Boxing is by far the most popular combat sport today. With it’s origins dating back thousands upon thousands of years, there is a reason why it is still so popular. Not only is it an excellent spectacle, watching two boxers trying to outwit and defeat their opponent, it is also a superior activity to improve overall fitness. Boxing for beginners is often seen as a sport that is out of their reach: too difficult, too scary and too much for them to get involved with.
In this article, we aim to shed light on some of these myths regarding the ‘sweet science’ and help you get started with your journey into the sport of boxing.
1 What do I wear
Keep it simple
Wear comfortable gym wear when coming down to train with us. Something as simple as a t-shirt and shorts/leggings will be just fine. Ensure that whatever you do wear is fresh, there is nothing worse than dirty clothes taking on their ‘full form’ when you start sweating. Most gyms will have shower facilities, so bring a clean set of clothes to wear after you finish training to ensure you don’t need to jump into your car all sticky.
Remember coming to the gym to train isn’t a fashion show. Don’t worry about picking up the coolest most inspirational pieces before you get started with your training. A simple clean T and shorts are all you need to get in a killer workout.
2 Fitness level
Anyone can get started
Many people interested in taking up boxing assume they need to be in amazing physical shape to get started. You’ll be glad to know that this simply isn’t the case. While private training will of course be tailored for your exact ability and needs, even group training is very accommodating for people of all fitness levels. Due the popularity of our classes, we have a real mixture of fitness levels among our students. Therefore, you’ll very likely be matched up with someone of a similar level to you, allowing everyone to get the most out of the training session.
Developing your cardiovascular system will prove to be beneficial in many areas of your life. Especially when taking part in boxing and other combat sports. An improved fitness level means you will be able to perform at a higher level for longer. This allows for increased cognitive learning and physical development to take place. Although not essential, it is recommended to work on your cardio out of the gym, doing activities such as; swimming, running and cycling.
It is important to keep both yourself and your training partners safe. This is why wearing gloves when training is essential. You’ll also find that the weight of the gloves provides an additional workout for your body. When looking for gloves to train in, you’ll find a variety of options regarding colour, weight and fastening. The vast majority of students end up going for heavier gloves 14-16oz and select velcro over lace.
Tip: If you’ll be attending boxing classes at TFC, don’t worry about purchasing your gloves beforehand. Our in-gym store has boxing gloves that will fit your exact requirements.
4 Gym etiquette
Good manners go a long way
Being polite doesn’t cost anything and it will get you a long way. Do you really want to get the most out of training at your local gym? Try find your place in the gym family and be respectful to both experienced students and those just starting out. Aside from being polite, ensure you are keeping your hygiene in check. It’s a sign of respect both for yourself and your fellow students.
There is never a silly question. If you’re not sure, ask before class starts so you know what is okay and not okay. Most gyms will have the same etiquette that is to be respected when training. However, some may have variations on it. Therefore, it is always a good idea to find out before you get started.
5 How to wrap your hands
Protect your body
Wrapping your hands correctly is an essential part of keeping your body safe while training. Many new students unfortunately rush this process. They then find themselves soon picking up wrist injuries among other hand-related injuries. Your hand is made up of many delicate little bones and without proper protection through wrapping them and following correct technique, you are likely to do your body more damage than good.
Check out this article & video by Ben Johnston (former World Champion in Muay Thai) here on how to wrap your hands correctly. It may take a bit of time to get the knack of, but it will save you from injury down the road. Well worth the investment.
Cleanse and optimise your system
Keeping hydrated is vital, regardless of whether you’re training boxing or not. Not only does it detoxify your body, it allows you to perform at optimal levels. We suggest bringing with you water to our training sessions and if you’re training at home, make sure to keep hydrated throughout. While there are seemingly a lot of hydration options available to you, water is the one we recommended above all others such as: powerade, gatorade and maximus.
Before starting your day we suggest you drink 500ml-1l of water. While sleep does have many regenerative effects, it also tends to leave us dehydrated when we wake up in the morning, especially if you’re reducing water in-take getting closer to bedtime. Do your body and mind a favour and have 1.5l of water waiting for you at room temperature to consume when you wake up. Don’t forget to keep drinking water throughout the day!
Check out what Mike Dolce (one of the top MMA & Boxing nutritionists says about keeping hydrated and more here).
7 what to eat before you first session
Make smart choices
The answer to this question largely depends on when your session is, i.e. morning, afternoon or evening. However, the same principles rings true for them all. You want to have the necessary energy to complete the training at the best of your ability.
We suggested experimenting to see what works best for you, but there are some general rules we tend to recommend. Firstly, try not to eat directly before coming to training. Allowing your body to digest whatever you’ve eaten and release the necessary energy in your system takes time, therefore unless it is something as simple as a banana, give your body the necessary time to digest the meal. Secondly, avoid consuming foods void of nutritional value before taxing your body in training. Fast food and processed food aren’t going to give your system the fuel it needs to be firing at optimal levels. Lastly, think about your goal, some of our students swear by doing fasted cardio in the morning to keep their metabolism running at a higher rate over the course of the day, however this will mean they have less energy to exert in the session itself.
What you hope to achieve will dictate what you should and shouldn’t be consuming as well as the time you consume them.
8 Don't be a tool
Make yourself proud
It’s important that you take training seriously. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun while you’re having your lesson, but it does mean showing the sport/martial art the respect it deserves. Remember that coming to training isn’t an opportunity for you to release your pent up aggression on another student. Yes, many students find coming to our sessions to be an excellent stress reliever. But, you don’t need to do any harm to your partners for this to take place. Pushing your body is all that is required to release the stress-busting chemicals you’re looking for.
Patience is required when learning a martial art. You’ll find that for weeks you feel no progress is being made, then one day you’ll be sparring a fellow student only to realise halfway through that his 1-2 isn’t connecting as well on you as it used to, ah! You’ve improved. If you’re showing up and putting in the effort, you’ll improve.
9 How to book with TFC
Interested in getting started at TFC? It will only take a few moments to get you set up, just click here and we will get you booked in for your introductory session. If you’d like to come in on the spur of the moment, that is okay too! However, please bear in mind for us to provide the highest level of service that we keep ourselves to notice does help ensure that each and every student is well-catered to.
We’re certain that you’ll find the warm and welcoming atmosphere at TFC a real pleasure to be in. Come check us out!
If you’d like to get a taste of the level of instruction offered at TFC but are unable currently to come in for our live classes, feel free to get onto our online program. You’ll be able to benefit from top quality instructionals by Ben Johnston (former WBC World Champion among many other accolades) and the TFC team. Click here to find out more.