“500 Calories per hour…Burn off your Big Macs!” and whatever other kinds of ploys they can acquire to pull the false workout veil over our eyes…
Kickboxing has become a wildly obsessive craze. I’d say it rates second when it comes to zumba these days. Every month at my gym I witness a bunch of women gather around the new group ex schedule patiently waiting to see if more suitable kickboxing class times have been added to the schedule…or even worse, if some are cancelled.
On my gym schedule, I would say kickboxing is offered five days per week. Yup, exactly the same frequency that zumba is. (Although I’m sure the zumba-ites could dance their way to the exercise director’s hearts and go for a solid seven days if they really wanted to…)
I’m not being a negative nancy when it comes to kickboxing…don’t get me wrong I love a great sweat with some badass Million Dollar Baby moves, but I think it’s being sensationalized a bit too often in gyms.
The main reason most of us go to the gym is to burn calories. (Not me, I’m one of the freaks who goes for the endorphins 😉 )
One of the benefits of kickboxing is that it claims to BURN 500 CALORIES PER HOUR. And oh yes, huge caps are ALWAYS used to illustrate that specific point.
For years, I believed in the big 500, until I actually began to start wearing a heart rate monitor and studying nutrition, exercise and how the body exactly works with it’s burn fat to cardio ratio.
A key element everyone seems to forget when reading these overhyped claims at gyms is that results are not typical…and not for everyone. This has got to be my number one pet peeve when it comes to gyms and studio advertising.
Of course they are there to fill classes, get renewed memberships and slim you down all at once, so there’s a profit involved.
Since every body is different…at the end of my kickboxing class it told me I only had burned 261 calories. Yes, 261. 🙁
I was shocked because it sure felt like I had burned 500 calories…maybe even more than that…but nope, I had barely burned a solid 300!
So why does this happen?
On average, most exercise burns you see in magazines or in workout videos are customized based on a 5’9″ person who is around 150 pounds. Generally if you’re taller, carry around a bit of fat and aren’t in as good of cardiovascular shape, your heart rate will tend to climb when you workout.
So if ya’ll know me, I’m barely five feet and 122 pounds. I don’t meet any of that criteria. I also have a higher threshold for cardio than someone who has just started a cardio program or kickboxing. (I’m not out of breath until my BPM reach around 162.)
Because I’m in better shape it means it’ll take a lot more to burn more calories and get my heart rate up than someone who isn’t in as great of shape. You can’t always go on how you feel, sometimes you have to rely on science to measure your accuracy and efficacy.
I strongly recommend those of you who can afford it and who have just begun to workout to invest in a heart rate monitor. (Specifically one that has a chest strap to measure the beats more accurately.) It’ll help you refocus your energy and you’ll actually be able to know if you’re burning what the gyms are touting.
I think this is the only area of my healthy lifestyle that I actually count calories BTW.
So what is everyone’s take on gyms and touting certain calorie burns? Pay attention to it or go by your own standards?
Peace, love and the more you know!