Boxing, in its traditional form, has fallen out of style over the past few years. Combat sports and fitness disciplines such as Mixed Martial Arts, Cross Fit, Krav Maga, etc. have grown in popularity during that time and the amount of people practicing these systems has skyrocketed. Somewhere along the line, the mainstream fitness industry became corporate owned and people began flocking to gyms that were designed to be more like nightclubs. The smelly, grimy gyms with rusting weights were gone and replaced with brightly lit fitness clubs with aerobics rooms for ‘Group X’ fitness and boot camps. Those who were naturally drawn to the combative side gravitated to MMA leaving a larger percentage, who merely wanted a great workout, left without viable options.
Thankfully, like a fighter behind on points in the final rounds, boxing and boxing classes are making a very strong comeback. In this series we’ll be speaking with those who are keeping boxing alive by sharing it with a new generation and by bringing more women into the fold. We’ll also be speaking with franchise operations such as Title, Everlast and 9R who are expanding their brands beyond merchandise and creating boxing gyms around the country that everyone can enjoy. To start things off we went to visit Donato De Martiis (IG @demasboxing), Head Trainer at the World Famous 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach, Fl. Donato gives us his take on why boxing is such a great overall workout.
So let’s review why is boxing still the reining champ for fitness.
INCREASED CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
Let’s face it.. doing multiple rounds of High Intensity activity with a rest interval in between rounds is the basic structure of boxing matches. Nowadays that type of training is called (HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training) but it’s been a part of boxing for generations. During a training session hundreds of repetitions, hitting the bag, skipping rope, shadow boxing, squats, etc. all elevate the heart rate and stresses the lungs so that they become stronger over time in response to this type of conditioning.
STRENGTH AND POWER
While doing boxing exercises major muscle groups throughout the body come together at the same instant to conduct the motion. That, in combination with the speed and number of repetitions of these actions mixed in with body weight exercises, allows a person to develop longer toned, taut and strong muscles. This is in contrast to how a person develops short, bulky muscles when doing activities like weight lifting only. Your body will look phenomenal but will also be functional as well.
Remember how I just mentioned that boxing training results in HIIT activity. Another benefit that comes from that is the caloric burn rate which is much higher. A person doing boxing exercises can burn anywhere between 500 – 1,000 calories per workout. Even better, the caloric burn has been proven to continue even after the session is done. So for people looking to gain lean muscle mass while burning fat, boxing is one of the best fitness programs you can follow.
Twisting and turning the body to perform punches correctly with power while simultaneously establishing defensive postures can throw you off balance. As a result, your body utilizes core stabilizer muscles (which support and hold you upright) making them work harder to keep you balanced. Getting a stronger core and improving your balance sounds like a win-win to us.
It’s correct that most forms of exercise reduce stress but c’mon.. let’s be real. There is something deeply rooted within all human beings that derives satisfaction from hitting and punching. As most negative thoughts and feelings are kept bottled up inside due to social and legal implications, boxing provides something that other forms of exercise do not .. a cathartic release of those emotions. It allows you to take all your anger and aggression and channel it into something that is ultimately positive which is your health.
Albeit an obvious one but so important in today’s society where danger abounds everywhere. Unless you plan on carrying around kettlebells to hit someone with, other forms of exercise do not provide you with the knowledge or skill needed to protect yourself & those you care about. In this series we’ll be exploring the essentials of boxing with an emphasis on how these exercises and actions all combine into effective self defense.
HIGHER SELF ESTEEM AND CONFIDENCE LEVEL
Higher self-esteem and confidence naturally occur when you are physically stronger and feel better about your looks and appearance. But when you also have the ability to throw punch combinations that can knock someone out, your confidence level goes through the roof! Now we are not suggesting you go do this but knowing you have the ability to do so is also an amazing benefit of boxing.
We could go on and on but that’s exactly why this series is being developed. There is much to talk about, explore, compare and contrast as we explore the mystique of the “sweet science”.