Boxing is a popular combat sport that has been prominent for years. Professional boxers obviously have a very high level of fitness, but do you actually need to get fit before starting boxing as a hobby?
Getting started in boxing does not require you to be fit. Most boxing classes are designed to be beginner-friendly and the fitness needs to execute movements are scalable to the individual in the boxing class. Training boxing regularly will increase fitness and help you get in shape.
Now that we know that starting classes is achievable without getting into shape first, let’s take a closer look at other factors that come into play when you are considering getting started in boxing.
Do You Need to Be Fit for Boxing?
Having good fitness for boxing is undeniably helpful. Boxing is cardiovascularly intensive and requires good general fitness capacity to perform well in the sport. However, being fit is not a requirement when you are a beginning boxer.
Boxing classes are run in the same format for both beginners and experts. When you walk into a boxing class fitness levels of students can be all over the place, but since effort can easily be moderated by the students themselves, it is a good choice for all fitness levels.
Do You Need to Be Strong for Boxing?
Boxers do need to build explosive strength to maximize their performance when they are fighting. This explosive strength combined with speed and technique is what translates into knock-out power in boxing. Boxers at the beginning of their training do not need to be strong to get started.
Some of this strength can be built through simple boxing training, but classes are mostly there to teach you how to use what you have by building good technical habits and getting good muscle memory for boxing movements.
Adding in a strength training program to complement your boxing training can be helpful. Take a look here to see an example of a workout that you could use to build that explosive strength when performed with controlled speed and power.
Do You Need to Be Flexible for Boxing?
Boxing does have some flexibility and mobility requirements. Having good flexibility and mobility will both mitigate some injury risks and increase your effective range of motion for both striking and defensive movements.
Working on building your flexibility and mobility can lead to increased power at the end of your range of motion and makes for more efficient use of your muscle.
How Hard is Boxing to Learn?
For most people, boxing is easy to learn but hard to master. A beginner can easily learn fundamental boxing techniques and end up with a serviceable jab-cross combination along with some basic footwork and a basic boxing stance. Mastering boxing far more time and effort.
For more on this topic and what the learning curve might look like check out my post Is Boxing Hard To Learn?
What to Expect in Your First Boxing Class
Your first beginner’s boxing class will be basic. It will most likely focus on boxing fundamentals like moving in a proper stance and basic punching combinations.
Talk to your instructor to see if you need to bring your own gloves and wear standard workout clothing to your first class.
Try not to be concerned about your performance, it is natural to feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable if you have not done anything like it before.
A boxing class is usually structured like this:
- Punching Drills and Pad Work
- Bag Work
What to Wear to Your First Boxing Class
Speak to the school in order to get an idea of what clothing and equipment to bring to your first class. Typically you will only be expected to bring yourself and wear gym clothes. If you have workout clothing that does not have pockets that is better since then nothing can get caught in pockets.
For a more in-depth look at both what to expect at your first boxing class as well as covering what you need to wear check out my post What To Expect in Your First Boxing Class.
Boxing is one of the most scalable combat sports in terms of being suitable for both out-of-shape beginners and Crossfit superstars in the same class. This makes it a perfect choice to pick up if you want to learn some combat skills and are not currently physically fit.
For more check out Should I Lift Weights or Do Boxing?