Bring It On
Title Boxing Club
The Vision: When retired professional boxer Danny Campbell opened his first boxing club in Kansas in 2007, he wasn’t planning on starting a franchise. But his group boxing classes packed such a punch that they caught on. Minneapolis resident Ross Erickson was introduced to Title Boxing Club through a mutual friend, and soon after he quit his job as a real estate agent and went into the workout biz. The first Twin Cities Title location opened in Edina in late 2012, and 10 more metro locations are on the horizon.
Workout: The hour-long classes start with a cardio warm-up that builds to high-intensity boxing combinations using a punching bag—30 minutes of jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts—followed by 15 minutes of core and cooldown.
Vibe: The spacious, brightly lit studio was nothing like the gritty boxing gyms we’ve seen in Rocky, which brought the intimidation factor down dramatically, and instructors make sure to pepper the serious business of boxing with laughs.
Our take: This is a healthy, fun way to burn off built-up aggression while busting your butt. We were sore for days following those jab combos, and we loved the teach-and-repeat approach to the boxing moves; it made us feel like we were learning each three-minute combo and not just working. Gear: Gloves and wraps are available at the studio.
Cost: Membership starting at $59.
5300 Industrial Blvd., Edina, 952-406-8754, titleboxingclub.com
The Vision: John Bonk was just a thirsty guy with a hankering for orange juice when he decided to pop into OrangeTheory in Minneapolis about a year ago. “The last thing I thought I would invest in is a health and fitness club,” he says. But instead of OJ, the former collegiate athlete discovered a new workout regime he liked so much that he bought the studio, becoming one of three local franchise owners to offer OrangeTheory’s brand of high-intensity interval training.
Workout: Students wear a heart-rate monitor as they power through 60 minutes of cardio mixed with weight and resistance training led by a personal trainer. Everyone’s oscillating stats are displayed on screens scattered around the studio. The goal is to spend an optimum amount of time moving in and out of the “orange zone” (aka the fat-burning zone), which kicks your metabolism into overdrive.
Vibe: Because everyone’s heart rates are projected for all to see, it’s fun for competitive types, but class-goers are typically so focused on reaching their own orange zone that it is also surprisingly welcoming to individuals of all ages and abilities.
Our take: We like the instant gratification that comes from seeing yourself hit the “orange zone” and knowing your body is in prime calorie-burning mode. Gear: Heart-rate monitors are available at the studio.
Cost: $25 for a single class; $159 for an unlimited month.
8121 Wedgewood Ln. N., Maple Grove, 763-657-1313; 2700 Annapolis Circle, Ste. A, Plymouth, 763-300-3447; 3252A W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-926-8626, orangetheoryfitness.com
The Cellar Fight & Fitness Kickboxing
The Vision: After 10 years in a smaller space near the U of M, Cellar Fight & Fitness Kickboxing upgraded last summer to a much larger new facility in St. Anthony. The gym, led by kickboxing champ Chris Cichon, now has more floor space for its variety of boxing, kickboxing, muay thai (Thai boxing), jiujitsu, and mixed martial arts training classes taught by past or current competitors.
Workout: After a short warm-up, partners pull out gloves and pads to trade off punch and kick combos for two- to three-minute rounds. Depending on the instructor, some kickboxing classes add in rounds of plyometrics or pounding on heavy bags. Sometimes abdominal work is included at the end of the workout for added conditioning.
Vibe: Fun and intense. With ’80s rock blasting in the background, kickboxing is the most accessible class at the gym, but it requires a bit of bravery to work out next to MMA and muay thai fighters (of both sexes) in training.
Our take: We found kickboxing to be a great way to punch away the winter doldrums and get fit fast—two evening classes a week is enough to see results along your waistline, but it’s more fun with a friend in tow.
Gear: Gloves are available at the studio, but purchasing your own is encouraged.
Cost: $20 for a single class; $95 for an unlimited month.
2828 Anthony Ln. S., Mpls., 612-355-2259, cellarkickboxing.com
Think of a dance party, then add more spandex, workout equipment, and a group of endorphin-loving instructors, and you’ve painted the perfect picture of The Firm. For 27 years, founder Kelly Miyamoto has been perfecting her vision of a boutique gym that welcomes anyone, is full of energy, and offers everything from spinning to barre to personal training. “It doesn’t matter your politics, your religion, race, walk of life, anything,” says Miyamoto. “We just want to give you a place to kick ass to a great workout with really good tunes and have a sweat.” Mission accomplished.
1010 2nd Ave. N.,
Mpls., 612-377-3003, thefirmmpls.com