ALL THE BEST SPOTS FOR A BOXING-INSPIRED SWEAT SESSION IN LONDON

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LAURETTA IHONOR

FEB 14, 2020

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IMAGE VIA BOXIT BOOT CAMP | FACEBOOK

Boxing. From supermodels to elite athletes, everyone’s raving about it. And as a workout that’s perfect for relieving the stresses of a busy London lifestyle, it’s not surprising that studios across the city are now offering an array of boxing-inspired workouts for us mere mortals to try.

Want to see what a boxing workout can do for your body and mind? Here are London’s hottest boxing-style hot spots.

Described as ‘fight club meets nightclub’ KOBOX is one for those who like to work hard and play hard… at the same time. With upmarket sites in Chelsea and one near Liverpool Street Station, this nightclub-inspired studio offers a fast-paced, 60-minute HIIT class that combines punching bag work with strength training. You’ll alternate between punching-by-numbers sequences and killer floor work, featuring medicine balls, dumbbells, and cable ropes — with some burpees and squats thrown in for good measure. If you’re keen for some time in the ring, head to the Chelsea studio where small group classes are held in a vintage boxing ring.

Looking for a workout that will also teach you the fundamentals of the sport? Then look no further. Based in Clapton and Shoreditch, BLOK is serious about its approach to boxing. Learn signature boxing moves in a BLOKskills workshop or jump inside the ring and perfect your fancy footwork in a sparring class. This is one spot that truly offers something for everyone. And unlike other studios that are completely non-contact, at BLOK, you can choose between punching bag sessions, like Box & Bell, or partner up for pad work in a boxing class.

1Rebel is known for doing fitness ‘differently’ and its immersive boxing concept, Rumble, doesn’t disappoint. Low lights, heavy beats, lots of sweat, and motivational instructors are all on offer in this 45-minute HIIT class. Rumble sessions, which are held at 1Rebel’s Broadgate basement studio, will take you from the punching bag to the floor and back again. Yes, it’s a killer, but you’ll scorch a crazy number of calories while learning the boxing moves you’d use in a real battle. Plus, if you’re there on a Friday, there’s a free drink with your name on it at the 1Rebel Bar — it’s known as Prosecco Fridays!

A round-up of London’s boxing-inspired workout spots wouldn’t be complete without mentioning BXR — the brainchild of boxing superstar Anthony Joshua. But be warned: with its opulent décor, professional boxing ring, state-of-the-art cardio and strength equipment, and a roster of elite trainers, this is a spot for those who take their boxing a little more seriously. This, however, doesn’t mean that this Marylebone gym only caters for elite athletes — it offers boxing lessons, small group classes, and circuit-training sessions for all abilities. And the cherry on the cake? Check out the luxury spa that’s decked out with steam, sauna, and treatment rooms.

With not one, but eight different boxing-inspired workouts to choose from, Gymbox knocks it out with great music and an exhilarating atmosphere. Want to learn how to box for real? Try the 60-minute Gymboxing class that’s taught by London’s top pro boxers. If perfecting your kicking and punching technique in a real boxing ring is more your thing, go for the 45- to 90-minute Muay Thai or K1 Kickboxing sessions. And for those who want a quick non-contact class that’ll burn major calories, take a look at the 45-minute FightKlub, CounterPunch, and CounterKick sessions. But with some classes only held at specific Gymbox sites, you may have to travel beyond your local club to try the class you fancy. Just don’t forget to bring your own gloves — Gymbox doesn’t provide any boxing accessories.

Another gym chain that’s tapping into the boxing trend is Virgin Active, with its 60-minute Punch class. Held at the Barbican club, Punch offers a full-body HIIT workout that’s second to none. Head into one of their five nightclub-style studios in London and you’ll be set up with a specific punching bag and a corresponding section of floor space. Once the klaxon sounds, expect 12 rounds of punching alternated with intervals of strength work on the floor. It’s not easy, but don’t worry about how you’ll last the full 60 minutes — each round is just two minutes long, builds in intensity, AND you get a much-needed break between rounds. Come with a bottle of water — you’ll need it!

Here’s one for North Londoners. Based in Hornsey, near Crouch End, Total Boxer is about boxing and nothing else. This means great equipment, terrific trainers, and a functional no-frills vibe — just like a traditional boxing gym. Its signature, 60-minute Get Fit Not Hit class gives you a little bit of everything the sport has to offer, from guided skipping rope work to pad and bag work, shadow boxing, and boxer-style circuit training. Looking for a serious challenge? Take things up a level with Total Boxer’s HIIB class (that’s High-Intensity Interval Boxing). It’s a 30-minute, HIIT-style boxer’s workout designed to challenge even the fittest pro athlete. You have been warned.

It’s best known for its dance classes, but Frame’s Punch and Pad requires zero grace. Instead, you’ll learn boxing drills and combinations in this gloves-and-pads-based boxing fitness class. Currently only on offer at Frame Shoreditch, the 45-minute class was designed to help build speed, agility, and strength in one high-intensity workout. Expect to be partnered up for the combos — so take care to aim for the pads! And once you’ve worked up a good sweat, why not treat yourself to a smoothie at the Fuel Bar. The ‘Framer’ (almond milk, banana, coconut yoghurt, cinnamon, and almond butter) is to die for.

If you’re south of the river and like your workouts outdoors, BOXIT is one to try. Held on Clapham Common at 10am on Saturdays, BOXIT incorporates classic boxing moves and pad work into a traditional bootcamp session. Sprints, press-ups, squats, and the dreaded burpee all make an appearance in a BOXIT session. And, of course, the intensity is turned all the way up. But don’t be intimidated if you’re new to boxing; the instructors will show newcomers correct boxing techniques at the start of each session, and you’ll be carrying out combos with a variety of new faces (all with different ability levels) throughout the class. It’s fun and sweaty, so don’t forget to bring a towel and a bottle of water — BOXIT provides the gloves.

Don't expect concert-style lighting or a nightclub atmosphere at this East End boxing studio. Here, they're taking things back to basics, offering an old-school vibe and a hardcore training regime to match. At the front, you'll be met with merch and memorabilia hailing from the golden age of boxing (think OG gloves and red shorts), and in the back — well, that's where the real fun begins. You'll push your body in 12 rounds of full-body cardio, bodyweight, and resistance moves, alternating between floor work and the heavy bag, and come out the other side feeling like a total badass. Luckily, they have an on-site café where you can order a shake pre workout and have it waiting for you after.

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