There is no better time to take on something new than at the beginning of a new year. To most, January usually translates as a fresh start, where we get excited to set new goals for ourselves and optimistic as to where the next 12 months will take us. In order to achieve my running goals in 2015 I’ve decided to take on new fitness challenges with the help of my home gym Equinox (you can check out my introductory post on the space here). Known internationally for their state-of-the-art fitness facilities, they are also recognized for their intense and boundary pushing classes – which are lead by some of the best in the industry. If you’ve been following me on Instagram it should come as no surprise that I have taken up boxing to prepare myself for race season.
Equinox’s high intensity boxing classes lead by Nathan Bower, packs a serious punch. It is here where Bower, a former competitive fighter and 4-time provincial champion, helps his clients hone their blocking, punching and jabbing skills while increasing endurance with some crazy conditioning. Why boxing? In addition to endurance, the sport also increases stamina and cardio, while engaging muscles from all over your body. This was soon discovered as every part of my body was sore for the next few days after my first class, but as they say; if it’s not hurting, you’re not working! According to my new ‘tough as nails’ coach, “Boxing is without a question the most under-utilized sports in the world for cross training/fitness due to it’s full body conditioning and multiple plane movement patterns. It is one of the few sports that utilize aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.“
What To Expect In Equinox’s 50 Minute Boxing Class
12-14 minutes “Warm-Up” This warm isn’t for the weak of hearts and consists of light plyometrics, technique and core work. Bower explains it is designed to put “boxers” in the top end of their HR zone in preparation for the more intense work that follows.
10-15 minutes “Boxing Technique & Footwork” Sounds simple enough right? It’s far more challenging than it sounds. Here is where Bower focuses on technique with his clients, with a large emphasis on how to move and punch. As if this isn’t enough, he also ensures to mix in some leg conditioning during this circuit.
10-15 minutes ” Bag Work” Probably the most rewarding part of the class to be honest as you can let all your frustrations from life out on the bag while utilizing the technique learned in the previous circuit. We are taught that unless we take what we learn and put it to practice, the technique and footwork can be easily forgotten. Therefore, we are encouraged to use the bag as an opponent to understand properly how to move and punch.
5-10 minutes “Intervals” Training” Transitioning from the bag, clients are then partnered up to do some freestyle work. This portion is designed to maximize and push you to your upmost cardio limits. Depending on the size of the class, intervals can range anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute. This is where you can expect to burn a ton of extra calories.
2-5 minutes “Core Work” Boxers are known for their strong core, just as much as their upper bodies, but according to Bower, they are not developed from crunches but rather from constantly rotating while punching and consistent full body conditioning.
Photography by Nathalia Allen www.amillionminds.ca (@amillionminds)
Nate Bower’s 4 reasons as to why YOU should try boxing:
- Stress Relief: Come in feeling stressed; leave feeling refreshed
- Extreme Conditioning: Build lean body mass and increase Vo2 Max ( a measure of the maximum volume of oxygen that an athlete can use
- Athletic Performance: Boxing is one of the most one of the most athletic sports and when you understand the sport’s fundamentals, it can easily transitions into other sports
- It’s fun…you can’t beat that: There should be an element of fun in any workout you do!
Video courtesy of NateBowerFitness.com
Boxing is just one of the many amazing group classes you will find at Equinox designed to help you pick up your pace and get you moving. For more information on what the club has to offer head to Equinox.com. The site not only contains information on all the locations, class schedules, and amenities but it also contains their popular blog which I turn to frequently for recipes, workout playlists, travel, beauty, rejuvenation tips and much more.
What I’m Wearing: Nike Pro Fierce Bra – features medium support with a contoured silhouette with fabric designed to keep you dry during training // Nike Hyperwarm Tights – made in lightweight material for breathability with a brushed interior that’s brushed for a cozy feel and keeps sweat at bay // Nike Zoom Agility Training Shoes – with ultra responsive cushioning for flexible impact protection, this shoe is designed specifically for all types of gym and cross training workouts | courtesy of Nike Canada.