The Lifestyle Amateur's Guide to Kickboxing

Cardio kickboxing and I had our first flirtation when I was a freshman at Sarah Lawrence College. I had minimal social skills and decided that having a tangible excuse like a gym class requirement would be the easiest way to avoid Thursday night debauchery. This plan backfired as I ended up strengthening a bond with Katherine, my fellow Nancy Meyers enthusiast who unwittingly enrolled in the same class.

Our instructor was no joke. She was a four-foot statuette of pure muscle who could sweep Sylvester Stallone's legs with a swipe of her pinky, and her class might have put me in a wheelchair hadn't I slumped on the wall of a hot shower for an hour afterward. However, it was truly the vision of myself in the mirror flailing like a marionette under the care of Parkinson's patient that was a one-two punch to my emotional wellbeing. Such a display of physical incompetence could only be rivaled by home videos of my tubbier 8-year-old self "playing" recreation soccer in pursuit of a free pizza party.

I've since grown on both accounts into a secure place of Lifestyle Amateurism where I feel that I can embrace my mortifying shortcomings in exchange for inspiration through humiliation. Thus, I've compiled this workout guide to nailing kickboxing like an amateur.

I'm no Kayla Itsines, but my last name is definitely more difficult to pronounce.

The Lifestyle Amateur's Guide to Kickboxing

Let's begin with my preferred fitness attire. Below you will see a photo of the flawless Julianne Hough, who is the Brand Ambassador for the athleisure brand, MPG Sport. Their contemporary line is so my aesthetic. It's the kind of stuff that you can wear to the gym and turn heads, or instead, just go to the nail salon and look like you "earned it". The CEO of MPG Ash Modha described how perfect Hough is to represent the brand in a statement announcing her upcoming collaboration for a Spring/Summer 2016 collection, plus a future capsule collection.

"Her healthy, fast-paced lifestyle requires seamless transitioning from rehearsal to social events to performances and everywhere in between," says Modha. "Our collections allow active individuals like Julianne to pursuit athletic and artistic excellence without sacrificing fashion for function."

The upcoming Spring 2016 Julianne Hough curated collection will be exclusive at HBC in Canada, Lord & Taylor in the US and at

The upcoming Spring 2016 Julianne Hough curated collection will be exclusive at HBC in Canada, Lord & Taylor in the US and at

In turn, here is a glimpse at my actual amateur wardrobe from my stay-at-home workout led by a beef stick on YouTube named 'Silk Manning', which you can find below.

Here we have a tee shirt that I made with a Sharpie and an iron-on decal for some theme party, featuring a gang of cats in a basket. On the bottom I wore my pajama pants that look like they come with a complimentary bag of hashish in the pocket, which I would have unknowingly used as oregano.

Something about Silk's teaching method (read: tighty whities) must have struck a chord in me because, boy, did I go for it. You'll see below in the side-by-side workout video that I produced a la 90's VHS that I brought out the big guns. I roundhouse kicked to my heart's content despite its waning inventory of dignity.

I even annotated the vid with the thoughts that I would have said aloud hadn't I been harboring a silent fear that Mr. Manning was watching me through my Macbook.

So strap on your chic MPG workout duds or that custom tee-shirt you've been using as a dishrag to join me and the bae in a half-hour muscle cranker that will leave you screaming, "YEAAAH BOIII."

Analyze & Discuss:

Is this how one auditions to host Dancing with the Stars?