wanna punch up your cardio? try this double-whammy of a boxing workout.

getting tired of the same ol' cardio? good news: in the latest edition of been there, tried that we punch up the ante (literally) as we give boxing a go. but we didn't just try any ol' boxing workout. no, this was a high-energy, music-filled, sweat-soaked boxing class that had us (right) hooked at first hit.  we're pretty pumped up - because not only will you sweat, but this double-whammy of a workout also builds strength!  it was so unbelievably fun, the class flew by faster than you can say “jab, jab, uppercut, jab!” 

the chief fitlosopher, angela + i made it an early-morning date at a local OC studio called BOXHAUS, which specializes in (of course) all things boxing. they offer small-group training called RingSide where they teach you the boxing basics, such as proper stance, footwork, rhythm, punches + those classic bobbing + weaving techniques that’ll allow you to duck and/or land any punch like a pro. but the real star of the show here is their BOXHAUS boxing workout class.

as soon as ang + i arrived, we were given hand wraps + boxing gloves (actually, chief is such a cool cat that she BYOG-ed - brought her own gloves.), at which point we were directed into a large, darkened classroom filled with big BOXHAUS-emblazoned heavy punching bags - lit only by the glow of the electric-blue neon lights overhead. music that we couldn’t help but excitedly bounce around to cranked through the speakers.

when the gloves were on, the work began. even though the instructor was encouraging and talked us through each round of punch combinations, doling out individual guidance as needed, i must admit, i felt like a bit of an uncoordinated dingbat the first couple rounds. it definitely took me a minute or two to get the hang of the sequences, but once i finally got each one, WOW! i can’t even describe the sense of power i felt upon nailing each punch, timed perfectly to the pumping beat of the music. i felt like i definitely should’ve worn a wonder woman costume to class instead of the standard-issue yoga pants, because that’s how amazing it was.

in between sets of punches, we did interval training - push ups, planks, you know - the good stuff. so while there weren’t really any breaks, i can honestly say that i’ve never, ever taken a 45-minute class that flew by so quickly. in fact, i was actually shocked when we were told it was over as we held our final planks there on the dimly lit studio floor, punching bags on either side of us.

our instructor’s closing words: “you are a badass - even in the dark.” and boy, did i feel like one. i was sore for days afterward - my arms, my back, my shoulders, my abs. the mark of a really great workout for me. it’s safe to say this workout punched my love button hard. i left feeling like i could basically beat up anyone.  and the chief loved it even more! so much so that BOXHAUS is a go-to venue for dates with her girlfriends + friendployees, tallying upwards of like 5 or so recruits at this point, who she's taken to the bag - and they all loved it. 

but when asked why our chief fitlosopher loves boxing so much, here's her verdict:  

“after making a slow but steady comeback from an injury this past year, i haven’t been able to do much cardio or lower body workouts  – making it tough to fit in a really solid sweat sesh! but because BOXHAUS is purely a boxing class (no kickboxing), i don’t have to modify much of anything. so instead of focusing on what I
can’t do, i am intensely focused on pummeling the bag, which is a crazy-effective stress reliever.  my injury was a result of a physical assault, so you can imagine that this is just as emotionally therapeutic as it is physical to beat the tar out of the bad guy, or in this case – the bag. the music drowns out my thoughts, the sweat drips down my face, and i imagine a searing gaze and smirk of contentment is plastered on my face the entire time because i’m reminded of how far i’ve come.”

so to sum it up relatively concisely, the main thing you should be taking away from this blog: RUN, don’t walk, to your nearest boxing studio and throw on some gloves.

BOXHAUS might only be in OC (for now), but other boxing workouts can be found at UFC gyms (here's a free 1-week pass, you're welcome),  or just peruse your ClassPass app (um, here's 2 weeks free + $30, again - you're welcome) to find local options near you. it just might be the best workout you’ve ever had in your life.

what’s your favorite workout lately? have something in mind you’d like us to try? share in the comments below!

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