nyc fitness class

Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

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. 

Rumble Boxing Review

THE STUDIO 

Rumble Boxing Review

Located on 23rd Street - Rumble Boxing joins an already boutique-fitness heavy block of Manhattan. Rumble's neighbors include Peloton, Uplift and OrangeTheory! 

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. 

Rumble Boxing NYC

THE CLASS

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. 

Rumble Boxing Class Review

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 

10x Push-Ups 

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. 

Rumble Boxing Review

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:
1- Jab
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)

Mountain Climbers 

Speed 5, 6's (upper cuts)

Fast Feet 

Speed 1, 2's

High Knees

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)

Squat Hold

Speed 3, 4's (hooks)

Fast Feet 

Speed 5, 6's (uppercuts) 

High Knees

Combination 

Rumble Boxing Review

THE INSTRUCTOR

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 RUNDOWN

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! 

BOTTOM LINE: 

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!) 

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Feelin' So Fly Like AG6

AG6 is Asphalt Green’s fitness class that uses new technology to create a light-up workout experience that’s one of a kind - according to the marketers, at least. 

ag6 asphalt green

THE STUDIO

AG6 takes place in one of the buildings that’s part of the Asphalt Green complex on the Upper East Side. There’s not a dedicated locker room and changing area for the AG6 studio, and instead, participants are asked to wait in the lobby until it’s time for class. There are two bathrooms in the actual studio where you can change if need be, but showering after class would prove to be problematic if you aren’t an Asphalt Green member.

AG6 is open to the public, even if you don’t have an Asphalt Green membership. A little more thought and planning in terms of convenience for those folks would be appreciated.   

The class takes place in the dark, but each of the 7 stations have lights that glow and blink and flash and change colors throughout the 45 minute session.

THE CLASS

The class is high-intensity interval training and we rotated through each station 3 or 4 times. The first round was 30 seconds at each station but after that, we went for a minute at each.

The last round, our instructor gave us the option of going back down to 30 seconds but I loved that myself and another girl said LETS DO A FULL MINUTE. Getting our money’s worth, right?

Station A

We did T-pushups with a weight – with our feet on a bosu ball! It not only worked your chest and shoulders but KILLED your core trying to stabilize for the entire minute.

Station B

We stood in front of a wall with 9 circles. We sprinted up to the wall and tapped the glowing circle – which signaled the light to move to a different circle. Using hand eye coordination and speedy reaction time, we had to hit 4 circles before back-peddling to the starting line and running forwards to repeat for the given amount of time.

Station C

Resistance bands around our ankles, we pivoted in the squat position, moving up and down a line on the ground and trying to stay low with our legs spread wide.

Station E

We used circles on the ground to step out for diagonal lunges while double-shoulder pressing two kettlebells over our head.

On subsequent rounds, we added a kettlebell deadlift to the mix.

Station F

We used gliders on a slippery portion of the floor to do an IMPOSSIBLY difficult mountain climber variation where one foot was on the glider and the other was elevated. Yeah, I don’t know either. I wanted to weep every time I was at this station.

Station G 

With a mat under our knee, we pulsed in the lunge position with a shoulder press, alternating legs every 10 reps.

Station H

This was a cardio-focused station that changed each round – but always included some suicide sprints or pushing a heavy plate down the grass portion of the floor. When we were asked to double hop while pushing the plate, I thought I was going to casually tip over and die.

AG6 Review

THE INSTRUCTOR

Our instructor was a little all over the place when he explained some of the stations – he’d change his mind about what we were doing which made things a little confusing.

The plus was that he was incredibly encouraging and motivating with super high energy throughout the class. Also? He played Dark Horse by Katy Perry which is my all-time favorite song to sweat to.

WHAT I LIKED

One of the things I liked most about this class was the fact that everyone taking it was incredibly nice. It had a great community feel, and most people in the class were clearly regulars. At the end of class, we all high fived and said great job – which is definitely not something you get at a place like SoulCycle.

The other thing I loved was that even though there were clearly people of all fitness levels participating in the class, the moves weren’t dumbed down – they were CHALLENGING.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

I was actually motivated by the lights for the part where you run to the wall and hit the different targets, but for the most part this “state of the art technology” didn’t really seem to contribute much to the class at all. Sure, it looked cool and set the mood, but it didn’t provide any metrics, statistics, or challenge to the class which was disappointing. Our instructor had informed us that some of the technology was acting up – which was the second time I was told that when trying to come in for a review.

It doesn’t seem like the most reliable technology. That being said, it was still a great, challenging class. I just wouldn’t come if you’re only excited about feeling like you’re in a real life video game like some of the advertising suggests.

AG6 Class Review

THE RUNDOWN

THE STUDIO – 6

As I mentioned before – there are no real facilities for those who don’t belong to Asphalt Green. The studio itself is of course, pretty cool – with its black lights and stations built into the ground and walls. It’s also very spacious.

