April 12, 2013

Legit Boxing with Ralph at Mendez Boxing

Pretty much everyone has tried some form of boxing at some point in their life. Whether it be the Cardio Kick Boxing classes at your local group fitness gym or maybe you joined the Billy Blanks craze years ago. You throw a bunch of jabs  and hooks into the air and  you're looking at yourself like  you're Mike Tyson in the mirrors. Even SoulCyle does air punches with the weights.  Regardless what you've experienced, none of these come close to real boxing. Recently,  Exceed Fitness  proved to be a more advanced boxing experience. Dana  and I had so much fun at their Cardio Boxing class: putting on the gloves, hitting the bag, and sparing with the instructor. But even still, that was not as legit as what I tried the other night. 

Mendez Boxing is where the professional and amateur fighters train for the Golden Gloves and much more. There is no towel service, sauna, steam room or laundry service. I'm not even sure they have air conditioning (a great way to loose that extra poundage to make your weight class). You get down there and see heavy bags, speed bags, jump ropes and the ring, and just know that those Billy Blanks moves you have are not going to cut it. 

So why am I here? 
1. we sweaty girls aren't afraid to try anything  new, no matter how out of place we might feel
2. Hubby trains  here, and pretty much triple dog dared me to try it. (did I mention I'm slightly competitive?)

So he set me up with his trainer Ralph,(basically a  giant and a former boxer, who's  taken to calling  me champ) and after a quick warm up and wrapping of my hands, puts me right to work. I'm assuming most haven't ever trained in an actual boxing  gym, here 's how it works:

Basic boxing Rounds are 3 minutes with a minute of rest in between.  
Bell Ring  1:Ralph puts on some hand mitts (or protective thing on his  stomach) and calls out shots "1, 2, 1, 2, hook, 1,2" or jab, jab, duck, upper cut, upper cut,  1, 2", and we keep going up until...  
Bell Ring 2: Signals there are 30 seconds left which is when he puts it into high gear and has you do something he calls the "shoeshine"(hubby was mean nice enough to film this for you, see below).  
Bell  Ring 3: Rest 1 minute 


And then it happens all over again. I don't even know how many rounds we did, I think 10. All I know is it went on forever. I started with a cute pony tail of blow dried hair and ended with a  sweaty mess plastered to my head. And it was SO much FUN!!!!! One, nothing is more exhilarating than punching: focusing all of your power and energy in to one fist. Two, you wouldn't believe this, but the place is actually has a Zen like feel, everyone is working to the same bells, so you all start, speed up and stop at the same time. And three, at first Ralph kept me guessing what he'd call out  next, but then I'd get into a rhythm and before you know it the round is over.  (by rhythm I mean, I'd finally get the  sequence of punches correct on the last try. It's like getting the dance moves at SoulCycle down with a  new instructor.. Yay! The clumsy girl got it). 

Like getting hit with a feather I'm sure

For the end of the session we moving into the ring (exciting!) followed by some hand weight punches and medicine ball squats. When it was all said and done I was drenched, and wondering how many days of recovery I'd need (1-2).  I truly enjoyed it and loved the authentic feel of the place and was secretly excited to see another non-boxer female in there. It's nice to finally go to a gym where lulu lemon is not the required uniform (of course I love LL, I just hate when it's expected). Ralph was great, at no point did he make me feel like a total newbie, we just got right into it, and he corrected me on form as we went along. 

I suggest you check out Mendez Boxing especially if you close by. Prices start at $20 a day but they have an unbelievable membership with UNLIMITED training with a trainer at $195 per month, you can't get a personal training session anywhere in NYC for close to that price. Now go try it, I Triple Dog Dare you!

Contact Ralph here. Tell him you found him on our site ;)

Rating- out of 5 sweatbands
Studio- 3
Instructors- 5
Sweat Factor-5
Amenities- 0
Pricing- 5


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