◊ THE CLASS: Group Boxing & Old School Rap Nooner ◊
WHAT YOU NEED
Giant water bottle
Clean indoor shoes. Barefoot is ok too, but they recommend shoes.
Hand wraps ($12-$15 to buy)
Boxing gloves (you can borrow for free)
Okaaaayyyy so Undrcard kinda has it figured out. From the aesthetic, to the insanely difficult classes, to the collaborations with local businesses – this boxing studio in the heart of Calgary is an absolute freaking gem. The founders have put together a solid team of instructors, with more than half of them female, and all of them with years of competitive athletics under their belts. The space is modern and legitimately bad-ass and they’ve thought of everything you could want, including a separate gym and vegan friendly cafe built right into the space, obviously. This studio isn’t just for the hardcore Ali’s either, they cater to novice fighters too and they’re thrilled to teach anyone who walks past their doors how to throw a proper right hook. We’re so impressed with these guys and now have to fit a class into our schedule every damn time we’re in town.
Located on the corner of 3rd Street and 10th Avenue SW with cute little views of the Calgary Tower, Undrcard is, without a doubt, capturing the downtown crowd. They’re just past the bridge from Gulf Canada Square and on the same strip as National on 10th and CRAFT, which draw heavy after-work traffic, so there’s no surprise this place is packed before and after work and at lunchtime. If taking public transit, the C-Train is two blocks away or the #3 bus runs down 4th Street. If driving, there’s plenty of meter parking around the area and a 4-level parkade directly across the street that has a $2 flat rate fee after 4pm btw. Undrcard is also expanding and opening in Vancouver’s Beach District in the Vancouver House building in Spring/Summer 2019. Can’t WAAAAIT!
Undrcard offers Group Boxing, Pad Classes, Private Training and ‘Young Guns’ Kids & Teen Classes. The Group Boxing classes are the most popular, are all 50 minutes set in the dimly lit boxing studio, and they’re great for both beginners and experienced boxers as the format of the class makes it easy for first-timers to learn quickly but difficult modifications for veterans are avails. There’s an Old School Rap Nooner class on Thursdays (we took it), and an Old School Rap Breakfast class on Fridays taught by founding trainer Joanna Magik, and Friday nights are reserved for TGIF, an 18+ class that pairs an intense HIIT style workout on the bag with high-energy, adult content music. Pad Classes are usually once a week on Wednesdays at 5:30pm, and the Young Guns classes are a pre-registered program that run for ten weeks.
The class schedule for Group Boxing is pretty good with classes kicking-off nice and early at 6:15am during the work week, with the last one ending at 8:20pm. The midday classes are super duper popular, and there are usually ~four classes in the evening that start every hour after 4:30pm, which is great depending on when you wrap up work. The weekend schedule is leaner with four classes on Saturday and three on Sunday done by 11:30am, which isn’t a huge surprise given the location but there are still ppl who live downtown that probs wouldn’t mind to see more offered. First timers tip – arrive 30 minutes before class to get your hands wrapped and properly prepped for class, showing up 10 minutes before might not leave you enough time. They’ll help you wrap but they’ve also done this sweet vid if you want to master it yourself and feel completely legit.
Prices for Group Boxing and Pad Classes are higher than most boutique fitness classes in Calgary at $24 per class, BUT it does include, gloves, gym access on the second floor, ring access and all extras like filtered water, hair-ties (important), towel service etc..With all that included in the price, it feels like less of a hit #boxingjoke. Hand wraps are a requirement though, and if you don’t already own them Undrcard sells them for $12-$15. Like any other studio, Undrcard would love it most if you became a member, so they’ve created a number of member benefits, one being the Crew Pass. The Crew Pass is $170 per month, a year long commitment, and includes access to all classes, 15% off Undrcard merchandise, 10% off coffee and tea, two friend passes each month, and $50 off a 5-pack, 10-pack or 60-minute private training session. These perks also apply to 6 Month Passes and 1 Year Passes btw. The annual pass is the best value out of all of them, dropping per class rates to $16 per class if going only twice a week, but the 20 Class punch card is pretty inoffensive dropping each class to $17 per.
- Drop-In: $24, Drop-In Student: $19
- Newbie Month: $99
- 10 Class Punch Card: $199 ($20 per class)
- 20 Class Punch Card: $349 ($17 per class)
- Crew Monthly Pass: $170
- 1 Month Pass: $199
- 6 Month Pass: $879 (includes ‘crew benefits’) $18 per class twice a week
- Annual Pass: $1599 (includes ‘crew benefits’) $16 per class twice a week
This studio is pretty epic and they’re doing what people are wanting out of boutique fitness studios now. Crazy hard classes set in an aesthetically pleasing, large, open space, that provide all amenities like great change rooms, lockers, and good quality products (bc we’re paying for it), that lack a bougie attitude, and preferably have a place for us to chill before or after class equipped with wifi, strong coffee and dairy free/gluten free/all natural delicious snacks. NBD. So, like, they’re doing all of this – so full pineapple locked.
