Boxing has been one of the world’s most popular form of sports and martial arts for decades. Hence, it’s no surprise that there’s an abundance of gyms that offer boxing training in every major city around the globe. With so many options to consider, it can be a daunting challenge to whittle down a short list of choices on your own. But fret not – we are here to help!
BookMartialArts.com collaborated with Meaghan of ‘The Fit Crasher’, an awesome website where she reviews and chronicles her vast fitness adventures, to provide you useful insights that will help you find a boxing gym that best suits your needs and preferences. On this post, we are sharing a list of the top five factors that you ought to look out for and carefully consider before making your selection. Here we go!
1. Training Group Size
Image credit: Saigon Sports Club
The size of the training group is especially relevant for beginner level boxers. If you happen to be just starting out in boxing, Meaghan recommends for you to really look into the gym’s trainer and student ratio. Similar to what you would find with conventional schools and educational institutions, it’s important to keep in mind that you would typically get more personalized attention, instruction, and supervision. When the group is relatively small, compared to if you were to sign up with a larger sized training group.
Regardless of your training level, she strongly advises staying away from establishments where there are so many trainees that the instructor has little chance to keep an eye on each and every individual’s forms and techniques during training sessions. Remember that boxing is a ‘brutal’ sport that emphasizes hitting and not getting hit, so it’s imperative to have a trainer who is able to keep an eye on you. Improper execution of boxing moves could definitely lead to increased risk of serious injuries.
2. Trainer Requirements
Image credit: Forum.Philboxing.com
Having a great coach to train you is one of the most important factors you should be paying close attention to when it comes to selecting a boxing gym. According to CommandoBoxing.com, your trainer should have a recognized certification to teach boxing in your area. This certification would at least provide you with the reassurance that they have legitimate skills and knowledge to be able to teach you the fundamentals of boxing.
Whether your goal is to increase your level of fitness, to prepare for an amateur competition or to fight professionally, the rule of thumb is that the trainer should also be able to tailor your workout depending on your goals & abilities and be able to break down the details of proper boxing techniques in a way that you would understand and implement it well. It’s also important that you gauge the personality of the trainer you will be learning from. Ideally, he/ she should be a coach who is able to both push and encourage you to improve with each session.
Do take notes of the number of trainers that the gym has: the more available trainers they have, the better. To gain a clear understanding as to how each trainer will be teaching you, take the time to watch a couple of sparring sessions and see how the trainers coach their current students.
3. Class Atmosphere
Image credit: The Club by George Foreman
If you already started looking into boxing gym options, you probably noticed that all gyms are different - whether we’re talking about their decor, ‘vibe’, philosophies and/or the methods they use to teach trainees. Some people may prefer gyms that are trendy and sleek; while some would opt for the old school and ‘gritty’ options. When it comes to atmosphere, Meaghan recommends that you evaluate your choices based on your own needs and preferences.
Before making a snap judgment, we suggest for you to take the time to ask around about the gyms you’re looking into. If you don’t have anyone within your network that you can get a direct reference from, seek out and carefully read as many reviews about the gym as possible before trying it out. This way, you get an overview as to what to look out for when you do decide to give it a test run. When you have a list of a couple of gyms to consider, don’t be tempted to settle with the first one you walk into. It’s crucial to find a place where you would feel most comfortable and confident when you train. So, take your time to find the right gym - do not feel pressured to make a quick decision.
If you happen to be thinking of going for a boxing training camp out of town or overseas, where you wouldn’t necessarily get a chance to give each gym a trial session or two, we recommend for you to spend even more time doing your ‘homework’ and read what others who have experienced the camp have said about it on the web. From there, you can create a list of pros and cons that will help you narrow down your selection. You can always make calls to the gyms you’re considering and speak directly with the gym’s owner, representative or instructor. Once you have them on the phone, we encourage you to ask as many questions as possible. Don’t worry about being too inquisitive and obtain as much information as necessary – as they say, “it’s better to be safe than sorry”.
Image credit: Church Street Boxing Gym via MikeTysonLive.com
The equipment found at each gym usually depends on the type of the gym (local sports club, pure boxing gym, etc.) and the fitness programs it offers. When sizing up the types and quality of equipment, Meaghan insists that you tailor it to your own fitness/ training program too. Aside from the traditional boxing and kickboxing equipment, she ideally would look out for boxing gyms that would also have an area for strength training and stretching. Any successful fitness program needs to be comprehensive and holistic - meaning in addition to the amazing strength and cardio from boxing, it's ideal to also have the opportunity to round out your workout with some weights and stretching.
That said, a high-quality boxing gym should at least have the following basic equipment:
- Heavy bags
- Speed bags
- Double-end bags
- Free weights
Like everything else, price can be a determining factor when deciding on a boxing gym. Depending on the type and quality of gyms that you are looking into, prices can vary greatly. If you’re new to boxing, signing up to a pure boxing gym may not be necessary. Instead, you can start with signing up for a boxing fitness class at a local sports club to ‘test’ your interest in boxing. When it comes to pure boxing gyms, in addition to the quality of equipment, prices usually depend on the level of skill of the trainers as well as their experience.
In any case, we recommend you to take advantage of trial periods that some gyms offer - or get a day/week pass if they do not. These passes would allow you to have the experience of a member without having to sign up for a membership.
Carefully weigh out the fees with what you will be getting (expertise of trainers, equipment, atmosphere etc.) to determine whether the membership would be ‘worth’ it. Before signing a contract, be sure to read the fine prints and inquire about any new student specials. If you prefer to test out the gym for a longer period of time, Meaghan suggests to ask whether they have discounted packages for visitors - it really never hurts to ask!
Image credit: Cho Nateetong
We hope the points mentioned above will help you to choose the right boxing camp with more ease and confidence. Once you made your choice, to reduce the risk of beginners ‘shock’, we recommend for you to do what you can to prepare for your first training.
As boxing workouts can often be incredibly demanding, Meaghan highly suggests for beginners to mentally and physically prepare for intensity ahead. For her, that means ensuring that you are properly fueled and hydrated and that you are not currently healing from any injuries.
When it comes to what to bring to your first class, in addition to bringing your own water bottle as well as wraps and gloves, we strongly advise bringing your passion with you. No matter what gym you decide to choose, at the end of the day, it’s your passion that will aid you most in becoming a truly great boxer!
Feeling inspired and ready to hone your skills at a boxing training camp? Find and browse through BookMartialArts.com’s vast options located across the globe!