MA Fitness is the most trusted name in fitness kickboxing and weight loss since opening in 2010. Located in St. Petersburg & Pinellas Park. Fight For Your Fitness.Located in St. Petersburg & Pinellas Park
LOOK AT ALL THE PRETTY COLORS. Sponsored by Kahwa Coffee because they are the best.
Believe it or not, those pretty colors actually mean something. I know, you probably thought they were just there for you to admire as you look for something, anything to distract you from the fact that you’re only in ROUND FOUR?!
Well suck it up, because these heart rate monitors that you see on the screen are serving to help you intensify your workout where it needs to be intensified – and to pull yourself back when you need to recover.
Baby, what’s your zone?
To get the most out of your workout, you want to be working within the right zone. Now, these different zones denote different intensities. You never want to be in one zone the entire time – that defeats the point of kickboxing. With the heart rate monitor, you’ll see which zone you are in by the color on the screen.
The gray zone means you’re resting, taking a nap, or maybe even dead. Maybe not quite that low intensity, but gray is where you will find yourself when you very first put on your monitor and you’re just sitting around waiting for class to start.
The blue zone is one step above resting. When you’re walking around or laughing really hard at one of my jokes, you’ll likely get into the blue zone. Depending on your level of conditioning, you may even drop to the blue zone in between rounds during longer rest periods.
Now we’re starting to see some action. The green zone is a good place to be during the warm up and stretching, where we get the heart rate up a bit more and the body is warmer. This is also where you can drop in between rounds as your heart rate recovers from a burnout.
Oh boy, now we’re heating up. The orange zone is where you want to spend the majority of your workout. The kickboxing rounds should take you into this zone, which is great for fat burning and anaerobic work. Some people call this the “uncomfortable zone.” Because you should be uncomfortable! You’re working hard, but at a more manageable rate that you can sustain for the entire round.
OOOOOOOOWEEEEEE it is getting serious now. The red zone is your all-out effort zone, and you should try to get here during each burnout at the end of the round. Please note that you should not be chasing the red zone during your entire workout. Seeing that bright red square with your name on it may provide you with a thrill of accomplishment, but you don’t have to spend a ton of time there. In fact, it’s humanly impossible to spend too much time there. It’s really only sustainable during the burns, where you are working at your highest possible intensity.
If it’s really hard for you to get into the red zone, GOOD. It should be! This is 92-100% of your maximum heart rate. You’re not going to get there by hanging around at the same intensity you used during the whole round, so don’t come crying to us to change your heart rate zone so that you can get in the red more easily. Try working a little bit harder, pushing yourself just a little bit more, and you’ll get there! If you find that you’re in the red nearly the entire time, we’ll have to play with your settings a bit to make sure we can achieve the right zones.
Now that you know where you should be during your workout, you can better utilize your heart rate monitor. Plus, it’s always fun to have a little bit of friendly competition (“Oh, Trainer Matt is in the red and I’m not?! I DON’T THINK SO”).
If you haven’t snagged yours yet, hop on this bandwagon! There’s plenty of room.
I know you’re probably thinking that I’ve lost my mind – shouldn’t I be telling you the exact opposite? To make new year’s resolutions to be healthier, lose weight, etc, etc, all that jazz?
Well, of course I want you to do these things, if that’s what you want. But all I’ve seen of New Year’s resolutions is that they are set and then they are forgotten just as easily. Such a trite and easy thing to say, like, “I want to lose weight” has no lasting power. So instead of a resolution, I want you to create a goal. A goal has a little bit more intention behind it. A goal comes with small steps that you can make to get closer and closer until this goal is achieved.
A goal is specific.
You want to lose weight – how much?
You want to get stronger- how many more push ups do you want to do?
You want to work out more – how many times per week and which classes?
A goal has a reason behind it.
I want to lose weight – because I am turning 40 this year and have a trip planned and want to feel confident and happy.
I want to get stronger – because I am getting older and want to be able to pick up my kids, grand-kids, pets, etc.