The design aesthetic is like a modern bad-ass nightclub, complete with neon signs, graphic mixed art, dim lights and concrete floors. A wall of boxing gloves at the front door opens up into the giant 5,600 square foot facility with a boxing ring at the epicenter. The cafe, Yo Adrian!, is off to the side and features plenty of seating, giant picture windows facing 10th Ave, and much deserved fuel from Sidewalk Citizen and Fratello Coffee. The change rooms and lockers are at the back of the studio and include a large bank of programmable lockers to store your belongings on the way. There’s one studio for Group Boxing and a gym on the second floor with a punching bag, TRX, and weights to compliment your workout or extra space to stretch after class. The main studio is dark, with 36 bags hanging from the ceiling and a club-like sound system. The low lighting provides the perfect amount of anonymity which is highly appreciated when sweating like a beast. The entire place has an edgy feel that makes you feel like you have street cred as a legit fighter.
The crowd at Undrcard is mostly regulars in their 20’s to 30’s, with our class split down the middle with males to females. The staff and fellow fighters are incredibly warm to first-timers or novice boxers, so don’t feel intimidated to give it a shot.
- Boxing ring access
- Gym access
- Yo Adrian! coffee, food and juice bar
- The Corner Store apparel and accessories
- Gloves rentals are free. Gloves are premium, leather gloves and they have a very fancy glove dryer so gloves are sanitised and fresh
- Mens and womens change rooms with showers and washrooms
- All toiletries and shower products such as shampoo and conditioner, hair ties, hairspray, deodorant are included
- Filtered water
- Programmable lockers
One word for the team at Undrcard. Fierce. Co-founded by Amanda Hehr, Naomi Le Bhian and Joanna Magik, these three tough chicas introduced Calgary to boxing like no one before them. They opened on December 26th, 2016 (get the Boxing Day pun?!) and have spent the time since building an incredible team of over 14 fighters with super diverse athletic roots. Many have a background in boxing or martial arts so you know the boxing drills are the real deal. Each instructor is treated like a mini celeb with fighter approved nicknames (“Kay Slay”, “Lights Out” and “Gucciwolf” etc. etc.) and giant profile pics decorating the space, making the back feel more like an art exhibit than the hallway to the change rooms. In addition to the instructors, the staff at Undrcard are super adorable and helpful, responsible for signing you in and hand wrapping your wrists if needed.
As if being one of the co-founders of Undrcard wasn’t enough, the resume on this girl is crazy impressive. From marketing guru, to professional snowboarder and downhill biker, to moonlighting as a sports announcer for the Olympics, to being an in demand DJ, this one is literally doing all the things. As far as being a boxing instructor, she’s drummed up a bit of a reputation in the Calgary fitness scene for being SO DAMN HARD. And we’re here to report – TRUE. Joanna’s energy is contagious and she doesn’t let up until the very last second. She focuses obsessively on form and she’s very good about reminding you to listen to your body first and foremost and to be patient with yourself. Though tough as nails, Joanna is very kind and attentive, she ran around in her long t-shirt dress before class making sure everyone was good to go with their hand wraps and knew where to be. She knows all of the regulars by name and would shout out words of encouragement or throw out a reassuring smile when someone (aka us) looked like we were about to die. Chatting with her after the class, her passion for the craft and her community was obvious as she stuck around for over half an hour making the effort to connect with everyone and get their feedback.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
Holy yellow penguins these classes are getting full fruits and we’re considering them Way Hard. Both the Group Boxing and Old School Rap Nooner classes have the same format, the latter is just clearly far superior bc the playlist is everything (strictly old school rap soundtrack from 1980’s-2000).
Each class starts off with boxing drills to warm up, which included side to side jumps, skipping, high knees on the spot, and shadow boxing without gloves. Once the sweat started to pour off us, we THEN strapped on our gloves and began the actual class. The format of the classes was broken into rounds and each round had a different focus. The first round was technique, we moved a bit slower to get the feel for the basic combinations; a jab, cross, hook sequence to ensure our form was correct. As we began to get comfortable the speed picked up and we added to the combination with more rapid jabs, ducking the bag, and more cross jabs. Round two was all about speed, with squats, burpees and pushups in between repetitive power rounds of upper cuts and straight jabs. We were working our full body at this point increasing both our aerobic and anaerobic capacity and we were feeling pretty freaking great – the energy was so high in the room and every. single. person was working their ass off.
The third round was about mastering our combination, which by this point we felt like goddamn bosses cuz we had it locked (hah #punny). With about five minutes left, we dropped to the ground for an ab sequence with our toes locked under the bag and our sweaty gloves allowed to come off. We finished with a teeny bit of light stretching, we could see how people would utilise the upstairs gym for a longer stretch and cool down, actually. By the end, we could feel our ENTIRE BODY fatigued and, although exhausted, we felt sharper both physically and mentally. So, win.
If you’re into this class or want to try something else, see Undrcard’s schedule here.
See ya next week, fineapples!