Boxing is a tough, rigorous and physically demanding sport. Like any other sport, you wouldn't simply step into the ring and expect to compete. The training program alone at serious boxing gyms requires you to possess a certain level fitness, with proficiency in several key areas. Before you go to a boxing gym, prepare yourself by developing endurance, agility, strength and quickness. These attributes will allow you to focus on the basics of boxing during your first session rather than playing fitness catch-up.
Might as Well Jump
One of the most important physical attributes that you need to develop before training at a boxing gym is agility and coordination, especially combining the motions of your upper body with those of your lower body. Jumping rope is one of the exercises that boxers use to achieve that coordination. When you go to a boxing gym, you'll jump rope frequently and at a high rate of speed. Practice with a jump rope every day to get familiar with the exercise. Work your way up to three minutes of continuous jumping. Do six three-minute sessions, resting no more than one minute between sessions.
Go the Distance
To build endurance, boxers do “road work” - long distance running. You can increase your mileage gradually and at the same time periodically elevate your heart rate by performing basic intervals. Begin by jogging at a comfortable pace for two minutes, then sprint for 40 seconds. Jog for another two minutes, then sprint for another 40 seconds. Continue this pattern for 20 minutes if possible. If you cannot do 20 minutes of intervals, scale back to 10 minutes. If 20 minutes is too easy, extend the total time. Do these intervals three to four times each week. To avoid injury, increase your total mileage by no more than 10 percent per week.
To develop power, you must develop strength. Many boxers take a balanced approach to strength training, blending body weight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups - performed at high intensity - with weightlifting exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses and lat pull-downs. Begin a strength-training program several weeks before you head to a boxing gym. Train three days per week, using a full-body routine - working out all of your major muscle groups in each session. Space your lifting workouts so there is at least one rest day in between sessions.
Sleight of Hand
Shadowboxing is one of the simplest ways to develop familiarity with the basic mechanics of punching with speed. Position a lamp behind you, shut off all other lights in the room and let the lamp cast your shadow on the wall in front of you. Practice punching against your shadow, keeping your punches tight and efficient. Practice pushing off the ground with your feet as you throw your punches, transferring that power from your lower body up through your back, shoulders, arms and fists, as fast as you can. Do this twice a day every day. Over a few weeks, you should develop increased hand speed that will help you transition to work with the speed bag and heavy bag at the boxing gym.