You won’t find a gritty, Rocky-style boxing workout at this studio: BOOMBOX, a new boutique boxing club in Navy Yard, wants you to unleash your inner fighter in a chic and music-filled setting.
The black-owned boxing club was started by DC residents Angela Jennings, Reggie Smith, and founding coach Lauren Sylvester. While some business partners meet at school or a networking event, Jennings and Smith met on the dating app Tinder.
Even though their swipe right didn’t turn into a love match, the duo did match when it came to their shared passion for music, boxing, and community.
In late 2016, after connecting and working out together frequently, they began developing an idea for a mission-based gym that would prioritize providing boxing-inspired workouts to all fitness levels and backgrounds. Sylvester joined the team when she connected with Jennings during a promo shoot for the gym. Once she saw what they were up to, she knew she wanted in.
“They’ve committed their nights, weekends. They’ve lost sleep; they’ve literally put their whole selves into this,” Sylvester says. “When you see them putting everything they have into something and how genuine they are, it’s contagious. You just want to be a part of it.”
When Jennings and Smith started scouting locations for the gym, they were on the hunt for a spot that was clean, intimate, and welcoming, they say. They wanted the kind of place that provides a trendy workout space comparable to other boutique gyms like OrangeTheory.
The BOOMBOX gym is just that. The space is filled with matte black-and-white accents and splashes of gold, and there’s a boxing ring in the front when you enter. In the workout room where classes are held, there are aqua bags (punching bags filled with water) suspended from the ceiling, which are easier to use for people that are learning proper boxing techniques.
“We’re in a field where we get to make people feel good; giving that personal touch and attention to customers is critical, ” Smith says.
The 50-minute BOOMBOX classes are music-driven and combine shadow boxing, aqua bag work, and functional training to torch fat and build lean muscle. And another area in which they differ from old-school boxing gyms? Their music playlists. The goal of the music is to drive, push, and inspire everyone who is working out, the crew says.
“Boxing is awkward and uncomfortable when you first start doing it, but if you know the lights are out and the music is going, it doesn’t matter what the hell you’re doing, as long as you’re having a good time,” Jennings says.
The playlists also help to structure the flow of the class, the team says.
“The goal for all of us is to take you on somewhat of an emotional journey through the music,” says Sylvester. “We want there to be a build and take you all the way up, and then slowly come down and be immersed in the moment.”
During this week’s grand opening, there will be special rates on classes ranging from $30 for a single class to $379 for 20 classes. General membership prices range from $169 for eight classes to $229 for unlimited classes per month.
Stick around after your workout. During BOOMBOX’s grand opening week, it’ll host a pop-up shop with ALALA, a New York City-based luxury athleisure brand for women and has complimentary LOLA products, a health-conscious feminine hygiene line, provided in the restrooms.
BOOMBOX; 1221 Van St SE, Suite 140