What followed was a 15-minute shoulder and lung burn of combinations and speed work, as well as core strength and leg moves. The workout was very varied and the punch counter was a great motivator to move faster and get more work done.
The workouts had the feel of my two-hour workouts at a boxing gym in Virginia condensed into routines of less than 30 minutes. Despite the shorter time frame, every part of my old workouts, from technique training to speed, strength and core work, had some representation in every FightCamp session.
The workouts are very motivating and the five coaches (four men and one woman) are excellent at handing out encouragements. In addition, the coaches project excitement about the workouts onto the users, making the exercise feel much more fun than grueling. To get a sneak peek, check out the free workouts FightCamp posts on its website.
Get in the ring
Boxing can feel intimidating even when you’re not going up against an opponent. The terminology and proper form may seem unfathomable to someone new. FightCamp’s training simplifies the sport for beginners with well-explained moves taught by real fighters. The workouts range in skill and fitness level from beginner to advanced, allowing you to expand your skills over time.
In addition to the pre-workout primer, there is a whole category of short how-to videos that guide a user through the intricacies of boxing and kickboxing, from proper form of individual punches and kicks to how to deliver a punch. For example, in that video, Coach Aaron Swenson says, “Let them miss so you can make them pay,” which was one of my favorite sayings from my own real-life boxing coach.
At the time of writing, the FightCamp app is only available on iOS devices, so if you have an Android phone, you’re out of luck. (However, iPhone owners can sync their FightCamp workouts with Apple Health Kit.) Another problem: To weigh down the heavy bag, fill the base with water, so if you don’t have access to a hose, your first workout is doing a few hundred laps of the sink or tub with a bucket. Even when the base was full of water I found myself hitting it around quite a bit, but I’m a fairly big puncher. Adding some sand to the base and filling the rest of the way with water provided enough weight to keep the bag stable, but it was a chore to set up.
Growing up, boxing was my main way to compete and stay in shape for football and wrestling during the off season. The workouts helped with strength and endurance, and the coordination and improved reaction time improved my performance in every other sport. FightCamp manages to take my two to three hour training sessions and break them down into manageable 15 to 30 minute workouts.
Most of all, the pleasure of stomping a heavy bag is cathartic in a way that can’t be matched with other workouts. After a few rounds of FightCamp, any aggression you’ve built up on your commute or workday just burns away. There is also something very powerful about learning to punch or kick and hear the satisfying thwap when you land a solid hook. You don’t have to be a sociopath to know you can protect yourself, and even if you never have to pack a punch in self-defense, it’s good to know you could if you had to.