Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Punch Up Your Fitness Plan.

By Luke Robinson

Working out is hard. I don’t enjoy it. My guess is you don’t either. But we all have to do it to remain presentable in this judgmental society.

All of those hot people you follow on Instagram make it look like exercising is what you do before a series “fish-lip” poses and selfies as their sweat glistens like a well-toned disco ball. Meanwhile, the rest of us perspire differently in the gym. In fact, it’s less like “sweat” and more like a “full-body cry”.

When I go to Lifetime Fitness in Vestavia, all of the in-shape people working out probably think I am there not to exercise, but rather performing my duties as a porky, government-employed “gym equipment inspector”.

Working out also vacillates between being dangerous and boring if you aren’t fully committed. For example, I am like every male ever: I think I can pick up more weight than my body will allow and I also have the attention span of a pre-K fruit fly. Either I am on the verge of straining my muscles or wayyyyyy too distracted to walk on a treadmill. It’s like I believe I have the strength of five guys when the reality is I am more of a threat to eat at “Five Guys” after my lame-ass work out.

Therefore, it has come time for a new way to exercise in Birmingham. Something to keep us moving, but not repetitively. Something that makes us use all of our muscles and keeps us entertained. Something to improve our minds, bodies and spirits. And would it be too much to ask that this “something” be done in limited light so people wouldn’t watch me jiggle?

Well, if all of those traits seem appealing, then Battle Republic in Homewood might be just the spot for you.

Battle Republic has a very unique concept: It’s a boxing-inspired gym using “high intensity interval training”. (Just FYI, you are punching a tear-shaped heavy bag, not each other. We are all lovers, not fighters here).

Now, when the Battle Republic website says the sessions are “high intensity”, it ain’t playin’. Each class involves continuous movement, aggressive punching and music fit for an early morning Miami night club. Meanwhile, the setting is dim, but not dark which is absolutely perfect for me. Lord knows I don’t want my punches and “boxer’s sit-ups” critiqued by my classmates.

If those elements weren’t enough to convince you of your physical exertion, Battle Republic provides optional monitors that track your heart rate and calorie burn. The calorie-counter is my favorite part because I literally use it as motivation during the work out. If I am getting tired, I can look up at the monitor and think, “Just a few more quick punches and I can get a guilt-free Cherry Blossom shake at Shake Shack!”.

There are several time options for the class, too. All are about 45 minutes (including warm ups, 10- three-minute rounds of training and cool down time) and the sessions literally fly by quicker than an MMA fighter’s haymaker. It’s a great substitute to lifting weights while also being a fantastic complement to lifting weights if you are so inclined.

In case you are wondering, they aren’t paying me for this article; I am just a near-50-year-old dude with a muffin top and self-diagnosed A.D.D. Outside-the-box(ing) ideas to keep me in some shape (other than spherical) are what I need to pique my interest and keep me coming back. Battle Republic fits that bill to a tee.

Check out their website at www.battlerepublic.com and feel free to thank me later. •
















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