Is Martial Arts a Good Way To Get In Shape? A Real example

Woman boxing

In today’s society, having a satisfactory physical condition is highly desirable. Consequently, people would do anything to reach such states. Thus knowing how to get in shape is crucial. That said, there are many ways one can do so. 

Martial arts is a suitable way to get in shape because it engages many muscle groups. Consequently, you’ll burn more calories, which will lead to better physical condition and cardiovascular health. For instance, a 10-minute boxing session burns 100 more calories than a 10-minute running session.

That said, understand that to get into a better physical condition, one must work hard and be full of discipline. 

If you’re reading this article, you may want to better your shape. Thus you may wonder if it’s worth practicing martial arts to improve your health. To know the complete answer, I highly encourage you to read the entirety of this post. 

Additionally, read an article I wrote on whether you should begin learning a martial art.

Who am I? Why you should trust me.

A little background about myself, I served in the military for a lengthy period as a special forces operator. Hence I have plenty of experience in the martial arts and self-defense field. 

Because of that, my knowledge is vast and sharing it is unchallenging. 

Additionally, I’ve been to many operations where I needed to use my skills to ensure my safety. As a result, not only do I have theoretical experience, but also hands and feet activity.  

I’ve gone through countless numbers of self-defense and Krav Maga classes. Hence I know everything there’s to know on such topics. As a result, I request your trust and willingness to share some of my experiences. 

My experience with martial arts and weight loss

Throughout my life, I went through different phases of physical conditions. I wasn’t always a fit guy. Yet, I wanted to reach a certain point in my life where I would be healthy and improve my overall well-being.

That’s when I started checking distinct options to do just that. That’s when I stumbled upon boxing

Now, not only could I better my self-confidence, mental state, and overall awareness, I could also get in shape. That’s when I discovered the powerfulness of such workouts. 

I didn’t wait a single day and began my boxing journey. I was overweight and wanted to change my quality of life for the better. Thus I started to train daily.

In no time, I noticed an improvement not only in my body, but also in my mental state. As a result, I started combining my workouts with weight-lifting and running sessions. I began to understand what my body needed to better itself. 

Eventually, the boxing sessions I did assisted me in getting into special forces. I was in a much better mental state than when I first began. Consequently, I could withstand more than most guys in the tests. As a result, not only did I lose all of the excess fat I had, but I also improved my overall well-being. 

Do martial arts get you in shape?

Man boxing
Image by Valentin Tikhonov from Pixabay

Knowing how to get in shape is difficult. It requires motivation to start your training. Later, you’ll need to use every bit of willpower and discipline you have to keep going. That way, you’ll eventually end up getting in better shape. 

Training in martial arts and bettering your physical condition come hand-in-hand. When doing martial arts, you use most muscle groups in your body, such as your legs and back. As a result, you’ll burn more calories than the average workout, for instance, running or weight-lifting. 

Therefore, if you’re looking to improve your cardiovascular health, practicing a fighting style is a fantastic way of doing so.

Additionally, there are plenty of other benefits to it. An immediate improvement in self-confidence, for example, is a leading one. Next, you’ll better your mental state and build up a powerful character. All of these will naturally flow if you train seriously in martial arts.

Overall, if you’re looking to get in shape, you need to burn calories consistently and improve your cardiovascular health. That way, your physical condition will enhance the more you train.

 Which martial arts is best for getting in shape?

There are many martial arts that, by training them, you won’t notice any physical improvement. Thus you may collectively think that training in martial arts doesn’t get you in shape. However, the opposite is true. 

Krav Maga, Boxing, Karate, and MMA are the best martial arts for getting in shape. Because they engage most muscle groups in the body, by doing them, you’ll burn more calories when you’re active and when you rest. For instance, in 30-minutes of a Krav Maga session, you burn 310 calories. 

In a study conducted in 2019, we get to see the results of participants who worked out doing Krav Maga. There’s no doubt it’s a fantastic workout not only for people who want to get into shape but also to lose calories and burn fat.

I’ll include two graphs that show the intensity such a workout had on their body. In addition, adding my taste, when I did Krav Maga, I experienced one of the most intense and powerful workouts I ever did. Thus I won’t hesitate to say that martial arts will get you into shape in no time. 

Can you build muscle while doing martial arts?

In the study I linked to in the previous section, there was a mention that a Krav Maga class was also a full-body workout. Similar to the gym, there are many benefits for muscle growth from such pieces of training. 

As a general rule, you can build muscle while doing martial arts. Because such activity involves intensely using many muscle groups, one can consider it a full-body workout. As a result, with proper nutrition, you’ll build muscle naturally. 

Because of that, if you’re interested in bulking up and doing martial arts simultaneously, don’t hesitate to begin. It’s possible to do so. For that reason, you’ll see that most boxers have a decent amount of muscle on them. That way, they’re heavier and can throw a more powerful punch.

Additionally, building muscle will quickly assist you in many things. First, it’ll improve your self-confidence. Secondly, you’ll look better, which is highly desirable for most people these days. 

Lastly, you’ll prove your overall well-being and your condition. Hence you’ll feel and perform at a higher level in your training and personal life. Therefore, I highly encourage you to build muscle while doing martial arts.


Generally, to some, burning weight and losing calories are meaningful. As a result, they may start working out and burn active calories. That way, they’ll get into shape more quickly. 

When it comes to martial arts, some individuals are hesitant to begin training because, they think they won’t burn sufficient calories. However, that can’t be further away from the truth.

When consistently doing martial arts, you’ll notice an improvement in your self-confidence, mental state, and physical condition. As a result, beginning your training is essential to the changes. For instance, doing Krav Maga or boxing will quickly get you into shape. 

If I were familiar with the benefits of training a fighting style, I would’ve started training ten years earlier. Consequently, I highly encourage you to begin today.

I wrote two articles that I recommend you check to expand your knowledge of martial arts. First, do martial arts work? Second, should you start learning a martial art?


I've served in the military as a special forces operator for 4-years. In that period, I've trained in many martial arts, including karate, MMA, BJJ, boxing, and even Krav Maga. I want to share my passion with you, so here it is!

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