Since combat sports are all the rage now, it’s easy to see why throwing punches is fast becoming a favourite way to get fit and de-stress. But not all of us are naturally adept and physically-inclined to spar with someone.
That’s where BoOm Singapore comes in — to bring you the joy of stress relief as you go about your journey to a fighting fit physique.
Set up by two founders, Bryan Tay and Victoria Martin-Tay, BoOm Singapore’s space is clean, spacious and best of all, simple. They offer two classes, BoomCIRCUIT and BoomBox. The former has an eight-person limit, so visitors will get extra attention as they go through a 45-minute full-body circuit class that involves high intensity training as well as functional training.
The latter caters to a larger class and consists of 10 rounds of cardio and resistance training that is great for both beginners as well as advanced fitness enthusiasts. To check out what this place can offer curious gym bunnies like myself, I put myself through a BoomBox class to test my own endurance and to see how fun boxing can be.
Should you want to check them out sans commitment, they do offer a Trial Pack of S$40 for two classes, or a single class rate of S$38. They also have Class Packs denominations of five, 15, 30 and 50, as well as Personal Training. The best bit is that the Class Packs can be shared by two or three of your friends!
Getting acquainted with the area was quite effortless, as guests have ease of access to lockers that are secured with your choice of passcode. No need to worry about losing your key here!
I also received some friendly assistance about how to wrap my hands. They sell hand wraps for S$12 or you can always bring your own, if you have some. They do loan out boxing gloves for free, but of course, seasoned guests are more than welcome to bring their own pair.
After some patient observation, I attempted to wrap the other hand myself and I have to admit, I felt a hint of bad-assery.
The class was held in a studio called the Boom Room, where I was met with rows of hanging Aqua Training Bags, low benches and varying weights, scattered on the floor. It was a little intimidating, but Joel, our instructor that evening, was quick to reassure us that there was nothing to feel nervous about.
The water-filled punching bags claim to be better than traditional sand bags in that they absorb your throws better, so it minimises impact.
The warm-up routine was pretty basic, with no-frills jumping jacks, shadow jabs and straightforward lunges. That was enough to get my heart racing a fair bit, which also signalled to me that this class wasn’t going to necessarily be a walk in the park.
Throughout the class, it was dimly lit, with Joel dishing out instructions that matched those projected on the wall. For beginners, I would say, this is super helpful, so even if you’re too distracted by how breathless you are, you’ll always know what’s going on.
The booming music also helped to keep the momentum, and was the one thing that really made me stay motivated throughout the 45 minutes.
We did a series of basic punches, namely cross, jab, upper cut (front and back) and hook (front and back), with each round getting longer in its sequence of boxing moves.
The maximum number of punches we threw were six moves in a row. At this point, I felt winded, and didn’t bother too much about whether I was performing the right sequence; I just wanted to throw mindless punches.
Then the fun part kicked in, and that was the freestyle portion of the workout. Neon lights started flashing and we were given free reign of whatever punches we wanted, which was really cathartic.
I was getting pretty winded by this point, but the rush of endorphins and the pounding music egged me on to move through the second half of the class.
Next, we moved on to drills using weights like step-ups, tricep dips and weighted lunges. It used the AMRAP layout (‘as many reps as possible’), to be completed within a set amount of time.
That quickly led us to core work, which is my least favourite, even if required me lying on the floor. The pain was made more intense with the addition of weights added to our Russian twists, and by the end, I could barely feel my mid-section.
The temptation of stopping altogether was teasing me, and I was so close to just lying there till the end of the class. But the vigilance of Joel as he walked around to check on our form, ensured that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone (within safe limits, of course!).
Before I knew it, it was time for cool-down, and I could hear the faint heavy breathing of others around me, which made me feel better about how breathless I was. I was thankful it was over, but a small part of me also wished we could’ve gone on punching; it’s quite addictive.
I was most sore in my quads from the lunges, but surprisingly not in my arms, when I left the studio. The next day, I barely felt any discomfort, but I owe that to the fact that I already work out regularly on my own. I would recommend this for beginners who wish to test out boxing in a fun environment or those looking to add variety to their workout regime.
Would I personally return? Definitely. As someone who easily gets bored with routine workouts, I’d love to come back to try their BoomCIRCUIT to challenge my fitness even more, because I do believe, no pain, no gain.
Price: S$38 – S$1,600 (Trial Pack of S$40 for two classes, or a single class rate of S$38)