As you may have noticed on your Instagram feed of late, there’s a new contender in the world of high-intensity fitness classes. “Boxing is the wave now,” says Mr Noah Neiman, who until recently was a Barry’s Bootcamp master trainer. Admittedly, the improbably chiselled Mr Neiman is more than a little biased: he is a co-founder of Rumble, New York’s hit new group boxing studio that, with its lighting and sound system, could be described as Fight Club meets night club. Except the first rule of Rumble is that you do talk about it. The second rule seems to be that you don’t wear your shirt very often.
In New York, Rumble is duking it out with fellow challengers Shadowbox, Gotham Gym, Overthrow. Meanwhile London’s Kobox, which boasts locations in Chelsea and the City, is reportedly sizing up five locations in NYC. And heavyweight champion Mr Anthony Joshua is involved in BXR, a slick new boxing studio that has just opened in Marylebone.
The boxing boom is part of the explosion in pay-as-you-go boutique fitness classes which have turned the traditional (and underused) annual gym membership on its head. “Classes in general have seen a surge in popularity over the past five years,” continues Mr Neiman. Boxing isn’t new, of course. In fact, it’s one of the oldest and noblest of disciplines, dating back at least as far as Ancient Greece, where it was part of the Olympic Games. But where has this new boxing class craze suddenly sprung from?