Sweat by BXR

17 October 2017 by
First published: 26 August 2017

Sweat by BXR

The latest class to hit London, Sweat by BXR promises boxing prowess and powerful beats.

We’ll get straight into it: BXR London is one of the nicest gyms we’ve ever stepped foot in. Think plush dark wood fittings, open brickwork coloured with artistic graffiti, smooth concrete walls adorned with contemporary artwork with beautiful faces (Emily Ratajkowski, Kendall Jenner et al), and a moody, brooding atmosphere, and you’re on the right lines. We won’t even get started on the changing rooms, where toilets flush themselves and Malin & Goetz products are strewn around in great abundance. The boutique gym, launched by IBF Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua and his celeb pals, holds boxing firmly at its roots. The gym has a boxing ring on the ground-floor and three studio classes geared toward perfecting your punch. Even the resident Joe & The Juice café brandishes Muhammad Ali quotes on its sleek walls. This is the ultimate in luxury fitness.

The gym

BXR London membership works in two ways. Pay just under £2,000 for an annual membership and you’ll have access to the private gym. You can glimpse the ground floor studio from Chiltern Street. Modern concrete pillars form a boxing ring in the centre and the words ‘Train like a champion’ are emblazoned on the ceiling above. Tyres, weights, punching bags and TRX straps lay bathed in strategically placed lighting. It was a Pinterest-worthy layout.

But, if you haven’t got a cool couple of thousand pounds lying in the bank, it’s no biggie. No, you won’t be able to use the gym, but another playground awaits instead. A set of three pay-to-train studios situated underneath BXR’s hero gym floor, Sweat by BXR affords gym-goers boxing prowess and a taste of the high life without the pricey fee. Each class is based on one of the main pillars of professional athletic training – Skills (high intensity boxing training; each day of the week focuses on a different technique), Strength & Conditioning (more resistance-focused) and Cardio (Versa Climber) – and works on a pay-as-you-go contract.

The class

We tried the Skills class. Today, we were practicing our hooks. For a boxing novice, this didn’t mean much. However, the instructor quickly walked us through a boxing 101 minus the gloves and bags to ‘get our eye in’. We learnt how to jab, cross and hook – the basics. The warm-up was fast-paced and embarrassingly we were already breaking into a sweat. Then it was gloves on, music up, and onto the bag (everyone has their own).

No pretend-boxing here, our trainer, Marcus, took us through a step-by-step hook sequence until everyone in the class was thrashing out the routine at lightening speed and force. Music is club volume, the beat matching your rhythm, and in seconds we’re bitten by the boxing bug. We’re not sure if it’s the swanky studio, with its sultry lighting and glitzy mirrors, the music (Kanye and boxing are a great match, FYI) or Marcus’s infectious energy, but hitting the bag feels nothing short of euphoric.

Alternating between hook-based drills on the bag, and HIIT sequences – including burpees, squat jumps, push-ups and sit-ups – on the floor, the class rolls by in a sweaty, strenuous blur. At various points we worked in pairs, taking it in turns to hit the bag in sequences (sharing a bag with a veteran Muay Thai boxer certainly made me up my game). Marcus is hot on technique and footwork – do it wrong and he’ll come and adjust you – and is constantly weaving through the bags shouting encouragement, egging you on, tweaking your game. Can’t do anymore? Yes you can. Slacking isn’t tolerated here. You’re certainly not at Boxercise now.

The verdict

We’ll level with you, these classes are pricey. But when you’re training with ex-professionals, enjoying a full body workout and learning a new skill, in a setting that makes your gym trip feel like an luxury experience, you can’t argue. Sweat dripped from our faces and our arms were shaking so much we couldn’t even take a selfie. However, this class was so cathartic we were genuinely a little reluctant to hand back our gloves and wraps.

Prices start from £30 per class, and discounts are available with bundles. Visit bxrlondon.com for more information.

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