The sport of boxing is incredible. There are a lot of positive aspects that come with practicing it. Just as there are positives, so there are negatives too. It is not always guaranteed that the specific training gym will be a positive experience. This differs from person to person. There are pros and cons, but whether or not they are present in your specific case will depend on your circumstances.
It Improves Fitness
The fitness benefits that arise from regularly boxing frequently produce astonishing results. Everybody knows that boxing is one of the best cardio exercises. It allows people to build strong and explosive muscles and improves flexibility, stamina, and overall endurance.
It is also one exercise that burns the most calories in a short time. It is one of the main reasons why several people decide to box. Specific individuals start boxing not to compete but to improve their fitness and physical health.
Boxing is an intense sport that requires a lot of physical effort. It makes the heart rate shoot up and forces the boxer to work on their breathing. It is a great way to improve your fitness and physique. The regular training of the normal boxer includes doing a lot of roadworks, bag work, skipping, and sparring.
These exercises work your upper and lower legs, abdominal area, shoulders, and chest. Boxing provides a full body workout, which helps people improve their fitness. You will need to be able to work at an efficient pace for several rounds should you want to be able to compete.
Amateur boxers are some of the fittest sportspersons in the world – simply because they often fight on consecutive days or often even twice or more on the same day.
It Helps Build Self-Confidence
Many people start boxing because they are not in a healthy psychological and physical space. An excellent example of this is when they have a lack of self-confidence. Boxing is as much a game of the mind as a physical sport.
That is why the benefits are not limited to the physical but also the psychological. Working extremely hard in a combat sport allows people to develop a sense of self-appreciation. The sheer demanding nature of the sport will enable people to feel that sense of accomplishment when they continue to persevere.
In short, people feel proud of themselves whenever they can push through physical challenges. That is why boxing is a great way to build self-confidence. The sport will expose you to different challenges, whether it be simply because of fitness or whether it is in the form of competing; there will always be challenges.
Furthermore, the extra boost in self-confidence also arises from the physical benefits. When people push their bodies to the limit, improving their fitness and building muscles, they naturally tend to feel more self-confident. All in all, boxing is a sport filled with physical and psychological benefits. You really cannot go wrong by deciding to start boxing!
It Teaches Discipline
Boxing is 10% talent and 90% discipline. No, we are not simply trying to quote Rocky here – it is the truth. To break it down in a way that perhaps makes more sense. The key to good offense and good defense is to build muscle memory. You want to train something so often that it happens naturally in a fight.
The key to building muscle memory is to train and repeat certain combinations continuously. That is why it is essential to have discipline. Training defensive skills only once or twice a month will not allow you to slip a jab and counter with a straight without thinking about it.
Discipline is essential when it comes to skills relating to offense and defense. It applies to almost every aspect of boxing. The sport is physically demanding, but everyone knows that by now. To build stamina and maintain that fitness level, fighters must train daily.
The sport requires intensive training, especially at a competitive level. Boxers must do significant road work, boxing-specific training, and sparring. Combining these three into one training regime requires putting a lot of time and effort into training. To successfully stick to such a regime, one must have discipline. It is one of the many lessons that boxing teaches you.
It Brings Several Health Benefits
The health benefits that come with boxing are too many and too extensive to fit into a single article. The ordinary health benefits that usually come with getting sufficient exercising in arise. This includes, for example, a decrease in blood pressure or excellent way to reduce stress levels.
Also this includes a reduction in body fat through weight loss, and increased focus and concentration abilities. It is not limited to physical benefits, but it is also beneficial on a mental and psychological basis. Boxing requires a lot of endurance and stamina. It helps to build strong shoulder muscles that can deliver a flurry of fast and powerful combinations throughout several rounds.
Furthermore, boxing requires one to have powerful abdominal muscles. Not only do these muscles have to be conditioned to endure the force of several body shots, but they also have to be able to generate extra power through quick rotations.
Besides the upper body, boxing also requires strong leg muscles. Boxers do leg muscle-intensive training exercises. This includes making a lot of sprints and long-distance jogging, mainly focusing on quad-muscles. Skipping is also a great way to burn calories and helps build calf muscles.
It Improves Reflexes And Coordination
These are some of the less obvious skills that one is taught throughout boxing training. They are essential skills to keep in your arsenal, as good reflexes will make sure you make them miss and pay. It assists with head movement to avoid punches, blocking, or parrying punches and allows you to deliver lethal counters that catch your opponent off guard.
