Is Pad Work right for you with respect to your fitness goals? Quite possibly.
Is Pad Work something you haven't thought about before? Perhaps.
Is Pad Work a great way to release, kick butt, strengthen, tone up and feel fantastic?
Plus, it's bad ass.
Hold up though, before you go charging around grabbing the nearest trainer demanding Pad Work to be a part of your training, or indeed to start training. There are a few things worth considering.
#1 - Do they know what they're doing?
For you, that is probably quite a difficult one to figure out. Anybody can pick up a pair of pads and wax lyrical for their skills. To be honest though, I actually see very few trainers who really understand the entire dynamic. I've been doing this sort of thing for over 13 years throughout different combat disciplines. So I feel I am reasonably qualified to offer some advice and guidance.
Everybody wants a trainer who is experienced and well versed in what they're teaching and guiding you through. Why wouldn't you? Not doing so is like going into a hairdressers academy for a free haircut from a junior apprentice. You know they're practicing on you and it isn't the best the industry has to offer.
It is no different with Pad Work. Nothing pains me more than witnessing trainers effectively 'practicing' Pad Work with clients. That is an absolute disservice to the individual who more than likely signed up in order to get the best. They wouldn't practice teaching power lifts on clients with little experience of the exercise themselves. Well, I hope not.
#2 - How do I figure out if they know what they're doing?
There are a number of ways. Look at their history.
Are they currently an instructor or run a martial arts school? If they do, how long have they been doing it for? This is one of the obvious hallmarks of somebody who is likely adept at Pad Work sessions.
A slight red flag would be somebody who has done a bit of martial arts themselves, perhaps a couple of years worth. Though, more than likely they have been the ones being trained on pads, rather than they have developed the skills to be a pad holder. I'm sure there are some really skilled pad holders who have only been students themselves, few and far between though.
Do they have any competition history under their belt? This is a good way to gauge whether or not they are likely to be clued up to say the least. The more diversity and the more longevity in their competition history, the more likely they have spent a fair bit of time around pads. Again, it doesn't automatically mean they're good at holding them.
My instructor, Master Andrew Whiteley VII Degree, who has guided me through over 13 years of martial arts, has taught me one clear thing about pads. It is harder to hold them than it is to hit them. He is absolutely right.
#3 - Will it help me lose weight and tone up?
It'll certainly assist! We all know that the defining factor behind healthy and sustainable weight loss is food and lifestyle choices. Any form of exercise complements this effort. Having said that, it is known that high intensity training is conducive to boosting metabolism and thus aiding weight loss really well. HIIT - (High Intensity Interval Training) is synonymous with Pad Work drills.
There's more. When somebody wants to throw strength and tone into the mix, personally, I intermingle awesome weight training sets in between each pad drill to maximise this desire. Anything from Kettle bell work to explosive weight training. What you're getting with this combination, is increased strength, boosted metabolism and you're also learning how to move your body in awesome and exciting new ways.
Last but not least, you'll also learn to develop awesome power in your kicking, kneeing, punching, elbowing and striking techniques! In my experience, this alone is a HUGE confidence booster. You know when you have those days where there is a spring in your step and your chest is held up high? That happens a lot more as your skills develop. It is empowering to know how to use your body in this unique and dynamic way.
#4 - How has it benefited others?
Well, see for yourself. ---> Izzy in action.
I have been working with Izzy just once per week for nearly a year now. With the sole focus being Pad Work. She is a busy mum with a grand family and lots of nutritional obstacles to overcome.
Izzy's flexibility has improved dramatically, previously she had never kicked a pad in her life! Her fitness and stamina are fantastic and she has lost plenty of weight.
Plus, Izzy's movement, coordination, kicking and punching skills are absolutely fantastic.
If this is something that interests you, then feel free to contact me with any questions you have to see if this is right for you!
Yours in health & fitness.