Since the start of the new year, I have been attending the Saturday morning circuit class at Uppercut Gym in Northeast Minneapolis.
As the name suggests, it is a boxing gym and is located in a great huge old warehouse space on Quincy Street, near the intersection of Central and Broadway.
The gym looks like a scene out of Rocky with steel beams and concrete block and two rings set-up, plus a diverse cast of characters training and hanging out.
Saturday paints an especially fun picture as more seasoned athletes do partner drills in one corner of the gym as the kids class gathers in the middle of the space do jumping jacks and over in the ring a trainer and amateur boxer work on defense against the ropes.
It’s an urban gym that is welcoming to all levels and all ages.
The classes are typically an hour in length and are mostly in the evenings during the week and in the mornings on Saturdays.
To give you a feel of the experience at Uppercut, here’s a rundown of my last class:
- Warm-up (2-4 minutes) of Jump rope
- 4 rounds of jump rope: 30 seconds fast + 30 seconds slow
- 5 reps – 10 reps – 15 reps: burpees + mountain climbers + jumping jacks
- 2 rounds: push-ups (feet on floor, hands on ring) + dips + push-ups (feet on ring, hands on floor)
- 2 rounds: partner medicine ball toss (30 secs) + partner medicine ball standing twist (30 secs) + medicine ball squat and throw (45 seconds) + stepping lunges (45 secs) + shadow boxing w/ 2 lbs hand weights (2.5 mins)
- Heavy bag (2.5 minutes combo work + 30 secs fast hands)
- Jab + Jab + Cross + Hook + Cross
- Cross + Front Uppercut + Cross + Cross
- Jab + Hook + Cross + Front Uppercut + Cross
- Tabata heavy bag (20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest)
- jabs + crosses
- jabs + crosses
- Core exercises (5 minutes): crunches + bicycle crunches + leg ups + plank hold
As you can see, it is a very full hour and absolutely exhausting. You will sweat profusely, your arms will ache, your hands will smell from the wraps and gloves, and you will definitely feel like you got an awesome workout.
And throughout, the instructor will provide some one-on-one guidance to help improve your form and stance.
Plus, it’s pretty therapeutic after a long week at work to punch the crap out of the bag.
After you have trained for awhile, you can move onto more advanced classes that include more partner work and shorter drills.
There are also opportunities for personal training and to get into the ring if you are ready to spar.
Uppercut also has some free weights and machines and you can sign up for a membership that allows for general use of the gym and all the equipment.
If interested, I would encourage you to attend one of their free intro sessions, which are typically held on Wednesday nights.
The class will show you the basics – fighting stance, jab, cross, hook , and defense moves – and is typically taught by the owner, Lisa Bauch. And if you are looking for me on Saturday mornings, I’ll be near the heavy bags.