the gym is excellent. Building cardio on the roads is great, but sometimes you’ll tire of repeating the same workouts.
You’re working hard at the gym, and the results speak for themselves. You’ve never been in better shape, looked, or felt fitter, and can’t remember the last time you were this content. Staring into the mirror at the gym, you wouldn’t look out of place at a boxing weigh-in or alongside the top MMA fighters mentioned at the best betting apps Florida offers.
Try a different approach
Everything is going well. So why can’t you relax? Why does it feel like you have ants in your pants? Because your body wants more. It’s seeking a fresh challenge and feels ready to take on all-comers. How do you deal with a restless body and mind? By training in combat sports. We know that idea may have caught you a little off-guard, but hear us out. There’s a method to the madness.
Like the fitness classes you may have tried at the gym, combat sports classes like boxing and kickboxing are high-intensity and hard work. They encourage weight loss, build muscle, increase mobility, and impact your mental health. And unlike weight training, combat classes are easy to fit around your day as you don’t require two hours of stop-start training. When boxing, you’re in the gym and working for no more than 60 minutes, taking short breaks before leaving.
It’s an entire gym session condensed into an hour or less. But which combat sports are best to try this year, and which won’t harm your strength training regime? One combat sports class weekly is usually enough to help appease your restless mind and body. This article aims to help you choose a sport and type. Keep reading as we discuss the five combat sports to consider adding to your fitness regime.
The most ancient and best-loved of all combat sports is boxing, and it’s the most accessible, too. Most cities and towns have an amateur boxing gym, and you can take classes or do 1-2-1 training to learn the noble art better.
Training boxing has many advantages, including strength, speed, and fitness, but another surprise: you probably won’t ever have to take a punch. Few people who train in boxing ask to spar, and even fewer are asked to spar. It’s not necessary, especially in boxing fitness classes.
If you want to progress to sparring with the aim of fighting, that’s your choice and is something you could discuss with your boxing coach. But don’t let the fear of being punched or beaten up by more experienced boxers put you off, as it won’t happen.
Kickboxing is similar to boxing, but most attacks come from the legs. The stance differs as you learn to protect against kicks, meaning you can hold your guard slightly lower and more expansive. Kickboxers are lighter on their feet than boxers, allowing them to block kicks.
Just like boxing, you won’t spar or fight. Most classes taught to beginners are for fitness and to learn the basics. You’ll kick the heavy bags and focus pads, do footwork drills, and improve your stance and defense. There’s plenty to get through. And you’ll sweat a lot.
BJJ is an integral part of building your MMA skills, and it’s the discipline used by most UFC fighters when a bout goes to the ground. BJJ is a fantastic way to learn ground-fighting without suffering injury. A novice boxer couldn’t spar with a world champion as they’d eventually suffer damage, even if the champion were going through the motions.
But you could spar with a BJJ champion as a relative novice, and the worst that’ll happen is you’ll tap out. In BJJ, when rolling with an experienced training partner, you’ll tap or say tap to end the round. You can then change sparring partners or re-set and go again.
You won’t be hurt physically, but prepare for an emotional rollercoaster, leaving your ego in tatters.
We’re not talking WWE here, and there will be no steel chairs, royal rumbles, or trash-talking. American college wrestling is another founding father of MMA. It’s similar to BJJ but much more intense in training.
Wrestling shares many moves with BJJ and judo, but the effort required to succeed is similar to boxing. Stand on the mats and prepare to be tossed around like an empty tracksuit until you improve enough to hold your ground. Wrestling is an excellent combination of style, speed, and strength. You’ll burn an exceptional number of calories.
Mixed Martial Arts, more commonly known as MMA, combines all the above disciplines. You’ll train to start on your feet, using boxing and kickboxing before closing the distance to engage in wrestling. When the fight moves to the ground, the BJJ takes control.
A good MMA class will walk you through the process of a fight, moving from striking to wrestling and eventually to ground and pound. There’s no need to spar unless you want to try it, and, at first, sparring will be light, working on technique. MMA is a fantastic way to get fit and learn self-defense while staying safe.