Let’s just get this out of the way: the reason I thought it would be great to write a class review in such an amazingly timely fashion is because I sat on my floor to eat dinner in front of the TV (sorry I’m not sorry) last night and my muscles were so tired from class that getting up really seemed like something I didn’t feel like doing. And blogging was something productive that could be accomplished from the floor.
A few months ago (November?), I bought a 5-pack of classes at Uplift Studios on Gilt City (considering how long I pushed off giving into the boutique fitness trend, this is getting dangerous), but I’ve only used one so far. I took an Uplifting class with Jen and Nicole not long after buying the package, and while I liked the class and it was definitely a great workout, I wasn’t so thrilled with it that I went running back to the studio. I loved the studio itself — it’s a warm, friendly, and welcoming environment, women-only (although some people might say that makes it more intimidating, not less), and super-convenient to my office… I just wasn’t sure if Uplifting was the class for me.
Jen had mentioned that she loved Warrior Fight Club, so I knew that that needed to be the next class I tried there, and when I saw that there was a 6PM class on Monday, I signed up immediately.
Uplift describes the class as:
Warrior Fight Club is the only class in NYC that combines a kick-ass boxing workout with strengthening/toning yoga poses. Taught by our amazing instructor Amanda (did we mention she’s a Golden Gloves boxing champion?), the class will move you through a challenging Vinyasa flow, followed by high-intensity boxing-style cardio with heavy bag training, focus mitts, core work and calisthenics. Class finishes with a closing yoga sequence to give your burning muscles an amazing stretch and ensure a proper cool down. No shoes required. (source)
I knew it would be hard, but I was excited. Power yoga is usually something I shy away from but I’ve loved what getting back into yoga is doing for my body, and boxing is always fun (honestly, if you can’t think of a single person whose face you want to plaster all over that heavy bag or the focus mitts, you’re just not having enough fun in show business). The “calisthenics” part, well, I would just deal with that when I got to it.
I loved the class from the second I walked in — sometimes, the worst and most anxiety-inducing part of trying a new class is not knowing how to get yourself set up, but everything was set up for us. We each had a yoga mat, boxing gloves, a jump rope, and two 3-lb. weights. Gulp.
And then class began (along with blasting amazing pop music — I never thought that “Gangnam Style” would make such a great boxing song, but there you go), and I immediately started sweating. We moved into a tough, but not impossible, vinyasa flow with sun salutations, and I could immediately feel the effects of yesterday’s Flywheel PR on my quads, but I gritted my teeth and got through what felt like 27 hours of downward dogs and crouching tigers. But then, even though I was already dripping sweat all over my mat, the real work started.
Honestly, if you have workout ADD (like myself), this is the class for you. Almost everything we did was in short sets of 1-2 minutes, so no matter what, you always knew that you’d be doing something different pretty soon. And you get to box. A lot.
But before we even put on our boxing gloves, Amanda (our leader/drill sergeant) had us doing sets of jump rope/push-ups/shadow boxing with the weights in each hand. Then we moved into boxing with the gloves with jumping jacks in between, and then a brutal circuit of 9 different exercises that we held for 1 minute each (heavy bag, boxing with Amanda into the focus mitts, downward dog x2, mountain climbers, warrior pose, plank, chair pose + shoulder presses, and squat/jumping jacks). And it kept going from there.
She managed to combine so many terrifying exercises with boxing in ways I didn’t know were possible: burpees + boxing (I can’t even.), wall sits + boxing (ditto.), sit-ups + boxing… it was never-ending, but it was incredibly fun and I never got bored. Until we got to an end sequence of bicycle crunches and leg raises, when I pretty much looked like this:
…and then we closed with more power yoga. You know what’s really hard after an hour of boxing? More endless downward dogs. I have never loved child’s pose so much in my entire life.
But the entire class was incredible. Amanda was motivating without being too scary, and before class began, she asked us to close our eyes and pick a motivation that we could go back to and dig into when the class got hard. And the whole time, even when I was worried that my arms would fall off or that my downward dog was going to turn into my new favorite yoga pose of “collapsing into a sweaty heap onto the floor,” the one thing I know I felt was strong. Dare I say I felt almost warrior-esque?
Needless to say, I will definitely be back at Uplift for more Warrior Fight Club. If I can ever lift my arms again.