Ever-keen to find fun new workouts in Norfolk, Lucy engages the services of Meeks Kickboxing to get her heart beat pumping.
Classes received in return for a review.
I love exercising. It’s taken me years to realise it, but I have come to accept that I love the rush of endorphins after a workout. No matter how hard it might be to get my trainers on, I love how I feel when I take them off again.
For reference, I try to exercise at least three times every week. It’s usually a mixture of running, weight-lifting and cardio classes. When Callum from Meeks Kickboxing dropped me a line to ask if I’d be interested in trying some lessons, I jumped at the chance to add something new to my routine.
The first week was mostly spent covering the basics. Before we got started, I filled out a medical/health form, providing emergency contact details. Callum also asked about any health issues. I’ve had niggling back problems for a few months, so Callum said he’d try to avoid doing anything that would make it worse.
Next, we spent five minutes stretching and warming up, before Callum bound my hands. This is to keep them safe inside the boxing gloves. It’s quite a complex procedure, so there’s no way I could have done it myself!
Next up, I learned how to jab and throw a punch across my body. Along the way, Callum explained foot positions and how to get my balance. He then gave me some sequences to practice, so I could get used to combining moves.
At the end of the session, before stretching out, I had 20 seconds to hit a punchbag as many times as possible, to get my heart rate up. It doesn’t sound like much, but 20 seconds feels like forever when you’re wearing boxing gloves!
Although it doesn’t seem like I did much, the class flew by. My brain was working flat out to learn the new moves, so the class was over in the blink of an eye.
Having got the basics in week one, things got more complex in week two.
After the warm-up, I practised the moves I’d learned the week before, jabbing and crossing, before trying my first kick.
Callum was patient, explaining where my feet should be before pushing off the ground, and where I should aim my foot. It was great for my core strength; it turns out that balancing on one leg is quite an art!
Once I’d got the hang of it, Callum added the kicks into the sequences we’d practised before. Occasionally I’d lose my balance or forget the next step, so it was a great brain workout!
Again, we finished the session with a punchbag session. It’s a great stress reliever!
I started to feel more confident in week 3. I was happier kicking and my brain was starting to remember the sequences, so I was able to talk while practising.
Callum introduced the hook manoeuvre in this class though. Rather than punching straight ahead, you swing your arm around to punch to the side. I have to say my brain struggled with this change, having focused on jabs (in front) and crosses (slightly across the body).
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At the end of the session, Callum not only asked me to hit a punchbag for 20 seconds but also to run on a crash mat for 20 seconds. Let me tell you, that’s hard. I consider myself to be relatively fit, but that nearly killed me!
I hit my stride in the final week. It was a much harder workout and I got a real buzz from the session.
I got down to the sequences faster and introduced the kicks earlier. Callum also introduced knee strikes, as well as a low kick, so there was lots to remember. It felt like a great session.
Again, we finished up with 20 seconds at the punchbag, which I’m sure is helping me in my quest to achieve arms like Michelle Obama.
Meeks Kickboxing: In summary
Meeks Kickboxing is located in a martial arts gym in a converted church on Little Bull Close Road, off Magdalen Street in Norwich.
Be aware that there’s no parking at the gym, so you’ll have to park at Anglia Square.
Callum is a lovely guy. He is unintimidating and genuinely wants you to enjoy the session. He’s run kickboxing classes for more than a decade and clearly loves what he does. He’s a great chatter too and we talked about everything from the environment, the high street, blogging and more. It gives your brain a real workout when you’re trying to remember which arm to punch with!
I will say that the first two weeks didn’t quite give the workout I’m used to, but my brain was busy learning the basics. Weeks 3 and 4 felt more difficult and the intensity increased, which was great.
You should also be aware that it’s not a shiny, Instagramable gym. It is a martial arts centre and it’s totally fit for purpose. Don’t imagine fancy equipment and gleaming changing rooms. If you’re going there to pose, think again!
Also, be aware that you might struggle to get the smell of the gloves off your hands. I washed mine a couple of times and it would take a couple of hours for the fusty smell to completely disappear.
Sessions with Callum at Meeks Kickboxing cost £20 for 45 mins, or £25 for 60 mins.