In my opinion Boxing has been one the most sidelined fitness trends ever. It never completely faded out of sight, but has never took the world by storm either, until now. This particular trend as a non mainstream-friendly fitness exercise has started to change. New boxing franchises are stepping away from the persistent atmosphere of old-school boxing facilities and creating environments which welcome almost everyone. The Kardashians are involved, Justin Bieber is involved, and I personally train high-profile musicians and celebrities who swear by it, and it’s about time, because boxing is by far one of the most demanding sports there is, both physically and mentally, and as recently voted in an ESPN poll 'the hardest sport of all'.
At Box ’N Burn we have always worked hard to maintain the integrity of the sport, teaching real boxing and offer something more realistic and credible than a stereotypical ‘cardio-box’ class. At the same time, we’ve strived to eliminate the intimidation factor of an 'old-school' 'fighters' gym and still offer something real, unique, challenging and fun that everyone interested in their health & fitness can enjoy. We’ve been fortunate enough that in just over 3 years since opening, we’ve managed to build a real community of enthusiastic gym goers who have found something new & challenging to latch on to. I’m very proud to be a part of a business and fitness trend that was voted California's #1 gym in 2015 by Men's Fitness Magazine and Yelp, and has changed lives, from professional fighters to first-time gym goers, and I feel we have only just started.
Now back to boxing training as functional fitness...
First off what is ‘Functional Fitness’?... Functional Fitness is a real buzzword in the fitness industry right now. Functional training conditions the muscles to work together in preparation for daily tasks by simulating and building upon common movements in every day life, at home, at work or in sports. With an emphasis on core stability, functional fitness exercises tend to work upper and lower body muscles at the same time. Basically it’s about using & training the body for real-life situations.
Boxing training demands a high level of athletic performance, strength, speed, agility and hand- eye coordination but also enables anyone of all abilities to refine and build all of the above. So whether a seasoned professional or a first time gym-goer starting from scratch, this unique form of training can provide the following advantages:
- Improved Circulatory Health: the high intensity cardio aspect of boxing places a moderate amount of pressure on our heart and lungs so that they can support the higher level of physical activity. Improving the respiratory system by increasing the amount of oxygen that is inhaled and distributed to body tissue can reduce the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and other such diseases. From a functional standpoint, the higher heart rate we can handle in the gym, the lower resting heart rate we will have, making daily tasks such as stair climbs, hill walks, quick jogs across the street, a dash to catch a train or bus, playing sports & games w/ our kids / grandkids etc seem like a breeze.
- Enhanced Power / Muscular Endurance: explosive movements such as punching, kicking, jumping etc. demand strength and the repetitive nature of boxing requires a high level of repetitive power output and therefore muscular endurance. During a boxing training session we may throw hundreds, possibly thousands of punches, requiring all core body parts to engage as one and work together. A correct & powerful punch should engage the shoulders, arms, core, legs, hips, etc. this full body nature of every punch ensures the nervous system & brain are also firing a lot more than a training regime that tends to isolate muscle groups. As a functional form of training this is ideal for mentally challenging, high volume and explosive power movements in other sports such as tennis, swimming, running, or a job that requires the repetitive, constant movement of a load over a long period of time.
- Hand-Eye Synchronization: Hand-eye coordination plays a vital role in our motorized abilities. Effective boxing training will build quick reflexes and improved physical coordination due to the constant need to use our hands, eyes and feet to punch, move and defend. Critical as we age, improved motor skills are essential for physical efficiency: good balance and stability minimizes the risk of slips, trips and falls. Without good hand-eye coordination, we may find difficulty performing every day tasks and living an active lifestyle.
- Reduced Tension: Boxing training promotes mental fitness as well as physical fitness. Sometimes we need more than just a walk to deal with the stressors of life. Boxing training is a great exit for stress, by pushing ourselves through 2-3 minutes of high-intensity punching for a 30 min or even an hour-long session, combined with additional, effective strength & conditioning, it’s unlikely we will have much mental energy left to worry about routine tensions and stresses. Boxing is the perfect addition to a high pressure lifestyle that demands a lot of mental energy on a daily basis.
- Improved Body Composition: Boxing is good for improving body composition, muscle tone & fat loss. If our goal is weight loss / fat loss, then your goal must be to improve body composition. The high intensity, high repetition nature of boxing perfectly combines muscle building strength exercise moves and calorie-torching sessions of cardio to provide ultimate full-body fitness, and to finish, here are 10 Reasons to Box & GET FIT:
1: get confident in your own abilities 2: extend life expectancy 3: improved quality of life 4: look better (dressed or naked) 5: improve mood 6: stress-free life 7: increased energy 8: increased productivity 9: self-discovery 10: become harder to kill