Boxing Tips for Beginners
We decided to write this article for those who are interested in, or are considering, participating in the sport of boxing. For technique-related how-to articles, please refer to some of our previous posts on the sidebar.
How to Look for a Boxing Gym
Getting started in boxing is often the most difficult step. Although most people are familiar enough with boxing to know what the sport is, most won’t have a good idea of what type of presence the sport has in their city or town.
The first thing you should ask yourself is what type of workout are you looking for, what are your goals, and what type of commitment are you looking for? This will help narrow down the type of facility you need.
If you are focused primarily on getting a whole-body workout that is mainly aerobic, and the thought of group or class training appeals to you, then perhaps “boxercise” will be of interest to you. Generally speaking, boxercise classes are taught in fitness studios with an instructor. It’s a killer workout, and is a mix between a fitness class for the general population and a boxing workout. Boxercise studios are easy to find online.
If your goals include becoming more skilled at the sport of boxing itself, then you will want to stay away from boxercise and find a boxing club or gym (I will use “club” and “gym” interchangeably). In gyms that focus purely on boxing and not group boxercise classes, there will be way more focus on developing proper technique.
Additionally, if sparring, or even becoming a competitive boxer, appeals to you then you should definitely consider joining a boxing gym with professional boxing trainers. Unlike boxercise studios, some boxing gyms may be old school and don’t have much of an online presence, so you may have to ask around at different gyms or check out another directory like the Yellow Pages.
In order to set achievable goals for yourself, not only do you need to be honest with yourself, but you should consider different lengths of time. For example, instead of saying “two years from now I want to be in great shape and good at boxing”, you may want to say something like “I want to lose 10 lbs over the next for months, and in the next 6 months become good enough at boxing that I don’t need help on my heavy bag technique”.
The more specific the goal, the more likely it is that you will achieve it. Of course, as you progress throughout a training program your goals may change, but it’s good to start with something realistic. Setting specific goals will also help you figure out what type of facility you need.
For more information on how to set realistic and achievable goals for yourself, please click here. Even though this resource isn’t specific to boxing, it still applies.
What to Expect at a Boxing Gym
All boxing gyms/clubs are different. I will detail the two most opposite boxing clubs I have experienced, and the benefits to each:
The first boxing club I joined was small, cheap, run-down, and old-school. It doesn’t sound nice, but it was my personal favorite out of all of them. They focus strictly on boxing and developing competitive fighters, but if you pay your fees and are committed enough, they were more than happy to accept recreational athletes as well.
For recreational boxers, this gym had limited hours, albeit, open most of the day so it wasn’t a problem for me. The trainers were all tough men and women, but they had the biggest hearts and were kind to everyone. They were happy to train recreational boxers with the same amount of passion as the competitive fighters, but recreational boxers had to wait until all the competitive fighters were taken care of first.
The workout was intense, but was it ever effective! I cut weight fat I didn’t know I had and added muscle at the same time, which was ideal for me. Similarly, I was trained enough that eventually I became a relaible sparring partner for many of the competitive fighters. This was an even more intense workout. A couple rounds int he ring may look easy on TV, but I’ve never experienced anything like it before.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the other boxing gym I joined also placed a focus on making money as a business. There were LOTS of members and trainers and there was 24/7 access. Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of this, as there were different trainers everyday that often had contradicting advice, but it was still focused on boxing and the 24/7 access was a huge bonus.
At this gym the fees were higher, but they had a larger more modern facility, more staff, and more equipment to maintain. Although it was more of a business, they still trained many professional fighters, and always followed appropriate safety guidelines when it came to the workouts. No sparring unless both you and the trainers agreed you were ready, and only if you volunteered. About 80% of the members at this gym did not spar.
As for the workout, it was similar to the other gym I described. One aspect I thought was pretty cool is that on your first day they only went through the warm up, which was a killer workout in itself. Once you were able to get through the whole warm-up on your own, they would then start teaching you the technique. Everything was very systematic, which I enjoyed. Then, as my conditioning improved, they would “upgrade” my warm-up to be more intense, as well as enhance my workout.
Common Aspects of Most Gyms
Ok so we’ve talked about some of the differences between gyms, but is there anything that’s common to most/all of them? In a sense, yes, and here are some of the probable commonalities:
– An amazing workout regardless. Usually weights are not a priority, but can be involved depending on the gym.
– Cheaper than most general fitness gyms.
– If you stop by a boxing gym, most trainers will be happy to chat when they have a minute. I’ve never seen a trainer who is opposed to this. Most are excited to offer a tour of the facilities and talk about if it’s worth it for you to join.
– A whole body workout that cuts fat and builds lean mass.
What About Boxing for Kids?
Take it from Robert Garcia himself:
If you are new to boxing, or even are completely unfamiliar but curious about getting involved, do not hesitate to check out local gyms. It’s easy to be intimidated by the sport especially if you have never participated previously, but most boxers and trainers have huge hearts and are willing to provide their input at the very least.
The workout is amazing, and in my opinion, one of the most fun ways to experience that type of physical and mental challenge. Even if you are completely out of shape, you can start slow and build up your routine.
At the end of the day, I encourage you to at least consider the sport of boxing. With a recent decline in popularity, it can be easy to miss all the amazing benefits, something that could make a huge difference in you life.