Punchlab Review

Punchlab Review: Is This Program the Right Fit For You?

It hasn’t been the best past year for boxing, and 2021 is starting off with even more restrictions–which explains, in part, why apps and at-home fitness apps like PunchLab are now getting more than a cursory review.

For many, boxing isn’t just a fitness activity, but a passion and culture. In the UK, over 775,000 people participated in boxing in 2020 alone, in spite of the pandemic. And while the passion keeps the spirit of boxing alive, athletes and fans around the world have felt the weight of restrictions.

Just days after ringing in the new year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all boxing events would be suspended through January. The news understandably dampened the mood of athletes and fans alike. Just three short weeks ago, a match with social distancing was held between Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev at the SSE Arena in London.

Still, the love and passion for boxing–from professionals to casual athletes–means that boxing will stay alive, despite the restrictions. An app and workout programs like PunchLab help people continue to get their boxing workouts in at home.

In this review, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about PunchLab, from features to pricing and the company itself. Ultimately, I’ll tell you whether or not I recommend this program for getting your boxing in at home.

What is fitness vs regular boxing?

The boxing that draws in spectators, of course, is a bit different than the boxing offered through apps like PunchLab, and the boxing for a regular fitness routine.

Punchlab Review

Fitness boxing is not the same as fighting boxing in a few ways. For one, movements are more focused on cardio fitness and are a bit different than what you’d do in a ring.

For another, you’ll focus more on individual improvement and coordination, vs strategy. And unlike competitive boxing, fitness boxing can be done by nearly anyone.

What is PunchLab?

PunchLab is a punching and kickboxing app that allows you to practice without the use of a gym or much gym equipment.

The main concept is to be able to practice anywhere and everywhere without taking a step outside of your home, or, as things normalize, taking it on the go.

Is PunchLab worth it?

Knowing all the benefits of fitness boxing, I wanted to see if the PunchLab app and workout program was worth it, and a great workout from home option. Promising a professional experience that is convenient for you, I wanted to see if it lived up to its hype.

What do you need to use PunchLab?

One thing I love about PunchLab is how easy it is for anyone to get started. To use PunchLab, they claim that all you need is a smartphone with the PunchLab app.

However, I advise buying a proper punching glove and opting for the premier membership, which comes with a belt, and a punching bag. While you can technically do the workouts alone, it makes more sense to do it with real equipment if you have it.

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07/23/2021 05:48 pm GMT

How does PunchLab work?

It may seem bizarre that you can get in a boxing and punching workout without any equipment, but PunchLab claims to use your smartphone to detect your swings and motion.

Your app is ‘turned into your punching bag’ as your moves are detected, measured, and reacted to. One thing that I noticed was that the company doesn’t explain exactly how your motions are detected, nor give much information even about its features.

Setup

To set up, simply download the app from either the Google Play or Apple Store; it’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices. I recommend using your belt–either the one they send or the one you buy yourself–to keep your smartphone in place.

Punchlab

The next step requires you to perform some moves or punches. The smartphone detects and essentially learns your motions before you start your first workout. Even though you don’t need tons of equipment, I also recommend starting in a room with ample space.

What features are included with the PunchLab app?

After you download the app, you’ll have access to features to begin, track, and measure your workout sessions. I do like a number of the features mentioned, but, at the same time, always look for more transparency and more information for anyone looking to download the app.

Personal Training Style and Level

When you download the app, you’ll have the ability to set your fitness level and fighting style. My personal favorite style for most is freestyle because it’s easier to learn and use for beginners, even if you’ve never done much boxing in your life.

I do like the different style choices and mode allow you to cater more towards your personal needs and interests. A combination mode, meanwhile, involves more combat-focused workouts.

Real-Time Tracking

A great perk of the PunchLab app is that it provides real-time tracking. You can quickly see the time of your workout session; the number of strikes; a measure of power; and even a digital graph of your strikes and performance. Many will also love the calories burned tracking feature, though I will warn you that calorie-tracking apps and meters have been shown to be inaccurate.

