The Gym Diaries | KOBOX in the City

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Even though I am a qualified Personal trainer, I am well aware of my own limitations when it comes to really pushing myself in the gym. Sure, you desperately try to lift that one last rep or run that extra kilometre on the treadmill, but there is still that annoying half of your brain (the lazy or perhaps sane half) that can sometimes stop you from really achieving that goal. This, coupled with our increasingly busy daily timetables, has given rise to a plethora of fitness houses across the capital. In contrast to traditional gyms, here you pay for the motivational ability of a group instructor to unleash a barrage of savagery in sub-hour classes. Recently, I stepped into the ring to spar with KOBOX; high intensity training (HIIT) delivered through both the fists and the body.

The principle of KOBOX is simple; typically it is a 50-minute, high intensity class that uses all the fundamentals of boxing. A jab, hook and uppercut are all numbered respectively (three for each hand) and these numbers are then arranged to form a series of boxing combinations. It translates into an easy-to-follow combination of punches on special aqua bags that hang from the ceiling. With more than twenty in total there is a real atmosphere in a full class, with everyone giving it their all on the bags in the one-minute rounds.

If throwing your fists wasn’t tough enough, you are then required to switch your attention to an individual wall station for a series of exercises that really test the heart. These include the usual suspects of mountain climbers, squat jumps and burpees. The difficult bit comes when the round is up and it’s straight back on the bags again. By the end of the 50-minutes you are literally crawling out of the door. It’s difficult not to give it your all and push yourself beyond your usual limits when you are being judged by both the instructor and your peers. Throw in the fact that each minute is broken down into easy-to-remember routines and there is less thinking and more doing.

Outside of the “ring” KOBOX also ticks the right boxes in it’s facilities. I visited the City location, next to Liverpool Street Station, and the changing rooms were clean and functional. While you won’t find a huge communal space in KOBOX City, this really encapsulates what the experience is all about. You make the most of your hour; giving 110% for a shorter amount of time that a typical gym session. It’s not often that I walk out of a building feeling like I have left absolutely everything inside, and KOBOX definitely get’s my vote as a fitness studio worth your time. With different classes targeting upper, lower and full body, there really is enough to shake up your routine here. Never has pain felt so good.

Check out the KOBOX website here for more information. KOBOX have studios in the City and in Chelsea.


Some of the images were shot by Carl Thompson. You can check out his blog here.

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