For a long time in this country, when it came to contact sports, boxing was king. Great bouts between legendary fighters such as Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali kept the sport at the top of the charts for decades, with no signs of slowing down. Even today, boxing still has an ardent following, with the most recent “fight of the century” between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao resulting in record-breaking attendance and sales.
However, since the early 2000’s, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has been making a steady advance to oust boxing as the top contact sport. Whereas before most MMA fights were hardly televised or covered by the media, today top fighters are becoming more and more popular, with MMA, in general, being just as beloved or more than traditional boxing. So which sport is better? While that debate may never be settled, we can look at the training methods for both sports, and decide which offers a more comprehensive approach to fitness.
More so than anything, boxing is about endurance. Sure, strength counts, but a boxer has to go through round after round in the ring, with many fights not even resulting in a knockout blow. Thus, if you’re training to become a boxer, you have to work on your stamina and speed just as much as your strength. Also, when it comes to raw power, a boxer wields all of it in his upper body and his arms, so boxing training will make you top heavy, at least regarding where the bulk of your muscles are.
Boxing Training Benefits:
Upper Body Strength
Whereas boxing is mostly about endurance, MMA is all about strength. Simply put, an MMA fighter has to make all parts of his or her body equally strong, since fighters use hands, arms, legs, and feet to win in the ring. Stamina does play an important part, but since many fights end with a knockout rather than a full twelve rounds, MMA training does not highlight stamina quite as much as boxing. If you are looking into MMA training, you will get a more comprehensive strength and endurance workout than with boxing. Since your whole body will be a weapon, you will have to mold it like one.
MMA training benefits:
Whole body training
Variety of workouts
So which training is better? Ultimately, it’s up to your particular goals. For some, MMA training surpasses boxing training, simply because it requires much more discipline and effort. Because you may win with a leg sweep or a knockout punch, you have to turn your whole body into a solid piece of muscle, which makes MMA training more comprehensive than boxing training. A boxer, on the other hand, focuses on key parts of his or her body while training. For this reason, some people prefer boxing, in order to really hone a particular skill set and training regimen. So determine what you’re looking for and where you want to focus, because either MMA or boxing in Los Angeles may better suit your goal.
If you’ve been a family member here at A4 Fitness, you know how seriously we take our commitment to members. Well, in the light of keeping things fresh and exciting, we have some great news to share with you! We now have a brand new, big, and bright fitness studio in West Los Angeles and we’re all settled in and ready for more growth. We’re excited to see our old friends come in and work out with us in this new location and we’re thrilled at the chance to build new relationships.
Our new A4Fitness studio is located on Sepulveda, just south of Olympic in the heart of West LA. It’s close to where many of our clients live and work, but even if you’re not in the immediate area, the studio is easy to get to via the 405, 10, and other Los Angeles freeways.
The New Studio
The brand new A4Fitness has all new equipment, more airflow to keep you more comfortable in your workout sessions and fitness classes, and a dedicated parking lot with plenty of ancillary parking, so there’s no need to hassle to find a spot if you’re running late and crunched for time.
If you’ve been coming to A4Fitness for CrossFit or Muay Thai for a long time, or have been curious about joining us for Boxing or Personal Training, we invite you to come down and take a look at what we’ve put together for you. We think you’re going to love our new studio because there’s tons of space for working out, no matter what classes or sessions you like to take. Plus, tons of natural lighting helps you get a good look at your form as you work out.
Our Trainers and Classes
All of our long-time trainers have moved with us into the new studio, and any new instructors coming on board will be committed to the same level of service that is expected of A4Fitness Staff. You’ll have access to some incredible people who will be paying lots of time and attention to helping you get the most out of your Boxing, Muay Thai, MMA, and Personal Training workout sessions.
Our new studio offers affordable classes and training sessions that start at just $20 per class or session. This is a fraction of the cost of what training and fitness classes cost at Equinox health club, which is a few blocks away from us. For a minimal investment, A4Fitness clients can workout with experts that have years of experience, train in a brand new fitness studio with state-of-the-art equipment, and take classes in an environment that’s roomy and enjoyable.
Come See Us Today!
A4Fitness trainers have decades of experience in helping people get fit, stay healthy, and lose weight. We have trained pro athletes from the NBA and NFL and even Olympic athletes. Our boxing program is considered one of the best in the world and our Muay Thai program was started by Muay Thai expert instructors. Come see our new A4Fitness studio today and come talk with us about your fitness or martial arts goals. We’re happy to give you a tour of the studio and chat with you about what you hope to get out of your Los Angeles Boxing, Muay Thai, CrossFit, or Personal Training sessions.
