Happy International Women’s Day! On March 8th we recognize all the women in our lives. This is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women everywhere. Their strength, solidarity, and fierce femininity. And in acknowledgement of that, I wanted to share something that makes me feel like a strong, fearless woman in charge of her own destiny.
With the world getting back on its feet, vacations to sunny body baring destinations a possibility, and the night club scene back after a 2 year hiatus; fitness has become top of mind. Gone are half dressed zoom meetings, and the need to cloister yourself away. There is once again the desire for individuals to look good and feel good. And here is one of my favourites ways to get fit and have fun, that doesn’t feel like work.
I highly recommend Rumble Boxing’s heavy bag classes. As their tag line best puts it: “it’s like fight club meets night club”. For fair-weather boxers who enjoy hitting pads, but might not necessarily want the intensity of a personal trainer, or the attention of a one on one session, this class is for you. Set in a darkened studio with black lights, hidden away behind a swinging bag, and muffled out by chains rattling and the base pumping; all while everyone is focused on punching to the same beat, this is the “magic of rumble” (as taken from one of their coaches and instructors).
Your instructor teaches you the basics of boxing through 6 punches and 2 defensive maneuvers, and mixes it with a slew of cardio and resistance motions. Each song has you punching and weaving to the beat, with the instructor calling out directions and speed specifications. Think aerobics, but with attacks and defensive maneuvers; and just as much spandex.
Now with two centralized locations, you can attend drop in classes at either. You pre-purchase classes 10 at a time. But before you commit, you can actually try your first class for free. And at the end of the session, if you like it enough to buy it, you are extended a 20% off discount on your package. If you are like me, and everyone else I know, after one class you will be “hook”-ed (boxing pun, had to do it).
All my photos are from the new Mount Pleasant location. They seem to be focusing on these heavy bag classes more here, as the studio is much larger than the one at the original Yaletown location. The ceilings are higher, there is more air circulation, and the bags are better spaced apart. Even the music station is better strategically placed. The only hiccup, the acoustics. Music is an important element of the class, each instructor follows a similar pattern of calling out combos, they have hard hitting tracks, speed/cardio tracks, ones dedicated to feet work, and ones that give you a little bit of each; but where they differ most is their choice in music for their set.
I have yet to sign up and try all the instructors. To be honest, my schedule is so tight that I simply book and attend as my day allows. Thus far I know that instructor Randa incorporates her dance background into her workout: lots of faster hitting movement to popular music. Connor times hard hits to the drop of techno and dance. Nik is non stop energy and even dedicates a track to working out your core. His music hits modern pop and hip hip with remixes of favourites. But hands down, my favourite instructor is Chris B. He was my personal boxing training, before he took a step back to teach and instruct. But the skills he taught me in the ring, were easy to translate into movements against the bag. I especially enjoy his combos, they all flowed from one hip to the other, fluidly. Whereas with other instructors they are calling out ones and twos, but only to even out threes and fours. They are not necessarily teaching you combos that can use against an opponent. It is not natural to hit a 2-3-2 when you are an orthodox fighter. Nor does the body like the flow of a 4 to a 1, or a 5 to a 3.
(For those who didn’t understand those punches, it is best you come down to Rumble and have a professional walk you through it.)
Though keep in mind, the point of heavy bag class is not perfect form, it is a 50 minute full body work out designed to help your burn calories during class, and to continue doing so when walking back out into the world.
You book online for your desires time slot. Sessions include morning, evening, and weekends. Registration opens a week in advance, with first come first serve limitations. When it is time for class, you check in 15 minutes before, in order to confirm your attendance, and choose your desired bag. They have towels and spare gloves for those who need it. But wraps, to bound and protect your fists are mandatory, and do need to be purchased. They are reusable and easy enough to apply, once one of their helpful staff teach you how to do so. Then off your go, ready to groove and slip to the music, to punch and weave to the beat.
In short, if you are looking for a fun and unique workout that you can be proud of, look no further. Where else can you learn a new skill, while beating out aggression, and burning calories?
Rumble Boxing Studio Mount Pleasant
168 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5T 3J2