Couples Boxing – Better Than Couples Therapy

About 6 years ago I took a few boxing lessons. I realised that up until then (and to this day) it has been the best exercise regime I’ve ever gone through.


This got Ellie interested in doing some boxercise sessions together with me. Over the years we’ve done half a dozen of these lessons and we’ve always had a great time. You do plenty of different exercises like planking, push-ups, and squats. Then one of you holds the pads and the other one punches the pads according to the instructor’s orders.

Different moves, jabs, hooks, and uppercuts

I’m so bad at boxing and boxercise that I don’t even remember the various moves. But the instructor assigns a number to each type of move. It was something like 1 is a right hand jab to the left-hand pad. 2 might be a left hand jab to the right-hand pad. 3 might be right hand to right-hand. 4 might be left hand to left-hand, 5 might be a left hand hook, 6 a right hand uppercut or similar.


1-1-5-1 — 2-1-3-4

You’re usually in a group which is split into pairs of two. Some of them might be randomly assigned strangers who’ve not met before, some others might be couples like us. The instructor keeps on shouting 1-1-5-1 — 2-1-3-4 and so on. All participants with the boxing gloves on try to do the requested moves. Meanwhile, the ones with the pads try to make sure they’ve got the pads in the right position.


Couples Therapy

It took Ellie and me mere seconds into our first training session to find out that besides the fabulous exercise and the fun, this was also a great way to do couples therapy. Just with a lot less talking. And with a lot more punching.

Few relationships are completely without tensions

Ellie & I are by no means at a difficult stage in our relationship. If anything, we’re probably more on the harmonious side of things, despite some strains like me not having worked full-time for many moons. However, I’ve seen very few long-term relationships (last Sunday we’ve been married for 12 years) that don’t include a bit of tension every now and then.

Brilliant way to get rid of any negative emotions

Couples boxing (or rather: boxercise) is a brilliant way of getting rid of some of those negative feelings or even aggressions that have built up. Obviously, I always hold back. I don’t completely hold back though. I try to punch reasonably hard and fast, but make sure my strike only just touches the pad and doesn’t push any further.


No prisoners

Ellie, on the other hand, always seems determined to rip my head off clean, giving it all. I’ve done boxercise with random male strangers in some of those boxercise classes. Not kidding when I say that Ellie hit harder than some of them. What surprised me most, is that she doesn’t even suffer from sore muscles afterwards. Neither do I, but I exercise a lot. Ellie does a bit of yoga, pilates, and hiking once a week or so. She seems to be a natural. Or maybe I just get on her nerves a lot. Who knows, right?


It’s good to be bad sometimes

A couple of weeks ago we did another boxercise class. We were the only couple. Initially I was paired with one guy who had done some serious boxing training for about three years. I think he got bored with me and asked to be paired with another experienced boxer.


Finally paired up

I was not the least bit disappointed, as Ellie and I had been hoping to be paired up from the beginning. She was even more ferocious than usual that time around. My guess was that she hadn’t appreciated a snarky comment of mine earlier that day about one of her overpriced handbags. Whatever it was, I really had to watch out. Whenever I got slightly distracted she’d almost make my hand with the pad give in and kick my face.

We’ve both had so much fun that night that we decided to do this more regularly. 5 out of 5 in my view.

Looking for more fun outdoor activities? Check out our posts about punting and skydiving in Cambridge, segwaying and off-roading in Kent, hiking in Rye, and white water kayaking in the Peak District.

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  1. Bahahaha I laugh but I think you both had a great time. Can’t blame Mrs B for being ferocious and going full force. What woman wouldn’t??

    1. Yes… I guess so haha… It had been a mistake to make that snarky remark about the handbag, I realise that now. I had it coming. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. I’ve been thinking about taking up boxing for exercising but never realized it could be a venue for couples therapy. Interesting concept I’ll run by my husband.

  3. Looks like Ellie has more to get out than you for sure. I think it would be the same for me. Ellie’s a natural, I think Katie Taylor better watch out.

  4. Catchy sounding portmanteau here – and who knew, boxercise seems like a very promising diplomatic sport for a couple or for friends or for inlaws (lol). A little rage can settle a brewing storm. Now watch out for that power jab!

  5. You know I am a big fan of your extreme activities and this one definetely is not dissappointing. Discovering martial arts was game changer for my life. I always have anxiety and stress and this is a great relief. I do a couple of sparrings after every training ( I train form Monday to Saturday) so hitting every day people -with love- make come back home softer than a silk. Of course you also get beaten but is also very relaxing at some point. I totally support your post, I hope you will write about the 2nd training !!!
    Great work to both! So much fun!

    1. Thank you, Ignacio. That’s a very sweet compliment. 🙂 🙂 I would never have guessed that you might have anxiety and stress. Great to hear that martial arts and those sparring sessions work for you. I personally believe 100% in the power of exercise and the outdoors. I’m no stranger to challenging moods myself and to my life exercise and the outdoors make all the difference. And Ellie of course… especially when she’s not trying to knock my lights out haha.. 🙂

  6. This would be a lot of fun. Dave and I have done a couple of kick boxing classes but the idea of being able to punch him is quite appealing haha. Jokes aside, any way to make exercise fun is a bonus in my opinion.

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