“You never lose until you actually give up.” - Mike Tyson
62% of adults in the UK are classed as overweight and adult obesity has quadrupled in the last 25 years.
Don't panic, though! Boxing is a high-intensity sport that has many benefits including sculpting your body and burning excess fat. Boxing is a good way to lose weight and tone up. Of course, it’s not the best sport for becoming skinny as you’ll replace fat with muscle mass.
If that's what you're after, here’s our overview of how different types of boxing can help you lose weight.
Losing Weight with Boxing
If you’ve ever been to a boxing club, you’ll notice that very few of the attendees are overweight.
This is because boxing is a great way to combat obesity. You may have several reasons to lose weight including:
- Wanting to lose weight after pregnancy.
- Getting a flat stomach.
- Getting rid of cellulite.
- Slimming your arms.
- Building muscle mass.
- Losing a few pounds permanently.
- Increasing your metabolism.
- Going down a size.
- Getting to a healthy weight.
We could list even more reasons to lose weight.
Regular exercise is a great way to lose weight and amateur boxing is a great way to do it.
Different types of boxing such as traditional boxing, savate, kickboxing, or Thai boxing, and martial arts (taekwondo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Krav Maga, etc.) can help to lower your body mass index (BMI). BMI is often used by coaches to work out a healthy weight range for you. A healthy BMI range depends on your age, height, weight, and gender and in general:
- Under 16: malnourished
- Between 16.5 and 18.5: underweight.
- Between 18.5 and 25: healthy weight range.
- Between 25 and 30: overweight.
- Between 30 and 35: low-risk obesity.
- Between 35 and 40: moderate-risk obesity.
- Greater than 40: high-risk obesity.
If you’re reading this article, you probably have a BMI higher than 25. Joining a boxing club might be the solution.
This combat sport is great for strengthening many different muscle groups and improving your:
- Lung capacity
- Cardiovascular system and cardio performance
- Stress levels
However, if you’re not losing weight after a few sessions, you may want to take a look at your diet to ensure that you lose weight.
How Does Boxing Burn Calories?
Whether you’re doing traditional boxing (with just punches) or savate, Thai boxing, or kick-boxing, there’ll be intense training sessions.
Boxing is a good way to burn fat and tone muscle. Of course, this is on the assumption that you’re eating healthily, not snacking between meals, and not consuming too much sugar or fat. Combat sports, cardio boxing, or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) will all burn a lot of calories.
Boxing is a combat sport that allows you to train safely on a punching bag or with a sparring partner as if you were in the ring. “As if” being the important words here... In a lot of boxing clubs, you don’t actually have to fight.
Generally, you’ll need to have equipment such as:
- Boxing gloves.
- Tape for your hands.
- Shin guards.
- Cups for men.
- Chest protectors for women.
- Knee pads.
- Boxing helmets.
Boxing lessons often involve an intense warm-up session, punching bags, pad work, technique, weight training, and stretching.
So how can you lose weight with such a programme?
In most boxing, you’ll regularly be bouncing around and working your legs. A skipping rope is often used to get your cardiovascular system going and improve your physical endurance; the foundation for most sports and exercise. You’ll slowly but surely sculpt your abs, chest, and arms while learning techniques that are also useful for self-defence.
Which Type of Boxing is Best for Toning and Slimming?
So which boxing club should you sign up for? Fitness boxing, cardio boxing, savate, Thai boxing, or kickboxing? Which type of boxing is good for toning? Are there any differences in women’s boxing?
We can’t say that one particular style or discipline is better than another. It really depends on what you like.
Some prefer traditional boxing where you can only punch. Others like the idea of kicking, too. Savate, Muay Thai, and kick-boxing all use kicks. Kick-boxing also allows kneeing and Thai boxing allows elbowing. You should know that Thai boxing allows almost any blow. Of course, you can’t hit “below the belt”, but this is the only place you can’t hit. This might put off certain people because the risk of injury is greater than in the other types of boxing.
Women in some cases may be drawn towards women’s boxing clubs. Women’s boxing clubs (i.e not mixed) often include muscle toning, cardio training, and fitness training. This may include ab work, shadow boxing, and elliptical trainers designed to strengthen a woman’s body.
Find out more the different types of boxing.
In any case, physical exercise and training can help you lose weight quickly.
During any boxing session, expect to:
- Sweat a lot.
- Push yourself.
- Build muscle.
- Lose weight.
- Tone your body.
Similarly, boxing is a well-rounded discipline that allows you to build strength, become healthier, and learn self-defence skills. In boxing, warming up often involves using a skipping rope, doing squats, sit-ups, push-ups, burpees, etc. and combines cardio and weight training. It’s like several sports in one.
Find out how boxing can help with stress.
How Often Should You Box to Lose Weight?
So how often should you go to the gym or boxing club?
There are a lot of ways to work out how many calories you burn in a session.
For example, based upon a 35-year-old woman measuring 5’6” and weighing 10st 3lbs weighing doing high-intensity 90-minute boxing session will yield the following results:
- 1,230 calories burnt.
- 1 session per week: around a pound lost.
- 2 sessions per week: around two pounds lost.
- 3 sessions per week: around three pounds lost.
- 4 sessions per week: around four pounds lost.
Generally, boxing burns around 800 calories per hour.
Whether you want to lose weight or train for a competition, you’re not going to train with the same frequency. Boxing clubs often have several sessions a week for each discipline which means you can go multiple times a week. With around 300 to 400 calories burnt in half an hour, this is more intensive than surfing or cycling.
There’s also an effect known as “afterburn” whereby your body continues to burn calories at an increased rate after having done exercise.
To keep in shape or lose weight, we recommend at least two sessions a week. If you want to become a professional boxer, however, you’ll need to practise every day. Professional boxers can train for up to 5 hours a day!
If you'd like to do boxing, mixed martial arts, or kickboxing classes, consider getting in touch with one of the many talented and experienced tutors on Superprof. There are three main types of tutorial available, face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials, and each type comes with its own pros and cons.
Group tutorials tend to be the cheapest per student per hour since they're all paying for a share of the tutor's time. Of course, this means that you'll get less one-on-one time with your tutor or coach and they won't be able to tailor the sessions to just you as they'll have other clients that they need to keep happy.
Face-to-face tutorials are just between you and your private tutor. In this case, you'll be paying for a bespoke and tailored service and during your lessons, you'll enjoy the tutor or coach's undivided attention. This all comes at a price and while face-to-face private tutorials are the most cost-effective, they also tend to be the most costly per hour.
Finally, thanks to the advent of the internet, you can now enjoy online private tutorials. With video conferencing software, a webcam, a microphone, and a decent internet connection, you can enjoy private tutoring from tutors all over the world. Since the tutor won't be travelling to their students and they can schedule more tutorials each week, they can charge a more competitive rate and online tutorials are usually cheaper per hour than face-to-face tutorials.
Think carefully about your budget and your learning goals, look at several different tutors and the different types of tutorials before you make your final decision, and don't forget to make the most of the fact that many of the tutors on Superprof will offer the first hour of tuition for free. While this hour won't usually be a proper session, it's a good opportunity to get to know your potential private tutor, see if you get along with them, discover what their teaching approach is, and discuss the finer details of the type of coaching and tuition you'd like.