It’s clear that Rob Piela’s new Gotham G-Box gym in New York City is no joke the moment you step foot inside the space. The stairs are lined with inspirational and NSFW quotes from famous boxers, and behind the ring is a projector playing old-school clips of Muhammad Ali on a white brick wall. The vibe is apparent: this isn’t a place to mess around.
Which might explain why supermodels like Gigi Hadid flock to Piela on the reg. “There’s no better workout than boxing, it’s a perfect balance of cardio and resistance training,” Piela says. “It’s also ideal for someone who’s competitive, like me.”
And it’s not just it-girls who are pulling on the gloves in the new Soho spot. Piela’s original gym, Gotham Gym, located on Washington Street, became so popular that he pretty much had to open a new location to accommodate all his clients. But unlike his West Village space, G-Box—which Piela partnered with WellPath to open—has an elevated, boutique studio style to it. In fact, it’s probably the chicest boxing ring you’ll find.
Want to see exactly how Piela gets the supermodel sweating? Keep reading for the official Gigi Hadid workout, shared exclusively with Well+Good.
Start with cardio
“The typical warm-up I do with Gigi is with a jump rope, but you can mimic that through jumping jacks,” says Piela.
Reps: Three-minute intervals, where you spend two minutes on and 30 seconds of rest in between. Do this for three sets.
Drop to the floor
Piela follows the heart-pumping warm-up with a series of floor exercises that target the abs and legs.
Lying hip raises: “Lift your leg about 45 degrees on one side and lower it back down three-quarters of the way, and repeat,” he says. “Engage your abs the entire time so you don’t buckle over on the floor.”
Reps: Three sets of 20 on both sides.
Planks: “The proper technique is abdominals tight, no sway in the back, and neck in a neutral position,” says Piela. “Once your core is fatigued, you’ll naturally use other muscle groups to try and hold you in the plank position—stop before this happens.” If you want more of a challenge, Piela recommends you extend one arm at a time, and then alternate lifting an arm and the opposite leg.
Reps: As long as you can while maintaining proper form, for three reps.
Bicycles: Lie on your back with your legs in tabletop position and your arms behind your neck. Straighten your right leg out to a 45 degree angle and turn your left elbow towards your right knee, contracting your abs and lifting off your shoulder blades. Alternate sides.
Reps: Three sets of 25. Turning both ways counts as one rep.
Crunches: Keep your feet planted on the floor and contract your abs as you raise your head with your fingers interlaced behind your head.
Reps: Three sets of 25.
Put on your gloves and jab it out. Don’t have a pair yet? Piela recommends using one-pound weights instead.
“Assume boxing position with your feet spread comfortably apart and left foot forward (if you’re right-handed),” he says. “Extend your left arm fully for a jab while engaging your core muscles, then turn your hips and pivot your right foot while extending your right arm for a cross punch.”
Reps: Punch jab-cross-jab-cross for one minute straight. Rest for 30 seconds, then do left and right uppercuts for one minute. Repeat each segment four times, alternating sides with every set.
Kick it out
Time for donkey kicks, the classic move that Piela loves for its serious glute- and leg-burn.
“On all fours, extend your right leg with a bent knee, then abduct your hips and move your right leg out, and bring it back in to the middle of your body,” he explains. Piela notes that you should keep your back straight while also leaning into the opposite hip. (Kind of like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time.)
Want to make it even harder? “You could always add ankle weights, up to five pounds,” he says.
Reps: Three sets of 20 on both sides.
Make sure you’re hitting correctly—these are six mistakes you’re probably making in boxing class. And be sure to fuel up before the sweat sesh—Well+Good readers swear by these pre-workout snacks.
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