These days, it seems like there is a surplus of health and nutritional information out there. From diet and weight loss ads to commercials for so-called “superfoods”, it seems that today there are far more options to get healthy than there were years ago. But how accurate is all of this information? Do we really need to take multivitamins or drink healthy smoothies to keep our bodies running? Today let’s look at what are known as essential nutrients, and what they mean for your health. Essential nutrients are products that your body cannot produce on its own but need for continued survival. There are six essential nutrients, as listed below.
A while back, carbohydrates started to get a bad rap. Diets like Atkins demonized carbs to the point where it was believed that a low-carb diet was the only way to lose weight. Unfortunately, however, this essential nutrient is far more important than most people realize. Carbs are what gives your brain and your body energy. Without carbohydrates, our brains would start to shut down.
Ask any bodybuilder what he or she takes to build muscle, and they will immediately tell you protein. But what is protein and how does it work? Simply put, this essential nutrient is the building block of your cells and helps regenerate damaged tissue. Protein is made of amino acids. There are 20 total amino acids, but your body can only produce 11 of them. The other nine must come from lean protein sources.
Ask any dieter what they try to avoid, and fat will be the number one answer, bar none. However, fat is an essential nutrient your body needs to survive. Not only does fat help provide energy, but it also helps your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, K, and D. The biggest danger is from saturated fat, which is much harder to break down.
The four primary minerals that your body needs in constant supply are salt, calcium, iron, and potassium. Salt helps regulate fluid levels in your cells, calcium helps repair and strengthen your bones, and potassium not only helps fluid levels as well but can prevent high blood pressure from excessive salt intake. Iron will help keep your blood and muscle tissue in working order.
The difference between a vitamin and a mineral is that a vitamin is absorbed into your body and broken down, whereas a mineral maintains its cellular structure. The three necessary vitamins you need in your diet are A, C, and D. A helps with growth development, C helps with immunity, and vitamin D helps your bones. These essential nutrients will keep your body in top shape.
Although our bodies are over 70% water, we do not produce it ourselves. Thus, water is an essential nutrient to keep ourselves in working order. Water helps with all functions of your body, from your brain working to cell development to keeping your digestive system in check. Simply put, without water, we will die. This is by far the most essential nutrient in any diet.
In today’s ultra-safe society, it seems that more and more activities are being banned for the sole reason of “protecting the children”. From sports such as football to recreational activities like dodgeball and, in some cases, running, today’s children are more and more shielded from danger. Whether or not this is a good thing depends on your view of the state of the world as it is right now. Today we will talk about one sport that has many parents worried for their children: boxing. Kid’s Boxing has always been a popular way to teach kids discipline and respect for each other, but lately, the sport has come under heavy scrutiny as to whether or not it is safe for children. Let’s take a closer look at what kid’s boxing is, and determine if the mania surrounding it is justified or not.
Science vs. Experience
If you walk into a gym and ask any of the trainers whether kid’s boxing is dangerous, most of them will say that it can be, but not any more than other sports. Conversely, if you were to walk into a doctor’s office and ask the same question, you would be met with a resounding yes, kid’s boxing is one of the most dangerous sports out there. So why the discrepancy? What it ultimately boils down to is cold hard facts vs. experience in the ring.
Any doctor worth his or her degree will tell you that children are far more susceptible to brain injury than adults. The reason for this is because a child’s brain is still developing, and the skull has not fully hardened yet. Thus, encouraging youths to engage in a sport that rewards constant blows to the head would be a bad idea. However, if you’ve ever witnessed kid’s boxing, or have gone through it yourself, you’d know that this idea is not exactly correct in practice. Typically, kid boxing requires much more safety equipment than adult boxing, and most trainers are teaching their students how to spar, not how to knock their opponent out. Much like karate, kid’s boxing is designed to get the kids in shape and teach them discipline, not create a room full of bloodthirsty fighters.
For many parents, the image of their child engaged in a battle with another opponent conjures up pictures of bleeding faces and bruised bodies. However, most kid’s boxing is far from the blood sport shown on television. What many people don't realize is that most trainers are acutely aware of the dangers of head injuries, and, therefore, encourage their students not to try to hit the opponent in the head as hard as they can. Instead, the children are taught varying moves to score points on each other, which is when a boxer makes direct contact, but doesn’t necessarily hurt their opponent.
