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Boxing is a really great way to get fit. It’s an excellent cardio workout, but you also are constantly engaging a range of muscles in your body. Not only does it get your heart madly pumping, it also burns fat and builds lean muscle, with the added bonus of allowing you to use any pent up aggression in a positive way.
I used to find boxing really intimidating. It’s one of those activities that requires focus and coordination (certainly not my strong points). After all, you’re not only moving your body but you’re also required to remember sequences and use the right technique.
After trying a number of boxing classes in Canberra, I’m no longer afraid—in fact, I love it, and you will too!
Here are my five recommendations for where to try boxing this summer:
I recently had the pleasure of trying out the Boxfit classes at PT2U, located in Dacre Street in Mitchell.
I first joined Jacqui’s class alongside seven other women. We paired up, taking turns to wear gloves or pads and doing a range of exercises which combined straights, uppercuts and high punches with running, burpees, and squats. We finished the class with some ab work and stretching.
The class certainly got my heart racing as it’s fairly high intensity, but one of the benefits of pairing up with another person: you get a little bit of time to recover.
I found all the ladies to be really encouraging and helpful. Particularly because I was working way too hard to be able to keep count of my punches!
I took another Boxfit class with Matt, who is just as good and just as supportive. The class was challenging, rewarding and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
What: PT2U Personal Training
Where: 2/6 Dacre Street, Mitchell
If you’re going to try Crazy Monkey Defence, leave your preconceptions of martial arts with your bag and your shoes by the door – this is not like Muay Thai or kickboxing. It’s not mega aggressive nor excessively competitive.
The class has a really effective format, with a warm up routine followed by progressively more complex and high energy drills. After three minutes of skipping, we were given a brief rundown on stance and balance, and worked individually on our footwork. Next we were paired off and practiced the same activity, but working reactively with a partner, gradually incorporating some jabs into the drill. By the end of the class I felt reasonably confident in a (slow) drill with my partner incorporating jabs, straights and shoulder charges. There’s an equally strong focus on defence as well, as each partner takes turns to lead.
The class was tonnes of fun and I genuinely enjoyed myself from start to finish. However, that’s not to say it isn’t a tough workout. All through the class my heart was pounding and I was sweating. But because you’re constantly trying new movements and concentrating on your technique, you hardly notice. I left the class feeling like I’d completed a solid work out, with tight calves and—importantly—a big smile on my face, feeling every bit a Crazy Monkey.
What: Elements Fitness
Where: 15 Moore Street, Canberra City
When: View the timetable online
Phone: 0402 581 977
Elite Physique offers boxing classes weekday mornings at 6am and weekday evenings at 6pm and 7pm. Although I haven’t had the opportunity to give this one a go yet, it’s definitely on my list and comes highly recommended!
I’m told that the women’s boxing classes are not your regular “box fit” class. The instructors are professional fighters, so the combos and drills you learn are based on real life skills needed for a boxing match. Saying this, the class does cater for beginners as well.
Noah Shafron, the ladies 6pm class instructor says that he “structures the class to try and improve the sports-specific fitness required to box while also focusing on the technique and footwork that is needed in the sport”.
The boxing classroom at Elite features a professional Sparing ring, wall punch bags and hanging bags. All gloves and pads are included as well, but you are welcome to bring your own equipment if you prefer.
Depending on class size he will format the lesson in partners, with some people working on the bags, in the sparing ring and on kick pads. The best thing about the boxing at Elite Physique is that you don’t need to be a member to attend, casual entry to a boxing classes at Elite are a baragin at only $5!
What: Ladies Boxfit
Where: Elite Physique, Cnr Townshend St and Botany St, Phillip
When: 6am, 6pm and 7pm Monday to Friday
How much: $5 per person (Casual)
Ever since I’d agreed to road test Women’s Boxing classes at Stockade Training Centre in Dickson, I’d been afraid. After all, classes are taught by former Australian Flyweight champion and former Oceania Bantamweight champion Bianca Elmir. I was scared I’d be out of my depth, or that I wouldn’t be up to the challenge.
Sound familiar? Well ladies, fear no more! I can testify that what you’ll find at Stockade is nothing short of a group of kind, supportive and welcoming women of all fitness levels. The lovely Bianca gently held my trembling hand through the whole experience (figuratively) not literally), assuring me that I was more than capable. She taught me a few basic moves before we met with the rest of the ladies and began the class.
We started off with some skipping to warm up and then got straight into some warm up exercises with a partner. What I thought was great was that we were continually changing partners. This means that everybody doesn’t pair off into groups straight away and you’re not left with that traumatic feeling of being the last kid picked in high school P.E. class. It’s also a nice way to make sure that you’re meeting lots of new people and getting to work with women of different fitness levels.
Next we changed partners and started doing some drills involving straight punches, hooks and upper cuts while moving backwards or forwards.
We wrapped up the class with some squats and ab work and then a good stretch. Everyone’s really chatty and comfortable with each other, and while it is a serious class – and a challenging one at that – you can tell that it’s as much about the training as it is about the social, fun element.
What: Women’s Boxing Classes
Where: Stockade Training Centre, 3 Rosevear Place, Dickson
When: View the timetable here
Phone: 02 6162 4172 or 0424 123 039
CARDIOBOX with Change Coaching Australia
Sarah Berenson teaches CARDIOBOX classes at Harrison Primary School and is an extremely knowledgeable and popular fitness instructor with more than 15 years industry experience. She has used her background in martial arts and boxing to design a cross-training system that uses boxing techniques and is suitable for a wide range of fitness levels.
The classes are a really fun mix of cardio and boxing. After a warm up of running, we pair up and get straight into drills. Sarah is exceptionally talented at teaching complicated movements in a way that makes boxing accessible. One of the aspects of her teaching that I really liked is that she tells you where your power should be coming from whether it’s your abs, legs or glutes, depending on the movement.
It doesn’t matter if you’re throwing the punches or taking them, you’re still engaging your muscles and getting a good quality workout as I found when my delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) hit and I could barely hold the steering wheel. Sarah also intersperses running between drills so that your heart rate is always elevated. By the time we time we got to the warm down and stretching, I was exhausted – it’s a really effective workout.
CARDIOBOX is a fun and motivating way to burn fat, alleviate stress, sleep soundly and reduce anxiety. I’d highly recommend giving it a go! Plus if you’ve never tried a CARDIOBOX class before, Sarah has a really generous offer for first-timers. For $110 you can sign up for a 12-week (or pro-rata) term of classes. That’s 50 per cent off the usual $220 price.
Where: Harrison School, Wimmera Street Harrison
When: 6.30pm-7.30pm Monday nights
How much: $110 for 12-week term (usually $220)
Web: www.changecoachingaustralia.com.au or Find CARDIOBOX on Facebook