There are basically two types of boxing classes: Training that focuses on teaching boxers to compete in the ring, and training that focus on helping “everyday people” get in better shape.
The basic difference between the two forms of training is that people who want to learn how to compete in boxing must learn to land and take punches with human opponents. They have to learn to hit and be hit by a competitor. Gyms that teach boxers to compete typically have boxing rings in their facilities and offer opportunities for boxers to fight one another.
If you have no interest in taking a punch (I know I don’t anymore), you’ll want to look for facilities that offer classes and programs outside of the ring. The basic skills are the same – you learn to jab, upper cut, and hook; you work on footwork and speed, core strength and agility, and power and flexibility. In some our case, you’ll also learn Martial Arts style striking & kicking skills. My background is Karate, I’ve dabbled in some basic wrestling & Krav Maga in the past, but Karate is where my heart is.
The good news is, with our fitness-friendly boxing (or Not Boxing, as we call it) class, just about anyone can walk in and get started, regardless of baseline fitness. Because our classes focus on using your body to box, you can go at your own pace and ramp up the intensity only as you see fit. You don’t even have to bring anything, apart from a Drink bottle, a Towel and a sense of fun 😊.
Top Benefits of Boxing
Boxing develops a high level of strength, speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, endurance, nerve, and power, just to name a few. Boxing as a fitness activity enables the average person to build those skills, all without having to take a punch. If you are not quite convinced, here are some other benefits.
- Enhanced Cardiovascular Health
You hear it all the time: You need to do cardio to protect yourself from heart disease, burn calories, and lose or maintain your weight. But “doing cardio” doesn’t have to mean hopping on a treadmill to log your required minutes – how boring is that?
The whole point of cardio is to place a moderate amount of stress on your heart and lungs so that you are physically challenged. But how you choose to place stress on your heart and lungs is up to you. As long as you keep your heart rate up during your workout, there’s no reason you can’t punch, kick, and jump your way to a healthy heart at one of our sessions.
- Improved Total-Body Strength
All that punching, kicking, and moving requires a surprising amount of strength.
During a boxing workout, you may punch or kick a pad hundreds of times, requiring your upper body, lower body, and core to act as one to strike the pad. Plus, we tie in other things like weights and core activation to engage more power into those strikes.
- Better Hand-Eye Coordination
You may not think about the importance of hand-eye coordination and its effect on total health, but hand-eye coordination plays an essential role in a person’s gross and fine motor skills. Individuals with good hand-eye coordination tend to have faster reflexes and reaction times and tend to have better physical coordination overall. This is particularly important during aging, as coordination and balance become compromised, increasing the risk of falls.
Boxing can help build your hand-eye coordination. When you’re paired up to spar with a partner (practice punching your partner’s padded mitts), you must be able to see the target, react to the target, and hit the mark, all while the target is moving and changing position. It’s tough, but with practice, your hand-eye coordination improves substantially.
- Decreased Stress
Almost any form of moderate to intense physical activity can decrease stress. Exercise increases endorphins, boosts mood, works as a form of meditation and improves sleep, helping reduce stress.
But sometimes, you need more than a walk around the block to help you forget your stressors. I know when I’m feeling most stressed, I need to “leave it all on the field,” so to speak and sweat out my frustrations.
Boxing is an excellent outlet for stress for two reasons: Firstly, you typically transition between high intensity bouts of exercise and moderate intensity recovery periods during a boxing workout. When you’re pushing yourself through a couple of minutes of high-intensity punching or kicking, you don’t have much mental power left to worry about anything else. And even during rest periods, you’ll be focused on sucking wind and mentally preparing for the next Round, not stressing over your packed schedule.
Secondly, there’s an incredibly cathartic release when you get to take some of your stress out on a pad. It’s an empowering feeling to punch the crap out of your stress.
- Improved Body Composition
Boxing is great for improving body composition – and some might say it’s excellent for weight loss. I don’t promote “weight loss” because I don’t think it sends the right message about health goals. Ultimately, if you want to lose weight, what you want to do is improve your body composition – to increase your muscle mass and decrease your fat mass.
Boxing is an incredible mechanism for improved body composition because it perfectly combines muscle-building strength training moves and calorie-torching cardio bouts. By regularly participating in a boxing program and following a nutritious eating plan, there’s no reason you won’t see changes in your shape and improvements to your fat mass percentage. And if you’re hoping for a pat on the back from your bathroom scale, you’re likely to see changes in your weight as well.
Boxing at Home
If you like to work in private, you can set up your own boxing gym at home – but you need to purchase some equipment to get started. It’s a good idea to have a boxing bag (a long, cylindrical bag that can be hung from a stand or a sturdy ceiling beam), boxing gloves, and focus pads if you want to train with someone else (It actually makes it more fun). These items combined enable you to run through boxing sequences, cardio sequences, and strength training sequences to put together a full home workout.
With the items suggested, you could run through the following workout in about 20 – 40 minutes, with or without needing a partner to box with:
- Jab, Cross, Jab, Move
- Jab, Jab, Cross, Jab
- Jab, Cross, Hook
- Jab, Cross, Hook, Upper Cut, Move
- Upper Cuts
- Jab, Upper Cut, Jab
- Cross, Upper Cut, Cross
- Jab, Jab, Duck
- Jab, Cross Hook, Uppercut, Duck, Knee
Each Round is for 60s, with a 60s rest in between. If you are hitting a bag, flow through each Round. If you have a partner with Focus Pads, then swap and repeat each Round.
In our next Temple Boxing article, we’ll talk about Boxing’s basics, and what the terms all mean for those new to Boxing.