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Sports and Fitness BLOG

We try KOBOX: where fight club meets nightclub


KOBOX describes itself as London’s first boutique boxing studio, offering high intensity boxing based fitness classes in a bespoke studio setting. This description was the first thing to spark my interest in trying a KOBOX class.

I’d never boxed before, but always thought the workouts looked amazing. I have also watched far too many inspiring boxing movies – the latest being Southpaw with Jake Gyllenhaal – which contain the always appreciated montage where the boxer goes from underdog to hero. If you are really lucky, the penultimate fight might even end with the opponents looking at each other with mutual respect – magical!

So yes, I’m not afraid to say it, I too wanted my too cool for school moment, wrapping up my hands whilst listening to some angry yet motivational Eminem tracks; ‘look if you had, one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, in one moment, would you capture it?’ YES, I WILL EMINEM!

The second thing to capture my interest was the price. As standard practice, I try not to get too excited about a fitness class in London until I check the price. With average classes costing an eye watering £30 per class, it’s best to approach these things with caution. Happily, KOBOX offer what I would consider to be, a very reasonable deal for first timers: two classes, plus wraps (which you get to keep) for £25.

Lastly, everyone in London seemed to be talking about KOBOX; my work colleagues, passersby, fitness instagrammers and my housemates. There was no escaping the fact that KOBOX and myself were destined to meet. Fate, as it were. So I signed up for an 18.45 class with a trainer called Ollie, and here are five reasons why KOBOX was everything I had hoped it would be, and more:

The location

Situated on the very lavish King’s Road, walking to a KOBOX class feels like an indulgence. You will have the pleasure of walking past many beautiful shops, with many beautiful things in their windows. You may also experience – as I did – a feeling of being a foreigner without a passport, who at any moment is going to get kicked out of the express lane for lack of the oh so popular Chanel handbag. However, far from being an uncomfortable feeling, it just adds to the thrill and excitement of wondering what KOBOX has in store for you.

The studio

The studio itself is simple, bright and filled with very friendly staff members. Once you are signed in at reception, you are given a towel, wraps and told to pick up some boxing gloves from the bins to the right. The studio contains a smoothie bar (dreamy), a very real and large boxing ring, changing rooms and a communal area complete with the latest monthly magazines.

Once I dumped my bags in a locker I sat in the communal area with every intention of getting wrapped up, just like I had seen in the movies – finally my moment had arrived! Unfortunately, like most of my day dreams, they never quite translated live. After several failed attempts at wrapping up my own hands, a lovely member of staff walked over and asked if I would like her to do it instead. Ok, so she may have made it look easy, and this may have not been the way I would have liked my own boxing montage to have started, but I was ready and raring to go! Grrrr.

The instructor

My instructor’s name was Ollie, and from what I read of the online timetable, he took most of the 18.45 classes. The class was full, and although it was probably something to do with the after work rush, I had a sneaking suspicion that a number of the women attending the class had a school girl crush on our tall, and very muscular instructor.

Ollie was very enthusiastic, especially considering he was taking back to back classes. He explained the basis of the class fully, and instilled motivation in all of us; if I remember correctly, one of his favourite lines was, ‘YES! Today you are winning your battle. Everything you do makes you stronger!”

The workout

The class was split into four minutes on, one minute rest.  Which type of exercise you started with depended on whether you had a bag, or wall spot. I started on bag number six.

Basically six numbers correspond to six different punches, and numbers projected onto the wall in front tell you what combination is next – simple. Those who began on the wall, were given a variety of exercises to do, which lasted four minutes. Every four minutes we swapped from bag to wall and vice versa. Punching combinations and wall exercises changed each time, so I never knew what was next.

The class begins when the lights go down, and the music gets so loud you can feel it in your chest. All of a sudden it feels like it’s just you, a punch bag, and your neuroses. These four minute turnarounds continued for a brutal 60 minutes and by the end, I felt weak, exhausted but completely amazing!

The post workout shake

Do not; I repeat, DO NOT leave the KOBOX studio without treating yourself to one of their delicious shakes. I pre-ordered mine before the class and could not have been happier when I tumbled out of the studio, all sweaty and disgusting, to see my Almond Featherweight shake sitting on the bar.

The shake, like the class itself, is very expensive; £8 per shake to be precise. But the way I see it is, if I’m going to get the full KOBOX experience, and fully immerse myself in how the ladies of leisure live, a shake is in order! It was delicious, satisfying and the perfect end to a very rewarding class.

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