The duo behind Austin kickboxing studio Knockout shares their tips for creating a workout routine and sticking to it. 

By Danielle Ortiz, Photo by Alex Bradshaw 

Diane Borejsza and Melissa LeBaron, co-founders of Austin boxing studio Knockout, believe fitness should be fun. Prior to opening their studio in 2017, Borejsza and LeBaron worked in corporate sales together. It was then they started a daily routine of going to the gym at lunchtime to de-stress. As they bonded through fitness, they decided they wanted to fulfill their entrepreneurial spirit by opening their very own studio. 

In 2014, Borejsza and LeBaron started conceptualizing what type of studio to open. They knew the Austin market is saturated with fitness clubs, but when they took a kickboxing class, they were blown away by the uniqueness of the sport. 

Kickboxing offers a full-body workout, but Borejsza says she and LeBaron noticed that at most studios, they were either sparring against men or were in a sweaty gym environment with no ambience. That’s when the concept of Knockout was born. 

With 4,000 people taking classes at Knockout last year, Borejsza and LeBaron love seeing the response their studio has gotten. Besides the success of Knockout, they love empowering people. They stress fitness is about so much more than simply obtaining good looks, so they’ve been adamant about making Knockout a place for community. 

During the month of January, many women are eager to add working out regularly to their lives as part of their New Year’s resolutions. Even though they believe exercise should be a priority every day, Borejsza and LeBaron see many people disregarding their new routines. With New Year’s resolutions in full swing, we asked Borejsza and LeBaron how to plan a workout routine and actually stick to it. 


“If you’re an extrovert, then group fitness classes like kickboxing or spinning with music and fun lighting will probably be your thing. If you like to workout solo, then putting on your headphones and drowning out the crowd at the gym or on a trail run may suit you well,” LeBaron says. “If you’re both a group-workout and solo-workout person, then fluctuating between the two environments will help you stay engaged and enjoying your workouts. [You’ve got to] just keep branching out and find something that works for you because if you went to spinning and you didn’t like it, it doesn’t mean the workout is over for you. Once it becomes fun, most likely, it will become a habit.” 


“Don’t do any deprivation diets or strenuous workouts that feel more like punishment,” LeBaron says. “These just don’t work and will have you discouraged and disappointed. Fitness should be about loving your body, not punishing it. So, reward it with fun workouts and healthy meals that will keep you wanting more of that lifestyle.” 


“The biggest thing where I see people give up and fail is when they don’t have accountability,” Borejsza says. “So, make a schedule and stick to it. Plan and book your workouts in advance. Half the battle is just showing up. Once you are there, you are ready to go. Another way to stay accountable is to workout with a friend. It is a lot of fun to sweat it out beside your buddy. Plus, your friend will be counting on you to show up. If you can stay dedicated and determined, once you see those results, you’ll crave more.” 


“I always keep running shoes, a yoga mat, boxing gloves and extra socks in my trunk. This way, I have no excuse to not workout on my way home from work or errands,” Borejsza says. “Maybe [if ] you’re not feeling motivated but your friend wants to check out a class, you can make it.” 


“There are so many amazing workouts and sports to try in this booming city. People usually have one fitness class they attend regularly and then branch out from time to time to switch it up,” Borejsza says. “If you choose to workout solo, try searching for new music that motivates you to workout harder.” 


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