Coordination is of equal importance. Boxers must coordinate their attacks to ensure they score points without conceding them. In this regard, they must be able to time their punches well and throw them accurately, unlike the wild punches that novice fighters throw.
Coordination is a must taught and learned through doing pad work and boxing drills during training. These drills often include a combination of defensive and offensive strategies that fighters must implement as smoothly as possible.
The continuous repetition of these exercises, along with head movement drills and sparring, leads to fighters building excellent reflexes and coordination.
It Creates A Possible Career Option
Several boxers have a bright future where they compete as professionals. Usually, it would start with people who start training. Then, they would start competing in either white-collar or amateur boxing. Should they enjoy this and start training hard.
It would be possible for them to perhaps go to trials for provincial or national teams. This provides them with a great platform to develop their boxing. It might even be the key to unlocking a professional career as a fighter.
Should boxers decide to turn to the professional ranks – it could become a possible career option. Full-time fighters can earn money because they often fight and participate in advertising and marketing campaigns.
Professional boxers have the potential to make a significant income, but it requires a lot of focus and determination. That is why boxing can provide a possible career option, but this is not the most apparent advantage of the sport.
You Learn Mental Endurance
The sport of boxing is as much mental as it is physical. It is often said that fights are won in the mind long before they are lost in the ring. The perfect example would be the rematch between the legendary Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard.
The fight is notorious because halfway through the fight, Duran turned his back to Leonard and uttered the words ‘no mas’, which means ‘no more. Duran was one of the greatest fighters of the time, so it just speaks to how challenging the sport is.
Almost every aspect of boxing requires an intense amount of mental endurance. This counts for boxing-, fitness training, and competing. The physical extremes that fighters must endure to prepare for fights require tremendous perseverance.
Boxers have to push their bodies to the very limit. This is not something often asked of athletes who compete in different disciplines. Therefore, it can easily be noticed that this sets boxers apart from other sports. It is also one of the benefits that arise from boxing.
Gives You The Chance To Compete In Competitions
Several sports do not offer this benefit. There are clubs for these sports, but all people can do is train often. The only use that arises in this regard is the chance to develop physically and improve their skills for this sport.
Although there is nothing wrong with this, some individuals have a competitive edge, and part of why they take part in sports is to be able to test themselves continuously. This is something that also sets boxing apart from other sports.
It offers boxers the chance to test themselves by competing in different tournaments. Usually, after a few months of training, fighters can decide to take on their first amateur fight. This is a unique and significant event as it shows the fruit of months of hard labor.
For others, they can compete after a much shorter period. This is due to the prevalence of white-collar boxing. These fights are much less strict because charitable foundations usually host them. It is one of the many rewarding advantages of boxing when compared to other sports. It also gives novice boxers a better chance at competing even earlier in their boxing career.
You Form Part Of A Great Community
It is often said that boxing is a lonely sport. And in a certain wayward, that is true. It can often become complicated when you train on your own to find the motivation. It is difficult to get up early to run and to push through the pain for a few rounds when you are doing it on your own.
However, that is not always the case. Yes, there will be times when you have to dig deep to find that extra motivation. However, there will also be times when you are sparring or fighting when it will become clear that you are not the only part of this fantastic journey.
In a weirdly unique way, boxing is about a group of lone wolfs that hunt together. Everyone knows that the person next to them must dig deep, which is why they keep pushing each other to go further. Sometimes it will be lonely, but you will be part of a new family most of the time.
The community will help you grow into a better fighter and person. They will be there for you, in your corner, when you head into the last round. You will go to war together and come back bleeding. But you will build relationships that last forever.
You Get The Chance To Help People
Boxing is the perfect platform to help people. It is often stereotypical to say that many people are lost, and then they find boxing. Even though this is not always the case, everyone starts fighting for a different reason.
This is because boxing helps these people work hard on themselves, build their strong points, and improve on their weaknesses. It allows people physically by assisting with fitness and weight loss. It also provides a platform for people to improve their self-confidence, release stress, and find a group of friends.
As a boxer, you are an ambassador for the sport. Because boxing is not always well known in many areas, it is great to have a few severe people about it. In this regard, you can recruit people for the sport and have them join your local boxing club.
In doing so, you provide people with a new avenue for them to use to accomplish their goals. People would often not even know they needed something until they found the sport. It is then when you essentially help these people in a manner they did not even know they needed.
Just as with most sports, boxing does have its negative side. There are several disadvantages of hurdles standing in the way of you having a pleasant experience. As mentioned earlier, this does depend on your specific circumstances. Eventually, you will be required to look at your particular situation and determine what would be the best for you.
