If the recent passing of famed boxer and humanitarian Muhammad Ali has you inspired to step into the ring, you’re not alone. Peter Welch’s Gym, an old-school boxing gym located in the heart of Southie, trains the masses looking to “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” all with an added touch of grit to toughen up the vibe. Because really, how pumped can you get in a space with arched ceilings, dark-stained wood floors, and grand windows letting in picturesque views? You can’t. That’s a recipe for a relaxing nap, not knocking the snot out of someone–even if it’s just a punching bag you’ve imagined with your ex’s face.
While some athletes at Peter Welch’s Gym may be on a mission for an in-ring knock out, you don’t have to beat someone up to benefit from the ass-whoopin’ you’ll receive from this style of workout. Boxers train for speed, balance, strength, and endurance, all of which anyone can use to up their game–no matter what it is. And if you’re looking to do so at a location that feels authentic to the sport, then you’ve met your match with Peter Welch’s Gym.
Fighter’s Conditioning is literally just that, a conditioning class for fighters. Like a main event for newbies, you’ll train your way through multiple rounds doing solo and partner work. You’re on your own for the first round, spinning with a jump rope and jabbing and upper cutting the air with shadow boxing. For the next round, it’s head-to-head without ever taking a mitt to the jaw. Partners buddy up for resistance band sprints and let out aggression with heavy bag punching drills. Going through the prescribed training, the workout felt like a scene straight out of a Rocky movie, minus the cheesy soundtrack, swollen black eyes, and annoyance of weepy Adrian.
As the class continued, we focused on core crunching our way closer to six-pack abs, followed by more punching to really gas the upper body. Knocking us down for the count: a punishing plank workout to the tune ofAC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” in which everyone had to hold a plank, cranking out one push up with every repetition of “Thunderstruck.” Woof. The only thing left out of the instruction was how to carry home our bags without wet-noodle arms.
Sixty people in one class is a lot to manage, and Ryan did his best to split up everyone into groups, each tackling different tasks–no easy feat. We won’t lie, when it was time to switch, many of us stood there looking as dazed as if it we took a blow to the noggin’. We had no idea what we were actually doing, but we tried to mimic those who had a clue. Even though it was a lot of moving parts, Ryan didn’t let up on the sweat intensity or with making our muscles feel the burn. Added bonus: His thick southie accent only further reinforced the gym’s badass, bruiser feel.
Housed in an a warehouse that’s more rough around the edges than polished, this space in the heart of Southie is reminiscent of movies like Raging Bull, Rocky, and Million Dollar Baby. That cement block-style industrial vibe in your mind, add a smattering of green shamrocks on the walls and you’re 100 percent on point. Equipment is what you’d expect for this setting: multiple heavy bags hanging from the ceiling, one boxing ring, and a small area upstairs to pumps some iron. There’s one ring and a small area to lift weights upstairs. To clean up your sweaty self, don’t expect any spa amenities. Bathrooms are pretty basic, with toilets perhaps being a tad outdated. Showers and lockers mean you can come and go straight from the ring back to fighting the grind of everyday life.
371-393 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA 02127 South Boston Boxing $$$
Peter Welch’s Gym
South Boston Boxing $$$
371-393 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA 02127
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