Packing a punch

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The Student Recreation Center offers a variety of programs for all kinds of groups, including the women’s Pink Boxing Gloves (PGB), which was voted Best Fitness Class.

“Here’s this fitness program, you know, it’s different,” Assistant Director of Fitness Services and Education, Jessica Whitt said. “It’s about empowerment and leadership and community and women and how we can empower each other and it has nothing to do with aesthetics or your six-pack abs or like, how you look in a bikini or what your spring break body is going to be like; it has nothing to do with that. It’s just coming together as a community and exercise and having fun. And it is boxing skills, but it’s more of, you know, it’s a fitness class, but don’t get me wrong … PGBers are tough.”

The decision to join a particular class is a process and front desk membership attendant Emmy Ayala explained how people often decide and may land on PGB as their choice.

“People usually look and see what motivates them, what sounds fun or ask ‘oh, what’s this? This sounds interesting,’” Ayala said. “The good thing is that you can get a refund if it wasn’t what you were looking for.”

For up-and-coming PGB instructor Melissa Soria, she tried out a couple other finalists for the top fitness classes, Zumba and Yoga, before finding her real niche with PGB.

“I tried Zumba,” Soria said, “but I’m a really bad dancer. It’s so fun though. I recommend it to everybody who does have rhythm, but this is the one place where I do have rhythm, like punching. I also take a yoga class right now and I’m in Body Pump and I love those classes too, but this is the one, like, real social one that I found.”

It is the social aspect that keeps the female population returning to PGB.

The program began in 2011 at WSU and was the second of its kind in the nation. It has since expanded to other universities, especially on the East Coast, like James Madison and others in New York. PGB is moving to the Middle East, with one already underway in Bahrain. Whitt is pleased to be joining in starting PGB in Dubai this coming summer.

At WSU, a new session of the class will begin on May 11 and run until June 19. The high rate of returners means the spots are filling up fast.

“It is just a different program and it was back then and I think some fitness programs now are definitely following like CrossFit,” Whitt said. “CrossFit has the community aspect to it that keeps people in CrossFit, but PGB had this a long time ago. That’s why people are very avid; once they start PGB, they pretty much stay until the end.”