This is the easiest article I’ve ever written. Seriously.
Starting boxing in 2016 changed my life in so many positive ways. It transformed me from an unhealthy, anxious, and erratic boy, into a calm, confident, and fit man.
If you’re reading this, then awesome, you’re already considering starting. I hope that I can now convince you to take the plunge and get involved in this unique sport.
If you want to get fit, physically and mentally. If you want to build your confidence. If you want to learn how to defend yourself. If you want to have fun. If you want to make friends. If you want to relieve stress. If you want flexibility with your training. Then boxing is for you. Start now. You’ll never look back.
Should I start boxing? 🥊
I started boxing to get in shape, that was is it. But before long I realized physical fitness was just one of many reasons why this sport is so great. Here’s why you should start boxing:
- Physical fitness and conditioning
- Mental health
Let’s dive into each of these…
1. Physical fitness and conditioning
I’ve trained in a lot of sports in my life, from long distance running to squash, and none exhaust my body in the same way that boxing training does. It is a genuine full body workout, right from your wrists to your feet. Everything is engaged and working. Your whole body will get fitter, stronger, and healthier.
A study conducted by supplement company Forza found that boxing burns more calories than any other sport. Of course, this depends on all sorts of variables, but an hour of hard boxing can burn 800 calories – the equivalent of 3 Big Macs!
I sweat out ~1.5 kg of fluids every time I go to boxing…I measured it…!
And it’s not just in the gym. The intensity of boxing will encourage you to clean up your life elsewhere. It made me eat healthier, quit smoking, and drink less. Not only because sparring on a hangover is awful but because you’ll get hooked on boxing and want to keep leveling up your performance by getting fitter and healthier.
2. Mental health
We all get stressed, we all get anxious. Doing exercise is scientifically proven to benefit our mental health in so many ways. For example, exercise causes your body to release endorphins which are chemicals in your brain that relieve pain and stress. It helps you sleep better, it improves your concentration, it makes you feel calmer, it builds leadership and teamwork skills. The list goes on and on.
For boxing specifically, there is something extremely cathartic and stress relieving about the combat nature of it. You leave boxing training feeling so calm and at peace. Any aggression that you may have bottled up, will be long gone by the time you’re doing training.
The other mental benefit is all about resilience. After sparring a few times and getting punched in the face you realize that you’re much tougher than you thought. You understand that most pain is very manageable and short lived. You learn that the fear is almost all in your head and that you can take on much more than what you thought.
Which leads me nicely onto #3…
Boxing will change the way you approach life. And few things are more important to a fulfilled life than confidence. I don’t mean arrogance and the feeling that you can start beating anyone up. Quite the opposite.
I mean that you’ll begin to carry yourself differently as your self-esteem improves thanks to being healthier, calmer and more resilient. Boxing will teach you that you can take on challenges that you previously feared. It will teach you how to get back up after being knocked down (literally and metaphorically). It will teach you about the values of patience and discipline. That showing up regularly and putting in the work will yield massive results in the long run.
Boxing provides you with the fundamentals of fighting that could come in use should some clown try to get the better of you or your loved ones on the street.
You’ll learn how to punch hard, fast, and accurately to quickly finish a fight. You’ll train your reflexes and learn how to move to avoid getting hit and set yourself up to throw a punch.
Being trained in boxing will give you a clear advantage against most untrained aggressors out there. But remember, being assaulted in the real world is still very different to a fight in the gym.
Boxing is really fun. Dodging punches, throwing combos, learning the prefect hook. All of it. The training is much more varied than you might imagine. There’s heavy bag work, speed balls, sparring, partner drills, technique sessions, fitness etc etc.
And the adrenaline that you get when you step into a ring…unrivaled.
It’s also fun to learn about the different styles of gloves,
I’ve made some great friends from my boxing gym. I go and watch their fights on the weekends and they come and watch mine. Every boxing gym I’ve been to is incredibly supportive of all their boxers and there is a real sense of community spirit.
When you train hard with someone, especially if you’re sparring, you develop a strong bond and level of comradery with them that is hard to find elsewhere. Punching someone in the face is pretty personal!
You can get involved as much or as little as you like. Maybe you want to shadow box at home on your own. Or maybe you want to join a team and start competitive fighting for your club or country. The range is huge and it’s entirely up to you how much you do.
