Boxing: Not Just Sweaty Guys Breaking Noses

By Rob Martin, Personal Trainer, Boxing Instructor, Martial Arts Instructor, Elite Sports Club-Brookfield

Two Sweaty Men BoxingWhen I mention the word boxing, what image comes to mind? My guess would be two sweaty guys trying to pound each other in an attempt to earn the right to call themselves “the best.” You may imagine broken noses, cut eyes, foreheads not unlike that of a Neanderthal. In fact, I would bet that what you imagine would so turn you off, that you would almost NEVER consider boxing as an alternative to riding the elliptical for an hour, but… If you will give me a couple minutes, I will make you see that boxing may be one of the most effective weight loss tools in the fitness club arsenal.

People who try boxing are always surprised to find how their body changes. First, they notice their arms becoming stronger. Then they start to see their waist line get smaller. Their legs become toned and stronger. They notice a chiseling effect on their body that they had never seen before. While these reasons may be enough for most people to try boxing, the best benefits don’t occur in the body, they occur in the mind. Self confidence grows and becomes stronger. Boxers find themselves becoming more balanced, and gain a sense of inner strength. Boxing does more than just get people in shape; it helps them release aggression. It gives people an outlet that no other form of exercise does.

Did you know that your favorite star likely uses some part of boxing to look good enough to be in the movies? Matthew McConaughey, Gwen Stefani, Marisa Miller, and Nick Cannon use boxing to stay in shape. Many professional athletes also use boxing to cross train for their event. In the June 23, 2010 edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Charles Woodson; a star cornerback for the Green Bay Packers, cites boxing as a reason for him coming into the season in such fantastic shape.

“…It’s some of the toughest work I have done…” “ Just an hour a day and you’d be dying.”

So why do these celebrities choose boxing when there are so many different forms of exercise out there? Boxing can burn from five hundred to one thousand calories an hour! (depending on the weight of the individual doing the exercise, and the type of boxing i.e. sparring, bagwork, shadow boxing, etc.) It also utilizes a form of exercise known as interval training. Interval training is a type of training during which you exercise at your absolute maximum for a short period of time, recover for a smaller period of time, and then repeat. In boxing you go hard for three full minutes with a one-minute rest in between. Some studies have shown that this type of exercise actually burns about twenty percent more fat than straight cardio.

Men and women boxing for exerciseGenerally speaking, if a club has a heavy bag, they will have gloves or something else for you to protect your hands while you work out on it. However, if you really want to enjoy this amazing form of exercise, I recommend you buy your own gloves. Training gloves come in many different forms, but the biggest thing to remember is the weight; the heavier the glove, the harder the workout. Gloves generally range from eight ounces to as much as sixteen ounces. You can even buy gloves with weights in the wrist for shadow boxing. NOW… imagine throwing punch after punch for two to three minutes at a time with only a short rest in between each round, and do it all with an extra pound on each hand. That is quite a workout! Other tools you could use include hand wraps, jump ropes, floor-ladders, bob and weave ropes, medicine balls, etc. There are several types of hanging heavy bags as well, but generally speaking, you will only find them in boxing-specific clubs.

Most people’s first, and strongest reaction to boxing is; “I don’t want to get punched/hurt.” Boxing, like any other form of strenuous exercise, is safe as long as you have an experienced instructor. Boxing is very “form” sensitive, and for that reason the best teacher is someone who has some boxing time under his/her belt. Most of the time, sparring is an elective, and will be left up to the individuals. The only time it is not optional is when you are in a boxing-specific gym. The most common injury in boxing is wrist injury, however wrist injuries occur for two very specific reasons, both of which can be avoided. First, learn to wrap your hands well. The wraps should be tight, but not cutting off circulation. Second, you have to learn the proper form for striking something with force i.e. palm down or palm in, straight punch, or elbow up. These are some of the things that an experienced instructor can watch for and help you with.

People who exercise by using boxing will become stronger, faster, more confident, and not to mention that they will be practicing some real world self defense. They will experience the health benefits that come from regular exercise as well as experiencing the strength gains that are usually only associated with resistance training. Tennis, baseball, and golf are just some of the cross over sports that will improve with boxing. Lastly, and probably most importantly, boxing is a blast!

Elite Sports Clubs offers boxing at its Brookfield location on Burleigh. Adult boxing is offered as a small group training, contact Rob for more details and pricing. You should also check out our youth boxing camps and clinics.

