Leave the yoga to the lightweights and work up a sweat inside the ring. Whether you like your boxing classes boutique or bruising, there’s bound to be a knockout gym for you somewhere in the city. But how to separate the champions? We jabbed our way through a gaggle of contenders to come up with this no-punches-pulled list of the Los Angeles gyms offering the best boxing classes—most even let you try your first class for free. Gloves up!
L.A.'s best boxing classes
Especially welcoming to beginners, the affable (and often good-looking) instructors go over the basics with newbies while the rest of the class warms up. Then it’s straight into a heart-pumping circuit alternating bag work, conditioning (think stability ball pushups and agility ladder work) and sparring. Try to get to the Brentwood location if you can (there's also a Santa Monica outpost at 1654 Lincon Blvd)—it’s larger and plusher, with locker rooms boasting showers, towels, and a sauna. Bonus: Two hours of valet parking is free (tip included!) with validation.
Pricing: $30 for one class, $169/month for unlimited access to all classes and facilities at both the Brentwood and Santa Monica locations. First class is free.
It may not be the freshest smelling gym, but there’s a lot of good boxing to be had amidst the funk. Pros work out alongside civilians and the camaraderie is palpable at this friendly, non-intimidating place that is serious about training exactly the way a professional boxer would. The group classes have a different focus every day: conditioning, ring/bag work, etc. But what really justifies the cost is that membership comes with two private training sessions a month to help you create a truly personalized fitness regimen.
Pricing: Membership only. $195/month includes two 30-minute private training sessions, unlimited classes, and access to the gym. First one-on-one training session and first group class are free.
There’s a reason Prevail was recommended by so many for this story: This clean, sleek, class-based gym offers a tough, invigorating workout that is so fun, each 45-minute Sweat session whizzes by. First-timers get special attention, but it isn’t difficult to pick up the basics and jump right into a full-body circuit workout that features boxing, core work and conditioning exercises that change it up (crab crawls, anyone?). They also offer Super Sweat and Spar classes for more advanced students.
Pricing: $25 for one class, $199/month for unlimited classes. First class is $20.
Don’t let the waify model types and airy space fool you: This gym offers intense workouts and coaches (including former boxing champs and Olympians) that push you out of your comfort zone and into those skinny jeans. If you like high-energy group classes, try their popular "Signature" sessions featuring 12 three-minute rounds of cardio, ring/bag work and conditioning. If not, their "Boom" and "Blitz" classes are capped at five students. Either way, you get boutique amenities, including the loveliest boxing gym showers in L.A.
Pricing: $30 for one class, $169 for 8 sessions per month. First class is $20 for a one-on-one session with evaluation.
If there was central casting for boxing gyms, City of Angels would be it: Hardcore industrial space in DTLA? Check. Graffiti murals on the walls? Ditto. Charismatic owner/instructor who barks out commands like a drill sergeant with laryngitis? You bet. But it doesn’t just look the part. This is where the LAPD boxing team trains, and for good reason—it’s a fantastic workout. Each student is stationed at their own punching bag, where they alternately box, use medicine balls for strength training, jump rope and box some more.
Pricing: $20 for one class, $149 for unlimited classes for the first month, $99/month after that. First class is free.
Located in the basement of Iron Fitness, this no-frills gym has just enough room for a ring, some bags and a few bikes. But what it lacks in space and slickness, it more than makes up for in a superior workout. Wisecracking instructors take you through a fast-paced circuit session that includes everything from ring and bag work to heavy rope training and old-fashioned jumping jacks. Tip: The boxing gym has a basic bathroom, but you have access to nicer facilities (including a shower) upstairs.
Pricing: Membership only. $119/month for unlimited classes. First class is free.
At this old-school gym, owned by Terry Claybon, trainer to the stars (he whipped Denzel Washington and Jake Gyllenhaal into shape for The Hurricane and Southpaw, respectively), it’s all about form. So don’t come here for cardio kickboxing and fancy HIIT classes—you need to have the fundamentals down cold before Claybon will let you go further. But don’t worry, you’ll still get your sweat on because the technical lessons are interspersed with sprints, jumping jacks and jump roping so you don’t get lazy.
Pricing: $25 for one class, $119/month for unlimited classes + gym membership. First class is not free, but the $25 can be applied to a membership.
It’s a one-stop fight club at A4, which offers CrossFit, Muay Thai and MMA training in addition to the boxing classes. So if you like a little ass-kicking with your regular moves, this is the place for you. The classes are relatively small, which is good because there will probably be a CrossFit class going on concurrently (and it would suck to get an errant kettlebell in your face if it got crowded). That said, you get a pretty solid boxing workout, with each class focusing on a different skill (bag work, conditioning, etc.) depending on the day.
Pricing: $25 for one class, $129/month (+$79 initiation fee) for unlimited classes. First class is not free, but newbies can get a two-week trial for $20.
The main draw of the L.A. outpost of the popular New York City club is owner Martin Snow, who is equal parts trainer, entertainer and boxing-as-a-metaphor-for-life philosophical guru. (His choice phrases: “It’s not about confidence, it’s about competence,” and “Don’t fuck up.”) His loyal clientele, everyone from finance guys and gals to Shia LaBeouf, love every bit of it. The classes—a mix of bag work, sparring and old-school cardio—are small, and Snow has eyes on the back of his head, making you feel accountable the entire time.
Pricing: $30 for one class, $300/month for unlimited classes.