• Kristin Perissinotto

I tried 31 days of boxing

Not consecutively. I tried a few different boxing classes over the course of January, and here are my thoughts.

InspireCycle & Box at Teneriffe

My first boxing class was at a ~trendy~ gym that only offers boxing and spin/cycle classes. They run their classes in the dark with loud music, black lights, and hot instructors. You know the type. I'll be honest, I was a little intimidated going in. I was expecting the class to be full of super fit people with an exorbitant disposable income, because the place was pricey.

I found the clientele surprisingly 'normal'. There was a pretty vast array of people from different backgrounds and of different fitness levels. The class was easier than I'd expected and wasn't particularly fast paced. It included boxing bag workouts integrated with bodyweight and kettlebell exercises like planks, kettlebell swings, and squats. Pretty standard. The boxing combinations were simple and easy to remember. The instructors weren't really in the business of fixing technique. The class was definitely targeted more towards general exercise than improving one's boxing ability. I know my technique is pretty average, but to be honest, I wasn't bothered by the lack of assistance. I'm someone who prefers to be left alone.

My main takeaway was that this place has a branding problem. The promo and marketing material presents the gym as extremely upmarket and inaccessible, but the class was quite the opposite. Exercising in the dark provides the sense of anonymity and privacy that many people love when working out, combined with a guided, group workout. This combo is pretty rare. The staff were all very friendly and the gym seemed to be a welcoming environment. I think the gym could improve by developing a public facing image that more accurately reflects their environment.

Brisbane Boxing at West End

My next classes were at a more traditional boxing gym. Brisbane Boxing has an old school vibe, and is in an industrial building with no air con, so is much closer to a traditionally boxing experience than Inspire.

This wasn't my first time at Brisbane Boxing. I had taken a few classes pre-COVID. The gym have changed a few things since the beginning of 2020, including making the classes shorter: from 1 hour to 45 minutes. Unfortunately they're still charging the same price for classes, which I wasn't too thrilled to find out. I have enjoyed classes at the gym previously, and I've found my enjoyment depends on the instructor, as they all have a different style and program. I liked the classes, and found it a lot harder and more technically challenging than one at Inspire. The difficulty is increased significantly by the lack of air conditioning, so it's definitely not the pick for you if you dislike being extremely hot and extremely sweaty.

Being a more 'old school' boxing gym, there is a stronger focus on technique than at Inspire. Instructors do help and advise on technique improvements throughout the class. My least favourite part is the warm up, which includes shadow boxing in front of a huge mirror which honestly is just really awkward and I hate it a lot.

Boxing at home

Due to a short lockdown in Brisbane, lack of access to a car during January, and prior lockdown purchasing of a boxing bag, I included some at-home boxing workouts this month. I bought my boxing bag when gyms closed in March and used it around four times a week until they opened again. I have this bag and I guess I recommend it but what would I know honestly. When I used it during lockdowns, I kind of just did my own thing, and it was really more about channeling my anger than anything else.

This time, however, I tried out something a bit more structured. I found the above video, which technically a kickboxing workout, but it was my favourite. I just skipped the kicking because my boxing bag hangs to high for my short legs to kick. I swapped the kicking bits for punches or having a drink, depending on my mood. It was pretty fun, easy to get to, being just outside my home, and pretty customisable. Again, I'm sure my technique is severely lacking, but that isn't my focus.

In summary

Overall, I enjoyed boxing classes for the month, but I don't think it's for me long term. Hitting a boxing bag, or really anything, is really good for mental health if you ask me, but structured classes with combos and burpee breaks are just not my cup of tea. I'm glad I have a boxing bag at home, and enjoyed my DIY boxing a lot more than going to a class. I'll still go every now and then, and it's definitely a fun thing to do with a friend if you're looking to mix it up!