So, you have concluded that the benefits fitness boxing workouts are just too good to pass up.
And, that means it is time to sign up for your first class!
But what should you know before taking the plunge? Do you need to start at a certain fitness level, is there any special equipment you need to invest in, and which gym should you join?
And, will fitness boxing turn you into the next Mike Tyson, or just a phenomenally fit person?
Ah yes, so many questions to answer—here is what you need to know before you sign up for your first fitness boxing class!
What to Wear
So, let's start with what to wear to the boxing gym. No, it isn't a fashion show, and more than anything, you just need something which is comfortable, and moves well with you. Clothing should be loose fitting, or flexible enough not to be constricting, since you will be doing a LOT of moving around.
Shorts are preferred over leggings or sweats, although either will work just fine—just remember, you're going to be warm from all the exertion, so dress accordingly!
In fact, speaking of being warm—you will be sweating, so a hat or headband is always a good measure against sweat in your eye.
And, you should lean towards athletic fabrics designed to wick away moisture. Remember that while comfortable, a material such as cotton will retain about 7% of its weight in moisture, as opposed to a mere .04% for polyester blends which are designed to remove moisture from your skin, so perhaps just this once, skipping the natural fibre may be a good thing.
One other thing to remember is, once you are suited up and are ready to go with your boxing gloves on, adjusting your clothing may be nearly impossible. You are, after all, wearing the dexterous equivalent of oven mitts, so be sure that what you put on won't need buttons adjusted, waste bands hiked-up, or laces laced.
Most of the time, the same clothing you would wear for a regular gym workout, or even your running clothes, will work fine—although remember that you will be indoors and working hard, so it is better not to overdress. Even if you are a bit chilly at first, don't worry about it. Better a bit cold to start, then to be miserably hot during your workout!
Court shoes, basketball sneakers, or other athletic shoes which allow good lateral movement are preferable. However, avoid wearing sandals or running shoes, which work fine for moving in a straight line, though not so great moving side-to-side.
Remember—you are just getting started. No need to go all-in on special clothing just yet—just find out what works best and is most comfortable for you, and you can add more specialized clothing down the road as you get more and more addicted to your workouts!
Special Equipment You'll Need
Now, guess what special equipment you need to invest in before your first class?
How about none!
In fact, any reputable boxing gym which caters to newbies will have loaner equipment to get started—although remember, you likely aren't the first wearer, so be prepared for a bit of fragrance (eau de locker room?) wafting from some of the older loaner equipment.
No, this isn't anything to worry about, since a good gym will keep things sanitary, although it will likely encourage you to invest in your own gear once you are up and running, and have determined fitness boxing to be your workout of choice.
However, one thing it is good to bring with you is your own water bottle (you must draw the line somewhere on loaner equipment!), since you need to stay hydrated, and the exertion will have you sweating.
And, be sure your water bottle is a squeeze bottle, or has a bite valve, since unscrewing a bottle cap can be impossible—or at least, very frustrating--while wearing boxing gloves. A filtered water fountain is also available on-premises.
Finally, be sure to arrive at least 20-minutes early to your first class to get to know your instructor and have them answer any questions you may have, as well as to familiarize yourself with the equipment you will be using.
How About the Workout?
Now we get to the good part—the workout! No, you won't need to be in any prerequisite shape just to keep up, since good instructors and trainers understand that not everyone is capable of the same level of output.
But, do remember that your entire body is about to be worked as hard or harder than it ever has been, and that this isn't going to be just "one" workout; but rather, multiple training routines for various functions.
Oh that, and you're probably going to make a few friends along the way, since fitness boxing tends to be a rather social activity!
However, you will likely begin with warmups, such as jumping rope, stretching or some easy running on the treadmill, before moving on to punching, strength training and cardio.
Since the sport of boxing requires a strong combination of cardiovascular fitness and pure strength, expect your workouts to include High Intensity Strength Training (HIIT), which entails a period of intense effort, followed by a longer period of active recovery, and then repeated.
And of course, the results will be fat-burn like you never dreamed possible, a solid, firm core, and discovering muscles you didn't even know you had.
In fact, you're about to get into the best shape of your life—and, you'll look and feel like it!
Plus, your eye-hand coordination will develop with punching work--although please don't think black eyes or fat lips will be part of it.
Not unless you want to step into the ring, anyway.
However, even if you do have ambitions of becoming an actual fighter, first thing is first, and you need to learn technique and control—not to mention building the endurance to last in the ring.
But, since you are likely just looking to become fit, lean and healthy, rather than to beat anyone up, you are in the right place, since few other workouts hold a candle to what fitness boxing can do for you.
Enjoy your workout!