I Hated At-Home Workouts—Until Liteboxer Changed My Mind

If beat-based boxing is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Last Updated
Nov 3, 2021

I’ll be honest: I loathe at-home workouts. I grew up playing team sports and then transitioned to competitive running, so working out has always been high-intensity, sport-specific, and...not in my house. Now, I’m a coach/trainer at Orangetheory, so I’m used to group exercise. And I thrive on it. 

When I heard about Liteboxer, a new at-home boxing system, I was skeptical. Not only is this a home workout, but I had a hard time imagining it could supplement my fitness the same way my usual studio workouts do. However, boxing has been gaining popularity as a highly effective personal workout—and everyone from Gigi Hadid to Damian Lillard raves about its benefits. 

While I consider myself rhythmically challenged and rarely take a spin or dance class, the cult popularity of SoulCycle, 305 Fitness, and other beat-based group fitness classes indicates that many people love workouts disguised as dancing. As fate would have it, about a week after I agreed to give Liteboxer a shot, I had emergency knee surgery. The bad news: no more running for a long time, and no more biking for a little while. The good news: I could still stand, rendering my Liteboxer system my number one workout buddy for four to six weeks. 

Before I go into my full Liteboxer review, here are my three main takeaways after dozens of workout sessions: 

  1. There is so much more to Liteboxer than boxing. 
  2. It’s an incredibly fun workout. 
  3. Every time I hear “Good 4 U” by Olivia Rodrigo, I have an overwhelming urge to punch something.

What Is Liteboxer?

Liteboxer is an at-home boxing workout system. Conceptually, it’s beat-based boxing. Sensors on the Liteboxer light up while a song plays, indicating where to punch to the beat of the music. The workout is kind of like a combination of Dance Dance Revolution and a boxing class.

How Is Liteboxer Different From Other Home Systems?

Liteboxer is the perfect workout for the person who hates working out. It’s the first system I’ve experienced that has successfully gamified fitness, part of what sets it apart. Essentially, you score points for how accurately you punch and how hard you hit. It’s also one of the first workout systems an entire family could use; it’s easy to use, adjustable to different heights, good for any fitness level, and fun.

As someone who does not need motivation to work out, I most appreciated the variety of options available on the app. I loved being able to create my workout with the app's music library. If I wasn’t in the mood to box, I could do something like a bodyweight core workout.

What Does Liteboxer’s Set-Up Entail?

The Liteboxer system ships from California and typically arrives within 10 business days of ordering. It comes in two boxes that are shrink-wrapped together. There is an optional platform extender that you can purchase, and that adds a third box. Liteboxer recommends the extender ($350) for users over 6’1”. Liteboxer reps set up the system upon delivery.

The exact box dimensions are:

  • Box A: 40.74 in x 35.75in x 17.75in
  • Box B: 44 in x 32 in x 10.5 in
  • Box BE (platform extender): 41in x 37.75 in x 10in

The system weighs 150 pounds without the platform extender. If my knee had been up to it, I could have carried most of the unit up my stairs in a few trips. However, the platform itself is large and cumbersome and requires help from one or two other people.

The Liteboxer system includes a platform to stand on and a large upright stand that could be equated to a standing boxing dummy. The stand has six sensor pads that light up during boxing workouts to indicate where to punch. It also has a small platform to hold whatever device you’re using—either a phone or tablet—during the workout. The system also has to be plugged into a wall. The unit itself does not require a WiFi connection; it turns on and runs through the app.

The Liteboxer is bigger than some of the at-home workout systems out there. The exact footprint, once assembled, is 37.6” x 55.5”, and the brand recommends at least 12” of clearance in the front and sides of the unit. The height is adjustable and can accommodate users up to 6’4”. This was one of the drawbacks for me. I live in a smaller apartment with my dog and don't have a ton of extra space. I rearranged my furniture so the Liteboxer didn’t feel in the way. Because the platform is flat, it’s not completely dead space.

