Will Shadowbox Be the Soulcycle of Boxing?

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Shadowbox instructor Brittany Clybourn (Photo: Coty Tarr)

Badass Shadowbox instructor Brittany Clybourn (Photo: Coty Tarr)

Next time you sign up for a workout class, you may find yourself booking a punching bag instead of a bike.

Shadowbox is a brand-new boutique fitness concept that plans to celebrate its grand opening in the Flatiron District (of course) in late April, applying the high-energy group fitness format that's been so successful for spin studios to boxing.

The idea certainly has momentum. Boxing is gaining traction as the workout beloved by models like Gisele Bündchen and Adriana Lima. And with the exception of Aerospace, it tends to only be offered at exclusive personal (and small group) training spots like Gotham Gym, or in gritty boxing gyms like Gleason's.

"I would always try to get my wife to come with me, and like some women, she was intimidated or turned off by the usual dirty, old-school gym that really had an old boys club feel to it," says Shadowbox founder Daniel Glazer, a former derivatives trader who says he relied on boxing workouts to keep him sane at his high-pressure job. "I thought, 'why isn't there something out there that can bridge the gap between the amenities and atmosphere of the spin studios we know so well and bring it to boxing in a group format?'" (Hey, it's worked for treadmill, and even climbing, classes.)

So Glazer quit his job, and set out to create it himself.

Here's everything you need to know before Shadowbox's grand opening.

Shadowbox NYC
The storefront. (Photo: Shadowbox)

The workout

You won't find Billy Blanks-style kickboxing or MMA classes on the schedule. Shadowbox's 45-minute classes will be strictly based on boxing techniques, combining intervals of shadowboxing (obviously), heavy bag work, and body-weight exercises. The main studio will have 40 bags, which you'll book just like your spin bike, and you can BYO gloves or rent them for a dollar. They'll also offer 75-minute semi-private sessions for up to 13 people.

Glazer says you can expect a true boutique fitness atmosphere, with dim lighting, loud, thumping music, and instructors who shine. "We have everyone from a guy who was a heavyweight Golden Gloves champ to women who have dance, ballet, and gymnastics backgrounds—all sorts of different athletes," he says. Glazer's partner and Shadowbox's master instructor, Raymond Montalvo, for example, was an Olympic boxer, so there will definitely be a focus on form and technique.

Custom hand-painted graphics being applied to the heavy bags by
local sign painters Milestone Outdoor in Brooklyn. (Photo: Worktable)

The space

Shadowbox will occupy a storefront on 20th Street that used to be a newspaper factory, and still has the character to prove it. "We have high ceilings, old tin, great brick—all of these incredible elements to work with," Glazer says. "We’re using that for inspiration but also merging the old-school tradition of boxing...with the contemporary style that you see in other studios."

In addition to the 40-bag studio, they hand-built a "vintage" boxing ring from aged wood, which will be used for one-on-one training sessions, and are decorating with thematic artful photography, like a very cool vintage print of Muhammad Ali in action.

There will also be locker rooms stocked with C.O. Bigelow products, with four showers for women and two for men, and a juice and coffee bar stocked with a still TBD cold-pressed juice partner and Intelligentsia coffee. So, while you probably won't become the next Mikaela Mayer after a few sessions, you will be able to punch your heart out and then go to work looking fresh (and possibly more confident). —Lisa Elaine Held

Shadowbox, $34 per class, 28 W. 20th St., at Sixth Ave., Flatiron District, www.shadowboxnyc.com

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