Fit Field Trip: Knockout Austin Kickboxing
I'm already a big fan of David Garza from his LOVE cycling classes, so an offer to see him teach at the bag was an exciting opportunity. As expected, his teaching and his playlist were top notch! The Knockout team was so welcoming - making the process for newbies easy and fun. They had hand wraps waiting for when we arrived, and gave out gloves and a towel on the way into the studio. The workout picks up quick and before you know it, you're out of breath and doing roundhouse kicks! In the midst of blacklights, EDM and rap, you're suddenly in the peak of your workout when the fans turn on high and you begin core work. The workout culminates with a high-paced 3-5 minute set reviewing everything you did in class and 400-500 calories later, you're finished! It's an incredible full body workout and above all, it's FUN!
Finally a cardio-inspired kickboxing gym downtown that's a real butt-kicker! The Austin Fit crew and some of our friends and supporters came out for a workout with the "infamous" David Garza. Upon entering this place, you get a sense of an old school boxing gym with framed pictures of boxers on the wall, and inspirational quotes. But you also get an immediate sense of cleanliness and organization that often times is lacking in boxing gyms.
Entering class, the room is dark with heavy bags dangling from the ceiling. We were provided quick wraps for our hands, and boxing gloves. As class was getting started David did a great job to instruct us on technique, how to throw each punch, where to aim your punch on the bag, and how to move your feet. Once warmed up, the music was turned up a notch, and we never stopped moving until the end of class! Cardio kicked in as we constantly bounced on our feet or did jumping jacks in between punch combinations. Power and mental focus is also constant, as we are hitting the bag as hard as we can, alternating punches, and even kicks. While we were dripping in sweat, everyone kept going, punching, kicking, moving. At the end of it all, you find yourself completely satisfied with your work.
I really enjoyed the group atmosphere, and sense of encouragement that this place brings. Next time you venture downtown, look up Knockout and go in for a workout. It's truly unique here in Austin, and no doubt on its way to be a staple option for fitness enthusiasts.
Full disclosure: I'm already a regular at Knockout...but going with the whole AFM crew (not to mention the legendary David Garza) was awesome! Before I tried it, I didn't see kickboxing as the most "approachable" workout, but from the first time walking in the door Di and the team make sure you've got everything you need to crush it! It's right down the street from the market district, an absolute breeze to book a bag online, your first set of wraps are free, and gloves are just a dollar to rent. The class is part cardio, part core, part plyometrics, and of course a ton of going crazy on the bag! It ends with black lights and heavy music—try it once, and you'll be hooked!
As a CrossFit Instructor, I pride myself on my level of conditioning and how far into the hurt I can go. After about 20 minutes of David’s class I found myself struggling to keep the weight of my arms up! The class was quick-paced and full of energy. Whenever I found myself hunched over, David would find a way to spread a positive wave of energy and get me pumped up to finish off each segment of the workout. If you are a fan of high energy, positive vibes, and ass kicking, this is the class for you. (Bonus points for the fuego soundtrack!)
I've never been much of a boxer nor had I really planned on being one, but after Knockout, I was slightly determined to further my skill. I thought it was innovative to bring the whole, Soul Cycle/club-esque vibe to the mix and it turned it into something really fun and motivating. It's another one of those workouts where I wake-up the next day feeling like I worked a bunch of super random, hidden muscles. I've gone back a few times since and definitely feel like I'm getting better—especially at kicks. Who knows if I'll become an avid boxer but I wouldn't mind incorporating this into my weekly routine.
This class is fast-paced! It has to be, though, considering it's only 45 minutes. In my experience, this can be a blessing and a curse. While it's fun to just jump right into the workout, if you don't know what you're doing and need some extra guidance, it can be easy to get lost or not understand the correct technique.
If there's one thing David Garza knows how to do, it's amplify the energy of a room. Not only does he know how to craft a high-vibe playlist, he is encouraging and positive. I'm not crazy about the club-like atmosphere here (similar to the kind you'd find in a spin studio), but that's just personal preference. I will mention, however, that I really enjoyed the layout of the room. The bags are perfectly arranged and spaced out, so you don't have to worry about that guy next to you slinging beads of sweat on you with every roundhouse kick. And on that note, the whole studio is very clean!
There is a solid distribution of independent work and guided demonstration in this class. You'll have your moment to hone in on different skills, but you'll also be given time to freestyle and go crazy on the bag. It's actually very therapeutic.
Think of it as a high-energy, DJ-music type kickboxing class where the lights are a little dimmed and you use your body weight and the heavy bags in a variety of ways to keep your heart rate up—punching and kicking with power and speed. I love the stress relief this class brings—something about punching that heavy bag! The class worked my core and arms and David Garza gave us lots of energy and motivation throughout class that helped me give it my all. If you don't have boxing wraps, no problem! Knockout has slip-on hand wraps, however, I think my own traditional boxing wraps feel better for my hands because the slip-ons can move around a little inside the glove. I like how I could choose which size boxing gloves fit me better. The lockers and big bathrooms are really nice and parking wasn't a problem at all.