“This is NOT Zumba, ladies!” Creator, Dede Barbanti’s battle cry couldn’t be more prophetic of what to expect from her own hip hop/cardio/kickboxing hybrid, Boogie Box, otherwise known as BBX. After just two minutes in my very first class I knew that this was no feel-good, fluffy, let’s-just-get-up-and-dance-some-salsa kind of workout–this was a seismic shift in the ever-popular dance workout genre!
As a mom-blogger, I was instantly impressed by Dede’s personal story. A single mother of three, struggling to get back into shape after her third baby, while doing a job that is often barely managed by two competent adults, while working full time–her plate was certainly full. With a background in dance, Dede struggled to achieve success with the standard cardio and weightlifting routine most of us pursue at the gym. She took her goal of achieving superior fitness into her own hands and created Boogie Box, an ever-changing and evolving melange of specifically-structured and choreographed classes (or “rounds” as they’re called) that pack as much cardio/strength and movement synergy into your 60 minutes as possible!
The first thing I love about the class is the music–it’s the top hip-hop and pop tunes expertly mixed with classic throwbacks that you can’t help but sing along to–it’s electrifying! It’s like being at a club with your girlfriends without having to ward off the unwanted grind, I mean, dance partners! Dede choreographs the moves for the round to a specially mixed soundtrack, and it instantly makes feel like I’m in an epic silver screen dance-off although the only opponent I see is the sweaty and struggling reflection of myself in the mirror!
My first class is definitely a struggle, but the sequences I manage to hang with have my body moving in ways it never has–a mix of dance, sports drills, martial arts and applied muscle resistance (see video)–my body and mind are giving everything they’ve got just to try to keep up! With sequences like “the Robo Cop” and “the Ninja,” BBX is designed to make you feel like a badass! And even though I’m only 15 minutes in and my legs, butt and quads are already killing me, I know this is exactly what I needed–a serious wake up call! A challenge to myself. A throw down, a dance-off–a mental cry that I can do WAY more than I think I can! And this is so seriously NOT Zumba!
It’s after those first 15 minutes that I look over to my sister-in-law, Julie (who is totally in a zone, by the way), and I finally understand what she’s been trying to explain to me about BBX and why she’s been so excited to take me to my first class. “I never realized the rage I had until I started going to BBX,” she had told me. I thought this was hilarious since Julie is one of the kindest, most sympathetic people I know. “It totally clams me down and when I miss a class start getting crazy!” Funny, my main reason for going to the class was to see what had transformed Julie’s body so dramatically and in such little time–she looks younger and more ripped than anytime I’ve known her! Now I understand that the killer body is only a byproduct of the psychological effect that BBX gives us. And that’s what makes it so addictive–everyone in there is absolutely ecstatic to be killing themselves on the dance floor!
While I’m squatting and remembering to stick my butt as far back as it will possibly go, I realize why I am reacting so viscerally to my first BBX class: life is a struggle. Every day is a struggle, being a mom is a struggle, being a wife is a struggle–it’s all work. Some of it is a more gratifying kind of work, but it’s all a grind. As moms, we keep our lives together through pure grit and the determination that we will achieve the best possible results for our family–why should our workouts be anything less? Why should we allow ourselves to skimp on the one thing in our lives that is entirely just for us? BBX throws down a challenge immediately when you hit the first move–it tells you to own your body, challenge your body, and do more than you think you can with your body–be an absolute bad ass, and guess what? You’re going to have so much have fun doing it!
At 30 minutes, the class breaks for about 2 minutes. This short recovery period has a dramatic effect on your body’s ability to increase heart rate during the second half of the class–USC testing proved Boogie Box Fitness burns up to 1100 calories per workout, check out the testing video–and this brief interlude sets you up to burn even more during the second half of class. My sister-in-law clocked in at 1094 calories burned in 58 minutes–I can corroborate: this is the real deal ladies!!
About a third of the class were first-timers and at the end of class everyone looked like they had worked their asses off and had a blast doing it! I knew I was hooked and most importantly I made the realization that I was ready to start regaining the muscle, endurance and tone I had slowly lost along the path of having two kids in 4 years–and going for the occasional walk wasnt’t going to cut it! I’ve pre-ordered the new Boogie Box Live DVD to be filmed at Universal City Walk on June 14th–if you’re going to be in the area make sure to throw your support behind the newest dance-workout craze that empowers you to release your inner badass!
Check out Dede on The Dr. Oz Show!