Tak­ing out your fall frus­tra­tions on a punch­ing bag

Monika learns box­er­cise from a Midtown Golden Gloves champ


To­day I’m at Centre Ring in Midtown, where many pro­fes­sional ath­letes have walked through the doors in­clud­ing hockey, football and soc­cer play­ers.

This couldn’t have been more timely as my ther­a­pist re­cently sug­gested I take up box­ing: “It would be good if you could hit a punch­ing bag and get this anger out.” Turns out she was right — it felt re­ally, re­ally good.

Stud­ies have shown that train­ing for a box­ing match can be one of the best forms of aer­o­bic and anaer­o­bic ex­er­cise. I’m here to find out.


Centre Ring is lo­cated be­low the Sobeys near Dav­isville and Yonge. The space is bright, wel­com­ing, and some of the peo­ple you en­counter could have stepped right out of Rag­ing Bull.


I im­me­di­ately felt a surge of adren­a­line. Sur­vivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” started thump­ing in my brain, and all I wanted to do was get those gloves on and start punch­ing some­thing.


Wayne Bourque is a former Cana­dian cham­pion with an im­pres­sive and ex­ten­sive re­sumé. With Wayne Bourque’s Box­er­cise, he was the first to bring box­ing to Canada as a form of group ex­er­cise in 1993.


We started with some light shadow box­ing, skip­ping and bike rid­ing, as well as com­bi­na­tion drills.


The work­out was bro­ken down into four cat­e­gories — car­dio, box­ing, core and light weight train­ing. The first three were all per­formed at a high-in­ten­sity pace, known as high in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing (HIIT). Al­most im­me­di­ately I was out of breath and won­der­ing when it was time for me to sit in the cor­ner and have my trainer spray water in my mouth.


Typ­i­cally classes are mixed with a bal­anced number of ad­vanced, in­ter­me­di­ate and be­gin­ner box­ers. For be­gin­ners, like my­self, the in­struc­tor will give more in­struc­tions and pay more at­ten­tion.


The arms were ob­vi­ously uti­lized the most dur­ing class, and I dis­cov­ered mus­cles in my arms that I didn’t even know ex­isted.


When I walked out of the class, my whole body was vi­brat­ing with a new kind of strength. I felt a calm­ness wash over me. No one was going to mess with me ever again — at least not to­day.


Not a sin­gle thing! I will ab­so­lutely go back and box­er­cise again.

Monika em­braces box­er­cise as both a work­out and a way to vent her anger

Monika Schnarre is a model, ac­tress, en­tre­pre­neur and tele­vi­sion per­son­al­ity. She has ap­peared in over 50 tele­vi­sion shows and films and on over 100 mag­a­zine cov­ers.

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