I’m extremely picky when it comes to my workouts. Having tried a couple of sports and exercise classes growing up, I’ve found that I only genuinely enjoy badminton and indoor cycling. There’s just something about the welcoming atmosphere, the bright lights, and the lively sounds that have me feeling like my true self: a girly girl who can be tough, too!
But kikay-ness aside, my low-key competitiveness means I’m always up for a challenge, so when the opportunity to go boxing again after more than a year presented itself, I didn’t hesitate. I remember having fun during my first few classes, but wishing that I had gotten the same, if not more, satisfaction that I get after a number of sets of badminton or 50 minutes of spinning.
After giving boxing a second chance, did I find the missing piece that would make me love it? Find out below!
WHERE IT WAS
I reunited with boxing at Elorde Boxing Gym Ortigas in The Upper Deck in Pasig. Named after legend Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, Elorde Boxing Gym is the ”Proven Name in Boxing” and the training grounds of champions like Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire. With more premium facilities versus its other branches, plus its brick and concrete walls and steel accents, the Ortigas branch has all the elements to get you pumped and make you feel like a total badass.
WHAT I WORE
Who doesn’t love a good sports bra and leggings combo? Gametime’s Women’s Breathe Freely Sports Bra in Blue paired with the same brand’s Women’s Breathe Freely Tights in Blue (both coming soon on BeautyMNL) definitely lived up to their names! While both fit snugly and securely, they did not restrict my movements. And though the fabric was thin, each piece offered the right amount of support, while keeping me cool despite the hot weather. I especially loved the subtle print, the high waist, and the sports bra’s T-back detail.
When spinning, I usually warm up with a hoodie or jacket to sweat more and burn more. But with the afternoon sun creeping in through Elorde’s windows, I was lucky to have Teo Althetics’ Teo Women’s Performance Shirt in Premium Gray (coming soon on BeautyMNL) as my cover-up instead. Light and sweat-absorbent, it kept me as dry as I could possibly be during my session. Plus, its short but sweet motivational message at the back (“Train. Endure. Overcome.”)—plus my Million Dollar Baby-inspired boxing braids—may have been the reason I kept going!
WHAT I EXPECTED
Having gone to a couple of boxing classes before, I didn’t think this would be much different. I imagined the same smell of sweat, sounds of grunting men, and an overall mind-your-own-business environment. I was aware that I would be going through a series of exercises in short amounts of time—kind of like a circuit. Despite having some semblance of physical activity at least thrice a week, I was prepared to end the session feeling ready to spend the rest of the day in bed, as I knew that the workout was outside my comfort zone.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED
My class started just as any workout session would: with some cardio to get my heart rate up. I told Coach Richien that I hadn’t gone boxing in a while, and that I hoped he could ease me into the class. Much to my surprise, he instructed me to do 30 reps of burpees and mountain climbers, with two sets each. It was only the start of the class, yet I already found myself struggling to catch my breath.
While I dreaded this and found it quite intimidating, I realized that it was just the push I needed to get me through the rest of the class. I felt ready to conquer whatever my coach would throw at me next—even if that meant agility ladder drills, battle ropes, kettlebells, and medicine ball exercises.
When I finally got to put on my gloves and box, it was worth the wait! Coach Richien started me off with the double-end bag and the speed ball to improve hand-eye coordination, speed, and timing. Next, he corrected my form to help me get used to the feel of throwing and landing powerful punches. Then we took on sparring, where he let me put together what I learned through combos that had me literally rolling with the punches.
Towards the end of the session was a painful yet worthwhile core-strengthening ab workout. Finally, I was made to lie down for an ultra-satisfying stretch—my favorite part! While it was a good way to get my heart rate back to normal, it also felt like such a great reward after that total body workout. And ding!—the final bell rang, signaling that it was all over.
My limbs felt quite heavy after and I was sweating buckets—both signs that I had a productive workout. Though I felt really tired, I was extremely proud of myself for having gone out of my comfort zone. I was prepared for the post-workout body pain the next day, but I didn’t mind, because I knew I’d pushed myself enough to see how strong I was and how much stronger I could become.
MY OVERALL VERDICT
This experience instilled in me the kind of discipline I get from badminton and spinning, but can’t seem to find in other workouts.
What I liked about Elorde’s approach is that even if it’s a 1-on-1 class, independence is encouraged: once your coach sees that you’re doing the exercises right, you’re left to your own devices. While that’s an introvert’s dream come true, it also becomes a challenge to make sure you aren’t cheating yourself.
Having pushed myself to reach my target number of reps even when my body felt like giving up and even when no one was watching made me believe that I could achieve anything I set my mind to—a super empowering thought.
TIPS FOR BOXING NEWBIES
Want to give boxing a go? Here’s how you can feel stronger after just one class:
1. Listen to your body. No one knows what you’re capable of better than you do. Only you know if you’ve pushed enough and if you still have energy left in the tank to take on the next challenge.
2. Don’t race against time. Don’t be in such a rush to finish your sets that you don’t fulfill your reps or lose proper form. This will only make your hard work counterproductive.
3. It’s not just about power. Timing, coordination, and agility are just as important.
4. Keep an open mind. Each workout is different. It’s all about switching things up and taking on new challenges to gain newfound strength.
Elorde Boxing Gym Ortigas’ Drop-In Class Pass to 1-on-1 Boxing is available via Deal Grocer’s Fitness Flash Sale for P199. Looking for more sessions and other branches? Check out this deal for 3 Sessions of 1-on-1 Boxing, valid in 6 branches at P625. Both offers available for a limited time only!
So, are you game to give boxing a go? Let us know in the comments section!
ADDRESS: 6/F The Upper Deck Technopoint Bldg.
Ortigas Home Depot, Julia Vargas Ave.
Ortigas Center, Pasig
MOBILE: (0917) 510 8861
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
OPERATING HOURS: Daily, 7AM - 9PM
Photos by Ronan Espadero
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