There's something about boxing classes that make you feel like a total badass.
Each time I go, I'm reminded just how much of a total body workout punching a bag really is. It looks deceptively simple - but I've never once left a boxing class thinking, "That was easy." I'm always shocked at how good of a cardio workout it is, and my arms and back are totally trashed the following day.
In the past, I've taken classes at Work Train Fight (review here), New York Sports Club, and most recently a 30 minute class at Tapout Fitness. I've enjoyed them all, but was really looking forward to trying out Rumble Boxing - which has been absolutely all over my Instagram feed since it opened.
What makes Rumble Boxing unique is that it's a HUGE studio made just for boxing - there are individual water-filled boxing bags for 30 people and floor stations for another 30 - meaning that 60 people can take the class and will have equipment the entire time. It's like a spin studio for boxing! You even reserve your station online before showing up for class.
The studio is absolutely gorgeous, with awesome artwork throughout! When you check-in, you'll have the option or purchasing wraps ($6) and renting gloves ($3). I passed on the wraps and just rented gloves, which worked fine for me - though they highly suggest using wraps to protect your hands and wrists. Oops.
There are lockers and restrooms upstairs if you're already dressed for class - or you can make your way downstairs where you'll find the men's and women's locker rooms along with the studio itself. Everything is extremely clean, and you'll be able to grab a towel on your way into the studio.
The studio is massive - like I said, it holds 60 people per class. And I was shocked that many classes I looked at online were completely filled up!
Each "Floor Station" has a step and 4 sets of dumbbells in various weights - there's heavier dumbbells in the back of the room as well.
The class is split into 10, 3 minute rounds of work - but what I liked was that even during the "breaks" you were encouraged to move around and jog in place. When you were on the bag, you were supposed to use the rest for active recovery - doing sit-ups and punching the bag twice at the top of each sit-up.
Starting on the floor, I did 3 rounds of floor-work, 3 rounds on the bag, 2 rounds on the floor, 2 rounds on the bag.
Round 1 - Floor
8x Right Hangs (These were a cross between a pull and a clean - you squated down and then pulled the dumbbell up to just below shoulder height, leading with your elbow).
8x Left Hangs
10x Squat and Press
There were weights ranging from 5 lbs to 15 lbs already at each station, with the option to grab heavier from the back of the room. I stuck with what we were given ;)
These rounds were performed as an AMRAP - completing each set of exercises as many rounds as possible over the course of three minutes.
ROUND 2 - Floor
8x Right Leg Romanian Deadlift
8x Left Leg Romanian Deadlift
I am so dreadfull at single-leg deadlifts. Every time I do them I'm reminded of my weak hips and the fact that I seriously need to work on my balance.
ROUND 3 - FLOOR
10x Seated Bicep Curls
10x Chest Press
20x Russian Twist
For this circuit, we used the step that was at our station.
Round 4 - bag
The bags used at Rumble aren't like your typical punching bag. They're "aqua training bags" - they're filled with water and kind of reminded me of the giant buoys we used to tie our boat up to!
What I loved about Rumble was the easy way that the punches were numbered:
2 - Cross
3 - Front Hook
4 - Back Hook
5 - Front Uppercut
6 - Back Uppercut
I know numbering the punches in a boxing class isn't a revolutionary concept, but this was the first time that it really clicked for me. 1, 3 and 5 are you weaker side and 2, 4 and 6 are you strong, power punches.
For the 3 minutes on the bag, we switched between a few different combinations which were conveniently projected onto the walls!
ROUND 5 - Bag
This round, we learned a 3 punch combination, followed by a 4 punch combination, before combining them all together for a 7-punch combination.
At first I thought, "there's no way I'm going to keep a 7 punch combination straight."
But then - I did! And it felt awesome.
ROUND 6 - BAG
Similar to round 5, but with different combinations!
Round 7 - Floor
This was the core portion of the class, and we used the "brass knuckle" weights that were inside of our steps.
10x Boxer Sit-Ups with 1-2 (two punches)
10x Sit-Up with Twist
10x Plank to Pike
Round 8 - Floor
This final floor round was tabata-style in the sense that we did each exercise for :20 second at maximum effort.
