Let me start by saying that I don’t think anyone needs to “prepare” for boxing.
You just gotta START.
But I know some people are intimidated by the idea of just jumping into boxing. If you feel self-conscious about what shape you’re in and want to work your way up to it, setting some basic conditioning benchmarks will have you in decent shape to feel prepared for boxing.
And for those of you who can’t or don’t want to get back into the gym yet but want to get conditioned in the meantime, this will be useful to you as well.
You’ll find that none of this is hard or advanced. Getting “prepared” for boxing doesn’t call for an intense training routine, just a basic fitness foundation to build on.
Here are my tips for how you can prepare for your first boxing session:
Make sure you can jump rope for 3 rounds, 3 minutes each round. Jumping rope is a really simple but effective exercise that not only tests your cardiovascular fitness, but also your balance, rhythm, and ability to stay light on the balls of your feet. Jumping rope is pretty much a stable for most boxers for many reasons. I’ve even written about it on a blog here. There’s also a decent chance that you’ll be asked to warm up by jumping rope before a class or training session, so you might as well practice!
Running: To get in really basic condition, aim to run for at least 1 to 1.5 miles comfortably. If you can do that, then you’ll know you can hit a bag for 10 minutes or so without gassing out. Boxing at the beginner level is usually cardio heavy. So if you’re in decent cardio shape, you’ll be able to spend less time worrying about catching your breath and more time focusing on coordination, technique, etc.
Having some core strength would also be very helpful. First, because you’ll likely have to do a lot of exercises like planks, burpees, squats, etc. during your boxing sessions. Second, because what a lot of people don’t realize is how important your core is in boxing (and sports and general). Someone who has solid core strength will be able to punch harder, move around fluidly while maintaining balance and lower center of gravity. So in terms of core strength, planks are a good place to start. Be able to hold a plank for 1 minute at least.
Like I said before–I think the best way to “prepare” for boxing is not to. Just to jump into it! The other stuff will fall into place and happen if you keep doing going. But if you don’t feel comfortable about just jumping in, then get your jump rope out, lace up your running shoes, and do some ab workouts to round it out!