Boxing is one of the toughest sports in the world. Not only is the training mentally and physically challenging, but the learning curve is steep.
Being a good boxer is more than just knowing how to throw a punch. In fact, punching is often a secondary consideration and is actually less important than proper stance, footwork, defense, and correct technique.
Fighters dedicate years of their life to learning all the nuances of their craft, taking beating after beating in the hope that they’ll one day be victorious in the ring, and looking back in hindsight, all the punishment would have been worth it.
If you’re questioning the sanity of the average boxer, you wouldn’t be the first to do so. However, there is a way to develop the ripped body of a fighter without all the cuts, bruises, and broken noses. Learning boxing purely as a way to get fit is gaining popularity among fitness enthusiasts looking for a challenging workout. If you’ve never considered learning the sweet science, here are seven fantastic reasons to do so.
Most of us work out for one reason: to lose weight. Diet is more important than exercise when it comes to shifting the pounds, but exercise is what keeps the fat furnace burning. Engaging in a boxing workout is like chucking a can of petrol into the furnace. The explosion in physical activity will jack your heart rate, make your lungs scream, and have your muscles begging for mercy. This proficient fat-shredder will torch more calories in 30 minutes than other workouts could lose in a week.
Aside from learning how to knock a guy out, you also burn at least 400 calories per hour. And that’s not even considering the additional calories you’ll burn when your muscles enter recovery mode.
Boxing is one of the best ways to care for the old ticker. All exercise increases our heart rate which helps to decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
However, boxing workouts are a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT) which is known to give the heart muscle a thorough workout and elevate your heart rate to healthy, not-often-reached levels. Yes, the training is painful at the time, but your future self will thank you for it.
Not only is boxing a killer cardio workout, but it’s also well-known for building lean muscle. It’s a great way to increase muscle mass and become stronger while also increasing your bone density and even the speed of your punches.
Your weight plus the speed of your punch translates to harder punches. Or, if you like equations: mass x speed = POWER!
The beauty of boxing training is that you don’t need a sparring partner, a boxing ring, punch bag, or even a set of gloves.
Boxers often engage in roadwork (jogging), shadowboxing, or skipping as part of their training. All of these activities can be done anywhere, and with or without a partner. You’re no longer reliant on a gym buddy, and you don’t even have to make the trek to the gym after work. You can literally train anywhere there’s enough space to move around in.
The only downside? You no longer have an excuse not to train.
If you’re not yet lit up at the thought of a boxing workout, you either A) have an unhealthy obsession with your treadmill, or B) haven’t tried sparring.
Sparring is an opportunity to apply your training in a fight situation. It releases the same adrenaline you would get when you enter fight or flight mode when a fight breaks out in real life. Nothing else (apart from entering the ring) comes close to the pumped up feeling you get after a good sparring session.
The fundamental difference between sparring and actual fighting is that you aren’t hell bent on knocking one another out, and the intensity is lowered so you can both practice and learn. Once you get past the fear of getting hit, it is A LOT OF FUN. However, sparring isn’t for everyone and even if you never decide to spar, smashing pads is still a super fun workout and a great stress reliever.
Improve Hand-eye Coordination
Regularly using your hands and eyes to strike and block quickly improves your hand-eye coordination.
While this skill is of course very beneficial for boxing, it also transfers well to other sports and can improve your tennis, baseball, and golf skills. If nothing else, you’ll be able to impress at a party when you’re able to catch a falling glass before it shatters on the ground.
Besides getting your body into the best shape of your life, the other huge benefit of boxing training is learning how to defend yourself. Granted that it’s always better to avoid a fight, sometimes there will be no other option but to raise your fists.
Life is unpredictable, and situations can quickly escalate into matters of life or death. Even if your life isn’t in danger, you risk being seriously injured if you don’t know how to fight. Learning boxing, or any martial art, will give you confidence that you’ll be able to handle yourself in those sticky situations.
What would you prefer? Be left on the pavement beaten, bloody and bruised, or walk away unharmed, with your ego boosted and a story to tell your buddies?