Why a boxing gym is a good place in which to strive for fitness and skill in 2020; 3 top reasons to take the plunge
I started boxing training at the very advanced age of 24. Fourteen years later, I’m still not ready to turn pro, or even take part in a first amateur fight, but I absolutely love going to the boxing gym in a way I never embraced pounding the pavements or lifting weights.
With a new year having just dawned and the ’New me’ trend in full effect, it may be wise to try boxing along with any other current fads, as you may find it sticks. There are myriad reasons why, as a boxing fan, you may wish to actually give the combination (sorry) of bags, pads, shadow-boxing and skipping a go - even sparring down the line - but here are just three of the more compelling ones.
Boxing is an incredible cardiovascular workout. It’s far more anaerobic than aerobic, which means you exert yourself to a greater degree than say steady-state jogging, but in shorter bursts. You work hard for a set time - three minutes if you wish to closely replicate the actual sport - then recover for a shorter period, to follow the given example, one minute, as between rounds. It’s not just perpetual punching, either, but constant movement with your feet, legs, hips, trunk and head. It really is a full-body routine at a high pace and you will feel it the next day, but it’s also highly addictive. Make sure you stretch thoroughly both before wand after your workouts.
You really are developing skills every day. You may not become Floyd Mayweather overnight but, in the hands of an experienced, intelligent coach, you will pick up a variety of nuances you only truly appreciate when trying to employ them in your own training. Not only does this keep you mentally stimulated in a way that running the same route every day may not, if you are a boxing fan it will provide fresh insight when watching the fights. You will likely begin to watch the fighters’ feet as much as their hands. This dynamic is reciprocal, so do not be surprised if you begin to save to your memory bank moves employed by your favourite boxers, and then try them out the next day in the gym.
Discipline & self-esteem
These benefits have become almost cliche, but they really are welcome additions. Working as part of a group in a boxing class enforces collective responsibility alongside competition, while toiling one-on-one with a trainer necessitates fulfilling your own duties and constantly practising small changes until you get them just right. A boxing gym is very much a place to work, but also a hotbed for camaraderie; real scraps or even heated arguments are rare. No one feels the need to act ’hard’ when surrounded by genuine hard men who never talk about their toughness, but being around people of that nature, doing everything they do, can boost one’s own self-esteem. Boxing is an art, it’s not about losing your temper and winging huge, wild punches; there is a discipline to the sport which translates outside of the gym.
There are a huge number of personal trainers around the country who will do boxing-themed sessions, even working professional boxers who do PT to bolster their income. If a group setting is more your thing, most of the major chain gyms will have boxercise classes now, but I would highly recommend either your local ABC (amateur boxing club) or a boxing-themed gym like 12x3 (owned by former world champion Darren Barker) and BOXR run by pro trainer Don Charles. These are both in London but similar establishments exist nationwide.
To find your local club, these are good places to start:
Amateur Boxing Association Englandinfo@abae.co.uk
North West Paul King Tel: 0151 233 4217
North East Eric Hoyland Tel: 01709 874 436
Midlands Dave Cockell Tel: 01623 627 244
Home Counties John Pocock Tel: 01635 47506
Western Counties Martin Edmonds Tel: 01793 340 380
London Keith Walters Tel: 0207 252 7008
Eastern Counties Sid Turp Tel: 01245 362 939
Southern Counties John Faulkner Tel: 02392 829 688
Mr Donald Campbell Administrator Amateur Boxing Scotland Ltd Strathdonan High Street Elgin IV30 1AH Tel: 01343 544718 firstname.lastname@example.org
David Francis General Secretary Welsh Amateur Boxing Association Ltd Marcross Court Near Llantwit Major Vale of Glamorgan CF61 1ZD Tel: 01446 794 444 Fax: 01446 792 444 email@example.com
The Irish Amateur Boxing Association website has a list of contacts for every affiliated boxing club in Ireland. Irish Amateur Boxing Association
Pamela Robinson Irish Amateur Boxing Association National Stadium Dublin 8 Ireland Tel: +353-1-453 3371 firstname.lastname@example.org