One year ago Ken, Boxfit UK owner, decided to help progress equality in the boxing world. After some thought and collaboration, we launched #togetherwebox to highlight boxing as a sport for everyone.
From talking with customers in the Essex shop and working with boxing clubs across the UK, including Pink Collar Boxing, Horsham Boxing Club, Women’s Boxing Classes and WBC Birmingham, the team have reached a large number of male and female pro and amateur boxers.
As Ken says, “No one should feel like they can’t take up boxing; it’s a universal sport”.
So, in the spirit of equality, here’s The Boxfit UK guide on how to start boxing, with tips from #togetherwebox ambassadors Stacey Copeland and Valerian Spicer!
See if it rings (yep) true for you and share with anyone you know who’s sitting on the fence.
Approach your local club
Once you’ve decided to get active and learn new skills, contact your local club to hear more about their joining systems and how they can help beginners. They may have taster sessions and their boxing coaches will be ready to answer your questions -see what gear they can supply and what equipment you need before starting.
Fortunately, boxing is relatively cheap to get passionate about and most towns and cities have a few trainers to boost your interest. The best way to get involved is to jump in and book a starter session; if you already do other sports you may find you’re working different muscles and if it’ll be your first fitness class in a while, get in the mindset of it being a challenge and ease yourself in.
Join up with a friend
You don’t have to do it alone! Trying something new is daunting and it’s good to acknowledge it without it stopping you. Do you have any female friends who have shown an interest in boxing or are looking to improve their fitness? See if you can set a date to start.
Going with a friend makes the potentially intimidating gym scenario a lot better and also ensures you have someone to share your thoughts with and have a laugh.
Learn the basics online
Tutorial videos on YouTube are the best way to learn some basic moves and gain some ground knowledge. Before you head into the gym, practise some of the basic punches in front of your mirror – it’s not as strange as it sounds and is effective.
Known as shadow boxing, it’s where a sportsperson pictures their mirror image as an opponent. In this instance however, use it to see that you do have form and to spot areas of improvement.
GB Stars like Stacey Copeland are very accessible online and once you discover how passionate the community is it can be really encouraging.
Stacey says: “Boxing is fantastic for fitness but is also very empowering. You will meet some great people in boxing gyms, go out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself and ultimately feel great. So, why not?”
Make it work for your goals
Like all sport, there are options within boxing. You can go down a competitive route where you learn how to hit other people, or you can train to get fit and learn proper basic techniques, such as jabs, hooks, uppercuts, dodging and ducking. If you prefer the idea of boxing for general fitness, try out a boxercise class where boxing techniques are combined with squats and skipping, etc.
After a taster session, you’ll have a better idea of which sort of boxing workouts are right for you and of course, you can always do both and change your mind. When you check in with your local gym or club, ask for a schedule and a list of coaches. Knowledge is power!
However, if your goal is becoming more of a pro, it may be best to go straight to the boxing gym.
Build muscle tone and strength
You’ll be working your upper body muscles but also you need have good strength in your legs and be quick on your feet. Make sure you are including enough protein in your diet to allow your muscles to develop and grow. Stock up on lean meats and high protein foods to ensure you get the most out of your active sessions and a healthy diet is always a plus.
Diet is important whether you want to learn boxing to compete or to improve your fitness and can involve just small changes. Before making any drastic changes to your diet, discuss with your coach to see what they would advise to meet your goals.
Don’t worry if seems out of reach
This might be the most important tip – don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed. Approaching your local club, going to your first class, meeting the coaches and learning what the sport involves can be daunting at first. Try to be consistent and you’ll soon find that excitement and fulfilment will overtake any nerves. Boxer Valerian Spicer, who took up the sport at the age of 30 and competed in the Commonwealth Games 2014, suggests training twice a week to see results and make progress at a good rate.
Stacey adds: “If you’re thinking of doing it but are worried about the gym environment or not being any good, don’t worry! Everybody has to start somewhere and if you take that step into the boxing gym, you will not regret it”.
Got questions or tips to add? Check in with Boxfit UK on Twitter at @boxfituk and follow the Together We Box campaign with the hashtag #TogetherWeBox.
If you’d like to own a #togetherwebox t-shirt, they’re available on our online store here.