Regardless of your reasons for exercising, a convenient byproduct of working out is the calories you'll burn. If you're anxious to lose weight, an activity that burns calories rapidly is ideal. Boxing is a suitable activity for people with competitive sides but, if you're interested in marital arts, consider Muay Thai. This traditional martial art from Thailand provides an efficient way to burn calories.
Muay Thai Basics
Muay Thai is a form of sport kickboxing, known colloquially as the "science of eight limbs." It's generally considered more violent and demanding than "regular" kickboxing, allowing otherwise illegal moves such as elbow strikes to the face and crown. A typical Muay Thai workout will be evenly divided between calisthenics, martial arts training and sparring.
Health resource website Nutristrategy provides calorie burn information for a variety of exercises. Although its listings don't include Muay Thai specifically, it does list the activities for the components of a typical Muay Thai workout. According to Nutristrategy, a 155-lb. person will burn about 180 calories in 20 minutes of calisthenics, about 230 in 20 minutes of martial arts training, and approximately 280 in 20 minutes of in-ring boxing. That's a theoretical total of 690 calories in a typical hour-long training session.
The calorie count statistics given by fitness websites are never exact. Any given workout will burn a different number of calories depending on a variety of variables. Some common factors that will come into play include the air temperature, the intensity of a given day's training session, how recently you ate, and even your mood during the workout.
Muay Thai training includes exercises that build muscle mass. According to Dr. Walter Willett's book, "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy," increasing your muscle mass boosts your metabolism. That means you'll burn more calories in all activities throughout the day. Further, it means you'll burn more calories in subsequent Muay Thai workouts.
- "GURPS Martial Arts"; Peter Dell'Orto & Sean Punch; 2007
- "The Art of Expressing the Human Body"; Bruce Lee; 1998
- Nutristrategy: Calories Burned by Activities
- "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy"; Walter Willett, et. al; 2004