Fitness with Friends
I was back home on the island a while back to pick up my friend, Julie, to bring her to Vancouver for an Insane Inflatable 5K race. Before I left to come pick her up, she asked if I would want to drop in on her kickboxing class and get a sweat session in before a day of travelling. I almost said no. Almost.
Today I wanted to take you on a Fitview : Fitness Class Review, in hopes to inspire you to find a Skillz Canada franchise or another kickboxing class to get your sweat on. Am I ever glad I said YES!
I was totally unprepared for this class. I had no idea what to expect, I had no idea what was going to be required… I have never actually done kickboxing before.
I texted Julie and asked her “What’s class going to be like? I’ve only reallly done Cardio-Kickboxing. Not actual kickboxing.”
“We start off with a warm up, cardio, some glove work and then sparring with a partner before we cool down.” She said.
Some sparring with a partner… Instantly my stomach dropped. This is going to be a real kickboxing class. None of these
weak cardio sessions I’ve been getting pro at.
Q: “Is this anything like “cardio kickboxing”?”
No! This is a completely different experience that’s very alive, interactive, and full of professional boxing equipment.
Skillz Canada offers Martial Arts classes in British Columbia. Currently they’ve got 5 locations on Vancouver island, including Victoria, Langford, Ladysmith, Duncan and Nanaimo.
Let me just say that I am very much looking forward to this company expanding, potentially franchising, and making it’s way to the Mainland.
If you head on over to SkillzCanada.ca you will learn about the company and what they have to offer you. This isn’t just a business, it’s a fitness community.
Walk in a stranger from a city separated by a body of water and walk out with strange friends that make you feel good and proud to have participated in the workout.
The staff who work for Skillz Canada are very friendly, very upbeat, and have been practicing to become experts in martial arts. They offer you a great challenge with excellent motivation so that you can be sure you’re getting a great workout session in that empowers you.
Not Just Self Defense
Martial Arts, any kind, isn’t just about self defense. Sure, you’re going to learn how to throw and punch and gain endurance to fight back if you’re ever attacked, but Skillz isn’t just about self defense.
Skillz Canada offers a fitness community where you can go and make friends, learn how to eat better, be healthier, gain confidence, have fun, and learn how to protect yourself while getting fit.
I really did walk into class rather timid and left feeling confident, laughing and talking with the instructors making jokes. This community welcomes everyone with open arms and makes you feel part of the family.
This is my kind of fitness community!
Skillz offers classes for all ages, kids to adults. Kids can participate martial arts, karate, tae kwon doe with the option to have birthday parties and summer camps to learn and grow as people in the community.
For us who are attempting to take on the world while ‘adulting’, you’ll join the fitness class I took.
The Kickboxing class offers the chance to burn 800+ calories in a 45 minute sweat session, and a sweat session this is!
Don’t be afraid to try out a class if you’re a complete beginner. You can attempt this class if you’re at any fitness level with any level of experience. You’ll easily get tips and follow along with everyone else.
What to Bring
There isn’t much you’ll need to bring to your first class. In the Langford location, they offer an intro pack that will include your own pair of boxing gloves to own and take home after class.
If you’re like me and just tagging along with friends for a class, you can ask to borrow a pair of gloves from Skillz Canada.
Dress ready to workout! I’d suggest capri’s or pants so that you don’t get carpet burn on the mats and punching bags when you start kicking and hitting the punching bag with your knees.
You workout in bare feet, so no need for special workout shoes or remembering to wear matching socks.
Also, bring water. You’re going to want to be able to chug when class is over.
Masquerade Kickboxing Class
It was very lucky that Julie invited me to a class that wasn’t just any regular class. It was a masquerade kickboxing class, with a DJ, lights, decorations and everything to get you pumped up and ready to move.
We all were required to wear a mask, while I took mine off within a few minutes of starting the workout, it was a lot of fun to have a theme to get you having fun.
Also, the DJ was AWESOME! I literally felt like I was at the club on ladies night… it was a Thursday after all. Just like old times.
The music was loud, you could feel it in your chest and it only pumps you up to jump, move, punch, kick and throw everything you’ve got into this workout.
I started the workout smiling, having a blast, and quickly started sweating and wanting to stop because I thought I was dying. But the music kept me going. If I felt like I was about to pass out, I’d just bop to the beat and continue when I caught my breath.
Definitely recommend checking out if there is a ‘special’ fitness class available to ensure you have a really great first experience while you torture yourself with a workout. It’s going to help motivate you to come back for a second class. It motivates me at least.
It was so much fun.
My Kickboxing Experience
Let’s get into the actual class review and what went on, because that’s what you’re here for. To see what it was like to better determine if this is the fitness class for you. I hope it is.
Walking inside the building I was greeted with friendly instructors and good music. Slowly people start trickling in and soon class started.
Warm up was great. I didn’t want to waste a free fitness class and got right into it from the get go. The group was instructed to jog around the punching bags/room to start, switching from jogging regularly, to high knees, kicking butt, cross overs, walking lunges… the works.
Your heart rate will pick up almost instantly. By the time we stopped going around the room I was panting and ready to sit down. Thankfully, I was instructed to hit the floor. Only, I wasn’t allowed to sit. It was time to workout.
If I recall correctly, it was by the end of our warm up that some of the party streamers used to decorate for the masquerade class had fallen due to arms in the air. The instructors picked up some streamer and started a limbo line.
Even when you’re working out you can manage to have fun. These instructors made sure of that.
