Founded in 2012, Total Boxer are the pioneers of ’boutique boxing’ incorporating the technical instruction of real boxing training, with high intensity cardio. In a nutshell, Total Boxer “specialise in removing the fear of boxing training and sharing its thrills in a safe and welcoming setting for all. Helping everyone, including absolute beginners, get fighting fit in a seriously fun way, without getting hit in the face.” Lucky me, I got the chance to try out their popular “Get FIT Not HIT” session, a workout that not only burns fat, but conditions muscles too. Read on and find out more in our exclusive review!
An invite to a Total Boxer’s “Get FIT Not HIT” boutique boxing club session at their brand new facility in Hornsey was the only (and I do stress ONLY) thing that would’ve dragged me out of my flat on one of the wettest afternoons in history! But drag myself I did and after a 30 minute heavy rain downpour moped scoot, I arrived at the venue, bedraggled and soaked to the bone. Feeling a little bit sorry for myself, my bad mood was instantly lifted by the warmest of welcomes from the Total Boxer team and like they suggest in their advertising, I did indeed at that point ‘leave my ego at the door’.
Checking it out…
Showing me around the joint was Bobby, one of the coaches and social media manager for the club. Like every other member of the team I encountered on my tour, Bobby was friendly and welcoming and my initial novice nerves began to melt away as he described their ethos. Bobby explained that the “Get FIT Not HIT” session was in theory, boxing training for people who wanted the achieve the fitness levels of a boxer, without the actual fear of engaging in a bout! He went on to tell me that since Total Boxer’s launch in 2012, this approach has proved particularly popular among female fitness fans, with 51% of all attendees to the sessions being women! That’s not to say the training isn’t completely gender neutral, in its toughness and badassery, men and women alike train together to become the fittest they’ve ever been in their lives. With this powerful mission ringing in my ears, I couldn’t wait to get started, so I dropped my bags in the snazzy locker room and began to scope the place out.
As the other class participants arrived, I took my chance to scan the setting that would have me heaving, sweating and panting for the next 60 minutes. This place was undeniably cool and a long way off from my expectation of a dark, maybe dingy and intimidating setting of a traditional boxing club. It’s bright and airy with the awesome addition of graffiti like motivational wall art. The most dominant image in sight was of course the bespoke boxing ring in the centre of the space, all shiny and new thanks to Total Boxer’s sponsorship by Everlast. In addition to the ring was a vast array of fitness goodies around the space, from punch bags to gloves, skipping ropes to medicine balls, the venue was just brimming with the best equipment in the sport, ready to be taken for a test run. What did catch my eye, however (being a gym bunny myself) was the non-traditional equipment that stood in juxtaposition to the boxing focused aids. Spin bikes, Olympic bars and all manner of body weight resistance equipment peppered the zone making me wonder, perhaps this ‘boxing training’ really was a subversion of the traditional.
After the welcome and introductions, we were all helped to wrap our hands and get ‘gloved up’, after which we were guided through the footwork and six main punches required for the sparring pad-work and individual practice on the bags. Once we had the main gist of it we were off; wasting no time at all the group were split and we began 2-minute rounds, circuiting our way from station to station with shadow boxing, pad-work, bag-work, skipping and tempo sprints on the bikes. It was fast-paced and frantic, but carefully guided and coached throughout. The best thing of all was that for our efforts we received encouragement and teaching points continuously from the happy and ever knowledgeable Total Boxer team.
Some 50 minutes in and I hardly noticed where the time had disappeared to, that’s not to say I hadn’t been working my bootie off, but the quick pace switch and change from station to station, intermittent water breaks and the general hubbub of laughter and fun engulfed time so quickly, the adrenalin rush made sure I hardly knew I’d been working out at all. The reality was of course noted when the gloves came off post class, revealing a set of extremely sore arm muscles and trembling hands, evidence that my efforts had in fact been packing a punch.
It’s easy to see why these Total Boxer sessions are a sure fire ‘hit’ with fitness lovers in London and why they’ve had to expand their premises to facilitate their growing legion of fans. So, if you’ve ever wondered if it’s possible to achieve all your fitness needs in one full session, wonder no more folks – from fat loss, muscle gain and getting a great physique to improvements in cardio endurance, coordination and skill, “Get FIT Not HIT” has it all!