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Positively Meredith

From Buckeye to Belle; fearless and fierce (yet friendly!)


How long have you been working out at Punch? With so many gym options, why Punch?
I joined Punch in May 2014 after moving back to Connecticut from Cincinnati, OH.  I was athletic through high school and college, but during the early part of my career, due to work and travel, I didn't prioritize my health and staying in shape. About a year before I returned, I began learning the basics of kettlebells and was also practicing Bikram yoga in Ohio, and after moving back to Connecticut, I really wanted to continue both.  
After Googling around, I found Punch online, and reached out to Stef. The initial meeting was really impressive, and I had a strong hunch that I found a place that could really work for me. I liked the small group class setting, the focus on simple kettlebell and dumbbell patterns, and also the chance to try powerlifting. After a few classes, I transitioned away from yoga and began coming up to Punch on a consistent basis. I really liked that though each class and instructor were all a little different, the high standards, continuous challenge, and care and attention to all students, were consistent.  
Describe your results/experience.
After only a short while of training at Punch, I found my strength and conditioning really improving.  The progression improved a lot once I incorporated training downstairs, too.  Especially in the beginning, the trajectory of my strength increase was really steep and the improvements were really encouraging. Though it's a big commitment, I made it a priority to supplement the powerlifting training with the upstairs kettlebell and HIIT classes. The fast, explosive classes are always really fun and high-energy, and definitely help me keep my conditioning and fitness up.
The second phase seemed to come once I changed how I ate. I knew conceptually that eating well was important, but I only really truly understood its impact once I began focusing on and saw it for myself. My first change was to follow a basic meal plan; though tough at times, I began noticing body composition changes and improvements in my training. Later on, I decided to drop weight to compete as a lightweight in the 2016 Battle of the Belles. The process was again challenging, but I was really motivated to stick with it. The progress was greater than what I'd ever been able to accomplish on my own, and, most importantly to me, it was possible to maintain. Since the fall of '16, I've tried not to lose track of my nutrition habits, and have stayed about the same weight, but feel a lot leaner and fitter.  

Anything else noteworthy from your experiences with Punch?
The other element of training at Punch that I really appreciate is strongman training. The chance once a week to try totally new implements and skills is so much fun. I think it's particularly great that it's accessible to everyone, despite age, strength, or skill -- we are all learning and improving each and every time we're down there. The positive team environment really helps, too; everyone supports each other, through highlights and struggles, and generally people do it with a smile on her/his face. That consistently-positive environment helps when you're practicing some really strange movements or implements!  
Would you recommend Punch to your friends?
Yeah!  No brainer, right?
I can't recommend the full concern of services at Punch highly enough: high-intensity classes with great instructors and encouraging classmates, powerlifting training with awesome coaching and top-notch equipment, strongman, and solid nutrition planning and information. You don't have to do it all, since each element is powerful in its own right, but taken together, it's an unbeatable package.