Photograph: Courtesy of Heavy Hitting
Above: A Heavy Hitting client is getting her sweat on while learning technique.
Let’s face it. You’ve wanted to break up with your gym for some time. Your tired routines have done everything they will ever do for you; they are even stunting you fitness goals. Thanks to old-school boxing workouts making a mainstream comeback, you don’t have to be a Raging Bull to reap the benefits of the ring. Local boxing experts share what to expect at their studios and why getting down to fighting weight should become your next total body workout.
Burn, Baby, Burn
“A high-intensity boxing workout can burn up to 1,000 calories in one hour,” says Jess Cipriano, owner of TITLE Boxing Club, with studios in Stamford and Milford. “Our signature routine incorporates thirty minutes of explosive interval training at the heavy bag segmented into eight three-minute rounds with just one minute of active rest in between, then finishes with a grueling round of core exercises that will push you to dig deep[er].” Does this count as cardio? A resounding yes! The Power Hour, a combination of cardiovascular boxing and kickboxing designed to push past any fitness goal, leaves time for a well-rounded life outside of the gym. “Every workout is a personal training session in a group setting and no workout is ever the same.” Finally, a reason to step off the mind-numbing treadmill.
Paul Sandalo, founder of HEAVY LIFTING AND FITNESS in Springdale, agrees. “People are looking for an alternative route to reach their fitness goals. They become bored with their normal routines. Social media sites like Instagram showcasing celebrities and professional athletes choosing to box as their go-to workout excites people. If done correctly, boxing works your full body.”
Is it any wonder the popularity of boxing studios is growing alongside America’s anxiety epidemic? In addition to the extreme endorphin release that will instantly elevate your mood, boxing also hits the mark on stress relief. Sandalo has a simple saying: “You don’t get in trouble for hitting a heavy bag. I have people from all walks of life come into my gym and use boxing as a positive release instead of taking out their anger, stress and aggression on the people they love.” Along with the physical, there are stress-reducing social benefits. “No one wants to be a number,” continues Sandalo. “Our members love the tight-knit family atmosphere of our boxing gym. They build friendships along with self-esteem, and they know if I don’t see them for a week, I’m picking up the phone and calling them.”
Cipriano says that’s what keeps members of Title Boxing Club coming back, too. “The focus of our workout is always the members—we meet them where they are, then work to guide, motivate and help them break through the physical, mental or emotional. We are their No. 1 fans.”
FIVE BENEFITS OF BOXING
- Aerobic conditioning
- Improved agility and hand-eye coordination
- More endurance
- Endorphin rush
- Increased confidence and mental focus
Supporting youth one jab at a time
Paul Sandalo, founder of Heavy Hitting Boxing and Fitness, is passionate about supporting kids. To that end, he offers an after-school program and youth membership. He even sponsors children who can’t afford to go. “Kids are dealing with a lot of pressure, and sadly bullying is a part of their lives. Boxing builds confidence and self-esteem and teaches discipline. Boxing is also a great way for kids to learn mental focus in a safe and positive social environment.”