While the entrance to Uppercut Boxing in Telok Ayer may be rather discrete and easy-to-miss, its premises are anything but. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that we’ve just found the most beautiful boutique boxing studio in Singapore.
A new contender to the field since April 2018, Uppercut Boxing isn’t playing catching up. They have it all — amazing instructors (all of whom are highly-skilled in boxing), kick-ass classes and a beautiful space.
Participants can choose from two 50-minute group classes, Undercard, a fundamentals class for beginners and Overthrow, a burnout class for those who are more seasoned.
A custom-built vintage boxing ring occupies most of the space beside the reception area and it looks particularly glorious in the day when it’s perfectly lit by the natural light.
On the wall across from it are bold print-outs of the boxing moves, which double as a hotspot for Instagram photos.
However, beautiful as it is, classes aren’t held in the boxing ring as Uppercut Boxing is a non-combat studio. So, no sparring is involved. Instead, it’s used mostly for Personal Training sessions and participants are free to chill around there before class begins.
The workout studio stands in stark contrast with its dim and colourful lights. The space is divided into two sections; half of it is filled with Aqua Training Bags and the other half kept empty apart from weights lined up by the walls.
During the session, instructors will adjust the colours of the lights to match with a curated set of heart-pumping EDM, Hip-Hop and House music, which really revved us up and pushed us on. They also helped to hide our sweaty faces and breathless pants, thank goodness!
Classes are capped at a maximum of 22 participants and usually there’ll be a second instructor joining in to provide extra guidance for newbies and to help correct everyone’s form.
Uppercut Boxing also impresses with its extensive range of amenities. Besides an abundance of clean towels for participants to borrow, all shower stalls are equipped with shower gel, shampoo and conditioner.
Also, there’s a space by the entrance with several hairdryers (complete with the diffuser attachments), a box of cotton pads and Q tips as well as deodorant and hand sanitiser.
Basically, they have thoughtfully provided everything you’ll need to freshen up post-workout.
Boxing gloves and towels are provided but participants have to purchase their own wraps. Unlike other studios, Uppercut Boxing offers Quick Wraps (S$15), which are great for beginners because you can just slip it on in a matter of seconds. Traditional wraps are also available in exclusive Uppercut designs.
Too early for class or just lingering around afterwards? Indulge in some retail therapy at the small retail section stocked with activewear from Kydra and exclusive Uppercut candles from Hush Candles!
Undercard focuses on form, footwork and technique and is a less daunting boxing workout. With that said, it’s by no means a slack one!
After the warm-up, the class was split into two groups based on our level of expertise. First-timers will spend some time mastering the boxing stance, the six basic moves and defensive techniques while those with more experience will focus on honing their techniques.
Afterwards, both groups merged. Putting on our boxing gloves, we went through rounds of shadowboxing, bag work and bodyweight workouts. Starting out with single moves, the intensity increased as our instructor, Darma, belted out more complex combinations.
Prior to the cool-down, we had a round of power punches, speed punches and “rest”. It wasn’t restful at all because we ended up doing burpees and jumping jacks. So, don’t underestimate this class because you’re definitely getting in a solid workout!
Overthrow is geared towards those with more boxing experience and it’s not for the faint-hearted. Participants will be put through the paces with rounds of shadow boxing, knockout combos on the bags and a full-body enduro-strength workout.
The warm-up alone had our hearts racing and muscles aching as it was a circuit exercise that utilised weights of 8kg or 12kg, with stations like wall sit with bicep curls, weighted squats and kettlebell swings.
Since most people were already familiar with the boxing techniques, our instructor, Isaac, didn’t hold back and belted out combos in rapid succession. So, we ended up getting in a little mind workout while trying to execute the moves in the right order.
This workout was a lot more intense with more sets of burpees, push-ups and jumping jacks than in Undercard. During the second-last round, dubbed the knock-out round, we really forced ourselves to push our own limits with sets of jab–cross–burpee, increasing the repetitions with every set.
The workout was tough but we enjoyed every minute of it. It wasn’t just pain but also a great deal of fun!
Uppercut Boxing dished out a session that had a bit of everything in just the right proportion. There was a perfect mix of exercises and bag work, with enough variety to keep things fresh. The individual training portions were tailored such that we never felt pressured to follow someone else’s tempo, while the pair work spiced things up.
Though the trainers are tough as nails (I mean, we had Darma for Undercard and that buff guy is training to compete in local bouts), they were also incredibly funny, friendly and encouraging. They kept an eye out for us, correcting our form, pushing us on and dished out encouragement whenever necessary.
The workout was a great stress-reliever as we just projected our frustrations onto the bags and punched away. Hey, productive aggression is justified, right? So, if anyone is looking to try out a fun, kickass workout, definitely give Uppercut Boxing’s classes a try!
Price: S$50 for first timer pack of two lessons, S$40/ class thereafter