So, when you hear “boxing” what image does come to your mind? Would you ever consider incorporating boxing into your regular exercise regimen? Tell us in the comments!

Exercise Can Mean Quality Time With Your Loved Ones

By Hans Bremer, Personal Trainer, Elite Sports Club-Mequon

Exercise and fitness are great ways to get out and have a good time with friends and family. Everyone is at different fitness levels, but there are plenty of options out there for everyone to enjoy.

Family Exercise

With your spouse or significant other, if you don’t share similar interests, you can take some general fitness classes together or do some couples personal training or tennis lessons. If you do share similar fitness interests, like the same sport or activity, get out there and do it TOGETHER!

Go on a nice long walk or a bike ride with your parents or grandparents. Nothing beats an inter-generational workout. You might even learn something along the way. Spend time with your children swimming or practicing their favorite sport. Join a facility that encourages children to get involved in exercise and physical activity. Everyone loves to PLAY, so get out and play with your kids! Be involved in their growth and learning about health and nutrition.

Exercise with your friends! Do group personal training, enroll in a boot camp together, or join a sports league. If you’re going to hang out with your friends you might as well have some fun playing and exercising while you do it.

Exercise and physical activity with your friends and loved ones is a great way to have fun and is extremely beneficial to both your physical and mental health at the same time. Grab your friends and family and GET OUT THERE!

Need help thinking of ideas? Let us help you find the right sports league, exercise class, or youth fitness program for you and your family. Or just start by checking out our activities calendar.

What activities do you use as an excuse to spend time with your family and friends? Tell us in the comments!

Youth Fitness & Nutrition: Country Fruit Stand Salad Recipe

By Rita Larsen, Elite Sports Clubs Registered Dietitian & Nutrition Counselor

Country Fruit Stand Salad
Country Fruit Stand Salad,

This week we had a great opportunity to make a nutritious fruit salad with a tasty dressing for our students in the Scamp (Summer Day Camp) Kids Exercise & Nutrition ProgramChildren learned about the benefits of eating fruits high in antioxidants, especially berries of all varieties, such as, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries. In addition, they learned how to make a tasty fruit-based dressing with orange juice and honey. The topping was an excellent cinnamon granola mixture. The children enjoyed the entire salad and helped me prepare the final mixture for tasting by the group.

Country Fruit Stand Salad

(Original Recipe)

Country Fruit Stand Salad gets its sparkling taste from a marinade of a combo of ginger ale, orange juice and honey. This unbeatable trio of flavors turns an ordinary fruit salad recipe into something special.

Serves: 10

Preparation Time: 35 min

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 medium to large cantaloupe, cut in half, seeds and rind removed
  • 1 medium to large honeydew melon, cut in half, seeds and rind removed
  • 1 medium to large pineapple, top removed, sliced into quarters, rind and core removed
  • 1 quart strawberries, washed and hulled (tops removed)
  • 3/4 cup ginger ale
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup granola

What To Do:

  1. Cut cantaloupe, honeydew, and pineapple into bite-sized pieces; place in a large  bowl.
  2. Cut strawberries in half (or in quarters, if they’re large); add to other fruit.
  3. In a small bowl, combine ginger ale, orange juice, and honey; mix well. Add to fruit; mix well.
  4. Allow fruit to “marry” for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to use.
  5. Just before serving, sprinkle each serving with a bit of granola.


The number of servings this makes will depend upon the size of the fruit you use.

We often send home recipes for children to try at home with their parents. Of course, the supervision will come from the parents; but we do often like to have the children do some assembly work and to actually be able to touch and feel the food.

If you and your children would like to discuss further healthy foods to prepare, family eating schedules and planning, please contact Rita Larsen for a family discussion of “HELP,” Healthy Eating for Life Program. This can be arranged by appointment at a convenient time and location for your entire family.

Have a good rest of the summer and enjoy these summer nights with a delicious healthy meal your whole family will enjoy having, time after time!

Day in the Life: Petite Elite Preschool

My name is Christina Garthwait and I am the director and a teacher of the Elite Sports Club-Brookfield Petite Elite Preschool. (Petite Elite Preschool at Elite Sports Club-River Glen opens next Fall!) I have been in education for 11 years and absolutely love my time with the 3 and 4 year olds in Petite Elite.

The Petite Elite school day in the 4 year old class looks a little like this…

Petite Elite Preschool Elite Sports Clubs Children Masks

9:00 a.m.

Kids arrive and free choice playtime.

9:20 a.m.

