Are you looking for a multidimensional class that will challenge your participants? Take a fresh look at kickboxing. Not only does it provide a great cardiovascular workout; it also helps develop balance, strength, flexibility and power. Like many other fitness formats, kickboxing has evolved over the years and has developed a group of core enthusiasts. It has earned its place as a staple in facilities around the world. This, however, doesn’t justify complacency. Enthusiasts deserve a class that progresses their training to higher levels of athleticism. “Cardio Target Training” provides this progression.

This timed interval program supersets traditional kicking and punching target drills with nontarget drills and combinations facing the mirror. Instead of leading the class in a choreographed routine, the instructor plays the role of coach. Using paddles or clapper targets as props and teaching devices, participants are challenged to stay focused, precise and controlled. The sound of contact is addictive and motivates participants to outperform their last sets. Be prepared to see your class turn into a group of kids on Christmas playing with new and noisy toys!

Cardio Target Training Details

Format: a superset interval class for 18–30 people

Total Time: 60 minutes

Equipment Needed: one paddle target for every two participants

Music: 125 beats per minute or above

(7–8 Minutes)

Guide the class through general calisthenics, rope jumping or a “traditional” group fitness warm-up—or some combination of these. Include dynamic stretches for the legs and arms plus balance exercises to increase proprioceptive awareness. Low- intensity shadow boxing and kicking will get the class ready for the fighting stances. Use this time to reinforce technique over speed when using the paddle targets.

Core Section
(42–46 Minutes)

Assign the class into two teams: “A” and “B.” Line participants into rows behind each other. Instruct the “A” team to pick up paddle targets. Announce the technique, which side of the body is being used, the beginning position and a tip. For example, “Lead jab, cross jab with your left arm from right fighting stance. Remember to take off your rings.”

Each target interval represents one side of the body for participant A and participant B. The next interval repeats the same technique(s) on the opposite side (4 minutes). Insert the 2-minute supersets (nontarget drills and combinations) after two intervals on the targets (6 minutes total).

Perform supersets facing the mirror. After 1 minute, cue the class to repeat on the opposite side. At the end of each interval, participants turn and face their partners. The As pick up the paddles and the next technique begins.

Cooldown (6–10 Minutes)

Experiment with a combination of static poses from yoga, active lengthening movements from Pilates and dynamic stretches common to runners, basketball players and martial artists. Include exercises for the hip flexors, adductors, gluteals and hamstrings.