When the elites and models alike are wrapping up and sweating it out in true boxer fashion (well, kind of…) gone are the days of our waif-like idols living off of no more than champagne and cigarettes. These days, you can jump into any one of the numerous boxing gyms in the city and be not too surprised to find yourself sweating it out alongside some of New York’s heavy hitters. Just as SoulCycle’s benefits of learning how to keep pace while bike-dancing doesn’t actually prepare you to clip in and ride up the Hudson, the workout gives you exactly what you come to a cardio-based fitness class for. You may not leave these classes with the confidence to jump in a boxing ring solo, but you will sweat your way closer to a stronger body and that tough AF attitude. These are the top five places in New York City to practice that one-two punch.
Gotham Gym : Famous for its elite clientele, Gotham is a no-frills gym that makes this sport accessible to all. Boxing classes are performed in the ring with a high intensity warm-up of footwork and a breakdown of what’s to come. You’ll partner up and throw combos while encouraging each other to push further. There are two instructors, so while one is keeping up the tempo of the class, another instructor is correcting form and sharpening the moves. Even as a beginner (like me), you walk out of there with a better understanding of technique behind your punch. If you aren’t so much a fan of group fitness, they also offer one-on-one sessions where you can hone your technique and get that booty moving with some added strength specific work. Great vibe, badass coaches!
Gleasons Gym : This is the boxing gym — the place where Olympians and champions from around the world respectfully hang their gloves. But this is not to say you will be out of place here, as all are welcome. Just don’t expect to be celebrated when you walk through the doors. Boxing coaches from around the city all come here to learn what this sport is really about. Due to its Brooklyn location, this is the largest space you’ll find. Once you’re in, you’re family… but that could take some fighting for!
Rumble : Modeled off of Barry’s Bootcamp, this class is 50/50 boxing and high intensity floor work like squats, curls, burpees, etc. The greatest benefit, from what I have come to learn, of Rumble in comparison to Shadowbox is that they use water bags, which are easier on the knuckles. The instructors build their own playlist, so you can quickly find the ones that you vibe with. This class allows for all levels, and it’s a bit easier to slack off compared to Barry’s treadmills, but it’s a class that is as hard as you make it — so push yourself! The dark room helps you focus on what you showed up for (those killer boxing arms) and clears your head of the famous chefs and models sweating next to you. The combos and exercises are electronically posted on the walls in front of you, so even a novice can find their place. Good workout and a positive, hygienic environment, which is hard to say for a lot of boxing gyms.
Shadowbox : Less of a scene then Rumble, Shadowbox is straight boxing on your allotted bag with seven rounds of boxing and active recovery floor work in between. High energy, this is the place you want to go if you aren’t into group classes, but you want to learn a thing or two, practice your combos, and fly under the radar (i.e. not end up in the background of someone else’s instafeed).
Box + Flow : As they say, “Flow thru the fight. Fight thru the flow.” Box + Flow brings a unique addition to their boxing class: yoga. Be prepared to be boxing barefoot! This class begins on a bag, then takes you back to combo work and technique, winding down with a deep stretch. With a mindful connection to where you are putting your energy, this place creates a balance between knowing when you need to push yourself and work harder, and the value of active recovery and learning how to slow your roll.