FightCamp Review: Is It Right for You?
Looking to bring a studio-worthy boxing session to your basement? FightCamp aims to help you get there. This fully equipped studio boxing gym combines real-time punch tracking with a growing library of workout videos to help beginning and advanced boxers alike hone their skills and break a sweat.
CNBC states that FightCamp co-founders Tommy Duquette and Khalil Zahar aim to create “the Peloton of boxing” by bringing premium boxing workouts out of the gym and into your home.
The FightCamp brand began with punch trackers, which founder Tommy Duquette told us are used by some of the world’s top fighters to track the effectiveness of their workouts. In late February 2018, the company expanded into the home boxing-fitness market by producing subscription videos and workout content.
For a cost between $32 - $39 per month, FightCamp subscribers gain access to all the brand’s content, including an estimated five new videos each week. But does the subscription service stand up to studio workouts? Let’s look at the details.
What Are FightCamp Workouts Like?
According to their website, FightCamp relies on electronic ‘punch trackers’ to track your punch volume, rate, and output to give you instant feedback on your effort level, improvements, and whether you’re hitting the right benchmarks.
To guide your workout, the program offers a range of boxing videos on a subscription basis. These differ in time commitment and difficulty, and they fit the following categories at the time of writing:
Classic Workouts: These boxing workouts are trainer-led and feature mixes of punching combinations and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) exercises. Most include between four and 12 rounds and feature three-minute rounds with one-minute rests.
Boxing Skills: These videos work as short tutorials to help you develop proper boxing form for punches, slips, rolls, and steps.
Boxing Base Workouts: Meant to accompany the boxing skills tutorials, the base workouts reinforce your technique to help you develop muscle memory.
FightCamp Sprints: These short, intense workouts utilize the Punch Trackers to score your effort and benchmark your progress over time.
Crucially, FightCamp’s punch trackers will only track your progress during the parts of the exercise when you’re throwing punches. Some of the workouts have intervals of HIIT exercises like burpees, sit-ups, and pushups, and the punch-based metric tracking will be frozen at these times. In other words, the punch trackers aren’t capable of tracking your entire exertion level.
About FightCamp Difficulty Levels
All FightCamp workouts are ranked by the following skill levels:
Open: This level highlights basic, entry-level punch combinations for those still learning boxing techniques.
Intermediate: Meant for those with at least three months of boxing experience, the intermediate level utilizes moves like slips, rolls, steps, and 6 -10 move punch combos.
Advanced-level: These workouts are best for people with at least ten months previous experience and are designed to be both physically and mentally challenging (some sequences exceed 15 straight punches).
It’s FightCamp’s goal that both brand new boxers and experienced professionals will come away challenged. For those who join the program with minimal previous experience, the company recommends following their Prospect Path, an 8-12 week beginners program that combines boxing tutorials with base workouts to reinforce new skills.
How Can You Join FightCamp?
As previously stated, FightCamp is a subscription service that gives you access to the program’s app and workout videos for a monthly fee.
Note: at the time of writing the FightCamp app is ONLY available for iOS devices.
After you make an account and choose your subscription option, the company will mail you a set of punch trackers. These trackers give you access to all FightCamp content, and they are essential for tracking punching performance metrics during your workouts.
Once they arrive, you can watch FightCamp videos from your phone or by streaming them to a TV. Multiple people can use the same trackers, so long as they create separate accounts within the app.
To get the most out of FightCamp, the company website tells us that you’ll need a high-quality punching bag and a pair of boxing gloves. While they concede it’s possible to complete the workouts with only “air punching,” FightCamp states that the additional impact of hitting a physical object like a punching bag significantly improves the workout’s benefits.
What Does a FightCamp Subscription Cost?
At the time of writing, a FightCamp subscription cost $39 per month or $32/month for twelve months (billed annually). Those who sign up for the annual plan also receive a 30-day free trial, which begins once you receive your pair of punch trackers.
If you decide to cancel your subscription before the end of your free trial, the company states that you can contact support at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will send you a pre-paid shipping label for returning the trackers.
Beyond their subscription service, the FightCamp brand sells numerous accessories to improve your boxing experience, including hand wraps ($29) to keep the Punch Trackers in place during workouts. Subscriptions that qualify for a free trial receive these wraps for free.
The company also sells boxing gloves ($99), a rubber workout mat ($99), and free-standing punching bag ($399). All three accessories can also be bought through FightCamp’s ‘Home Kit’ for $499.
While shipping is free for the Punch Trackers, you will pay $75 in shipping for the Home Kit and approximately $10 to $75 for the other accessories.
Understanding the FightCamp Return Policy
The company’s terms and services state that you can return any items purchased from FightCamp within 30 days of purchase, so long as it is unused and in its original packaging. Used items aren’t eligible for returns, and customers are responsible for return shipping fees.
To start the return process, you can contact customer service at email@example.com.
A Look at FightCamp Customer Reviews
Though FightCamp founder Tommy Duquette told us the program has only been commercially available since early 2018, we found dozens of reviews from previous customers available online.