A minor drawback was the need to use either your cell phone or tablet. Liteboxer does not provide a screen, nor does it have one available to purchase separately. The small platform on the stand, which I was told would support a phone or a tablet, was definitely made for a tablet. This made it a bit frustrating to use. Anytime I wanted to skip songs or choose another workout, I had to step off the platform and go over to my phone.

While it’s a bit large and heavy, the design itself is quite sleek and feels and looks high-quality. Once it’s set up, it’s easy to move around the room; it rolls back onto wheels located at the bottom of the platform.

What’s Liteboxer’s App Like?

Like many at-home workout systems, such as Mirror and Peloton, the hardware has a companion app where the workouts are located. The Liteboxer can’t be used without the app, unless you like to punch without any music or direction (I tried this once and lasted seconds before giving up out of sheer boredom).

Initially, the app was a tad frustrating. Liteboxer, which launched early summer of 2020, is still nascent and is currently making a lot of adjustments to the app experience. The app sometimes randomly paused mid-workout, wouldn’t advance to the next song, or would glitch. 

After two weeks, however, Liteboxer pushed a big over-the-air update, which fixed most of these problems. There are still a lot of fixes waiting to be made, such as the addition of some sort of search bar for the workouts themselves (which I’ll touch on later). But from my experience, after the app was updated, the technical glitches were resolved.  

What Are Liteboxer Workouts Like?

There are three places that will take you to the workouts on the app: the home tab, the workout tab, and the quickplay tab.

First, the home tab. It’s self-explanatory and the perfect place to start if you’re unsure of where to begin. The home tab features introductory classes. While these are not the classes you want to take if you’re looking to sweat, they do a great job of introducing users to the experience.

Next, the workout tab. There are two options in this tab: either trainer classes or build and restore classes. The trainer classes are all boxing workouts, which range from five minutes to 30 minutes or longer. Some are based on how many songs are in the session and the style of music (for example, a three-song sparring session set to hip-hop) and others are based on the length of the workout itself and the style of music (such as a 10-minute EDM session).

The build and restore classes are, for the most part, off of the platform. Most of them don’t involve punching the unit (although a few “warm-up” punching workouts are in here). These workouts, all 30-minutes or less, range from classes like “20 Minute Total Body Conditioning” to “10 Min Glutes and Abs.” There are also stretching and meditation workouts.

Next, the quickplay tab. You’ve got three different options: punch tracks, freestyle, or thumboxer. This tab does not have any trainer-led classes. It has options for creating your own workout by selecting as many songs as you’d like in the order you’d like.

The punch tracks are Liteboxer’s library of songs. There are thousands of songs, of all varieties, and the brand adds more all the time. For punch tracks, pick a song, pick your level, then press play. The Liteboxer lights up to the beat of the song, then you punch away. 

Freestyle is simply no music, just punching. The thumboxer option is just how it sounds: select punch tracks and use your thumb to tap your phone. It’s a phone version of the Liteboxer, with little targets that light up to the beat, and the idea is to hit the targets at the right time. This wasn’t terribly great. 

The workout tab options are fun. This is where you get to know the trainers, who all have wildly different personalities and coaching styles. My favorite trainer was Lissa, who was super positive, but also very real. I’m not the type of person who needs inspirational quotes thrown at me during class, but I do appreciate thoughtful comments that I can apply to what my body is doing. I also appreciate some light-heartedness, and Lissa was doing all of that for me. The trainer classes are especially great if you’re new to boxing because the coach guides you and gives punching cues.

I particularly enjoyed the build and restore classes, especially when I had zero use of my leg after surgery. Most classes require no equipment and get the heart rate going. The core and glute workouts all had things I could do (which were limited arm workouts, core workouts, and zero-impact lower body exercises that kept my knee between zero and 30 degrees of motion). While the exercise limitations were not fun, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed these workouts.

