by Nasaria Budal
If you find yourself weary of traditional gyms, interested in taking up a new conditioning course or wanting to take your fitness to another level, there are several options right here in the Cayman Islands that will push your body out of its comfort zone. Cross-training and fight-fitness programmes like CrossFit, BoxFit, Mixed Martial Arts and Muay Thai are taking time-honoured strength training exercises and combining them with competitive athletic training that leads to superior fitness.
CrossFit isn’t new to the Cayman Islands, but still lands in the unchartered territory for many. Those who CrossFit swear by the high intensity interval training (HIIT) regime that promotes physical strength and conditioning in a family-like environment where the only person you compete against is yourself. The workout of the day — or WOD — generally changes every day and can be scaled to suit any fitness level (really), which keeps the classes interesting and challenging for all involved.
CrossFit classes are held on Seven Mile Beach at CrossFit7Mile, CrossFit Cayman and CrossFit Muscle Beach, or in George Town at King’s Powerhouse Gym. Many CrossFit gyms offer a free trial class.
Kendall “Flash” Ebanks, the lead trainer of BoxFit, is an elite international boxer who also trains as a triathlete and is the founder of Flashy Nation Sports. Kendall combines boxing-specific drills with resistance training and classic toning exercises to create a programme that promotes speed and endurance while strengthening and tightening the body, all under the advisement and guidance of an expert. The results speak for themselves, and regular attendees say they are in the best shape of their lives.
BoxFit Training is open to novice and elite athletes alike, and is held at the Truman Bodden National Gym in George Town.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is making its mark in the Cayman Islands. These high intensity classes are a full body workout that promises a lean body and the confidence of an MMA fighter. Agility and stamina in the cage and fighter’s striking skills are pushed to the limits in five-minute rounds for 45 minutes total each session. Training includes the use of cage fitness bags that are used in leading MMA training facilities across the United States and Europe.
MMA conditioning is offered at both Cayman Fight Club and Cayman Karate Academy in George Town.
Similar to BoxFit and Mixed Martial Arts conditioning, Muay Thai — also known as Thai boxing — uses fighting as a sport to train the body and develop strength, both mentally and physically. Originating from Thailand, Muay Thai is a combat sport and differs from traditional boxing in that it also includes kicking, clinching and use of the knees and elbows as weapons of war. Athletes who have prior experience in boxing or kickboxing will especially enjoy learning the Muay Thai technique, but the small classes are also open to beginners and persons interested in exploring a new way to workout.
Muay Thai classes are held five days a week at Cayman Fight Factory in George Town.