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Meet Denise: Women’s Third Place National Back To U Challenge Winner

denise made back to u challenge 3rd place winner

In August, KickHouse hosted the 8-week Back To U Challenge. This Challenge pushed members to embrace the uncomfortable and unleash their inner resilience. With great success across the country, six winners were chosen overall based on their physical and mental transformations. The winners not only took home cash prizes but confidence in themselves that they can kick it up a level. KickHouse had the chance to ask these winners a series of questions about their experience with the KickHouse Challenge. Denise Made from KickHouse Orchard Park, our women’s third place national challenge winner, took home $2,000! 

Meet Denise and read about her takeaways from the KickHouse Challenge:


denise made back to u challenge 3rd place winner



1.  What inspired you to join KickHouse and what made you join the Challenge?

“I joined Kickhouse originally because I was looking for something different to supplement my running. I wanted to try something different from an ordinary gym. As soon as I took my first class, I knew that this was the right move for me. I loved the atmosphere, the instructors and the other members. It was comfortable and challenging.

The Challenge was my last ditch effort to regain control of my life and my body. I also had the support of my daughter and husband, who completed it with me. We were a team of sorts.  I have completed other challenges but this one was definitely different. The way it was formatted intrigued me and I felt like I had nothing to lose but much to gain.”


2.  What does “Back To U” mean to you?

“Back to U meant just that. I was going to get back to the person I was, not the person I was becoming. It means to regain what I once thought was lost, and actually be happy with myself. I didn’t want to be locked in that stereotype that once you were over 50, that you must just learn to be content with the fact that your body will never be able to be what it once once. Didn’t want to be at the mercy of hormones and not feeling good about myself.”


3.  How was your experience during the 8-week Challenge? Highs and lows?

“The 8-week challenge was a whirlwind. It was exactly a challenge, over mind and body. My lows had to be at the beginning, the mindset, knowing that I have been down this road of yet another challenge. Another challenge with some results, working hard only to not have long term success. So I was bracing myself for another failure. But that didn’t happen this time, this time was very different. The program was working – I was starting to see minor success in the first couple of weeks, I felt better, I was enjoying what I was eating, and my workout intensity grew. Then the big changes on my shape and the scale happened. I was elated. Everything came together and I felt good about myself. I was winning this battle, that I thought could never be won.”


4.  How do you feel kickboxing has impacted your health?

“I absolutely love kickboxing. It was the best decision I made 3 years ago. It has given me self confidence, endurance, a great environment to work out in, the fit fam is awesome, and gave me a new passion in life. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to makes that lifestyle change.”


5.  What are your current goals?  

“Right now, maintaining my current weight with continuing the macro counting lifestyle because it’s not a restriction but an alteration. I want to continue building my endurance and muscle, to help me achieve my goal of running the Buffalo Marathon in the springtime. To continue my journey of being the best person I can be and portray that to my children.”


6.  What would you say to anyone who was thinking about joining KickHouse and/or the Challenge?

“I would tell them if they want a unique workout to just come out and take one class, I guarantee it will be a live changer. The environment, the people, the diversity of classes is nothing like you have ever experienced before. This will keep you coming back. This will make you want more, and what totally change your outlook on how to attain your own personal goals.”


About KickHouse:

KickHouse is a modern kickboxing studio offering a variety of class formats, each rooted in kickboxing but with additional fitness flare added in. The KickHouse mission is to help members and communities take their health and kick it up a level via a consistent kickboxing practice! The new kickboxing brand has quickly grown to over 35 locations across the country and is looking to grow to 100 kickboxing studios within the next six months. If you’re interested in becoming a fitness franchise owner and opening your own KickHouse studio, visit

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We will sweat. We will laugh. We will help each other reach the next level. No matter what life throws at us. we will get through it. Because as individuals we are strong. But together, we are unstoppable. Welcome to KickHouse.