Guest Review: Club KO

6/12/2009:

Hoboken411 reader “JJ” (who also helped review Zylo Steakhouse at the W Hotel) – chimes in today with a fresh perspective on Club KO Gyms in Hoboken!

The Sound Of Thunder at Club KO

“These people are going crazy.”

So said my client as he watched a kickboxing class at the Madison Street Club KO one recent afternoon in Hoboken. We were there to do a photoshoot in the weightroom, but had to pass through the second floor where the kickboxing was going on; and yes the people taking the class were enthusiastic about it, to say the least. My client, a model and trainer from NYC, had apparently never seen the like.

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That kind of reaction is not uncommon. And yet for all their relentless advertising around town, it seems some people still don’t know what Club KO is all about. In a nutshell, there are two locations in Hoboken: the massive Madison St. gym above Shop-Rite, and a smaller(but still huge) location at Grand St. that also features a full–size boxing ring; for this “review visit” I chose Madison St. The gym itself is huge, spanning two full floors, having just expanded with a beautiful new weightroom, but the heart of Club KO is the kickboxing. The Madison St. location stretches from one side of the block to the other, with bags all the way up and down.

CONTINUE REVIEW AND SEE HOT GUY PICS AFTER THE BREAK…

(Club KO Guest Review, continued…)

“My Hoboken fitness routine of late has consisted mostly of jogging along the waterfront; while at one time I was a regular at CKO, it had been well over a year since I’d taken a kickboxing class at one of the Hoboken gyms, so I thought it was high time to revisit the Madison St. Location. Class(with instructor/manager Mike Andreula) began with a warmup and stretch, followed by running some laps around the gym, then went right into bag work. Mike threw out punch/kick combinations, some simple, some a bit more elaborate, while mixing in conditioning exercises(like push-ups) with cardio drills(like high-knees in place). Along with the structured drills there were also several freestyle “attack” rounds on the bag, finishing up with a few minutes of ab/core training. By the time class was almost over and we were doing squat/thrust/jump combinations I had just about had it, but I felt good afterwards–like I had a tough workout but not on the verge of death; the next day sore but not sore to the point of discomfort.

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So what else do you need to know about a CKO kickboxing workout? For one thing, it’s hard–this is not an easy workout, this is not like tie-bo, and it’s not an instructional karate/kickboxing class by any means. This is an intense cardio workout on a heavy bag, which is really key; hitting the bag improves muscle tone and focus. But for all it’s intensity and challenge this is also a workout that’s doable; their goal is to push you, not embarrass you with drills that are too hard or unreasonable, and really everything can be modified to fit your taste; you can push yourself to go that extra mile or take it easier if you prefer. Classes are co-ed, last about an hour or so, and the music is pumping; mostly it’s dance-pop techno crap, not exactly my cup of tea but serviceable for a workout.

The real trick of the Hoboken Gyms, Madison St. in particular, is the sheer size and energy of the class. I’ve taken classes sporadically over the past few months at several of the other NJ CKO locations, but those are all much smaller than the Hoboken Gyms. To be sure, size isn’t everything, and the most physically punishing classes I’ve ever had have been at other locations. But Madison St. has over 100 heavy bags; when everyone in class is pounding the bag full-speed it’s like the sound of thunder, and it is exhilarating.

The caveats? Club KO will not be for everyone, and it is not the typical gym. Neither location has showers and Grand St. doesn’t even have proper locker rooms; the new weight room at Madison looks beautiful, has tons of free weights and machine, and has a nice cardio deck with treadmills and eliptical machines, but the cardio area is also much smaller than what you’d find at other gyms around town. This is not a posh gym, nor is it a big “eye candy” gym. If you want to see and be seen or cruise, you’d be better off elsewhere.

The heart of the matter though is that a CKO kickboxing class is a workout that’s simply unlike anything else out there. When I first came to the gym years ago, I used to joke that the men at Club KO were tougher than the men at any other gym, but the truth is that the women at Club KO are probably tougher than the men at any other gym. There’s an energy to a class that’s palpable, and what my client referred to as “going crazy” might also be referred to as dedication”

Photo Gallery

Hope you enjoyed the review. Thanks again JJ!

