No one ever said college was easy, and with all of the freedom and new experiences, that sometimes come with the infamous “Freshman 15”. That is, an extra 15lbs gained in the first year of college.
1. Control and Lose Weight While Learning a Valuable Skill
This weight gain is common among first-year students as they adjust to a new lifestyle, but it’s not impossible to lose. Boxing is a great workout that will help you burn calories, tone your body, and get in shape. Boxing is a great workout because it “works out” multiple muscle groups at once and gets your heart rate up to maximum levels. Many studies have shown that a 1-hour boxing class can burn 800 calories or more depending on the level of effort. Boxing 4-5 days per week for one hour will eliminate about 1 lb per week (3,500 calories/800=4.4 workouts). That freshman 15 can be completely gone by the end of the summer. Imagine how much you could lose if you ate better, too. Hello Abs!!
In order to have well-defined muscles, you need to rid your body of excess fat and tone the muscles themselves. Boxing accomplishes both.
Boxing provides a variety of exercises including:
- Punching with dumbbells
- Situps (ab work)
- Kettlebell swings
- Heavy bag
- Speed bag
- Mitt work
- Circuit Training
- Stair Climbers
- Mountain Climbers
- Skipping rope
- Double-end bag
- Rowing machine
- Crossfit Exercises
- Footwork drills
- … and more
These exercises improve major and minor muscle groups. You’ll feel exactly where those minor muscle groups are after your first class. Boxing includes technical training like learning offense, defense, and footwork. Competitive Boxing also means getting into “fight shape,” which is a whole other level than most people EVER achieve with normal workouts. It is the equivalent of improving from jogging 5K races to running a marathon – completely different level.
Boxing combines cardio with strength training, making it an all-around fitness solution. In order to get the tone you want in your arms, back, chest, and legs, you need to know how to work all the muscles in these areas.
Plus, boxing can be addictive – once you start, you’ll likely find yourself wanting to keep going back for more. When hitting those mitts just right and hearing a “crack!” indicating excellent form, speed, and power in one move – you learn to crave it. In just a few weeks, you’ll be able to see results and feel more confident in your mind and your body.
2. Can Boxing Classes Be Considered Self-Defense Classes?
Yes, boxing is a martial art and therefore excellent for self defense. Boxing is a great way to learn how to effectively defend yourself. As a lifelong martial artist, there are many realities that must be experienced to truly become formidable. The biggest reality is that you can’t always kick an opponent. Often, your hands are the best way to defend yourself. Every TaeKwonDo black belt has heard a horror story (or experienced it themselves) that when a TKD practitioner attempted to defend themselves, they fell to the ground either due to slippage or uneven ground or a close-quarters scenario. Many things can prevent a person from kicking an opponent. Hands, it seems, can be the best way to stop someone from hurting you or your loved ones. Boxing is almost all hands (with footwork), therefore an important part of self-defense.
College students need to know how to defend themselves. No matter how safe you feel on campus or in your neighborhood, it’s always important to be prepared for the unexpected. One of the best ways to prepare is by learning self-defense techniques with boxing. Boxing is not only a great way to protect yourself, but again, it is a great way to keep in shape. Win-Win!
3. Meet New People Through Boxing Classes (Boxers Are Cool People)
Most people think of boxing as a sport that is only for tough, macho guys. But the truth is, boxing is a great way to meet new people and make friends. 99% of all fighters are considered the politest people in the room. Why? They don’t want to fight, their ego is left in the gym. Most boxers that train for 60-90 minutes 5 days per week want to go home and rest.
Very few bullies are trained fighters – that is a fact.
Boxing is especially good for shy people because it provides a fun and safe environment in which to interact with others. It can be tough to break out of your shell and meet new people – especially if you are new to a school or neighborhood. However, boxing forces you to interact with like-minded people from all walks of life.
What better way to meet people than holding the heavy bag for someone, holding their feet while they work their core, or even sparring drills (controlled)? You can meet your next best friend by accidentally punching each other in the face on purpose. Don’t laugh, stranger things have happened. I met my boxing and kickboxing mentor in a similar fashion after he punched me in the eye (he pulled his punch). We became fast friends for more than 20 years and don’t worry, it only hurt for a minute or two.
4. Boxing Improves Your Brain
What?! Getting punched in the head for 10 years is NOT good for your brain, but that is sparring. I’m talking about learning to box and training as a boxer.
Boxing helps a person think quickly and critically. Memorizing offensive moves in a mitt work drill, improving your eye-hand coordination while learning how to hit the speed bag, jump rope, or even learning footwork helps the brain connect neurons and create Myelin – which is the actual brain sheathing that people call “muscle memory.” It’s true. Like doing a word puzzle, taking piano lessons, or learning a new language, boxing forces your brain to learn and adapt. This process improves brain function and keeps you sharp as a tack. Getting punched in the face is not required. Sparring is optional in every place on earth.
There is ample evidence that many martial arts programs are beneficial for kids that may be on the spectrum as well. Personally, I know of two cases of kids diagnosed on the spectrum becoming black belts and martial arts national competitors and teachers all before the age of 16. This study indicates that kids do well in martial arts classes and it translates to life.
The researchers observed that the MMA training was associated with increased behavioral inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility in the children. Parents also reported that their children’s emotion and behavior regulation had improved after the martial arts training.
Boxing is a martial art.
5. Boxing Increases Confidence
Students become more confident and socialize with greater ease. Having confidence is an important part of meeting that special someone, having great job interviews, getting a promotion, and being successful. Boxing in college can help you succeed in life, period.
If you are in college, check out a local boxing club or ask about boxing classes at your college or university. Stay in shape, meet great people, and raise that confidence. That is what going away to college is all about – new experiences and elevating your game.