With the likes of chiselled powerhouse Anthony Joshua coming through the ranks, and the buzz that internationally anticipated fights between the likes of Mayweather and Pacquiao cause, it's no surprise boxing as a sport is enjoying a bit of a media surge at the moment. You've got inspirational movies such as Creed (the continuation of the Rocky story) getting people fired up, and even the likes of World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury bringing the excitement of boxing to the media forefront (albeit for all the wrong reasons of late). But regardless of the reasons why, boxing in one form or another is going to be BIG this 2016, especially from a fitness perspective!
From a fitness, health and wellbeing POV...
If you could bottle fitness and fat loss, then boxing training would be it. Its high paced yet controlled nature harnesses HIIT training, delivers emotional fulfilment, improves social wellbeing AND saves time all in one hit (excuse the pun).
Enter boxing as a mainstream fitness modality
It’s no coincidence that the likes of Mayweather and Pacquiao all have toned and defined, muscular physiques. The high intensity nature of boxing training dictates that you lose a lot of body fat in the process, so it’s no surprise that this type of training has been embraced by the fitness industry.
A novel way to do your cardio
You don’t even have to be a fan of the sport itself to take part in boxing, nor do you have to punch someone in the face! These days you can go to most gyms and book onto a ‘boxercise’ or ‘boxfit’ class, hit a punch bag or even just shadow box as a way of getting your cardio in.
Method of HIIT Training
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is great at burning fat, this is because of the anaerobic energy pathways it employs. The high pace, start/stop nature of HIIT training is very similar to boxing training.
Why has boxing become so popular in gyms?
In my opinion, time is one of the main reasons boxing has caught on as a fitness trend, you can rock up to the gym at 6pm and roll out in a puddle of sweat at 6:30pm no problem at all. Try achieving that by just running on the treadmill for 20-30mins.
Boxing can also be extremely sociable, there is a kind of comradery that stems from a boxing class which has 15-20 people going balls to the wall to high tempo music. You come out of the class feeling like Rocky Balboa!
Why I believe it is here to stay
Boxing is an emotional release. That hard day at the office pales into insignificance after a good 15 minutes on a punch bag. The anger release and subsequent surge in feel good hormones is a great form of therapy and keeps you coming back for more!
Hitting a punch bag is also a form of resistance training. The eccentric contraction involved in hitting a bag leaves muscles feeling pretty sore the next day making you feel like you’ve really done something.