Many people are interested in learning boxing or other systems of self-defense. It is a great alternative to going to the gym and lifting weights or running on a treadmill. By training at a boxing gym, you will be able to learn something new while getting in great shape! Here are a few reasons why to begin learning the sweet science.

It is fun.

Taking your first boxing class is both fun and challenging.

Hitting the focus mitts and the punching bags is like playing a game. There also seems to be something innately therapeutic in hitting something as hard as you can. Training is unique and different from anything else you may have experienced before. There are plenty of interesting pieces of equipment to try such as the speed bag, the double-end bag, and the slip bag.

Most boxing gyms around the world feature a very friendly environment. People are helping each other get better every day. It is a community of people from different walks of life. Some are professional fighters or white collar boxers, others are just there to have fun or get in shape. You will likely meet a few interesting people at boxing class that may become lifelong friends.

Boxers are some of the fittest athletes on the planet.

While lifting weights may be a good way to get strong, boxing allows you to gain functional strength that is beneficial to your health. You will experience this when learning how to properly throw a punch. Power is generated from the ground up, starting at your toes, through the glutes and hips, into the core and the shoulders, and finally culminating at the end of the fist.

Boxers pay extra attention to conditioning their legs and core. Full body conditioning will be achieved through boxing training.

It is good for the brain.

This may seem counterintuitive, considering boxers can suffer traumatic brain injuries from taking so many shots to the head. A positive training environment should allow you to learn without feeling pressured to do full contact sparring.

One of the best reasons to train boxing is that you will always be learning. Boxing has been nicknamed “The Sweet Science” for a reason. Despite what the casual observer may think, boxing is more of a mental practice than a physical one. Boxing is often compared to chess, the best boxers use setups and techniques to outsmart their opponents. Practicing these techniques can seem tedious at times, but one of the best feelings in the world is when you recognize that you are actually improving and getting better. It helps build a feeling of greater self-confidence that will aid you both inside and out of the boxing gym. That is when the sport can really become addicting.

Among all of the other mental benefits is stress release. One of the best ways to release stress is by exercising. Intense exercise can trigger your brain to release endorphins that will increase your mood and regulate your sleep patterns.

The hardest part is starting.

Going to a boxing class can be intimidating for a first-timer. Before entering the gym, you should know what to expect. It is not necessary to have your own equipment, but if you plan on training often, you should buy a few pairs of hand wraps and boxing gloves to avoid using smelly gym gear.

A typical class consists of warming up by jumping rope followed by shadow boxing. You will then wrap your hands, don’t be shy if you do not know how the trainers are there to help. The rest of class will feature bag work, focus mitts and/or technical practice with a partner. There is also usually a short strength and conditioning circuit at the end to harden your abs, shoulders and legs.

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