Xiaoyan Zheng, a graduate student studying accounting, takes hits as part of Pink Gloves Boxing, a group boxing class for females to promote empowerment as well as physical fitness. The course is offered at the East Gym on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Women on campus are taking a swing at strengthening their muscles and their confidence this winter.

Pink Gloves Boxing is a group boxing class for females offered at Binghamton University to promote empowerment as well as physical fitness.

“Pink Gloves really is focused on empowering women,” said Stephanie Stahovic, an instructor for the class and a sophomore majoring in industrial engineering. “To begin with, boxing itself is an empowering action. It’s actually pretty cool because as soon as the girls get their hand wraps on, it’s as though their entire personality changes and all of a sudden they’re filled with this confidence and determination.”

The course is offered at the East Gym on Mondays and Wednesdays. The first level requires a $110 fee, while the second costs $75. The class runs for 10 weeks, from Feb. 3 to April 9, twice per week.

The class isn’t limited to BU, with similar courses appearing at other SUNY schools and across the country. With the motto “It’s not exercise, it’s empowerment,” the organizers wanted to focus on something more than slimming the waistline.

“As a group fitness instructor, I’ve seen what being physically fit has done for my own confidence, as well as for the confidence of many others who have taken my classes,” Stahovic said. “When you take control of your health and accomplish goals that you have set for yourself, your whole perception of what you are capable of changes.”

The class is composed of three components. It starts with a warm-up of different drills, such as punches or defensive movements, followed by a circuit of stations where participants spend two minutes performing drills including shadowboxing, heavyweight bags, improving agility and total body weight exercises. The final component is conditioning and cool-down.

“It’s definitely a workout, but it’s fun and afterward I really feel like I’m a stronger person,” said Juliana Cuomo, a sophomore majoring in nursing. “Boxing is something I never thought I’d get into, but I’m glad I took the class.”

There are different tiers of difficulty in the class that students must complete in order. The class is available to anyone who registers, regardless of experience or levels of fitness.

“You really just need to realize that everyone starts somewhere,” Stahovic said. “The goal of Pink Gloves Boxing is to create a community of women who feel comfortable together and are empowered by one another. Everyone is at a different level, but I’ll tell you that that level will never change if you don’t start somewhere.”