If you're wondering how hard boxing training is, you're not alone. A lot of people are curious about the intensity and what to expect. In this blog post, we'll discuss the basics of boxing training and give you an idea of what to expect.
Keep in mind that everyone's experience will be different depending on their fitness level and goals. Ready to learn more? Let's get started!
Lessons I Wish I Knew Before I Started Boxing
When starting any new activity, there will be a teething process where you have to figure out the do’s and don’ts. For a dangerous job, like working on power-lines or working as an electrician, consequences can be fatal if you make a wrong move while learning the safe procedures.
Luckily, when starting boxing classes, although the rules may not be written down anywhere, common sense will usually tell you whether you are doing the right thing or not.
Know Your Strength When Doing Light Contact Drills Training With A Partner, Or Sparring (Practice Fighting), Be Sure To Control The Power Of Your Punches.
Most people have absolutely no idea how hard they are hitting, so it is a good idea to be overly cautious of your power especially during drills that involve your partner blocking.
The idea of a drill is to burn in a certain motion so that it becomes natural, and once this movement is committed to the body and mind, slowly increase the intensity to replicate a real fight scenario.
If the power is too intense early into the learning process, the movement won’t be executed properly, and the participant will likely become flustered or frustrated making it even harder for them to learn the movement.
The “sink or swim” in hard punches approach does not usually yield great results in terms of technique as it doesn’t allow them to burn in the correct motion, because they are simply reacting out of instinct.
You definitely don’t want to have the reputation for being the person in the gym that punches too hard, as this will make it very difficult for you to find training partners when it is time for partner drills, and sparring.
Remember that the punches always feel harder when you are on the receiving end of them! A good rule of thumb to follow is taking your power to a level that you think is acceptable, then take another 20% power from that.
Communication will solve the issue most of them time, by simply occasionally asking “How’s that, too hard? Or would you like me to go a little harder?”. Your partner will be grateful!
You must also take into account the size of you and your opponent. If for some reason you do find yourself paired with someone much smaller, or younger, be sure to be EXTRA careful while training.
If you happen are the smaller person in the partnership, this doesn’t give you the permission to throw with as much power as you want.
It can be frustrating being a bigger person training with a smaller person, seeing them trying to throw at 90% power, while trying to only deliver shots at 30% power.
It really comes down to using common sense and having RESPECT. Treat others how you expect to be treated.
Look After Your Personal Hygiene Spray On A Fresh Coat Of Deodorant Under Those Armpits Before Class!
This one was learned the hard way! Not by me being smelly (at least I hope not…) but by training with another person that had a particular pungent body odour.
We all know how hard it can be to stand near someone that has a B-O issue, but imagine being partnered up with someone for a lesson where you have to be in close quarters with them the whole time… now imagine that person being you!
Save yourself the embarrassment and your partner the stinging nose by a quick application of deodorant before you start class.
Many gym goers keep a can of deodorant in their training bag, and it’s the first thing to come out when they get to the gym.
Another aromatic issue, is people not taking care of their own equipment. Gloves that get thrown in the gym bag after a sweaty session and left for a few days can be a breeding ground for bacteria, and the foul odours that come along with it.
Remember that your gloves are going near, or on, your partners face.
A simple trick is to take them out of the bag and hang them when you get home, to let them air out.
There are also some items on the market which allow you to put odour neutralisers in your gloves to stop them from stinking out your bag.
General cleanliness is a great idea to avoid the spread of a bacterial infection, such as staph or ringworm.
Although boxing doesn’t have as big of an issue with staph as some other sports, like jiujitsu and wrestling, being a gym and an environment where people sweat, there can always be a slightly higher risk of the spread of staph infection.
Our facility gets mopped with disinfectant 4 times per week, but basic hygiene practices can go a long way. In the unlikely event that you find a funny looking rash or abrasion on your body, its best to see a doctor and get it cleared up before returning to gym.
Although we wear boxing gloves most of the time at training, occasional there are some drills that are performed without the use of gloves. For this reason, it is a good idea to keep your nails trimmed for boxing training.
It’s also worth reminding people that the coffee they just had before training to get a little energy boost may be noticed by their partner while doing drills… by the smell of their breath! Boxing can be tough, and while you’re training it is likely that you will start to breath heavily.
Just be mindful that you may be breathing that coffee breath on your partner!
Always Try Your Hardest! Nothing Makes A Trainer Happier Than Someone Giving 100 Percent Effort!
It’s not about the output (how hard/fast you punch), it’s about the input (how hard/fast you are TRYING to punch).
This serves 2 purposes: the trainer will take notice and be far more likely to go above and beyond to give you the feedback, and also it helps you improve at a faster rate without the trainer’s guidance. Think of it like lifting weights.
If you were to lift a light weight once per month where it didn’t challenge your body, you will never force your muscles to adapt and therefor get stronger, but if are putting in the effort and lift heavier weights on a regular basis, you will of course get stronger.
