In Manhattan, people don't bat an eye when boutique fitness studios charge upwards of $30 for a single 45 minute class. In fact, barriers have been broken and SLT and AQUA Studio now charge $40 and $47 for a single class, respectively.
Needless to say, when I saw the opportunity to take 5 classes for $20 in 30 days, you better believe I was signing up! Mental math check: that's $4 per class! WHOAH.
Class Pass is currently offering a special through Facebook that allows new users to try the service for just $20 during their first month on the "base" plan - allowing for 5 classes over the course of a month. All I need to do is remember to cancel my account at the end of 30 days to avoid the recurring fee (normally $75/month).
You know what this deal means for you, my wonderful readers? 5 more fitness class reviews will be comin' atchya!
First stop on my Class Pass Cruise was WORK Train Fight - otherwise known as WTF. This was my first bout with boxing and I went into it with a healthy dose of skepticism and nerves.
I'm not typically nervous before new fitness classes because I think I'm pretty well-versed in a number of exercises. I have been to classes using a wide range of equipment - TRX, Kettlebells, Megaformer, Barre, Rowing machines - I'm not intimidated by a lot of the fitness fads out there.
Another reason I'm not typically nervous? If I need to go my own speed, take a rest, drop down a weight - I give ZERO fu*ks. I'm the girl in yoga taking child's poses up the wazoo or doing completely unweighted lunges in BodyPump. There's no shame in my "I can't do what you're asking me to do" game. (And there shouldn't be in yours either!)
But when I go to things like Broadway Bodies or Boxing - I have a little bit of a knot in my stomach. I know that moment is going to come where the instructor looks at me a little funny before saying, "First time?"
That's the turning point.
That's the moment when you can let the awkwardness of trying something for the first time lead to embarrassment and frustration OR the moment when you can let the challenge of pushing your boundaries make you stronger by proudly announcing, "YEP! How could you tell?"
And can I let you in on a little secret?
Letting an instructor know you're struggling, you're new, you're a little uncomfortable - it's like waving a magic wand and suddenly, you're getting a little extra attention and guidance during the class which is a HUGE help.
I was definitely not expecting WTF to be so MASSIVE inside. There's a boxing ring, an area where our class took place, another boxing studio, a personal training area with weights and machines AND an area for treadmills and cardio.
WTF offers not only boxing classes but personal training and boot camp classes. The class I signed up for was Box Group which took place in the front studio and focused on boxing techniques for "a more authentic training experience."
WTF offers the following classes as well (from their website):
Box WORK – Our signature class, boxing and fitness training with some of the hottest new coaches in the market. (No Contact)
WORK – Hardcore circuit training class including TRX, dumbbells, kettle bells, and more to get you in fighting shape. (No Boxing)
Box Group Intermediate*- Advanced boxing technique work to take your boxing to a whole new level. (Some Contact Involved)
Fight* – The name says it all. Here, we practice what you’ve learned at WTF in a controlled sparring environment. (Obviously A lot of Contact, DUH!)
There were about 15 of us in the class and we circled up for a 5 minute warm-up sans gloves.
The warm-up included a lot of upper cuts and straight punches and right off the bat I was fooling no one. Instructor Alberto quickly helped me make some adjustments to my stance (I was standing like a hunchback - no need to drop it quite so low gurl) and told me to put some movement into my shoulders.
Another thing he helped straighten out right off the bat? I was standing with the wrong foot forward - OY! When asked if I was a lefty or a righty I launched into an explanation of writing with my left hand and playing sports righty and...yikes.
The warm-up continued with a series of more complicated moves - combining straight punches, jabs, hooks, weaves and uppercuts. I followed along as best as I could and slowly started to get the hang of it (Okay, I'm not quite sure I ever really "got the hang of it.") There were also some squats thrown into the warm up for good measure along with weaves, where you pretend your ducking and weaving out of the way from your opponents punch.
After the warm up we split up into groups, put on our gloves, and completed the rest of the class in a circuit-style. There were 3 stations which we went through 3 times each, spending 2 minutes at each station
Station 1 was with instructor Manny - he would give us a boxing sequence and the 5 of us would take turns beating the crap out of his hands (do they get tired of getting hit all day?) Many, many times I made a mess of the sequence - but Manny always gave me an understanding smile and a chance to try again - reminding me what we were supposed to be doing and which hand I was supposed to be starting with.
Before boxing, I thought I knew my left from my right. I thought wrong.
Station 2 we did 10 toe taps, 10 kettlebell curl & presses and 10 kettlebell sumo squats - rotating through as many times as we could during the 2:00 minutes.
Station 3 during the first round was a "freestyle" with the punching bag. I tired myself out pretty good and starting realizing just how out of breathe and tiring this whole thing was! During the second and third rounds, we worked with Alberto at this station - doing similar sequences as station 1.
After going through the circuit 3 times we finished class with planks, pushups & sit-ups. I was absolutely drenched in sweat.
What I Liked
- Because you're moving around so much, and focusing on different sequences, the class flew by and I didn't realize until the end just how exhausted and sweaty I was.
- I joked that I never really got the hang of it, but by the end of the class I was feeling a little more confident and even starting to have a little fun instead of concentrating like I was performing brain surgery.
- Manny and Eric were PHENOMENAL and made the whole class worth it for me. They were so helpful and patient but didn't baby me (or anyone). Even though I was clearly struggling to remember what I was doing, it was not an excuse to not keep moving & keep trying.
- At the boxing stations, after you performed a sequence you would do jumping jacks or squats while the rest of your group cycles through - this meant that the class was non-stop action. Jab, Jab, Cross, Cross, Weave, Cross - Squat, Squat, Squat - your turn again. Exhausting, but effective.
- When I woke up the next morning EVERYTHING was sore. Whatever skepticism I had about boxing being a killer workout was completely eradicated by my burning shoulders, back and abs.
What I Didn't Like
- There's really not one thing I didn't like about this class.
- One thing about the studio itself that I found odd was the fact that the bathrooms are outside of the studio down a long hallway and that the girls locker room was cramped with showers that didn't make me feel too clean.
*Based on a scale of 1-10
The Studio - 8
HUGE with so much equipment.
Class Size - Average
There were about 15 people in my class but with 3 instructors helping out - everyone got tons of personal help.
Sweat-Scale - 8.5
This was "soaked through my sports bra" sweat levels people!
Fun-Factor - 8
Once it was out in the open that I was clearly new to this, there was no need to be embarrassed. This helped me relax and enjoy myself. There's just something about punching something that's straight up FUN.
Amenities - 6
You need to leave the studio to get to a bathroom, the women's locker room was pretttttty crammed after class, and the showers weren't all too spa-like.
Cost - $$$
(<$20 = $, $20-$30 = $$ and $30+ = $$$)
If you want a killer workout that's truly fun and doesn't feel like your typical class- try a boxing class at WORK Train Fight. The staff are wonderful, there's a class for every level, you're guaranteed to be sore the next day and you'll sweat buckets.
If it's your first boxing class, I won't lie - you're going to feel a little out of place. You're going to mess up. You're going to look like the noob. But like owner Alberto Ortiz commented on my Instagram -
You're not a poser, every boxer in the history of the world had to box for the very first time in their life.
Aw shucks guys, you sure do know how to make a girl feel strong and brave!
HAVE YOU EVER TAKEN A BOXING CLASS?
WERE YOU REALLY REALLY SORRY THE NEXT DAY?!
WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU STEPPED OUT OF YOUR FITNESS COMFORT ZONE?
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