It Can Be Expensive
Unfortunately, boxing gyms are significantly more specialized than regular gyms. There is a big difference because boxing requires concrete equipment and must be practiced in an ample space. Furthermore, the gym must appoint coaches to train the fighters. It is only possible for a Coach to take one boxer properly on the pads at a time. Therefore, there are a lot of expenses for boxing gyms involved.
Unfortunately, this leads to boxing gyms asking a lot more for their membership fees than standard gyms. This is not always the case, but in most proper gyms that are fully equipped, you can bargain on having to pay a lot of money.
The negative side is that these gyms also often limit the number of classes you may join. This not only means that you get less exposure to training but also that you will have to work hard on your own if you want to make good progress as a fighter.
Apart from gym membership fees, the essential equipment may cost you a lot. This is at least the case when you start fighting. Ideally, you would want to buy gloves, wraps, boxing shoes, and a protector. If you purchase good quality equipment, it can last a long time. However, it still requires a substantial sum of money.
There Is A Risk Of Physical Injury
Boxing is, unfortunately, one of the most dangerous sports out there. It requires physical challenges unlike any other. You are required to step into a ring and fight another person who has the sole intent of causing you physical harm.
This inevitably leads to the severe possibility of physical injuries to occur. Although it is true that other sports like American football and rugby are also very physical and also lead to extensive damage, none are quite the same as boxing.
There is a risk to both fighters. The risk is relatively minor when one refrains from sparring or fighting. However, the threat never truly is zero. The sport requires explosivity from your muscles, and people can easily pull a muscle or hurt a shoulder due to the constant toll it takes on your arms.
Furthermore, fighters who spar intensely or fight often face a severe risk of injury. Superficial injuries are common – fighters often get cut or have nose bleeds. On the other hand, more severe injuries include concussions. In some of boxing’s darkest times, people have died after an accidental blow to the back of the head.
You Might Be In A Toxic Community
As there is a possibility of this being one of the most beautiful parts of taking up boxing, the opposite might also be true. As with all sports, fighters, coaches, and managers often bring a negative attitude to the boxing gym and create a toxic environment. This is even possible up a professional level, with specific managers and promoters aiming to exploit their fighters to make as much money as possible.
Boxing gyms can either make you or break you. In this instance, reference is not made to breaking you in the sense of forcing you to step out of your comfort zone. Often coaches attempt to implement some twisted form of reverse psychology, which inevitably leads to you having a bad experience at the gym.
Coaches that are frustrated, not clued up enough, or selfish can harm your well-being in every possible way and to a large extent. It is of cardinal importance that the environment that you are in is one where there is upliftment and a good team spirit. Otherwise, the entire experience will become unpleasant and cause much harm.
It Requires A Lot Of Hard Work
There are various reasons why people start doing a new sport or take up a different hobby. These reasons include the need for something new and exciting, the opportunity to increase their fitness levels or to explore new interests. Not everyone wants to take up a sport for the sheer physical intensity thereof.
That is why boxing might not be the perfect sport for everyone to try. For someone interested in doing something fun at a low intensity, like yoga, boxing will not be the most physical sport. In short, it is difficult, demanding, and requires a lot of hard work.
The obvious counterargument is that you can train boxing at a low intensity and without pushing yourself too hard. Yes, that is true. However, there are two things to consider. It is firstly doubtful that this is what boxing gyms cater for. In other words, you will likely have to find a personal trainer who knows how to work the pads or something along those lines. This is an expensive and scarce option to explore.
Furthermore, the very nature of boxing is high-intensity cardio. Therefore, it would be tough to adapt to the sport so that you do not get your heart racing. Imagine playing football, but you are not allowed to dribble, or rugby, but you are only allowed to run slowly? It goes against the very nature of these sports.
There Are A Lot Of Politics Involved
Politics are part of the darker side of boxing. Fortunately, we are no longer in the phase of boxing, where it was controlled mainly by the mafia. However, there are still a lot of money-obsessed lunatics who try to exploit those around you.
This specifically applied to professional and elite-level amateur boxers. Good examples include politics at significant events such as the world championships or the Olympic Games. Many reports have been of judges being bribed or bought to hand specific fighters a win.
Controversial scores and unexpected decision victories are not only typical in the professional ranks, but they are also regular occurrences in serious amateur fights.
The most common lower-level manifestation of boxing politics happens at specific toxic gyms. These gyms have coaches obsessed with certain talented fighters but tend to neglect the other fighters’ training regimes.
