Crash Course: Taking after parent company Ultimate Fight Club, UFC Gyms provide the perfect atmosphere for honing in on your fighting skills in the sweatiest way possible. The UFC Gym’s hour-long kickboxing class will get your heart rate soaring with intense punching and kicking combinations, with plenty of opportunities to “rest” with burpees and pushups. Bring your sweat towel and your best ass-kicking attitude for this awesome workout! Check out the UFC Gym website for a full list of class times at their Virginia, DC, and Maryland locations.[line] [left]where: 1200 N Herndon St | Clarendon
bring: water bottle, towel, and hand wraps if you’ve got ’em!
perks: small class size, hands-on trainer, awesome music
sweat score: 9 out of 10[/left][right]wear: clothes that won’t flop around during burpees, high knees, and jumping jacks
instructor: Gary Peebles
cost: first class free | membership $99 per month [/right][line]
Hey Fit Crashers! I’m Chelsea and I’m so excited to share my first crash with you today! When I’m not posting on The Fit Crasher, I’m blogging about my sweaty adventures over at ChelseaEatsTreats.com, so there’s more than one way to stay in touch. Let’s jump right in, shall we?
If you’ve ever watched an Ultimate Fight Club – aka UFC – match on TV, where professional fighters sidekick, uppercut, and body slam their opponents, then you know what to expect from a kickboxing class at one of the UFC Gyms.
Formerly known as LA Boxing, UFC Gym has locations all around the country, with 13 gyms in DC, MD, and Virginia. Although they have a wide variety of classes available, I decided to pop into a kickboxing class at the Arlington location last week to see what all the hype was about.
First-time UFC Gym visitors can take one class for free, which is, of course, awesome. The class schedule is available online and all you have to do is click “Try Free” when you sign up for a class. So easy! From there, you’ll get a ton of confirmations before the class via email, phone call, and text – seriously, they did all three – which were nice reminders throughout the week.
I had no trouble at all finding the gym, which is about a two-minute walk from the Clarendon Metro. There’s also metered parking available right outside, assuming you can find an empty spot.
The staff recommends arriving 15 minutes early to your first class so you have time to get everything set up. Once I arrived, I signed a quick waiver and bought a pair of hand wraps to wear under my boxing gloves.
The hand wraps are mandatory as a safety precaution, but if you have your own you are certainly welcome to bring those instead of buying them. The wraps cost $11, are totally washable/reusable, and come in a ton of fun neon colors, so I didn’t mind buying a pair. Then the trainers wrapped me up, handed me my gloves, and sent me over to my very own punching bag for the evening.
The gym itself is relatively small, but they pack a lot of equipment in there! In addition to the boxing ring and about 25 punching bags I expected, I was surprised to see a couple of treadmills, an elliptical, and weights in the back as well. It’s nice that they provide access to “regular” gym equipment if you’re not getting what you need from the workout (hard to see how that could happen, but we’ll get to that in a minute!).
Fit Crasher tip: I changed into my workout clothes before arriving at the gym, which was a good idea since I didn’t see much of a locker room. There is a bathroom, but who wants to change in a public bathroom and put their clothes and/or bare feet on the floor? Not this girl.
Also, there is a small water fountain where you can fill up water bottles, but it takes forever and if you have a large bottle you’ll have a tough time filling it up all the way without spilling everywhere. In summary: come to the gym already dressed to kick some bootay, and bring a filled water bottle to save time!
At 6:30 pm sharp, my workout began! Our trainer for the evening, Gary, had us off and running with a three-minute(ish) warm-up of jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups, and more. Phew. I could immediately tell this workout was going to be a good one. After the warm-up, we got to work on our bags!
Gary would give us a kickboxing combo to do – for example jab, jab, cross, uppercut, right kick, left kick, left kick – and we would have to repeat the combo for another three minutes or so. After the three minutes were up, we would get to “rest” for one minute, usually by doing something equally tiring like jump squats, mountain climbers, or burpees. After about three sets of this, we would take a water break.
Thank God for water breaks.
I loved that Gary was very hands-on and often walked around to correct your form. I’m certainly not the most coordinated person on the planet, so he would come by and tell me when I was using my wrong hand for the jab (oops!) or was kicking the bag too high (ah!). Because I was focusing so much on remembering the correct kickboxing combo, and dancing along to the pumped up music that was blaring, the time absolutely flew by.
Jab, jab, cross, uppercut, kick, kick. Jab, jab, cross, uppercut, kick, kick. Push-up, push-up, push-up…what? The hour is over? How did that happen?
At the end of the hour I found myself drenched in sweat and grinning from ear to ear. It was a super intense workout, but it also didn’t make me want to die. That’s the perfect balance in my opinion ;). Like most things in life, you get what you put in to this workout, so if you work hard during the allotted time, you will get a fantastic workout.
There was a quick stretch sesh at the end, and then I asked Gary to take a sweaty selfie with me. Because why not?
Thanks, UFC Gym for having me! It was so much fun!