No Ordinary Gym
Jabz uses boxing to help women meet their goals
By Connor Dziawura
Christina Peregrym was a longtime client of Jabz Boxing when she decided to get in on the concept and open a franchise.
Targeted at women, Jabz Boxing is no ordinary gym. Its circuit-style fitness classes are designed to cover cardio, strength training, core work and plyometrics, but filtered through a boxing lens.
This was appealing to Peregrym.
After a Groupon offer inspired her to get in shape, Peregrym says she found herself impressed with Jabz’s “unparalleled” culture and how it helped her meet some of her own fitness goals. She opened her own Happy Valley location in summer 2016.
“I just fell in love with it because it was (for) women only and the workouts were different every day, so it was constantly challenging me,” Peregrym says. “I would have a gym membership and I would go but I would be bored or not motivated or accountable to what I was doing and sometimes I wouldn’t know what to do.”
Early on in her considerations for opening an 85085 location, which she says was ultimately a hit right off the bat, Peregrym admits she faced a difficult question: Would it prove to be a fad, as others suggested?
Peregrym is confident it isn’t and she says it’s here to stay. So is she, as she plans to open another location near Lake Pleasant in late February or early March.
“I think the thing that really makes it stick is the fact it’s (for) women only and it’s not just the workout,” she ponders. “Because you really could go anywhere and get an awesome workout. There are so many fitness studios—there’s OrangeTheory, there’s F45, I mean there’s everything out there—but there’s no women-only studios unless you think of Curves, but Curves is totally different than Jabz.”
Central to Jabz is a boxing ring stocked with various punching bags. The gym is also equipped with traditional items like dumbbells, rowing machines and medicine balls.
Class members rotate through a variety of stations, and trainers alternate the scheduled workouts daily and weekly. Members can stop by as many or as few days a week as they’d like. New members can even try an orientation first.
“It’s a full-body workout. Every day our workouts change; every week they change,” Peregrym says. “You have your boxing component where you’re constantly throwing punches. I think it’s about over a thousand punches per class, which is pretty amazing.”
Sure, Peregrym says the boxing adds a layer of fun to fitness and it relieves stress, but she also feels it’s empowering for the women who partake.
“I mean, you’re learning the self-defense aspect of it, of how to throw a proper punch and a hook and an uppercut and a kick. So that part’s really empowering because a lot of women who come in here have never done that,” she explains. “So, they’re like, ‘Wow, now I know how to properly punch.’”
She adds, “And then it just helps to diversify the workout so you’re not constantly just sitting on a rower or a treadmill. You’re always doing something different with every round.”
Don’t let the pink décor and branding fool you, Jabz’s workouts aren’t necessarily easy, Peregrym clarifies. But succeeding is all about a positive outlook, she feels, no matter the client’s age or skill level.
“We did have a guy take a workout one time … and he was dying. He was hilarious. He was like, ‘I don’t know how you guys do this,’” she says. “People come in here and they think, ‘Oh, it’s pink. It’s going to be easy.’ And you know what? You can make the workouts as hard as you want and you can modify (them) as much as you need to.”
Above all else, Peregrym says Jabz forges friendships and an empowering community. Plus, due to Jabz’s small class sizes, trainers are able to work closely to ensure clients are getting the most out of their workouts and are challenged to meet their nutrition and fitness goals.
“Some studios will try to cram as many people as they can in a class, and we try to cap it to keep it small,” Peregrym explains. “This way you have more one-on-one (time) with the trainer and they’re able to help direct you and make sure you are exhibiting proper form and technique when you are throwing your punches, on top of when you are doing your circuits as well.”
The concept is growing fast, and in just over six years of franchising, it has surpassed 20 locations throughout Arizona, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Peregrym says more are on the way.
As for her own upcoming Peoria location, at the southeast corner of Lake Pleasant Parkway and Happy Valley Road, she says demand is high. Presales launched several months back and have already attracted 30 signups.
“I’m very particular about where I like to, I guess, open businesses, and to me this area is really growing,” she says. “We have some clients who actually come to this location. They’ll drive 20-25 minutes to come here, and they live out there. I mean, even (in) Vistancia there’s over 3,600 homes. It’s one of those communities really developing and growing, and we feel Jabz would be a good fit for that area.”