Punching with a purpose

Mason Smith

Punches, sweat and loud music have taken the places of textbooks, pencils and finals in PE 138A Beginning Cardio Boxing.

This beginning class is the first phase of three that City College currently offers. It sticks to more traditional boxing stances and punches, rather than the kicks that are introduced and utilized in the upper levels of cardio boxing.

“My goal is to give them skills so that when they move on to the next classes they know how to throw basic punches and basic combinations,” said instructor Jason Fowle.

The hardwood-floored classroom PE114 is surrounded by mirrors, and looks like any other dance or yoga studio, a calm place until the class starts. A mix of today’s hip-hop and back-in-the-day-rock blasts out of the speakers, and stationary bikes, standup punching bags and jump ropes are set up throughout the classroom. The room buzzes with intensity as the class begins.

Fowle keeps the class moving from start to finish by utilizing a stations format, rotating the students from the bike to the rope to the bag in rapid succession. The change comes about every thirty seconds keeping the students on their toes and the class interesting.

“I really like it, it’s very challenging and Jason is very motivating,” said Victoria Ratcliff who was both smiling and sweating after the class.

As the class goes on, the intensity grows, as more and more punches are added as well as pushups, and vertical jumps. To keep student heart rates up, Fowle had the class do sprints up and down the hill near the football field.

“I really love it,” said Lauren Adams, a second year Global Studies major. “I’ve seen changes in my body.” Adams added that the class is “as good as a gym.”

The last ten minutes of the class is set-aside for abs and core workout. The intensity does not dwindle, as the class does a plethora of exercises including planks, scissor kicks, and hip flexors.

“I look forward to it every time,” said Manny Favela one of the few males in the female dominated class. “It combines cardio with core strength and technique. It mixes it all up to make it interesting and fun.”

Fowle said that the class is not just for body improvement.

“For a lot of these people they have never done this before, coming in not being able to do something and working at it and becoming pretty proficient at it. It really builds their self-confidence. That’s the main thing,” he said.