A 'Blow-by-Blow' at Montana Fitness Club
As seen on numerous online articles on Vogue and top models' Instagram posts, boxing is trending! As I currently reside in Paris, my friend and I decided to finally give this fitness trend a chance at a gym partnered with the American University of Paris that offers discounts to students, Montana Fitness Club. This factory-styled gym has various locations across Paris that offers and array of stress relieving classes: cardio, strength training (body building), fitness (cross-training) and the hell I endured: combat training (martial arts AKA boxing).
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When I arrived at the class (a quick line 8 metro ride from AUP), I evaluated the participants—or rather my potential competitors—all genders and body types from 5'4" to 6'8" men and women aging between 18 and 55. Many attendees were first timers and women outnumbered men in the class (allez les filles!) Yet later I discovered the men are a part of the Paris Fight Team (merde!) who later separated from us filles. Our instructor's big smile encouraged us newcomers from the get go as he provided boxing bandages to the whole class and enthusiastically helped wrap the bandage around our dainty hands. He then directed us to jump rope and later jog around the studio. This is when the instructor's "bad cop" made a sudden debut as he hollered at us in Franglish to "cours plus vite!" and "higher knees tout le monde!" This is not the man I had met before, where did his beaming smile go?
After the warm up, we were quick to put on our boxing gloves (provided by the gym) and get swingin'! As the instructor commanded the class to partner up and switch every 5 minutes from offense and defense position, my friend and I began to throw zany punches at one another and eventually started chasing each other around the studio. The instructor spotted our rambunctious behavior through our loud giggles across the gym studio and immediately split us up. The class then carried on to switching partners every 10 minutes. And let me tell you, punching a stranger added an uncomfortable sense of remorse as I respectively felt the need to blurt "désolé!" after each jab.
Image Credit: Montana Fitness
The class continued to practice a basic boxing combination: "jab", "cross", "uppercut" and "hook." I began to feel the rhythm as I bounced my feet around and swung confident punches at my partner. As the instructor put the class to a halt, I was relieved that I was put out of my misery. Mais, non. Pas la situation! The last 45 minutes consisted of conditioning the entire body, which included a sequence of push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, planks (side planks included!), squats (with wall and no wall!) and a punching bag routine. By the end of the what I just realized, a 2-hour class, I collapsed to the floor and curled up like an infant and inhaled my water bottle. As I trembled to the locker room, I felt sporty chic as the endorphins were still releasing into to my brain. I then looked in the mirror examining the sweat in my hair and the look of exhaustion on my face. I thought without a doubt I'd made a gigantic faux pas—not even an Instagram filter could fix this perspiration mess and turn it into a steamy workout shoot!
When I returned to my apartment, I somehow found the fortitude to take a shower before falling as light as a feather (due to the gallons of sweat that drained out my body) onto my dearly beloved bed. I woke up the next day sore and aching everywhere and thought "no pain, no gain..Right?!" I proceeded that morning fascinated with myself that I made it out alive and even coaxed myself into thinking I could do it again. But then I picked up my coffee cup and all my enthusiastic feelings toward boxing swiftly vanished.
Price: Student discount available with valid AUP ID