Something to note about AG6 is that their class schedule is limited – so be sure to check their website to see when AG6 classes are offered!

CLASS SIZE - 7

There were only about 10 of us in the class, which was great. That being said, with three people at each station, some of them were a little bit cramped – especially the one where we were pushing plates.

Sweat Scale – 7

This class was definitely a challenge and definitely left me sweaty and sore the next day.

Fun Factor – 8

It was a unique class and the technology helped to keep things fun with flashing lights, changing colors, etc. But the best part was that the class was engaged and supportive.

Amenities – 6

There are two large restrooms easy enough to use as changing rooms before class, but there is nowhere to shower (at least that I was made aware of).

Cost - $$$

Standard for NYC, a class at AG6 costs $35 for non-members and $25 for Asphalt Green members.

AG6 Asphalt Green Fitness Class Review

Bottom Line

I wasn’t as impressed with this technology as I expected to be after reading articles about its ability to tap into an athlete’s “6th sense.” It seems there’s a lot of other studios doing more with metrics than AG6. Sure, working out in a dark room that flashes and blinks and changes colors was cool, but at the end of the day it seemed a little gimmicky. Luckily, the exercises and workout spoke for themselves and provided a challenging class for a great group of people. 

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Photo Credit: Asphalt Green

Fitness With Felons: A Review of ConBody

As I entered the nondescript door on Broome Street for my first class at ConBody, I immediately heard the drill-sergeant-like count bubbling up through the stairwell. I could only imagine the blood pumping, muscle-burning exercises that were accompanying the “one-two-three-four-ONE-one-two-three-four-TWO” being shouted by multiple voices.

As the doors of the elevator opened to the basement fitness studio, the voices were louder and more intimidating. I stepped into the waiting room and immediately noticed the jail cell door separating me from the studio where ex-con Shane Ennover was leading a small class.

ConBody Class Review

 BEHIND THE BARS

The story behind ConBody is perhaps its most intriguing quality. It doesn’t promise any advanced equipment, crazy class formats, team competitions or fancy metrics. Instead, it promises results based on a method developed by creator Coss Marte while he served his prison sentence.

That’s right, the founder of ConBody was in prison for 7 years after running a drug ring in New York City starting at the age of 13. Overweight and out of shape, doctors warned Coss that he wouldn’t last much longer in prison if he didn’t do something about his health.

He used his time incarcerated to drop 70+ pounds and when he got out, he beat the recidivism odds by creating a business out of his workout plans.

Coss’ workouts involve no equipment other than your body and require minimal space as well – they were created in a 9x6 prison cell after all.

 The genius in ConBody is the fact that they offer not only in-person boot-camp classes in their studio in Manhattan, but they stream workouts to customers all over the world – and those customers can perform the entire workout using the space of a solitary yoga mat!

Founder Coss isn’t the only ConBody instructor who has served time. In fact, all of the studios’ trainers have spent time in prison, or have close family members who have been to jail.

ConBody NYC Review

THE CLASS

The class takes place in a small room with a matted floor – no shoes allowed! The only equipment are the four walls (used for wall sits and wall walks) and bars for pull ups.

The class size is small, with around 10 people in my morning class. There’s nowhere to hide and our instructor, Shane, didn’t let us half-ass anything!

Shane kept the class moving in an extremely organized way, explained everything, and kept great count (with the classes help). There was a huge variety of bodyweight exercises – both cardio and strength focused and it was a great reminder that you don’t always need a ton of fancy equipment to get in a great workout.

Jump lunges, bear crawls, pushups, mountain climbers, wall sits, burpee broad jumps and more kept the class moving and interesting. The 45+ minutes flew by with a killer ab sequence at the end that had me clutching my stomach!

THE STUDIO

As I mentioned, the studio isn’t huge. There aren’t a ton of bells and whistles but that’s to be expected from a studio that’s “prison-style.”

Though there aren’t locker rooms – there is one shower that you can sign up for when you get to the studio. But it could end up being quite a wait despite the 5 minute time limit.

BOTTOM LINE

The story behind behind ConBody is inspiring, interesting and unique. I think my favorite part of my experience at ConBody was speaking to Shane after class and hearing about the garden he now has at his house on Long Island. He took vocational classes during his incarceration focusing on horticulture.

It’s inspiring to see fitness giving people hope, community, health and a second chance. I think fitness provides that to many people – not only ex-prisoners – and time and time again it’s a great way of connecting people from all walks of life.

If you want to learn more about the amazing story behind ConBody, check out some of these stories written by major news sources:
The New York Times
NPR
Ted Talks
Elle
Inc.
The Wall Street Journal

ConBody NYC Review

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