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Get boxfit

Not only does boxing improve body strength and coordination, but it can also decrease stress and aid weight loss.

I’ve always been a bit squeamish when it comes to boxing. All that brutality – the fat lips, missing teeth, black eyes. It seemed to be the domain of thuggish men intent on beating the crap out of each other.

But boxing for fitness is big thing. Not only does it improve overall body strength and enhance hand and eye coordination, but it can also decrease stress and aid weight loss. What’s not to like? Keen to find out what the fuss was about I signed up for an Intesity Boxfit class at the Leatherhead Leisure Centre.

The Intensity classes are full-body high intensity sessions designed for maximum impact in the shortest time possible. OMG! What was I thinking? In my mad Rocky moment, I hadn’t really considered that I might not be fit enough for this class.

I needn’t have worried. The Boxfit classes are quite small – there were two in my class, but numbers rarely go higher than five – and you can take the training at your own pace, though obviously to get the most out of it you’ll want to give it your all.

The classes at Leatherhead Leisure Centre are in the main gym, which is impressively equipped. It was completely refurbished last year, and it’s looking good for it. For the boxing, there are four punching bags and they’ve got the gloves and jab pads, so you won’t need to bring any of your own kit.

During the class, fitness instructor Karan Sambih showed us some boxing moves – the jab, cross, hook and uppercut – which we did in various sequences. We used the punching bags, which are surprisingly heavy and don’t swing around all over the place as you might expect, and then paired up with one of us boxing while the other held the jab pads. We also did squats, both with and without weights.

It is an intense work out – we did 40 seconds on, with 20 seconds rest – as we alternated through the exercises. And while there was no cardio, I felt like I had a full body workout – and all in 30 minutes.

I’m a fan of the Intense workout sessions – they’re brilliant if you want to exercise but don’t have lots of time. Leatherhead Leisure Centre also offers Intensity Cardio and Abs, Intensity Max, Intensity Cycle and Intensity Strength.

I’d never been to the Leatherhead Leisure Centre – but what a surprisingly good find it was. It’s much bigger than I expected – with a lovely big carpark onsite – and offers everything from the gym and fitness studios to a sports halls and swimming pools. There’s also a soft play zone for little kids, a cafe and a health suite with a sauna and steam room.

Now is a great time to check it out. Fusion Lifestyle, who manage the centre, are offering a free visit to use for a swim, gym or class. Click here for details.

Leatherhead Leisure Centre, Guildford Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 9BL. Tel: 01372 377674.

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