We’re far enough away from New Year’s resolutions that some of yours may have already hit a rut. Fear not. If you want to move your body and get some endorphins flowing, Cincinnati Fitness & Boxing is just what Sylvester Stallone ordered.
“Boxing for fitness is just a way to get out of the daily grind of lifting weights, 'deadmill' treadmill cardio, biking, running, and lifting,” said Kenny Christo, one of the owners of the facility, located on Spring Grove Avenue.
“Boxing for fitness takes people back to traditional, prehistoric cavemen/women-type exercise. You had to fight to survive. Our bodies were designed to move and protect themselves. We flip flop it into a fun workout: boxing for fitness.”
Christo would know. The Cincinnati firefighter is a former amateur boxer, starting his bout in the ring more than 20 years ago in the West End at an amateur gym called the Findlay Street Neighborhood House. Cincinnati Fitness & Boxing opened in 2009, founded by fellow owner Jeff Perry. Ben Scheider, another trainer at CF&B, rounds out the trio of owners.
The first class for newcomers at CF&B is free. Choose between small group strength training classes and boxing fitness; the former teaches proper lifting techniques. Classes consist of intense three-minute circuits of various exercises — the three-minute timeline is modeled after actual boxing bouts and is followed by one minute of rest. A loud buzzer alerts class participants of the end of each round, and they can select their next challenge.
Whether it’s a high-cardio turn on the elliptical, an arm-focused circuit with killer tricep dips, or practicing good boxing technique on one of the many bags, boxing for fitness is intensely fun. There’s a lot of focus and precision that goes into boxing, which can actually help if you’re feeling intimidated.
“When you walk in the gym, the atmosphere of people punching things is super intimidating,” said Christo. “But when you realize what makes us different from the average box gym is everyone’s family here. And once you get into your workout, you concentrate on it.”
In addition to formalized classes, Cincinnati Fitness & Boxing runs two diverse flagship programs: the Cincinnati High School Boxing Team, and the University of Cincinnati Boxing Club and Collegiate Boxing. Corporate groups stop by to take classes, too, including KAO employees, surgical residents from the University of Cincinnati, and CHAARG, a women’s empowerment group at UC.
“You’re not comparing or contrasting yourself to anyone else,” said Christo. “On the heavy bag next to you, you have a competitive collegiate fighter who’s the national champion, and on the other side, you have somebody’s grandma. Our diversity is what makes the gym amazing, and we just try and make it fun and lighthearted.”
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Cincinnati Fitness & Boxing is located at 2929 Spring Grove Ave. (45225) in Camp Washington.