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Gloves Up: Where to Box in NYC, From Boutique Studios to Basement Rings

You could say that boxing is having its fifteen minutes of fame in the fitness world right now. Thanks, models. But the fight sport has long been touted as a surefire way to keep disciples in enviable shape. Plus, the adrenaline rush from that satisfying smack of the glove meeting the contact point—whether that's a heavy bag, a trainer's pads, or your opponent's face—always keeps (wannabe) fighters coming back for more.

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Not sure where to start? We've rounded up eleven of the city's best spots for boxing and kickboxing, whether it's in a group class or with a personal trainer. Be sure to check in with each gym regarding their policies on hand wraps and gloves before heading in—if you're even thinking about getting into boxing, either as your main workout or to mix up your current routine, it'd be best to purchase your own.


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Trinity Boxing Club

Get as close as you can get to being a real fighter without leaving your day job. Brooklyn-born Martin Snow and his training crew treat each client as if they're training for a prize fight—which means each session is pretty killer. Group classes are kept small and combine shadowboxing, sparring, and heavy bag and speed bag (that little one kept at eye level) work with conditioning and cardiovascular exercise like jump rope. They get bonus points for encouraging women to be unapologetic when it comes to throwing punches in the ring.

$30 for first trial session of private training, or $200/month of unlimited group classes (12-month commitment). 110 Greenwich St;

Work Train Fight

The WTF Experience isn't quite what you think it means at first glance, though that's what you might be saying when you look in the mirror after a few sessions. Box Group is their most technique-focused class, broken down into levels, while Box Work combines that with the fitness training necessary to make one a strong fighter. If you're into personal training but don't want to pretend to be the next Manny Pacquiao, staff will work with you to create a custom routine catered to your goals.

$47 for three boot camp sessions, or $99 for three one-hour personal training sessions (new clients only). 636 Broadway;

Punch Fitness Center

The cozy underground spot on the Upper East Side that New York magazine crowned Best Boxing Gym in 2011 boasts dynamic personal training, where a session with founder and former fighter Adelino Da Costa mixes in jumping rope, running on a Curve treadmill, and planks with fast-paced sparring sessions that put a heavy focus on form. Group classes take place at the Harlem studio, with sessions that focus specifically on technique or combat with classmates.

$40 for a single class, $120 for a single private training session. 1015 Madison Ave and 111 Central Park N;



Gotham Gym

This bare-bones West Village spot has been hyped up in recent months for the fair share of models that come through on a regular basis, but former boxer and owner Rob Piela has been training clients of all shapes and sizes for years here. Sign up for a private training class if you can afford it—you'll get to throw more punches—but otherwise sign up for Gotham Boxing group training in the ring, where you and a partner take turns holding punching bags for each other when you're not doing bootcamp-style cardio and strength-training moves.

$25 for a single class. 600 Washington St;

Overthrow New York

Fight Club more or less comes to life in this red-light basement spot right off the Bowery (blood, broken bones, and mental disorders excluded). Each group class is exactly 42 minutes long and puts a heavy emphasis on technique and cardio. For a better idea of exactly what you'll be getting into, check out their frequently-updated Instagram.

$32 per class. 9 Bleecker St;


Don't worry, it's not as scary as it sounds. UFC gyms are just like your typical fitness center with cardio machines, free weights, and plenty flatscreen TVs. But all of its group fitness classes are centered around boxing and related activities like kickboxing and MMA. Perform punching combos against a bag in between sets of jump squats and sit-ups, or hop into the Octagon for (supervised) full-contact fights.

Monthly membership required; free guest pass for new clients. Locations in Soho, Fidi, Park Slope, Astoria;



Church Street Boxing

Wanna fight about it? Since 1997, the Fidi gym has trained the likes of Evander Holyfield, along with non-athletes just looking to get into shape. And while they specialize in conducting safe, contact-heavy classes, taking punches is totally optional. Get your feet wet with an hour-long all-levels boxing class (they also offer other fight disciplines, like muay thai and jiu jistu, too).

$30 for a day pass and one non-advanced class. 25 Park Place;

CKO Kickboxing

The national chain gym puts an emphasis on its heavy bag work—working against that is what's really going to whip you into shape quickly. It's all about no-contact group classes here with all levels mixed in, but with each student working hitting against her own bag, it's as if you're in a session all by yourself.

Monthly membership required; first class is free. Multiple locations in Brooklyn and Queens;

Boxing for All

Each class that Brian Pedone teaches within the Fit Factory collective follows a simple formula: An intense 15-minute cardio warmup, 30 minutes of technical boxing work, and 15 minutes of bodyweight training and core work (so that your future punches will land even harder). Students can enter and track their progress online too, so that should encourage you to come back after your first (free!) session.

$79.99 per month for unlimited classes, or $99 for five classes (first is free). 153 W 27th St;


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Title Boxing Club

This national chain puts the emphasis to work on each individual student—it's not just about showing up to the class and performing the fight sequences, but about how hard you're throwing and kicking against that bag. The Hell's Kitchen location touts its Power Hour class, where hard work can burn up to 1,000 calories in 60 minutes, and encourages stepping in the ring with a personal trainer to meet your fitness goals quickly.

Monthly membership required; first class is free. 455 W 37th St;


Boxing's highly-anticipated boutique makeover is headed to the Flatiron District in the coming weeks, complete with C.O. Bigelow products in the locker rooms and an on-site coffee and juice bar. As for the workout itself, each student in the no-contact group class will face off against a heavy bag, and one-on-one clients will get to train in a custom-built vintage ring.

First two classes are $49 through the end of April (normally $34). 28 W 20th St;