Punch It Up

Above: There’s no better stress reliever than going up against the heavy bag.

Need a new workout, or just looking for an awesome way to tire out the kids? Greg Loomis, the Wellness Manager at the YMCA, is building on the success of his popular cardio boxing classes with offerings for kids, teens and adults.

Greg, who is an amateur fighter and nationally certified boxing coach, also offers one-on-one training by appointment. No special equipment is needed; he’ll show you the basics. Just turn up, borrow a pair of gloves and start swinging.

How did you get started with boxing?
I had a serious cancer scare—it turned out to be a rare autoimmune thing—and when you get a second chance like that, you don’t waste it. I realized
the path I was on wasn’t good; I was drinking, doing drugs, and I was overweight.
I had a friend who boxed, and I went to see him work out. As soon as I saw the ring, I knew this was how I was going to take back control. When I started training, I dropped eighty pounds. And I’ve never looked back.

Talk to me about the benefits of a boxing workout.
It builds confidence, endurance and strength. For bullied kids, getting strong makes a big difference. Skill matters more than size in boxing, so I’ve seen it make bullies humble, too. And for athletes, it’s great training no matter what your sport.
There also are mental benefits. It’s a stress reliever. Whatever worries you have, you leave them behind when you step in that ring.

Greg Loomis at “home”

What are some misconceptions about the sport?
It’s not as dangerous as people make it out to be. It’s actually outstanding in terms of injury prevention. Think about it: The last thing you want as a coach is for your fighter to get injured during training.
It can be a safe workout for anyone. I’ve trained with older adults, developmentally disabled kids, new moms—a really wide range of people.

What’s next for boxing at the Y?
We’re hoping to dedicate space to a new boxing gym with a permanent ring, so the Y can host charity fights.

Why do you think boxing gyms are trending now?
I mean, boxing has been around forever—probably, in some form, since the first man. A lot of new gyms are opening on the Soul Cycle model, adding lights and music to create fun classes, and I think that’s great. I also think boxing is going to be around after that trend dies down.
With boxing, all you need is your own body. It’s natural to humans, and people sense that. And there’s something about hitting the heavy bag that just feels good!


(ages 6–11)
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 5:30–6:15 p.m.

Teens and Tweens
(ages 12–16)
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 6:15–7:00 p.m.

(ages 17 and up)
Monday and Wednesday 8:30 a.m.; Friday 8:15 a.m.
Monday and Wednesday 6:00–6:50 p.m.; Friday 5:45–6:35 p.m.

Fit Moms
Tuesday and Thursday 9:30–10:30 a.m.

Nonmembers can contact the front desk for registration information 203- 869-1630

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