The news of Sylvester Stallone’s investment in Rumble, a New York–based group fitness studio that draws inspiration from the ring, broke on the day of the business’ grand opening. Any workout that Sly — still in fighting shape at 70 years old — puts his money behind, we can get behind, too.
The new studio, created by a small team of business partners and fitness industry veterans, offers a high-intensity, 45-minute workout that delivers a legitimate boxing experience that is also scalable for beginners. “Regular boxing gyms can be kind of intimidating for people,” says Rob Sulaver, one of Rumble’s founding trainers. Sparring alongside trained fighters, after all, is more terrifying than motivational when you’re still mixing up a left cross and left hook. Rumble lowers the bar of entry by offering an informal, five-minute “pre-class” that covers basic footwork and the six punches you need to get through every combination. Experienced boxers can skip the review and head to their assigned bag.
The workout itself is a 10-round “fight,” which ends in an all-out, empty-the-tank “Rumble Round.” Students spend half the class on strength and conditioning moves (think weighted lunges and glute bridges) and the other half on one of the studio’s suspended Aqua training bags, which are designed to mimic the feeling of hitting an actual person. Depending on the round, each interval typically includes a punching combination or two or three compound-strength exercises, and the goal is to complete as many reps as possible before the bell rings.
Rumble’s overall vibe strikes a playful balance between a boxing gym’s grit and a boutique fitness studio’s corporate sterility. Walk into the lobby, and you’re greeted by a wall of artfully arranged boxing gloves hanging next to an original Basquiat. Curated playlists blast in the black-lit studio, and “Jab,” Rumble’s friendly punching bag mascot, follows up via email after your first class to make sure you felt welcomed and challenged. Those amenities come at a rate of $34 for a class, though a first-timer’s two-for-one deal is available, along with class packages that offer a small savings.
Frills aside, maybe the best reason to try Rumble — or any boxing workout — is the combo of high-intensity cardio and bodyweight strength movements. “Boxers are amongst the leanest and most powerful athletes on the planet,” Sulaver says, which is why he and his colleagues landed on this concept. But, despite the group environment, much of Rumble’s workout is individualized and self-motivated; it’s up to each person to decide if they want to just run the clock or really push their limits during each interval. It’s like Rocky himself said: “Going in one more round when you don’t think you can — that’s what makes all the difference in your life.”
THE RUMBLE WORKOUT
You don’t have to be in NYC to get the blood-pumping, muscle-burning benefits of Rumble. Try this 10-minute routine, inspired by the gym’s high-intensity classes.
PART 1: Boxer’s Strength & Conditioning
Complete three rounds of the following movements, taking little to no rest:
10 Renegade Rows with Push-Ups
Gripping a light dumbbell in each hand (start with 15 pounds and adjust accordingly), get into a plank position. Bend left elbow to draw the dumbbell toward your hip, balancing on feet and right dumbbell and being careful not to let hips hike, tilt, or sag. Return the weight to the floor and repeat row on right side. With both weights on the floor, do one push-up, touching chest to the floor. That’s one rep.
15 Boxer Sit-Ups
Lie on floor with feet in a “butterfly” position, soles touching, knees out. Keeping core braced, sit up, and throw two quick punches — one with the left fist and one with the right; slowly lower back to floor.
20 Floor-Tap Squats
Stand with feet together. Jump into a squat position, keeping hips back and chest up as you reach down and touch the floor with your right hand. Jump back up to standing position. Repeat, alternating arms.
PART 2: The Jab/Cross Rumble Round
This all-out burner alternates between 20 seconds of high-intensity punching and 10 seconds of active rest; you’ll repeat that six times. If you have access to a heavy bag, use it. Otherwise, you can shadow box.
How to punch: Stagger your feet with the left foot in front and bring both fists to just under the chin. (Reverse the position if you’re left-handed.) Start with a quick jab using the left hand: Extend the left fist in a straight line, keeping the elbow up and turning the thumb slightly downward. Quickly return to the starting position and immediately follow up with a cross: pivoting on the back foot, drive through the ball of the foot as you extend your right hand toward the bag, keeping the thumb pointed downward. Bring your shoulder as close to chin height as possible. Return hands to the starting position.
What to do: Working at an all-out pace, do as many jab/cross combinations as possible for 20 seconds. For 10 seconds, drop your fists and “bounce-step” in place, shifting your weight from the front foot to the back. Stay active, but use the time to recover before launching into the next jab/cross interval. Repeat for a total of six rounds.
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