There are very few things I would willingly get out of bed for. A buffet breakfast is one of them. An 8:20am boxing class is unfortunately not.
When I was told to head down to boOm for an early morning class on a Monday morning, I groaned. To top it off, the forecast was also wet and gloomy.
I was booked in for its boOm box, a round-based cardio and resistance workout comprising heavy bag work, shadow boxing, strength and conditioning, and HIIT elements that is described to keep you on your toes and never bored.
The cosy studio is situated along Cecil Street, making it a convenient spot for the surrounding office crowd to drop by for a quick boxing class after work (or heaven forbid, early mornings). You can’t possibly miss it — a colourful signboard with its logo frames the stairwell leading down to the studio. Just check-in at the counter and you’re good to go.
Getting ready for the class is a walk in the park, just get your hands wrapped up and grab a pair of boxing gloves. You can bring your own wraps, or opt to purchase a pair straight from boOm. More seasoned boxers are welcome to bring their own boxing gloves as well!
The studio itself was dimly lit, and you’d easily forget there were other people around you. Rows of bags filled the room, with a neat little workout station provided by each bag. Compared to the harsh lights of the gym, this was a much less intimidating environment.
Even if you’re a first-timer and have no background in boxing, there’s no need to worry. The first portion of the class provides a run-through of the punches. Our instructor, Bryan (and also co-founder), cheerfully demonstrated the basic punches to us: jab, cross, hook, and uppercut.
In the first few rounds, there’s time to familiarise yourself with the basic punches without the addition of complicated combinations, which makes it a welcoming environment for even those with no prior experience.
For the forgetful, the instructions doled out by Bryan were flashed on the wall, providing a gentle reminder for anyone who gets distracted midway through a boxing round (I’m truly guilty of this).
After which, the combinations start to get a little more spicy — but hey, they said it was going to be fun, not easy! Before long, in between all the HIIT and boxing, my legs felt like lead and my arms were aching, but the infectious energy of Bryan kept me going.
Before long, the cardio portion of the class was over, but there was still more to come.
Next up was strength, consisting of a mix of tabata and AMRAP-style exercises. This portion of the class got pretty intense, but thankfully, variations were provided so those with ailments (e.g. bad knees) had no excuse to stop. My mother didn’t raise a quitter, so you can bet I pushed myself hard despite gasping furiously for air.
For the last hurray, a spicy finisher was thrown in to top it all off.
As the music died down, it signaled the end of a grueling 45-minutes of intense exercise. A few stretches later, the class was over.
More than anything, I admired the energy Bryan had so early in the morning. I asked him what was the secret to it, and he told me it couldn’t really be explained. Ah, to be a morning person.
Despite the rollercoaster of emotions I felt throughout the class, I’d willingly go back. Yes, the workout was brutal, but coupled with the bopping tunes and an all-star instructor, it was still ridiculously fun. The workout felt like a safe space where all, no matter their fitness levels, were welcome.
Perhaps not an early morning visit for me next time, though!