When I find 60 minutes in my day to dedicate to exercise, I expect a nonstop, full body workout. I want to pack as much into that 60 minutes as I can, including a warmup and a cooldown/stretch sesh. So, it’s no surprise that Title Boxing Club’s 60 minute boxing class ranks high on my list of favorite classes.
To back up, I think I first need to explain that I nearly cried when I found out they were opening downtown. I used to take classes at the Title Boxing Club (TBC) in the Lincoln Park when I was living in Chicago, and have missed it tremendously. Words cant explain the feeling that came over me when the news broke about their new downtown Sycamore St. location. I wanted to hug Keith and Molly Noel when I walked in the door the first time (I refrained).
So, what’s it all about. To go back to my first experience, when I first stepped foot into the Chicago TBC, not going to lie I was extremely intimidated and a little frightened. I had no hand wraps, no gloves, no real clue what the difference was between a jab, a cross, or a hook (and to be honest, I’d never really even punched a thing in my then 27 years. Wimp.).
The downtown Cincy location experience is nothing like that. Keith, the owner, was at the front desk when I walked in, and was extremely welcoming. He and the other coach helped me and Mer wrap our hands with their complimentary hand wraps for first time visitors, and also let us borrow a set of gloves. It was Mer’s first time at TBC, so Keith briefly walked her through the different punches, then it was off to the races. I will say that you kind of get thrown into it, but there's really no better way of learning than to just start throwing punches. If you can, get there at least 15-30 minutes early so that the staff can run you through a beginner's boxing 101. Mer did great her first time at it (don't let her tell you otherwise! She's lying!)
The 60 minute class is comprised of a 15 minute warm-up, 8 rounds of 3 minutes, with 1 minute of active recovery between rounds, then 15 minutes of abs. They also offer a 45 minute class that is still 8 rounds of boxing, but has an abbreviated warmup and abs section (about 7 mins of each).
The warm-up to me is the most brutal part. It’s nonstop heart pumping work. Jumping jacks, high knees, burpees, etc. I always tell friends, if you can make it through the warm-up, you’re good to go. Then, you get into the 10 “rounds”. The rounds are punching sequences that are queued by the instructor. They start super basic, then build into more complex and dynamic sequences. You might start with a simple jab/cross combo, repeated for a minute, then the instructor might queue you to add in a hook, so jab/cross/hook. These sequences are taken at your own speed, unless queued for them to be speed punches, or power punches. Speed = go as fast as you can, power = punch as hard as you can. In between each round, you have a minute to either grab water, or do the exercise given to keep your heart rate up and keep your legs moving (lunges, squats, jumping jacks, etc). It’s all wrapped up with 15 minutes of abs, utilizing the bags and weighted medicine balls.
What I love most about this workout is the dynamic movement that I don’t get anywhere else. You are hitting muscles in your back and shoulders that are hard to work, and are targeting your obliques like no other as you twist to throw punches. My return to TBC had what I was calling my ribs (soon learned they are called your intercostal muscles) sore as all get out.
What I love even more than the workout is that Keith is a lawyer that got fed up with practicing law and said the hell with it. He and his wife have always loved fitness, and found the Title Boxing Club franchise to be home. They have built up quite the member base, and even have clients that get together after class for brews (#earnedit).
Then you may want to check out Title Boxing Club on Sycamore.
Your “first punch” (AKA class) is free. The tricky part: they highly encourage purchasing a membership plan. Drop ins are a steep cost, but membership plans are competitive, so if you fall in love like I did, be prepared to join. They aren’t currently on ClassPass (no word on whether or not they will join) but the Loveland location is, if you live/work/are willing to travel out there!