Kickboxing & Kettlebells

> Disclaimer: I was offered a free 1-month trial of ClassPass in exchange for a review of my experience with the different classes and studios I tried. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are mine and my own.

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By now, I'm pretty sure you've figured out that this next month is going to be a little bit more fitness focused than usual. The team over at ClassPass (specifically, Jess) has been amazing in finding me places to try out. This one in particular was pretty awesome because I had the opportunity to interview one of the owners a little after class and just chat. But before we get into the interview, let's talk about the class. 

The Kickbox Haus NYC Risa Xu
The Kickbox Haus NYC Interior Risa Xu

Let me start off by saying this: If you're looking for a kickboxing gym that's cute and frilly, you're in the wrong place. The Kickbox Haus is a "no-frills-you're-here-to-work-out-and-nothing-else" type of place. When I first stepped in, I texted my boyfriend (who used to competitive box in South Africa) about the gym and he said "Good. That's how a boxing gym should be. No BS." Now, that's not to say the facility isn't clean. There's a bathroom, you can rent gloves (that are cleaned after each rental) and essentials that you need will be there. One thing you won't find here though: mirrors. The workouts are focused and with mirrors, we all get distracted (I mean, who doesn't love checking themselves out when they're all sweaty?! Kidding.) So instead of relying on mirrors at this gym, you rely on your instructors to correct you and motivate you.

We don’t want to cater to people’s weaknesses.
— Michelle @ The Kickbox Haus NYC

The Kickbox Haus NYC offers a couple different types of classes, all centered around boxing and strength training:

  • Kickboxing
  • Haus Kettlebells
  • TRX/Kettlebell Fusion
  • Kickbox/Kettlebell Fusion
  • Kickbox MMA
  • TRX - Haus Style
  • Muay Thai
  • American Boxing
  • Kid's Fitness Classes

A photo posted by Risa Xu (@risaxu) on

They're really known for their kickboxing and their kickbox kettlebell fusion classes so I was asked to pick one or the other to take for this initial class. I have to admit, this was one of, if not THE, the hardest 50 minutes of my life. I thought barre last week was bad, this class definitely takes the cake.

The really great thing about The Kickbox Haus is that both Michelle and Joseph aren't just the owners, they both teach all the classes. I told Michelle that her passion for what she does really shines through and you can see it when she teaches. The important thing about fitness -- whether it's barre, running, yoga, boxing, whatever it may be -- is form. And Michelle takes those extra seconds to correct your form -- from how to accurately execute the punch to how to swing the kettlebell correctly. 

One of the things that stuck with me from my chat with Michelle was: "We don't want to cater to people's weaknesses. We want to build on your weaknesses." Initially when I was finding a class to take with The Kickbox Haus, I was honestly leaning towards the kickboxing only class -- I have a fear of kettlebells. I don't know where that fear stems from, maybe it's the use of them in Crossfit, maybe it's the shape. Or maybe it's just the fact that I know that I don't have as much upper body strength as I'd like. I don't honestly know. But after looking at the schedule, the only one that fit this week was the Kettlebell Fusion class.

If you swing kettle bells correctly, you can’t not have a great ass.
— Michelle @ The Kickbox Haus NYC

However, after the class and my chat with Michelle, I'm so glad I chose this one! Michelle says that the Kickboxing/Kettlebell Fusion class is one of her favorites to teach. She also says she loves teaching form because we're able to "understand where the power comes from." And I know she might kill me for mentioning this, but she has one of the best asses I've ever seen! And to quote her, "If you swing kettle bells correctly, you can't not have a great ass." She has me convinced -- good thing I have access to some kettlebells in the gym in our building. (Don't worry Michelle, I'll remember to stop squatting on the swing back!)

Right now, I'm in half-marathon training, so my weeks are pretty scheduled and I only have one day of cross-training so I wouldn't say that this is a studio that I'd frequent on a weekly basis for the next couple months, but it's definitely one I'd be at at least once a month. It's also a bit far for me to get to (they're on the opposite side of the park to me) but I had so much fun and the energy is just too amazing for me to stay away! Like I told Michelle before I left, I'll be back to take a kickboxing class with Joseph in the next month or so.

So if you've ever been curious about kickboxing, kettlebells, TRX, or just want to up your workout just a bit, give The Kickbox Haus a visit -- I promise you won't regret it. You might hate me during though. 

Some words of advice:

kickboxhaus_kickboxing_shins
  • If you're doing the some form of the kickboxing class, you might want to wear leggings and not shorts if you haven't kicked a bag before. (See picture on the left.)
  • Make sure you eat a decent breakfast (but not too much!) because you'll need it. You don't want to get lightheaded during such an intense workout!
  • Most importantly: You WILL BE SORE. In places that you didn't know you could be sore. So I hope you won't be doing any heavy lifting the next day!