Guest Review: Club KO
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.
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.
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”
Hope you enjoyed the review. Thanks again JJ!