How to get into boxing
Boxing has soared in popularity in recent years and offers many benefits. Our beginner’s guide tells you how to get into this challenging yet rewarding sport.
Boxing as a sport has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, enjoying an increase of 30,000 participants in the last six months alone, including almost 12,000 women and girls. Offering an array of both physical and mental benefits, boxing’s growing popularity is unsurprising. If you’d like to experience these benefits for yourself, read on for our tips and advice on starting out in the world of boxing.
Why choose boxing?
With so many sports out there, why choose boxing? Well, first of all it’s one of the best all-round workouts you can do, burning in excess of 700 calories per hour, and helping you to lose weight, build muscle, increase fitness and improve your strength, speed and agility. What’s more, it also benefits you mentally, acting as a great stress reliever, boosting self-esteem and instilling discipline and self-control.
Before you head out and start boxing, first identify your motive for taking up the sport. Do you want to lose weight and improve your fitness, or do you want to compete more seriously? Nailing down your motives at this early stage will help you to choose the right gym and workout regimen for your aspirations. Boxing is an extremely physical sport and its sheer intensity can often be a shock to the system to beginners. Help get yourself prepared by doing all you can to improve your fitness and shed excess weight before you set foot in a boxing gym – a mix of high and low intensity cardio, such as sprinting and jogging, and a light weights workout are all great for this.
Choosing a gym
If you are serious about taking up boxing you will need to learn the correct techniques, which means finding a good boxing gym and trainer. There are lots of different gyms out there and finding the right one for you can be a bit of a minefield. It’s important to do your research, so look up different gyms online in your area and ask any boxing friends or acquaintances for recommendations. Once you have found some gyms you like the look of, go along to check them out and have a chat with the trainers. Be open about what you’re hoping to achieve (whether that’s improving your fitness or boxing professionally), what time commitment you can give and what your budget is.
As a general rule, you should look for a gym that has an encouraging atmosphere for beginners, and that has a focus on learning proper technique and continuing improvement. A good trainer should also be able to offer a workout regime that is tailored to your physical abilities.
Kit yourself out
Although you don’t need to spend a fortune when first starting out, it makes sense to kit yourself out with a few basic pieces of equipment. Hand wraps, a water bottle, a skipping rope and a good pair of gloves should be all you need during the early stages – you can always invest in more, or better quality pieces of kit once you know for sure that you want to continue with the sport. When it comes to clothing, you don’t need anything fancy – a vest top and some Adidas boxing shorts will easily suffice.
What to expect
The key thing to be aware of is that boxing is hard work and, in the early days, your body will hurt – a lot! It’s strenuous, repetitive and tough on your body so you need to be committed if you want to progress. The other thing to be aware of is that it may be a while before you actually get in the ring. Your trainer will want to make sure you have mastered the basic techniques and are physically fit before putting you up to spar against another fighter, so you will likely spend a lot of the early days of your training doing bag work and improving your fitness.
Boxing is undoubtedly a challenging sport but it’s a rewarding one too, and with the right mental attitude, a desire to work hard and a strong sense of commitment, you’ll soon find yourself reaping the benefits of this majestic sport.