Box your way to fitness in 2020
PUBLISHED: 06:39 11 January 2020
West Essex entrepreneur and exercise guru Anna Samuels tells us how she’s bringing her boxing fitness classes to a space near you this New Year
From training as an accountant, becoming a mum of two, launching an online 'at home' fitness service, to finally finding a studio space for live boxing classes, life over the last four years has been pretty hectic for Anna Samuels.
From her home in Woodford Green Anna, 33, has been juggling the demands of an 18 month old and four year old with one day a week as an accountant; and all of that is also combined with launching BOXX, her online boxing, cardio, strength and yoga home workout subscription service. The next step is to launch live classes in her new studio space in South Woodford. Anna spoke exclusively to West Essex Life about why she thinks boxing is the perfect workout for all ages and abilities.
"After I had my baby daughter in 2015 I wanted to get back to the gym to do some boxing, which I love, but realised the limitations of trying to find childcare and a regular window of opportunity to go. So I looked on the internet, thinking it would be easier to do classes from home. But there were no online boxing workouts that I enjoyed.
"That sparked an idea and I began to look for fitness instructors I could work with on the idea of creating a subscription boxing workout that could be done from home without pads/gloves or bags. We came up with the concept of videoing and streaming studio classes featuring individuals shadow boxing with hand weights, which is more practical for a home workout because it doesn't require equipment, a ring or an opponent, but still helps you get fit and toned. I found my business partner Louis Rennocks, 32, who is a qualified personal trainer and fitness instructor with his own studio in London, and together we set about establishing the concept of TheBoxxMethod.com, based on a subscription system of boxing class home downloads.
"We began in 2016 by filming videos featuring different workouts, and in 2017 the Boxx website launched online. In 2018 we launched our Boxx iOS, Apple TV and Android apps and in 2019 we began searching for a live class space. It's quite costly to film our fitness videos in central London so I was delighted when we finally found the perfect studio in South Woodford, right next to the station. Now we can both film there and hold live classes for the local community. It's only been open for a couple of months, since the end of November, but already we've had lots of interest and people coming back for more.
"I'm delighted to say we now have seven instructors and offer lots of different classes: Boxing, HIIT, Strength, Stretch and Yoga are just some. Boxx Studio is open seven days a week with 3-5 sessions each day. The studio floor space gives us seven boxing bays and seven punch bag bays so there are only 14 people per class which allows our instructors to be quite hands on and to modify techniques to suit various strengths, abilities and ages, plus any injuries. We are trying to keep the costs reasonable, so the first timer offer is £10 per class, including boxing wraps; it's £15 per session for a one-off drop in. You can opt for class packs at various price points, but the best value is a £50 monthly membership which gives you unlimited classes both online, and offline in the studio.
"Our workouts are very varied, we aim to provide you with an all round training solution in one place. Whether you are looking to get fitter, lose weight, have fun, de-stress, boost confidence, relax, increase energy, we have something for you! You don't need previous boxing experience, it's a non contact workout and we welcome all fitness levels - beginners, intermediate and advanced. Boxx is definitely inclusive, not exclusive and we have created a nice new space with a lovely neighbourhood feel! Our instructors can adapt and modify to suit everyone, they are amongst the best in the UK and will keep you engaged and motivated. At the moment the age criteria is 18y+, but I will be introducing children's classes in 2020 and they will start from 4y+.
"I've yet to find someone who's tried a boxing workout and not enjoyed it. Wherever you do it, unlike lots of other forms of exercise, when you are boxing you can't think of anything else, you have to focus on the moment which is especially important these days when many people are overworked, stressed out and have too much on their plates. All our boxing workouts are really popular - we have 55,000 subscribers to prove it - and it's a very addictive way to get fit!
"Ultimately my aim is to give equal attention to both online and offline. The studio gives us the capacity to increase our video output and my mission is to get more people moving. Plus, I'd like to open more studios so that this fantastic fitness medium is accessible to everyone, in all formats.
"Fast forward to 2020 and here we are taking our online workouts offline and opening Boxx Studio, plus I hope our Boxx community could soon take a virtual boxing class in gyms across the globe. I'm looking forward to changing perceptions that boxing is a male-dominated, aggressive sport. It doesn't have to be - it can appeal to both sexes and all ages: children, young adults and older participants. Come and try it and leave your worries at the door. Give yourself a full mind and body workout for the New Year. Those are the next steps for us."
For more information on Boxx classes and prices, both online and studio-based visit, boxxldn.com