Last month, Prevail Boxing hosted their first ever “Fight Like a Girl” empowerment event at their Los Angeles studio — a night meant to encourage women to own their strength by learning boxing basics. It’s a powerful way for feminists to fight hard on a personal level that feels particularly important right now, as we figure out next steps in this sexual harassment reckoning we’re experiencing. Also, boxing looks fun AF, and working out in a group will improve your quality of life. After low-key creeping on Prevail’s Instagram page and seeing all those women totally kicking ass, we were curious to know more about what to expect from the workout, both physically and mentally. To get the ringside scoop, we turned to Prevail founder Milan Costich with a few questions of our own.

Brit + Co: What about boxing empowers women to feel stronger and fearless in their daily lives?

Milan Costich: So many things about boxing are challenging — from working up the courage to try a sport that was historically geared toward men, to learning and applying all the technique that comes along with it. At Prevail, we encourage our clients to welcome challenges, because we know that’s what will help us grow.

Tackling the little challenges in the gym, such as doing your first full pushup or getting down the combo you’ve been working on all week, empowers Prevailers to start taking on challenges outside of the gym as well. The same “I can do this” mentality that we encourage in boxing starts to carry over into every aspect of life — whether it’s getting the courage to end a bad relationship or finally asking for a promotion at work. We’re here to help you realize that you’ve got this.

B+C: What does the concept “fight like a girl” mean to you? Why do you think it’s important, especially now, for women to reclaim that otherwise negative phrase?

MC: Every day at Prevail Boxing, our female clients show us what it means to “fight like a girl.” It means pushing yourself past perceived limits, finding the strength to keep going when you feel like you can’t, and exceeding your own expectations of what you’re capable of. Women are (unfortunately) still fighting for the respect they deserve in the world right now, so redefining what it means to “fight like a girl” is just one small part of forward progress in that battle.

B+C: Can you explain the physical benefits of boxing? How can a woman expect her body to transform?

MC: Boxing is an amazing full-body workout, which is why so many supermodels like Gigi Hadid use it to get runway ready. A boxing match is a constant mix of speed, strength, and mobility, which translates into low body fat and long, lean functional muscle. While most our classes at Prevail are non-contact, we replicate the intensity of boxing through tons of bag work, mitt work, plyometric movements, resistance training, and core exercises. If you’re boxing consistently for a month, you should notice your entire body start to tighten up and slim down, while your strength and endurance improve.

B+C: There must be serious mental and emotional benefits too — what are a few standouts?

MC: Boxing packs serious mental and emotional benefits. Because you’re learning a new skillset, the workout demands that you’re 100 percent present the whole time while you focus on your form, your footwork, and your accuracy. You’re really forced to take a little mental vacation from whatever else is going on in your world that day and spend some time punching out your stress. For a workout that’s so intense, boxing is surprisingly meditative in that way, which can have a huge positive impact on your mental well-being.

B+C: For those of us who’ve never taken a boxing class (and feel a little intimidated at the prospect), can you walk us through what to expect out of a class?

MC: At Prevail Boxing, we go out of our way to make sure first-timers feel welcomed and comfortable for their first class. We ask that first-timers come 30 minutes early — that way you can meet your coaches, have your hands wrapped, go through a tutorial before class starts, and have time to ask plenty of questions to ease any fears. Once class starts, you can expect boxing to feel a little foreign at first, which is totally normal, so we work hard to make sure it’s a safe, supportive, and fun experience for people of all backgrounds.

Typically, it takes about two or three boxing sessions to start feeling comfortable, and after about 10 sessions it will usually start to “click” for people. Boxing is a rich and deep skillset, so consistency is key to develop the fundamentals and technique. It’s such an efficient workout that even [when] boxing just three times per week the results will be incredible.

There’s certain inner strength and confidence that develops through the extremely rigorous training of boxing. It’s been over 20 years now, and I still find myself constantly learning new things not only about the art but also about myself. That’s what I love about boxing: The more I give and commit, the more I learn. It’s truly a journey, not a destination.

Would you try boxing as a way to empower yourself and stay fit? Tweet us @BritandCo to share your thoughts!