Inside Philly’s swanky new fitness boxing studio

Photo: Madeline Presland

In a city full of Rocky Balboa fans, it’s only fitting that Philadelphians want to learn how to box.

Rumble Boxing’s new location at 1520 Walnut St. is part of a wave of boutique fitness studios opening in Philly. The company with a cult following for their “boxing inspired” fitness classes has other studio locations in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. The 45-minute classes combine time spent learning punch combinations on the bags, and a high-intensity circuit workout. Though the atmosphere feels more like a nightclub than a typical boxing gym, the workouts put your boxing skills to the test.

Following the current trends for new workout studios, Philly’s new bi-level location is decked out with lights that change color throughout the class, brand new equipment and a lobby perfect for post-workout Instagram photos. As an obligatory nod to Philly’s favorite boxing hero, the Rumble branded replica of the iconic Rocky statue near the Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the first things you see when you walk in the door. The statue has a double meaningSylvester Stallone himself is an investor, and the studio sells a couple of shirts from his clothing line. 

The main studio on the second floor has enough room for 60 people per class, with each person splitting time between working on their punches and doing a circuit workout on the benches. Workouts always include incorporating Wall projections show instructions on both sides of the room to make it easier to follow along. The high-energy curated playlist is a huge part of Rumble’s vibe, and getting people pumped to work out. For Rumble trainers Leroy Mapp, 26, and Beth Gold, 32, boxing found them instead of the other way around. Metro sat down with two Rumble trainers to get the inside scoop on their philosophies and methods for teaching newcomers and encouraging empowerment.

How does Rumble let people experience boxing for the first time? 

Gold: It’s a gateway class. You can take it as you want it, you can step up your game and find yourself sparring somewhere. It’s boxing-inspired. Are you going to get in there and walk out as a professional fighter? No, but that was never our intention, but you can also go after that if you get that spark. 

How do you cater classes for newcomers?

Gold: We make sure we cater the workouts for 80 percent of the people who are going to be in that room, or making sure that everyone can do the things we ask them to do, so everyone walks out feeling successful.

Mapp: A lot of people find that they just love it, it gives you the ability to use your energy towards something, and get out frustration or happiness. Just try something new and be open-minded, and you won’t feel lost. There are always a lot of newcomers, and everyone is just trying to learn. You can get lost and just enjoy what’s going on. 

People work out to help build strength and confidence. How does that work for boxing?

Gold: Once I started boxing, I definitely felt more confident. As a female instructor teaching classes that are usually around 70 percent women, I love having women in the room and watching them step into some other part of themselves. This isn’t designed to be a self-defense class, but knowing a bit more on how to defend yourself is empowering. 

Mapp: If you’ve never boxed before, you don’t know how to punch with good form, which increases the chance of you hurting yourself. It’s always good to know how to do something correctly, which goes for the men too.

Check out rumbleboxing.com to book classes for $34 per session.

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