I loved creating my workout with the punch tracks in the quick play tab. I had zero motivation issues, even without a trainer. I could make a workout as long or as short as I wanted. If I needed a quick break from my computer, I would pick one song, punch it out, and then get back to work, feeling more chipper. The punch tracks are also incredible. Each song's combinations are unique, and if you get good at one song, you can try a different level (easy, medium, or hard), which has similar patterns but is more challenging. I can’t say enough good things about the punch tracks.

I did not try the freestyle option for long. I could see it being a good option for an experienced boxer, but that’s not me; I’m all about punching to the beat.

A final note: you can’t access any of the workouts unless you’re in range of your Liteboxer, which I found disappointing. While I did not pay for this trial, I could imagine someone who is paying for a monthly membership would be frustrated to not be able to access the bodyweight workouts while traveling.

How Much Does Liteboxer Cost?

Liteboxer isn’t cheap, but little in the fitness industry is. Its starter package is $1,695, which includes the unit, one pair of gloves, one pair of wraps, shipping, and a one-month app membership. 

These costs are still cheaper than a year’s worth of a monthly membership at a boutique boxing gym. The added convenience of having it in your home with the variety of classes makes it a cost-effective and worthwhile choice.

The pro package costs $1,795 and includes the unit, a non-slip map to put below the unit, two pairs of gloves, two pairs of wraps, shipping, and one month of app membership.

You can purchase both packages with monthly installment payments: $47/month for the starter and $50/month for the pro.

First-time Liteboxer app users get a 30-day trial membership. After that, there are a few options: either pay $29.99 per month, pay an annual fee of $329.99 ($27.50 per month), or pay $479.99 every 18 months ($26.67 per month). Each of these membership options gives you full access to the app.

Liteboxer Add-Ons

There are some Liteboxer add-on options. One is the ($100) large non-slip mat. Additional gloves are $39 each, wraps are $9, and there is a platform extension for $350.

The most intriguing option is the $49 resistance band package, which was sold out at the time, unfortunately. There aren’t too many workouts made with bands yet, but that is one of the most exciting things about future Liteboxer workouts. The Liteboxer system already has a resistance band attachment, so it’s only a matter of time before trainer-led resistance band workouts show up.

What Else Should You Know About Liteboxer?

The Liteboxer Instagram community is solid. They started posting mini-workout challenges, which look fun. I appreciate the weekly workout plan posts, as would anyone who is overwhelmed by the sheer number of workouts available on the app. These posts specify exactly what workout to do each day of the week.

There are a lot of exciting things in the works that haven’t quite come to fruition, including live classes (all are currently on-demand only), resistance band classes, and filtering options on the app.

At the time of publishing, Liteboxer’s app does not have any sort of filtering option for the trainer classes or the build and restore classes. The workouts appear in list form, with the most recently-uploaded workouts appearing at the top. So, if you’d like to take a 10-minute core class, you'd need to scroll down the list, reading the name of each workout, until you find one you like. This is the same for the trainer classes. Liteboxer says this should be addressed soon.

Who Is Liteboxer For?

Liteboxer has come up with a fantastic way to make working out feel like a game, so I would recommend Liteboxer to anyone who has been having a hard time finding a workout they enjoy. Anyone who enjoys video games would also appreciate this system.

For those intrinsically motivated to work out, this is also a great system. Even if you decide not to use Liteboxer as your primary form of exercise, boxing itself is amazing cross-training: it’s low-impact on the joints, works muscles that running and cycling don’t hit, and is great at increasing the heart rate. Plus, the build and restore classes are excellent, and the prospect of resistance band strength classes is a big deal.

Someone looking to train for actual boxing wouldn’t enjoy Liteboxer. Liteboxer is based on patterns (much like most of the boxing group fitness classes) and boxers hate patterns. Patterns are predictable and predictable gets you punched in the face.

Overall Liteboxer Review

I’d buy it. It would be something I’d use several times a week to supplement my regular fitness routine, but I could easily see it being something someone would exclusively use if they were just getting into fitness. 

Overall, I was shocked by how much I enjoyed the Liteboxer unit. I also have to credit it for keeping me sane during my injury recovery. Liteboxer is fun and has a bright future. 

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