Boxing as a Form of Exercise

 By: Chris Head
I like to consider myself reasonably fit; I'm an active healthy person with a good diet and well used gym membership. I can swim for an hour, run for 40 minutes and feel fine afterwards. So perhaps I can be forgiven for being overly confident entering my first pad based boxing workout.

It wasn't my idea; a friend of mine was heavily into boxing and mixed martial arts. I'd been to the gym with him a few times for more conventional workouts. We'd lifted weights together and put in some serious CV sessions but he could never resist mentioning his Tuesday night boxing class making sure I knew that he considered it the most fulfilling exercise he did.

Why not I thought! I don't claim to be a tough guy but I'm no wet flannel. How hard could it be? So along I went.

We started with some warm up exercises, throwing a medical ball back and forth coupled with some light skipping, hopping and stretching. I was going to be working through a gentle boxing session with the guy that I trained with; he'd decided it would be best to ease me into it before jumping in the deep end and taking a full class.

He kindly provided me with all of the boxing equipment I'd need for this introduction. He pulled out a sets of 12 ounce gloves and some focus pads. I wouldn't be needing headgear or a gum shield as we were just going to focus on the basic boxing moves.

We began. We started with the basic jab which he labeled "1" then moved onto a left jab straight right combo labeled "2", "3" was a left jab straight right left hook combo. I was genuinely enjoying myself; we worked through the combos and basic moves until we had enough to run though from one to nine. I tried my hardest as he repeatedly corrected me for the position and movement of my feet, hands and placement of my guard.

As my confidence increased my training partner began mixing up the combo's however I noted my punches weakening, how could this be? I was strong and fit and yet within an hour I could just about hold my hands up! We called it a day.

Nothing could have prepared me for the following morning. Every single muscle in my body ached. I could hardly move and was aching in places I didn't even know existed. I can honestly say that boxing training is without a doubt the single most effective method of training I've ever participated in. Not only did it get the blood pumping I'd also worked just about every muscle in my body.

As our sessions continued my conditioning improved, never had a form of training made me feel so unfit. All that time in the gym clearly hadn't been as effective as I thought it had.

I can honestly genuinely recommend boxing training, it needn't be violent and you don't have to spar. It is a fantastic form of exercise that stimulates the mind and the body. Give it a try.
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