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So long to the days when boxing was just looked at as a “fighting” sport. As fitness studios have latched onto the benefits of throwing fists (without getting hit), boxing has become one of our favourite workouts to we build strength, stamina, and all-around confidence — which is a pretty sweet package if you ask us. Plus, who doesn’t love getting their anger out while we’re at it too?
First time at the punching bag? No worries. There are all kinds of rings and studios out there. Whether you’re a veteran at the jab-cross-jab or maybe just feel like channeling their inner VS model (we won’t judge), Toronto’s boxing scene has a place for you!
BOLO, short for Body Love, is a speciality fitness and boxing studio in the heart of downtown. Expect everything from technical boxing classes, conventional bootcamps, and even yoga or Pilates-inspired boxing. The studio is divided into two main rooms: a HIIT room for all the punching, jumping, and lifting, and a Hot room, where it’s all about slowing down and focusing on mobility. Schedules for each room run complementary to one another so that you can always pair the two if you’ve got enough fuel. You’ll walk out sweaty, maybe a little sore, but always confident and with a smile on your face.
They’re not a run-down gym nor a clean-cut boutique — this West End boxing club is unlike any other spot on the list. The old-school facility offers three main types of classes—Beginners, Fitness, and Technical—along with one-on-one training and structured weekly programmes. If you’re a first-time boxer, there’s no better place than United to get introduced — they’ll hook you up with a free consultation to see which program or class is best for you, or you can hop in on one of their free beginner classes every Saturday at noon.
Although Fit Factory has a diverse set of classes—bootcamps, strength and conditioning, and athletic training—their boxing classes are some of the most popular! Known to be like a one-hour, fist-pumping party, the highly motivating instructor will have you doing drills both individually and in groups. The team aspect is huge at Fit Factory, and they’ve quickly built one of the most welcoming fitness communities within the downtown core.
If you’re a total beginner but determined to learn the proper techniques of authentic boxing, look no further than to Studio KO. All of their coaches are carefully trained by their master trainer, a former professional boxer, and besides that, all the classes are rooted in techniques used by the pros themselves! Whether you’re dropping in at their King West or Queen East location, expect a warm-up, punching combinations, and high-intensity cardio off the bags. Every workout is different but once you pick up the base techniques, expect a sweat-dripping routine every time!
UNDRCARD is where you’ll question if you’re at a fight night or a club night (actually it’s both). Originally based in Calgary, Toronto now Toronto is in on the fun. Their classes will have you working your whole body to carefully curated music so you’re always punching on beat — they’re not known as the OG box-to-the-beat workout for nothing! Plus, with the lights low, it helps to zone in and focus on just yourself, which means no worrying about being judged as a total beginner either!
Paul Brown isn’t just anyone in the boxing community — this guy has got years of experience. Not only does he know boxing but kickboxing and kung fu too! So yes, you can expect martial arts and self-defense training at his gym. But what’s cool about this gym is it’s specially-crafted class "Boxfit' class with unique combinations based on Paul’s expertise. It'll provide you with a taste of professional boxing techniques, then mix in cardio, footwork drills, core work, and stretching for a well-rounded, authentic experience. Check it out next time you’re around Bloor-Yonge station!
As they say, “if you want to add some punch to your workout”, then Toronto Boxing Academy is the place to do it! The St. Clair West Gym offers bootcamps for beginners where you can expect a mix of boxing fundamentals and high-intensity cardio. There's also classes for the inter-advanced or those training for competitions, as well as "Spin-Box", a unique boxing workout all done on a stationary bike! Better yet, they have an awesome deal where, for one month, you can trial their academy unlimited for just $40 with no commitment to join!
For those short on time, 9Round offers 30-minute, kickboxing-inspired workouts on your time. Show up, and a trainer will take you through the through strength training, kickboxing, and core work that today's workout entails, then you'll run through it on your own. And if you need some extra validation for how hard you worked, some locations also offer heart rate monitors. Additionally, the first workout is always free, so check their website for the 9Round closest to take a test run.
DROP Boxing, found near Spadina and Richmond, has literally "dropped" one of the hottest new boxing-inspired group fitness classes in the city. Each day of the week has a different focus, from legs and butt on Mondays, all the way to full-body on the weekends. Rest assured that boxing technique and form isn’t overlooked, especially with a well-equipped team of certified boxing coaches. Want a little extra attention to your punch? Personal training, as well as rehab services, are part of the package when you join the DROP fam!
Kingsway Boxing owns two facilities — their Boxing Gym north of Gardiner at Islington, and their High Performance Studio at Royal York Rd and Bloor West. While both offer group training and boxing-specific fitness classes, the Boxing Gym Facility is geared towards beginners or those looking to use boxing as a way to stay fit. Meanwhile, the High Performance Studio tailors to elites or those looking to compete. Not sure what to sign up for? Every new member gets a free private session to assess their skills and abilities!
You won’t find punching bags at Big Hit in Fort York. Instead, everyone gets a Body Opponent Bag, or BOB for short. So, if you’re in need to get some anger out, maybe facing a dummy might make it more satisfying for you. The workouts include kicks, your typical cross-jabs, and you can definitely expect some killer ab exercises. Needless to say, the one-hour Muay Thai, kickboxing, and boxing-inspired classes sweating and feeling muscles you didn’t even know you had!
When it comes to fighting, BUDO has some of the best facilities and experienced instructors. You'll have Olympic athletes and pro fighters showing you the ropes in competitive boxing and MMA, plus Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Of course, you can find still find fitness boxing bootcamps, indoor cycling, yoga, and more here. Their schedule divides classes based on skill, fitness, and competitive programs, which makes it easier to figure out the class best for you. And if you just want to float around the massive gym space, know you’ll have access to strength machines and cardio equipment.
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