I want to work out more – because time spent outside of the gym is generally spent drinking, spending money I don’t need to be spending, and not making me healthier.
Whatever your goal may be and whatever the reason may be, it’s time to really take a look not only at what you want to achieve, but why you want to achieve it.
Like I said, it’s so easy to say “oh yeah, this year I want to finally lose the weight.” But that’s so vague. With a resolution so over-arching, there’s no real action items you can start to check off, because there is nothing to really mark or measure your progress.
If you’re part of our 8 week challenge, we’ll go over goals with you to help you succeed as much as possible in this new year. We’ll help you choose goals and keep you accountable to reach them. We’ll take those big, vague goals and create a game plan for you, so that every week is a week closer to where you want to be when the challenge ends.
I’ll be doing the challenge with everyone starting January 5th, and I’m so excited to see what we can accomplish. To give you an example, here are my goals:
I want to lose the belly fat I’ve been hanging on to due to my love of ice cream and all things sugar, because I have been training very hard and gotten into great shape, but I want to reach that next marker. I want to push myself to see what I’m capable of, and test my willpower when it comes to diet and nutrition.
I want to get faster and sharper with my technique, because I want to be able to teach others from a place of experience and show them the proper form with confidence and ability.
I want to be able to do 15 pull-ups without wanting to die, so that I can increase my strength and control my bodyweight.
What are your goals? Why do you want to accomplish them?
So you’ve been considering a weapon for self defense but you don’t feel comfortable with a gun. Tasers and stun guns are a great non-lethal option for those with safety concerns. There are significant differences in both weapons so you will need to know what expect and look for in a product. There are a ton of options out there and most are very similar with variations in design and wattage. I’ll highlight a few in this article to make your search a little easier as you do your research.
**Note that a Taser requires a handgun permit to carry in Public. You can read more about the requirements here on Criminal Defense Lawyer**
You’ll want to do your due diligence when it comes to selecting the right self defense tool.
Do you have kids in the house or are they able to access it if you are carrying?
Do you want to carry your weapon outside the house?
Will you be aware enough and ready to draw the weapon against another individual?
Are you aware of your state self defense laws?
I highly recommend doing some sort of hand to hand training with a reality based self defense instructor in order to cover all your bases when it comes to operation of your weapon and retention. ANY WEAPON CAN BE TAKEN FROM YOU AND USED AGAINST YOU. Learning how to use your hands, elbows, knees and feet to defend yourself is vital. COBRA Defense is a reputable self defense provider that has locations nationwide and even internationally. They teach hand to hand close quarters combat to moms, teens, kids in addition to security teams and safety personnel. So the training at all levels is very effective and professional.
This is the highest rated taser on Amazon and for good reason. It comes ready to use right out of the box. This is the base package I found for the lowest cost but there are others that come with a target, holster and extra cartridges.
Tasers actually shoot electrodes and attach to assailants to subdue them. They are more powerful and look like firearms so they might cause more of a frightened response just from the sight of them. You can carry these with you but you will need to apply for a permit and follow the rules of your state. *I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice*
The taser allow you to keep distance between you and would be attacker. This means that you need space to use it effectively.
Stun Guns are more popular since they do not require a permit to carry with you and they are substantially cheaper. You can find a usable stun gun for a little as $9 as opposed to a taser which can cost from $199 to $500. Stun guns are held in your hand and must be used in close range to get contact with an attackers skin. I have linked one below that covers multiple self defense needs and carries quite a shock. This VIPERTEK is a flashlight, stun gun and striking device. It also has rechargeable batteries and for $14 you can’t beat the value. It’s made of aircraft aluminum and also has a lifetime warranty.
Sometime to brandishing and showing the flash of energy is enough to dissuade an attacker and this one is bright and make a loud sound.
Other stun guns are simply stun guns with no other features and carry the same price tag. I like this one for versatility and durability.
There are plenty of self defense alternatives to stun guns and tasers. Different styles of striking devices like these are available. Some can even be custom designed and carried through airports with no problem.
