Boxing can be a raw and brutal sport, but it’s call the sweet science for a reason. It requires a combination of focus, speed, agility, finesse, power, endurance and mental toughness.
It’s also an incredible workout and a great hobby, even if you never plan to compete.
Not Just for Competition
Let me say that again – you can get into boxing and never plan to compete. Don’t let the meatheads convince you that boxing is only worth pursuing if you plan to step into the ring against a real opponent. The furthest some boxers ever take their skills are with sparring partners.
If you’ve never boxed but love a good challenge, the learning to box may end up being one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself. The coordination and agility required to box are skills that develop slowly through lots of repetition and practice.
Learning to relax your stance and stay agile, control your breathing and use good footwork are incredible workouts for both your mind and body. With boxing, you have to be “in the zone” at all times.
While boxing is fantastic cardio and endurance training, it doesn’t provide an entire workout in itself. The more you exercise and build your strength and agility, however, the better you’ll be at boxing. For a lot of people, the kinds of results you see in the ring make it easier to find the motivation to do basic exercise routines.
Finding a Gym
Finding a good gym is key when pursuing the sweet science. You can shadowbox at home or punch a bag, but you really need instruction in order to work on your technique. This will prevent injury and help you develop the most effective offense and defense.
There are different kinds of boxing gyms, and they all have their pros and cons. Youth centers are great for younger people looking to get a start for cheap. Pro gyms are typically full of trainers looking to push you to your physical limit. You have the best chance of getting world class training here.
MMA gyms can be an option, but many times they are more inclined to skip some of the basics and only work on elements of boxing that fit with their style. Lastly, there are plenty of fitness gyms who claim to have boxing classes. More often than not, these are just cardio classes.
If you aren’t serious about learning boxing but want to throw punches until your fit, then a fitness gym may be for you.