It is an indisputable fact that boxers are very, very fit and that’s why more gym chains and studios are offering boxing classes than ever before.
Add to this growing list newcomer 12x3 Gym, the brainchild of former boxers Darren Barker and Ryan Pickard who both came up through the famed Repton Boxing Club in east London.
Their space in Aldgate, on the eastern edge of the City of London, takes a decidedly old-school approach to fitness, using the tried and tested training methods – like skipping, bodyweight exercises, and pad and bag work – that got them in fighting shape.
Barker and Pickard told Coach that the early response to their sessions, based around 12 three-minute rounds, has been that it’s the hardest thing participants have ever done. That’s what 12x3 is aiming for because the benefits, they say, go beyond just fitness. “You learn about yourself – how hard you can dig in,” explains Barker.
Sessions at 12x3 are led by experienced boxing coaches and done either one-on-one or four-on-one, so there’s nowhere to hide but there’s also the chance to motivate each other to give more. To get a sense of what their sessions are like, Barker and Pickard shared this sample.
- Round 1: 3min skipping
- Round 2: 3min skipping
- Round 3: 3min shadowboxing (with guidance from coach)
- Round 4: 3min shadowboxing (with guidance from coach)
- Round 5: 3min pad work (taken by coach)
- Round 6: 3min pad work (taken by coach)
- Round 7: 3min bag work (guided by coach)
- Round 8: 3min bag work (guided by coach)
- Round 9: 3min bag work (guided by coach)
- Round 10: 3min bag work (guided by coach)
- Round 11: 3min AMRAP (as many reps as possible) circuit: 10 burpees, 10 press-ups, 10 jump squats, 10 sit-ups
- Round 12: 3min AMRAP circuit: 10 burpees, 10 press-ups, 10 jump squats, 10 sit-ups
RECOMMENDED: Punching-Bag Workouts for the Gym
Typically, there’ll be 1min of rest between rounds, although this could change to help people improve their recovery response. Sounds brutal.
Shadowboxing, Barker and Pickard explained, helps the coach to work on form, while the pad work allows the coach to help you time your shots and throw them correctly. The bag, they gleefully pointed out, offers no such help.
In case you’re unsure whether or not you’re ready for that full-on session just yet, or you live or work nowhere near the gym, here’s a session to try at home.
12x3 Home Workout
Rest for 1min between rounds. For the shadowboxing rounds, check tutorials on YouTube and focus on your shape, footwork and balance.
- Round 1: 3min skipping, go all out for the final 10sec of every minute
- Round 2: 3min skipping, go all out for the final 10sec of every minute
- Round 3: 3min skipping, go all out for the final 10sec of every minute
- Round 4: 3min shadowboxing
- Round 5: 3min shadowboxing
- Round 6: 3min shadowboxing
- Round 7: 3min AMRAP circuit: 10 burpees, 10 sit-ups, 10 press-ups
- Round 8: 3min AMRAP circuit: 10 burpees, 10 sit-ups, 10 press-ups
- Round 9: 3min AMRAP circuit: shuttle run 10m, bear crawl back
- Round 10: 3min AMRAP circuit: shuttle run 10m, bear crawl back
- Round 11: 3min AMRAP circuit: 10 squats, 10 lunges, 10 tuck jumps
- Round 12: 3min AMRAP circuit: 10 squats, 10 lunges, 10 tuck jumps
RECOMMENDED: Barry McGuigan’s 15-Minute Boxing Workout
One-on-one session £75, four-on-one session, £25, 12-week unlimited session training plan £750. Visit 12x3gym.co.uk (opens in new tab)
Jonathan Shannon has been the editor of the Coach website since 2016, developing a wide-ranging experience of health and fitness. Jonathan took up running while editing Coach and has run a sub-40min 10K and 1hr 28min half marathon. His next ambition is to complete a marathon. He’s an advocate of cycling to work and is Coach’s e-bike reviewer, and not just because he lives up a bit of a hill. He also reviews fitness trackers and other workout gear.
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