Published On: Tue, Aug 23rd, 2011

Boxing can be fun, social and challenging. Ask Mike Riskus

By Diane Feen 

BOCA RATON — It’s a tough world out there – and you need to be in shape to keep up with the times.

That is why Mike Riskus just opened one of the first real boxing clubs in Boca Raton. If you’ve seen movies about boxing clubs you probably know that those who enjoy boxing are a strong and motivated group.

But if you’ve visited Riskus Boxing Club you know that boxing can be fun, challenging and social. “Boxing is mentally and physically challenging – you have to focus and concentrate. Our trainers give each person individualized training and we try to introduce everyone so that there is a feeling of friendship and camaraderie among members,” said Riskus, who started boxing competitively at the age of 4 and continues to coach and train members.

This new 3,000-square-foot facility, on Holland Drive just off Clint Moore Road, has a full-size boxing ring, heavy bags, speed bags, free weights, treadmills and weight machines. There is a powerful circuit training area with emphasis on speed, power and coordination, yoga and calisthenics.

Rob Finizio leans over the ropes

What is exciting about boxing (and other power exercises at this facility) is that it helps body conditioning, weight loss, cardio-vascular workouts, improves speed and agility and is good for self-esteem and stress.

What more could you ask?

“The time that I spend at Riskus Boxing Club is a mini-vacation from everyday stress. When I am boxing it requires all of my attention. It is as hard to do mentally as it is physically, but it’s always a challenge! I love it,” said Rob Finizio CEO of Therapeutics MD.

And Finizio isn’t the only one enamored with this masculine bastion of workout fusion. Women are also joining the Riskus Boxing Club and sparring in the ring with male members. They’ve also found hitting a punching bag and working out in circuit training more fun than what they find in the local gym.

“Boxing is mentally challenging,” said Riskus. “Women have fun sparring with the men and it’s a great adrenaline rush. We also make sure everyone has their own private coach so make the most of their time and they don’t get bored.”

Riskus is also a big advocate of community service work – and of friendship among his members. Just last month they did a project with Habitat for Humanity and many of the members joined in to help.

“The staff really cares about the clients – we care about their mental health as well as their physical health. It’s about teamwork,” said Riskus, whose father Art was a professional boxer who ran a boxing gym in their Pittsburgh basement.

Riskus has competed in triathlons, has worked at health clubs and gyms and is a certified personal trainer. “It’s not the number of years you do something, it’s the amount of time you spend learning and doing something to the best of your ability. Perfect practice makes perfect. I train beginners to the most advanced pros.”

Why is joining a boxing club better than a gym, we asked Riskus.

“Boxing is a science, an art and a meditation. Everyone gets a coach to help you set goals, help you with weight management, monitor your progress and make sure you don’t get injured.”

“You’ll become a great athlete with our carefully measured cross-training exercises that emphasize speed, fluidity, power, stamina, meditation, self-awareness and even yoga.”

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