7 years ago by


Erik Melvin

Over the past several months I’ve challenged myself to try as many different exercise classes, sports and just general physical activities as possible.

With varying success I’ve tried : pilates reformer classes, intense barre classes, Ballet Beautiful, vinyasa yoga, hot yoga, and most recently power yoga (a class I was not ready for, in any state of mental or health wellness , I did so many inversions I thought I might throw up – and was left in child’s pose for many sequences).

brittany clybourn garance dore photo

But boxing!?  Boxing is likely the last sport I would have ever found myself participating in albeit for the cool sneakers and tough look you can give while wrapping your wrists. That was until I stumbled upon Brittany and the Shadowbox studio here in New York.

She’s a stunning, strong woman who could inspire even the faintest at heart to give boxing a try, even weaklings like me (and Erik btw). Or people like G, who is saying that she would be way way way to scared to get a black eye or get her nose broken.

She’s a boxing instructor with the sculpted arms to prove it, so we thought she was the perfect woman to tell us a bit more about the sport !

brittany clybourn garance dore photo

How did you first get into boxing?                                                                                

Having been an athlete all of my life, I found myself dabbling into the sport of boxing recreationally. But, on the more serious level I’m boxing at today, happened when I was approached about becoming a boxing instructor for a new boutique boxing company, we now know today as Shadowbox NYC. I was an absolute beginner for sure and trained for a solid 8 months with our master instructor to get me ready to debut as a boxing instructor for the company. The hard work surely paid off.


Do you ever get hurt? A black eye?                                                                                      

No. And no. Our workouts are definitely no contact, no sparring for sure. It’s not fake boxing. We are using particular aspects of traditional boxing training to provide our clients with a totally body workout. As for me personally, because I am a model, I cannot take the risk of potentially getting hit in my face, so I chose not to spar. But, I would definitely take on the challenge of getting in tip top fighting condition for sure.


What are the benefits of boxing over other forms of exercise?                          

Boxing itself is truly a total body workout, literally from head to toe. With the added perk of not having to touch a dumbbell or weighted plate. It stimulates your mind, body, and spirit.


So what finally inspired you to become an instructor?                                        

Becoming an “instructor” in general was never a duty I wanted to take on, but when I was approached about the idea of instructing boxing as a workout integrated with the HIIT method of training, I became intrigued. I’ve always loved the art and sport of boxing, and to be presented with the opportunity to represent boxing as a workout that is beneficial to all, I was all for it.

brittany clybourn garance dore photo

What is the dynamic like, with your students? And, more specifically, with Chloe?                                                                                                

It’s amazing working with every single one of my clients. There are so many different skill levels and fitness levels that I have to cater to. The most inspiring part of it all is seeing the transformation each individual makes. Once we break through the mental “blocks” and the “insecurities” let’s say; the progressions become immense. Chloe is a star in many regards, so her desire to improve inspires a creative space for us to develop different training methods together.


And what’s your philosophy, that you share with those you teach?    

I tend to get a lot of clients that tell me “they can’t”, especially the very beginners. I make sure to let them know that I literally started out exactly where there were, just a little over a year ago. I had the same sentiments towards boxing. I was super intimidated and knew I would never be able to grasp the concept of everything that was thrown at me during my training sessions. So, along with telling my clients that they can NEVER say they CAN’T and sharing my story, it usually encourages everyone to be positive and push through their anxieties.

shadowbox nyc garance dore photo

Do you feel like there’s a movement of women taking up leadership roles in more traditionally male-dominated sports? Why?                                                      

Yes. Women are opening up more to sports or roles in sports that are male-dominated. A lot of it has to do with acceptance and women actually being given the opportunity to take on such roles. Especially with boxing, it was always viewed as such an aggressive sport.

It was appreciated for the positive effects it had on the body (training wise), but it didn’t appear to be obtainable. Just because an individual trains or uses boxing as a means of fitness training, doesn’t mean they have to subject themselves to the physical aspect of the sport.

For beginners, what are the best repetitions or exercises to get started?