This is the same for Boxing.
If you are showing up to class occasionally, going through the motions without really trying hard enough to break a sweat, then going home again, you won’t find yourself professing very quickly, if at all.
But, if you are showing up regularly, trying to perform the drills as best you can, you WILL progress! You may not notice it, but your trainer will!
How Do Boxers Train For A Fight?
Boxers train approximately 5 hours a day when they are getting ready for a fight. There are many ways that you can train, but you have to incorporate different exercises and methods in order to get into the best shape.
These boxing training exercises include: running and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), mitt work and sparring, strength and conditioning, and boxing drills.
Running And Hiit
To be able to go the distance a boxer needs to have stamina. Running (roadwork) with high intensity interval training is a common form of cardio training that boxers use to get in shape.
Roadwork isn’t just your normal jogging at a steady pace for 5 miles. It’s common for a boxer to sprint as hard as they can for a short amount of time (intervals) or distance. This type of cardio training helps a boxer with conditioning, endurance, and speed.
A lot of boxers will incorporate 2-3 interval training workouts each week. Since boxing is about short, bursts of powerful movements, high intensity interval training workouts are a great way to train.
As you get stronger, you can decrease your rest periods by 10-15 seconds. An example of a training workout regimen would be:
- 1 mile warm up jog
- (6) 600 meter sprints at about 75% of your top speed, with 1 minute rest between each
- 0.5 mile easy cool down jog
Mitt Work And Sparring
Mitt work and sparring are other forms of exercise that boxers use to train.
These exercises are more realistic to an actual fight than heavy bag boxing drills because they can help boxers improve several skills they need in the ring, such as:
- Offensive & defensive skills
- Fighting strategy
Strength And Conditioning
Strength and conditioning is another exercise boxers use to train. Boxers lift weights and perform bodyweight exercises for strength training. Great examples of strength and conditioning bodyweight exercises that boxers do are:
- Pull Ups and Chin Ups
- Push Ups
- Jump Rope
- Leg Lifts
Boxers also train for a fight by practicing boxing drills for speed, condition, footwork, stance, and power. These drills help improve a boxer’s technique and get them into fighting shape fast.
You can use power punch combinations as well to give you a better simulation of a real fight.
When you’re practicing and throwing punches, be sure to move your feet, reset and “block” in between your punches, and, most importantly, keep the intensity up. Shadowboxing is a great training exercise, but only if you mimic a real fight, staying quick and aggressive.
What Is A Boxing Training Camp?
Some boxers opt to participate in a boxing training camp which can give you a definite schedule for your training. This is exactly what FightCamp offers and where the name comes from.
FightCamp is a connected fitness at-home boxing gym that offers hundreds of on-demand boxing and kickboxing workouts, boxing equipment for your training such as a punching bag, boxing gloves, hand wraps, and a personalized online training course.
It is a great option for those looking to train at home.
A short boxer’s training camp is 6-8 weeks while a longer training camp is 10-12 weeks. The training camps that are shorter tend to have a maximum of 2 spikes of additional workouts added to their training regimen.
On the other hand, longer training camps will gradually increase to 2-3 spikes to their training volume.
Ultimately, if you are looking to get in shape fast and want to adequately prepare for your next boxing fight, you will need to incorporate workouts and exercises that focus on endurance, stamina, and strength.
Running, HIIT, mitt work, sparring, shadowboxing, strength and conditioning, weightlifting, and boxing drills are all great ways to train. Remember, always train with intensity!
The Benefits Of Boxing
Still Unconvinced? Here’s how boxing will punch up your normal routine.
Unlike your bench press PB, boxing is functional. It’s great for total body strength and power as it uses the body from head to foot who developed Virgin Active’s new Punch class.
That means you’ll build that all-over muscle that makes boxers’ physiques so enviable. And feel the burn in muscles you never knew you had.
Boxers fight for three minutes, then rest for one. It’s high-intensity training. This spikes your metabolism for huge calorie burn while you’re training, then increased burn even when you’re out of the gym. You’ll knock out body fat even while you’re asleep.
Boxing is tough, but an hour in the ring disappears quicker than the same time spent on a treadmill. It’s fully absorbing so the mind won’t go wandering too often.” It’s also perfect stress relief; you can’t hit your boss, but you can take out your full in-tray frustration on a punch bag.
“Boxing isn’t about punching former captain of England’s oldest boxing club, and founder of 12×3 Gym. “It’s about everything you do before you throw a punch.”
Think footwork, mobility and the ability to picture your shot while ducking a fist. Even if you never hit anything not wrapped in foam rubber, you’ll be faster and more nimble everywhere, from the football pitch to the squat rack.
How To Train Like A Boxer
So you wanna be a contender? Before you step into the golden ring, these are the techniques to master.
You can’t sting like a bee until you can move like a butterfly.
Moving properly is the difference between hitting your opponent and being hit. He should know; he started boxing at seven, won a youth Commonwealth gold and still trains juniors.
