New boxing-fitness studio moves in along West Hastings in Gastown, offering a workout with a real punch

All City Athletics focuses on proper boxing technique but not actual fighting

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      The 100 block of West Hastings Street is a hot spot for fitness-minded folks, with Eastwood Cycle and Barre Fitness being neighbours. Now, there’s another workout space in the ‘hood.

      Located underground with a back-alley entrance, All City Athletics (130 West Hastings Street) is a boutique boxing-fitness studio that provides group workouts for those who want to throw punches without actually duking it out. 

      “We’re passionate about teaching proper technique in a fun and accessible environment,” says Anna Farrant, cofounder of ACA along with Jordan Bowers. “It’s all the fun of boxing and training to fight minus getting punched in the face.”

      Farrant and Bowers met in 2012 while volunteering for Aprons for Gloves, a local boxing charity event run by Eastside Boxing Club. While they both had prior boxing experience, they spent the next few years training together and teaching people the fundamentals of boxing under Dave Shuck, Eastside’s head coach.

      In 2014, the two became certified as personal trainers by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and began offering classes outdoors, developing their own ACA method. They ran their company out of Eastside Boxing Club for two years before recently moving into their new Hastings Street digs. 

      ACA offers a range of classes, including Boxing 101 for newbies and ACA Classic, which is a mix of pad work, bag work, body-weight conditioning, and technique.

      “Everyone falls in love with boxing for different reasons, but at the end of the day it is one of the most challenging, engaging, and arguably therapeutic workouts there is,” Farrant says, pointing to benefits such as enhanced cardiovascular health, improved total body strength, better hand-eye coordination, and decreased stress. “There is also something very cathartic about punching the bag or focus mitts. It’s not about being angry, it’s about being assertive and accessing a sense of personal power. Its also a great way to cross train with other sports because it is a complete total body workout.

      “I would also say personally I find boxing to be a form of moving meditation,” she adds. “It requires you to be focused and present which in turn gives you the benefits of turning off the noise in your head for an hour.”

      ACA is offering unlimited classes for $199 from January 2 to February 15, 2018. See ACA’s website for more details.