Carpet time (hello song, counting, calendar and songs, theme of the week, letter of the week activities, travel the map, math skills, story).

10:00 a.m.

Bathroom break followed by snack time.

10:20 a.m.

Rotation of small group learning time with the teachers (when not with the teachers, children work in small groups on theme-based, curriculum-based, or skill-based centers).

11:20 a.m.

Art project.

11:40 a.m.

Music, parachute games, play-dough, scavenger hunts, movement games.

12:00 p.m.

Story and good-bye.

We have karate and swimming lessons alternating on Monday mornings during school time.

Optional Afternoon Enrichment program on Mondays and Wednesdays after the 4 year old class looks a little like this…

Petite Elite Preschool Elite Sports Clubs Children Educational Project

12:00 p.m.


12:30 p.m.

Tennis lesson or swimming lesson depending on the day.

1:00 p.m.

Art project or game in classroom.

1:30 p.m.

Outdoor play.

2:00 p.m.


About 75% of the Petite Elite students stay for the Afternoon Enrichment program.

Open enrollment for Petite Elite Preschool at Elite Sports Clubs is still open! Start your child’s educational journey with Petite Elite and have your child come grow with us, register today!

Did you, or do you plan to enroll your child in a preschool? What do you look for most in a preschool curriculum? Tell us in the comments!

Keeping Up Your Fitness Routine Through Pregnancy

By Jen Bauman, Elite Sports Club-Brookfield Group Exercise Director, ACE-certified Personal Trainer, Prenatal/Postpartum Exercise Certification

You have all heard of those women who talk about how they absolutely LOVED being pregnant. Well I have to say, I am one of them. I felt great throughout my entire nine months. I truly believe that the reason I felt so good, was that I kept up with my regular workouts. Now before I go any further, one thing I will say is that you must check with your doctor to make sure working out is okay for you as an individual. Every body and every pregnancy is different.

One of the first things I noticed was the fatigue. My heart rate was higher and it took much more out of me to perform my pre-pregnancy routine. I continued with my normal workouts but realized that I would have to slow down a bit to allow my body to take in enough oxygen for both the baby and myself. I also added a small snack before my workouts. I loved my banana, yogurt, and granola parfait that I’d whip up about 30 minutes before exercise. (As a general rule, 300 additional calories are needed per day during pregnancy.) Other than having to modify my intensity, I initially was able to continue with my cardio and strength workouts as I had pre-pregnancy.

pregnant woman on treadmillAs my pregnancy progressed, however, I did make several adjustments to my workouts. For cardio, I taught regular kickboxing and step classes, both of which I was able to continue. Nonetheless, my movements overall became smaller. Joints become more flexible during pregnancy so it is important to be aware of the range of motion you are taking your body through. I do remember around 8 ½ months feeling really light-headed after one of my step classes. This was my body telling me to stop what I was doing–always listen to what your body is telling you. From that point on, I replaced my step workouts with a walk on the treadmill.

Pregnant woman exercising with kettlebellFor my strength training workouts, it was really just a matter of adjusting my weights. As my belly got bigger, my weights got smaller. I continued to work all areas of the body, concentrating on my back to keep my posture strong. Standing for a prolonged period of time is not recommended, so I used a stability ball to sit on and perform rows, shoulder presses, bicep curls, and overhead triceps extensions. If I was standing, I would make sure to maintain a wide stance, with my toes turned out. This provided a good base for stability. I also avoided lying flat on my back because it can decrease blood flow to the uterus. One option I used was lying on an exercise step with two risers on one end to provide an incline that was comfortable.

I have heard many women say they avoided working their abs entirely during pregnancy. I believe this is one of the most important areas to concentrate on. You can’t exactly perform bicycles until you’re exhausted, but you can work your core in other ways. I often used the stability ball to do slow, small crunches or did planks on my knees. Just this little isometric contraction is a great way to keep your abs tight and strong. However, avoid excessive oblique work, it can cause strain on the lower back.

These are just some of the concepts that helped me during my pregnancy. I can’t say that it helped me through the horrible, painful back labor I had, but I absolutely believe it helped keep my weight gain under control. It also allowed me a quicker return to my normal routine after giving birth. I plan on doing it all again with the next one!

Do you need help determining which exercises you should do while pregnant? Our certified personal trainers can help you set up a personalized plan! When you are in a group exercise class, you can also ask the instructor to for modifications.

What were your (or your significant others’) favorite ways to exercise while pregnant? Did you find that you had to temporarily give up certain workouts? Tell us in the comments!