Boxing is one of the best ways you can lose weight and maintain the weight loss. Boxing offers a much better option for some people because they enjoy the sport and all the other exercises that come with boxing. Once you get started with boxing it becomes a way of life and if you love boxing, losing weight, toning and staying in shape should come naturally to you.
While an hour of boxing class will burn a lot of calories, how often you train, the intensity in which you train and your diet will ultimately decide whether you lose weight or not. The benefit of boxing for many comes in the enjoyment of it, the stress relief, making new friends and learning a new skill. Boxing also develops discipline, good habits, and self-esteem that can really provide lasting weight loss for many.
There is only one way to know if boxing is for you and that is to give it a go for yourself, at a club or working out at home.
Intro To Boxing For Weight Loss
Boxing is the art of hitting and not getting hit but for many people, it is a way of life. If you have ever tried a local boxing class, you will know that it is not easy to keep throwing punches and doing the drills but if you can get past the beginner stage, a whole new world of training, exercise, fulfillment, and enjoyment are sure to follow.
You can plan your weeks’ workouts with various different forms of cardio, weight lifting and conditioning that will help you to improve in the ring and getting in the best shape of your life might even become secondary to getting better at a new hobby and sport that you’ve come to love. If you can make boxing a lifestyle and not something you feel obligated to do like running on a treadmill, you will probably not have to worry about your weight for too much longer.
Components Of Boxing Training
So you’ve decided to give boxing a go, here’s what you can expect to be working on when you walk into a boxing gym.
Shadowboxing is basically throwing air punches, working on footwork and head movement and simulating being in a fight with an imaginary opponent. It may seem a bit silly but boxers of the very highest level work on shadow boxing every day and if you are completely new to it, just try to copy what the people around you are doing.
Throw plenty of straight punches from your stance and take direction from the coaches.
Pad work is another crucial element of boxing. A coach will hold pads for a fighter and signify the combos or punches he would like the fighter to land on the pads. This can range from very straight forward to extremely complex if you consider the Mayweathers style.
For a beginner, Pad work will involve you and a partner holding each others’ gloves up for each other while the other partner throws basic combos like the jab, the 1-2 and the 1-2-hook. You will usually take turns holding and hitting. If you have tried this before you will know how tough it is and what a great workout it can be for toning the arms. Holding the pads can develop your arms endurance as well and it can become quite tough just to hold them up for your partner.
The Heavy Bag
The heavy bag is always ready to give you an awesome calorie burning and if you go to a boxing class, you will surely spend some time on the bags.
You can work your basic punches and movements on the heavy bag or you can work punching drills with a partner.
A heavy bag provides a solid target that you can hit as hard as you can so it is perfect for building up your power, technique and also blasting out the daily stresses of life while torching calories and fat.
Sparring is one of the best exercises for improving your boxing skills by practicing everything you have learned with a partner where you try to land and evade punches on each other.
Most beginners will just throw take turns throwing punches at their partner while the partner puts their guard up to block the punches.
More advanced beginners will move onto full contact body sparring where you only hit each other in the body and intermediates will go for full sparring but without full force, punches an advanced boxer will work harder in sparring but always with large cushioned gloves, headgear and gumshields.
Boxing classes wouldn’t be complete without conditioning circuits. Boxers and fighters are known for legendary circuit workouts where you spend 20-30 seconds on each station before hopping quickly to the next station without taking a break.
You may have to work 10-15 stations in a good circuit and this is probably your best bet for dropping weight, increasing your endurance, conditioning, burning fat and toning your arms and stomach.
Common exercises in a circuit would be push-ups, sit-ups, squats, shadow boxing with weights, pull-ups, cliff scalers, burpees, shoulder press, plank, steering wheels and on and on. Circuits are a great place to get the fighters 6 pack and get in great shape in general.
Circuits are tough work but there’s no way to fake being in better shape, you actually have to be in better shape by putting in the work in the gym and the kitchen.
HIIT Boxing For Weight Loss
High-Intensity interval training involves training aerobically at light intensity for 30 seconds and then performing an explosive anaerobic exercise for 10 seconds for example although the timings can be any way you want.
The sport of boxing is high-intensity interval training by nature when you think about it. The fighters will circle around looking for angles and openings and then there will be a flurry of activity when the fighters engage and start throwing punches.
If you are sparring in boxing, that is already HIIT but we can certainly incorporate HIIT into our boxing workouts as well.
HIIT on the heavy bag
We can throw a variety of shots at low intensity on the bag, work on our head movement and footwork for 20/30 seconds and then explode with straight punches as fast as we can for 10 seconds and repeat for a round of 3 minutes.
We can also swap the fast straight punches for burpees or jump squats if we want to switch it up.
This will work exactly the same with shadow boxing or on the pads as well and this is used by almost all fighters.
Boxing To Lose Belly Fat
I don’t think there is anybody in the world that is happy with their belly fat percentage although most professional boxers will have washboard abs. This is completely down to hard work and having a reasonably clean diet.
If you want to lose belly fat, boxing is one the best ways to do it because you burn so many calories in a class and the additional exercises you do in the class will be directly aimed at the stomach.
Consistency is key and if you can fall in love with the training you will surely drop your belly fat percentage.
Boxing to Lose Arm Fat
Boxing is probably the best way you can lose weight from your arms, add muscle and tone.
Throwing punches will work the shoulder primarily but also the triceps which is one of the main places where fat stores in the arms build-up and is an area in the caliper test for body fat percentage.
All the push-ups that boxers do will also help to get rid of the fat that collects in the arms.
