When I was younger, I knew that I always wanted to get a physique that people admired. I tried to go to the gym to lift weights, but my body started developing in a way that I didn’t like. I wanted to look lean, and be functional. One day, I was watching an MMA fight with a kickboxer, and I thought wow, that guy looks like a beast. He was fit, had lean abs and powerful looking arms. At the same time, he could explode when he needed and perform acrobatic movements. I wanted to be able to move and look like that. At that point,I developed the desire to find out the secret to their training regimes.
The next day, I walked into a kickboxing gym in my city to learn about how they trained.
Fast forward 10 years, I trained consistently and was involved in over 20 bouts. I won the TBA B-Class North American Tournament title and won silver in the Elite Open class Striking National Tournament. After this, I became a striking and fitness personal trainer as my passion was and still is passing on fitness and helping others discover their inner fighter.
Did you know that the training that gives fighters their leanbody has nothing to do with getting punched or kicked? The fight is like the show, but the preparation for the show is all done with their workouts. Only by living, and studying the training regimes of some of the best strikers on the planet, did I identify a series of workouts that sheds fat unlike anything in the market? Have you ever been curious as to what makes fighters in such amazing shape? I mean, have you seen their bodies? They are rock solid and can take rounds and rounds of punishment.
First, I want to tell you about three of the worst exercise mistake’s you can make that will hinder your results when working out.
The Low-Calorie Diet
Low-calorie diets are dangerous and an ineffective way to lose weight. When you starve your body of the nutrients that it needs your body’s metabolism slows down and begins to retain more fat. The reason for this is because your body thinks it’s being starved and goes into defensive mode. You will feel sluggish, look tired and eventually burn out. The low-calorie diet does more harm than good. You should focus on eating balanced, healthy food that provides your body the nutrients it requires.
Spending two hours a day performing low-intensity steady state cardio is an ineffective method to get in shape. Long durations of low-intensity cardio will only burn one type of fat. It also will not develop your muscular hypertrophy; which is critical for fat loss (Increase metabolism and leptin levels). Most of the fats in our bodies are stored in glycogen and intramuscular. The only way to access these fats is through high-intensity work.Also, low-intensity steady state cardio has been shown to reduce leptin, the fat burning hormone.
Body-Part Specific Work-Outs
When we want to lose stubborn leg fat, or even around our abdominal area we focus on performing body part specific exercises. This is the wrong way to approach training. We need to understand that most body-part specific exercises only activate a few muscles. To burn the highest number of calories, it’s important to utilize compound movements that engage the whole body.
As a personal trainer, many of my clients were frustrated with boring, repetitive routines and wanted to try something different. They wanted to know how kickboxer strained but didn’t want to get hit. So, I created the FSK-Method, a kickboxing-based workout program for people who wanted to get in shape fast, from their homes, without any special equipment, and without ever needing to step in the ring.
A typical workout includes calisthenics training, simple resistance movements and shadow-boxing/footwork drills. The workout is completed in “rounds” similar to a match. A typical workout consists of six rounds; each round is three minutes with a 30 second to 1-minute break.
I decided to call this method of training, the FSK-Method (Fat Shredder Kickboxing Method) and developed a standard 12-week program called FSK-12. This program can be done right in your living room, with no complex equipment. This program is perfect for anyone who is too busy to go to a gym, anyone who is new to working out, and anyone who is looking to lose a few extra pounds.
I would like to take you through a sample workout from my FSK-12 program. This workout is specifically catered to build a toned and powerful upper body (including abs). It should take about 20 minutes to complete, and you should be exhausted after. You are going to work in “rounds” of 3 minutes, and after each round, you will take a 30-second break.
This is a fast pace workout, but you can do it! It will only 20 minutes! If you want to see the full program, visit my page at www.fatshredderkickboxing.com.
To get your body warmed up for this workout, you may either skip for five minutes or go for a light five -minute jog. You may also do five minutes of aerobic exercises such as jumping jacks, jogging on the spot, jump ups, etc.
Round 1 – Repeat 3 Times
This round is three minutes long so that you will complete 55 seconds of each exercise with a 5 second transition period. Take a 30 second between rounds, and repeat this entire round three times before moving on!
- 4 Punches and Sprawl (55 Seconds)
Punch the air (Shadow Box) with 4 straight punches (Jab, Cross, Jab, Cross). When you punch, focus on turning your shoulders, extending your arms all the way out and turning your hands at the end. Also, when you punch, make sure you are punching as hard as you can, you should feel your upper body turning and engaging your core. After the four punches, drop down onto the floor to perform a sprawl. When you drop onto the floor make sure you drop down completely, no half sprawls! Imagine that someone is trying to take you down, and you need to push your hips back to get away from them!
- Push-Up Knee (55 Seconds)
This exercise you are going to perform a normal push up and when you come up from the push-up, take your knee and touch your elbow to it. When you perform the push-up, it’s important that you take your time and ensure that you keep a neutral spine during the push-up. Complete as many reps as you can in the specified time; alternate your knees.
- Elevated Walk-Out (55 Seconds)
Start in a push-up position or high plank with your feet elevated, make sure that your back is flat. Keeping your whole body engaged so that your hips do not sway left and right, walk slowly forward to a point where you find it difficult to suspend your body. Walk back slowly, with a focus on keeping your core stable and not wobbling as you step with your hands. Through this exercise, focus on keeping your back straight and your core engaged as if someone were about to hit you.
Round 2 – Repeat Three Times
This round is three minutes long, so you will complete 55 seconds of each exercise with a 5 second transition period. Take a 30 second between rounds, and repeat this entire round three times before moving on!
- Single Leg Burpee (55 Seconds)
Start by start standing feet shoulder width apart. Drop down into a push-up position on only one leg and perform one push up on one leg. Get up and jump up as high as you can, jumping off the one leg. When you land, you can land on both legs then alternate on the other side. Complete as many as possible, alternating legs within the specified time.
- FSK Plank (55 Seconds)
Start by getting on your elbows and knees as you would for a normal plank. The difference for the FSK plank is that you are going to engage your entire body. Start by making a fist and squeeze your shoulders, core, glute and back. You want to imagine that someone was about to pick you up and you need to stiffen your body completely. Make sure your back is flat and that you are looking forward. Engage your body for the entire duration.
- High Plank Arm Lift (55 Seconds)
Get down into a push-up position and hold the push up by bracing your core and glut. You are going to lift 1 arm directly in front of you without moving any other part of your body. Your hips will naturally want to sway left and right as you bring your arms up. Try to fight this as this is what allows you to engage and challenge your core.
There you have it. A fun, short, but effective workout that will help you burn stubborn fat throughout your body. Remember when you are completing each circuit to complete each technique as fast as you can and push yourself. This is what makes this type of training so effective.
This was a guest post written by Mike Rao. Mike is the founder of the FSK-12, the 12-week breakthrough program that has changed the lives of thousands of people. He was the and 2011-TBA-SA North American Champion and 2014 USMTO Silver medalist.