The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation estimates there are more than 1 million people in the United States diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and more than 60,000 people are diagnosed each year. Rock Steady Boxing was the first gym in the country dedicated to the fight against Parkinson’s. Now, Rock Steady Boxing NKY has joined the ranks.
Exercises are largely adapted from boxing drills. Boxers condition for optimal agility, speed, muscular endurance, accuracy, hand-eye coordination, footwork and overall strength to defend against and overcome opponents. At RSB, Parkinson’s disease is the opponent. Exercises vary in purpose and form but share one common trait: they are rigorous and intended to extend the perceived capabilities of the participant.
THE ROCK STEADY BOXING SOLUTION
Various studies in the 1980s and 1990s supported the notion that rigorous exercise, emphasizing gross motor movement, balance, core strength, and rhythm, could favorably impact range of motion, flexibility, posture, gait, and activities of daily living. More recent studies, most notably at Cleveland Clinic, focus on the concept of intense “forced” exercise, and have begun to suggest that certain kinds of exercise may be neuro-protective, i.e., actually slowing disease progression. Clients attest, and academic institutions, such as University of Indianapolis and Butler University, are reporting and documenting the improved quality of life among our boxers. Discovery of a cure may be many years away but in the last seven years there is evidence that progress is made in all stages of the disease by those participating in the RSB program.
Rock Steady Boxing, the first boxing program of its kind in the country, was founded in 2006 by former Marion County (Indiana) Prosecutor Scott C. Newman, who is living with Parkinson’s. Newman began intense, one-on-one, boxing training just a few years after he was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s at the age of 40. Newman witnessed the dramatic improvement in his physical health, agility and daily functioning through the intense and high energy workouts. Newman’s quality of life improved dramatically in a short time due to his fighting back against Parkinson’s disease.
As word of this unique program spread and the demand for the classes increased, Rock Steady created training programs to meet the fitness levels at all stages of Parkinson’s – from the newly diagnosed to those who had been living with it for decades plus.
Rock Steady Boxing is often asked about the design of our logo – the Statue of Liberty embellished with a boxing glove. According to Newman, the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty and the hope symbolized by her presence at Ellis Island illustrated his dream that Rock Steady Boxing would be a beacon of light and hope for those suffering with Parkinson’s disease.
Matthew Daniels founded Rock Steady Boxing NKY in 2017 to support those in Northern Kentucky and surrounding area who are ready to FIGHT BACK.
After an initial consultation, clients are assigned a level designation appropriate to their abilities. Levels range from P1 (the most able-bodied) to P4 (the least able-bodied). After consultation and assignment, clients are slotted into a class with others of the same level. Classes are designed based on the collective abilities of the group. In other words, no one has to worry that the workouts will be more than they can handle.
Clients assigned to levels P1 and P2 are free to attend and participate in classes without the assistance of a ‘Cornerman’ (an assistant or caregiver), but those assigned to levels P3 and P4 MUST be accompanied and assisted by a ‘Cornerman’ in order to participate in any class.
All classes are designed as group classes. Rock Steady Boxing is not only a workout, it is also a communal environment, where each person can share experiences with others dealing with the same disease. Each can assist and push the others while reaping the maximum benefits of the class.
Classes are 90 minutes each and operate on a boxing interval training style format. Exercises will vary in each class, and the Coach instructing the class will give clear instructions and demonstrations for each exercise.
Make no mistake, each client is strongly encouraged to work as hard as they can. Forced intensity exercise is what the physical portion of the program is all about. It is what we mean when we say “Fight Back!”
One time initial 60-90 minute assessment/consultation: $175 (This cost includes boxing gloves and hand wraps).
$20 per class
Annual monthly membership: $150 per month (If a client participates in the recommended 3 classes per week, each class costs just $12.50 per class).
If a client chooses the annual monthly option, RSBNKY will set aside 10% of the dues to contribute toward sponsoring another client that may not be able to afford classes on their own.