Key TakeawaysThe Liteboxer is a boxing exercise machine that keeps you moving through interactive content. The gadget has padded areas that light up when you are supposed to punch them. The Liteboxer tracks the speed and strength of your punches and offers classes through an app.
Sascha Brodsky / Ach5
I was panting and sweating halfway through a workout with the Liteboxer smart punching machine when another light flashed.
Not again, I thought.
The light was my signal to punch the Liteboxer along with a video class playing on my iPad. I threw a flurry of uppercuts and jabs, then collapsed in exhaustion. Lying on the floor for a break, I was able to see my stats on the Liteboxer's iPad app. I had thrown 700 punches.
“I'm not usually motivated by exercise metrics, but I found the ability to track your punches a powerful lure to keep moving.”
The Peloton of Boxing?
Liteboxer has been dubbed the Peloton of boxing because it turns the traditional punching bag into high-tech workout gear. I've tried Peloton and similar spinning bikes, and I think the name does Liteboxer a disservice. You'll get a far better workout using the Liteboxer than any bicycle.
The key behind Liteboxer's success is that it's interactive. Instead of just a punching bag, you get a freestanding 6-foot-high black target that's stuck to a base.
On the target are padded areas that light up when you are supposed to punch them. The bottom is a padded exercise area where you'll do most of your striking and other workouts that form the core of Liteboxer's program.
The targets are satisfying to hit, with just enough give that you won't bruise your knuckles when you wear the included gloves. I was happy to find that the machine never moved, no matter how hard I hit it.
I've been boxing on and off for years for fun and fitness. There's nothing like this sweet science to get your whole body moving. Just take a look at any current fighter, and you'll see proof that this sport can whip you into shape.
Part of boxing's appeal is its sheer simplicity. There aren't many moves, so it's more about getting the basics down precisely right.
I was worried that Liteboxer might try to overcomplicate the sparring experience, but I needn't have been. This gadget is just complex enough, but at its heart, it's a pure fighting experience.
I could plug the Liteboxer and sync it to my phone via Bluetooth within seconds of downloading the company's app. Lights show where and when you're supposed to strike. Even better, there are force sensors to measure the power and accuracy of your workouts.
Teaching You the Sweet Science
A shelf on the Liteboxer holds your tablet, which plays workouts led by instructors via the app. The classes range from 15 to 45 minutes in length, and all of the ones I tried were expertly filmed and taught.
Liteboxer's $29 per month membership gives you access to content updated daily, including more than 80 songs and over 100 classes led by trainers.
However, I preferred using a feature that lets you skip the instruction and syncs your punches to music. It's kind of like the virtual reality exercise game BeatSaber, but using your fists in the real world.
I'm not usually motivated by exercise metrics, but I found the ability to track your punches a powerful lure to keep moving. I followed my workout on my Apple Watch Series 6, using the built-in fitness tracker to get even nerdier.
I was surprised to discover afterward that I had burned more calories during a recent workout with the Liteboxer than almost any I had done in the past year.
I've been experimenting with various kinds of virtual reality exercise games in recent months and have found all of them lacking.
At the same time, I'm getting bored with my usual solo exercise routines, and I'm not planning to head back into a gym anytime soon. Cranking out miles on a stationary bike is getting old fast.
I found the Liteboxer to be an excellent substitute for a boxing gym. The flashing light prompts the machine provided were enough to keep me moving. The feedback from my workouts in the app made me want to come back to beat my previous record.
But the best part of the Liteboxer? It doesn't hit back.