I have a confession to make: I’m a total boxing novice. As well as being pretty weedy, I’m not particularly coordinated and was always unsure whether I had the aggression in me to do well at the sport. That being said, I set myself a challenge and decided to try a kickboxing class at London’s Flykick studio.
Arriving at the Euston Road gym, my newbie status becomes
immediately apparent when I’m given a set of hand-wraps and don’t know what to
do with them. Luckily, a friendly instructor comes to my rescue before I’m called
into a darkened studio for the ‘Strength’ class. Here, we’re split into two
groups; some of us will start on the punch bags, while the rest warm up on the
benches. Music begins to pound and as we hear punches landing behind us, our instructor
Ben asks us to do chest presses with the ‘light’ weights – my arms are already
starting to quiver…
When we swap, I’m surprised by two things: first, how difficult it is to put on boxing gloves quickly, but also at how much I enjoy punching the bag. Although I feel like I’m doing it properly, I notice that my punches look playful compared to the ones the woman next to me is throwing. (Frankly, I’m surprised the stuffing isn’t coming out of her bag!) Ben is telling us to switch between jabs and hooks, but with my distinct lack of technique, I’m just focussing on hitting on target.
By the time I make it back to the benches again, I’m
dripping with sweat and redder than a ripe tomato. But, unfortunately, it’s
time for some more weight lifts, mountain climbers and press-ups. I’m still
struggling with my gloves, but one advantage of the quick changes is that the
45 minute class is flying by.
Kicks are incorporated into the bag routine in the later
part of the class, which results in a painful toe-stubbing for me and more
beast-mode aggression from the woman to my right. Back at the benches, Ben keeps telling us to opt
for the heavier weights, but after all that punching, I’m struggling to keep
the 5kg ones above my head. I die a little inside when we’re asked to do weighted
burpees with press-ups and when I can no longer breathe, it’s time for squat
jumps. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have to bail out for a second here.
My rest doesn’t last for long though, because soon we’re back
on the bags, with punches and kicks flying left, right and centre. ‘I want a
final push from you, so keep those punches coming faster for the next 20
seconds’, says Ben. I unleash whatever energy I have left and fumble to take my
gloves off for the final time.
The feeling I have after the class is different to anything I’ve felt before. My upper arms are buzzing and I’m suddenly ravenous. I feel proud of myself for getting through the workout and am on a high for the rest of the evening. I think it would take a fair few more sessions to get me punching like a pro, but I’d definitely be up for trying it again.
For more information, or to book a class, visit flykick.co.uk