Tips On How To Become A Pro Boxer

Joining a Boxing Club

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    Choose a boxing club to join. You want one that is affiliated with a national boxing organization and that also has a reputation for training fighters. If you are serious about this, do not go to a health club that happens to have boxing classes. You need a gym that’s dedicated to boxing (and potentially other martial arts).
    • Odds are if you do a bit of asking around, you’ll find the place that has the reputation as the best of the best in your area. There will likely be no doubt about it which club you’d like to join.
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    Talk to a trainer. He will explain their hours of operation, fees and methods of training. You can also find out his experience as a boxing coach and whether he was a fighter himself at one point. Meet the staff and get a feel for the place. If it fills you with a sense of excitement and anticipation, it’s probably right for you.

    • Do ask questions. Find out what they would recommend for you and what kind of training you should start. What’s their schedule like? Who would you work with? How can you meet everyone? Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you sign up.
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    Check their membership. You want a club that has a wide range of clients at different levels. As you begin to develop your skills, you will want to start sparring with other people. A club with fighters at all different levels mean that there will always be someone for you to work with and that you can go grow with the club.
    • Think of it like walking into a restaurant: if there’s no one there, you wouldn’t eat there. And if there’s only people in blue hats and you’re not wearing a blue hat, you might not eat there. If there’s only people who seem to be miserable, you probably wouldn’t eat there. So take a look – do the clients seem A) fit and competent and B) happy with their training?
    • If you can, find someone who doesn’t work there about the establishment. Sometimes you need an unbiased party to get an honest opinion.
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    Familiarize yourself with the basics. Before you start working with a coach, it’s probably a good idea to know at least the 101 of boxing and some of the terminology. You don’t have to be good at it, you should just know a little of what your club peers are talking about. Here’s a few starters:[1]

    • Jab. This is the busiest punch in boxing. It’s a simple punch thrown to your opponent’s chin with your leading hand (the hand of the forward foot).
    • Cross. This punch is thrown with your dominant hand. It is a power punch. It involves a slight rotation of your torso, simulating a horizontal moment across your plane.
    • Uppercut. This punch ends up in your opponent’s chin or solar plexus. It’s thrown at close range and can be quite the cincher.
    • Hook. This is a short sideways punch delivered with your elbow out and to the side so your arm forms a hook.
    • Southpaw. This is a left-handed fighter (either naturally or converted). To a “normal” fighter, they do everything in reverse. Because of their stance differences, they practically fight on top of each other.
    • Outside and inside fighters. An outside fighter likes to keep his distance, stepping in for the jab. An inside fighter stays close, preferring moves like the uppercut.

Beginning Your Training

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    Start working with your coach. Your instructor will show you the basic boxing moves like jabs, uppercuts and hooks and instead of just knowing the terminology, you’ll be getting good at it. You will also be given pointers in footwork, positioning and defense moves.

    • A good trainer will also work on your secondary skills, like endurance and agility. When he sends you running around the block, it’s for good reason. And don’t expect to be sparring just yet – he’ll let you know when you’re there.
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    Start a complete physical training regimen. The number of ways a boxer can better his or her body is endless. A good program will include heavy and speed bag punching, circuit training and jumping rope. You should be training outside of the ring several times per week at a minimum.

    • You should be doing cardio and weight training, in addition to brushing up secondary skills with dance, yoga, interval training, and core exercises. That being said, have a day or so a week where you take it a bit easier – you don’t want to wear your body out without even getting into a fight.
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    Start some pretty intense workouts. These workouts should last 90 minutes and be done three to four times per week. A good boxing based workout would be 20 minutes of sit-ups and push-ups, 20 minutes on a stationary bike and then 30 minutes of jogging. The session could finish with 10 minutes of jump roping and 10 minutes of sparring with a punching bag or, if possible, another person.

    • A 3-mile run shouldn’t really be a problem for you. Combine it with jumping rope, jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups, and bag work. See how long you last before you tire yourself out and your technique starts failing.
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    Remember to stretch. You should be doing 20-30 minutes of dynamic stretching (rotating joints, working out any particularly stiff spots, no stretches held for a long time) before a workout and/or sparring. After any workouts spend a considerable amount of time doing some long static stretches (stretches that are held for a long time). This helps prevent injuries and reduce muscle stiffness.

    • You may laugh, but taking up yoga isn’t a bad idea. It’ll help with your muscle tone, flexibility and reach, and get your entire body loosened up and ready for anything. That’s not to mention the peace of mind and focus it can grant, too.[2]
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    Begin your athlete’s diet. All professional boxers follow some sort of diet or nutrition program. Working out means nothing if you aren’t eating well. What’s more, if you eat poorly, your performance won’t be top notch. Your body is your moneymaker in this situation.

    • What’s a boxer’s diet? It’s high in healthy proteins – namely chicken, fish (like salmon and tuna), eggs, peanut butter and fruits and vegetables. It also includes sources of healthy fats, like olive oil, avocado, and nuts.[3] Your body needs a balance of nutrients, fat included, to make it through all the work you’re forcing it under.
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    Work on your endurance. You may think this means cardiovascular endurance, and it does, but it also means two other types of endurance:[4]

    • Leg endurance. To be a great boxer, your legs are constantly moving. Sometimes in teeny, tiny moments, which can be even more difficult to make. After rounds and rounds of fighting, your legs will feel like cement. You can prolong your leg endurance by doing activities like jumping rope.
    • Shoulder endurance. When your shoulders are tired, say goodbye to your punches and your defense. You won’t even be able to hold your hands in front of your face when your shoulders are down for the count. So work on that speed-bag and do arm endurance drills consistently.
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    Train your mind, too. Boxing isn’t just about boxing. Sure, that’s the brunt of it, but you need other skills to make you well-rounded and ready for the future. Don’t laugh just yet – consider a few of these ideas:[5]

    • Take a dance class or two. Plenty of athletes, not just boxers, take dance classes. Why? Dance is all about balance, agility, and flexibility – three very important skills in sports.
    • Take an acting class. You want to do promotions, commercials, and get sponsorships, right? You also don’t want to look like an idiot doing them. So brush up on your skills in the spotlight to emphasize your charm.
    • Study business or sports management. This is good for two reasons: A) you don’t want to pull a Mike Tyson and blow all your money nor do you want to be taken advantage of by people who say “they deserve a cut” and B) you want a future. Your body won’t be able to box forever, so having a more practical but related background can help you transition into coaching or promoting.