When one thinks of boxing, the first image which comes to mind is a ring with burly muscular men and eager crowds. However, box-fit training is a fast-paced, fat-burning workout which is also rapidly gaining popularity among women of all shapes and sizes. Recently, Real Style had the opportunity to review a box-fit training workout at Toronto boxing gym Studio KO. Led by master trainer and managing partner DJ Laperle and presented by Genuine Health, the session involved a 45-minute interval workout.
Laperle, who discovered his own passion for boxing as a teen, describes it as a “full-body workout that incorporates strength training and cardio, which allows for a dynamic mixture of exercises.”
After we stepped into the studio and donned our boxing gloves, we quickly discovered just how rigorous the activity was. Laperle ran the beginner’s class with passion and energy, instructing newbies to speed up at the various stations. From freely pounding at punching bags to combining boxing with planks, burpees and the stationary bike, the stations left us with a racing pulse. Although the intervals were just a couple of minutes in length, the intensity of box-fit resulted in quite a strenuous yet rewarding workout.
Laperle agrees that a variety of major muscle group will be targeted in a given boxing session. “Specifically, in our classes, we focus on targeting shoulders, obliques and glutes to strengthen the entire body,” he adds.
However, it is also possible to tailor the sessions to suit your own fitness levels and interests. For those who are new to the sport, this can offer an opportunity to test the waters, before the jump to a more advanced level. “Beginners who come in follow a lesson plan designed for them. When they feel ready to increase their intensity they can give the advanced lesson plan a try,” Laperle says.
Laperle, who has 15 years of boxing experience, recommends that beginners start by coming in at least once a week. During these initial sessions, amateurs can master the proper form, which is necessary for an effective workout. In fact, he claims that it can even bring your fat-busting goals closer to fruition.
“When you rush learning proper boxing form, it may result in you never building the correct foundation or even learning the proper form at all! Form allows you to burn more calories and save energy in the process,” he explains.
Once the class had wrapped, we also had a chance to sample protein drinks and bars from Toronto-based company Genuine Health, which specializes in all-natural health foods. Created with fermented Greek yogurt, the products offered us a tasty energy boost following a burst of vigorous exercise. According to Genuine Health, the brand’s proteins+ bars are “formulated to provide potent, powerful nutrition on-the-go, harnessing the power of fermented foods. The bars claim to offer 15 grams of protein each, with both vanilla-coated and uncoated varieties. Meanwhile, the flavours include uncoated blueberry cashew, uncoated lemon coconut, vanilla-coated cinnamon pecan and vanilla-coated cherry almond vanilla.
Overall, Real Style had an efficient yet enjoyable experience at Studio KO, although we would recommend stretching well before the classes and attending only on days when you have full energy. With quick movements and non-stop action, strength and agility are certainly on the menu, especially if you’re brand new to the boxing world.
Photo: Studio KO