When I started boxing I was looking for something to help me deal with life’s stressors and also something fun to get me moving again. I hadn’t exercised for what felt like two years (in reality, I reckon it was 2.5 years). Many things were to blame: family obligations, moving provinces, an ankle injury, overtime at work. Needless to say, the list was endless and I took an unplanned exercise hiatus.
Then, tired of feeling tired, I took up boxing at the end of last year. I conservatively decided to start with two sessions a week. I was prepared to work hard and have fun. When our yearly #WHGetsFit winter fitness challenge rolled around, I decided to up the ante: train four times a week.
My first session was difficult – boxing at Unchained Gym is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a full sweaty total-body workout that burns major kilojoules and gets your heart pumping harder than the latest club banger. The session starts with a five-minute skipping exercise. FYI: Skipping is a great warm-up tool that warms muscles, increases flexibility and ups blood flow. (Ed’s note: Get yourself a budget skipping rope – like the Sportmate Jump Rope, R60 at Dis-Chem – and see the body benefits for yourself. Already convinced? Up the ante with an Adjustable Skipping Rope, R80 at MrP Sport.)
Once thoroughly out of breath and warm, your actual workout begins. There are basically six moves in boxing: left jab, right cross or straight right, right hook, left hook, right uppercut, left uppercut. And while throwing these moves, you’re slipping to the left and right and ducking – oh hello cardio!
So, WTF Is A 3-Minute Round?
Ding! Ding! Ding! Round 1. Pro boxing rounds last three minutes. That means you’re in the ring with your opponent boxing to win a point. In my case, I’m with my coach, sparring – which means we’re using the six basic moves in different sequences and mixes. Sparring helps to improve your boxing technique, which you’d use to win points in a real boxing match. While practicing, you’re punching with intensity while maintaining proper form.
And What Exactly Does It Do For Your Body?
The main muscles being used are your shoulders and arms. But that’s far from all… Because you’re blocking potential shots, you’re also moving forward and backward, side to side, and rotating using your core and legs. And don’t forget that you’re also driving power from your core and legs. Yup, it’s a full-body workout.
Here’s Why I Feel Like Such A Badass Now
Have you seen Rocky, Million Dollar Baby or Creed? How could you not feel like a badass? Boxing, like any high-intensity workout, makes me feel invincible. And my body is proof.