I kickbox. And by "I kickbox," I mean, "I belong to a kickboxing gym that I have to force myself to go to."
It was fun at first. Back when I signed up in August, I couldn't get enough of the place. But lately, I just don't feel like going, mostly because I'm just bored of it.
Every class starts with 15 minutes of conditioning, which are always a combination of running around the room, burpees, mountain climbers, high knees, planks, jump squats and various other exercises. The instructors will always go around the room saying, "Come on, you got this!" to no one in particular. You'll always want to respond, "God, shut UP!" but you don't because you know you always feel good afterward, even if you’re disgustingly sweaty.
After that, there are always the same stretches. Then six rounds on the bag, which always start with a jab-cross. Then a speed round where you do however many punches/kicks/whatever as you can without stopping.
The last 10 minutes of class are always partner drills, one last round of conditioning, and a few more minutes of stretching. Would you be surprised if I told you they're generally the same, too?
To be fair, each class isn't exactly the same. The conditioning exercises and bag rounds vary. It's not quite a Groundhog Day workout. But the classes are formulaic enough that they feel the same. And that's the problem.
Varying your workout routine is great for you (according to almost every fitness person ever) because you're less likely to suffer overuse injuries or plateau, which can make any weight loss goals stagnate. Plus, you're less likely to get bored of your routine. The best workout is the one you actually do and you're obviously going to be less inclined to stick with something if you're not excited about it.
So, I got an idea about how to switch things up.
I initially signed up for the kickboxing gym with a Groupon for a few classes. Of course, they hit you with the sales pitch right after your first class when you're all gung-ho. I'm a sucker for that tactic so I paid for like 75 classes right then and there. But, as a result, I also get fitness Groupons emailed to me almost every single day.
Yoga. CrossFit. Kickboxing (including the gym I currently belong to). Kettlebell Kickboxing (whatever that even is). Krav Maga, the martial arts hybrid used by the Israeli army (Fun fact: A Hungarian Jewish boxer/wrestler named Imi Litchenfeld made up Krav Maga as a way to beat up Anti-Semitic gangs in the 1930s).
So here's my idea: Since I constantly get these Groupons, which generally offer good deals, all the time… why not take advantage?
I bought my first Groupon for the CrossFit gym near my office in Hell’s Kitchen. I paid $99 for a month’s worth of unlimited classes, less than half the normal price. I’ve never done CrossFit and honestly find it kind of intimidating, but I’ll probably get really into it just for the novelty of it. And then before it has the chance to get boring—and maybe astronomically expensive, if I can manage to resist the sales pitch—I’ll be onto the next one.
At the very least, buying this deal has ensured that I’ll continue to get at least 158 fitness Groupons in my inbox every day. I just had this idea a few days ago so it hasn’t been put into practice yet. Best case, I get to try a bunch of different workouts each month.
What are some of your favorite fitness alternatives to a regular gym?
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