Timers and Meters

To help track your workouts, the PunchLab app comes with both a punch meter and a dedicated boxing timer. Both are easy to use and fairly intuitive.

Community

Where PunchLab shines most is its coaching advice to help you not only track your progress but to improve your technique.

Audio driven workouts provide a sense of immersion, keep sessions feeling fresh, and make it easier to keep consistent. You also have the option to connect with a larger community by following athletes, sharing your workouts with friends, and setting your own goals.

Working with Your Coach

But that feedback isn’t just tied to the app. You can send your workouts with your own trainer. I like this as an alternative to going to the gym in person–it’s a safe way to train at home without sacrificing quite as much and still getting guidance.

How much does PunchLab cost?

PunchLab is free–for a time. The tricky part of this is that you essentially get a free trial period of around five days. After your free trial, it costs around $4 a month.

While this is not an exorbitant fee, some may be disappointed after the initial ‘free’ price point. Of course, a few dollars a month, unless you’re using many other apps or are already into live streaming workouts from a company like Peloton, seems like a reasonable price to pay.

Does PunchLab provide good workouts?

PunchLab is neither your best nor worst option–but for the price point, it mostly delivers. There are a few downsides: for some modes, it can be hard to perform the workouts if you have limited space. While PunchLab claims you don’t really need equipment, the reality is, for the full experience, you really do.

Another concern is that on some phones, your phone may lock or timeout even when the app is in use–this can cause a disruption in the middle of your workout.

Other Customers

What about customers in the general community? While there aren’t enough ratings on the Apple Store, the Google Play store has over 200 ratings (still quite small, but a reasonable sample) for PunchLab.

Ratings average to just over 4 out of 5 stars, with the majority giving it the best rating possible, but a still sizable population providing a mere 1-star rating. Praise included the structure of the workouts; easy to follow directions and overall value. Most who weren’t as thrilled cited wanting more features, like the audio readout of metrics and videos.

Pros

  • Low-cost alternative
  • Different modes for style and fitness
  • Real-time metrics
  • Easy setup
  • Sharing with others
  • Makes workouts more interesting

Cons

  • Monthly fee after the trial
  • Phone times out
  • Best with equipment
  • Not a substitute for a personal trainer

PunchLab Alternatives

Not sure if PunchLab is right for you? Here are my picks for the best PunchLab alternatives and fitness apps to get your workout session in at home.

Must Try
10 Rounds | Beachbody

This 6-week program features 3 days of boxing workouts with 2 resistance-training workouts each week that will leave you sweaty, spent, and cut. Instead of hitting a sparring partner or heavy bag, you’ll use your total intensity in each low-impact workout, focusing on making sure every combination is powerful and effective.

Sign Up Now
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

For a Budget Boxing App Alternative, Try DAZN Live Fight Sports

The DAZN Live Fight Sports is the most direct app alternative to PunchLab. The well-rated app isn’t free, but costs around $19.99/ month or $99.99 for a full year, still making it more budget-friendly than a physical gym.

This app comes with the options to stream workouts all year round, with names like Devin Haney, Anthony Joshua, and Ryan Garcia. Live and on-demand classes coupled with exclusive fights and a whole library of different workout options. I also love the ability to use not just on your smartphone, but also through tablets, computers, and even gaming consoles.

You can also pause or rewind as you need to, making it perfect for a busy schedule. Plus, you can stream through two apps at once, making it perfect if you want to do a boxing workout with someone else. Learn More Here.

Big Fights, Great Price, Any Device | DAZN

DAZN is a ground-breaking live and on demand sports streaming service, giving sports fans the control and flexibility to watch their sports, their way. You can download the DAZN app and watch on multiple devices at home or on the go, all for an affordable price.

Check Price
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For a Gym-Like Experience Boxing App, Try FightCamp

The most direct alternative to the PunchLab app is FightCamp. FightCamp works like Peloton, in that you’ll need to purchase some of their boxing equipment to get the full experience out of their app.

