Crash Course: Overthrow boxing class is a 42-minute cardio fueled endorphin experience. Beginners and veterans are both welcome – each class will go over basic boxing technique while delivering a full-throttle, full-body boxing workout. Get ready to work hard and have a lot of fun in a unique environment.[line] [left]where: 9 Bleeker Street | Noho
perks: wraps, gloves, water, towel, boxing ring
sweat score: 9 out of 10[/left][right]wear: workout gear
class: Boxing & Booze
cost: $32 drop-in [/right][line]
Overthrow claims to be underground, but if it keeps delivering the workout experience I encountered a few weeks ago, it won’t be for long.
Or perhaps it was the fact that I had to check in with a very large bouncer before descending down a narrow set of dark stairs to meet my two instructors – tall gentlemen with amazing bone structure who looked as though they had emerged from a high-gloss boxing themed photo shoot. Full disclosure: I found out only later that they are indeed very accomplished male models who also happen to have a mean right hook.
This place is grungy. A tad off kilter. Raw. Underground. Counterculture. An everyman’s gym with an ironic air of hipster superiority. It positions itself as being outside of the high gloss NYC fitness scene while also cannon-balling right into the middle of it.
Bottom line: Overthrow is an all-encompassing experience that is worth your time and money to experience at least once. Let me explain.
As I made my way down Bleeker Street on a Friday evening, I quickly began to panic that I wouldn’t be able to find Overthrow. I mean, the place is supposed to be the home of NYC’s underground boxing scene, so odds are they wouldn’t be advertising with neon signs or slick logos. Luckily, I spotted two spandex-clad girls emerge from a graffiti and sticker caked door guarded by a very large, very enforcing looking gentleman in a flat brimmed black hat. The door either led to a gym or a nightclub, and I was going to take my chances that it was the former.
I awkwardly shifted my weight under my enormous gym tote and asked the stone-faced sir sitting casually by the door: “Um, excuse me? Is this the boxing place?”
He pointed one silent finger at the door. I hopped inside.
A quick shuffle into the dark entryway put me face to face with a friendly guy with a clipboard, who handed me a water, a towel, and some hand wraps. The whole thing was very casual and off the cuff. As if you’re just showing up for a house party where all the guests will be throwing punches.
I hung my coat on a stand-alone rack in the hallway and descended down a steep flight of wooden stairs into the basement. The entire space had an ominous red glow thanks to colored overhead bulbs, flickering candles, and a large neon fist pulsating at the front of the room.
I took a quick survey of the room: two men, eight ladies, and two very tall guys who were floating between groups, helping students navigate their hand wraps. One was wearing what appeared to be a short and squatty top hat, safety pin earring, tattoos, and a muscle tee. The other had impeccable bone structure, hair that looked almost too well coifed, and baggy basketball shorts. I was confused. These were not your typical NYC fitness instructors. They looked artsy. Almost grunge-meets-hipster. More Urban Outfitters and V Magazine, less Nike top personal trainer and Lululemon ambassador.
I started to feel like I was in a surreal Zoolander + Fight Club mashup.
The instructors introduced themselves and asked us to disperse into two lines. We started a warm up with a series of high knees, lunges, and shadowbox punches. We learned the various jab, cross, hook, and uppercut commands. If you’ve never taken a boxing class, don’t fret – you’ll learn everything you need to know on site. The room was fairly warm and we all worked up quite a sweat by the time we put our gloves on.
The rest of the class went by in an endorphin-fueled blur. No really, I literally had sweat streaming down my face and into my eyes. Not only was I totally knocked off guard by the quirky instructors and the unusual setting, but the workout itself was incredibly challenging. Boxing is all about spurts of high-intensity activity, meaning there was minimal rest and lots of full-throttle cardio.
We did a little bit of everything: (gentle) partner sparring, bag work, pad work with an instructor, and endless rounds of wall sits, v ups, squats, and burpees.
Because punches were flying, sweat was dripping, music was blaring, and voices were screaming – our small class quickly became a tight knit bunch. It was an extra sweet reward to end the 40-ish minutes with a nice cold brewski and a toast to our efforts. Not all classes at Overthrow end with beer, so if an icy can is your main draw, be sure to sign up for the Friday night 7:30 p.m. class.
So there you have it. My very unique, very sweaty first experience at the newest kid on the New York City fitness block. I have a feeling it won’t be “underground” for very much longer. I’m looking forward to a return trip, particularly to see the soon-to-open first floor addition which will feature a second studio and a custom made boxing ring. Put me in coach.
Black + white photos via Overthrow.
Overthrow provided this class free of charge in exchange for The Fit Crasher’s honest review – all opinions in this post come directly from my very sweaty personal experience. Thanks for reading!