White collar boxers learn to roll with the punches

Mon Jun 8, 2009 10:08am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - When Muhammad Ali advised: "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee," he probably wasn't talking to hedge fund managers.

Nevertheless, bankers, Wall Streeters, attorneys and teachers, all kinds of professionals, male and female, are putting on boxing gloves for fitness, escape, release and fun.

"There's as much chance of meeting a CEO in a boxing gym as on the golf course," said Peter DePasquale, whose book, "The Boxer's Workout", lays out for everyone the methods boxers use to get in shape.

"Boxers call it working the floor, shadow boxing, hitting the heavy bag, jumping rope," DePasquale explained.

"The routine is an outstanding workout, simultaneously cardio, strength, multiple arms and legs together, and hitting something for stress relief," he said in an interview.

The word has spread.

At a Crunch fitness center in the trendy West Village of New York, personal trainer Rob Piela was grinning from ear to ear about the huge boxing ring that suddenly appeared in the exercise room.

"There's nothing better than putting on those gloves," Piela, a former Golden Gloves semifinalist, said. "But of course it's not the same as walking into an old stinky boxing gym."   Continued...

<p>A woman sparring at Crunch fitness center in New York City, 2008. REUTERS/Crunch/Handout</p>