Workout Wednesday: CKO Kickboxing

Workout Wednesday: CKO Kickboxing
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share by Email
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share by Email

(Note: Our Workout Wednesday series is brought to you by OrthoCarolina who reminds you – don’t forget to warm up and stretch inside before you go out for a winter run.)

I’m trying out a different workout class each week and reporting back for your entertainment every Wednesday. Homegrown fitness concepts all the way up to the big national franchises. Follow along here, browse our fitness archives for more, send class suggestions to [email protected].


Name: CKO South Charlotte
10 a.m. on Saturday
 10106 Johnston Road (sister gym located at 5350 Docia Crossing Road)
Class schedule: see schedule here
Class duration: I took a 60-minute class, the second one offered the morning of their grand opening.
Drop-in rate: N/A but the first class is free
Monthly membership: $60 – $90/month
Good for: people who need to unleash a little pent up frustration
Bad for: people with fresh manicures (hello, boxing gloves)

CKO Kickboxing

How to dress and what to bring

Wear comfortable clothes you can move in. Shoes are required. Because you’ll be hitting bags, boxing gloves are also required so bring your own or buy them at the gym. Water with a straw is a good idea so you can take quick sips while your gloves are still. You know, like Rocky.

CKO boxing gloves

What to expect in class

If I counted correctly, there are about 48 bags in the gym. You’ll be stationed at one but might also run around the perimeter of the room and meet in the middle for ab work.

Our class started with a review of names and proper form for all the moves that would be called in class. The workout itself is a little “Simon Says” in nature as the instructor will call out a sequence and then you have to repeat it at your bag. It takes a lot of focus to keep up and not jab when you should have crossed and I wasn’t too good at it but it’s fine as long as you keep moving.

All classes are beginner friendly and instructors move around the room giving pointers and correcting form. The hour moves quickly and class is over before you know it.

CKO Kickboxing

Where you’ll feel it the next day

I see this as more of an arm workout with all the punching than a leg workout but that could vary depending on how the class is sequenced. I definitely felt it most in my shoulders. If you do your punches correctly with your core engaged, you should feel it there the next day too.

CKO Kickboxing

Locker room situation

There are men’s and women’s restrooms but no showers on site so be prepared for that if you’re headings straight from the gym to another commitment.

CKO Kickboxing

My take

This is a fun class but I think it takes some getting used to in order to make it a really strong, challenging workout. I like that the instructors called out exertion levels (like 30% effort, 60% effort, 90% effort) but it can be easy to ignore those cues and coast at 30% the whole time if you’re not familiar with the moves or simply aren’t intrinsically motivated. I think a heart rate monitor or fitness tracker of some sort is a nice addition to this workout so you can keep yourself in check. I saw several people with them on.

Being pretty unfamiliar with boxing moves and equipment, I felt a little clunky and slow at first so I appreciated that class opened with a quick workshop-style tutorial on all the basic moves (jab, cross, uppercut, roundhouse kick, etc.) that would be called out in the sequence.

The class itself seemed to consist of the opening tutorial, a warm-up, some punching/kicking sequences, a little running and some ab work but I had a hard time identifying if there was a precise franchised workout formula at play or if instructors had creative freedom over how class was run.

When I got out of my head and just unleashed on the bag (this worked best for me when I ignored what was happening and blindly flailed around), this workout was exhausting and exhilarating. I like punching things. Watch out.

1627 Total Views 2 Views Today
Story Views:
Join the 119,033 smart Charlotteans that receive our daily newsletter.
"It's good. I promise." - Emma   Emma Way