ST. CLOUD -- This week in our "Fitness Friday" series on WJON, we step into the boxing ring and break out the kickboxing gloves at Downtown Gym and Fitness.

The boxing workout is one of the toughest workouts of any sport and is a complete full body workout.

Walt Mastey is a kickboxing and boxing instructor at Downtown Gym and Fitness. He says there is more to the sport than just throwing punches.

"We just don't do the boxing or the kicking we actually do a full body workout.  When they come in here half the class is thinking when do we kick or hit, but we don't start until your whole body has been worked," says Mastey.

Getting the technique down is the hardest part. He says if you really want to learn you need to come with an open mindset and willing attitude.

"Once you learn the basic punches it really is a lot easier and once you get it in your head how to do it, you have to get it in your soul to really let it go," says Mastey.

Boxing and Kickboxing are a great way to form a bond with others. Mastey says while it may just be you in the ring, having the support from others boosts your confidence.

"When they come together and start to work as a group that's when you get that partnership. So when they do the sparring they don't go in as an individual they all go in together to learn from each other," says Mastey.

It may take a few weeks before you learn the basic skills, but don't get discouraged. He says to keep trying and your efforts will be rewarded.

Classes are every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Students learn the art of boxing at Downtown Gym and Fitness. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)