Over the summer, as an addition to the other fitness classes offered at the PAC, Boxercise became available to students for free. As this review will explain and explore, this class will feel comfortable for most students who have been in a fitness class before.
As with many of the other classes offered at the PAC, Boxercise is structured around an instructor with a microphone at the front of class, and participants mirror their movements as the class goes along. Fitness classes are often set to music, and Boxercise is no different.
During the class, remixed pop songs set the tempo of the exercise. Each week, the tracklist stays pretty much the same, with tracks getting swapped in and out as the weeks progress. This means that — if you stick to the class — you can memorize the moves and start to get even more comfortable with the routine.
For me, the class itself was surprisingly similar to the Zumba class that is also offered at the PAC. The session I attended had the same instructor — which is likely a part of the reason why the two felt so similar. For a quick and easy comparison, I would describe Boxercise as Zumba with the dance moves exchanged for punches and kicks.
Boxercise is offered twice a week, once on Wednesdays at 7:15 p.m. — which is the session I attended — and, again at 4:30 p.m. on Sundays. Prior to attending this class, I was coming off a fairly long and arduous day, and I was worried that I would have difficulty completing the class or that the class would leave me feeling even more exhausted than I was going into it.
However, quite the opposite happened. The class was just intense enough so as to not be easy but also not a gruelling experience either. The sets focused on certain movements and consisted of a repeating cycle of punches, kicks and other moves mixed in as well.
While none of the punches or kicks would connect with anything other than air, they did serve to significantly alter the feel of the class. I found that, when comparing Zumba and Boxercise, the biggest difference is that, while I spent most of Zumba laughing at my own inability to dance, Boxercise was a little more of an anger-driven experience.
In five-minute bursts, the entire class would be moving in one direction or another, and the sets were separated by short breaks, during which participants could leave the room to go get water or cool down a little before moving on. After the second set, I had already started to sweat and — with each set getting a little bit harder — the workout only got more intense.
One thing that I personally found surprising was the degree to which the class was an arm workout. I had expected my legs to be sore because of all the squats and constant movement, but I was not expecting my arms to be as tired as they were from doing shadow-boxing moves.
Boxercise is truly a full-body workout that had me sore for the next two days or so — though this may be more due to the fact that I’m a little out of shape. Overall, I would definitely recommend this class for its balance between intensity and approachability for differing skill levels.
Jack Thompson / Sports & Health Editor
Photo: Heywood Yu