Tuesday, 26 April 2011


If you've never tried boxing, you really ought to. In addition to being a fantastic cardio workout, it's also great for muscle toning. I only began boxing a few months ago, but I'm totally hooked. I box about three--sometimes four--times a week, breaking up the workouts with a spin or zumba class.

What I love most about boxing is how strong it makes me feel. Some might argue that boxing is primarily a cardiovascular workout, and while it's great to get the heart pumping, by throwing in some conditioning exercises, it becomes a full-body workout.

The gym I go to offers hour-long boxing classes everyday that are always some combination of boxing on the bag and other cardio and conditioning exercises--from running laps and skippining rope to squats, lunges, push-ups, plank, and other exercises that target the legs, butt, core, and arms. It's an hour of boxing and conditioning drills that will leave your arms (and the rest of your body) feeling like gold--or jello.

Here's a rough example of what a typical class at my gym might look like:

1. 5-10 minute warm-up, include skipping rope, jumping jacks, knee-up jumps.
2. Gloves on. Boxing on the bag for 15 minutes with a combination of different
   punches, tempos, and even throwing some squats and jumping jacks into the mix.
3. Gloves off. Leg exercises, including squats, jump squats, squat pulses, lunges.
4. Gloves on. Boxing for another 15 minutes or so.
5. Gloves off. Upper body exercises, including shoulder press, lateral raises, tricep
   kickbacks, and push-ups.
6. Gloves on. Boxing for 5-10 minutes more.
7. Gloves off. Core exercises until the end of class (about 10 minutes).
8. Stretch. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Inspiration? Hilary's 'Million Dollar Baby' body--not that we're ever
going to look like this, but you can click here to read about Hilary's
boxing, training, and diet regimen for the role that won her an Oscar.

If you can't find a boxing gym nearby, you can always get your own punching bag and practice at home. Mind you, for me, a big part of what makes boxing such an adrenaline rush is being in a class and having others around to keep energy levels high and to motivate one another.

But remember, everyone has different ways of enjoying being active. Maybe you do better in a class-setting, maybe on your own at home. Maybe you work better with a gym buddy.


For gym rats, let's make it our goal this week to up the ante and work harder than we did last week. Let's sweat more. My goal: to not take breaks during conditioning exercises, no matter how much it burns.

For newcomers--those maybe just starting out at the gym or in boxing--make it your goal this week to identify how you might enjoy being active. Determine whether you work better on your own or with a friend, in the privacy of your home or in a public space, and what kind of exercise inspires you. Let's also sweat more.

What do you want to accomplish this week that will make you feel (physically) stronger? Is it an early morning walk with a loved one? A 10K run? Trying a new sport?

Let's take baby steps together. Exercise is personal. Make it your own.

images via google


  1. Ok, so maybe you’re not into the whole bodyweight abdominal exercise routine. Maybe you prefer the gym. Maybe the couch. That’s fine. I just happen to prefer working out at home and getting a great workout without a lot of equipment.

  2. Thanks for your comment, hann!

    I, too, love workouts at home--it's a great way to get in a quick workout if you have a busy schedule, and if you want to cut back on spending money on a gym membership.

    Later on, I'll be writing a post on at-home workouts, so stay tuned!