"Boxing is like jazz. The better it is, the less people appreciate it."
George Foreman, former world champion and author of this quote, has a fortune estimated at more than 250 million dollars.
Boxing is a real business, very lucrative, especially in the United Kingdom and the United States. In 2015, the fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather generated 600 million dollars...
But we don't necessarily choose boxing, whether it be French boxing, English boxing or Thai boxing, in order to become a professional and rake in the money.
Before jumping into this high-intensity sport, it is a good idea to learn it properly. Which turns out great, because Superprof is about to give you all the essential information you need to know.
How Often Should You Practice Boxing to Improve?
Boxing is not an easy sport.
It requires strong discipline and high motivation. You do not sign up for a boxing class like you might half-heartedly go to the gym from time to time.
There are special workouts required, even in the warming up, strength training and cardio part of the boxing workout.
If your only goal is to lose weight, get in shape, and unwind without fighting with a real opponent, then choose cardio boxing.
I know what I'm talking about! I would not be able to bring myself to hit an opponent, and I would be too scared of getting hit myself to throw myself into the ring with a real opponent. On the other hand, boxing warm-ups are a great and fun way to work on cardio. If you're like me, why not give cardio or fitness boxing a try?
If you want to learn to fight for real and face an opponent in the flesh, you will have to give it your all!
Boxing beginners with start with 2 to 3-hour workouts, about two times a week.
It is important not to skip any steps. Boxing will require intense physical preparation.
Your body decides your limits. Do not overdo it, especially at the beginning, because you'll risk hurting yourself and turning yourself off the sport.
Regularity is the key word.
Better to do 2 to 3 shorter sessions per week than a big session once a month.
Gradually, you will increase the frequency of your boxing training and pass to 3 to 5 sessions per week depending on your availability and your desire to progress into professional boxing.
To become an uppercut champion, it will take work.
Here's how to plan out your boxing training session:
- Footwork for 30 minutes to 1 hour: this will allow you to gain endurance
- Warm up for 30 minutes: skipping rope, exercises to stretch the muscles, triceps, pectorals, quads...
- Punching bag and speed bag for 30 minutes to 1 hour: to improve speed and strength, agility and coordination
- Shadowboxing or sparring for 30 minutes: punching, kicking, it's about fighting an imaginary or real opponent to improve speed, tactics and the ability to feint
- Bodybuilding exercises for 30 minutes to 1 hour: to improve your physical condition and facilitate muscle gain
- Stretching and ab work for the last 30 minutes
It's important to follow the advice of your boxing coach: to improve your footwork, learn how to block hits, get in quick shots, and adopt the ideal stance, in order to progress each training session.
It's also your coach who will show you his own special wrapping technique, because yes, each coach has their own secret way.
What is the Age Limit for Boxing?
Did you know that the youngest boxing world champion was 17? It was Wilfred Benitez in 1975.
If sport is possible and even recommended throughout one's life, one must take certain precautions as they get older.
Boxing requires the excellent physical condition to avoid injury. Everyone cannot fight like a middleweight and light heavyweight great Bernard Hopkins, who is officially the oldest world champion in boxing history, winning when he was 49 years old.
Even if in recreational boxing there is no age limit, there certainly is a limit when it comes to competitions.
England Boxing limits its licensees in amateur boxing (the ones we see at the Olympic Games) to be between 13 and 39 years old.
But for recreational boxing, you can put on your boxing gloves and boxing shoes from 7 to 77 years old. As long as everything is physically fine, why not keep at it?
French Savate Boxing
Fighters in French boxing are not technically limited in age. It is, therefore, quite possible to register with a boxing club after 50 years old.
Combatants over 40 in the educative assault category and over 35 in the combat category are considered veteran boxers.
In competition, it will be necessary to obtain a specific medical authorization to enter the ring and defend ones title or try to win it.
Muay Thai is a form of boxing that requires an even better physical condition than other categories. Hitting, countering, and dodging one's opponent requires a lot of energy.
The age limit is set at 34 years old for the combat category, 44 years old for the assault category and 50 years old for the leisure category.
However, in boxing, as in most combat sports, a sharp mind is the most important tool if you hope to win in hand-to-hand combat.
Boxer Wladimir Klitschko became a heavyweight boxing champion at 38 years old. Bernard Hopkins became a world champion at age 49 and Matthieu Kassovitz played an amateur boxing match at almost 50 years old!
But remember, you have to listen to your body. If combat sports become too exhausting, it would be better to turn to softer forms of martial arts.
What Should You Eat Before Your Boxing Training?
Kickboxing, women's boxing or MMA (free fighting) require a lot of energy. So before joining the boxing gym and putting on your boxing equipment, you'd better not be fasting!
Not eating leads to a loss of energy, limits boxing performance, and increases recovery time and the risk of injury.
But beware, not all foods are ideal to eat before a big fight in the gym.
A boxer has to eat more but not too much. He has to adapt his diet to his training in order to bulk up quickly.
When to eat?
A healthy diet in England consists of 3 meals a day, with a potential snack at 4 o'clock. But you'll have to forget this meal plan if you want to take part in intensive boxing.
The body uses energy all throughout the day but the peak is reached during training. The healthy diet of a boxer must, therefore, keep pace with his training.
It is better to eat 6 meals a day and forget about the 3 big usual meals. A boxer only needs 2 big meals a day: when he gets up and 2 hours before his training. This means an ideal boxer's diet would consist of 2 big meals and 4 smaller meals/snacks each day.
Between meals, snacks satisfy hunger and prevent you from eating too much later on at your regular meals.
The pre-workout meal should allow you to hold on for the entire duration of your training session.
Find the best Boxing trainers here.
What should you eat?
- Water must be consumed in large quantities: 4 to 6 litres per day on training days
- Carbohydrates provide essential energy to a boxer: cereals, pasta, rice, fruit, whole wheat bread...
- Proteins allow muscles to grow and improve recovery time: 30% protein per day (white meat, egg, nuts, dairy products...)
- Good fats are a second source of energy: omega 3 in fish, avocados, coconut oil, and dried fruits...
It is essential to avoid alcohol, saturated fats (fast-food, industrial products), fast-acting sugars (sweets, cakes, chocolate, juice...) and food supplements.
The ideal meal for a boxer
The perfect meal for a boxer before a workout consists of:
- 45-65% carbohydrates
- 10-35% protein
- 20-35% fat
For example :
- 100g of pasta or whole grain rice
- 1 hard-boiled egg, a slice of ham or white meat
- 1 glass of water
- 1 fresh fruit (but avoiding dates, pineapple, raisins, chestnuts, melon and watermelon who have a high glycemic index)
Snacks between meals can consist of fresh fruits, dairy products, cereals, dried fruits, milk, oatmeal...
Get started and find the best boxing classes on Superprof.
Some "Boxing Tips" Definitions
Dreaming of glory in the ring is good, but if you want to become a champion like Mike Tyson, it will take serious work!
What is educational boxing?
Educational boxing is used in several forms of boxing. The goal is to be precise and technical in your movements. All physical force and injury against an opponent is excluded.
What is kickboxing?
It is a type of combat sport using kicks as well as punches. The designation also includes Thai boxing, Full Contact boxing and French boxing.