:20 seconds each of-
Speed 1,2's (cross, jab)
Speed 5, 6's (upper cuts)
Speed 1, 2's
Speed Jacks with weights
ROUND 9 - BAG
This was the "rumble round" - we did 20, 30, 40 and 50 cross/jabs as quickly as we could. It was intense!
Round 10 - bag
Similar to the final floor round, we complete the last round on the bag with :20 seconds maximum effort.
Speed 1,2's (cross, jab)
Speed 3, 4's (hooks)
Speed 5, 6's (uppercuts)
Our instructor for the 7 AM class was Danielle, and she was great. It's a lot to explain to 60 people of varying levels and she did a great job of moving the class along. The music was solid and she was super motivational for an early morning class. I don't feel like Rumble really allows for an intimate connection with the instructors, though I'm sure people have their preferences.
WHAT I LIKED:
+In a lot of boxing classes I've experienced, there is either a fair amount of down time, or a lot of time that's not spent actually boxing - either with a bag or with an instructor. At Rumble, you are working the entire time and you have a solid 50% of the time with your own bag.
+This is truly a total body workout between the cardio, boxing, strength, weights, core, tabata, etc.
+I liked that you switched between floor and bag twice - I think I would have gotten bored if I had to complete all 5 floor rounds before switching to the bag.
+The fact that the floor workouts and punching combination were projected at the front of the room was SO helpful - and also looked awesome. Without being able to reference the combinations, I definitely wouldn't have been able to remember a 7-punch combination. But having it right there in front of me made a huge difference.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
-In Rumble, there's no one-on-one boxing with an instructor. You get lots of time on the bag, which is great, but the instructor is trying to coach 60 people at once - so your chances of receiving individual feedback are very unlikely.
-The advertising for Rumble is EVERYWHERE on my social media, and I think it's reliance on models and stick thin girls and jacked men is obnoxious, send the wrong message, and makes them seem pretentious. That's not the vibe I got once I was at the studio AT ALL - but their advertising bothers me.
-Our instructor was running a little bit behind schedule as therefore there was absolutely NO cool-down, which is no bueno!
THE STUDIO – 7
It's a near perfect studio - it's beautiful, well decorated, themed, clean and HUGE. That being said, when a class holds 60 people, you probably need more than 4 showers. Entering the locker room after class was like Boxing Round II. There was a huge line to shower after class and even 30 minutes post class it was impossible to get a spot at the mirror to do hair and make-up.
The only other thing lacking that would bring it to the next level would be a smoothie bar a la Swerve or coffee/snack bar like Peloton next door. Not really necessary by any means - but always a nice touch!
CLASS SIZE - 7
The classes are huge. If you're really looking to learn about boxing and get some one on one training, I wouldn't recommend Rumble. That being said - there is ample space and it never feels crowded! (Until you get to the locker room after class).
SWEAT SCALE – 7
A shower was 100% necessary after this class! Like I said, I'm always surprise at just how exhausting boxing is!
FUN FACTOR – 8
Black lights, blaring music, and punching the shit out of bag. Yep, I'd file that under, "things that are fun."
AMENITIES – 8
So many fancy products to use in the locker room!
COST - $$$
Standard for NYC, a class at Rumble costs $34 for a single class. But if you're a first timer, you can buy your first two classes for the price of one!
Rumble is a great cardio AND strength workout that gives you a ton of time actually boxing. You'll be punching a bag for 50% of the class, which is more than can be said for the other boxing classes I've taken.
The way the punches are numbered, taught at the beginning of class, and projected on the wall during class make learning to box simple and stress-free.
That being said, you won't get one on one time with an instructor or any individual attention and training. It's like if you really want to learn to paint, you probably shouldn't just go to a Paint Nite at a bar. Sure you'll leave with something on a canvas and hopefully a nice little buzz, but you won't really be a painter.
I will definitely be back for a fun, sweaty class at Rumble again next week! (And not just because I have another class credit!)