“And this,” Algieri says later, “isn’t close to how I train.”
But it’s enough to show why boxing training has seen a mini-resurgence among celebrities (Google Adriana Lima’s workout), why Gleason’s is filled with sweat-soaked youngsters, and why this is a perfect changeup to your typical cardio or HIIT routine. Algieri, fresh off serving as nutritionist for Danny Jacobs, is only teaching basics—but the basics will still burn oodles of calories and craft strong legs and a carved midsection.
Here are five things I learned from my first boxing workout:
1) Boxing kills your legs.
Just bouncing around in a boxer’s stance is a decent leg workout. And the stance is the starting point for everything that follows. To find your boxer’s stance, stand straight, and then take a step backwards with your right leg (if you’re right-handed), as far as you can, without turning your hips.
Now, turn that right foot outwards, and shift it a few inches to the right, then lift the heel of that foot off the ground. Center your weight and bend your knees. That’s your stance. You’ll maintain this position for much of any boxing workout. Any time you need to dodge, Algieri says, you’ll bend at the knees, just low enough to escape any imaginary punch.
By workout’s end, I’ve done at least 80 uneven squats, enough that my quads and hips are feeling it.
2) Boxing is all old school.
Basketball and football training have grown increasingly scientific, but you won’t find any trace of sports science at Gleason’s. Algieri, who has a master’s degree in clinical nutrition, pushes pomegranate juice and dons a heart-rate monitor when he trains alone, but he’s an outlier in a sport that still views its bell as “high-tech”.
“I think boxing is a little bit of an old-world mentality,” Algieri says. “It’s very antiquated from a sports science aspect.”
Ideas for loosening and priming soft tissues for workouts haven’t reached the boxing world just yet;…