Hi guys and girls,
This week I’m talking boxing… I was invited to review Rathbone Boxing and despite having never boxed before, I’ve seen a few people raving about it as being a great workout. I’m always up for trying something new – microlight flight over Victoria Falls? Sure thing! Aerial silks class? Hell yeah! Boxing? May as well give it a go…
I usually feel pretty confident walking into most fitness classes – although I’m by no means a workout pro, I feel like I can hold my own given a few rounds of press-ups and burpees – I’ve even survived a weekend at military boot camp. However, faced with walking into a boxing gym felt a little different. This is a serious sport. People that train here are going to be ridiculously good. I’m not going to have a clue what I’m doing. All thoughts that entered my mind as I navigated my way to the gym (just a few minutes’ walk from Tottenham Court Road).
The studio consists of a boxing ring (you may think that sounds obvious, but actually a lot of the box fit kind of gym classes aren’t dedicated boxing gyms so don’t offer this), and there is also a floor area with various punch bags. At reception you’ll find an array of branded goodies (I was personally eyeing up the ‘punch like a girl’ tee) and it’s here that you can buy your wraps (unless of course, you already have your own). Wraps are essential for protecting your knuckles when wearing the gloves. If you’re not sure how to wrap up, ask the instructor before you begin or check out a YouTube vid. Greg, the head coach, was very helpful in insuring I was all set.
As a first-timer, I was surprised by how much there is to learn. Firstly, Greg taught me the correct boxing stance and next came the basic punches – jab, cross, hook and uppercut. And finally the defensive moves – like slipping and rolling – essentials for any boxer. With the initial run through over it was time to start the class. Ding, ding – round one!
The 45-min session was divided into different rounds and some of these involved individual work where each member of the class has their own bag, and the time is spent throwing punches and practising your combos, but then there was also some partner work. My favourite bit was where when one person would punch the bag, with any combination of punches and you would simply have to mimic the tempo and preform any set of punches back.
But it wouldn’t be a boxing gym without a blast of cardio thrown in for good measure (there’s a reason boxers are so ripped and I learnt that one burpee at a time). You will definitely work up a sweat, no matter your ability so I can see why it’s seen as such a good workout.
What I liked most about this class was the fact that the rounds were quick – meaning that by the time you’re getting tired of one thing, the coach is ready with something new for you to tackle. What I liked least about it was that I didn’t grasp some of the combos that well – especially when it was a mix of punching and defending, it was my brain that got a good workout and I found myself stunned into stillness instead of working out to my maximum. But, I’m sure after a few classes I would be able to grapple with the moves and then be able to work on my power and accuracy.
Just like any good London studio, there’s filtered water on tap, luxury shower products and a place to grab a green juice after your sweat sesh. I opted for a 10am Saturday class and it was a great start to my weekend. In fact, I could feel my muscles aching by the end of the day and there’s something weirdly satisfying about impending DOMS. And two days after, I was really feeling the burn. It’s surprising how many muscles you use when throwing a punch or two.
If you’ve ever been interested in trying boxing, or you just fancy something a little different to your usual gym sessions, then Rathbone Boxing is a great place to start. And don’t leave without channeling your inner champion and getting in the ring (even if it is just for a picture like I did!).
Please note, this was a complimentary class in order for me to review the studio, but all opinions are 100% my own.