Dwayne Rowsell is not only a professional Black Sticks hockey star but also the co-founder of boutique boxing gym Studio Box, which offers high energy and immersive group fitness classes. Dwayne gave us the low down on boxing, business and how we can be keeping fit from home.
Congratulations on Studio Box’s first year. Can you tell us what Studio Box is all about?
Thank you! Studio Box is a community built around an immersive group fitness experience that promotes the benefits of mental and physical wellbeing through boxing-as-fitness training.
What motivated you and your co-founders to begin the journey and set up Studio Box?
I have a personal passion for boxing training, I love how physically demanding it is as well as the mental strength, confidence and calm it provides. Aware of the growing ‘premium’ group fitness trend globally, we flew to New York and LA to explore the fitness market in each city. All of this research helped shape the mission of Studio Box – which is to give boxing to the everyday person, in a welcoming, positive and non-intimidating way.
More recently you decided to get back into playing professional hockey for the Black Sticks. How has your experience helped you in your role as a trainer and in the day to day running of a business?
It’s helped me understand the importance of preparation and planning. We want to grow Studio Box into a multi-location brand, which can be similarly compared to training for the Olympics – both will take years of ups and downs, successes and failures, but you always hold on to the end goal. Stepping back into the Black Sticks has also refreshed my outlook on a ‘team’ and how your chance of success is increased if each person understands their role and is given the tools to execute it. Studio Box is a team sport in the sense that any success we have is the success of our team and community.
For someone who is yet to try a class, or has never done any form of boxing before, how would they find a typical workout at S.B?
The experience is designed exactly for that person. There are 6 easy-to-learn punches that are taught at the start of the class. The instructor then leads 10 x 3-minute rounds of boxing mixed with bodyweight conditioning exercises. All you have to do is show up as you are, we provide gloves, wraps & sweat towels – the studio is also dimly lit, so there’s no need to worry about what you’ll look like as no one can see you!
A 45 minute class at Studio Box certainly seems to go much quicker than 45 minutes pounding the pavement, how do you create such effective workouts which are also so much fun?
We create 10-round workouts that both a first timer and a boxing professional can benefit equally from. Add in our specially curated playlists and our signature lighting experience. The time flies by!
You’ve also adapted your offering to include yoga classes. Can we expect to see any more classes being added in the future?
We’re always interested in expanding our class offering to meet the needs of our guests and members. Yoga was introduced to provide an opportunity to restore the body with some deep stretching.
Studio Box has an incredibly strong community, frequently holding events for members and collaborating with other local businesses. How important are events like this for your community?
Community is number one for us – without it, we have nothing. The events and collaborations provide opportunities for people to connect with each other and support local brands doing good things. Success to us is about helping our community live better lives and providing memorable opportunities for them to take part in.
Has social media impacted the way you work?
We’re really grateful for all the support we receive on social media. We get to engage with our community and also highlight what we’re offering, all while showing our personality.
What made you choose Newmarket for Studio Box?
1; Accessibility – it’s easy to get to for a lot of Aucklanders 2; There’s a high population of workers, people who might be keen to break up their day with exercise or grab a class before or after work 3; It has an awesome, growing, small business community.
Name your top 3 workout songs.
Feel The Love by Rudimental, Come Alive by Netsky, Desire by Dimension.
What are your tips for keeping fit and healthy at home?
To put it into a couple of sentences, you need to develop an exercise habit with a long term view – remembering that whilst you may not necessarily feel like exercising today, you will feel better for it and the work you put in today is going to pay off for you years down the track. I also think it’s important to learn what food works for you and how the right foods can positively impact your sleep, energy and how you feel. And, be kind to yourself along the way, no one has the perfect recipe, just develop your own for you. We have also recently introduced Studio At-Home – a weekly timetable of workouts that require no equipment and can be done in the comfort of your own home or backyard that we broadcast live on our Instagram, @_studiobox.