I hope this gives you a good place to start when it comes to price, pros and cons for tasers and stun guns. As always, the more training you get the better. Self defense is more than a tool. It’s a mindset and requires some training even to pull a weapon like this during a combative situation. You’ll want to have some practice before a situation so you are not scrambling or making stuff up when it comes to this kind of serious danger. I’d like to know your favorite device or a product you own that has proven useful. Stay safe!
If you come to MA Fitness, you do squats. There’s no getting around it. Nor should you be getting around it, because squats are the best exercise you can do for your lower body.
According to What’s Cooking America, squats burn .096 calories per pound, per minute. So if you weigh 150 pounds, multiply that by .096 and wham bam thank you ma’am, you’re burning 14.4 calories a MINUTE. The only exercise higher than that on this list is skiing uphill (???) and who in their right mind would do that.
Of course, the emphasis here is on doing squats correctly. Proper form is a non-negotiable, as you’ve probably heard a time or two. If you are not performing squats correctly, you risk injury to the knees and hips, and even if you don’t hurt yourself, you won’t reap the many benefits of squatting anyway. And believe me, the benefits are, indeed, many.
There is a good way to squat, and there is a bad way to squat. First, we examine the bad way.
I want you to know how much it hurt me to even demonstrate this. My soul crumpled inside of me and I blacked out from the agony. This is everything that is wrong with America.
Immediately, I had to do a squat properly to save my eternal soul.
Wow. I feel so much better now.
See the difference? If you don’t, please see a doctor immediately because I do not trust you to drive without getting new glasses.
Let’s address the main points seen here, as Drake once said, “starting from the bottom now we here,” but also really we’re just starting from the bottom and I’m sorry I said anything.
Plant your heels firmly on the ground. As you descend, your heels should remain in contact with the ground throughout the entire movement. Your toes should not be bearing your weight.
You knees should remain somewhat in line with your ankles. If you can’t see your toes, you’ve probably gone too far. How do we do this? Your hips.
Ah, what a seamless transition from my last point. Your hips, rather than sinking straight down, should sit back. This will help your knees go in the right place and your heels stay on the ground.
Your back should remain upright. Generally, if you physically cannot keep your back straight and upright, it is probably due to poor flexibility. But honestly, 85% of you are physically capable of doing this, so just do it.
Your head and your eyes should be up, preferably gazing into the instructor’s eyes and making as much uninterrupted eye contact as possible. Just kidding, never do that. But you should keep your eyes up and ahead, because if you look down, you’ll go down. Chin up, kid!
Those are the main components of a good squat, and maybe this was a revelation to you or maybe it was common sense. Either way, you know that as long as you’re with us, you’re going to be doing squats for days, so let’s do the best squats we possible can.
You all know I love my fitness tricks, and the pistol squat was the very first one I learned. Oh, the memories.
It looks like one of those impossible feats, but it’s just like anything else – you work your way up. Nobody just does a perfect pistol squat right off the bat. I mean, except me. I need to keep my reputation, ya know.
To do a pistol squat, the two things I think are most important might surprise you.
French fries Flexibility
Why stability? Well, why the heck not?! Stability will keep you from falling over when you do get down into that pistol squat. We all know how humiliating it is to have to balance when you simply CAN’T, so now you have to balance AND go up and down like a one-legged push pop?! Even worse. But if you work on balance by activating your core and maintaining control of your body, and if you believe in yourself, you’ll be able to increase your stability and accomplish all sorts of feats.
On to our second point. Personally, I think pistol squats have less to do with leg strength than most people think. Of course, you do need to have strength in your leg to propel yourself back up. However, if you can’t even get down low enough to begin with, you can have all the leg strength in the world, you still won’t be able to do a pistol squat. I recommend stretching your hips and glutes to allow you to get into a full pistol squat. Flexibility comes naturally to some, but very unnaturally to most. So work on it! And maybe one day you’ll stop rolling your eyes every time we say “kicker stretch.”
Now that we’ve covered the foundation, let’s go step by step on how to do a pistol squat, shall we?
