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STYLE : Spring Beauty : The Latest on Looks : Pull No Punches

April 04, 1993|MAUREEN SAJBEL

It offers a pulse-racing workout, it's gutsier than step or aerobics classes and the self-defense you learn might come in handy. "I had one student who broke a mugger's jaw," boasts Ed Monaghan, program director at The Boulevard Health Club in L.A., where boxing for exercise has become a big draw.

Former heavyweight boxer Klaus Price teaches a class that typically has about 16 students--usually more women than men, plus a number of first-timers, though everyone looks in good shape at the outset. Students wear workout shorts and tanks, and gym staffers tape up wrists and supply boxing gloves.

After learning left hooks, jabs, uppercuts and right crosses, students go through a series of calisthenics, then spend meaningful time with a punching bag, when they're encouraged to envision the boss and go a few rounds. Classes are $15 each, less with a membership.

A Ph.D. candidate in biology at UCLA, Audrey Cramer has been taking boxing lessons from Price for almost a year. "When you're female, you're never encouraged to show an aggressive side. This is empowering," says the 5-foot-7 brunette. No kidding. Around the Boulevard gym, Cramer is known affectionately as Bone-Crusher.

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