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Boxing gym looks to hook ‘em

Title Boxing Club General Manager Irie Collins said he will get in the ring with advanced-level gym members, where he’ll take shots but not swing back. (Staff photo by Mike Longaecker)

Fitness has laced up its gloves in Woodbury.

Title Boxing Club, a gym located among other fitness businesses on Coller Way, opened its doors in July. The gym offers a way for members to get in shape by getting in some swings, said General Manager Irie Collins.

Early morning classes fill up, where members pound away on the 54 heavy bags suspended from a steel grid that forms a perimeter for the gym’s main workout space.

“It’s a cool sound to hear,” Collins said of the gloves slapping the bag.

He said people in Woodbury and beyond have been turning to boxing as a workout routine that’s a break from the monotony of treadmills and resistance machines. Here, members learn boxing technique and work on punch combinations — with other exercises mixed in.

Collins said members don’t even realize they’re getting a workout at first. To them, he said, “It’s like, ‘Hey, I just learned something cool.’”

What they’re not realizing is that they’re burning up to 1,000 calories an hour, he said. The fitness component comes from a combination of cardio and resistance from banging away at the 120-pound bags.

The gym offers scheduled classes and personal training, but Collins said members are also free to pop in and work out on their own.

Advanced members are welcome to get in the ring with Collins, where he suits up in armor and takes swings without hitting back.

“They can pop at me — if they can catch me,” he said with a chuckle.

Unlike other trainers with deep boxing experience at his gym, Collins said he’s a relative newcomer. Still, he said he has been able to pick up the sport in the past year without any experience.

“I’ve been doing it seven months strong but I’m still learning,” he said, “and that’s the cool thing about the sport.”

If there’s been a challenge, it has been energizing prospective members about boxing in the face of the rising popularity of mixed martial arts.

“It is tough,” Collins said.

But once people take a swing at boxing, they’re hooked, he added before reciting his favorite tagline for Title Boxing: “You get fit and not hit.”

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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