Balance on one leg
Extend the other leg in front of you
Bend the knee on your standing leg, lowering yourself down into a squat position
Get lower, you’re probably not low enough
Engage your core
Press up from your standing foot to come back to the top
Keep your other leg elevated
Okay put it down now
See? In 10 easy steps, you too can do a pistol squat!
Give it a shot – I’d love to see it! If you post a photo, make sure you tag us on Facebook or Instagram!
But it certainly doesn’t hurt to have some padding between those knuckles and the bag. This isn’t Fight Club, so we want to protect our hands, and also if it were Fight Club, obviously we wouldn’t be talking about it right now.
There are a few options when it comes to hand protection, so here are the ones we like and the pros and cons of each.
12 Oz Boxing Gloves
We always start people off with our 12 oz Proforce gloves. These are extremely beginner friendly, and provide enough padding and support for you when you’re banging on the bag. The weight is enough to make you feel it, but not so much that you can’t keep punching.
We like these because they provide enough padding for you to really learn how to hit that bag, and enough support for your knuckles and wrist to keep you from messing yourself up. Because if anyone’s gonna MESS YOU UP, it’s gonna be me (in a C.O.B.R.A. class in a controlled setting at 60%). These are great gloves for all your kickboxing needs, and will help you get a great workout!
Pros: knuckle padding, wrist support, good weight for class structure
These little dudes are built for multitasking, helping you to easily transition from punching and kicking to ground work and other movements. However, they aren’t the most beginner friendly, because your form better be on point if your throwing hard punches with these on.
Pros: Lightweight, ventilated, easily go from punches to push ups, etc
Cons: little to now padding, less wrist support, not for use on heavy bags
I affectionately refer to these as my hulk smash gloves, because they make my hands look enormous. Going up in weight means they make it a heck of a lot harder to keep your hands up, but that also means they come with even more padding.
Pros: develop more muscle, hit harder, advance your workouts
Cons: heavy, not for beginners, can develop odor
Which gloves do you like to use? Drop your tips in the comments, and let us know if you’ve these different types of gloves, and what your thoughts are!
Kickboxing class done – cue the insatiable hunger.
I don’t know about you, but nothing revs up my appetite quite like cardio. I head home, open the refrigerator and think, “I’ll just heat up these healthy foods I meal prepped because I am a health goddess,” which I do… right before consuming an entire box of granola, 3 oreos, a container of chicken that might have been my roommate’s, and a small bag of trail mix I got on Halloween 4 years ago.
What? You’re saying you can’t relate? OKAY SURE.
Not only because of the insatiable hunger but also because of goals and such, post-workout nutrition can play a big role in your health. Especially if you have specific goals of fat loss or muscle gain, what you eat after you work out can make or break your progress.
The basic formula: carbs + protein
Your post workout meal should be made up of carbs and protein. Now, this is the opposite of saying, “I just worked out, so I need to eat more calories and it totally doesn’t matter if I order pancakes AND a waffle because I need to replenish my carbs.” I know your tricks BECAUSE I INVENTED THEM.
We’re looking for a good balance of carbs from healthy sources, with a nice little boost of protein as well. We don’t really need fats after a workout, so let’s skip them for now. Here are some of my favorite post-workout meal examples:
protein shake with a banana
2 eggs and 2 pieces of whole grain toast
4 oz of chicken breast and a small sweet potato
These simple meals can help you build some smokin’ hot muscle, and will replenish the glycogen stores (aka your muscles’ energy) that you just depleted. Even if you want to lose weight, post-workout nutrition is still important! You should never skip meals after working out, because your body don’t like that and it’s not good for you. Do what’s good for you! And if you know what’s good for you, you’ll do what I say.
OH MY GOODNESS we didn’t even cover when you should eat after a workout. DON’T FREAK OUT – it’s another super simple answer: within one hour. Refuel your muscles within an hour after working out and you’re good to go!
