If a gym joined forces with a night club, the product would be Rumble Boxing: black and white benches, teardrop bags hanging from the ceiling like beads of sweat at your hairline, all drenched in red light and centered around a DJ booth (you heard us!). This is a fight club we do talk about.
Rumble, the buzzy Canadian-based empire founded in 2016, opened its flagship Minnesota location this week—after a few delays—occupying the ground floor of Nolo’s Viridium Apartments. At 3,500 square feet, the space consists of a sweat studio, locker rooms, and a boutique of real-deal attire.
The hook of Rumble is their instructors: “Part DJ, part motivational speaker, and completely Master of Ceremonies,” says Anna Kurzynski, general manager of the North Loop location.
The workout, just 45 minutes, alternates between bag and strength exercises in 10 rounds of HIIT plus mitts. Signature teardrop bags are filled with water, “so they are easy on your muscles and joints, no matter how sharp your punches are,” says Kurzynski.
I sweated it out, so you know what to expect. Here’s my hit take:
Hey Siri, play “Eye of the Tiger.” Yeah, boxing can be an arm-focused workout, but make no mistake, Rumble is a full-body burner. Alternating every few rounds between weighted floor exercises (think squats, glute bridges, and lunges) and the arms-abs-cardio combo of punching the bag, this class left me feeling bee sting strong. How could I not be sore the next day?
If you were angry, this would be the ultimate release. I’m not a particularly punchy person but I’ve been bottling some things up lately, and it felt good to wail on a bouncy bag, dangling there just for me to unleash upon.
At the same time, there’s something meditative about the rhythm and patterns. Music blaring, colored lights flashing like a ’90s disco, black bag swaying in front of you. Each punch gets a number, and several combos are repeated for something like 30 seconds each, composing a round, between which there’s a break for abs. There’s a hazy, focused emptiness about the repetition and impact: 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4… that makes it easy to let go of anything and everything and fully submerge into the darkness and sweat of class. The world fades away and all the problems, worries, and to-dos dissipate with it.
I took boxing classes for a spell in high school, so I’m not unfamiliar with the sport. The water-filled bags at Rumble are harder than I expected, but probably about average in the Rocky Balboa world.
The floor sets are equally dark and pithy. Mirrors line the front of the room, so you can tweak your shadowed form and make smoldering eye contact with yourself as you pound out jump squats like moody Tarzan. Weights are choose-your-own adventure—I went with my typical five pounders and would go heavier next time for a bit more challenge and sweat.
Know this before you don your sweat bands and step in: The room is v dark. Let your eyes adjust for a sec before trying to find your way to your designated spot (bag or bench)—or your shins WILL pay the price.
By the end of the 45-minute hit, my knuckles were smarting with fiery reminders of what we’d thrown. As I write this, a day later, my hands are a little red and sensitive, and I’m not mad about it. A mark of a sweat well won. I think the sensitivity would dissipate with consistent practice and callousing.
Ten out of ten. Would Rumble again.
Rumble Boxing North Loop, 729 N. 3rd St., Mpls., 612-619-1045, rumbleboxinggym.com