Work Out with Monika: Taking out your fall frustrations on a punching bag

Monika learns boxercise from a Midtown Golden Gloves champ


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Monika embraces boxercise as both a workout and a way to vent her anger

Today I’m at Centre Ring in Midtown, where many professional athletes have walked through the doors including hockey, football and soccer players. 

This couldn’t have been more timely as my therapist recently suggested I take up boxing: “It would be good if you could hit a punching bag and get this anger out.” Turns out she was right — it felt really, really good.

Studies have shown that training for a boxing match can be one of the best forms of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. I’m here to find out. 

The facility
Centre Ring is located below the Sobeys near Davisville and Yonge. The space is bright, welcoming, and some of the people you encounter could have stepped right out of Raging Bull

First impressions
I immediately felt a surge of adrenaline. Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” started thumping in my brain, and all I wanted to do was get those gloves on and start punching something.  

Instructor
Wayne Bourque is a former Canadian champion with an impressive and extensive resumé.  With Wayne Bourque’s Boxercise, he was the first to bring boxing to Canada as a form of group exercise in 1993.

Warming up
We started with some light shadow boxing, skipping and bike riding, as well as combination drills. 

Boxercising
The workout was broken down into four categories — cardio, boxing, core and light weight training. The first three were all performed at a high-intensity pace, known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Almost immediately I was out of breath and wondering when it was time for me to sit in the corner and have my trainer spray water in my mouth. 

Level of difficulty
Typically classes are mixed with a balanced number of advanced, intermediate and beginner boxers. For beginners, like myself, the instructor will give more instructions and pay more attention.  

The next day
The arms were obviously utilized the most during class, and I discovered muscles in my arms that I didn’t even know existed. 

Favourite part
When I walked out of the class, my whole body was vibrating with a new kind of strength. I felt a calmness wash over me. No one was going to mess with me ever again — at least not today. 

Dislikes
Not a single thing! I will absolutely go back and boxercise again.

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Monika Schnarre is a model, actor, entrepreneur and television personality. She has appeared in over 50 television shows and films and on over 100 magazine covers.

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