Title Boxing Club Coming to the Bay Area in a Big Way

 Courtesy Photo: Title Boxing

Courtesy Photo: Title Boxing

There's no denying that boutique fitness is a booming industry in the San Francisco, but Title Boxing Club—the studio chain born out of the Title Boxing equipment company—is betting big on the Bay Area. Think Rumble's plan for two incoming studios is bold? Title Boxing is planning for 23 NorCal gyms.

Title has been in the equipment game for since 1998, and the company opened its first fitness club in Kansas City a decade ago. Today, there are 175 Title clubs in the U.S., Mexico, and Dominican Republic, and approximately 200 new clubs in various stages of development. Let's put that in perspective: the Bay Area could represent 10 percent of Title's expansion strategy, and six percent of its global footprint. That's a whole lotta boxers.

 Courtesy Photo: Title Boxing Club

Courtesy Photo: Title Boxing Club

Classes at Title Boxing Clubs incorporate boxing techniques and bag work, but leave out the partner sparring that you often see at boxing gyms. The brand's signature workout combines intense cardio and boxing exercises with short periods of active rest. A 60-minute workout is split into three sections: 15 minutes of cardio warmup, 30 minutes on heavy bags, and 15 minutes of core and cool down. The 30 minute bag portion is further split into eight, three-minute rounds, with one minute of active rest in between rounds. Each member has their own bag so they can do their own workout at their own pace, and the instructor will move around the room offering feedback.

"I think traditionally boxing gyms may have felt intimidating or non-inclusive to most folks," says Todd Haavind, Director of Franchise Development for Title. "By using the boxing fitness techniques, we’ve opened the sport up to anyone who wants to participate. It’s not intimidating. It’s an inclusive, judgement-free zone. You get individual attention in a group atmosphere, creating a group feel, where boxing didn’t have that before... "It’s almost therapy. It’s a healthy way to bleed tension and aggression in a safe space. You’re getting fitness, but you’re not fighting."

 Courtesy Photo: Title Boxing Club

Courtesy Photo: Title Boxing Club

I've tried Title Boxing Club classes in several cities while traveling, and I've been consistently impressed by the experience. The clubs are bright, spacious, and clean. The equipment is new, the instructors and staff are friendly, and the workout is solid every time. (Plus, you can buy wraps in EVERY color if you forget yours.) The individualized structure of the classes, (e.g., individual bag work, and the physical layout of the bags), doesn't encourage the same kind of pack mentality and community bonding experience as, say, SoulCycle or Barry's, but it's not un-welcoming. If chit-chat with strangers is your least favorite part of group fitness, you can sweat without socializing at Title.

There's also variety in the class offerings. Clients can sign up for 30, 45, 60, and 75-minute classes using traditional boxing, kickboxing, or mixed martial arts (MMA) techniques. The clubs even offer personal training on site. (That's something you see at small, local gyms like HitFit and Third Street Boxing Gym do, but you won't find at incoming chains like Rumble.)

Haavind says Title's research shows that the Bay Area can support almost two dozen clubs, and the company hopes to have its first Bay Area gym open before 2019. While the Bay Area's fitness scene may seem saturated, he believes Title can be successful in San Francisco. "Title Boxing Club is the first and only boxing-inspired fitness club committed to giving everybody—all bodies, all weights, all ages, all abilities—the most empowering workout... We have a ten year history with the Title brand behind us. We’re always evolving. People in the fitness community want to learn technique, and perfect those techniques. We just feel like our branding and experience will win out."