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Be Your Inner Rocky: Box Away the Calories

Aug 21, 2012
Boxers generally have a drool-worthy physique that was seemingly unattainable for us non-fighters up until a few years ago. But now boxing workouts have exploded across the nation growing in popularity amongst both sexes. This isn't without reason. Calorie scorching, lean muscle building, metabolism boosting, and just plain exhausting, these workouts are the real deal. After testing out a boxing workout in my city, I have the inside scoop as to what you can expect as a newbie.

No Sweat

The instructors get straight to the point once the workout begins. I was sweating within minutes. I'm not talking about a glimmer of sweat either. I'm talking about looking like I just got out of the ocean sweat. If that intimidates you, it shouldn't. Everyone else was sweating too, and they're more concerned with busting their own butts than caring about what's going on with you. It's definitely a no frills workout! You won't have time to worry about your hair being out of place, or whether or not the cute guy three punching bags down has noticed swimming pool accumulating beneath you.

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Throw a Punch

I had never boxed before and certainly didn't know how to throw a proper punch. Thankfully everything and every move is explained and demonstrated thoroughly. If an exercise is particularly difficult for you, there is always an alternative offered in its place. Additionally, you can essentially set your own pace if things get too intense. A perfectly acceptable and grueling workout plan is laid out for you. Just adjust it as needed! More specifically, you can expect to warm up with jump rope skipping and a good ten minutes of light heart-rate-raising agility work. Once we were warmed up, intervals of sparring and ducking punches were broken up with intense super sets of squats, sit ups, burpees and mountain climbers.  No weights were used. The idea is to work on speed, agility, cardiovascular fitness, core strength, flexibility, and power. My heart rate was up for the entire hour.

You're Not Rocky...Yet

One of the most important things to know about boxing workouts is that you will never be hit in the face! Direct contact is absolutely forbidden. During partner sparring, your kicks and punches are directed towards pads or punching bags. You aren't learning self-defense or how to fight, per say. Although that option is certainly offered at most boxing gyms, the focus of the "boxing workout" is the physical benefits of training like a boxer. Not on becoming one.  

Should You Do It?

I'm sure you're wondering if boxing workouts will get you the fitness or weight loss results you desire and how long it will take. Many boxing gyms, including the one I visited, promise to torch 800 to 1,000 calories during a one-hour workout. I burned roughly 550, which isn't laughable. So, yes, it does burn a lot of calories. More importantly, though, does this workout have the ability to maintain your interest and keep you coming back for more? It really does. It's fun, it's intense, and there is a great community of people there with similar goals working hard. The people I met who had been participating in boxing workouts for at least a few months were noticeably toned and lean. Combined with a healthy diet, I absolutely think boxing workouts are a wonderful way to achieve your fitness goals.

Rachel Betsch has emerged herself in functional fitness and effective training methods as a lifeguard, a sergeant in the US Army, and a hiking and biking guide at Canyon Ranch. Currently, as an outdoor sports enthusiast and while in training to become a wildland firefighter, fitness remains ever relevant. Rachel is in constant search of new and exciting fitness trends and loves assisting others in pursuit of their own health and fitness goals. She can be reached at RachelBetsch@live.com.



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