You’ve decided to join a boxing gym. The direct debit is set up and all that’s left is to walk in and start training.
Boxing gyms can be intimidating places but with a little preparation and advice, you can get through your first day, the first week and make it an entire year to become a permanent boxing gym resident. From what to eat before your first class to what you will to feel like when you leave your first session, read on to know the things to expect when joining a boxing gym.
What to wear at a boxing gym?
You are going to sweat – by the bucket load – so make sure your fabric is breathable, cool and absorbent. Also, make sure your clothing is form-fitting as baggy clothing can fall down and get in the way of exercises such as burpees, squats and rope jumping. Also, there is every potential baggy clothing could be grabbed, ripped and used against you. So best avoid completely. For longer hair, a workout headband will work wonders at keeping the hair out your eyes and drenched in sweat.
- Tracksuit for warm-up/cooldown
- Form-fitting, non-loose clothing
- Breathable, cool, absorbent fabric
- Light, comfortable shoes/trainers
- Workout Headband
- Sports bra (ladies)
- Water bottle (LARGE)
- Don’t forget your pants and socks
What to eat before your first (or any) boxing session
As with much diet advice, this one is down to you but there are some basic facts that should help inform your decision. For example, research suggests about 10% of calories burned will come from protein if you work out on an empty stomach, which includes loss of muscle. Avoid this by having a light snack (200-300 cal) of complex carbs or lean protein 45-60 minutes before your session – some options are:
- Greek yoghurt with fruit
- Apple and peanut butter
- Cottage cheese and fruit
- Drink plenty of water
What first impressions to expect at your first boxing gym
On your first day at a boxing gym, you will be considered a newbie and when you first walk in, don’t expect anyone to greet you. Especially don’t expect a trainer to come up to you and give you their undivided attention. Of course, this does depend on where you go however don’t feel hard done by if you are completely blanked as it is seen as a test. A trainer’s time is highly valuable and there is a sense of proving you are serious about boxing before you get a slice of that time. The trainers will know the times allocated to pro, amateur and lifestyle boxing and will let you know when asked. Remember, the trainers are the gatekeepers to the clubs and usually welcoming. So keep going and going because eventually, this shows that you mean business and you will earn the coach’s attention.
- You might be completely ignored
- Go up to an instructor and introduce yourself
- Boxing gyms are usually very busy places
- Keep turning up and show you are serious
- You may find there are times allocated for professionals, amateurs or those who like to train for the lifestyle.
What to expect from your first boxing training session
You. Will. Fall. Behind. Expect to be slower and not perform the exercises as well as the more seasoned boxers in your session. But you shouldn’t be disheartened. Every person in the gym has had their tough first day and its the boxers who keep at it that gain the respect, fitness and skill who reap the rewards. Following is a list of things to pay attention to.
- You don’t need your own gloves immediately (but the ones at the boxing gym will smell terrible)
- Get to class early (20 mins) and get your hands wrapped and ready
- During class, you’re going to have to be very alert and listen carefully
- Speak up and ask if you don’t understand
- Drink plenty of water, people always underestimate the amount needed
- Understand it’s not just about punching each other
- DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED
- Keep at it, prove it to yourself
- Repeat next time
Boxing isn’t for the faint-hearted especially when you go to a boxing gym with all the serious boxers training. But if you stick at it, work hard and prepare yourself, then you will be sparring in the ring with the big boxers in no time. It’s also important to remember that a boxing gym is a tightknit community and is a part of the local community it serves.