Pull your big girl and boy pants up because I need to explain something to you. Are you listening? Okay, boxing – true boxing – actually has an ultimate goal of preparing you to fight in the ring. There is NOTHING wrong with using boxing as a tool to sweat, for conditioning, or to train certain muscle groups. Trinity Boxing Gym, however, has a MUCH different philosophy. These standalone boxing gyms typically come with rich histories and traditions, and are littered with old school-isms from salty guys who all claim, in some way or another, to be connected with Muhammad Ali. The foundations of their workouts are much more than just punching at a bag for 45 minutes to hip hop chart toppers. There is form, footwork training, sparring and many other elements that people practice to prepare them for the fight. And if there ever was a “back to basics” spot, Trinity is it.
When you walk into a studio like this, any ego or pride has to be checked at the door. This place lacks fancy locker rooms, sound systems, water fountains, or equipment. But it has miles and miles and miles of heart (my Replacements fans – hope you got that one). Of all of the boxing gyms in the city that we’ve visited, it is the MOST rough around the edges, and there are no real rules. But F#$% it was a hell of an experience that we would not trade for the world!
Coming to work out here can be a bit of a complicated experience since everything at this studio is considered “open gym” and there aren’t really classes, per se. Sure, they have a mindbody account, but no options to book a class. When you arrive, people just seem to know the standard routine and pick it up whenever they they get there – six minutes or two rounds of jump rope (big groan), 10 minutes of shadowboxing, 15 minutes of heavy bag work, 20 minutes of ring work one to one, 10 minutes of conditioning and cool down. No one is directed and there is no group – just a series of “house instructors” who hang around.
It just so happened that we struck up a conversation with the lead trainer, Martin, with whom we spent about 70% of our time in between being passed around to other “supervisors”. Somehow out of this we got a semi private, which resulted in some of the best footwork, form, and mental preparedness (oh yes – it is a mental chess match too, folks) for the ring that we have ever received. Since things are super free and open here, we really suggest that more advanced boxers who have their own equipment come to this place.
I’ll tell you this. Time with Martin is education in what it really means to be a true contender. Does Martin fit his stereotype to a tee? Yes. But man, we love it. Salty as they come, Martin seems like a trainer who has truly seen it all – grizzly voice, endless anecdotes about life, and a complete lack or fear of surprise about anything. Oh yea and he is having both picked up the spirits of a young fighter on the sidelines or having
The one thing that we LOVE about him is that he doesn’t treat his male or female clients any differently. Not that other trainers do, but we felt in our bones that he didn’t adjust his style or workout plan to “accommodate” us. He also called us “kid” the entire time. As in, “Okay kid, show me what you’ve got” or “Hey, look at this new kid. I think they have a shot” or “Hold on, I’m torturing this new kid, I’ll call ya back”. Yes – he took a phone call during the session, which for some reason felt less weird and more in line with the raw authenticity of the joint. We didn’t just get a solid lesson from Martin; he also shared his pearls of wisdom. Would you expect anything less? Boxing is mostly a mental game of chess, and Martin drilled it into our head that it doesn’t matter how much bigger our opponent is than us: the David vs. Goliath metaphor is a reality, not a myth.
You know how some studios have their mantras painted on the wall in some sort of cool mirror, or in neon above the door to the studio ? At Trinity, their mantras are drawn in paint on homemade banners that hang from the ceiling. And these are not fluffy mantras that inspire you but also leave you scratching your head saying “wait….what?”. They come from the mouths of boxing’s most famous underdogs and giants alike. And while this place was designed to be the antithesis of an instagrammer’s paradise, it ironically is just that: The marquee is weathered, the floor is littered with equipment that has been haphazardly dumped in different spots, and the walls are COVERED in yellowing magazine articles, newspaper clips and memorabilia.
This place is a bit of a free for all? Yea, there are “lockers”, if you can find them, but you need to bring your own lock. For the most part, they tell you to just leave your stuff behind the desk. There isn’t really anyone to check you in, give you the tour, or provide you with any guidance. Don’t get us wrong, everyone is perfectly friendly but there is really a sink or swim policy for everything from figuring out where to go to figuring out the workout structure. We also STRONGLY suggest that you don’t shower here – there is one but it could have been used on any of the SAW sets. We also didn’t see one in the guys “locker room” (a term we use very loosely), but we imagine it’s not much better.
116 Duane St, New York, NY 10007 Tribeca Boxing $$$$
Trinity Boxing Club
Tribeca Boxing, $$$$
116 Duane St, New York, NY 10007
Get the latest reviews, hot classes, go-to instructors, must have gear and pumping beats delivered straight to your inbox every week.