“We are a perfect balance between group fitness circuit training—which is really a cardio burn –and real boxing training,” Matthew Cooke says. Cooke is the co-owner of BFly Boxing Gym, the cool, and chill, boxing gym that made its soft opening on Melrose Ave. Wednesday, October 10th.
“A lot of times, boxing-based fitness programs are like calisthenics or aerobics with boxing gloves on. We’re different in that what we do is actually teach you boxing along with fitness. We have a high trainer to client ratio, with two to three trainers in each class and a maximum class size of 15,” he explains. “You get a lot of personal attention, encouragement, and training.”
He notes that during BFly’s first week, classes are free through Wednesday the 17th. “Anyone who drops in during working hours gets free training until then.”
Classes run on the hour for 45 minutes, 6 to 9 a.m., and 5 to 8 p.m. daily; on weekends, it’s morning classes only 8 to 10 a.m. The gym also offers private lessons in their pro boxing ring.
Classes appeal to both men and women; 80% of attendees at sample classes offered this past weekend were female, Cooke says.
He relates that, “A lot of the trainers affiliated fight professionally. But along with that expert instruction, our space is really comfortable. I call it the Zen-warrior environment,” he laughs.
The gym features design touches such as hardwood floors, bright natural light, and an airy aesthetic. “It gives you the feeling you get from a nice yoga studio or wellness center. Open, relaxed, and where all your needs are taken into consideration,” he attests.
Cooke’s background is in media. Having worked as executive creative director for Time Warner/AOL, the Oscar-nominated producer just released his documentary Survivors Guide to Prison, a project he served on as writer/director, editor, and host.
Of BFly, he says, “I have partnered with Jordan Muir, who is very experienced, and has run JFM Boxing on the Westside since 2003.”
Cooke was drawn to the idea because he loved training at Muir’s space. “It was really down to earth, he’s so friendly, the staff is so friendly, no stuffiness or ego. Whether you were a pro fighter coming in to train for a fight or if you’re a kid or someone trying to lose weight, everyone gets same treatment.”
He was inspired by the balance between really learning boxing and getting a workout. “Boxing is hands down to me the best workout there is. There is a nice feeling to getting to learn something, learning self-defense, even if you don’t want to use it. Plus, there is something fun about learning to throw a punch properly or how to do a slip.” According to Cooke, you forget you’re even exercising. “You’re just having a blast.”
Cooke, who now lives in Hollywood, thought it would be great to have a boxing gym program in the area. “So, now we are there for people at any level who want to do a 45-minute burn and have the experience and joy of learning how to box that you don’t really get anywhere else,” he enthuses. “It’s about being your best, and being in good shape, learning a sport, because being you best-self physically is one part of the balance you need.”
The gym’s name, BFly is also about being your best self, according to Cooke. “It’s about being a butterfly – turning into the best version of yourself with all your glory.”
With an attractive, light-filled space, a great sound track, and experienced trainers, BFly only needed a stellar location – and Cooke and Muir picked Melrose Ave. “It’s smack in the middle of everything. It’s funky, it’s fun, eclectic, and has every kind of style you could imagine. So, we wanted to offer BFly to that community because we feel that community is us.”
Offering a balance of hard-core cardio fitness, a warm, authentic Zen atmosphere, and a place to learn boxing skills: BFly is now ready to soar on Melrose.
7162 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90046