Eat protein + carbs
Within one hour of working out
Do what I say
If nutrition is tough (and let’s be honest, it always is), consider signing up for our 8 week challenge. Not only do you get kickboxing GALORE, you also get a lot of nutrition help. We’ll work with you on a food log, help you reach your goals, and do the dang thing! As always, ask us if you have any questions and we’re happy to help.
Stop messing around and throw your cross punch right, okay?! I know that’s pretty aggressive right off the bat, but it’s time to start being aggressive with your cross punch, and here’s how.
Now, if you’re thinking, “this is cool but not for me, because I have a great cross,” that’s cute. Follow it anyway, because there’s always room to improve! You can always hit faster, harder, and better.
I’m going to break it down starting with your feet, because if your foundation is cracked/cracked out, your punch won’t progress.
It all begins with a pivot. Transfer your weight to your front foot, pivoting your back foot so that your toes point straight ahead and your hips are facing the front. It’s a violent twist through if you really want to throw a punch that will actually do some damage, so practice that pivot and pop like it’s the sickest new dance move sweeping the nation. Because if you spent as much time working on your cross punch as you did learning the “In My Feelings” challenge, maybe you’d know how to do it right.
Once you’ve got that pivot down, let’s introduce your hand. Say hello, hand, nice to meet you. Now, make a fist with said hand, extending it from your stance, using that pivot to provide power.
That extension is a straight line, turning your fist over so that your first two knuckles are the point of contact. Not your last two knuckles. Not your first two knuckles vertically. Not the front of your knuckles. Your first two knuckles, horizontal, solid as a rock, which is the shape that your hand should be in if you want to throw a solid punch, and also to beat paper in a rousing game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. And if you can’t beat paper, what’s the point?!
Lastly, that lead hand. Where is it? It’s up by your face, of course! That hand that isn’t throwing your punch is up by the face, guarding against whatever is coming at you while you throw your cross.
Let’s run down the checklist:
Weight transfers to the front
Back foot pivots
Hips turn forward
Arm extends in a straight line
First two knuckles make contact
Don’t you dare let that opposite hand drop.
How we doing so far? Give that a few more tries for good measure, because practice makes perfect, or as my high school tennis coach used to say, “perfect practice makes perfect!” There was actually a rumor that he punched a student in the face once, so I think his advice is very applicable when it comes to punching things.
Did this tutorial help? Put these tips to good use in your next kickboxing class- you can even come a few minutes early to practice before the music starts blaring and you start to panic that you haven’t finished putting your wraps on.
Let me know which technique you’d like to work on next!
My coaches always used to say “visualize doing X” it could be making a tackle, shooting a shot, moving to position, etc. I always thought it was BS but now I realize that the mind and the body share a synergy that cannot be denied.
I’ve seen so many people fail before they start because they never actually visualized themselves at a certain fit point, weight or body image.
Visualization is what happens when we put ourselves into places and situations using only our imagination. We re-enact the physical world as a mental image and play that over and over in our minds.
Studies have shown that mentally performing the actions involved in different sports made people play better. By visualizing ourselves overcoming certain problems or obstacles, we become more prepared to deal with the real thing. The changes that occur in the brain when we mentally practice an action change the brain in the same way as actually performing the action.
So it looks like this act of visualizing is as close to the real thing as can be without actually moving.
Your mind is the catalyst for change. Studies show that when people were immobilized for a length of time, those that visualized using their restricted limbs retained their strength as opposed to the loss faced by those who did not.
You can actually visualize yourself getting through training plateaus and overcoming psychological setbacks. It’s winning the battle before it ever takes place physically.
Some of the most successful people from all traits of life commonly use visualization as a way to rehearse their event or sporting activity before actually going through it. Through visualization they are able to anticipate things that may go wrong or areas that may be difficult and see themselves getting through them
1. Stay Above the Noise
Happiness is not only a result of personal success, it’s a precursor. If we’re weighed down by negative people, comments, social media comparisons and the like, we become more likely to dip out when difficult experiences and obstacles challenge us.
“Staying above the noise” keeps our minds open and focused on our mental goals.
