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Rumble Boxing is a line of studios specializing in boxing and strength-training classes that offer the perfect opportunity to blow off some well-earned steam. Though boxing can seem technically challenging or even downright dangerous, Rumble offers accessible (and safe) workouts suitable for everyone from beginners to trained athletes. So what goes into a Rumble class, how does it impact your body, and should you try it? We talked to Rumble’s co-founder and an instructor to find out.
Meet the Expert
What Is Rumble Boxing?
Neiman co-founded Rumble Boxing in 2017, and since then it’s expanded from its original studio in the Flatiron/Chelsea neighborhood of New York City to 11 locations in five cities across the U.S.
Rumble classes combine boxing drills and strengthening floor exercises into one workout that builds endurance, muscle, and coordination. A typical class is split between the two: You’ll strap on your gloves to perform boxing combos on Rumble’s water-filled teardrop punching bags (called aqua bags), head over to your strength station for bodyweight or dumbbell circuits, then do it all again.
Rumble’s boxing drills draw on six punches—basic hits that instructors use to build different combos that you’ll try in class. “Rumble is simple by design and challenging by execution,” says Almonte, “meaning the movements aren’t necessarily overcomplicated, but the coaching will make them especially effective.”
The workout can relieve stress and boost your mood as much as it builds muscle. “It impacts your mind first, and the body follows,” says Neiman. “There’s a certain level of empowerment and confidence that you instill in yourself when you train to box and undergo the rigorous, yet scalable for all levels, challenges that the Rumble workout offers.”
Best For: Building Endurance and Strength
These fast-paced boxing combos and bursts of floor exercises are a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which quickly raises your heart rate through vigorous surges of activity. HIIT trains your heart to pump more efficiently, which can help increase endurance. The workout’s strength-training sections simultaneously encourage muscle growth.
“Boxing is a lot tougher than folks might realize and definitely gets the heart rate up and helps build endurance,” says Almonte. “Most classes are full body unless the theme specifies a certain muscle group, which makes it a great class to do all the time.”
What to Expect During a Rumble Class
The classic Rumble class is 45 minutes: a three-minute warm-up followed by five rounds of boxing drills, five rounds of strength-training exercises, and a few minutes to cool down, says Almonte. If you’re new to Rumble or to boxing in general, your instructor will give you a pre-class shadow boxing tutorial to warm up and teach you the six foundational punches. “The six punches are a staple to the class,” says Almonte. “Then trainers can choose to incorporate various defenses like slips, pulls, and pivots.”
Then it’s on to the workout. “You’ll warm up with some jumping jacks and bodyweight squats. Then, as the rounds progress, you’re working up to squat presses, lunges, rows, bench presses, curls, triceps,” says Neiman. “You’ll be boxing through combos laid out for you by the trainers and reinforced by the visual slides we have on the walls to help you follow along.” You’ll be assigned your own aqua bag and strength station equipped with any weights or other equipment you’ll need during class as you work out to Rumble-exclusive playlists, including tracks reengineered specifically for the studio by artists like Nas, Tiesto, and Lil Dicky, says Neiman.
These days, on-site classes are limited in size based on social distancing guidelines, and students are required to wear masks. Pre- and post-pandemic, classes typically top out at around 60 people. You can also try virtual classes on Rumble TV ($15 per class) until you feel comfortable visiting the studio in person. If you’re interested in an equally challenging workout but want to hang up your boxing gloves, check out Rumble Training, Rumble’s treadmill class with running intervals and strength-building exercises.
Benefits of Rumble Boxing
- Builds cardio endurance: Both the boxing and strength-training sections of class are fast-paced intervals, which conditions cardio endurance by keeping your heart rate high, says Almonte.
- Develops muscle strength and endurance: “Though you may think of boxing as more of an upper-extremity activity, you are constantly maintaining a mini squat position, which will allow you to build up your leg muscles,” says Glynn. “Additionally, your instructor will teach you how to engage your core with each movement, improving your abdominal strength.” And that’s not to mention the strength-training portion of class, which builds full-body strength through repetitive exercises targeting different muscle groups. Both sections of class condition your muscles to exert over an extended amount of time, encouraging muscle endurance as well as strength.
- Improves balance: You’re on the move and frequently changing positions while boxing, which can enhance your balance and stability over time.
- Develops hand-eye coordination: Whether you’re jabbing the aqua bags or shadow boxing, aiming to hit a target with your hands improves hand-eye coordination.
- Relieves stress: Boxing can improve your mental, as well as physical, health, says Glynn. Research shows that exercise reduces anxiety and depression and boosts your mood, and nothing relieves stress or frustration quite like quality time with a punching bag.
“As for any group fitness class, it’s important to know your limits and practice good habits like stretching, foam rolling, hydrating, and keeping your body safe,” says Almonte. “Rumble is for all levels. As long as you are present for the pre-class and following along to the trainer’s cues, it’s accessible for everyone.”
If you’re new to boxing, check in with your trainer 15 minutes before class to alert them of any pre-existing injuries or conditions. They can help you adapt movements to suit your body, and will cue to proper form and modifications throughout the workout. Neiman advises going at your own pace based on your health needs.
If you have heart problems, a condition that affects your balance, uncontrolled blood pressure, or low blood pressure, Glynn recommends getting the all-clear from your doctor before starting a boxing program and monitoring your symptoms throughout class. Staying hydrated and slowly transitioning from lying down to upright positions can help you avoid quick blood pressure changes, he says.
Rumble Boxing vs. Title Boxing Club
Rumble Boxing is just one popular boxing workout in the market. Title Boxing Club, with 166 locations in 22 states and three countries, also offers beginner-friendly boxing and strength-training classes. There are a few key differences between the two studios: For one, Title uses 100-pound heavy bags instead of smaller aqua bags like Rumble. The bulk of a Title class focuses on boxing—bookended by a cardio and strength-building warm-up and a medicine ball abs workout—as opposed to Rumble’s more even split. Title also offers kickboxing and MMA classes for those who like to switch it up.
What to Wear to Rumble
You’ll need wraps and boxing gloves for class, and you can rent or buy a pair of each at the front desk if you don’t already have them. You’ll spend half the class with your hands in the gloves, so wear clothes that will stay in place because it’s hard to hike up your pants when your thumbs are out of commission. And don’t forget your sneakers: Any athletic shoes, such as cross-trainers, running, or boxing shoes, will do.
Rumble Boxing is a 45-minute-long class that builds endurance, full-body strength, balance, and coordination through a combination of boxing drills and strength-training exercises. Participants spend half of the class doing rounds of heart-pumping boxing combos and half working their muscles with bodyweight or weighted floor exercises, all guided by the instructor. The challenging workout is made fun by motivating trainers, bumping music, and a room full of sweaty companions, though proceed with caution if you have any heart or blood pressure conditions.
“Rumble truly is what you make of it, scalable for all fitness levels, with the ability to alter your workout based on effort and weight selection,” says Neiman. “Bottom line, expect to have an incredible workout that will help meld your mind and body, and have a good ol’ time doing it!”