Another month brings another sport into our spotlight. Today’s focus is inspired by former cricketing hero turned boxing sensation ‘Freddie’ Flintoff. For those of you who don’t know, big Fred won the nations heart by bowling the Aussies over, to guide England to Ashes triumph in 2005. Fast forward to last Friday and ‘Freddie’ has successfully ditched the whites and donned a set of extra long shorts to successfully enter the world of professional boxing. Obviously, I’m not suggesting we all up and change career paths. I for one can do without being punched in the face. No, what I want to look at is the merits of boxing as a fitness training option.
You don’t have to be built like Rocky Balboa to enjoy the benefits of boxing training. Whilst I don’t have a particular favourite type of training (as I’m a firm believer that variety is the spice of life), boxing would definitely be in the top 5.
Firstly, it’s a fantastic cardiovascular workout. An hour of boxing training can burn around 600 calories. That’s competitive with most aerobic activities. But for me the great thing about it is that boxing basically has a built in interval setting (for those of you unfamiliar with interval training it’s essentially alternating between periods of intense work that raises your heart rate for a short burst, and lowering it back down as a ‘rest’ period). When I do boxing workouts I find a 3 minute intense burst is more than enough before I need by 1-2 minute off period.
Secondly, using a variety of punches keeps every fibre of your muscles working consistently, meaning not only will your muscles become stronger and more toned; they will also be much more flexible and versatile than if restricted to a constant, repetitive motion like through weights training.
Thirdly, many of my clients find it the ultimate stress relief. You can (using the powers of imagination) punch away at your boss… your partner… the driver that cut you up on your way home, without actually getting into a confrontation!
And finally, if any further proof is needed that boxing is a great way to get into shape, check out the new and improved ‘Freddie’ and see for yourself…
Darran Law is the At Home Fitness Personal Trainer in Solihull