Blood, sweat, tears. Rocky in the ring slugging it out with Clubber Lang is most likely what the average person used to think of when they thought of boxing, right? However, the times have changed in recent years. There used to be a time when the only place you could go to hit a heavy bag was at your local P.A.L. (Police Athletic League) or your grandfather’s basement. Today, everyone from actors, models, reality TV personalities, and even professional athletes from various sports are rocking boxing gloves and hitting mitts with their trainers- posting their results all over Instagram and other social media platforms. Boxing has quickly become one of the hottest new fitness trends in America. Gyms and fitness studios based around boxing as means for conditioning, strength training, and weight loss are popping up rapidly across the country. This may lead you to believe that this is one of those trends that is here to stay, and you’re right…time to get out of grandpa’s basement and find a boxing gym.
Boxing for fitness is no longer looked at as being a “guy thing.” In fact, most classes are pretty evenly mixed, sometimes with women outnumbering men. Everyone from soccer moms to Wall Street executives are all trying to perfect the “1-2” (boxing terminology for the jab-straight right hand combo). But why is boxing such a good form of training, and why should you give try? Glad you asked. Let’s explore some of the benefits of boxing besides showing off your new skills in the break room in front of your co-workers.
- It’s fun! Let’s face it, life can be stressful at times. What better way to relieve some stress than to throw some gloves on and tee off on a heavy bag for 45 minutes? Throw some fun workouts in there like jump squats, sit ups, and burpees, and you’ll be sweating like you just fought for a world title…guaranteed to make you forget about all those unanswered emails at work, at least for a little while.
- Boxing will get you fit! We all can appreciate a boxer’s physique: lean, muscular, and powerful. From agility and coordination, to balance, endurance, speed, and power, all of the components of boxing build attributes that increase overall fitness. Who doesn’t want that? A typical boxing session could burn anywhere from 700-1000calories, so if weight loss is your goal, boxing is a great alternative to running or spinning for your “cardio.”
- It’s mentally stimulating! That’s right! Learning a sport where people punch each other in the face is mentally stimulating. Boxing is much more than just brute strength and reckless swings. Learning how to punch properly and throw crisp, accurate punches is a skill and requires a great deal of mind and body connection. Don’t believe me? Try throwing a six punch combination when your hands feel like cement blocks and you can barely breathe. You’ll quickly learn a new respect for professional fighters.
- It’s less monotonous than the traditional forms of training! Boxing is a sport that you will not be good at when you first start. It takes a great deal of skill to learn the little nuances of the “sweet science”, always giving you something to strive for. Conditioning for boxing also incorporates other modalities such as running, plyometrics, kettlebells, and interval training, giving you an endless amount of things to challenge you in new ways.
- It builds confidence! There’s something about wrapping your hands and putting gloves on that makes people feel good. That smile on someone’s face when they finally throw that perfect punch is something that cannot be bought. Boxing can seem intimidating at first, but once you start to learn the beauty of the sport, you get to see what you’re really capable of.
Long story short, find a boxing class ASAP! It’s an excellent way to get in shape and have fun while doing it. Boxing is one of the world’s oldest sports, and the results from its training have stood the test of time…so don’t call it a comeback, it’s been here for years.