Getting to the floor started the workout for this class. Push ups, V-ups, squats, burpees, we even partnered up and walked some wheel barrows across the room.
This section of the workout passes quickly, and you’re reminded “I didn’t say stop!” whenever you take a rest.
There is a variety of exercises that you’ll perform, all will have your muscles screaming for mercy if you’re putting in the effort. I often took breaks, listening and following along to the music. Work for 8 counts, rest for 4-8, work for 8 counts, rest for 4-8.
Unless you’re a superfit person, you’re going to rest and hear “KEEP GOING”. It isn’t anyone getting upset you’re taking a break, it’s just to motivate you to keep going.
It’s always good to recognize your limits and adjust accordingly.
NOTE: If you’re caught leaning against the wall, you’re assigned burpees
From the workout we put on our gloves and started working with the punching bag. This is where things started to get ‘new’ to me. Up until here, everything has been pretty standard fitness class.
Partnering up and putting on the gloves, I listened and watched our instructor, Megan, demonstrate a simple combination of punches that we’d throw at the bag.
The first combo was easy, the second got harder… then we added in legs and kicking. There was even a combo where I had to punch punch punch, step, turn and swing my arm around and punch the bag with the back of my hand! I felt very super-hero like and wanted to be in an action movie.
The combinations are repeated a few times and aren’t extremely hard to follow along. There were three instructors walking around, giving pointers and motivating us if we got stuck or didn’t quite catch the entire combination.
Let me just say, if you thought the ‘workout’ portion was tough, you’re going to want to pull your arms off your body after the punching bag section.
Arms, shoulders, legs, abs, back… everything started to hurt here. Muscles I didn’t know I had were screaming for mercy. Sure, I had tons of energy and was pumped from the DJ rocking out, but I literally thought I was about to pass out several times.
I’m not one to hold back, I took this opportunity to really get some frustration out. I don’t hit people, a punching bag was a really nice way to just let it out.
The punching bag session lasted quite some time, and then we moved to partner sparring. This section is where I got nervous.
I don’t hit people. Even if it’s in a safe environment like I was in. It scares me to practice hitting people. The punching bag was one thing, but my beautiful friend Julie?
I threw my arms up and held steady as Julie threw an easy combination of punches to my hands. I thought it would be easy to stand and hold my arms up.
Resistance, my friend. Resistance training is a very real thing, and you’re going to be tested on your arm strength while your partner throws a few punches at you.
My triceps burned, while I was enjoying myself, I wanted to stop working out. I have very little upper body strength, and when it came to be my turn to throw a few punches at Julie, she was now the one telling me to “Punch harder. PUNCH ME!”
Haha, what a great friend. Telling me to punch her. Hard. The class was coming to an end and I knew it, I had to push hard to the end.
Sparring was the most difficult for me, but a lot of fun.
The cool down was simple, ended in a stretch and while I was sweating, my hands stunk from being in a glove… did I mention my fingers were starting to prune?
My hair was a mess, I started with double dutch braids and my elastics broke from my enthusiasm and effort. Julie handed me an elastic to pull my hair off my face because I was beat!
While I was basically trying not to throw up and pass out, I was smiling, laughing and still having a great time with my friends. Which is exactly what I want to be like at the end of a group workout.
Feeling like I’m about to croak, yet feeling super accomplished and happy for my hard work.
I really enjoyed this class. I couldn’t thank Julie enough for bringing me along. The Instructors were super friendly, and flattered me to the point where I wanted to stay there with them forever.
Something about being told I look 19 and that there is no way I’m married, 24 years old and have a toddler can sure brighten up a girls day.
Gosh, I am still smiling big over that. Seriously, a great compliment that made my whole friggin’ month.
That’s the kind of community this is, they’ll welcome you with a smile, hand you a pair of gloves and tell you to have fun and then PUSH YOU TO YOUR LIMITS.
I literally thought I was going to throw up at least 3 different times. But in the end, I felt great, I was complimented, I complimented the instructors and thanked them for a wicked awesome class.
It wasn’t anything I was prepared for, I had no idea what to expect, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
3 Classes & Free Gloves
Before I left I asked for a business card and was handed a flyer with an excellent offer that I wanted to share with you in case you’re on Vancouver Island and wanted to check out Skillz Canada.
For only $19.99 you can register and try out 3 classes and get a pair of gloves to keep, a risk free trial to see if this is the right fitness community for you.
Head on over to VictoriaKickboxing.com for more information. There you can also sign up for a 21-day membership for only $21 and join the rapid fat-loss program to get you into shape. I have no doubt that this program work. I was sweating bullets from the start of class and I like to think I’m a fairly fit person.
No one probably thought I was fit when my eyes were hooded and my head was swaying as I tried to stay standing at the height of the workout.
Hey now, no one needs to look like a beauty queen while they work out. I look like I’m dying because I push myself to ensure I get a great workout.
Before You Go
I hope you enjoyed coming along my first every kickboxing class, and my first REAL kickboxing experience. It was a lot harder than I realized it would be, but it was way better than I could have imagined.
Four days later I was still sore… granted I also ran the Insane Inflatable 5K two days later, but I’m sure it was mostly kickboxing that had me sore still.
A great workout, an amazing class, wonderful instructors, a fun masquerade theme… I recommend everyone check out Skillz Canada or another local kickboxing class if you’re on the lookout for a high energy, empowering group fitness class.
You won’t be disappointed.