It’s you vs the bag.
That’s the motto at CKO and that’s totally the mindset I had when I took a class at their Upper East Side location. I was ready for CKO to bring it, and they definitely did. Despite never having taken a class at this well known kickboxing gym before, it’s been on my radar for quite some time now. Not only do they offer classes through ClassPass, but I have a close friend that’s a full time member at their original Hoboken location (she RAVES about it and she knows a thing or two about boxing!)
If you know me, you’ll know that boxing is one of my favorite workouts, and I love trying new gyms around NYC (keep a look out for a new My Life Out Of Office post by yours truly featuring the best boxing gyms NYC has to offer!) I love running, and basic strength training, but there’s nothing like a good boxing class to kick your body into overdrive and help you break a crazy sweat. I’ve made it a habit to box at least once a week, so you could imagine how stoked I was when CKO invited me to a class to get the CKO experience. My girl Jordana and I ventured up to the UES location to sweat it out before chowing down on Turkey Day.
CKO is definitely a no-frills boxing gym, and honestly, I’m totally okay with that. Sure, I love the cool aesthetics that come with gyms like Shadowbox or Rumble, but I’m a firm believer in the fact that you can get some of your best sweats at some of the most basic studios. We started out with a quick warm up that involved running around the gym (they have a lot of space!) and pausing for strength training moves like squats and lunges. We also incorporated high knees and shadowboxing moves while running around the bags to get our heart rates up. After the warm up, we hit the bags, literally. What I really loved about this class was how easy it was to follow along with the combinations. Rather than spending time trying to remember what punch came next, I was able to focus on giving each and every punch or kick my absolute all. I also really liked how CKO uses heavy bags. I always go as hard as possible when boxing, and it drives me nuts when the bag swings all over the damn place. These heavy bags stayed put, making my life so much easier and my workout more efficient. I also want to note that this class is GREAT for boxers of all levels, especially beginners that want to box for fitness purposes and who aren’t particularly worried about form. Obviously practicing good form is important if you want to avoid injury and do the sport justice, but landing that perfect uppercut isn’t always 100% necessary for those looking to break a sweat and burn some calories. I would certainly recommend this for intermediate or advanced boxers, too! Just because the combinations are basic doesn’t mean you can’t totally crush that bag! That was Jordana’s first ever boxing class, and she was totally killing it!
I’m definitely not used to kickboxing, and trying to incorporate roundhouse kicks in some of the combinations was challenging. The first gym I ever belonged to was an LA Boxing gym in Paramus, NJ, and I haven’t kicked a bag in YEARS. It’s definitely difficult, especially when you start incorporating punches, elbows, and knees, and it really challenges your lower body! It was a nice way to mix up my usual boxing routine, that’s for sure! I felt a little goofy at first because my hips are so tight, but my legs could feel it the next day! Our instructor, Codie, was a total beast and made each kick look so easy and graceful! I guess practice makes perfect, eh? He also played a great mix of hip hop, rap and some house music to power us through the hour.
I would definitely get CKO on your radar if your looking to get a new boxing gym in your workout mix. With various locations all around NJ and NYC, your bound to find one near you. Apologies to my friends outside of the tri-state area! Make sure to bring your own gloves (which are SO cheap to buy these days) and wraps are optional! And if you’ve made it through this post, CONGRATS! You’re getting a discount code to get 20% off a 10-class pack! Use DANACKOUES to claim your package! Bring on the sweat!