The pro: Mary Onyango, group fitness instructor at Equinox locations in New York City
The workout: The best athletes are triple threats: They have strength, speed, and power. Equinox’s latest group fitness offering, ROUNDS—and the workout below, which is based on the protocol—trains all three.
The 55-minute class includes 3 stations, which you’ll complete twice. Each round lasts 6 minutes with 1 minute of rest in between.
The first round builds strength and endurance throughout the posterior chain with dumbbells and kettlebells. “The goal is to produce force in the muscles using heavy loads, performing six to eight reps per set,” Onyango says.
In round two, you’ll throw punches at freestanding bags (while the instructor coaches you on proper technique), which builds power and bolsters the anterior chain. When you return to this station in the second half of class, you’ll progress to complex punching combinations and in some cases, mitt work with the instructor, Onyango notes.
The last round improves agility with cones, ladders, and both speed and weighted jump ropes.
“You can take this class long term and continue to see improvements in all areas of athletic performance,” Onyango says.
To perform the workout below, you’ll need a set of medium-weight dumbbells, one medium-weight kettlebell, a free-standing or hanging punching bag, and an agility ladder. If you don’t have a bag, perform all punches as if you were shadowboxing. Do it 2 to 3 times per week for best results.
Stand with feet at shoulder-width, knees slightly bent, and a medium-weight dumbbell in each hand with arms by your sides. Hinge at your hips, keeping your back flat and core engaged. This is your start position. From there, row the weights up to your chest, squeezing the shoulder blades together as you do so. Reverse the motion to return to start for one rep. Complete 6 reps, then 7, then 8, resting for 10 seconds between each set. Perform the same rep scheme in reverse. Continue this pattern until time is up.
Stand with a bag one arm’s length in front of you. Assume an orthodox stance, with the left foot in front and right foot behind you. The left shoulder should be slightly in front of the right. (If you’re left-handed, maintain a southpaw stance, which is the reverse.) Make a fist with each hand, with the thumb on top of the fingers. Hold both fists by your chin and keep your elbows close to your sides. This is your start position for every punch. For 30 seconds, throw jab-crosses: For the jab, simultaneously extend and rotate your front arm so the palm faces down at the farthest point, then quickly pull your fist back to start. For the cross, simultaneously pivot on your back foot and twist through your torso to generate power while extending your back arm as you did the front arm. Quickly return to start and repeat. For the next 30 seconds, perform alternating hooks: Lift your elbow out to the side so the arm is parallel to the floor, then punch toward the midline of your body. Return to start and repeat on the opposite side. For the next 30 seconds, perform all three punches back-to-back. Repeat the entire punching circuit one more time.
Stand at the end of an agility ladder, with the first square of the ladder in front of your feet, and the others extending to the right. Keeping your legs straight, perform a split jump of sorts, landing with the right foot in the first square and the left foot in the start position. Quickly jump again and switch the position of your feet in the same square. Repeat this sequence in the next square and the next and so on, making your way to the end of the ladder. (Each foot should land in each square once.) Repeat in the opposite direction. Continue until time is up.
Stand with feet wider than shoulders and a kettlebell a few inches in front of you. With a straight spine, hinge at the hips, bend the knees, and grab the kettlebell handle with both hands. Swing the kettlebell between your legs. In one fluid motion, drive through the hips and knees to stand tall, ending with the kettlebell at chest-height in front of you with a slight bend in the arms. Reverse the motion to swing the kettlebell back between your legs for one rep. Complete 8 reps, then 9, then 10, resting for 10 seconds between each set. Perform the same rep scheme in reverse. Continue this pattern until time is up.
Assume an orthodox or southpaw stance. For 30 seconds, perform alternating uppercuts by dropping one fist at a time toward your hip and driving it back up to your chin. For the next 30 seconds, perform alternating hooks, lifting your right elbow out to the side so the arm is parallel to the floor, punching toward the midline of your body, returning to start, and switching sides. For the next 30 seconds, perform a jab-cross combo, 2 uppercuts (1 per side), and 2 hooks (1 per side) back-to-back. Repeat the entire punching circuit one more time.
Jump rope as you normally would, using either a speed or weighted variety, but shift your weight from one foot to the other. Both feet should touch the ground with each jump, but you should alternate which foot carries most of your weight. Continue until time is up.