This studio is tucked into a very trendy pocket of the city and skews “gritty” more than frills. But then again, if you’ve seen their location tag on insta lately, you know that you don’t even have to walk into the building to get that impression. From their “rundown chic” decor to their tough but fair instructors, it is clear this place is looking to present an air of authenticity. This gym has a ton of veterans and everyone is there to do much more than look cute in wraps. So, come ready to work and hold your own.
However, what this gym delivers in sweat, it seriously lacks in hospitality. The staff and at least half of the trainers carry themselves with a severe “I’m too cool for school” attitude – leaving first timers to fend for themselves or class attendees wondering if they had gotten what they paid for. Just be wary that there is a lot of crossover between the two types of classes, Underground and Ringwork. Sometimes so much so that it does get to the point where the lines get super blurry. When you have an instructor’s full attention the classes are pretty awesome, so we suggest you find the instructors whose style and class structure suit you.
Underground classes can seriously vary. A Julian D. underground class incorporates more complicated combos (we would say they are more intermediate) and footwork and shies away from partner work, both in boxing technique and strength training drills. There is a very loose structure to each underground class but for the most part each includes a warm up, boxing technique work (heavy bag or shadow boxing), boxing drills (heavy bag or partner drills) that incorporate strength training, and a wrap up with ab work. Julian likes everyone to go solo in both their technical practice or “shadow boxing” and then in cardio bag work with burpees, high knees, and squats peppered in for good measure. His classes are a butt kicker for sure, but don’t expect a gold star at the end.
Y’all, Julian D. is not one to suffer any fools and is a stickler for following instructions. Didn’t follow his combination exactly? Didn’t put in full effort during the ab section? The entire class will be rewarded with an extra round. So, let’s just say his motivation style is more “tough love” than upbeat inspiration, which we need sometimes, right? So make sure you’re paying attention: he typically flies through his explanations and only does them once. One thing that drove us nuts was the amount of time he spent on his phone, sitting, or zoning out during warm up. It certainly fit in with the “we’re too cool to care” attitude of the gym, but didn’t exactly make us feel like a priority. Who knows, maybe he was building playlists…. but during class??
Like designer distressed jeans, this place was purposefully designed to look a bit run down – from the front facade all the way to the curtain that is barely concealing the view into the women’s locker room. This townhouse just off of Berkley Street has three levels – locker rooms on the top floor, main floor for ringwork, and the basement for underground. Figuring out where to put your stuff while you sweat here is key. Most people go for the cubbies or shelves on the floor where they are taking their class. Lockers require you to bring your own lock and are usually full. Should you choose to opt for the locker room because, hey, you need to shower or change, a word of caution: the feel is very “high school” – a little cramped, a little grimy, and very little privacy (even from people coming up the stairs since there is a curtain instead of a door). First timers, we HIGHLY suggest that you speak up and ask where things are. You aren’t exactly going to get the “studio tour” let alone more of a greeting than “okay, you’re good” post check-in. Another pro tip – bring your own wraps if you can, especially if you have quick wraps (like a glove with finger holes) from another studio. Theirs are $10-15 and are the traditional wraps. Unless you’re an avid boxer, you’ll require knowledge and practice on how to get them on. In fact, you should bring your own sweat towels as well, since there are none offered for use in class.
9 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012 SoHo Boxing $$$$
Overthrow Boxing Club
SoHo Boxing, $$$$
9 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012
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Delen has a serious monotone approach to his teaching style, asking: “Are we doing well? Are we not doing well?” Um, are we supposed to be pumped up by that? Also, much to our frustration, he has a tough time explaining himself, particularly because his terminology is a little off. He says “right hand” when he really means “cross,” which is super confusing to those “southpaws” (aka lefties in the boxing world) in his classes who cross with their left hand. This trend of getting our wires crossed continued during his football style drills that go from fast feet to either a duck (boxing squat), which he calls “down,” or a burpee, which he calls “drop.” Long story short – we were a bit lost in translation with Delen. He favors strength training over boxing and strives to present sweat-drenching bootcamp style classes, but there is a crazy delay where we all look at each other, scratch our heads and try to figure out what he is talking about.
Mike’s classes are just plain fun. He does an incredible job of keeping the mood upbeat while making sure everyone stays focused and down to business. His style is also very balanced, incorporating both partner work and bag work (each of us boxing babes seems to be one team over the other). He also does not sacrifice boxing technique practice for additional strength training. Much like Goldilocks, we think that time spent under Mike’s instruction is “just right”. Ummmm and did we mention his blue eyes … He is big into pulling each person aside for one-to-one training during drills, which we can’t complain about. This is certainly an eye candy opportunity in addition to a decent sweat 😉 “Sure Mike, you want how many more burpees?” #swoon
Harrison is not exactly warmth and sunshine. Much like Captain Li from Mulan, he is very “let’s get down to business” (don’t worry, I’ll wait while you finish the song in your head). Hey, we get it: time is literally $$$ and we appreciate getting our money’s worth in a workout. That being said, his transitions are so quick that they leave us typically turning to the next person to ask “wait, what did he say” or “what was that next combo?” At some point, we have to wonder if his teaching pace is causing us to focus on speed over form. He incorporates a lot of partner work, too, so be sure to pair off with someone at a similar skill level. Oh and his love of burpees is so intense that he is going to declare their relationship status on facebook, so saddle up!
All Ringwork, all classes are not created equal, but Sergio sets the gold standard. This 45 minute inspiration session (yes, it’s cheesy but we felt hella powerful) was packed with a heavy sweat warm up, boxing/strength training drills, technique work on the heavy bag, and then killer abs (the cherry on top.) The ring proved to be a good space for fast-paced explosive movement drills while the other half of class tackled push-ups, mountain climbers, squats and the perennial favorite – burpees. After switching with those on the floor, we took to the heavy bags to perfect our punches and take on cherry pickers or high knee jabs (man, those suck). There was even a little time for freestyle “power punches” before partner abs. The entire abs section was on our backs and included a sampling of every variety of crunch or leg lift you can imagine (combat sit ups, toe touches, bicycles and twists.) We were certainly sore, but smiling, after this one.
Let’s just say that we have run the entire boxing circuit in this city and we learned more in 45 minutes with Sergio than anywhere else – oh, and is a super nice, inspiring guy to boot! This man is going to keep you moving the entire time. No active recoveries here. Despite the speed of his classes, he takes the time to provide each student with personal attention throughout the entire class. We not only walked away with a good sweat, but with improved form and skills. This, my friends, is not always the case in the boxing fitness world.