Analysis of physiological responses during actual competition provide a more accurate representation of the demands of the sport, and as such are more useful in guiding training interventions.

This study measured the heart rate and lactate concentration of 15 international-level athletes during 3x2min kickboxing bouts conducted under K1 rules. A technical analysis of each match was also performed. 

Average heart rate was 97.5 bpm at baseline (after warm up), rose to between 178.2 after round 1, 182.1 after round 2, and 185 after round 3. Heart rate failed to return to baseline 8 minutes after the bout. 

Average lactate concentration went from 2.2mmol/L at baseline to 11.3 after round 1, 13.1 after round 2, and 14.6 after round 3, and failed to return to baseline 20 minutes after the bout. 

There was an average of 112.3 strikes thrown, with 59.3 efficient attacks (described as a “fair hit”) and 50.3 effective attacks (strikes which scored). 

This study provides some useful tactical and physiological fight metrics which may help athletes and coaches optimise the training process.

#thescienceofstriking #kickboxing #k1 #physiology #sportsperformance #strengthandconditioning

Rydzik Ł, Maciejczyk M, Czarny W, Kędra A and Ambroży T (2021) Physiological Responses and Bout Analysis in Elite Kickboxers During International K1 Competitions. Front. Physiol. 12:691028. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2021.691028

About the author

Sam Gilbert

Sam Gilbert is a registered physiotherapist with the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy from Latrobe university (Melbourne, Australia) and a master’s degree in Exercise Science (Strength and Conditioning) from Edith Cowan University (Perth, Australia).

A 3rd Dan black belt in Shinkyokushinkai Karate under the World Karate Organisation (WKO), Sam participated for over 20 years in full contact competition, winning multiple state and national titles, and culminating in a 4th place in the heavyweight division of the Shinkyokushinkai World Cup in 2009.

As the co-founder and clinical director of Club 360, the premier multi-disciplinary health and fitness center in Tokyo, Japan, Sam has combined his practical experience with an in-depth study of sports performance in relation to combat sports, and strives to help other combat athletes reach their full competitive potential, whilst at the same time decreasing injury risk and increasing competition and training potential.

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By Sam Gilbert