For beginners. I would say one should focus on their core being strong and being comfortable with agility. Exercises such as sit ups, leg lifts, and side plank rotations would be great for strengthening the core.

How quickly can someone expect to improve from beginner to intermediate?

The time in which someone can expect to see result depends upon a few different things. How many times per week they practice boxing. How physically inclined they are when they start boxing. Also, how willing they are to let go of mental blocks and anxieties regarding boxing in general.

What’s your best advice for those just getting started?                                                

The best advice I have for those just getting started is to keep pushing through any doubts, anxieties, or fears that may arise. You WILL get better, it’s inevitable. Stay positive and persevere.

Do you have a boxing hero or icon?                                                                             

Evander Holyfield.




shadowbox nyc garance dore photo

shadowbox nyc garance dore photo


Special thank you to Shadowbox NYC 


Add yours
  • wow your photos are amazing and show this sport in a totally different light! The interview is also interesting, boxing maybe not for me, I prefer yoga and walking my dog but it’s a nice challenge. I watched the old Rocky movies and like the spirit of this sport.

    Brie what will be your challenge in February? haha!

  • Ah je ne connaissais pas du tout ce sport!
    Pour ma part, j’ai testé pas mal de sports aussi mais je n’ai jamais vraiment accroché (certainement du à un manque de motivation!) J’ai fait de la barre au sol moi aussi mais étant aussi souple qu’un balai, c’était super difficile! Je n’arrivais à rien à faire, c’était la cata!!!
    Bon après-midi,

    Julie, Petite and So What?

  • The pictures are beautiful…as for sport i don’t like aggressive sport i like swimming i like pilates everything which respect your body…all the aggressive one are bad for you in the long therm…people goes into sport like they go into religion…fanatically..and then you hear problem in the knees…..
    as long as it makes you happy it’s good
    Yael Guetta

  • Sans aucun patriotisme, je préfère la boxe française car on utilise aussi ses jambes, c’est plus harmonieux et drôle.

  • Les photos sont magnifiques. Je fais moi-même de la boxe, mais dans un studio qui est dans un sous-sol sans miroir. C’est mois glamour, et certains s’entraînent pour des combats. Personnellement, je ne me vois pas foutre un coup a quelqu’un donc je me contente de frapper le sac. Et j’adore! Je recommande ce sport a tout le monde, vraiment. Ça détend tellement de frapper dans un sac et de tout donner.
    J’aurai aime en savoir plus sur comment elle a été recrutée pour donner des cours par contre.

  • I did boxing but didn’t get into it. I did yoga and loved it when it was with a friend who was a fabulous teacher (since the ’60s!), but haven’t been able to connect with any instructors since. I currently am in love with Pilates, and my 49-year-old teacher, who looks like a 29-year-old movie star or model, is a great inspiration. It’s yoga without the spiritual side. It’s very, very difficult. But I love it. I do it Monday and Thursday. Between I do the 10-20-30 running workout, which, having been a total failure at running, I ended up loving. I do so much better than when I try to jog at a steady pace. I hate all of it WHILE I’m there, but afterwards I LOVE the results.

  • Who’s Chloe?

  • Anne-Alexandra February, 3 2016, 5:48

    I was asking myself the same question! :)

  • She’s one of Brittany’s clients (with the braids in the images above).

  • I tried it once but never did it again…! I should do it!

    Mónica Sors



  • Lindsey R. February, 3 2016, 11:05 / Reply

    Just started kickboxing myself at a little Tae Kwon Do dojo here in Chicago. Usually I hate workout classes, but I’m already hooked. There’s something about having a person-sized bag that you can punch and kick as hard as you want after a long day AND building some powerful muscle in the process.

  • I am in love with this approach of boxing. It really convinces me to try it out sometime soon. The shots are amazing as well.

  • thanks for this article / this looks like a great sport / but new york is far far away / anyone know anywhere in paris that offers something similar? / merci d’advance / p

  • I prefere body barre, but would love to do intense boxing cardo class.
    Loved the post

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