Are you a boxing rookie about to step into a boxing gym for the first time? We’ve got some tips to help you take that next big step in your training journey.
You’ve done all of the research and soul searching about what kind of exercise and martial arts training you want to add to your life and you’ve decided that you want to pursue boxing. You’ve knowwhat type of boxing training — whether it’s boxercise, competition training, or anything in between — is right for you. Maybe you’ve even purchased a new pair of boxing gloves with the help of our shopping guide. Now all you need to know is what boxing class to start with and what martial arts gear and attitude to bring to it.
Here’s how to gear up for your first boxing lesson:
1. Research and visit local boxing gyms to find the right fit for you.
You’ve already taken the time to figure out that boxing is the right martial arts training for you and what type and level of boxing you’re comfortable starting with. There’s only one decision left to make: which boxing gym in your area is right for you.
If you’re in a place that has more than one option, look them up online or even visit them in person. If you know anyone who already trains there, ask them what they think of the facilities, the community, and their instructors. Then make the final selection based on what boxing gym looks like the best fit for you as a new boxer and as a human being.
If you’re still not sure, you can always shop around. Most boxing gyms will offer a free trial period or trial class to help you determine if you want to sign up with them.
2. Gear up. Literally.
Whether or not you want to invest in a pair of boxing gloves before your first class is up to you. Most boxing gyms will have loaner pairs of boxing gloves on hands for students who are still testing the waters. They might not always smell the best, but they’ll get the job done until you know that you’re sure that you want to keep going and get your own boxing gloves.
One piece of boxing gear that you will definitely want to purchase before your first boxing lesson, though, is a pair of your own hand wraps. Wraps are inexpensive and a very worthwhile investment in protecting your hands and your health as you start your boxing career.
Although your first boxing lessons likely won’t include sparring or any form of full contact training, you can also purchase a mouth guard if you’d feel more comfortable training in one from the very beginning.
3. Be present.
Boxing isn’t something you can do half-heartedly, especially when you’re just learning the ropes. You’re going to need to be fully present in your first boxing class. Listen to your instructors. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something. And give it your best effort. Your focus and dedication as a student will help keep you safe and make you a better boxer.
4. Be kind to yourself.
The key words of the above, of course, are “best effort.” Boxing is hard! You’re not going to learn everything in a day, and you’re going to have to be patient with yourself and the process. It’s important to try your best, but you must also respect your limits. Boxing poses some unique challenges to the body and the mind and, no matter how fit you might already be from other forms of training, your first boxing lesson will be a brand new experience. You’ll get tired. You will probably be frustrated. You’ll definitely be humbled at some point. That’s all part of the process, though. Pushing yourself to your limits wtihout exceeding them will help keep you in a good headspace for your next boxing session — and will also help to keep you injury-free so that you can keep going back regularly and start to improve and grow in your boxing career.
5. Take a rest day.
Again, boxing is hard. Your first class will challenge you in ways you haven’t experienced before and it will work your muscles in ways they have probably never been worked before. Which means that, even though you won’t be sparring in your first boxing session, you will definitely feel like you’ve been hit by something the next day. At the very least.
Reward yourself for your hard work — and actively prevent overtraining and injury — by treating yourself to a day off from any workouts the day after your first boxing lesson. Take some time to let your body recover from the inevitable Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness that will come between 24 and 48 hours after your first boxing lesson. Maybe even treat yourself to a soak in an epsom salt bath. Your second boxing class will be waiting for you when you’re physically and mentally prepared to return.