7 things to know before your first workout at Battle Republic from two Bham Nowers


Gabi Hembree (left) and yours truly (right) of Bham Now. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

As I type this, I am full-body sore. That’s because I went to Battle Republic, Birmingham’s boxing-inspired gym, for the first time last night with my fellow Bham Nower, Gabi. If you’re looking to sweat A LOT, have fun and get a workout that will kick your butt, look no further. We have some helpful tips to know before you go!

1) Sign up online before class

Before you head over to Battle Republic, you’ll want to create an account online. I did this the day before I went, and because I entered some simple information Battle Republic was able to track how many calories I burned during class–more on that later. Prepare to feel the burn, by the way–torching 500 calories is not unusual. 

As a first-timer you can get your first class free through the end of August, so you don’t have much to lose by giving it a shot! 

2) Bring your water and yourself–they’ll supply the rest

Game faces for our first Battle Republic workout. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

When we got to the gym, Gabi and I were given wraps to protect our hands (which, I won’t lie, made me feel like kind of a badass), along with a pair of gloves and a heart rate monitor. If you’ve never used this equipment before, don’t worry–the staff will help you get ready!

3) Don’t stress if you’ve never boxed before

Considering I’ve never boxed before–and I have a hard time finding any sort of rhythm during exercise classes–I was a little nervous showing up to Battle Republic. I had the gear to look legit, but I definitely did not feel legit. Luckily for me, Leah, the class instructor, was extremely kind and patient! She showed me (multiple times…) how to correctly do the punches and was super encouraging!

Leah Drury of Battle Republic. Sign up for one of her classes–you won’t regret it! Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

4) Prepare to work out your whole body–it’s not just boxing

Lunges with kettlebells at Battle Republic. Photo via Battle Republic

We started out by warming up with some jumping jacks and other moves to ease into the class. Then came the boxing, and after that, the kettlebells–which is probably why everything hurts today. Boxing is a great workout in itself, but when you add in kettlebell swings, lunges, squats and burpees, you’re not messing around. I feel pretty accomplished that I was able to hang in there.

5) Go at your own pace

Gabi Hembree of Bham Now at Battle Republic. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

You can set your own pace during the workout, which makes it super approachable no matter your fitness level. Since it’s just you and your bag, you can focus on challenging yourself instead of what everyone else in the room is doing. (Loud music and low lighting help with that, too!).

6) Track your performance

Remember the heart rate monitor I mentioned at the beginning? Battle Republic uses that to track the calories you burn during the workout. If you want, you can check your performance on a screen throughout class. 

If your square on the screen is green, you’re doing okay. If your square is yellow, you’re challenging yourself. If you’re in the red, you’re going above and beyond–and you will definitely be sore tomorrow. Battle Republic also emails you your results (in case you were too busy sweating it out during class to check the screen).

7) Cool down and chill

After giving it my all during the freestyle round–where I could take everything out on my bag and get out one last burst of energy–I welcomed the cool down period at the end of class. Leah guided us through stretches and radiated positive energy that I’m going to take with me the rest of the week. I look forward to going back!

Sweaty and tired after our workout. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham now

Have you tried Battle Republic yet? Sign up here

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Taylor Babington
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