Boxing is no longer the face-shifting, rough-and-tumble sport of yore. It’s now a billion-dollar industry, thanks to its morph into a boutique-friendly, model-endorsed workout. And for great reason: It’s a killer workout.
FightCamp is now shifting the sport yet again, reframing it as the perfect at-home workout. And after two weeks and thousands of punches later, I have to say: It succeeds. Sort of a Peloton for boxing, FightCamp provides you everything you need for a heart-pumping, sweat-inducing workout (for either boxing or kickboxing) in the comfort of your own home, pairing a heavy bag, workout mat, punch trackers, boxing gloves, hand wraps and a free app with hundreds of different boxing workouts from which to choose.
- FightCamp (starting at $51 a month; joinfightcamp.com)
As someone who has trained in both boxing and kickboxing for more than five years — and has attended dozens of boxing-inspired classes at the ultra-trendy Rumble, ShadowBox and Title Boxing Club — I knew I had to try this out. So, armed with that background (and some new gloves), I stepped into the ring with FightCamp. Here’s everything you need to know, and why we think it’ll make a great addition to anyone’s workout regimen.
Setting it up isn’t the swiftest experience
The first workout you’ll get with FightCamp: filling the base of the standing heavy bag. To ensure the bag doesn’t jostle around too much — or tip over — while punching it with all your might, it requires a ton of either sand or water.
I opted for what I thought would be the easier option of water, but since I don’t have access to a hose in my New York City apartment, it took me about a thousand bucket-carrying trips from the kitchen to the bedroom to get this thing filled up. So be prepared!
It’s great for beginners
One of my pet peeves with classes like those at Rumble: They don’t dive into technique, leaving those new to boxing with poor mechanics and, therefore, a less-than-stellar workout.
But FightCamp’s app offers tutorials for beginners breaking down all the fundamentals. The trainers — who are all pro-level fighters themselves — spend several minutes for each technique, with videos dedicated to everything from the proper fighting stance to throwing a hook to round kicks. Watching and following along with these tutorials will definitely give you a stronger foundation to build upon, as you’ll learn, for instance, how to swing your hips while throwing that hook, instead of simply flailing your arms around like so many amateur fighters tend to do.
Our tip: Watch each tutorial, and practice just those basic punches and kicks over the course of the first several days to ensure your form is correct before diving into the workouts.
You can also choose “The Prospect Path,” a multi-workout series that builds upon the fundamentals. First, you’ll do benchmark drill to assess your fitness levels and boxing skills. From there, you’ll work your way through the fundamental how-to videos, followed by a workout dedicated to those skills learned. For instance, after learning how to throw a jab-cross combo, you’ll have a four-round workout dedicated to the combo. It’s a great tool for beginners to learn the basics while also getting introduced to the workouts.
There are tons of classes to choose from
FightCamp’s app is extremely straightforward to use. With hundreds of different workouts available from six different trainers, things could get messy. But the app is streamlined and extremely easy to find what you’re looking for. Workouts can range from straight-up full boxing (just throwing punches) to full-body workouts (throwing in body-weight exercises like pushups, situps, etc).
You can filter by trainer, rounds (from four rounds to 10), and experience level (open workouts for beginners to advanced workouts). The app even lets you preview the workout, seeing what each round consists of by listing out the combinations you’ll throw and any body-weight exercises.
The classes rival those at boxing gyms
The classes — and there are new ones added on the daily — are intense. Even beginner-level, 15-minute open workouts knocked me out. The trainers obviously know how to throw together a workout that will push you to the limit.
One 15-minute class, for instance, had me throwing nearly 700 punches, which are numbers comparable to half hour boxing sessions with my trainer. To say my arms were rubber afterwards is an understatement. And while you’re not getting the hands-on guidance from trainers like you’d get at a boxing gym, you’re definitely getting an equivalent workout.
I’d even say FightCamp outclasses the likes of Rumble and other boutique gyms, as the trainers do a better job at focusing on punches and combinations that’ll truly have you exerting all your energy and working out your entire body.
The punch trackers bring it to a whole new level
The highlight of FightCamp is the use of the punch trackers, which are worn in the hand wraps FightCamp includes in the kit. These Bluetooth-enabled little nuggets are the cherry on top of FightCamp, bringing what would be a good workout to a great one.
The punch trackers do exactly what it sounds like: track the amount of punches you throw. And they’re definitely accurate; when I threw half punches that didn’t connect with the bag, the trackers did not count it as a punch. They also track punch speed and technique, putting all that together for your total output.
And that’s an important figure. Each class has a leaderboard based on their output for that class, giving each workout an added competitive aspect that’ll push you to get better each time you workout over time. As your output number increases, you know you’re improving as a boxer.
During each class, you’ll have a punch goal for each round that’s displayed on the screen, along with your total. More times than once, as the seconds ticked by toward the end of the round and I was 20-or-so punches from the goal, this lit a fire under me and pushed me to throw more punches. Definitely gets the heart racing and sweat pouring.
It’s actually worth the money
FightCamp’s $1,200 price tag for two years of classes and equipment may be a bit of a gut punch at first, but you’re getting a lot for the money. After completing more than a dozen classes over the past two weeks, I can honestly say it’s one of the best boxing workouts I’ve experienced. The metrics offered was a great motivating factor to workout each day to try and improve my stats from the day before.
And, while $1,200 sounds like a lot, if you’re someone who’d regularly attend a few boxing classes (which can be $30 or more per class) a week, it can actually save you money in the long run.
FightCamp (starting at $51 a month; joinfightcamp.com)
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.