The company app store is a showcase of positive reviews, as the device was rated 4.9 stars after feedback from 340 users. Users raved about how motivating the workouts were and how much more affordable the service was compared to a gym membership.
FightCamp reviews on Product Hunt are also positive. Some reviewers mentioned that they rotated between boxing and biking workouts each day with Peloton, and others noted how much the program changed their perspective of boxing and taught them a new skill. Many mentioned that fifteen-minute workouts were usually long enough to leave them feeling awake and refreshed each morning.
While some reviewers noted that FightCamp made them feel less social because they weren’t going to a gym, others stated that their only complaint was that they wanted more workout videos.
The program’s Facebook page also contained several dozen reviews of the service, and it averaged 4.7 stars at the time of writing. We noticed that many reviewers compared the service to Peloton and expressed their appreciation for such a nuanced home workout system.
Many reviewers appreciated how simple FightCamp’s website and app were to navigate, and they enjoyed the variety of workout videos. We noticed one instance where a reviewer thought that the sound and camera seemed low quality, but the consensus for them appeared to skew positive.
Numerous reviewers noted that the classes were fun and easy to fit into busy days. We also noticed some comments praising the customer service team for their quick response time.
A review from Patrick Austin at Gizmodo was slightly more critical of this subscription boxing service. The reviewer noted that the Punch Trackers were challenging to put in place before starting the workouts, as they didn’t have any clip-on mechanisms to keep them secure.
Patrick also questioned the value of tracking punches in the first place, as it’s not necessarily useful information for anyone who isn’t a professional fighter. He suggested workout enthusiasts might get more value from a multi-functional tracking tool like a Fitbit, or from enrolling in studio boxing classes to get feedback from a trainer.
What Are the Biggest FightCamp Competitors?
FightCamp’s obvious competitor is Peloton, but it’s also competing with physical boxing studios. How does the service compare? Let’s look at the details.
As we reported in an earlier article, Peloton is a spin bike combined with an HD touchscreen that gives you access to professional, live, and on-demand streaming videos to provide you with the motivation of a studio class for your home workout.
Once you invest in a Peloton bike (priced around $2,000) you gain unlimited access to on-demand and streaming videos for as many separate accounts as you would like. You can also pay about $39 per month for access to past workouts. The Peloton app is free for the first year, and then $13 per month after.
Overall, Peloton’s gear costs approximately four times as much as FightCamp’s ($2,000 verse $500), and with FightCamp you have the option to purchase the equipment from cheaper suppliers if desired. The two services are similar in cost for each month, but you won’t pay extra for FightCamp’s app.
One difference between the two services is that Peloton lets you stream live workouts from trainers around the world, meaning that you can be part of a ‘virtual gym’ in real time and watch the stats of fellow bikers as you exercise. For many people, this creates a sense of community similar to exercising in a real studio, and it adds incentive to hop on the bike each day.
FightCamp videos, in contrast, are all pre-recorded. Some users might prefer the camaraderie of a live streaming service instead.
Speaking of communal experience, how does virtual boxing compare to working with a trainer? Is it safe for beginners to learn the techniques from watching videos?
According to Olympic level coach and boxing gym owner Cary Williams, it is safe to learn boxing techniques virtually, so long as you are following the instructions of an experienced coach who is taking the time to talk through each move.
That being said, Cary told us that this only holds true for people who are shadow boxing, not punching a bag (or another person). If you are making contact with another object, she states, it’s best to work initially with an experienced boxing coach to reduce your risk injury.
FightCamp founder Tommy Duquette told us the brand addresses these concerns by offering their beginner course (Prospect Path) for those who are new to boxing and need to learn the proper form. Likewise, the Punch Tracker provides data about each punch’s effectiveness, which provides a way for users to track their progress over time.
Our Consensus: Should You Give FightCamp a Try?
The subscription fitness industry is booming, and FightCamp seems poised to rise to the challenge. Should you consider investing in this service?
From our research, FightCamp has been received extremely positively by its target audience (busy fitness enthusiasts who may already own a Peloton bike). The reviews we read made it clear that for most people, their only complaint was that FightCamp wasn’t releasing new videos quickly enough.
However, some reviewers noted that the service was pricey and that the included punch trackers only tracked one aspect of the workouts.
The boxing equipment that FightCamp sells is also an investment, and the company doesn’t allow returns on anything that is used. That means if you sign up for the free trial and decide to cancel your subscription, you might still be stuck with all the equipment. Buying your boxing equipment from another retailer, however, can negate this risk.
There’s also some concern that learning boxing from a video instead of a professional trainer might cause you to develop poor form that potentially leads to injury. If you’re a boxing novice, it might be smart to consider investing in professional lessons before giving a subscription service like FightCamp a go.
If you do decide to try FightCamp, we recommend signing up for the annual plan so that you can try the service free for a month and receive a full refund if it’s not the right fit.