In my bid to make 2016 my healthiest and best yet, I've decided to push myself outside of my comfort zone in the work-out department. This means trying pikes on the Heartcore reformer with no springs at all (hard doesn't even begin to describe it) but also finding new work-outs to challenge muscles that I don't exercise as often. At this point, let me pause by mentioning that even typing this post on my laptop feels like torture on my still shaking arms... a good 10 hours after the end of this morning's experiment. So, if I wanted to challenge myself, let's say I have managed to do exactly that, and then some!
See, this morning I went to my very first session at Kobox. Branded the new it gym in Chelsea, its description on the website talks of a hybrid between a nightclub and a fight club, but I don't know if it is totally fitting. Yes, the room is dark (thankfully... so noone can see what a total rookie I am) and the music is pumping and roaring, but then this seems to be quite the trend gym-wise in my adopted city these days, eg. Psycle, the other new work-out I've tried lately and which I'll tell you all about soon, I promise. However don't expect any fights here, in the sense that there is no one-to-one contact, and the only hitting that happens is with some pretty heavy punch bags: for me this is a huge attraction, as getting punched by some other aspiring fit mum isn't really my idea of fun.
Ok, so what exactly is it all about? As I come in, I am given some hand-wraps (pictured above) which I had to wear under the boxing gloves for "health and safety", ....cue very scared moi. Then I pick up a pair of gloves, and into the dark cube-like room I go. The room is structured around a large screen where numbers get projected (the moves combinations, you see), with heavy punch bags hanging from the ceiling. It's dark, and the light picks up the fluorescent accents on everyone's trainers and tee-shirts, in a very 1980s night-club kind of way.
Before I know it, the warm-up has started, and then it's on to learning the different numbers, aka the punches. I struggle with 3, 4, and my 5 and 6 are so weak it's a laughing matter, but I get the hang of it. Soon enough, we are all alternating a few minutes on the punch bag with high intensity interval training. By the time we are on the second round, I feel like I'm drenched in sweat, my legs feel like giving in under me, and my upper body is shaking like a leaf.
I plow through, with the encouragement of our trainer who is both fun and helpful. At no point did I feel intimidated or out of place or judged, despite my sometimes confusing my left and my right (yep, my brain also did shut down 3/4 of the way down). It was awfully hard, definitely the most challenging work-out I've done in months, but the exhilaration that I felt having completed an hour at Kobox is well worth it.
With a smoothie from the in-house kitchen in my hand, I returned home determined to come back next week, pain in the arms or not!
Check it out for yourself:
Kings Walk, 122 Kings Road
PS: Little update a few months after my first session at Kobox. As some of you might know I had surgery in February, and that meant that any high intensity training was pretty much no-no until June... meaning the packs of sessions I had bought at most places I visit (Heartcore, Psycle, and of course Kobox) needed to be extended. Out of every fitness studio I contacted to ask for my sessions to be extended, Kobox was the only one to flatly refuse to even give me a two week extension. And I had to chase an answer by email three times. Needless to say, I am in no rush to buy another pack or recommend this studio to my friends... Instead I'm looking for another boxing work-out in West London. Any ideas?