The 8List Guide to Boxing for Fitness
I box. I know. I look more like Butterbean and far less like Mike Tyson, but with this and minimal changes to my diet, I’ve successfully kept myself under 200 pounds since last September, when I started boxing at a hefty 220 pounds. With a stricter diet, I’d hit 185 pounds or less, easy.
I don’t box in hopes of becoming the next Manny Pacquiao. I haven’t even had a single round of actual sparring in the year I’ve been doing this. But boy, do I feel much better, and the fact that my plantar fasciitis managed to work itself out somehow while I was boxing is just a pretty bonus.
Boxing, even for non-competitive reasons, is actually quite an investment to leap into for anyone. I should know: I was caught by surprise by the things I needed to purchase on my first day alone. I’m not a personal trainer, so I won’t be telling you about exactly what you have to do when boxing. This is going to be all about everything else surrounding the nitty-gritty of the sweet science. With that, here is the 8List guide to getting into boxing for fitness:
It’s really important to develop certain good habits and routines when you box, rather than having a feeling-out process with your trainer every single time. Pick your gym, pick your trainer, give it a few sessions, but afterwards, if you’re feeling comfortable working with your trainer stick with him or her, and just do a few sessions with one or two other trainers for a possible substitute if you don’t find your regular trainer in the gym when you get there.
Also, don’t forget to tip your trainer after every session. At least 50 bucks would be nice.
There are several things you should always bring even on the first day you box: wraps, gloves, workout clothes, and rubber shoes. Other gear are optional, but the wraps and gloves are an absolute must. The last thing you want to do is to borrow wraps or gloves from your gym, knowing so many other people have already worn those. Nasty.
Unless you’re already working to become a professional fighter, here’s the standard routine: 2 rounds of stretching, 2 rounds of skipping rope, 2 rounds of speed ball, 2 rounds of hanging ball, 2 rounds of heavy bag, 6 rounds of mitts in between all of that, and at least 2 rounds of core exercises. You can always add more if you feel you can handle it, but you’re cheating yourself out of your money’s worth if you try to do less. Seriously. Why even bother if you’re just gonna avoid putting the necessary work in?
You will get tons of conflicting advice about this, but I think it’s pretty silly if you decide to have a bottomless rice meal with bottomless iced tea immediately after boxing. It kind of defeats the purpose of boxing for fitness, so maybe load up on protein instead of carbohydrates after boxing?
By all means, keep using your multi-vitamins, if you already use them. But you might get advice about other supplements supposedly meant to help speed up your weight loss while boxing. Some people swear by thermogenics, and some people say it’s all a bunch of snake oil. There’s a lot of caffeine in these supplements, and they tend to give people the jitters. I used to take them, but decided to stop after a while, since it clearly conflicts with my straight edge lifestyle, not to mention I get similar body-heating effects when I…
You know those things some people working out wear that looks like a garbage bag? They really, really work at making you sweat. Couple that with actual exercise instead of just sitting around and watching TV, and you will see very drastic results. Obviously, keep in mind…
Most of the weight you will lose while working out will immediately come back when you drink water. That’s fine. You absolutely need that. Make sure to always keep yourself hydrated, especially if you’re wearing a sauna suit. It’d be pretty awkward if you fainted in front of that cute guy/girl you were eyeing in the gym, which leads me to…
While some people generally frown on using the gym to meet people, they’re much more inclined to frown if you approach them while smelling like you normally would post-workout. It doesn’t matter if they smell even worse than you and you don’t mind it: don’t assume the apple of your eye will be as forgiving as you are.