Fitness – easy way to health and shape or injuries?

Today let’s have a look at boxing elements in boot camp classes

Martial Arts, 15 years of adventure


The fitness industry constantly promotes new training ideas because they need to attract and keep a regular customer who gets bored easily – this is natural and there is nothing wrong with it.

It is good that fitness clubs want to encourage you into new classes and it is natural that the regular fitness adept gets bored quickly because he/she is not an athlete.

Athleticism is not his/her whole life and he/she does not want to commit to one physical activity – athletes specialize and their training volume is huuuge.

Athletes have time for periodization and a split training routine. Regular people do not have so much time and will for it, and there is no reason for them to commit at the same level as athletes commit. There are just different goals and different ways, that’s all.

Actually, attending different fitness classes and rotating them will be the best health training choice for the general population. Their training volume is low (in comparison to athletes) and the movement/training stimulus differentiation is desirable for full body performance.

It means that if you go to strength/pump class on Monday, HIIT class on Thursday and yoga class on Saturday you will hit different physiological/motor skills and take care of all of them at a certain level.

Boxing is a technical sport as many others. The punches (and kicks in kick-boxing) enclose movements that demand perfect technique to be efficient for the opponent and safe for the executer.

I had a short discussion a few days ago with a lady who told me that she abandoned boot camp classes with boxing elements because she started to experience arm, joint and wrist pain.

Paradoxically this case shows that health training creates injuries. Usually they are micro injuries. We just feel some pain for few days and it disappears. Usually people ignore it, do not take/do any physiotherapy and just forget about it avoiding painfull health fitness classes at the same time. Unfortunately there is a risk that all different micro injuries will accumulate in old age bringing pain and stiffness in the affected area.

Incorporating technically demanding elements into health training for the general population brings at least 2 big disadvantages:

1) Injuries and micro injuries with delayed ignition

2) Discouragement and (temporarily in the best case) cessation of physical activity

There is no option to teach people technically compound movements during a bootcamp class usually consisting of over a dozen different exercises/movements.

Furthermore, participants are not willing to learn boxing movements. What they want is to relax after a stressful day at work… and hell yeah they will punch the bag as intensely as they can ... because they want to relax through the vigorous motion (what is natural and smart).

Here is a call to the fitness industry. If you want to implement high intensity training do it but with low skill level movements. Take care about your clients (and attendance and income by the way).

Here are questions to fitness adepts. It means you. Are you willing to learn compound boxing elements during boot camp class? Do you want to be in shape and be healthy? How many people are there in your class? Now you can answer to yourself if boxing elements should be included in boot camp class.

If you want to learn kick(boxing) just go to a professional martial arts academy or book a session with a personal trainer that has proper experience.

And finally, I want to make you aware what the execution of a proper jab or cross requires from you:

– whole body work from core to extremities,

– solid stability (core) and powerful dynamics (hips work, body rotation and punch motion) at the same time

– joint stabilization in movement which includes stability, endurance and strength training first!

– technical knowledge – where the punch comes from, its trajectory, what you need to tense and relax when executing the movement, how to prepare your body on contact with the boxing bag/shield/opponent’s body

…and that’s for sure not all.

What can I say at the end. As usual train smart. Make it reasonable. Physical training is a highly compounded issue. Try to understand and make it work for you. Own it in order to make it simple for you one day.

Enjoy your day.

Coach Lucy, PhD




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