The fitness industry is reaching a level of dizzying highs. It’s no wonder, since the world’s obesity rate continues to climb at a terrifying rate. Some studies estimate the global level of obesity in adults to be as high as 20 per cent – that’s one out of five people for those of you keeping track at home. Obviously, collectively we have to try to do something.

The fitness gurus of the world have commenced unofficial campaigns across North America to try to entice the masses into a healthier routine. Different types of gyms and workouts have been popping up everywhere since the early aughts, the most successful of which seemingly having a high emphasis on the inclusion of music. One such Calgary endeavour is UNDRCARD Boxing Studio, a boxing studio that aims to take the intimidation factor out of the old school boxing gym and replace it with the fun factor of the dancefloor at your favourite nightclub. In fact, one of UNDRCARD’s slogans is “where fight club meets night club.”

We hooked up with one of the studio founders, Joanna Magik, to learn how UNDRCARD is knocking out the YYC fitness scene with the winning combo of beats and heavy bags.

UNDRCARD_Boxing_Studio_17_photo_@MichaelBenz

Freq: Hi Joanna! Can you tell me a bit about your team at UNDRCARD?

The UNDRCARD boxing instructors are a mix of professional fighters, national level athletes, and the city’s most in demand fitness instructors. We have some incredibly talented people in the “corner crew” as we call them (everyone who steps into the studio is “corner crew” as we all have each other’s back and we’re in “your corner”). For example, Jared “Last Kiss” Velasquez who has been boxing for over 12 years and trained with the Cuban National Team, Kaysi “Kay Slay” Fagan who is a sought after criminal defense lawyer with 16 years of punching experience (and she used to be a real spy!) and Scott “Smash” Mackenzie who is also on Team Canada for Muay Thai and is ranked first in his weight category in Canada.

Freq: How important would you say music is at UNDRCARD? I couldn’t help but notice the description on your website says UNDRCARD is a nightclub inspired environment, and that the classes include music curated by Canada’s leading DJs and musical tastemakers.

Yes, music is a HUGE part of the experience at UNDRCARD! We even have a rolling UNDRCARD DJ booth with XLR inputs built into the wall!

Music is such a powerful motivator in life and when applied to fitness it truly makes you work longer and harder (your endurance and intensity significantly improve). People are doing 3-4 minute rounds of work in there – that’s long! – and the music keeps them pushing through. Music helps them resist defeat, have fun and emerge renewed!

With my background in music events with Red Bull Canada and being connected to the Hifi Club and Commonwealth crew here in Calgary, carefully curating the music and choosing diverse genres and new sounds, is of paramount importance. I attend a lot of music festivals (everything from Ultra to Mad Decent Block Parties to Bass Coast) and local shows so the interest in music is very organic. I think our space is one of the few in Canada where you might hear an early release from the likes of  Diplo, Justin Martin or Canada’s favourites The Smalltown DJs.  The music we play demands a beefy sound system that supports big bass.  I want guests to be engulfed and transported by the sound. I knew PK understood this very very well.

We’ve had Skratch Bastid, Smalltown DJs and Illangelo come through for a punching session – we could make an entire theme class for each of them out of all their music!

Freq: What would you say sets UNDRCARD apart from other boxing/fitness studios?

The UNDRCARD experience! We offer real boxing movement in a real hype atmosphere – fueled by PK Sound – with the Yo Adrian! coffee, food and juice bar to socialize or work at. We have a genuine interest in music and the arts and support the local scene (we recently hosted a Sofar sounds session and other third party events). Although there are similarly perceived boxing businesses in the market, this exact combination doesn’t exist in Calgary or the rest of Canada (just yet). We offer a challenging workout that really works; mixing real boxing technique and a full body workout plus our ring and our gym. We are driven by the positive impact active living has on people and how it prepares them for the main event that really matters; life outside the studio.

We are also a bit of an event space. Our grand opening video really captures the party vibe our space, and the great PK speakers, offers.

UNDRCARD-Boxing-Studio-Event-2

Freq: I noticed on the website you guys stress that first timers are welcome. What do you do to ensure first timers don’t feel dumb/insecure/not flexible/like they look awkward as hell/all the things I usually feel when I try to hoist myself back into shape?

First timers are VERY WELCOME! They come out so elated and so pumped on punching something that we often see them the next day again! UNDRCARD is such a safe space; Firstly, you’ll be in a dark room so the exposure is very limited. You’re not on display. Not like in yoga or spin. People are literally too focused on the bag or the instructor to have time to observe others. Secondly, you’re in great company! Most of our guests are new to boxing. That was the intention with the business model – to capture all those people who are intimidated by old school boxing gyms or think it’s ‘not for them’. There is a section on our web site that dives into more technical details of how to prepare as a first timer

Freq: What’s the most important thing we should know about UNDRCARD?

Everyone can join the fight and its super fun! Regardless of where you are physically or mentally, with every punch and every song, you are closer to your best self and ready for the main event of life. We have classes from 6am to 7:30pm, open all weekend, and various price points. Oh – and we have a bangin’ PK System. JOIN THE FIGHT!

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