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Can Kick Boxing Help You Gain Weight?

author image Henry Halse
Henry Halse is a Philadelphia-based personal trainer, speaker, and writer. He's trained a wide variety of people, from couch potatoes to professional athletes, and helped them realize their own strength, determination and self-confidence. Henry has also written for various fitness and lifestyle publications, including Women’s Health, AskMen and Prevention.
Can Kick Boxing Help You Gain Weight?
Kickboxing burns too much energy to help you gain weight. Photo Credit: Zoonar RF/Zoonar/Getty Images

Trying to gain weight is a very backwards-feeling struggle in today's fitness culture, since a vast majority of people are trying to lose weight. You're bombarded with an unimaginable amount of information about the best way to lose fat.

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Do the opposite of what many fat loss experts say will help you gain weight, even if it means easing off on intense cardio workouts, like kickboxing.

Conserving Energy

In the struggle to gain weight you'll want to conserve as many calories as possible. To gain weight you need to let your body store energy, instead of burning it all through exercise.

Activities like weightlifting are better suited for someone looking to gain weight because you don't burn that many calories burned during a weightlifting session. Plus, you're starting the metabolic process of building muscle mass.

Kickboxing will use energy that you're trying to store to gain weight.

Calories Burned in Kickboxing

As one of the best group exercise options for weight loss, kickboxing has become increasingly popular over the years. In just an hour of kickboxing you can burn at least 350 calories, according to a study from the American Council on Exercise. In other words, it's not a good option if you're looking to gain weight.

Read More: Why Is Kickboxing a Good Workout?

The fast-paced and intense style that is common in kickboxing makes you burn calories quickly. Any form of activity will make you burn calories, but kickboxing is one of the more intense forms of exercise which means you will burn more than if you, say, went for a run.

Eating More

Other than limiting your activity, eating more food is the best way to gain weight. The more energy you can consume through food, the more you can store.

If you decide to keep kickboxing in your exercise routine, you'll have to eat that much more food. If one kickboxing class burns at least 350 calories, then you'll need to add a large snack to your diet.

Although it won't help you gain weight, kickboxing can help you gain muscle.
Although it won't help you gain weight, kickboxing can help you gain muscle. Photo Credit: chabybucko/iStock/Getty Images

To put that into perspective, you would need to eat almost four eggs to balance out the amount of calories burned in a kickboxing class. Worse still, you might burn more than 350 calories in a class. The harder you work and the bigger you are, the more your calorie burn rate increases. If you work hard enough, you might need to add another meal entirely to your diet!

Gaining Muscle

While kickboxing does burn a lot of energy and will make gaining weight much more difficult, you do gain one thing: muscle. Kickboxing is an intense activity and stresses muscles in your upper body, lower body and core. When your muscles are stressed, they're forced to recover.

Read More: Can You Lose Weight With Kickboxing?

In the recovery process you can lay down new muscle, which is formed from protein that you eat in food.

This is how you gain muscle, but it's not guaranteed with kickboxing. You still have to eat enough calories to gain weight, or your body will have a hard time making new muscle. When you're losing energy your body won't make gaining muscle a priority. Instead, it will use that energy to power you through your workouts.

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