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?
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.
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 bones 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.
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.
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)
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...
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.
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
- 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?