Who would have thought a Tinder date would turn into business bliss for Angela Jennings and Reggie Smith? What seems like a script out of a movie, is the backstory for Washington D.C.’s newest (and Black owned) boxing gym — BOOMBOX Boxing Club.
Even though their swipe right didn’t turn into a love match, their flame continued to burn because they both “shared a love for fitness” says co-founder Smith.
He continues, “Whenever she’d come in New York or I’d come home to D.C. we’d work out together. That went on for a couple of years, and then finally one day we were sitting around talking about “what we wanted to do when we grow up.” And we decided we wanted to open up a fitness facility.”
That fitness facility turn into BOOMBOX Boxing Club, which is a new boutique boxing studio in the Navy Yard area of Washington D.C. founded by their collective love for music, community, and boxing. Their motto: “box to the beat.”
Though a love for martial arts and boxing, Smith, a Vice President of Equity Research at JPMorgan and Jennings, a Senior Manager at Deloitte had no experience in fitness — let alone opening an entire gym. But with determination, grit and a whole lot of patience, they sought out to change the DC boxing game. “There are a gang of boxing concepts in New York,” says Smith. “And there were very few in D.C., so it seemed like a perfect setting. I thought if boxing can work with me in New York, it can work in D.C. And that was how it started.”
After over a year of planning, the dream finally became a reality. Boombox opened its doors in July with Smith and Jennings as master trainers, and a loyal staff that has supported since the beginning (all of whom had no boxing experience either).
“We trained for about 4 months,” says Smith. “Our coaches, most of them for the first few months did not get paid. But they still came out twice a week. We were there on the weekends — training, practicing on getting up front, running the class, learning how to hear music, how to hear beats, an 8 count, etc. I love music, but I didn’t know an 8 count. Now I can hear a song. I can tell you when it’s about to transition and integrate that into the class. We had to learn all of that. “
When you walk through the doors you’ll be greeted by friendly staff, boxing memorabilia, portraits of hip-hop legends and even a boxing ring to get in a few rounds before or after class. In the workout room where classes are held, there are aqua bags suspended from the ceiling, which are easier to use for people that are learning proper boxing techniques.
The 50-minute BOOMBOX classes are music-driven and combine shadow boxing, aqua bag work, and functional training to burn fat and build lean muscle. But what makes BOOMBOX truly the special? The music of course. You can’t have a name like BOOMBOX and not have a fire playlist — which honestly and truly will make the 50 minutes feel like 5 (well, almost).
If you live in the District or are just visiting and haven’t been to BOOMBOX yet, add this to your 2020 checklist — ASAP. It’s the perfect way to work up a sweat to great music, with friends, family or even bae.
And now that BOOMBOX is officially 6 months old, are you wondering what’s next for 2020? More classes, more merch and hopefully in the new future — more locations, such as Charlotte, Atlanta and Houston.