The work­out that packs a punch

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HEALTH -

knees bent, hands by your face, stay bal­anced. I throw a jab into the air and promptly find that bal­ance is some­thing I do not have. “It’s all about your core,” Lo­gan in­formed me.

A few more care­ful point­ers and it’s time to en­ter the ring — me with boxing gloves, Lo­gan with pads. We walk through all of the ba­sic moves I need to know: jab, cross, hook. But it isn’t just a case of throw­ing punches at Lo­gan’s pads. Ev­ery wrong foot, ev­ery time I come off bal­ance, ev­ery time my hands drop down from my face, we stop and be­gan again. Here, tech­nique is ev­ery­thing.

So BXR takes boxing very se­ri­ously — but, as a be­gin­ner, is it re­ally go­ing to help you get fit and tone up? In a word, yes. “You are en­dur­ing your body so you’re get­ting fit­ter and car­dio­vas­cu­larly you’re get­ting fit­ter,” says Lo­gan. “From any­one who comes in who wants to work at los­ing weight or at ton­ing. you can do it.”

Af­ter 45 min­utes of ef­fec­tively squat­ting whilst throw­ing my weight around with an en­gaged core, I cer­tainly feel the burn of mus­cle ton­ing. But Lo­gan isn’t let­ting me go just yet: he’s saved a cir­cuit of jump squats and rope bat­tling for the end of the ses­sion.

En­dor­phin re­leas­ing

I leave ex­hausted, but on a high be­cause, as Lo­gan says, it’s en­dor­phin re­leas­ing. It’s a sim­i­lar feel­ing to the one you get af­ter an hour’s spin­ning class — but the dif­fer­ence here is that, for the next few days, my whole body aches like I’ve done a cou­ple of rounds with a heavy­weight. Af­ter spin­ning, you feel it in your legs; here, I feel it in my legs, my arms, my stom­ach, my hands, my back, my shoul­ders ev­ery­thing, ba­si­cally. Ar­eas I didn’t even re­alise I’d worked on hurt — which is about as good a rec­om­men­da­tion for the class as you can get.

While some of BXR’s mem­bers are fight­ers them­selves, prov­ing the high stan­dard of the gym, there is a huge va­ri­ety in the peo­ple tak­ing to BXR, ac­cord­ing to its founder, Olia Sar­darova.

“We ex­pected a lot of mem­bers to come from in­tense, de­mand­ing jobs, try­ing to re­lease that post­work-re­lated stress. How­ever, we found that our mem­bers come from all sorts of back­grounds and jobs — all with their own mo­ti­va­tions be­hind join­ing, and we have a lot more fe­male mem­bers than we an­tic­i­pated.”

Lo­gan agrees that the classes’ ap­peal should know no bounds. “The great thing about boxing is that every­one can do it, from young chil­dren to the very old any­one can do it. That’s what I’ve en­joyed most about it.”

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