RumbleFit, 3 classes for $98 ($20 for first class)
Where it’s offered: Mercer Street, Soho, New York City
New Yorkers are used to working out in strange places: Nightclub? Hotel rooftop? Church? Yup, done that. But there’s still something fresh and fun about running laps and throwing sweaty punches in a super-size loft in Soho that’s used for photo shoots.
That’s what you’ll do at RumbleFit, an under-the-radar kickboxing class created by trainer Greg MitchellMayer, which just launched in January.
MitchellMayer was whipping women into shape for nine years at CitiBabes (where he trained high profile clients like actress Amy Carlson, model Andressa Junqueira, and Naomi Watts) using boxing and kickboxing techniques. When he got word that he could use the building’s expansive upstairs photo studio for his own classes, he leapt at the sweaty opportunity. (And don’t worry, there are no paparazzi present during your sweat sesh.)
When I visited, we warmed up by running laps around the 7000-square-foot space, past prop plants, couches, and tripods tucked into corners. Then, we got into our boxing stance, pulled resistance bands around our legs, and shadowboxing to learn the moves and combos. Then we suited up in gloves and pads for several rounds of sparring with a partner, one throwing punches, kicks, and knees and the other blocking.
You’ll get to do both, and lest you think you’ll be wasting time holding the pads, it’s surprisingly difficult. “Even if you’re blocking, you’re still working the whole time. You’re using your arms, your shoulders, core…your whole body is still engaged, and it’s more mental,” he says. “You can’t just zone out.” (Unless you’re craving a black eye.)
Overall, the class was decently sweaty but not crazy difficult, with a casual, indie vibe that fosters community, not competition. But with all the sparring combos, it seems like it would be hard to get bored.
You can also count on MitchellMayer to help you with form and technique, so you’re not just flailing around. “I have to look at the class and say ‘Are these people working on fundamentals, or do they want the real Rumble?'” he says. The real Rumble, please. —Lisa Elaine Held