Make this your warm-up before every session, to build quick feet that can get you into range – and out of trouble.
- Place two cones around 10 feet apart. Get in a boxing stance – left foot forward, right foot back at 45 degrees, eyes over your left shoulder, and fists by your chin (reverse if you’re left-handed).
- Keeping your feet around shoulder-width apart, move between the cones. You should bounce lightly from foot-to-foot, with your weight on your toes. “Never look down at your feet. In the ring, you’d get hit; out of it, do penance with two burpees.
- At random intervals, stop moving and throw a one-two – that’s a jab then a right cross. “Make sure you rotate your torso, that’s where the power comes from. Get back into your guard and keep moving. Repeat for three minutes, then take a minute’s breather.
- Stand side-on, fists up, looking straight ahead. This time, move sideways between the cones. “Make sure you don’t bring your feet together, you're too easy to knock over.
- Again, throw random one-twos. But this time, before you punch, you need to pivot 90 degrees off your back foot, as if you were stepping into your opponent. Step back and keep moving.
- Next, pivot off your back foot, as if you were stepping away. Throw your combo, then start moving.
Rocky will teach you a bit about how to box. YouTube will show you more. But if you want to learn the right way to throw a punch, you need an expert to show you. “Once you’ve got the basics, you can work on technique on your own. But if you don’t then you’ll just get good at all the wrong things.”
Most boxing gyms run beginner classes, but there are still many where the coaches don’t have time to help you, we have a rule – no fitness boxers. Which is where his gym comes in.
You learn proper technique but without any pressure to step into the ring (although 12×3 does run weekly sparring sessions, in case you get the bug).
SPARR and Punch are also focused on skills, rather than just sweat. “We start with shadow-boxing so the trainers can work out your skill level. Then we pair people up for pad work and move around the class giving one-on-one coaching.” That way, you learn to hit in a way that damages your opponent, not your wrists.
A boxer’s body is built by boxing. But your conditioning comes outside the ring. “You need to run, a lot If you can’t last into the closing rounds, your opponent just needs to wait for you out.
And there’s no alternative to putting the miles in.
For boxing sessions, a skipping rope is still your best friend. You’ll build stamina, shoulder strength, foot speed and coordination. Plus you can always have one in your bag, if you fancy a workout and don’t have a gym to hand.
As for weights, your body is your best friend. “Boxers do some leg work – squats and deadlifts – to build lower body strength but mostly it’s about explosive, bodyweight exercises: plyometric press-ups, box jumps, pull-ups.” A great punch is about speed more than strength and mirror muscle only slows you down.
Hitting a heavy bag works every muscle in your body. At least, it does if you do it properly.
“It’s particularly good for developing the body’s core through rotational training That helps with achieving a six-pack, but is also brilliant for preventing injuries in the outside world, which are often caused by twisting.”
Unlike pad word, in which you move around with a partner and throw combinations at their hands, you can get a full-body bag workout without a training buddy. For the below workout, punch for three-minute rounds, with a minute’s rest. Work for 12 rounds as your cardio day, or finish a gym session with four-to-six rounds.
- Range: move around the bag and pick your shots. Work on your body position and footwork.
- Southpaw: switch stances and throw combinations. This helps your coordination and means you don’t only work in one plane of rotation.
- Move your head: after every punch, move your head. Use your feet and body to dodge punches and get in position to throw your own.
- Fight pace: keep moving, keep punching. If you aren’t throwing your hands, you should be stepping out of range.
- Fight pace.
- Fight pace.
- Fight pace.
- Fight pace.
- Fast hands: where you hit doesn’t matter, but your hands should be flying. Try to keep your fists landing at head height.
- Do damage: throw every punch as hard as possible. Make every one a knockout.
- Slip punches: dodge and weave. Throw the occasional counter but this all about keeping out of the way. Make sure your head and shoulders are always moving.
- On the inside: your legs should be heavy by now, so step up against the bag and throw punches from close range.
Boxing is a challenging sport, both physically and mentally. If you’re thinking about starting boxing training, it’s important to be prepared for what lies ahead. In this post, we’ve shared some lessons we wish we knew before starting boxing training, as well as tips on how to train like a boxer.
We hope you find this information helpful as you begin your own journey in the ring!
- Find a gym. Boxing gyms aren't typically found in the yellow pages, but there are resources on the internet that can lead you in the right direction. ...
- Be sure the gym is within striking distance. ...
- Be open-minded. ...
- Choose your coach carefully. ...
- Do judge the gym by its cover.
So, can boxing be self-taught? Boxing can be self-taught but it's not the quickest and most effective way to become better at the sport because you aren't able to tap into the knowledge of a boxing coach who would be able to help you one to one.
Best Age to Start
Specialists in sports medicine believe that boxing classes are better to start from 9-10 years. Starting too early could result in putting the student off, as boxing is hard work and not always as fun as team sports, such as football or rugby.