It took me a couple of weeks (I kid you not) to work out why it was call KOBOX, but after a little deliberation, it finally clicked. KNOCK OUT… boxing; an energetic combination of cardio and strength to give you one intense workout.
The notion of exercise classes has never been my sort of thing – the idea of being cooped up inside a sweaty room with 20-30 other sweaty bodies whilst an instructor shouts at you is far from what I’d call fun. I’d much rather lace up my trainers and escape outdoors on foot and run. However through moving to London, working at Nike and spending a few too many hours on Kings Road, I finally caught the KOBOX bug.
I experienced a KOBOX class for the first time at the Nike Unlimited You event, yet I was left feeling frustrated (at myself). My lack of coordination combined with excess energy in my legs and the unnatural feel of leading with my left foot meant that I was basically running/jumping around on the spot and could not even throw a punch correctly. My hand-eye coordination has never been a strong point. Being naturally competitive, I already had the drive to better myself and so when a Nike friend suggested signing up to a KOBOX class, I couldn’t say no.
This time, my alarm was set for 5:50am on a Friday morning. We were booked in for an early ‘full body’ class with Ian. Despite spending the first five minutes waking up through an intense warm up, the loud music and energy in the room soon kept my eyes open. And as we progressed through the rounds, alternating between the wall and the bag, it suddenly became obvious what the hype was about. Enjoyable, sweaty and an opportunity to rinse every last ounce of energy through punching the bag. The second time attending KOBOX was a game changer; the movements felt more natural and I was finally getting the hang of the whole coordination thing!
I’ve now been to KOBOX twice more and my love is only growing! For me, it’s a great opportunity to mix up my training and incorporate some strength based work, which quite often gets neglected when my daily training involves running miles on miles on miles. I also see it as a great social opportunity – the classes I’ve attended have been with friends and it’s actually great to have that mutual support and knowing that they are there every punch of the way! Additionally, it gives the perfect excuse to grab breakfast/brunch/lunch afterwards! With the good life eatery just round the corner, there’s no better way to refuel than with super charged paleo waffles or lean machine bowl.
At KOBOX, the trainers really look after you. I have only attended classes with Ian, however there are several other trainers and many options for the classes; targeting upper body, lower body, full body etc! From the moment you walk in and sign in at the desk, you’re provided with hand wraps (if it’s your first time), a towel (TRUST ME, you will need it) and boxing gloves. There are hundreds of lockers both in the communal area and in the changing rooms to leave your belongings and the changing facilities and toilets are kept super clean and fresh. There are six showers, with shampoo, conditioner and body wash provided (they know how to treat you well!). As well as big fresh clean towels, hair dryers, mirrors (full length woop), benches and body lotion! Additionally there is a KOBOX kitchen whereby you can pre-order a protein smoothie to be ready as soon as your session is over.
Top tips for attending KOBOX:
1. Take in a bottle of water – water is available to buy at KOBOX for £2 and you’ll find you can definitely get more out of your session if you’re not dying for a drink after every round!
2. Eat breakfast beforehand, or at least have a strong coffee and a banana! Whilst fasted exercise has its benefits, I’ve found I can train so much harder and get a lot more out of the session if I’m adequately fuelled!
3. Try out a few different trainers and their classes until you find one that you love! Different people have different preferences when it comes to classes so don’t be afraid to try out a few!
4. Don’t forget your hand wraps! KOBOX have an amazing introductory offer whereby you can buy two classes for £25 with a pair of hand wraps included in the price! Just don’t forget the for your second class.
5. Be prepared to sweat, yes there will be times that you see a little water spray off the bag but that’s only a good thing – it just shows you’re working hard… Or that you’re a heavy sweater haha! Plus there’s showers available afterwards.
6. Go with friends – it makes it even more enjoyable and it’s nice to have someone by your side to push you that little extra!
7. Switch off, stay in the moment and pretend the bag is your worse enemy. You’ll surprise yourself how hard you can punch!
8. ALWAYS say thank-you to the trainer afterwards! These trainers have to carry pockets of energy through the whole day! A smile and a thank-you are the least you can offer (can you tell I’m northern yet?)
9. If you have he opportunity, stretch afterwards or later on in the day! DOMS are real. You will be waddling 24hours later and you’ll realise there are a lot more hidden muscles in your back and arms than you thought were there.
10. Finally, enjoy it! Work hard, play hard. If you’ve never done it before, try it out, you may find that boxing is your forte!
Last of all, don’t forget to SWEAAAAAAT.
Lots of love, Sal🙂