Leave a Reply

9 Comments on "Guest Review: Club KO"

JJ-Hoboken
Member
JJ-Hoboken

Hi everyone,
It’s JJ who wrote this reviewm just wanted to clarify:
Yes, the “client” I referred to was an independant model who needed to use a gym for a photoshoot; not affiliated with CKO at all, neither one of us paid by CKO.
And “these guys” are not paying me, I wasn’t paid for this review and I wasn’t told to write something nice because they advertise on the site. I chose to review CKO because I really love the workout–as I say in the review it’s not perfect, it’s not for everyone, and there are certainly things about the gym I would change–but bottom line is that I enjoy the class.
-JJ

Easy-E
Member

For the record. I go to LA Boxing now, but I used to go to Club KO. It’s a very intense workout, that is a fact. I had no complaints really, just was looking for something more than the heavy bag classes, and that’s the only reason I left.

DavidsSling
Member
DavidsSling

“We were there to do a photoshoot in the weightroom”

I am really going to believe this review when these guys are paying you.

One of the head trainers , couldn’t even finish a 5k race.

borincana
Member
borincana

I have been a member for almost 3 years now. What keeps me going are: numero uno: location location location!- easy in easy out, dont live in Hoboken so I dont have to drive through the traffic and parking is easy. next are the variety of instructors they really know how to pick them they are engaging and energetic and keep me going. I have always been one to need my own type of music to keep me motivated however the energy from others matched with the intensity of the workout I sometimes forget that music is playing.The new weight room is incredible. Its a gym not a spa and it works for me. I dont have time for a 2 hour gym moment . I keep going simply because I have been getting results.I feel good and I look great. I love CKO ..

In response to DavidsSling who said:
“We were there to do a photoshoot in the weightroom”

I am really going to believe this review when these guys are paying you.

One of the head trainers , couldn’t even finish a 5k race.

Friedupright
Member
Friedupright

David, you were taking pictures. Maybe you should have stepped away from the camera for a minute. Have you tried a workout out Club KO? I have no financial interested in Club KO whatsoevever, the same goes for 411, but I do know this — Club KO provides one of the most intense workouts I have ever experienced. So, one of the “head trainers” couldn’t finish a 5K? Do you know why? Maybe an injury? Doesn’t really matter. People who can’t do, teach. Some ot the highest paid “coaches” in the world can’t run a 5K, but that doesn’t make them bad coaches/trainers. I’m just not sure why you are so disgruntled. An independent gave an honest review and you suggest it was a good review because Club KO advertises on 411. So, basically, no one can give a review because you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

In response to DavidsSling who said:
“We were there to do a photoshoot in the weightroom”

I am really going to believe this review when these guys are paying you.

One of the head trainers , couldn’t even finish a 5k race.

Litteredboken
Member
Litteredboken

“People who can’t do, teach.”

We really need to retire that phrase. REALLY.

In response to Friedupright who said:
David, you were taking pictures. Maybe you should have stepped away from the camera for a minute. Have you tried a workout out Club KO? I have no financial interested in Club KO whatsoevever, the same goes for 411, but I do know this — Club KO provides one of the most intense workouts I have ever experienced. So, one of the “head trainers” couldn’t finish a 5K? Do you know why? Maybe an injury? Doesn’t really matter. People who can’t do, teach. Some ot the highest paid “coaches” in the world can’t run a 5K, but that doesn’t make them bad coaches/trainers. I’m just not sure why you are so disgruntled. An independent gave an honest review and you suggest it was a good review because Club KO advertises on 411. So, basically, no one can give a review because you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Friedupright
Member
Friedupright

“Whatever!” Just thought I would give you another “phrase” that should be retired.

In response to Litteredboken who said:
“People who can’t do, teach.”

We really need to retire that phrase. REALLY.

Litteredboken
Member
Litteredboken

Oh, we could create a list of phrases!… that might be a fun topic for a blog.

In response to Friedupright who said:
“Whatever!” Just thought I would give you another “phrase” that should be retired.

gov
Member

reading is fundamental david. the client was the model not the gym. i realize it’s the second sentence but why should you be expected to actually read the article before bashing it?

In response to DavidsSling who said:
“We were there to do a photoshoot in the weightroom”

I am really going to believe this review when these guys are paying you.

One of the head trainers , couldn’t even finish a 5k race.

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