Boxing is the epitome of a manly art. Throughout history, boxing has been an avenue for young men to build strength, speed and mental fortitude which prepares them for the ring and for life. Too many guys squander their time in the gym doing curls and other exercises to look pretty while never really challenging their bodies to be everything that they could be. Boxing is one of the best workouts that can help bring you to that next level.
Boxing may be one of the best ways to shed body fat and lean out while preserving muscle mass. Research has shown that interval style training like boxing is great for fat loss and for speeding up your metabolism. Exercise like traditional aerobic cardio workouts only create an increase in calories burned during the actual workout that drops off rapidly when you end your training session. But because of a phenomenon known as EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) you have a substantial increase in the amount of calories you burn for hours after you end a boxing workout. Since boxing uses your fast twitch muscle fibers to perform quick and powerful punches over and over again it encourages your body to hold onto muscle and even can increase your muscle size which will lead to a ripped broad shoulder look and not the skinny look that so many endurance athletes have. So, if you only have a limited amount of time to get a workout in, try attending a quality boxing gym near you which will give you better results for your time then a traditional cardio workout, such as going for a run.
SPEED, POWER, ENDURANCE
Few styles of training can give you the full spectrum of physical improvements that boxing can. ESPN ranked boxing the hardest sport in the world because of all the ingredients that go into preparation. The primary qualities needed to be a great boxer are speed, power & endurance. Here are just a few ways you gain those qualities through boxing training.
- SPEED: Through hitting a bag or doing mitt work you are demanding your muscles to fire faster than you are accustomed to. Every time you punch, you must quickly twist your body, shoot out your arm, and bring it right back. You must move your feet quickly to get in, out and around a bag or an opponent. In a good boxing workout, a variety of plyometric exercises and other drills that demand your body to move as fast as possible are also mixed in which forces you to new levels of speed production you may have not thought possible.
- POWER: Boxing teaches you to use your entire body to produce maximum power in a punch while delivering it accurately, quickly and on balance. The lock and squeeze at the end of a punch is a massive contraction of the muscle fibers in your arms and shoulders that happen in the very instant you first makes contact with your target. That contact puts a tremendous load on your muscles all the way from your chest muscles to the muscles of your back which must bear the load of hundreds of pounds of force when you land a hard punch. When punches are delivered properly you will feel the work that was put on these muscle groups the next day.
- ENDURANCE: A lot of research has been done over the past couple decades about the benefits of high intensity interval training on VO2 max ( a measurement of your body’s ability to utilize oxygen). Interval training like boxing has been shown to increase VO2 max faster and in shorter workouts than steady state cardio. Boxing is great cross training for individuals that play a variety of sports seriously or for recreation as it helps tremendously with boosting endurance. At the end of the day, boxing is a much more exciting and time efficient way to get your cardio in than running on a treadmill or spending time on a stationary bike.
FUN & EXCITING
We all know exercise can be fun, but boxing for exercise can be even more fun! Whenever you exercise, you get a release of endorphins that make you feel accomplished and satisfied after a hard workout. With boxing, you get the same feelings, but more. After a hard boxing workout you have the feeling of accomplishment as well as progress when you learn new techniques. The excitement of throwing punches, moving around, bobbing, weaving and blocking punches is a huge thrill that is extremely addictive and will leave you wanting more after every workout!
Have you ever gone through a super stressful day and just wished you could have punch something? Energy like that, if held in for a long time, can be detrimental to your interactions with people around you and the people closest to you, leaving you easily frustrated and ready to fly off the handle. People that have made Boxing a part of their daily routine get to let out that frustration all the time! If you spend 30 min to an hour of throwing hundreds of punches as hard and as fast as you can, you better believe you will feel a huge sense of relief. When you train boxing, you are using that energy of aggression and transferring it into a positive outlet that will not only make you feel great, but look great as well!
I strongly encourage you to try a boxing workout either in a class or personal session. To get the most out of your workouts you need to go to a gym like Keppner Boxing in Athens and experience what boxing is really all about!