You can train alone or with others. In a gym or in your basement. Day or night. With your bare hands or bags and gloves.
- Boxing Classes for Beginners (Picking the Right Gym & What to Expect)
- Boxing Gloves for Beginners (The 4 Essentials Before you Buy)
Am I young and fit enough to do boxing? ❓
Ask yourself two questions: 1) Can you walk ten meters? 2) Can you hold your hand in front of your face? If the answer to both these questions is “Yes” then you’re ready to start boxing.
There is no right or wrong age. There is no required level of fitness to start. Boxing is extremely inclusive and welcoming of everyone.
In my boxing gym there are 65 year old men and a 16 year old girl.
How do I start boxing? 🏁
There’s nothing complex here. Research some boxing gyms near where you live or work. Give them a call to understand their pricing structure and pick the option that suits you best.
Most boxing gyms will have an introductory class for you to test it out before you make any sort of commitment. You can even ask to borrow some gloves from the gym for this first class.
Turn up eager to learn and ready to work and you’re all set. Next thing you know you’ll be filling out Madison Square Gardens fighting for the World Championship.
What equipment do I need to start boxing? 🥊
You could start right now at home with shadow boxing. No equipment required. If you are thinking about joining a boxing gym (which I highly recommend) then all you’ll need are:
- Boxing gloves
- Hand wraps
Once you progress a bit and start some sparring, you’ll need to get a mouth guard. Otherwise, the gym should have everything else you need for training like bags, pads, weights, head guards etc.
Dress as you would for most sports: lightweight sports shorts, t-shirt or sports shirt, and some running shoes or sneakers.
Is boxing dangerous? 🤔
Understandably boxing has this reputation for being overly aggressive and violent. I have found the opposite to be true.
There is huge amount of respect within boxing for each other and genuine care for the well-being of fellow fighters.
Of course, there are serious health risks associated with competitive boxing. You’re gonna get hit. Sometimes it might hurt. But, unless you’re sparring constantly against big punchers, or have been badly mismatched in a fight, then the risk of getting seriously hurt is low.
If you don’t want to, you don’t have to spar or fight. No one will force you. You can do plenty of great training on the bags and pads.
What I wish I’d known when I started boxing 📣
- Just because you’ve watched some pro fighters on TV it doesn’t mean you know how to box. You don’t. You’re clueless. And that’s OK. Just be humble.
- There’s no shortcut. Boxing requires showing up every time and plenty of hard work. It’s not easy. If it were, everyone would be doing i.
- Boxing is an art. It’s the Sweet Science. You aren’t learning how to fight. Fighting is rough and ugly. Boxing, on the other hand, is an incredibly complex and beautiful skill.
- Getting punched isn’t nearly as bad as you fear. In fact, it’s actually quite exhilarating…
How often should I train? 📅
As much as you can. The more you train, the quicker you progress. I train 3 to 4 times a week. I know people who train everyday. If you can only train once a week, then no problem. Train as often as it suits you.
Keep in mind that it takes several years of regular training for you to really learn the art of boxing. It isn’t easy and requires commitment if you want to get to a high level.
Is boxing expensive? 💰
The main cost associated with boxing is joining a boxing gym. This will vary hugely depending on where you live and the type of gym you want to join.
Expect to pay anywhere between $60-$300 per month. Some gyms will give you a fixed amount of classes you can attend, while others will allow you to turn up as often as you like.
Please join an actual boxing gym rather than one of those boxercise places or a general gym that also does some boxing. Trust me!
My boxing gym in Barcelona costs me $80 per month for unlimited classes. It’s a great deal!
If you want private boxing sessions, then expect to pay much more. But I’d recommend joining the group classes as it’s a great way to build that comradery that I mentioned earlier.
The other costs are gloves and hand wraps. You can get a really decent set of beginners gloves for $40, and hand wraps for $5.
12th Round 🔔
I’m excited for you. Boxing changed my life and it will change yours too. Get started, give it a chance, and let the sport work its magic.
If I haven’t yet convinced you that you should start boxing then please comment below with your doubts. I’d be more than happy to chat and explain more.
Happy fighting! 🥊🥊
It ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. – Rocky Balboa