Shipshape For Summer

May 9, 2019
The countdown to summer has started!

Yes, Beach-Lover…There’s Still Time!

You look at the calendar and realize it’s May. May makes you think of Memorial Day and Memorial Day makes you think of pools and pools make you think of bathing suits and bathing suits make you…cringe.

Never fear. There is still time to take those steps toward your summer body. There is still summer lovin’ to be had. Yes, with only weeks before Memorial Day Weekend, when Americana decor, flip flops and sunscreen come out to play, so can you.

As any CKO member knows, the CKO workout is just…unique. Even those who CKO only one day a week can see and feel a difference in their body in a short amount of time. So, if you’re new to the cardio kickboxing game, there is much to be gained (and lost) by simply starting the workout.



You have to cover all your exercise bases, right? You have to strength train. You have to fit in cardio. And you can’t forget the importance of flexibility. Having the time to fit it all in seems impossible, but that’s why CKO works so well; you check all those boxes in one 60-minute class. You’re not targeting one body part; Your whole body lies within the bullseye.

Katherine Perretta of Apex, NC, just tried her first CKO class at CKO Kickboxing Cary recently. Perretta is always up for trying a new workout, but the day following her first class, she reported that this one was different.

“All my muscles are sore…that good sore…which tells me I really got ‘em all. That’s pretty rare for a workout…usually its abs and glutes or abs and arms but right now, it’s my entire body.”

And she’s spot on. The reason this workout not only works but works fast is because it is a full body workout. Not one muscle is left out here; each and every one gets some love.

And when you are working every muscle, you are strengthening every muscle, equating to an entirely changed body. Fat cells decrease in size while muscle fibers grow; thus, you are trading in gut and replacing it with muscular glory. This is where the transformation occurs.


Though all muscles are at work in a CKO class, there are a few body parts that play a big role in the process, beginning with your lower body.

You get so much bang for your buck when you throw a kick. Since your legs consist of the largest muscles in your body, it takes a lot of effort to lift them, kick them and hold them up. That’s major calorie-burning. Every time you squat, lunge, throw a front kick, roundhouse kick, or sidekick, you are powering up huge muscles in both your legs and glutes that show very well in a summer dress or pair of shorts.

You’ll notice that your CKO Instructor requests that you keep your guard up because yes, if you were in a combat situation, you have to protect your face. The other and more applicable reason for this is that your instructor wants to tire your arms out. Constant punches to the bag strengthen your biceps, triceps and back. The shining star here, though, are your shoulders, the muscles of which will grow and sculpt, making your waist look thinner.

Whether you’re throwing a round house or a jab cross, your core is always at work. ALWAYS. With every twist of your torso, every pivot of your feet, every turn of your hips, your core is in motion. And if there’s ever a time you’re aiming for a strong center, it’s when the sun is out.

You’re not solely targeting your core, as CKO is a full-body workout, but you are strengthening the muscles that lie there. As your body burns fat, those muscles start to show. They take up less room than fat, thus, you will be whittling that middle.


Calories in, calories out. That’s part of the equation. As you may know, you can burn up to 1200 calories in a CKO kickboxing class. What you burn depends on your weight and how much you challenge yourself, of course, but the calorie-burning opportunity is yours for the taking.

The reason that you can burn those calories to a crisp is all due to the nature of the CKO workout; it is mega intense! Sixty minutes of non-stop full-body multi-functional movements with a continually elevated heart rate requires a ton of effort from you. A TON.

After performing a high intensity workout like CKO, the calories keep on burning. This “afterburn” as they call it can last for 72 hours post workout and happens because your body is still working. And a body at work equals more torched calories.



You can do the CKO workout as many times as you feel able. As always, listen to your body. Aim for at least three times a week, with an ideal 24 hours of rest between classes.

Keep moving, even on your days off. Take a walk. Do some shadow boxing at home to work on your technique and get you ready for your next day back at the gym.

If you’re a CKO novice, work your way into it. It’s tough, but so are you. Keep climbing and you will feel and see the results. If you’re a seasoned member, then take this as an opportunity to kick it up a notch. Maximize your workout. Try that burpee. Get that bag hold up a little higher. Kick that bag a little harder. Jab cross a little faster.


What you put in your body is just as important as what you do with your body. So, eat up. Just eat the right things. Baked, not fried. Choose spices over oils and sweeteners. Grab fruits and vegetables for vitamins and fiber. Select lean meats, nut butter, and eggs for protein. Choose whole grains, beans and legumes for healthy carbs.

You’ve read the same healthy foods listed again and again; you know what they are. Note your favorite healthy foods and stock up on those ones, since you know you’ll eat them. Then eat away with ease. If you need a little more direction when it comes to your grocery list, turn to your CKO gym for nutrition coaching.


Water, water everywhere. Stay hydrated throughout the day. Water not only quenches your thirst on those long summer days, but it does so much for your body and your workout. Water lubricates your entire being. Your joints, every little muscle fiber, even your brain. A hydrated body enhances your athletic performance and keeps you alert, which means a bigger better workout and bigger better results that you can be proud of.


Nutrition coaching is not the only thing that CKO does to get you on your summer body path. If you need extra support, someone to stand alongside you, encouraging you to keep going as you push for positive changes over the next few weeks, CKO covers that as well. Their 10 Week Challenge programs are a great way to get you prepped for summer and keep you physically fit and engaged all beach season long.


If you add up an ideal workout, proper nutrition, hydration and follow-through, you have a recipe for summer body success. So, feel free to get those shorts, tank tops and bathing suits out. You’ll want to show off those sculpted shoulders and calves of yours. Though the Memorial Day Weekend Clock is counting down, you got this in (and on) the bag!

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Article written by Kimberly Oley, CKO Contributing Author and CKO Member since 2015!