Title Boxing Club Power Hour: What to Expect

Can you really burn 1,000 calories in an hour?

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Title Boxing Club

Gone are the days of Billy Blanks' Tae Bo kickboxing-inspired workouts. While you may still find a few cardio kickboxing classes at your local gym, many of these "light" classes are being replaced by more hardcore boxing and kickboxing studios. Instead of wide-open aerobics classes, you're more likely to find spaces filled with heavy bags, boxing rings, and functional fitness equipment, including medicine balls, jump ropes, and kettlebells.

But the truth is, many people don't feel comfortable stepping inside a traditional boxing club. It's intimidating if you don't know what you're doing, and if there are a bunch of amateur fighters sparring in one corner, and cauliflower-eared coaches shouting at trained fighters in another, it can be tough to ease your way into the sport.

That's why fitness-focused boxing clubs, like Title Boxing Club, are popping up around the country. These clubs combine the intensity and physicality of traditional fighting with the upbeat and inviting atmosphere of a boutique fitness studio.

I recently had the opportunity to test out Title Boxing Club's Power Hour Boxing class at the North Austin, TX location. The experience was thoroughly enjoyable, and one I plan to do again.

Here's what you can expect if you head to your local branch:

1. Clean and Open Facilities

The Club itself is wide open - you walk in, greeted by an entry way, a boxing ring, and an main room filled with heavy bags.

There are benches, water fountains, bathrooms and lockers, all available for use. The staff is professional and inviting - there are no hulking boxers soaked in blood and sweat waiting to beat you into submission.

Because Title Boxing is a franchise, you can expect every location to look the same and be managed according to the same general principles, although there may be slight variations in tone and atmosphere based on specific ownership.

2. Friendly, Helpful Staff

The class is an actual boxing class. This means you need wraps, gloves, and access to a bag. If you're new, you don't have to worry - club staff will help you get wrapped up and gloved up, providing you with access to loaner gloves, although you may have to spend $6 to buy your own wraps. (Trust me, you don't really want to be using pre-used wraps anyway.)

The club manager at the North Austin location, Bryan Ruiz, wrapped my hands for me, showing me how the process is done. Then he outfitted me with loaner gloves and let me know I was welcome to choose whichever heavy bag I wanted to use, suggesting I pick one close to the instructor. He then introduced me to Justin Bohannon, the classes instructor, and together they gave me a rundown of a typical class:

  • 15 minutes of warmup and conditioning exercises
  • 8, 3-minute rounds of boxing exercises (24 minutes)
  • 15 minutes of core work

3. An Exhausting & Awesome Workout

I'd taken a 9Round kickboxing class in the past, which I had really enjoyed, so I thought I had an idea what Title Boxing Club's Power Hour class would be like.

I was only sort of right.

Power Hour is almost twice as long as the 9Round circuit (a 30-minute workout), and while there are similarities, there are quite a few differences.

First, Power Hour is a group fitness class, while 9Round offers a self-directed circuit. The group fitness atmosphere of Power Hour lends itself to greater class camaraderie and teamwork. In fact, many of the exercises involved partner work, where both partners punched the same heavy bag at the same time, or passed a medicine ball back and forth. The class I attended was relatively small (about 10 participants), and I had the chance to speak with and work with several classmates. Everyone was friendly, welcoming, and encouraging.

The instructor-led format was also a nice feature. The instructor was doing much of the class with us, so it was easy to get a feel for proper form by simply following his lead. He also made a point of circling the class, correcting form, offering constant motivation, and providing a steady countdown of each exercise's remaining time. The club manager also got in on the action by walking through the class with punch mitts, working with each participant to improve hand-eye coordination and speed.

If you haven't used a heavy bag before, let me tell you, it's tough. Every time you swing a punch, you're met with the force of the heavy bag, "hitting" you back. The result is a high-impact workout for your upper body that strengthens and challenges every major muscle group. You must tighten your core as you rotate your hips and torso, you must flex your chest, shoulders, and back as you throw each punch, and you must support your movements with your lower body.

Interspersed throughout the routine were cardio and strength exercises, including jumping jacks, burpees, squats, lunges, and mountain climbers. I never stopped moving, which meant I was maximizing calorie burn.

By the end of the hour I was spent. I hadn't worked my upper body that hard in months, and I was ready to go take a breather in my car for the long drive home. Despite my exhaustion, I also felt great. The workout had been tough, but energizing at the same time.

Costs

The first class at Title Boxing Club is always free, so you're welcome to check out a class. Ongoing memberships start at $69 per month, including access to all group classes. For more personalized boxing instruction, personal training is an option.

Considerations

The classes are considered "all level," but if you haven't exercised in awhile, I would ask if one of the classes your local club offers is more beginner-friendly or introductory. While my instructor did a great job of reminding everyone to go at their own pace and only do movements that were comfortable for them, in a group exercise setting it's pretty common for people to push themselves past a reasonable comfort level, opening themselves up to injury. By easing your way in and focusing on form rather than "keeping up," you'll be able to stick with the workout over the long term.

And as always, I'd like to remind you to take workout claims with a grain of salt. While Title Boxing Club says it will help you burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour, the key words there are "up to." Calorie expenditure is highly individualized based on factors like height, weight, body composition and total muscle mass. A 6'5", 350 pound man is going to burn a lot more calories in an hour than a 5'1", 110 pound woman. While I can testify that the Power Hour is a tough class that's sure to burn a lot of calories, don't automatically assume you've burned 1,000 by the end of a class.

Overall Experience

I really enjoyed the class, the people, and the experience. It's definitely one I'd do again!

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