Women who put on the gloves at Title Boxing Club don’t do so to spar with opponents, but some are fighting their demons.
“Wow,” summed up Jeanine Trani, taking a break during her first session at the new gym in Grand Plaza shopping center. The 42-year-old arrived with her Title Boxing gym bag and all the gear and attire she thought her workout would require. One thing she had not counted on.
“I had no idea what I was getting in to,” said the perspiring Northdale resident as she slowly caught her breath during a break. “It’s a lot more challenging, physically and cardio-wise” than exercise workouts she previously experienced.
Trani’s goal is simple. She wants to quit cigarettes, a habit since 1982.
The new gym’s “Power Hour” high-energy workouts led by trainers experienced in boxing or martial arts start with warm-ups and stretching exercises, but quickly accelerate into sessions that burn 600 to 1,200 calories, said owner Kim Nofsinger.
The formula is working for Janine Bruce of Lutz. She said she has lost 18 pounds since joining the club in November. “It’s a good, all-over-your-body workout,” Bruce said during a water break in a recent noon session.
Nofsinger is sold on the business in more ways than one. When Kansas City-based Title Boxing Club offered franchise opportunities, Nofsinger bought the first, operating it in suburban Kansas for nearly three years.
She sold her 2-year-old business in June, moved to Westchase and opened the Carrollwood location in August. Her sister, a Hillsborough County resident, operates the Title Boxing Club in Brandon that opened in November. Another sister has a Dallas franchise.
Nofsinger, who owns franchise rights for the Tampa region, plans more clubs, including one in South Tampa, where a lease is pending.
The customer mix is more women than men, most in their late 30s, some in their 50s and 60s. Members include couples, a lot of teenagers and one 10-year-old. There are no age restrictions, but the club has no child care.
Reception to the new business has been great, Nofsinger said. “People are just looking for a different type of workout. This is fun because it appeals to a broader range than some workouts,” she said. “One, it appeals to people who are in really great shape because it’s very challenging. But it also appeal to people who are in bad shape, or have never been very fit, because (a trainer) tells you what to do,” Nofsinger said.
“If they walk in a gym, they don’t know what to do on their own and they wander around.
Here, they’re in and out in an hour,” she said. Additionally, “Everybody gets to know each other. Everybody’s really friendly. In a (typical) gym you put your headphones on and nobody talks to you.”
Michelle Dickerson is a fitness fanatic who abandoned her previous gym and years of its “same generic workout” for Title Boxing Club. With a background in the fitness business, the avid bicyclist became Nofsinger’s assistant manager. The Carrollwood Village resident opens the business at 5:45 a.m. daily, 15 minutes before the day’s first session.
“It’s a great workout – high energy,” said Dickerson, who joins in for each early-morning session. “You finish by 7 and your workout is finished,” said Dickerson. “That’s the best way to start your day.”
“Boxing” in the gym name is scary to some, said Nofsinger. “No contact or sparring; we’re strictly fitness,” she said. The gym does have a ring, however, plus weight benches, treadmills and an elliptical machine. “And though we don’t teach self-defense, you do get better at it and it becomes instinctive,” Nofsinger said.