However, compared with Peloton, it’s affordable, and all focused on punching and boxing for fitness. Available for iPhones, the full experience includes a kit (bag, boxing gloves, workout mat, and Bluetooth connection) which retails for around $1,200.

But what you get is more of a gym experience, with the option to stream challenging workouts through your phone, tablet, or TV, and more immersion overall. Learn More Here.

For General Fitness, Try MyFitnessPal

If you’re not sold on boxing and just want an app that can support your workouts, training, and health goals, I recommend MyFitnessPal.

The popular smartphone app is available for both Android and IOS and pairs with online activity and calorie tracker, making it perfect for losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight. Track calories, from your favorite foods out to your own personal recipes so you can stay accountable.

But beyond their free online resources, they control numerous apps for a variety of workout types, both cardio and strength. My favorite apps offered through MyFitnessPal include MapMyRun; TrainingPeaks; and MisFit, for activity training. They even offer apps for men’s and women’s health. Shop All Apps Here.

For Families, Try Nike Training Club

Have a family and just want some general guidance to get you all moving? I recommend the Nike Training Club as an alternative to PunchLab.

With this popular app, you’ll get access to over 200 workouts, including both strength and cardio, and suited for a wide variety and interests and fitness levels. Ranging from beginner to advanced, it also includes nutritional guidelines to fuel you and your family’s workouts. Buy on GooglePlay or Apple.

For Weight Loss, Try Noom

noom 1

Noom vs MyFitnessPal compared, Noom is more expensive, but it also is more effective as a weight-loss app. Noom costs $60/ month or around $200 for the full year but is an affordable way to have a replacement for a personal trainer.

You’ll be able to track calories with witty precision, log your workouts, and get inspiration all in one place. With Noom, you have the option for extensive 1-1 coaching services, personalized meal plans, and personalized meal ideas. I also love the ability to connect with an online community. Learn More Here.

FAQs

Question: Is boxing a good way to lose weight?

Answer: Boxing is a great workout overall, as it combines cardio and strength training. Like many activities, it does depend on your level of intensity. By most, boxing is considered a good exercise, but it should be combined with other training. I recommend adding in strength training sessions, even just with the best dumbbells.

Question: What is the best home workout app?

Answer: The best home workout app depends on your needs and what you’re looking for. For an expensive but immersive experience, companies like Peloton allow you to stream a wide variety of workouts led by industry experts, using their equipment. Some popular apps are focused on both weight loss and nutrition, as well as fitness, like Noom. And of course, there are fitness apps dedicated to specific workouts, like HIT training and even yoga sessions.

Question: Is air boxing a good workout?

Answer: Air boxing actually can be a great workout if you don’t have full gym equipment. Though not quite as good as other fitness or combat boxing, air boxing can be a practical alternative and still delivers a full-body workout; the motions work your heart as well as help you develop upper body strength and even your legs.

Question: Is boxing better than running?

Answer: In short, no: boxing is not better than running, whether you’re talking about outdoor running or treadmill running. The two exercises simply have pros and cons.

Boxing does give you more of a full-body workout, but running tends to burn more calories and may be superior in improving endurance. The key is to just vary up your workouts to get the most out of both.

In fact, combining running and strength training with boxing is an excellent way to improve your fitness level, performance, and reduce the risk of injury and burn out.

Decision: Give PunchLab a Try

All in all, I think PunchLab is definitely worth a try, especially since they offer a free trial. It’s not a full substitute for the gym, and there are many features I think they could improve upon–but I also don’t expect a full personal training or gym experience from a low cost app.

For what it’s worth, I think a few days trying it out can easily give you a chance for you to see if you like it well enough to keep paying. Minus a few hiccups, I do think it’s worth the money, and your time.

Interested in giving PunchLab a try? Download on Google Play or the Apple Store.

Must Try
10 Rounds | Beachbody

This 6-week program features 3 days of boxing workouts with 2 resistance-training workouts each week that will leave you sweaty, spent, and cut. Instead of hitting a sparring partner or heavy bag, you’ll use your total intensity in each low-impact workout, focusing on making sure every combination is powerful and effective.

Sign Up Now
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

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