Title Boxing Club, unlimited classes and gym access for $139/month
Where it’s offered: West 37th Street, Midtown West, New York City
Boxing-based workouts are having a mega-moment in New York City. But before there was Shadowbox and Overthrow, there was Title Boxing Club, a boxing-and-more gym, which entrepreneur Michael Tosto opened in Midtown in June 2014.
Its out-of-the-way location near Tenth Avenue has kept Title slightly off the radar, but lately it’s been gaining more traction. “The secret’s out that boxing’s an ideal full-body workout,” says Tosto, a life-long athlete who sparred with a trainer while working in finance and real estate, and found that nothing made him pour sweat more than boxing.
So he found a space, hired Golden-Glove-winning instructors, and opened a franchise of Title, the boxing equipment giant’s workout concept.
When I visited, class started with a 15-minute warm-up that involved a ton of squat jumps and mountain climbers. Within five minutes, Tosto was yelling, “There are no quitters in my class!” Yes, this was just the warm-up, and the sweat was flowing.
Then came 30 minutes of boxing combinations on a heavy bag, interspersed with killer resistance training. Every jab-cross-jab sequence gets your heart rate up (and echo what actual fighters would do in their training, says Tosto). After every three minutes, you stop and do lunges and push-ups. The intervals are exhausting.
The last 15 minutes of class you spend on the floor doing core work (in a pool of your own sweat), like medicine ball crunches, leg lifts, and a full-minute plank.
It’s probably the hardest of the Manhattan boxing classes we’ve tried so far, it’s up to you to make it manageable by taking breaks if you need them. “We don’t push anyone past their comfort zone, but we push them hard,” says Tosto. “You can go at your own pace.” (Is child’s pose a pace?)
Title’s not going for a polished boutique fitness vibe and instructors favor intensity, even over form. “The background of these instructors isn’t in group fitness teaching,” Tosto says. “They all know how to teach, but they’re all athletes who’ve been pushed to that moment where they want to quit, and they know how to motivate you in that exact feeling.”
Every class is an hour, though given the intensity, you’d think shorter sessions would fly. “This is the most efficient, effective hour possible,” says Tosto, who sees Barry’s Bootcamp as his competition. “You could do two of our classes for every three forty-five minute classes you take somewhere else.”
Ultimately, he says, the results speak for themselves. “There has to be something that keeps people coming out to Tenth Avenue day after day, right?” —Brittany Burke
Title Boxing Club, 455 W. 37th St., between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, Midtown West, 10018, (212) 564-1700, newyorkcity.titleboxingclub.com