If you’ve ever thought about throwing some punches in the ring a la Hilary Swank, now’s the time. With women’s boxing debuting at the London 2012 Summer Olympics this July, interest in the sport is about to takeoff.
And there’s a thriving community of glove-wielding women in New York who are ready to show you how it’s done—whether your goal is to feel like a bad ass, gain strength, shed some pounds, cultivate confidence, or even compete.
By the way: this is not your mom’s Tae Bo workout.
At a gritty, fighter-style gym on 28th Street, Teresa Scott, the founder of Women’s World of Boxing, wraps wrists and then teaches young women how to punch. In the background, men knock each other into the ropes and around the rings.
You can practically feel the testosterone in the air, but Scott’s clients don’t mind—they’re mainly 20- and 30-something women, a mix of grad students, social workers, and doctors, all of whom want their calorie burn with a side dish of serious empowerment.
“Women discover something about themselves when they box,” says Scott, who lost more than 60 pounds with the sport and is currently raising funds to open her own boxing gym for women. “They gain a sense of control here that they carry outside of the gym.”
Amanda Rose Walsh agrees. Walsh is an Upper West Side-based personal trainer who was New York’s 2008 Golden Gloves Champion. After leaving the ring competitively, she found that boxing gave her amazing tools for working with clients.
I was sweating within minutes of training with her—jabbing, ducking, and jumping rope. Afterward I felt ready to take on the world—that is, when the three-day soreness subsided.
“Boxing is a total-body ass-kicking, and it takes focus, discipline, and intensity,” says Walsh. You’ll experience that on screen when the Olympics starts—or if you try it yourself. —Lisa Elaine Held
For more infor on training with Women’s World of Boxing, go to www.womensworldofboxing.com
For more info on training with Amanda Rose Walsh, email firstname.lastname@example.org