Overall, kid’s boxing is no more dangerous than most competitive sports. If you want to seek out a reputable training center, look no further than A4 Fitness. We provide the necessary environment and training for kid’s boxing in Los Angeles and Santa Monica. It has never been easier to find a place to teach your child discipline and control in a safe environment.
For some of us, working out is such a chore. Between work and our busy social lives, going to the gym can be a laborious exercise in itself. That, coupled with the fact that for many gym-goers, they stick to a pretty basic routine of either walking on the treadmill or lifting some weights here and there. However, what about if you want to get serious about fitness? What steps should you take to go from your average Joe to a rippling ubermensch? One fantastic route to take is using a personal trainer. You may scoff at the idea of paying someone to tell you to work out, but there are some great reasons to have a professional help you reach your fitness goals. Let’s look at the ways a personal trainer is well worth the investment.
If you just go to the gym by yourself, no one is going to question you if you skip a day or three. While many of us have grand plans of going every day rain or shine, the sad reality is that going to work out is a slippery slope. Miss a day here and there, and suddenly you find yourself with months between visits. A personal trainer, however, gives you the motivation to make it to your workout session, partly because you’re paying for it, and also because you will be held accountable if you miss it. Having to answer to someone for not going to the gym can be enough for a lot of people to go, just so they don’t have to make up an excuse again.
What are your fitness goals? To become ripped and muscular like a Hollywood superstar? Or maybe just to shed some excess holiday weight? Whatever your goals, a personal trainer will help you achieve them with targeted exercises and, ideally, a menu plan. Because personal trainers are dedicated to your fitness needs, they will be able to tailor your workout, so you maximize your gains with (relative) minimum effort. Doing it by yourself may mean you spend extra time doing exercises that will not even help you reach your goal, which means you’re just wasting the effort.
If you’re in a rush to get that body you’ve always wanted, you may try to take on as much exercise as possible in a short amount of time. However, for your health and safety, this is a bad idea. Utilizing a personal trainer means that not only will you know how to perform the different exercises correctly, but you won’t overexert yourself and wind up pulling something you shouldn’t. Personal trainers have nothing but your health and wellness in mind, so they will be there to push you to your limits while still making everything as safe as possible.
If you’re interested in working with a personal trainer, look no further than A4 Fitness. With personal trainers in West LA and Santa Monica, it has never been easier to find a fitness professional to help you achieve your goal.
If you ask any weightlifter what the best way to build muscle is, the number one response will usually include using some brand of protein powder. For the last decade or so, protein supplements have become a big business in the fitness world, promising maximum gains without having to change your diet drastically. As many people know, when you exercise your muscles, you are tearing the fibers. After your workout, the muscles repair themselves by building newer, stronger strands. To help with this process, your body utilizes amino acids and naturally forming proteins to create the muscle and mend the torn tissue. The idea is that the more protein you give your body after a workout, the more muscle mass you can generate. But is this actually the case? Let’s look at how protein powders work and determine if they are as handy as they claim.
Protein Powder Basics
Most protein powders are a heavily processed form of protein, usually created by breaking down the components of dairy products and whey. Some mixtures include other chemicals and nutrients to help expedite your body’s ability to absorb protein, as well as improve your health in other ways. The basic idea of a protein powder is that the more processed your food is, the easier it is for your body to absorb its nutrients. Much like how cooking meat breaks down the complex protein and amino acids within, a protein powder is designed to take the fast track to your body’s system, so you get your nutrients quicker.
Can Protein Powders Increase Mass?
The answer to this question is a bit complicated, as it is both true and false. The reality is that your body can only utilize so much protein for muscle creation. According to medical professionals, the amount of protein your body needs to generate new muscle tissue is anywhere from 10 to 14 grams added to your regular diet. Most meats have more than enough protein inside of them to reach this threshold. Protein powders, on the other hand, can have as much as 80 grams of protein per serving.
While it may seem like more protein ingested would equal more muscle built, unfortunately, your body doesn’t work that way. It will use only as much protein and nutrients as it needs, and flush the rest out of your system. To that end, providing yourself with extra protein via a powder will give you sufficient protein to build muscle, but ultimately you will literally be wasting excess powder that your body can’t absorb.
Are Protein Powders Better Than Eating Meat?
When it comes to breaking down nutrients, your body could not care less where it comes from. Whether the protein is from a pound of chicken or a 20-ounce protein shake, your internal system will utilize it the same way. That being said, however, too much protein in your system could cause long-term damage to your liver and kidneys as they will be working overtime to break down the extra nutrients. Thus, adding more meat to your diet or adding a protein shake has the same effect, but too much powder could add unnecessary stress to your organs.
