Boxing conjures images of grueling workouts depicted in the "Rocky" or "Creed" movies. Pre-dawn runs, bodyweight circuits, and ongoing work on the heavy bag. It looks exciting, it seems scary, and to most, it seems impossible.
While any athlete can be held up to certain levels of physical and technical skill, fighters are often regarded as some of the most conditioned athletes in any sport. There are no teammates in the ring. It is only the fighter who must rely on their physical conditioning, as well as mental preparedness, to out punch - and out-think - their opponent.
However, boxing can be done by anyone, at any age, and provide a host of physical and mental benefits.
Basic Boxing Training Improves
- Full body strength, including the core
- Aerobic benefits including lower blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
- Reduction of stress
There is a difference between the cardio boxing gym and a traditional boxing club. Both will undoubtedly give you a solid workout utilizing timed rounds and various punch sequences. The cardio boxing gyms will teach the basics, but the classes are fairly structured and ran as a group fitness class. These gyms and classes are great for conditioning and overall cardio workout. Often the coaches are trained in instructing fitness classes, but not many instructors are boxers themselves.
Training in a traditional boxing gym will provide more in-depth instruction on skills and technique. Here you will learn more about the "sweet science" of boxing. Often you will work side by side with amateur and professional fighters. Sparring will take place at these gyms. And a good coach will ease a boxer slowly into controlled sparring if that is a path one wishes to take.
Are you thinking of wrapping up your hands and getting a few rounds in? Finding the right boxing gym for you can be a challenge and will take some investment of time. You want coaches who are knowledgeable, hands-on and understand how to develop your skills and ability. So how do you choose?
- Go and take a tour. Look at the equipment, the setup, and get a feel for the overall gym.
- Many will offer a free trial class.
- Check out Groupon for trial memberships.
- Follow on social media. Review what the coaches, members, and fighters are doing
- Are there memorabilia on the wall? Does the gym have a history of fighters, belts, success, and community?
And of course, before starting any new exercise routine, it may be worth following up with your primary doctor to ensure underlying health issues do not leave you out for the count. Boxing is an individual sport and can be customized to fit everyone regardless of their experience or fitness goals.