When I tell people that I've taken up boxing as a workout class, I get a condescending "Oh, how cute" in response. Boxing classes may seem like a trend as of late, but don't be fooled—these classes do not mess around. "Boxing is tough, it's intense, and it's delightfully therapeutic," says Rob Sulaver, founding trainer of Rumble Boxing and founder of Bandana Training. "You'll burn fat, condition your metabolism, and work your strength, power, and agility from head to toe. There's good reason professional athletes, models, and everyday people have been incorporating boxing training into their fitness routines."
Is it scary if you've never tried it before? A little. But in the hands of awesome, knowledgeable instructors, you'll get the hang of things pretty quickly. Know that at most classes, you'll be able to rent wraps and boxing gloves (for an extra cost) if you don't already own them. And always remember to bring your own water so you don't end up spending $2 on a bottle. The best boxing classes really get you in shape and teach the fundamentals of the sport, and I've found them for you in NYC. Scroll down to see the best boxing classes in the city.
If you want an OG boxing experience, visit Overthrow. I highly recommend going here if you've never boxed before. Of all the classes I took, this one spent the most time teaching me the basics and correcting me on my form. Those skills I brought with me to other boxing classes I took. For advanced boxers, it offers its famous Underground class, which is faster paced.
"Overthrow's instructors include world champions, professional fighters, and accomplished amateurs who will teach the basics while pushing you to your physical limits," says Brian Murphy, Overthrow's general manager. "While it is a fitness class, our focus is teaching you to box while getting you in shape."
I'll admit the only reason I wanted to try Gotham Gym was because I saw that Gigi and Bella went here to prep for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. After not being able to walk down a flight of stairs from a single class, I understand why this one is a go-to for them.
The class is broken up into three sections: warm-ups, sparring, and ab workouts. You spend the majority sparring, but the warm-ups and the ab workouts are still really intense (expect a lot of high-knees, mountain climbers, burpees, and sit-ups). During the warm-ups, you'll learn the punching and jabbing combos. When you get to the sparring, instructors go around correcting form and teaching you how to really hit with your weight.
I suggest bringing a friend at the same experience level so you can partner up with them. The 30-minute section of the class of back-and-forth sparring won't be as effective if your partner isn't on the same page as you.
Rumble boxing is where you go if you want an adrenaline-pumping high-intensity hour-long workout. You switch off from punching bag exercises to floor workouts. The room is dimly lit and filled with high-energy music. It's really fast-paced, and by the end, I couldn't breathe and was dripping in sweat—but I definitely wasn't complaining.
"Rumble was founded by a crew of talented entrepreneurs and fitness freaks who are über-passionate about what we do," says Sulaver. "It's been our mission to make sure clients feel those good vibes the second they walk in the door."
I would suggest going early before class even starts if you're a beginner. They host a five-minute pre-class where they teach you the punches and combos. Once class starts, you're pretty much on your own. But regardless of whether you get the technique down or not, you're in for a killer workout.
Aerospace offers classes where you box with bags, but they also offer a cardio-sculpting workout that incorporates boxing techniques to really tone your body. "It's a lot of fun, but the workout has substance," says the boutique gym's Michael Olajide. "You won't be doing things that a real boxing trainer would disagree with."
Full disclosure: I don't know how to jump rope, which was a problem with this particular class. You jump rope for a good majority of it. (Yes, I should've realized that boxers work their agility with jump rope.) Despite that, it was a good core workout and I even got an intro to jump-roping at the end of class.