In this regard, it can create a very unpleasant experience for anyone who wants to take their training seriously and push themselves to achieve as much as possible. These coaches fail to see the new fighters’ potential and leave their other fighters in isolation. It leads to the ultimate unpleasant experience for boxers!
You Need To Have Equipment
This particular aspect relates a lot to the previous one. In some parts, it applies, and in others, it does not. To understand, one has to distinguish between a novice and someone who has been fighting for a long time. Certain things you can do and train without any equipment whatsoever.
Fitness, for example, requires long-distance road work and sprints. This does not require any equipment. Similarly, shadow boxing is one of the essential exercises that any boxer can do. Again, this does not require equipment at all.
However, in certain instances, some equipment is needed. For someone who has just started boxing, doing a lot of pad- and bag work can be beneficial. Ideally, they would have access to at least a boxing bag, some wraps, and gloves.
Again, specialized equipment like a speedbag or floor-to-ceiling ball is also beneficial. These are not must-haves, but they allow you to improve your skills by trying specific training techniques.
Furthermore, competing people need access to weights, a ring, gloves, and headgear. It would also be beneficial if they could have a wide array of sparring partners to prepare according to whom they are facing. That is why, in certain instances, boxing is much better once you have access to different equipment.
Boxing Gyms Are Scarce
This is another unfortunate reality – boxing gyms are much more scarce than your everyday gyms. Other sports are far more popular than the sport of boxing in terms of how many people practice it at the entry-level.
A good example is to note how many parks, football fields, or basketball courts are available. These sports do not require people to access a lot of specialized equipment whatsoever. It is plain and simple – grab a ball and a friend and go and have a good time.
Again, this is different for boxing. The best way to explain this is to know that not even your regular gym has a boxing bag! Finding a boxing gym with proper coaches and an excellent nearby environment can often be challenging.
It results in many people being interested in the sport but not pursuing it as much as they would like to because it is not that accessible. Had this been different and boxing equipment accessible as other sports, it would have resulted in more interest and participation in amateur and white-collar boxing!
It Is A Lonely Sport
All of the advantages and disadvantages of boxing apply in different contexts. In some instances, as mentioned earlier, boxing can be an excellent team sport. This applies when surrounded by a community of friends who lift you as you train together.
This is, however, not always the case. Boxing can also become one of the most lonely sports there is. It can make the whole process of training, competing, and preparing mentally for the fight seems like an immense challenge that isn’t easy to conquer.
It has been established that the sport requires a lot of sacrifices. In making any sacrifice, it is much easier to do so when done in a group. However, in boxing, you will often be asked to go and train on your own or to wake up early for an early morning run.
These are some of the most challenging situations you can get into, and it requires a lot of mental strength. When facing these challenges alone, it can be difficult to push through without feeling that overwhelming loneliness.
You Might Face Some Form Of Social Stigmatisation
This is an odd disadvantage, but it is surprisingly relevant. Several sports have certain connotations attached to them, but it is not always as prevalent as in boxing. Boxers are seen as rugged fighters, people who are rough around the edges and not mainly known for their intellectual abilities.
These unfounded and uninformed stereotypes are the thoughts of people who do not know a thing about boxing. Nor is it likely that they have ever met someone who is a severe boxer.
Films, series, and literature promote stereotypes. It is often an exaggeration used for comic purposes. However, it may get tiring once the tenth person asks you if you still have all your brains when you tell them your box.
It can be demotivating and place boxers in a position where they have to prove their intellect. This is obscure and one of the most unpleasant cons of boxing. Many fighters have demonstrated their intelligence – Laila Ali boasts a degree in business studies, and Nathan Cleverly has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Even the literary giant Ernest Hemmingway was a boxer and boxing fanatic.
You Need A Coach
This con is separated explicitly from similar disadvantages, such as the fact that you need equipment. There is a particular reason for this. For someone to compete in football or rugby – they can join the local club or go and play for fun at the park.
However, this is not the case for boxing. Boxers need a professional environment to grow in their sport. They need to be surrounded by individuals with the necessary know-how.
Particularly in boxing, the role that a Coach plays is invaluable. Unlike other sports, watching YouTube videos can only get you so far. You must have a well-informed coach ready to take you on the pads and improve how you execute specific techniques.
This is a difficult task to do when you are a novice and train yourself. Therefore it can be said that, unfortunately, for someone to progress as rapidly as possible in boxing, they must have a coach.