Daily does: Rec Service’s new HIIT Kickboxing

Daily does kickboxing. Reporter Amanda Wymore tries out kickboxing at State Gym on Jan. 19th.

Amanda Wymore

The HIIT just got harder.

Iowa State’s Recreation Services began offering a multitude of HIIT-styled classes this spring. Rec Services has offered a cardio kickboxing class in the past, but this faster-paced version, taught by Olivia Klocke and Tanna Mafnas, is the ultimate total body workout. 

“This is a total body workout, and it is easy for anyone to pickup and do,” Klocke said. “We try to focus each part of the body in some way, working the upper body, lower body and core.” 

The class is open to everyone, and the instructors offer progressions and regressions of each move to allow anyone to participate.

“You have to listen to your body during these workouts,” Mafnas said. “You will get out of the workout what you put into it. Each move will make you a little stronger, and with a huge spike in the heart rate, even a class as short as this one will make an impact.” 

This high-intensity version of the class is a mere 30 minutes long. Each move is done for 20 seconds with 10-second rests in between. Once a set has been completed, there is a two-minute break allotted for water or to stretch.

HIIT Kickboxing classes are held Tuesdays from 5:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. at State Gym with Mafnas and Thursdays from 5:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. at State Gym with Klocke. This is Klocke’s first time teaching a kickboxing class, and Mafnas has been teaching since 2016.

“I was excited to hear that Rec Services was introducing a HIIT Kickboxing class,” Mafnas said. “I have been teaching kickboxing for almost a year, and it’s my thing. I get excited to share my hobbies and passions with others, so why not do it here?”

This class can be as intense or mild as the participant prefers. Klocke had a class of 24 participants Thursday, and said that she would continue to expect that approximate number for each session.

“We enjoy having a lot of people in the class to keep the energy high,” Klocke said. “We have enough sparring equipment for 30 people, and the size of the room is ideal for that number, as well.”

In this 30-minute class, the class used boxing gloves and mitts to perform drills going all-out, for a quick intense burst of exercises, including punching, jabbing, and cardio, followed by short recovery periods. 

Klocke led the class with a brief warm-up and moved straight into the workout with upbeat, intense music. The group learned techniques and incorporated them into their workout. Everyone had a partner to motivate them while practicing each skill.

The class is flexible, but the instructors continued to push everyone to their maximum effort. Each 20-second workout was followed by 10-second rests, which allowed for several rehydration opportunities.

Both Klocke and Mafnas are open to participants adapting to the class to fit their personal needs, weather that meant doing less reps during an exercise or changing a move to ease stress on an injury.

“I have never done a kickboxing class before, but I really enjoyed the intensity of it,” said Tianna Homan-Arndt, a freshman in psychology. “I definitely want to come back to this class next week. I felt that I fit in and it was nice to have a partner while doing it. We had a great time together.”

The cardio kickboxing class offered by Rec Services is similar in terms of being a high-energy class, learning moves, includes jabbing, punching and kicking. The equipment provided to participants, such as boxing gloves and mitts, is the same, as well.

However, each move is learned in a quick amount of time and performed at a quick pace. The intensity is much higher due to the large spike in heart rate and using a cardio-repertory approach.

“I was a little skeptical of this class only being 30-minutes long,” Homan-Arndt said. “I didn’t think I would feel much of anything by kickboxing for half an hour, but once we got started, I understood why it wasn’t an hour long.”

All of the participants, experienced and novice, looked exhausted after the first set of exercises.

“We started and finished the workout so quickly,” Homan-Arndt said. “It felt great to get done quickly and still feel like I got in a full workout.”

Homan-Arndt agrees with Mafnas and Klocke that this class is easily adaptable and everyone can try it.

“The instructors gave us so many options on how to do certain workouts,” Homan-Arndt said. “I thought it was great to be able to do a basic move while others could do a more complex one.”

Mafnas and Klocke recommend hydrating as much as possible after this class and to stretch to avoid any soreness.

“We want to get as much packed in to this quick class,” Klocke said. “So we urge the participants to stretch outside of the class as much as possible.”

That is exactly what Homan-Arndt intended to do once leaving the room.

“I can already tell I’m going to be sore tomorrow,” Homan-Arndt said. “[My friend and I] are going to stretch before we leave and probably again after that.”

If you are looking for a quick, intense workout with several small breaks in between to work your whole body in a partnered atmosphere, HIIT Kickboxing may be for you.