2020 was the year of taking boutique in-studio fitness classes and making them accessible in homes across the country. Peloton became the behemoth of cycling and running with their $2,000 machines, Hydrow stepped onto the scene as the leader in instructor-led rowing workouts, and new smart fitness mirrors like Tempo Studios brought a futuristic vibe to the home gym. Now, FightCamp wants to turn your living room into your own private boxing gym.
FightCamp is a connected at-home boxing setup that gives you the power to punch it out in your living room. It was founded by co-founders Khalil Zahar and former US National Boxing team member Tommy Duquette who’ve brought together professional boxers from across the country to lead the classes on the platform.
While it might seem perfect for stir-crazy apartment dwellers and homeowners in the age of COVID-19, FightCamp launched in 2019, before the coronavirus disrupted our normal fitness routines. (FightCamp was actually reviewed by another SPY writer named Taylor back in 2019.)
Back when fitness studios were still a thing, I really enjoyed going to studios like Rumbl and BoxUnion for their kickboxing classes. They were a fantastic cardio workout and a great way to work off whatever angst I was feeling that day. So when I was offered a chance to try out FightCamp’s in-home boxing setup I was immediately intrigued. I jumped at the chance and immediately started receiving large boxes of equipment to my apartment.
I have to admit, my first thought was “where the HECK am I going to store this thing?!” In case you haven’t been served a platitude of FightCamp Instagram, their setup comes with a huge free-standing punching bag mounted on a weighted base, a set of gloves and wrist wraps. All of their equipment is high-quality and comes ready to assemble in a few minutes — but it’s large. Like really large. First and foremost, I have to warn you — if you live in a small apartment with limited storage, you may want to look elsewhere for your bougie fitness equipment, unless boxing is your one and only fitness thing, in which case, by all means, keep reading. In practice, you really need a dedicated home gym or dedicated area of your home for your new FightCamp punching bag.
FightCamp Setup and Installation: A Serious Investment
After I was assured by their PR rep that I had received everything, I started the setup “how to” video, wherein their founder explained that I would need to fill the base of the “Free-Standing Bag,” as they call it, with water or sand. Um, what? More specifically, he said if you were going the sand route (which they recommended) you would need 330 pounds of it. Yes, 330 POUNDS of sand. I didn’t have that, so my boyfriend and I took turns filling up the base with water from our water bottles for what felt like forever. (I’m sure you could find a more efficient system than our water bottle method.) Now, hopefully, FightCamp customers and experienced boxers are better prepared for this process than I was, but this is an important disclaimer.
They explain in the video that you can easily fill it up with a garden hose, and I can imagine that’s true, but if you live in an apartment like me, then you’re going to have to get creative in how you weigh down your base. It’s huge, and it takes a while. I’m planning on filling it with sand now that I know I’m going to keep it, since that does seem like the more secure way to go. Mine is currently filled with water, and while it’s pretty secure, it does move occasionally when I really give my lead kick some oomph.
The Free-Standing bag is designed to securely attach to the base via a hook-and-loop mechanism, and once the base is filled it’s designed to not move — and both of these claims proved true in my testing. Once it’s on there, it’s on there, and I’ve never worried about the bag falling over or giving out on me.
Next, you’ve got the protective flooring, which I didn’t use due to a lack of space. The bag is standing on a small round mat that protects my floor just fine, but if I did have the space for the workout mat I’m sure it would be useful. (We’ve already built out a home power rack during the early days of stay-at-home orders, and we can’t turn our entire apartment into a gym.)
The boxing gloves are super high quality and are of equal caliber as ones I’ve used in fitness studios before. They’re comfortable to wear, easy to get on and snug, especially once you’ve got your wrist wraps on. The wrist wraps they provide, or “quick wraps” as they call them, also feel very high quality and protective when I’m wearing them. They’re color-coded for your right and left hands so the app can track your punches correctly.
The punch trackers are by far one of the most impressive parts of the FightCamp package. They’re small devices about the size of a thumb drive that slip into both quick wraps and sync up to the app to track your punch count. Each workout has a punch goal you’re trying to hit, and the punch trackers ensure all your data is calculated accurately. These devices work impressively well. Once they’re connected, they stay connected and truly count every punch. They’re also easy to charge (via the device in the photo below), and the battery lasts for a good long while.
I’ve done five workouts with FightCamp so far, and each one has kicked my butt. The instructor leads a warm-up and then leads you through four to eight rounds of punching depending on the length of the workout you chose. Each round lasts for about four minutes total, with the punch combinations interspersed with core and cardio exercises like planks and squats. Each class ends with a stretch and you’re out of there. Like in-person fitness classes, I’ve found that even the 30-minute sessions have gone by fast, and I really look forward to my next round with the FightCamp bag.
Like I said, initially I wasn’t sure whether FightCamp was going to find a home in my apartment, and it definitely has. I love this giant eyesore/cardio machine and look forward to figuring out how to move it into and out of many future apartments.
The Verdict: FightCamp Is Addicting in All the Right Ways
If you’ve got a big enough space to use it and store it, I highly recommend the FightCamp experience. If you love kickboxing and miss going to real studios with bags hanging from the ceiling, I highly recommend it. It’s difficult to move, bulky and takes up space, but if it’s the thing that’s going to get you moving, then it’s worth it.
I would recommend reading FightCamp reviews and understanding the setup process before ordering a FightCamp package for yourself, but this fitness system has won me over. It’s become a part of my weekly exercise regimen and is definitely going to be pivotal to my physical progress going forward. Not only is it a great workout, but it’s empowering and cathartic as well, a true mental escape.
Now, there are a few different FightCamp packages to choose from — and you can opt for one that’s only shadowboxing with the punch trackers, which I would recommend to anyone. You can get a great workout without pounding the bag, and it’s a great way to learn the combinations if one day you do decide to splurge and invest in the full package.
FightCamp Personal Package
The FightCamp Personal package includes everything one person needs to punch it out on the bag — the punch trackers, quick wraps, free-standing bag, the heavy workout mat and premium boxing gloves.
FightCamp Tribe Package
The FightCamp Tribe package is a package designed for families and includes a second set of punch trackers, boxing gloves as well as kids’ boxing gloves. If your whole clan is interested in FightCamp and exercise is something you bond over, this package is only $130 more and will ensure no one has to fight over/ share gloves.
FightCamp Connect Package
Lastly, the FightCamp connect package is the simplest and cheapest package that they aim at experienced boxers who already have equipment at home. If you already own a bag that you love, or work out at a gym that has a bag this package gives you what you need to follow their classes and track your data without buying their punching bag. The trackers will only work if you punch a bag, so if you prefer to simply kick box without a bag don’t purchase this package.