If you follow me on Strava, you have have noticed a crazy increase in workouts at Champs Boxing Studio. I recently bought the two-week unlimited introductory pass to Champs so I could try the classes and as predicted – I’m hooked. In the two weeks having the pass, I went to ten classes. If you’ve ever tried a group boxing class, it likely follows the same format as the ones at Champs. It is easily comparable to Rumble Boxing Studios in Calgary – a dark room, heavy bags, loud music, and a great workout.
I always thought boxing would be hard because it would be all arms and I have a relatively weak upper body compared to lower body, but it is actually the opposite. I find I use my core and legs more than my arms, though your shoulders will certainly get a good workout. It’s full body. If you’re consistently paying attention to form, your power comes from your legs and the slight torso twist is always working your core. I didn’t really get sore in one particular muscle after the classes, but it was just a ‘tired’ feeling in my whole body. I love the rhythm of boxing. It requires so much thought and technique and focus but if you put too much into the brains of it you lose the heart and soul aspect that just flows. When I think too much, I mess up, and if I just let me body do it, it will hit the combination naturally and with more strength. I’ve noticed that a huge key is staying loose, in my entire body not just my arms. Keeping my legs light so I can keep moving them and driving my power through them has let me improve my technique, however slightly.
The classes are AWESOME. I love that sweat-pouring, bass-booming, heart-pumping workout format where you can focus on you, your workout, and giving it your all even with a group of 30 people around you. I had the privilege of taking my first class at Champs with the champ herself, Jelena Mrdjenovich. Champs Boxing Studio was opened by Jelena and I don’t think there is honestly a better person to do it. You can tell her soul was poured into the studio, into the classes, the trainers, and the boxing experience. She is super friendly and kind, and will kick your ass in class – but in a way that is motivating and makes you want to work hard for her and for yourself. She was subbing a few evening classes this week and I rearranged my workout schedule to ensure I made it to her classes because I love them that much. I was equally impressed with Robbie, another instructor who has killer music and a great class overall! If you’re interested, Telus did a documentary about her and you can watch it for free on Youtube HERE! It’s very inspiring and makes me want to work even harder at her studio.
The studio itself is gorgeous. A completely revamped building on the west side of downtown Edmonton, it’s super convenient for those working and living in the area. It’s actually exactly halfway between my apartment and my work, so it made it really easy to stop in there on the way home from work for a class. With a giant group studio, a huge ring in the middle of the building, change rooms with showers and a ton of hair, face, and skin products to use, lockers, and a space that looks to be continuing to be developed upstairs with a kitchen and relax area, it’s a fun atmosphere. Each class has complimentary towels and a cold cloth with essential oils on your way out of the room after class. It’s a boutique fitness studio, with a price tag to match, but I think the experience is one of the best.
I had a particularly amazing class last night. I had a stressful day at work, stayed late to finish up a few things before boxing class, and was SO ready to wrap my hands and sweat. I put EVERYTHING I had into class. The instructor was unreal, the music was loud, and I was letting every single tension from a day of frustration melt into the bag… okay, well maybe be punched into the bag? On my way out of class, I was still sweating so much that I had to stop and try and cool down before I walked home in -20C. I mentioned that I loved his class on the way out and mentioned how much I was still sweating. He says, “YES! That post-workout sweat is the best!” My eyelashes froze before I got home, that’s how much I was dripping, but it was so worth it. I didn’t ever think I’d be happy about paying someone to tell me to do burpees and mountain climbers and planks, but hey, I guess you never know!
Although my trial is up this weekend, I am trying to figure out what pricing option I need to keep going at least once or twice a week. It’s just an unbeatable workout and if you love cross training, have a stressful job, or just need another outlet in the fitness world – boxing is it. For me, right now it presents an opportunity to try something new, try to get better, hit harder, get stronger. Plus, it’s fun.
Have you tried a group boxing class?