*photos by Amy Buck
This year, I signed up for one of the biggest challenges I’d ever faced: a real life boxing match. It was the Red Carpet Rumble, the first ever Boxing Ontario sanctioned music industry white collar boxing event, and between you and I, I was TERRIFIED.
While I’d boxed on and off for years, for fitness and fun, with a coach or in a class, this was the first time I would be facing an opponent that could actually hit me back, instead of pads or a bag. I was training 3 times a week with my coaches at the Stockyards Boxing Gym, but I knew I needed an extra boost in both my fitness and my technique if I was going to feel confident enough to fight. Lucky for me, I was already working out at Studio Lagree and they happened to have a great boxing gym built right in: Studio K-O. I started adding K-O classes to my training routine and I can unequivocally say that it was a huge help in my mission to get into fight ready. And here’s why:
The Studio K-O Experience
With 3 studios in the GTA covering North, central and south parts of the GTA, I was lucky enough to have a Studio K-O within very easy walking distance from my apartment. The Stockyards was a bit of a drive, so it was always a comfort to know that if I couldn’t make a workout there, I could get a killer boxing session in just steps away from my front door. I also really enjoyed the vibe of the space. From the moment I walked into the studio, I found myself greeted by a wall of non-cheesy motivational quotes, friendly and open staff, and even a BOB boxing dummy in the corner, in case I wasn’t sure I’d found the right place. There was none of that “new workout spot” nervousness. I just walked in, gloved up and got ready to kick some ass.
The Studio K-O Difference
For people that think a place like Studio K-O is only good for boxercise, you’ve got it wrong. With coaches and trainers who have actually seen the inside of a ring (some several times over), next level high-intensity workouts and no frills, all focus feel, Studio K-O truly stands up to its “authentic box fit” mantra. They refer to different punches by their numbers and not their names: a left hook is a 3, a right hook a 4, a jab a 1, and so on. Yes, Studio K-O literally speaks the language of boxing. Gloves and wraps are mandatory, and your teacher will show you exactly how to wrap your hands so you’re protected just like the pros would be. Each class is a balance of cardio, calisthenics and boxing training, creating a well-rounded workout that really helps get you in fighting shape. I loved how quickly the classes would fly by, and it’s no wonder. There’s so much going on, and you’re so focused on the challenge of each combo or exercise that boom, class is over, you’re sopping with sweat and high fiving your neighbor, both of you shocked and impressed to have made it through. Seriously, it’s the real deal, and that’s exactly what I needed. The Studio K-O classes gave me a chance to augment my fitness while perfecting my boxing form. The classes reinforced everything I learned from my intensive coaching sessions at the Stockyards, and the extra practice reassured me that when I did enter the ring, I would know exactly what I was doing.
The Studio K-O Success
I joined Studio K-O back in June, just before I began training for my fight. Between regular sessions at the Stockyards and K-O classes multiple times a week, I built not only the level of fitness I needed to step into the ring, but the confidence to actually fight. All the instructors at K-O went above and beyond in guiding and supporting me through my boxing mission. Tara (pictured above) would correct the form on my punches, ensuring that I not only hit my target every time, but that I hit it with maximum accuracy, force, and agility. Tanja, an amateur boxer herself, would always give me ring tried and tested tips, helping to quell my nervousness as my fight approached. And Allison even took it upon herself to nudge me with a pool noodle if I ever let my guard down her classes when I told her that keeping my guard up was one of my biggest challenges. They all encouraged me in my training, giving me little pep talks and talking me down from the many mental ledges I climbed in my fight related anxiety. In a nutshell, they kicked my ass and kept me sane.
And the result?
TKO in the first round baby!
Victory: that’s the real Studio K-O difference. Whether you’re stepping into the ring, or just going toe to toe with your cardiovascular health, consider adding Studio K-O to your fitness routine. No matter what type of battle you’re heading into, you’ll be in fighting shape and feeling great.