Regardless of your diet plan, if you’re looking to increase your muscle mass, come to A4 Fitness. At our fitness studio in West LA and Santa Monica, it has never been easier to build muscle and get the body you’ve always wanted.
Recently, the sport of Muay Thai has become increasingly popular. If you have ever seen Tony Jaa in the film Ong-Bak, Thai Warrior, or any of the other films he has been in, you have seen Muay Thai in action. Partly due to the popularity of his films, coupled with the exotic nature of the sport, more and more athletes are starting to train in Muay Thai over other sports, such as kickboxing. But is Muay Thai better? What are the benefits of training in this sport than others? Let’s go over the reasons you should be practicing Muay Thai today.
As with most martial arts, the concept of discipline is heavily featured throughout Muay Thai. By controlling not only your body but your emotions and your mind, the sport helps you focus your energy and keep yourself centered. In today’s hectic, stressful society, finding balance and discipline is crucial to maintaining your sanity. Also, having the knowledge that you can beat up the guy who cut in front of you in line is comforting, as is the decision to refrain from doing so. As the old saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
For many gym rats, the torso and the arms are where the action is. Leg day is loathed by many, and thus it is skimped on in favor of more top-heavy exercises. Muay Thai, on the other hand, helps build your leg muscles in a much more engaging and satisfying way than just doing squats. Because Muay Thai involves a lot of kicks and feet coordination, your legs will develop into tree trunks in no time.
In addition to building your leg muscles, Muay Thai also shreds your torso and improves your balance. Kicking your opponent in the face repeatedly means that you have to stay balanced at all times. The movements that are used in Muay Thai will work out your entire core, not just your abs.
For many exercise enthusiasts, there is a division between cardio and weightlifting exercises. Alternating between the two, some days you may be on the treadmill while other days you’ll be lifting barbells in front of the mirror. Muay Thai, however, not only develops your muscle strength but increases your stamina and endurance much quicker than most cardio exercises.
If you’re looking to get into Muay Thai or are just looking for a place to practice your moves, come to A4 Fitness today. With a Muay Thai gym in West Los Angeles and Santa Monica, it has never been easier to sweep the leg and take down your opponent in a competitive, safe environment.
These days, mixed martial arts has become the go-to sport for people looking to see fighters beat each other up. While, for a long time, boxing reigned supreme, MMA fights have usurped the classic boxing match as the premiere source of fighting entertainment. As a result of this new found fame, MMA is experiencing a surge in popularity, especially when it comes to working out in the gym. UFC-branded gyms are popping up around the country, promising a workout experience like no other. But is an MMA style regimen that much better than a traditional workout? Here are the top benefits of making your next routine MMA style.
For many gym goers, the experience of lifting weights and doing cardio is pretty straightforward. You lift some dumbbells, you run on the treadmill for a while, and everything is peachy. With an MMA training workout, you can build greater endurance in a shorter amount of time. Because of the nature of the routine, you are constantly on your feet and moving around, which helps build stamina much faster than just running on the treadmill.
While many MMA workouts do not teach you particular fighting moves, engaging in MMA style training does give you an ego boost, as it puts you on par with hardcore MMA fighters. Even if you aren’t necessarily learning how to take down an opponent, the training is so intense that once you finish a workout, you feel like you can take on an entire army.
Most workouts have you lifting either free weights or machine weights in a repetitive manner. While this can help tone muscles in those particular areas, you are only training your body to do these exercises. With MMA training, however, you develop much better coordination, balance, and flexibility due to the nature of the workout. Because you stay mobile and move your whole body throughout the routine, you workout muscles and tendons you didn’t even know you had, which makes your whole body that much better.
Whether you’re just looking for a change from your routine, or you want to get fast results that will help train your whole body, MMA style workouts may be for you. Because of the intense speed and activity, you will become much more toned in a much faster amount of time. If you want to work out your body piece by piece with regular routines, that’s perfectly fine. But if you want to develop your body into a lean, mean, fighting machine, MMA style workouts are for you. If you’re interested in starting an MMA regimen, contact A4 Fitness today, and we can help get you going. With MMA gyms in Los Angeles, West LA and Santa Monica, starting your health and fitness regimen has never been easier. It’s your body, why not shape it into something amazing?
Adam & Amanda
We have spent most of our adult lives training and guiding thousands of people toward better health & fitness. We have created this A4 Blog in order to better educate our friends & members. We will answer any of your health / fitness / nutrition questions as well as keeping you posted on what's new at A4.