Boxing Classes: The Serious Cardio Workout You Haven't Considered
When most people think of boxing, they conjure of images of strength and speed, and for good reason — boxers are usually whittled down to pure muscle, and have spent years building their agility in the ring.
Here are three reasons that boxing class is a cardio powerhouse:
1. Focuses on intensity
Professionals get three minutes in a round, and amateurs get two minutes. The faster you can react, the more opportunities you'll have to score points. That's why boxers use high-intensity interval training like sprints and speed rounds in order to build their endurance for maximum effort in a short timeframe. Although there are some warm-ups that are more like traditional cardio — such as jumping rope, a favorite for boxers who often train in smaller gym spaces — the focus is often put on getting you to give 100 percent for a few crucial minutes.
2. Keeps your body guessing
When you join a class like Boxing Conditioning, not only do you get basic skills and techniques, but you also combine muscular strength with cardio endurance. That one-two punch of aerobic and anaerobic workout can incinerate calories, build power, and boost metabolism. Unlike hitting the treadmill for an hour, you'll be using a full range of muscles, and switching it up often in class. When you keep your body guessing in that way, results are much faster in no time.
3. Hitting stuff is hard work
Although it takes strength and power to do bag work — which means hitting the suspended heavy bags in a class — it also takes a ton of cardio endurance to go from hitting a few times to hitting all-out for 30 seconds or more. Punching a bag, or even shadow boxing, elevates your heart rate and that improves cardiovascular fitness. Plus, your muscles will begin to act in coordination with your breathing, which will give you a much more efficient cardio workout.
According to the American Council on Exercise, boxing burns about 13 calories per minute, which means it's on par with other cardio favorites like running and cycling. Depending on the pace and intensity of the class, and your body composition, you could burn between 425 and 600 calories in an hour. That's serious cardio.
Boxing gives you tons of other benefits as well — more strength, better muscle tone, balance, faster reaction time — and those results are just heightened by the strong cardio you'll experience. With a boxing class, you'll get all the cardio training that you'd need to step in the ring — even if you never have a match. It's truly a full-body workout that everyone should consider.
If you want to try some classes that give you boxing skills and benefits, sign up for a UFC GYM Free Pass.