Whether it’s a new workout routine or you’re taking up an entirely different sport, all new fitness endeavours can be challenging and boxing is no different.
It will humble you and push you to your limits, but it will also help you develop discipline, determination and grit, both in and out of the gym.
If you’ve been interested in taking the first step into the exciting world of boxing, here are 12 tips to make the most of your first boxing class.
1. Leave Your Ego at the Door
One of the most important things you can do when first starting is to leave your ego at the door.
Come to the gym with a student mentality.
Be prepared to make mistakes and be shown how you could do things better.
Come ready to learn and improve, and you’ll have made a fantastic first step in setting yourself up for future success.
2. Come in with a Positive Mindset
Just as it’s important to leave your ego at the door, you should also come to class with a positive outlook on your training. Rather than training with a fixed mindset, try to adopt a growth mindset instead.
Instead of giving up when things get difficult, keep trying until you achieve the results you want.
Instead of hating challenges, embrace them.
Don’t take feedback and criticism personally, instead welcome it.
Don’t overlook the power of a positive mindset with a focus on becoming the best version of yourself possible.
3. Organise Your Hand Wraps and Gloves
Check ahead of time if you’re required to bring your own gloves for the very first class or if your gym is happy to loan you a pair for the first few sessions. Most gyms these days will be a lot stricter on not lending out gear to comply with Covid-19 regulations, so you will likely need to bring your own to the first class.
You will also need your own hand wraps. A lot of gyms sell these in their pro shop but it’s still good to check first to see if you’ll need to purchase them elsewhere beforehand. Most big sports shops should sell them in their boxing section.
4. Arrive Early
Whether you’re beginning a trial or you’ve signed up and ready to start your first session, it’s always best to arrive 10-15 minutes before class starts. This gives you time to get changed, wrap your hands, and stretch so that you can start training as soon as the class begins.
If you’re walking in for the very first time there’ll also be paperwork you’ll need to fill out, so it’s important to arrive early enough to give you time to do this.
Getting to the gym early for your first session also gives you a good opportunity to meet people and get familiar with the team. Speaking of which…
5. Introduce Yourself to the Coach
Arriving early gives you a great chance to say hello to your new coach before they’re busy taking the class. Establishing a positive relationship early on with your coaches can make a real difference in your boxing journey.
6. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
After going through a combination, your coach will start to walk around the room and give people individual advice while correcting their technique. When they make their way over to you, this is the perfect chance to ask for help if you’re stuck with something.
7. Be Coachable
Likewise, listen and implement any advice your coach gives you. Being coachable is one of the most important factors in determining your success in any sport, and boxing is no exception.
8. Have Fun
It’s your first class. Enjoy yourself. Try to learn as much as you can, get a good workout, meet some cool people, and above all else, have fun!
9. Thank Your Training Partner
Although boxing is an individual sport, it takes a team to bring out the best in each other. Don’t forget to thank your training partner for an awesome session.
10. Thank Your Coach
It’s also important to show appreciation to your coach. Let them know that you enjoyed the class and that you’re keen for the next. It’s a small gesture that can help build a great and long-lasting relationship with them.
11. Reflect on Your First Session
Think about the things you learned during your first boxing session.
Do a mini-recap in your mind.
Reflecting on the key things your coach pointed out to you during the class is a great way to start improving your skills and techniques.
After your first session, you’ll also have now set a benchmark that you can use to help measure your progress as you continue to train.
12. Rest and Recover
Whether this is your first workout since your high-school days or you hit the gym regularly, chances are your muscles will be feeling a little bit sore the next day. This is totally normal and it’s just a sign that you’ve started to use your muscles in ways they’re not used it.
The more you turn up to training, the more your body well get used the workouts. In the meantime though, take a bit of time to recover before putting on the gloves again for another session.
From the outside looking in, boxing can seem like an aggressive and intimidating sport. However, step into any boxing or MMA gym and you’ll see people from all walks of life working together towards a common goal of self-improvement and becoming the best that they can be.
There’s a reason people who try it once keep coming back for more. It builds character, makes you physically fit, and keeps your mind sharp.
If you’re keen to try a class but feel overwhelmed, the tips above along with the rest of the articles in this series will help prepare you for a successful journey in the world of combat sports.