When you bring up the subject of boxing, the image that comes to people’s minds is of two athletes in a boxing ring, adrenaline pumped and seeking to destroy each other using their fists as weapons. Boxing for fitness is something completely different where entire classes of people can get a great workout from a non-contact version of the sport. Boxing as a way to stay fit is becoming increasingly popular and rightfully so considering its many benefits. Boxing increases strength, coordination, endurance, speed, and dexterity. You will learn the proper way to control your feet and the basic boxing stance. You will learn basic punches such as the hook, the jab, the upper cut, and how to combine them all effectively as you develop your boxing skills. Boxing is not necessarily for self-defence, but you will learn to throw a punch. And it will increase your self-confidence knowing that if anything was to go awry you should be able to take care of yourself.
So you may wonder how I got started in boxing. I was already going to the gym three or four times every week, but I was only working on weight training. I did absolutely no cardio and despite being stronger and more muscular I was still soft around the middle. I dreaded the thought of running so there was no way I was going to get on a treadmill. I considered going with my girlfriend to one of her group fitness classes but I was a little hesitant because there were never many guys attending. After a conversation with my boss one day at lunch he suggested I come along to a boxing session. He is in his 40s and in outstanding physical shape. He is totally ripped, six pack abs and all, so when someone in that kind of physical shape talks, I listen. He offered to let me borrow a pair of boxing gloves, and told me all I needed to bring was a towel and a bottle of water.
It was a little challenging as I had never tried boxing before. My soon-to-be-sparring-partner told me that boxing is something that anyone can do, so that week I tagged along to the gym to give it a try. First we went through a 15 minute warm up session, then 30 minutes of sparring, and then a 15 minute cool down. I experienced a whole new level of pain! It was not a result of being hit in the ring; remember this is a non-contact form of boxing. My muscles burned, like nothing I had ever experienced before. Muscles I did not even know I was using were hurting. My core, my legs, my shoulders; everything burned like fire. I thought that would be the end of my boxing activity, but I gave myself a couple days to recover and then I returned to the ring to give it another shot.
Knowing the moves gave me a better work out, and I was more prepared mentally this time. I continued going to the gym every week. I noticed my body trimming up and my middle section spare tire was getting much less noticeable. Because boxing is a high repetition workout, you will see more body toning than muscle building. Combine that with a healthy diet and you can really see some results quite quickly.
If I’ve learnt anything from the experience it is not to be afraid to try something new. No matter what your skill or fitness level is, boxing is good for you because it can be modified to increase or decrease intensity and complexity of the workout. You have no excuse not to try it. Not only is boxing a great way to workout, it gives you the opportunity to destress and vent your frustrations on the boxing pads. Boxing is a high intensity program of exercise. It targets numerous large muscle groups, which assures you a program for toning and building strength while you also become more in shape and better fit. The gym is a great place to hang out with a mate and get a little competitive if necessary, but try and keep it above the belt.
Everyone knows what it feels like to be in a rut, trapped in a pattern of circumstances that we cannot escape. Rarely do those circumstances change by themselves, it’s more likely that we will need to take action to ensure that we don’t become stuck in a rut.