Hi! My name is Justin and I’m a Level 1 Expert Krav Maga instructor (E1 Rank) and while I didn’t start out with any extra fat in my body as I was already a mountain climber and all-around outdoor enthusiast before I learned Krav Maga, some of my classmates and students were overweight once upon a time.
And I’ve personally witnessed how they were able to transform their physical appearance by losing a significant amount of weight while training in Krav Maga.
Today I will share some amazing weight loss stories of people I’ve known personally and how Krav Maga improved their self-esteem and boost their confidence.
And the best thing is, you can get started with just a few simple items of equipment.
In this post we'll cover:
Top 10 Best Exercises for Weight Loss
So, the top 10 best traditional exercises for weight loss are:
- Lunges – the lunge has had many different variations since it was first introduced; however, the plain jane forward lunge is still very effective for weight loss. It targets your glutes, quads, and hamstrings which burns fats at the right places in your body.
- Burpees – the burpee is done by dropping to the floor, kicking the legs out in a planking position, bring the legs back in and abruptly jump into the air with arms stretched high. Doing burpees for 10 – 15 minutes a day will target your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles. All fats located in these areas will burn off effectively, thus giving you a great fit body after a few months or so.
- Explosive Lunges – it is estimated that a 150 lbs. person can burn up to 275 calories just by doing explosive lunges 5 – 15 minutes a day.
- Squats – while this type of workout only burns around 14.4 calories per minute (if you’re a 150 lbs. person) it does help develop your core and strengthen your entire lower body.
- Double Jump – this exercise is a combination of the squat and lunge and if done correctly will simultaneously burn a lot of calories from your body and strengthen your core and lower body too!
- Mountain Climbers – the mountain climbers exercise is exactly what it says you would look like someone scaling up the steep rock trying to get to the summit, except you’re doing it on the floor. It basically targets your whole body and so the muscles will get a full workup of calorie burn.
- Tabata Drill – this workout is designed to target your heart and build your stamina, as well as burn more calories than all the other previous workouts mentioned so far. It’s essentially a cardio-type workout with added dumbbells for light weight training as well. Normally the Tabata drill is done twice with 20 reps and 10 seconds rest in between reps, but you can increase the reps to your liking so you can burn 200 – 300 calories in 15 – 30 minutes.
- Jump Rope – this workout is also used for many sports including boxing, karate and other martial arts. But it’s also a full body workout that can help you burn a lot of calories even in just 20 minutes. Do it daily and you can bet to lose weight fast.
- Body-Weight Exercises – basically what you will do with body-weight exercises is you’ll do most of the other workouts discussed above, which includes the lunges, burpees, push-ups and abodominal crunches. You should be able to burn 200 – 250 calories a day for doing this type of workout for about 20 – 30 minutes a day.
- Kettlebell Swings – this low impact yet high-intensity workout is great for people who are not ready for the heavy stuff yet in the gym. Experts say that if you’ll do 250 – 300 swings reps, then you could burn as much as 1,212 calories per hour! That’s amazing! You’ll lose weight a lot faster with this workout routine alone, but I highly recommend that you do a combination of 3 – 5 workout routines based on this list.
Why Krav Maga is a Good Weight Loss Option
If you’ll look at the basic retzev, punch and kicks drills of Krav Maga, then you can see that it will allow your body to burn more calories than all the other workout routines that we’ve discussed above:
Why? Well, because the retzev was designed to wear you out and the rationale behind this is that the drill is supposed to enhance your stamina and endurance during combat.
You would be in a very bad position if you’ll get exhausted in just 3 – 5 minutes into the fight, although it is not expected of you to take that long to put down your opponent.
However, it is better to be prepared than to fail because to fail in combat means certain death. Even the hollywood actors in these movies got rigorous training and lost weight and gained muscle because of it.
Krav Maga has lots of drills in the military style that will test your physical limits, in fact, except for the actual military training, Krav Maga will almost give you a taste of what it’s like to train in the IDF.
If you’ll watch any IDF training on video streaming sites, you’d get a proper idea of what the IDF conscripts go through on a daily basis:
Krav Maga makes up 30% – 40% of their combat training. The intense physical workout required in Krav Maga is more than enough to help you lose weight effectively.
So, maybe you want to learn Krav Maga weapons defense, or you just want to get fit and healthy and learn some self defense in the process. In both cases, Krav Maga is the sport for you
Losing Weight with the Retzev Routine
When I first got into Krav Maga I had a classmate who was about 260 – 270 lbs guy. To keep his identity hidden I’ll just call him Stevens for the sake of this article.
He lost a whopping 40 lbs. in his first 2 and a half months of training and I found out later that he would enlist the help of his little brother at home to help him train in the retzev.
So not only was he spending a couple of hours on each class which is 3 times a week, but he also devotes another 3 hours doing it at home!
