Getting fit with a punching bag

CorrespondentSeptember 16, 2013 

Jim Pierce, a managing partner of TITLE Boxing Club in Cary, says people are looking for a new kind of workout.


The Triangle’s first TITLE Boxing Club touts itself as the place to get fit without getting hit.

“We’re not teaching how to box,” said Jim Pierce, a managing partner of the Cary facility. “We’re teaching fitness.”

Fifty punching bags are used for the club’s signature Power Hour. There is a boxing ring, but that is reserved for those interested in learning to spar.

Power Hour is individualized fitness training in a group setting, Pierce said.

“You are focused on the bag,” he explained. “You can’t see what everybody else is doing, and they aren’t watching you like they would in an aerobics class.”

The interval-based workout combines cardio with periods of rest. A format is used, but no class is identical. The class is led by a trainer and broken into small segments, each counted down by timers on the wall.

The hour goes by quickly, Pierce said. “You can do anything for six minutes.”

Power Hour is designed to burn an average 1,000 calories.

“It’s a tough workout,” Pierce said. “You have to want results. You burn twice as many calories as you would on a treadmill. From a time standpoint, this is a better workout.

“We don’t recommend you come every day. We suggest three classes a week and if you don’t see results in three months, we’ll refund your money.”

Each trainer is certified and was hired after a rigorous audition process. Trainers are not required to be boxers.

“We hired one trainer who had never boxed,” Pierce said. “But he is athletic.”

The Cary club is the third in North Carolina. Pierce and his partners plan to open five more in the Triangle.

“This is a club, not a gym,” he said. “We want to know your name and what’s going on in your life. Why are you here? Do you have a wedding coming up? Are you recovering from breast cancer? Do you want to lose weight?”

Any member who loses 100 pounds will be awarded a free membership. Pierce said two members are currently working toward that goal.

Most of the current members are women. “We find that when the women start getting results, the men follow them in,” Pierce said.

On a recent day, a mom with a toddler nearby was working out next to a professional boxer.

“Women feel empowered by this workout,” Pierce said. “They come here to punch and take out their aggression in a good way.

“Our goal is to improve lives. Everyone’s definition of that is different.”

There are plans for community involvement. The facility welcomes groups wanting to hold fundraisers. A church youth group is scheduled to sell time at the bags to raise money for a mission trip.

TITLE offers a free class for first-time visitors. The first 200 to join will receive $100 off their membership as well as a bundle of supplies that includes boxing gloves and hand wraps.

“We want you to walk out of here dripping with sweat and excited to come back,” Pierce said.

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