Would kickboxing be an effective strategy for gaining muscle and losing weight? How many calories per hour would it burn?

I am considering three times per week.

3 Answers 3


If you are completely detrained (in other words, you currently do no exercise at all), then any exercise will help you build muscle. At the very least, a good kick boxing class will have you do some body weight exercises to build up strength. Kick boxing also has a very intense conditioning requirement. These can only help.

The number of Calories you will burn in an hour are highly dependent on several factors such as how much lean mass you currently have, your height/limb length, and how much movement you do. Not all activities in a typical class will burn at the same rate, and some will be more energy intensive than others. In general:

  • The more mass you have, the more energy it takes to move
  • The more lean mass you have, the more energy it takes to maintain
  • The longer your limbs, taller you are, the more energy it takes to move

You will be burning several hundred Calories per hour, and depending on the factors listed above, potentially over 1,000 for an intense class. However, the only way to know for sure is to measure it. Working out with a heart rate monitor can give you the ballpark figures--although they are not practical when it comes to sparring work.

As long as your diet makes sense for the new activity you want to do, you will satisfy your goals. However, if you exercise regularly, you won't necessarily add more muscle unless you find ways of increasing the load on your body. This can be done with changing the leverages on body-weight exercises or supplementing your training with weightlifting.


I can tell you my own experience with kickboxing:

I started 4 Months ago. I can really feel my body changing and I feel really uncomfortable when I don't workout. Even if the weight loss/fat burning - process on my Body isn't going as fast as I want to, I know that it's the right way to start. The person who started kickboxing with me was a chubby person but in this 4 Months he lost weight incredibly fast. (He didn't wanted to weigh himself so I can't say you any numbers.)

Kickbox training extends very different kind of exercises: Strength- Endurance and Technical Training. It's a very nice mix of everything you need.

And like Berin said: in a session of 1,5 hours of training you lose over 1000 calories. To compare: if you want to lose 1000 Calories with jogging you have to run like 2 hours (additionally you'll have aching muscles on the next few days).

  • voted up although normally you burn above 100 calories per 10 minutes jog, so you need 100 minutes to burn 1000 calories, not 2 hours
    – Juliusz
    Aug 29, 2012 at 13:56
  • well it depends on how intense you jog and on how much someone weighs :-)
    – Aytac
    Aug 29, 2012 at 14:30

Berin's answer is right, but I'd like to add something. As someone who trains martial arts to fight, rather than for fitness, I'd hope that you choose a specific cardio kickboxing class, rather than a competetive one with the side benefit of cardio.

It really sucks finding out that the person you just went hard on just wanted to get in better shape, and wasn't prepared for some tough sparring. It also sucks for the person who just got worked over when they just wanted to get in better shape, and serious bruising, fractured or broken bones and concussions could be some unexpected consequences to what you thought would be a decent fitness plan.

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