Other Benefits Of Boxing
Boxing is not just for losing weight, it provides a ton of other benefits. If you get into the boxing lifestyle there are forms of cardio that boxers use to get in shape that you can also practice to keep on improving with the secondary benefit of losing weight and torching fat.
Running, Cycling and Swimming
Boxers need a ton of cardio because they need to perform at a high intensity for a long period of time. That means that almost all jog, cycle and swim in some combination.
You can apply HIIT to these exercises to blast fat and it is a varied workout approach that you won’t get bored of, with so many elements.
Confidence & Self-Esteem
Sometimes we eat too much because of low self-esteem and other personal issues. I have personally seen incredible personal transformations through boxing. Shy and timid characters starting to believe in themselves as they see their hard work paying off, coming out of their shells and becoming happier healthier people.
Quiet reserved, introverts often find sanctuary in the boxing gym and a release for everything they hold inside and they become stronger and fitter every day.
Valuable Self Defence Skills
Self Defence skills are becoming more and more important as the world is becoming more and more crazy day by day. Even knowing that you can defend yourself can increase your confidence and get you feeling better about yourself.
Ladies who may feel intimidated by themselves can now have confidence in their ability to react should anything happen and this is a big benefit of boxing.
Discipline & Healthy Living
Often times we pack on the pounds because we lack discipline. We have no reason to stay healthy so we binge on fast food and crap.
If you get into boxing, the hard work you do in the gym will build your discipline and on the days where you train, your body will let you know if it doesn’t like what you’ve been eating that day.
If you eat clean on days when you are boxing then you shouldn’t have much trouble cleaning up your diet a bit on your rest days.
We are not saying to become a monk but small changes can have a massive impact over time.
Boxing Workouts For Home
Going to a boxing gym is always the preferred option but if you can’t make it because of work, life or your location, you can get a good boxing workout at home and you don’t even need to have much equipment to get it done.
Check out our article on boxing workouts at home here.
Shadow Boxing For Weight Loss
Shadow boxing is a great boxing cardio exercise for improving as a fighter and all boxers shadow box at least 10 minutes a day.
To make shadow boxing a good exercise for weight loss we need to do a bit more than just punching the air for 30 minutes.
Shadow boxing with weights will allow you to burn more calories, burn fat from the arms, increase your endurance and help you to tone. If you are doing 3-minute rounds, you can hold the weights for the first 90 seconds and shadow box the air for the second 90. Remember to keep a good intensity.
In your break between rounds, you can include 10/20 push-ups/sit-ups/ scalers to help burn fat, get fitter, add muscle and look better in the mirror.
Will boxing 3 times a week get me in shape?
Boxing 3 times will get you in better shape for sure. The days when you are boxing will burn calories, add muscle and torch belly fat. On the days you are boxing you will need to watch what you eat and this can also help you to get in better shape.
If your diet is very bad, no amount of training is going to get you in good shape, so you will need to improve your diet even if it is only slightly.
Boxing should have you feeling better about yourself and this can lead to you making better health decisions and maybe even doing some cardio on the side as well.
Boxing To Get Shredded
If you’ve been in the gym lifting weights and putting on muscle and you know want to get shredded to show it off. Boxing is an excellent way to do that.
Drop your calories down from the bulk phase and start doing boxing classes. The boxing drills, hitting the bags and the conditioning circuits are probably one of the best and easiest ways to get shredded available to gym-goers.
If you are going for a bit of sun on holidays, boxing can help you drop fat % easily and it can actually be very enjoyable. Plus you get all the other advantages of boxing.
How Many Calories Do You Burn Boxing
Boxing ranks at the very top of the calories burned per hour list. You can burn up to 800 calories per hour boxing and if your class lasts 90 minutes, you can burn over 1000 calories.
Boxing beats almost every other form of exercise in this regard with rowing and squash also high on the list of the study carried out by Forza supplement company.
One sport we didn’t see on the list was Muay Thai which is also very effective for weight loss.
Boxing vs Muay Thai For Weight Loss
Boxing and Muay Thai are kind of the same but also completely different sports.
Muay Thai differs from boxing in that you can use your legs, knees, and elbows to score points or knock out your opponent. Muay Thai comes from Thailand and it has lead to some incredible transformations and weight loss journeys.
Muay Thai and boxing will burn roughly the same amount of calories but while boxing will rely on conditioning circuits and exercises more for full-body conditioning, Muay Thai won’t need to do that because of the movements of the sport will already get an intense full-body workout.
Boxing and Muay Thai are tied for me but try both of them and the one you enjoy more will probably come with more weight loss benefits for you. If you get into one of these sports, weight loss will become a secondary issue over time.
Boxing vs Gym For Weight Loss
Boxing is going to be better than the gym for fat loss unless you have a personal trainer pushing you to your limit for an hour 3 times a week, you won’t get the same benefits of boxing.
In the gym, it is harder to push yourself so being around other people working out in the same group can be a massive bonus and a class will probably cost less than a trainer as well.
One other benefit of having a personal trainer in the gym will be that they will give you a tailored diet but when to comes to burning calories, toning and losing weight, boxing is the clear winner for almost everybody.
Just get out there and give it a go. You can count the cost of going to your first boxing class, it will probably be free the first time, but you can’t count the cost of not going.
Getting up and getting active will be one of the best decisions you ever make so get out there and give it a go.
If you like boxing, you will probably make friends for life, get amazing health benefits, increase your confidence and leave your weight issues in the past and we genuinely hope that you are successful in your journey so let us know if you are or any other help that you need to get there.