Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Class Review: Warrior Fight Club at Uplift Studios with Amanda

I am not cool. I am never the first to know about the best new band and half the time I don't know what people on Twitter are saying (seriously, there are too many acronyms out there people). The fact that I had heard of Arcade Fire before they won a Grammy was a rare brush with being "in the know" that has rarely been repeated.

Well, today I got to feel like I was in on an awesome secret before anyone else. I headed down to Uplift Studios (remember, that place I'm obsessed with?) so that I could take a demo class of Uplift's new Warrior Fight Club class taught by Amanda Rose Walsh. The class is a blend of yoga and boxing and it is fantastic.

Class Format
Since it was a demo, some things will change, but the basic form should stay the same. The class starts with roughly 15 minutes of yoga to warm you up and open your shoulders. Since it's a yoga class by Amanda, it involves a lot of chaturangas (yoga push-ups), warriors one and two, and down dogs. The fact that your muscles are warm and limbered up is great because it means you're much less likely to over-extend on one of the many punches you'll be throwing later on.
Amanda was the 2008 New York Golden Gloves Boxing Champion so she has some serious boxing experience (source)

For the next 30 minutes, we boxed. Boxing occurs in rounds, 2 minutes each, with short 30-45 second rest intervals when you can grab some water, wipe away the waterfall of sweat pouring off your forehead, or pass out on your mat. The boxing portion started with shadow boxing without gloves while facing the mirror, so Amanda could demonstrate and correct form as she circled the room. Next, gloves came on and different punches were called while Amanda circled with boxing mitts for us to hit.

The class then broke into stations, moving from one to another after 2 minute rounds, involving a shadow boxing station where women touched gloves (going for speed rather than strength), a core and jump rope station, and a punching bag station (going for strength).

After the break-out intervals, we went back to facing the mirror, alternating punches with burpees, jump squats, push ups, etc. By the end of the boxing session I was dripping sweat and my mat was drenched (thankfully Uplift has a mandatory clean-your-mat policy post-class!).

Finally, class concluded with 10 minutes of restorative yoga poses and a shivasana. Concluding such a high energy class with yoga was a great ending because it allowed for a bit of reflection post-sweat session that you don't normally get, in addition to feeling less tensed up than you normally would after punching things for an hour!

Random Notes
The energy level is super high and infectious. I'm not much of a cheering person, but by the end of the boxing portion, I was woot-ing it up along with the other women, cheering on whoever was hitting Amanda's mitts.

I love the feeling of empowerment that boxing gives me, and that's only multiplied by boxing at a women's studio where the focus is on women and strength-building. During shivasana at the very end, as we were winding down, Amanda reminded us to keep the feelings of confidence and empowerment we felt while punching as we exited the studio. Being forced to reflect on the strength we'd just demonstrated in the last few minutes of class felt like bringing the class full-circle.

Bottom Line
I cannot recommend this class enough! It combines the kick-ass cardio and strength workout of boxing with the strengthening and lengthening of yoga to achieve feelings of calmness and empowerment that I don't feel after most classes, even if they're otherwise totally awesome. Go now (and be the one bragging to your friends about how you totally knew about the new fitness trend before they did).

Class - Warrior Fight Club
Site Description - 
Warrior Fight Club is the only class in NYC that combines a kick-ass boxing workout with strengthening/toning yoga poses. Taught by our amazing instructor Amanda (did we mention she's a Golden Gloves boxing champion?), the class will move you through a challenging vinyasa flow, followed by high-intensity boxing-style cardio with heavy bag training, focus mitts, core work and calisthenics. Class finishes with a closing yoga sequence to give your burning muscles an amazing stretch and ensure a proper cool down. 
Instructor - Amanda Rose Walsh
Length - 55 minutes
Cost - $32 (newbies are half price for their first class)
Location - Gramercy (23rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Skill Level - Open to all! Amanda will help you perfect your boxing form and none of the yoga poses are difficult to get into.

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