If your partner is a knockout but you have run out of fun date ideas, one Harrisonburg business is offering a new experience that is sure to be a hit with your partner.

Every month, Edge Effect Fitness owner and head coach Randy Simpson offers date night boxing classes. Cheese tastings at a vineyard may be a perfectly good way to spend a night out with your sweet, but Simpson said he wanted to offer a less sedentary way for couples to bond.

While a little outside the box, Simpson said the idea was conceived while on a more traditional night out with his wife.

“My wife and I were at a paint night and she posed the question, ‘This is fun but how many paintings do you want to end up with?’ And my response was, ‘Wouldn't it be cool to go hit the bags somewhere?,'” Simpson said.

Each session of couples boxing is noncontact and goes through multiple timed sessions for participants to gain experience on double end bags, speed bags and focus mitts.

Simpson said the alternative night out for partners offers a unique way to bond and connect.

“To get people to try something new, and while they are doing that with their partner, they're getting to know their partner a little bit better,” Simpson said.

Classes consist of up to four couples and are open to all ages and experience levels.

Mount Crawford resident Julie Hart has attended two boxing date nights with her husband. She said finding time to spend together is difficult with two young children, but the boxing session fits well into their schedules.

“I’m not a very athletic person, so I was nervous going into it, but it was perfect,” Hart said. “We have very different athletic abilities, so it was interesting for us to be working together on the different skills and meeting each other in each task. Like, he's more athletic than I am, so it helped to improve our communication together.”

While Edge Effect Fitness offers standard high-intensity training courses most days, Simpson said date night boxing was designed for all athletic levels to be able to come in and dismantle the fear of boxing.

“It can be a little bit intimidating to step into something that has this aggressive image to it, but that's a big part of the goal. It's not an aggressive activity necessarily. It can be a lot of fun, and you get in good shape,” Simpson said.

Penn Laird residents Jared and Becky Troutman make plans once per month to go out on a date night. The Troutmans normally go out to dinner or a movie, hiking or axe-throwing, and Becky Troutman said boxing was a first.

“It’s something different for a date. … We like to be active, but we don’t always get to do it together,” Becky Troutman said. “We had a lot of fun.”

The next round of couples boxing is Feb. 15 with 50-minute sessions at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. Registration is $30 per couple and gloves are provided. Sign-ups can be made online or by calling (540) 607-4855.

Contact Kathleen Shaw at 574-6274 or kshaw@dnronline.com. Follow Kathleen on Twitter @shawkareport

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