Women’s Boxing Classes
by Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston
Below are testimonials from some of Marianne’s clients, as well as press coverage and features regarding her Classes and Personal Training services.
I’ve been going to Marianne’s class now for about 4 months. It took me a bit of persuasion to start. I’d never been in a boxing gym before and I imagined it to be a really intimidating place, especially for women. I thought there’d be a bunch of cliquey people and macho men.
Not a bit of it. The moment I walked in to the gym people talked to me and smiled and encouraged me. There was no attitude, no self-importance and I felt really welcome. It was reassuring for me that there was a women’s class, taught by a woman trainer as it was what I needed to build my confidence.
Marianne was not what I was expecting at all, blonde, beautiful and small but my goodness, one of the toughest instructors I’ve come across. When I first started the classes I would say I was moderately fit. This was a whole new ball game. First it was the hardest exercise I’ve ever done and second, it brought really fast benefits. My stamina, strength and flexibility have come on in leaps and bounds.
My confidence has grown too. At first I had two left feet and couldn’t throw a punch to save my life. Now I feel in control of what I’m doing and I can see with each week that my technique has improved. Marianne’s classes have really inspired me and are great fun and for her, I might even lose the pink boxing gloves!
When I started training with Marianne I had no experience whatsoever with boxing. I remember watching it as a child on TVs sometimes but that was about it. I was only when I recently saw a film on TV about a professional female boxer that I was drawn to finding out more about the discipline. I looked around to try and find a class in London but found true boxing training not boxercise or kickboxing; to be few and far between. I choose Marianne’s class because I really liked the dedicated section on the site for women’s classes and the fact we would be taught by a professional female boxer. I went along as soon as I could; from the first class I was literally hooked. I couldn’t believe how challenging it was; there is so much skill and technique involved, combined with a high intensity workout. This was the first form of fitness that has got me dedicated. I have been to many different classes, trying varying forms of fitness how ever nothing has compared to the boxing training. It is all consuming; I find that my attention never strays as the workout Marianne devises is very dynamic and changes every class. No one class is ever the same,; which I think pushes your fitness as you body doesn’t get used to a particular routine and you mind doesn’t get bored. I have found it to beneficial to both body and soul; not only is my fitness increasing but It has helped me so much to control my emotions particularly feelings of stress and anger. Boxing training has now become my release; I am able to work out the days stresses in a productive way. I have never thought of myself to be the fighting type but believe me we all have it in us regardless of gender; instead of feeling weak and incapable of defending myself, the training is developing a valuable confidence in me that now I can walk home late at night with a feeling of capability. There is nothing worse than being a single female in a big city and feeling constantly threatened; the cultural norm is that men are violent and women are vulnerable. But the women’s boxing class challenges these assumptions. Marianne teaches us the skills not only to become better fighters but she empowers us with the knowledge we gain about our body and how to use it to the maximum. The thing I enjoy the most is sparring, it has increased my confidence and I have stopped apologising every time I throw a punch in the ring, something I think that women in general struggle with; a need to be nice, the fear of hurting people, a physical hesitance and their own disbelief in their physical power. Joining Marianne’s class has been one of the best decisions I have made, not only do I greatly enjoy it, but I can see the benefits coming two-fold. Boxing training is something more women should be aware off not only for the intense workout and increasing fitness it brings, but for the ways in which it challenges you on a mental level.
During my first fight, against Mexico’s Rey Vargas, at the 2009 World Championships in Milan I felt heavy legged and I didn’t feel I was moving around the ring as freely as usual. I was a little concerned about this so I called Marianne to ask her advice.
She took the time to listen to my description of the problem and then asked me various questions on my fight preparations. As my training was the same as usual Marianne then asked me what I had eaten and drank over the previous few days.
The next morning we spoke again and she said she had e.mailed me a diet plan for the build up to my next fight and a specific timed diet plan for the day of the fight.
I followed the plans Marianne had sent me and I felt good, full of energy. It was as if I had never had the problem in the first place.
Sunday Telegraph journalist, Amy Bryant, started taking part in Marianne’s boxing based fitness classes for research into an article she was preparing for the Stella New Year Health and Fitness Special edition.
Amy wrote: “Boxing might sound brutal, but the training is highly disiplined – there are no cauliflower ears, or even bruises. My women-only class kicked off with five minutes of skipping to get the heart pumping. Next there was gruelling circuit of press-ups, burpees and star jumps, then it was gloves on. We learnt how to hold our fists, adopt the correct stance and throw a series of punches at a bag or sparring partner.
The process is focused but not aggressive, the aim being to get your body moving more sharply. We finished sweaty and exhausted every session, but always invigorated. Going once a week for twelve weeks I lost the padding from my hips and aquired toned arms, abdomen and calves, whilst an intense one-to-one session improved my balance and power.
Suits people who want a demanding group workout
Best for Arms, chest and abs”
Time Out Magazine researched and compiled a list of London’s Best Personal Trainers in five specialised fitness areas. Time Out Magazine then selected just the best in each area for inclusion in their January 2010 issue and on publication Marianne was listed as the best ‘Boxing & Circuits’ trainer.
Below is what Time Out Magazine had to say about Marianne.
“This hard-as-nails blonde teaches at a spit-and-sawdust gym in London. Herself a pro boxer discovered by Smokin’ Joe Frazier, Marston still competes in the US as part of a cruiserweight champion team, but between bouts her considerable energies are focused on those she trains. As well as boxing training to sculpt and tone your figure fast, the ‘Golden Girl’ is also a qualified nutritionist, who knows how to pack a punch despite being wheat – and lactose – intolerant. That doesn’t mean she’ll stand for sissies, though – and with her hardcore boxing and circuit training, the ‘Golden Girl’ runs a pretty terrifying ship.”
Hannah Fox tries Boxing – Healthy Magazine April 2010 issue
“I’ve done boxing moves in a number of aerobics workouts, but always wanted to try the real thing, with proper gloves, boxing rings and the ding of the bell for each round. The interest in boxing for women has increased recently, thanks in part to the Hollywood factor (Hilary Swank won an Oscar for the boxing film Million Dollar Baby, but also because from 2012 women’s boxing will be an official Olympic event for the first time ever.
The Gym is tucked under the arches of London Bridge and it’s how I imagined a traditional boxing gym – gritty, sweaty, with hip hop blaring from an old stereo.
The gym runs a women’s boxing class, which works on improving your boxing fitness and teaches you how to throw genuine punches. We started off by climbing into the ring and doing some warm-up jogging to get our heart rates going. We then pulled on our boxing gloves and got into pairs. Our boxing teacher, Marianne, taught us the basic punches – jabs, hooks, straight punches and uppercuts.
We also learnt how to make defensive moves to fend off the punches so we could do proper sparring (although it was very gentle taps as opposed to proper hits). After that, we worked on the boxing bags, punching as fast as we could for 30-second bursts wile ducking and diving around the bag.
My arms felt like lead by the end of it and, as Marianne had warned, the next day I ached all over, including my legs, stomach, back and bum.
Boxing is a great all-over workout – it felt good to leave my stresses in a punchbag.”
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