It’s really amazing to read the studies that prove the power of the mind Distractions can emerge quickly especially now that our minds are trained to take on new tasks or chase new dopamine feelings every 10 minutes. Usually it’s not a huge problem, you don’t need too much attention when you brush your teeth, take shower, eat, or even drive. But we all know that it can happen at times that are problematic: in a test, at work, in the middle of a conversation or even when you want to sleep.
Many people turn to meditation to help calm a flurry of thoughts — it works, and improves your focus beyond the act of meditating. It’s not necessary however, any repeated attempt to direct your focus will improve it, like any other muscle. The more you practice trying to maintain your visualization all the way through, the easier and more effective it’ll become.
3. Determine to Go 100% and Think Legacy
I was sitting in my dorm room 6 months after making the hard decision to stop playing college football. At the time, my roommate and I had considered taking up another sport to release some of our competitive drive that wasn’t so focused on full contact and brutal practice hours. We were exploring forming the school’s first lacrosse team and after 2 weeks of considering it he asked me point blank, “How serious are you about doing this?”
It would just be us starting from scratch, appealing to the university, recruiting a team of players, finding a coach, setting up practices, designing and getting uniforms and more. I looked right at him and said “100%”. From that moment we formed the school first lacrosse team, won our first game and left a program in place that continued to grow after we graduated.
It was a ton of work but I saw what it could be. A legacy. Your health now and what you pass down to the next generation is a legacy. Don’t ever take your fitness lightly. It’s your one and only life and it really doesn’t take much to live well. Mentally win and the body will follow.
“No. You don’t need 3 years to learn effective self defense”
In fact, you can get extremely valuable and effective training in just about 20 hours. The Elite program trims the fat and fluff off of martial arts training and get you what you need to stay safe and keep your family safe.
The news coverage speaks for itself, covered over 20 times since 2016 by every major channel
Lead instructor, Matt DiPietro, is spearheading this launch of Elite training to complement the group classes that have been operating since 2002 when COBRA was just getting started. The 5 week academies and one day camps are a great way to get training fast with a group. However, some people want the absolute best. The best training usually requires laser like focus and attention to detail that only personal defense classes can give.
The Elite training program is not for everyone. We pre-screen every individual who wants to go through it and limit it to only 6 people per cycle. If you want the very best then please do not delay. get in touch with Trainer Matt immediately to discuss how COBRA Elite can protect you and your family. There is no price tag on knowing that you are safe and will be.
Why COBRA and What is an Alpha?
We pay so much for car insurance, health insurance, mobile phone insurance even! Yet we hardly ever stop to think about our safety insurance until it is too late, after an attack. If you are being proactive we already consider you an ALPHA protector. Alpha’s come in many shapes, sizes and is not limited to the male gender. It is a mindset and determination that makes you an alpha.
Get training behind that demeanor for better awareness, understanding of criminal intent and the physical fighting skill set to survive an attack. This includes: ground survival, striking, takedowns, escapes, grabs, holds, breakaways, punch defense, weapon disarming and more.
Who can take this course?
The college bound student, security officer, stay at home mom or CEO can take this course and be effective. You DO NOT need to posses outstanding physical talents like speed and power. You just have to have a mindset to learn and learn quickly. We do not take all applicants so we can focus on the clients who want to be there and want to train.
How much time will it take to learn?
Elite Training carries a standard of 20 hours to be completed in 4 weeks or less. Some people take 1 week and choose to immerse themselves in it. Others take the full time period. Why do we say 4 weeks? This is an elite training program with elite instructors. We are serious about getting you self defense trained and 1 session/week for 1 hour is not going to cut it. If you want the best you will have to put in some work. We have found that 4 weeks is adequate time while not putting a person on overload. Some choose to add bonus training blocks to focus in on more advanced material after the completion of the 20 hours.
Get more information about pricing by filling out the contact form or calling (727) 392-3198
Elite Training includes bonuses totaling over $700
Flexible session training and personal attention to detail
The Full COBRA Gold Curriculum
Student Training manual
Graduation Completion Certificate
COBRA Online College Access for Review
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