7 Things New Boxers Want to Know

Every day I receive emails from beginning boxers, new boxers, people thinking about starting boxing, people thinking about thinking about starting boxing and so on.  A lot of them ask the same questions.  I wish they had posted them to the site so everyone can learn from them, but alas, everyone seems to like the individual one on one conversation and is scared of publishing their questions for all to read.  Stop it, there are other people just like you...

Anyways, here are the 7 most frequently asked questions regarding how to get started in boxing or how to fix something or how to......you fill in the blank:

They are, in no particular order:

1.  What kind of boxing gloves, wraps, heavy bag, mouthguard, speed bag, skipping rope, etc... should I buy?

2.  Do I really have to wrap my hands to box?

3.  Do you know of a boxing gym or a boxing trainer living in .....(fill in the blank)?

4.   I wear glasses or contacts, can I still box?

5.   How far do you think I should run every day to get in shape?

6.  Can you develop me a meal plan to help me lose weight/gain weight/tone up/tone down, etc...?

7.  What is the minimum I should buy to start boxing?


1.  What kind of boxing gloves, wraps, heavy bag, mouthguard, speed bag, skipping rope, etc... should I buy?

Generally speaking, anything made by the main boxing suppliers are usually fairly good quality items.  The top, most common suppliers would be Everlast, Title, Ringside, Century, and Boes.  As for individual product recommendations, I have started a beginner's guide to boxing gear and equipment that details what you should be looking for when starting out boxing.

2.  Do I really have to wrap my hands to box?

Unless you're some kind of freak, you were born with 300 bones that magically turn into 206 bones by the time you are an adult.  It has to do with cartilage turning into bones and bonesMetacarpal bones hand fusing together -- a lot of stuff your doctor could tell you if you asked.  That said, over half of the bones in the human body are in your hands and feet.  There are 27 individual bones in your hands and your hands aren't that big.  That means those bones are quite small and fragile.  Do you really think your hands were made to repeatedly pound into a hard mass of something?

Boxing is all about punching.  If you have a broken hand, you can't punch therefore you can't box.  We've all seen Cinderella Man and the sickening crunch of Russel Crowe's hand breaking and the thought of subsequently slamming it again and again into something isn't exactly appealing.  You have to protect your hands by using wraps properly.  Granted, some people do not use wraps and only use bag gloves.  At least there is some protection, however, I recommend that you always wrap your hands and use bag gloves when sparring or hitting the heavy bag.  Just wraps on the speed bag or double end bag is fine.  They give when you hit them, you aren't absorbing the full force of the punch in your hands and forearms.

3.  Do you know of a boxing gym or a boxing trainer living in .....(fill in the blank)?

Yes, in fact I do.  I have links to boxing gyms and trainers pretty much anywhere in the world.  Problem is, I never have enough time to put them all on the site.  I have contacted most of them and asked them to create profiles on the site so you can easily find them, but unfortunately, the majority of them have not taken the time to do so.  I plan to keep plugging away and adding them, but if you know of a gym owner or trainer in your area, then tell them to list themselves.  It's free and can only improve their business.  This whole site is interactive, yet few people choose to interact.  Is it too hard to use? 

Until I get every boxing gym and trainer I know on here, feel free to keep emailing me and asking me where to find a boxing gym or trainer.  I'll respond as quickly as I can.

4.   I wear glasses or contacts, can I still box?

This is a damn good question and one that I am having problems verifying.  However, there are two levels here.  First, if you are boxing for fun, then why not?  Either take them off and swing away blindly or put in contacts and go until they get knocked out.  Second, if you are boxing for competition, then maybe it isn't such a good idea.

That said, I have inquired (however, not yet confirmed) and it seems Larry Holmes wore corrective contact lenses later in his career.  It is rumoured he even used them as an excuse for not doing as well as he should of against Hollyfield -- remarking that one got knocked out.  As well, Sugar Ray Leonard wore or wears glasses/contacts although it is probably a result of his eye surgery.  I don't think he does as much boxing anymore.

At any rate, it's clear there are few professional level boxers who wear glasses or contacts.  At the amateur level, I know of at least three guys in my gym who wear contacts.  Sometimes they take them out while sparring (which makes it easier for me), sometimes not.  I have never heard any of them complain that they have been knocked out and I don't know if there are any amateur rules against wearing contacts in amateur level competition.

In short, yes you can still box if you wear contact lenses, just don't count on winning any world titles (feel free to prove me wrong on that account)

5.   How far do you think I should run every day to get in shape?

Running long distances and boxing seem to go hand in hand.  Whenever one thinks of a boxer, one thinks of him running around in a hooded sweatsuit sweating away for hours and hours and hours.  That is only one of the training myths attached to boxing training.  In reality, short intense bursts as found in interval training are more effective at developing your anaerobic system.  Boxing is an anaerobic sport requiring maximum output for short durations.  Long distance running develops your aerobic system and will help you recover inbetween rounds but will not help you when it counts. (much).

In short, training to box requires a lot of discipline and a lot of effort.  The results both in terms of performance and physical appearance are well worth it.  I'm putting together a 12 week boxing workout that addresses questions of this type in detail.  It is all completely online and has been validated by thousands of people who have used it in the last few years. Any feedback I receive on it gets integrated into future versions. You can even count on audio and video workouts popping up shortly to augment the downloadable workouts on the site.  If only I had more time in a day...

6.  Can you develop me a meal plan to help me lose weight/gain weight/tone up/tone down, etc...?Chad, before and after

Right now, the best I can do is what is in the boxing nutrition portion of the site and the meal plans that are included with some of the training programs.  An account here will tell you how many calories to eat and what portion of those should be proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and so on.  I may look at integrating a more detailed nutrition tracker into the site - I may not, depends on the future of the site.  For now, I recommend you take a look at what these online trainers and sports nutritionists can do to develop you an individualized customized meal plan and you could easily achieve the kind of results pictured above.