This guy dropped to 170 lbs. after 6 months and he was twice the success story that we all remember, because not only did he went on to become an E1 level KM expert like me but his weight loss was also very inspiring.
Retzev is a Hebrew word that more or less translates to “continuous motion” in English, and like its namesake, it is a Krav Maga drill that will bring out the best in you and build your character as a person.
What happens when you’ll practice the retzev is that you’ll have three training partners; one of them will wrap a long belt around your torso and pull you back with enough effort, while the other will either spar with you or hold a punching bag up as you attempt to hit it.
As a result, you’ll also be exerting effort to try to get close to your sparring partner and practice your KM moves with him/her, which will make you burn lots of energy.
But even more important is that it will make you light and quick on your feet and be able to put down any opponent in perfect fluid motion and lightning speed moves.
Kimi the Destroyer
I also had this 14-year old overweight Asian female Krav Maga student of mine a few years after I became a master and started teaching Krav Maga who was bullied at school and dubbed as “Kimi the Destroyer.”
Her nickname was not actually cool at first because she was 5’ 3” and she was over 74 kgs (162.8 lbs) and she was clumsy too due to her weight.
Some of her classmates would even call her “Fatzilla” and all those other names that hurt her feelings very much.
When Kimi joined my class she lost nearly half of her weight in just 6 months time!
Me and Kimi’s parents had requested the school that my Krav Maga school would do an exhibition presentation to the kids about self-defense and get them to sign up too.
I had Kimi get the most time during the exhibition and everyone was so impressed with how she performed.
After that day Kimi’s nickname as The Destroyer still stuck, but this time her classmates called her that as a sign of respect because now she was not only a beautiful and athletic girl at 44 kgs (96.8 lbs.), but also a fierce KM fighter that no one wants to mess with.
Stevens and Kimi are just a few people whom I’ve encountered in my life who had an amazing transformation while they studied Krav Maga.
They’ve lost a lot of weight, became the better versions of themselves both in physical aesthetics and self-defense mastery, and got a confidence boost all thanks to their training and perseverance.
I highly recommend that you study Krav Maga too if you want to lose weight and learn something useful in life. One that could save your life one day too!
Overweight and Obesity: a Global Problem
Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) overweightness and obesity now affect people of all ages – even children as young as 5 years old!
This is quite alarming as the health implications in being overweight and obese have catastrophic consequences.
The culprits behind this epidemic include too many carbohydrates in our food, too much saturated fat in our diet, too much-added sugars in beverages, and the imbalance of work-life-leisure restricts people from enjoying more free time to entertain themselves and most importantly do exercise.
Overweight and Obesity Key Facts:
• The WHO estimates that the number of obese people now has nearly tripled since 1975.
• In their 2016 survey they’ve recorded that about 1.9 billion people were overweight (adults who are 18 and above) which is roughly 17% of the global population. About 1/3 (650 million) of these people were obese.
• Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
• There were about 41 million obese children found all over the world who were below 5 years old in 2016. This number is projected to increase in the next decade.
• Over 340 million children who are between 5 – 19 years old were classified as either overweight or obese in 2016.
• Obesity is preventable.
What You can do About Being Overweight and Obese
As the health experts of WHO had said obesity is preventable and it’s even better if you’re only overweight because you’ll just have to burn a certain number of calories a day and cut back on about half of your daily caloric intake and you should be good.
We’ll be discussing the steps to take for an overweight person and the workout and diet routine for an obese person (we’ll talk about this later on). It is important to understand that diet and weight loss go hand-in-hand.
If you’ll do only one of them, then you will not achieve your desired results for your ideal BMI (body mass index).
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 290 lbs.
Lifestyle: Slightly Active
The subject above is recommended to eat 2,537 calories per day or lesser in order to lose weight in about 6 – 10 months time.
If he wants to lose weight faster (in about 4 – 6 months time), then he should eat 1,903 calories per day or lesser.
These figures do not include the number of calories burned during workouts yet, so if the subject will go jogging for 5 miles, then he should be able to burn over a thousand calories every time he jogs.
If he’ll do other workouts plus maintain a low-calorie diet, then he should lose weight faster and have more lean muscles and a healthier body.
Height: 5’ 4”
Weight: 140 lbs.
For this female subject with a sedentary lifestyle, she’ll need to eat 1,310 calories per day or less in order to lose weight in about 7 – 12 months. Females have a lower rate of metabolism that’s why it takes longer for them to burn off their calories, which is stored in fats.
However, if she will jog for 5 miles daily, then she should be able to burn roughly 460 calories which will help her lose weight faster (5 – 7 months time).
Adding more workout routines on top of lowering her daily caloric intake plus daily jogging for 5 miles will significantly cut down her weight in no time.