Since the first quarter of the year always brings a renewed focus on wellness, Liz and I thought it would be fun to start a new monthly series where we review different workout classes around Chicago. We’re lucky that our city offers so many options for staying active, even when it can get pretty hard to drag yourself out of bed mid-February.
My typical routine consists of some combination of running, HIIT classes, yoga and spin, so I wanted to go out of my comfort zone for the first installment of our workout review series. After hearing a few friends rave about Title Boxing Club, I knew I had to give it a try. I recruited my friend (and fellow Sequins & Stripes fan) Jenny to come with me, and we signed up for a 6 pm Friday “Boxing 60” class at the Lincoln Park location. Here’s how it went down:
The workout: Boxing 60 at Title Boxing Club (Title’s signature “Power hour” class)
Quick description: 15 minutes of warm-up, eight rounds of boxing with active recovery in between, then 15 minutes of core and cooldown
Price: Free for your first class! (Keep in mind that you’ll have to spend $10 to buy hand wraps, but these are yours to keep for every time you go back.) After that, one class will cost you $35, though you can purchase various packages depending on how often you want to go.
What it was like: This is going to sound silly, but when we first walked in, Jenny and I were both surprised at how much Title looked like a legit boxing gym (to be fair, my idea of a boxing gym is based on the three movies I’ve seen about boxing). It was also packed! We hurried to claim a bag and a spot on the floor, and then the staff showed us how to use the hand wraps that we had purchased. I’ll admit that I started to feel a little bit more badass at this point.
There were a few other newbies in the class, so our instructor, Veronika, gave us all a quick run-through of all the punches and stances we would be using. These included hooks, uppercuts, and jabs—all intended to work different parts of the body and throw off a potential opponent (!).
We were then ready for the warm-up: Veronika led us through a series of lunges, squats, burpees, jumping jacks, and other full-body moves. That probably sounds more miserable than it actually was—it felt like conditioning drills you would do before sports practice in high school, and the fifteen minutes flew by.
Next up: the boxing! The boxing portion of the class consisted of eight two-minute rounds of boxing, with two minutes of active recovery in between. Each round involved a different combination of punches at varying speeds and intensities. As someone who had never worn boxing gloves let alone hit a punching bag before, the first couple rounds did feel a bit awkward. But once I started to get the hang of it and figure out where to place my feet, I started to have fun. The eight rounds also went by super fast—a big clock on the wall counts down every round, and it seemed like the two minutes would be gone before we knew it. This may have to do with the fact that I was concentrating so hard on hitting the bag in the right spot, but hey—whatever works! Active recovery in between each round meant more lunges, squats, and pushups, or just a water break if you wanted it.
We finished up with ten minutes of core and five minutes of stretching (felt sooo good).
Overall impression: I would definitely go back! We felt incredibly welcomed as first-timers, and it was a killer workout. I can’t even tell you how well I slept that night. I wasn’t too sore the next day (I mostly felt it in my upper back and obliques), but I bet that was because all my “moves” ended up kind of being the same for the whole class. As you go more often and get more comfortable with where to place your feet and how to swing your arms, I imagine you would get better at isolating certain muscles and increasing the intensity of your punches. My one tip for newcomers would be to get a spot as close to the instructor as you can…the playlist is awesome but loud, and it can be hard to hear the instructor’s directions over the music.
Have any of you tried boxing for a workout? I’ll be trying SoulCycle next, but let me know if there are any other fitness classes in Chicago I should check out!