A lean, mean boxing machine! That's what I am not...yet.
But I have been trying to incorporate boxing into my weekly routine - it's cardio, strength, total-body, HIIT, and low impact on my legs. Did I mention it's FUN and the (good) classes tend to fly by? Half the time I'm concentrating so hard on what the punch sequence is that before I know it, class it over!
My mission to become the next Ali (who is his female counterpart?) has led me to NYSC, Tapout Fitness, Kickbox Haus, Rumble Boxing and Work Train Fight. The latest stop was Shadowbox in the Flatiron District.
The inside of Shadowbox is SO pretty. Which is a little disconcerting for a place where you're supposed to be learning about boxing - a sport with a not so dainty reputation.
But now that boxing has become a trendy fitness fad, some of the studios are big, bright and downright beautiful spaces that attract Lulu-clad ladies. I'm sure the boxing purists out there have their issues with places like Rumble and Shadowbox, but at the end of the day, it's raising awareness about the sport and I think that's a good thing!
A recent conversation centered around the most overall athletic athletes - and we landed on boxers. That never would have been my pick before boutique-boxing became a thing!
Shadowbox is a gorgeous studio with a cafe in the lobby serving turmeric lattes and coffee with MCT oil. Trendy AF.
There's an actual boxing ring where private sessions take place (why are boxing rings square?), both men's and women's locker rooms, and a black-lit, mirrored studio with 40 floor to ceiling punching bags ready for you to beat the crap out of.
The studio itself feels slightly cramped when you walk in, but once the class was underway, it wasn't so bad.
There's a pouch at the bottom of each bag with 1 pound weights - it's also where you should store your water bottle so it's not on the floor and in your way! (And pro-tip from the nowhere-near-a-pro...your gloves go up on the top of the bag for the first part of class!)
The warm-up included some simple body-weight/cardio exercises like jumping jacks, butt kicks and high knees.
During this portion of the class, we boxed without gloves and without the bag - like we were boxing a shadow! Get it? There was also the option to use 1 pound hand weights for this part.
We went through the different movements - jab, cross, hooks and uppercuts and did a few different combinations adding in some bobbing and weaving (defensive moves).
I had sucked it up and bought myself wraps ($4) when I arrived, so I was feeling pretty legit and ready to get to business.
BOXING - 7 ROUNDS
The majority of the class was spent going through 7 different rounds of boxing with the heavy bag - gloves on.
Each round is between 3-5 minutes followed by ACTIVE recovery. There isn't a minute of class that you're resting. If you aren't throwing punches, you're doing burpees, lunges, mountain climbers, or some other form of sweet sweet torture. The hardest active recovery that we did, in my opinion, were the MAYWEATHER SITUPS. Good God. You're supposed to go right from a sit up to a stand-up, and even as I clung to the bag to try to heave myself up, I struggled HARD.
How the heck does he make this look easy?? It is not, I assure you.
WHAT I LIKED:
+Non-stop! Between ab work, cardio drills and bag-work, you're constantly moving during a class at Shadowbox. It's a total body workout for sure.
+Compared to Rumble, Shadowbox relies entirely on body weight exercises for the "strength" component of the class. While I really liked the fact that you used weights at Rumble and it felt like real strength training, the way that Shadowbox is set up makes the transition from strength to boxing a lot smoother and quicker which keeps you on your toes.
+I did really miss the combinations being projected on the wall like they were during class at Rumble, but our instructor did a great job of reminding us during each round of what punches we were supposed to be throwin'.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
-The fact that the heavy-bags are floor to ceiling makes it very hard to see the instructor during class. I was constantly moving around to try to get a look at the moves she was demonstrating. (When you sign up online, the website will show you which bags have better views and recommends them for beginners).
-I didn't like that I'm dumb and kept one of my rings on and cut my hand open.
THE STUDIO – 7
Another gorgeous studio - with lockers, locker rooms, convenient extras like hair-ties and nice products, and even a coffee shop with juices and other goodies.
I was shocked at how few people stayed after class to shower. While the line wasn't long, the space itself was still pretty cramped as people tried to get changed and do their hair and makeup.
CLASS SIZE - 7
The classes are pretty big - much like Rumble, if you're really looking to learn about boxing and get some one on one training, this probably isn't the best place to come (unless you're doing a one on one session in the ring!) There are 40 bags, and though it looks and feels a little cramped when you first walk in, you have plenty of room to do everything required of you in the class.
SWEAT SCALE – 7
This class kicked my booty and I was definitely sore the next day!
FUN FACTOR – 8
Dark room, great jams, releasing some pent up anxiety and stress by punching something. Definitely a good time!
AMENITIES – 8
There's really everything you could ask for in the locker room and studio - you can buy water bottles, wraps and rent gloves.
COST - $$$
Standard for NYC, a class at Shadowbox costs $34 for a single class. Unfortunately, they don't have any deals for first time students. I attended for free in exchange for a review on my blog!
My love of boxing classes continues. Shadowbox is definitely like Rumble in many ways, and doesn't provide any one on one time with the instructor. In fact, you can barely see the instructor during class. While it doesn't have some of the bells and whistles that Rumble has, I liked the fact that the second you finished on the bag, you went straight into another exercise. Despite not having weights for strength training, Shadowbox incorporates moves like lunges, push-ups and burpees that challenge you and keep your heart rate elevated the entire time.
I also liked that Shadowbox threw in some defensive maneuvers as well.
If you're looking for a group fitness boxing class as opposed to actual one on one boxing, I definitely recommend giving Shadowbox a try. It might now be as new and shiny as Rumble, but it's a great workout, a beautiful studio, and there's a shorter line for the shower after class ;)
(And I've found that for one-on-one time with an instructor, regular old NYSC "Non-Contact Boxing" classes are great! WTF also included a LOT of time with the instructor!)
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