Brandon Rosario takes a drink out of his Marine Corps Yeti while he examines the room, music blaring out of his Bluetooth speaker.
He contemplates what workout equipment he’s going to lay out for the students who are about to attend his fitness class. First, he pulls out his boxing mitts, lays them on the floor, grabs a couple of kettlebells, an agility ladder and medicine balls. Rosario, a current Marine reservist, is making sure the area is ready for an intense boot camp-style workout.
A few minutes later, students begin to pour into the class. They chat about holiday plans and begin to stretch.
“Let’s go,” Rosario says.
The five students stand up and head out for their run. This is just the warm-up.
Rosario is a Texas A&M University-San Antonio kinesiology graduate, and he instructs the “Boxing and Barbells” class 7-8 p.m. every Thursday in Room 134 of the Madla Building. The class is free to all A&M-San Antonio students and open to any experience level.
It is one of a few weekly fitness classes offered to all students through the Recreational Sports Jagfit program.
Rosario said most people stop being active because they find fitness repetitive, so mixing it up and incorporating the boxing element keeps workouts interesting.
He said that’s what separates his class from a standard weight workout or other fitness classes.
The class begins with students warming up with a half-mile run outside to get the heart rate up. When they return to the classroom, they lace up their gloves and prepare for two minutes of boxing drills, where they’ll learn a combo of the day. Rosario walks them through a basic one-two combo while adding a head slip drill, where they sway left to right to defend counterpunches. He guides them with his boxing mitts moving at a different pace for every student.
When the bell sounds, he immediately moves them through a two-minute interval workout of Russian twists, ladder drills for footwork and kettlebell swings, followed by a short break.
“I’ve found putting a two-minute water break in the middle gives people time to recover,” Rosario said in an interview after the class. “It’s six rounds of boxing and six rounds of exercises.”
The workouts aren’t easy; there are different variations, but it’s fun, and the workouts are intense, said Paul Jones, biology freshman at A&M-San Antonio.
“Bring water,” Jones said in an interview after class. “Work on your cardio.”
Rosario agreed: “Bring water and gloves. Boxing is exciting — feels like you’re training with a purpose.”
Every week, the workouts and intervals may differ, but the boxing combinations stay the same with simple adjustments. Although the class is intense, it moves at one’s pace, and the purpose is to keep pushing through the timed rounds.
This is the first semester of Boxing and Barbells. It will continue through the fall every Thursday night except for the week of Thanksgiving. The last classes of the semester are:
- 7-8 p.m. Nov. 17 in Room 134 of the Madla Building
- 7-8 p.m. Dec. 1 in Room 134 of the Madla Building
For more information about “Boxing and Barbells,” contact the Rec Sports Department at 210-784-1361.