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Over the past year, I’ve put a lot of effort into becoming physically stronger, a shift from my previous cardio-heavy runs and dance classes. This spring, I decided to learn how to throw a punch. Perhaps I’ve been watching too much Criminal Minds, or seeing too many Instagram stories at Rumble, or simply put: my workout routine needed more pizzazz. Boxing classes combine the best of strength, cardio, and self-defense with powerful full-body engagement.
Here’s the catch: I still prefer a workout I can do in my own home, and boxing gyms have a rep for being intimidating spaces for novices.
Then I found FightCamp.
FightCamp Started With Olympic Boxers.
FightCamp started way back in 2014 as a company developing fitness trackers used by Olympic boxing teams (including the United States, Canada, and China) for data-informed training. Coaches soon began using them on private clients, inspiring the idea to bridge the gap with a program that met you wherever you were.
Its system includes a punching bag, base, gloves, wraps, and connected smart trackers. The trackers are where FightCamp strikes gold; they track your punches and output throughout your workout, feeding data into the system that shapes your regimen.
The FightCamp system is available through three packages: the FightCamp Personal for $999, the FightCamp Tribe for $1299 (which comes with a heavy mat and extra gloves, including a kids’ pair), and the FightCamp Connect for $399 (just the wraps and trackers, for boxers who already have a setup). Access to the app, with its 1,000+ workouts, will cost you $39/month.
This setup is pricey at the get-go, so I did some à la carte calculations. The trackers comprise the bulk of the expense, as FightCamp emphasizes the value of its connected fitness ecosystem. But, would the FightCamp system be worth the $399 minimum cost to enter, and the $39/month fee to stay in?
Setup Was Pretty Rough
I ultimately tested the FightCamp Personal package. The morning my package was out for delivery felt like Christmas.
When coordinating my system, the FightCamp team was kind enough to arrange delivery of about 300 pounds of sand from my local Home Depot to weigh down the base. They recommended using sand or a base gel mixed with water. My FightCamp arrived in two gigantic boxes that I disassembled and carried piece-by-piece to the patio.
Assembling the mat, base, and bag were pretty easy with the help of FightCamp’s setup videos. Filling the base was where it got difficult.
FightCamp promises that this setup is possible in an apartment or living area, but honestly? Despite being intensely careful, I still got sand everywhere. While you can move the setup, it’s heavy enough to be a hassle; both the mat and the bag appear bigger in person. I’m happy with it living in my backyard.
No matter what you choose, it’s going to get messy and time-consuming. Luckily, you only have to do it once.
As a note, FightCamp reached out when I sent them an image of my bag to inform me that the wrinkles at the bottom meant I’d strapped it down improperly. I hadn’t noticed through my many workouts (so it’s clearly functional regardless!) but the gear should be straightened at the bottom to be fully correct. They also let me know it would be easier to do with one person putting the bag on the base and one person keeping it straight.
The Workout Ecosystem Is The Best I’ve Tried
Right off the bat, the FightCamp app has organized, intuitive qualities that I love.
You can follow Paths to structure your workouts, like the level-one Prospect Path to teach you the fundamentals of boxing, including stance, footwork, and types of punches.
FightCamp has a variety of buildable one-off workouts too: Warmups, Boxing, Kickboxing, Shadowboxing, Core, Strength & Conditioning, Recovery & Stretch, and more. The expanse of possibilities keeps me on my toes – literally.
My first workout winded me way more than I expected, sending my heartrate sky-high. The crescendoing music, vibrant coaches, and punch goals made it fun while also battering and conditioning my entire body.
The workouts have a proportional, dynamic flow of boxing rounds and traditional conditioning moves. You might learn a new punch sequence for one round and focus on abs during the next; it’s enough variation to keep me sharp, while encouraging the confidence required to pick up a new skill.
Most of all, I love the coaching.
I find most online fitness empires to seem forced or overly outgoing, but the FightCamp personality feels different: vivacious and competitive, but still more lowkey than I’m used to. Each coach makes a thorough effort to explain the why of each movement, both in it affects your body and how it boosts your boxing skills. It’s well-tailored to both those seeking FightCamp for fitness and for training.
I love that rounds are divided by speed, and have picked up on the rhythms of when to box to learn and when to “burnout” my punches, which absolutely kills my arms the next day. Throughout it all, I’m positively giddy. Whaling on this thing at the end of a long day is undoubtedly cathartic.
As FightCamp claims, the true appeal of this program is in the trackers, which record each punch and your output and stack you up against the leaderboard. It tracks my total number of workouts, rounds, and (thrillingly enough) my punches. You can also compete against other users.
I enjoy being able to pipe in my own music, choosing whether I want audio to be music-prioritized, instructor-prioritized, or balanced. On that note, so much of the FightCamp app is so user-friendly that I’m shocked you can’t rewind your workout, which has led to a few hiccups when I’ve missed instructions.
A FightCamp session thoroughly destroys me in about 15-20 minutes. My heart rate spikes, I enter a flow state flush with endorphins, and both my exhaustion and soreness prove its efficiency.
Who Benefits Most From FightCamp?
Due to its difficult setup and high price point, I wouldn’t recommend the system as an entry-level to boxing unless you’re confident you’d use it consistently. Unlike some other connected experiences, the FightCamp app isn’t available individually; its ecosystem is built around the trackers, with the lowest point of entry at $399.
Users cite the return process as a pain point; processing and the setup make it very difficult to refund or sell secondhand, so be realistic about whether the above qualities align with your goals and preferences.
If you’ve boxed before, know you’ll love it, or a big purchase will force you into a routine, I have absolute confidence that the apparatus, app, and community give you bang for your buck. This workout has completely transformed my fitness routine, and I’m just as excited about it now as I was on day one.
Five Reasons To Love FightCamp:
1. FightCamp offers the best of strength training, cardio, and self-defense.
2. The app is extremely user-friendly. Pathways, workout stacks, and progress stats make it easy to create a disciplined routine.
3. The coaches cater both to those seeking quality boxing training and those just looking to sweat. Their style is energetic and kind, with thorough explanations of each movement to build your knowledge and skill.
4. Each workout is a snappy, intense way to target your whole body, ideal for those short on time.
5. The live stats and goals displayed by the trackers are intensely motivating, and you can compete against thousands of other members in the community.