7.  What is the minimum I should buy to start boxing?

I get this one so much I'm thinking of putting together a beginning boxer's equipment package.  Assuming you are working out at home, by yourself, to start boxing, equipment wise, you need:

  • a heavy bag
  • bag gloves
  • wraps
  • skipping rope
  • desire and motivation

That's it.  Total cost = approx $175.00.  Of course, desire and motivation is priceless.  Eventually you can build yourself an awesome, equipment filled home boxing gym like I plan on doing here in a few weeks time when I buy a house.  But in the meantime, start out slow, make sure you like the sport and go from there.  With a little ingenuity you can even build your own boxing equipment.  (more to come on that soon...)

Those are the 7 questions I am constantly being asked.  Do you have another one that should be on the list?

Comments

I've worn glasses all my life (56 years old), never contacts. When I get to the gym and start my workout, I remove my glasses. Since I'm near-sighted, I can see objects in front of me well enough so I've never had a problem with the bags, mitts or sparring. Over time, I've found that by removing my glasses right from the beginning, my visions adapts. It's obviously not as sharp as with glasses, but good enough, and I don't think it significantly impacts my ability to pick up motion in my periphery - at least not at my level of boxing.

I did find I had to make one adjustment. Because I naturally want to see as clearly as possible, I was stepping in a little too close to sparring partners, so I was more vulnerable to getting hit. I try to consciously make an adjustment to step back a little bit so I'm not always in the pocket, and am still in my range to move in and out.

I suggest trying to go without glasses or contacts unless you have significant vision problems at close range.

heyy i jst want to start boxing n i joined club for that but samething my eyesight iz weak but in minus..i cannot c the far objects clearly but i can easily c near things without glases and contacts.

Under the ABAE rules, no boxer is allowed to box while wearing contact lenses.
I don't no if it's different in other countries but i'm assuming AIBA, the international governing body for amateur boxing passed this rule down to the ABAE and so it will apply to other associations. A boxer must also hold a valid ME3 (Medical card) to be able to box competitively or spar. The medical for an ME3 includes an eyesight test in which corrected vision is not permitted. Although many gyms allow boxers to spar without an ME3.

i start boxing then i quit cuz family issue and i when back a 26 if ok to box a this age or is to late

Its still a good age to start or continue.

I wear contact lenses during sparring. Over the past year, i've had one knocked out about 3 or 4 times.
It's annoying, but my vision is still pretty good even with one, as my brain compensates (although one eye sees blurry and the other is clear).
It doesn't affect my performance too much so I just continue.
I haven't had both knocked out, but I can only guess that my ability to read him and see punches coming might be compromised a tad.

I don't think my amateur boxing association forbids corrective lenses. It was a question on my medical though, which my doctor filled out, and to be honest i'm not 100% sure if it was properly disclosed.

My coach recently informed me that I cannot wear lenses in competition, so I have begun sparring without any corrective lenses. I find that there is no significant difference. Obviously my vision is not as sharp, but from short range I have no trouble seeing my opponent or their punches. My vision is about -4.50 in both eyes. One thing I make sure to do is remove my glasses before warmup, so I have at least 10 minutes of poor vision to compensate for before I actually enter the thing. I just find it harder to jump right into it immediately after removing my lenses. Give it a try and see how it works out. I think it would be better to train as close to being in a real competition as possible.

right my name ends with rainbow but what sould my ring nickname be

Hey this is a quick question that i need an answer to im just now getting into boxing but i have a couple of friends who have been doing it for a while they both gave me advice to do my push ups on my knuckles in a fist they said it would strengthen them but then i talk to a trainer and he said it would mess up my bone cuticles and i was just wondering if i should be doing it or not?

Knuckle pushups will cause increased calcification of your knuckles over time (i.e., they will become more protruding). Hitting a heavybag will do the same thing. It is possible that too much calcification could cause issues with your hands, but I'd suggest you'd need to be doing an insane amount of pushups before that would happen.

Knuckle pushups are beneficial for strengthening your wrists. You can decrease the calcification issue and still get the benefits of knuckle pushups by doing ring or TRX pushups which puts the weight back onto your palms/wrists.

Honestly, I've done knuckle pushups and hit a heavybag for years and my hands still work good. It's up to you, but I have no problem keeping them in my training routine.

I have three past boxes breaks two on my left and one on my right Which ive Never gotten fixed. I want to start to train Again and dont know if it would be safe for my hands.

See a doctor. There's no way I can tell you if you're good to go or not. If they are healed, probably alright, but if not you'll probably do more damage. Only an X-ray or doctor is going to be able to tell you that.

Is it ok to Box in amutuer And pro's with -3.50 in both eyes?

What is the highest age someone should be allowed to start boxing? (is there one?)

I'm sure that is up for debate, but generally speaking there are usually open classes in most amateur jurisdictions. You'd have to check the rules where you live. Where we are, I believe there is a 35 and over master's class. There are also plenty of unsanctioned white collar boxing type matches an older person can get involved in. And, if it's just for fitness, there really isn't an upper age limit - Check out why a 52 year old decides to start boxing.

What does the doc do when u go for your pro medical and what tests??

Hi, my name is Raquel, I just started training with my friend. We train almost daily at the park. Im only 5'0 tall, and weigh about, 125lbs. I have boney hands. But I guess I give good hits. I don't like to brag. LOL. But its not professional class training...My question is: Can people with boney hands, become good boxers? Since I constantly hear people reffering to having a boxer's hand, if it's heavy, or well padded...

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