Tag Archives: fitness boxing

Fitness Boxing Equipment: What You Need to Know


By Bryanna Fissori 

Though boxing is not one of those sports that requires a ton of expensive equipment (snowboarding, golf, football) you will need a few things to properly participate. Here is the list of boxing equipment that you will probably want to pick up. 

Boxing Gloves

The most important piece of boxing equipment is boxing gloves. Unless you are doing a straight choreographed cardio class, you are going to need gloves. There are two different “types” of gloves that can be used for boxing when you aren’t actually hitting someone. Either will work fine for hitting objects rather than a live person. 

Bag Gloves:

These are gloves that have just enough padding to protect your hands as you hit the heavy bag. They are typically lighter weight (between 6 and 10 ounces) and often do not have protection over the thumb or other areas that would not normally take impact so long as punch placement is controlled. 

Sparring/Training Gloves:

Regular sparring or training gloves provide full protection and can also be used with a human partner. They have increased support in important areas like the knuckles and wrist. They are often heavier than bag gloves (between 10 and 16 ounces), which are important to protect yourself and your partner, but they will work fine in a fitness class as well. 

The full long lace-up competition gloves are not recommended mostly because they will take forever to get on and off and may just be general overkill for a fitness class. 

Hand Wraps

These are long cloth wraps that cover primarily the knuckles and wrists. This helps prevent scrapes or bruises over the knuckles and also supports the wrists when hitting the bag. Wrist support is often underrated. A punch thrown at an awkward angle can certainly result in injury and strong wrist support helps to alleviate that risk. 

“Quick wraps” may also be used in place of cloth wraps. These just slip over the hand like weight gloves. They also provide protection in the same areas as cloth wraps. There are several different brands that carry this style though they may differ in materials used. Most have gel or foam cushion over the knuckles with either a polyester/elastic or neoprene glove base. Make sure when using quick wraps, that the wrist is still properly supported. 

Optional Equipment for Fitness Boxing:

Boxing Shoes

Each facility differs on their shoe policy, usually pending what type of flooring they have. A boxing gym that has canvas mats will certainly require shoes. For fitness boxing wearing regular athletic shoes would be appropriate. They need to have minimal tread. Running shoes would be fine, but hiking shoes would not. The shoes need to allow for sharp pivoting movement without feeling heavy or stuck to the floor. Shoes are a necessary piece of boxing equipment when competing. There are shoes specifically made for boxing. They come up higher over the ankle for support and have appropriate grip for a boxing ring. Even competitors often substitute wrestling shoes for boxing shoes. 

Mouth Guard

If you are doing work with a partner such as holding focus mitts or doing drills, it is a good idea to have a mouth guard in. This piece of boxing equipment protects your teeth and your brain should you accidentally, or purposefully take impact to the face or head. If you are only doing bag work this should not be necessary.

Jump Rope

Jumping rope is a traditional way to warm up in most boxing gyms. It promotes proper foot movement by keeping you off your heels, cardio training and coordination. Even if your gym does not require jumping rope as part of the class routine, it’s a great addition to boxing training at all levels. 

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Conversational Sport Boxing Vocabulary

By Bryanna Fissori

So, you are absolutely loving your fitness boxing class and feel like you have gotten the hang of it. You know the difference between a jab, cross, hook and uppercut. You can throw them all in various combinations on command. So now you want to watch a boxing match with your friends who have been fans for over a decade. Here is some basic boxing vocabulary you should know in order to keep up. 

Boxing 101

Do not confuse boxing with a brawl or a street fight, or with other sports such as Mixed Martial Arts or kickboxing. Boxing has very specific rules participants must follow and the only weapons boxers are given are two gloved fists. Kicking and grappling of any sort are not allowed. If you yell, “Take him down!” in the middle of a boxing match, people will look at you like you are crazy. Your face will turn red and it will be very embarrassing. Don’t do that.

The Boxing Ring

Your gym may or may not have a boxing ring in it. A boxing ring is where the match takes place. Despite its name, a boxing ring is not round. It is a square. Flexible but sturdy ropes enclose the ring. This is the same enclosed space used for the sports of kickboxing and muay thai. MMA, unlike boxing, takes place in a cage. The ring itself is raised off of the ground and covered with a canvas material over about an inch of padding. There are no doors and participants step in between the ropes to enter and exit.

The People in the Ring

Once the bout (also called a match or a fight) begins, the only people inside the ring should be the two boxers and one referee. On a televised or high profile match, there will be a plethora of other people packed in the ring before and after. Those people usually consist of coaches, promoters, managers, announcer and media. Let’s break those down a little to expand your boxing vocabulary.

Weight Classes and Glove Sizes

Each boxer is categorized into a weight class depending on his or her size. This is usually the lowest weight a person can achieve while still being able to perform. The weight for each individual bout is decided at the time the match is made and is written in to the contracts. If a boxer does not step on the scale at the appropriate weight they are typically granted an hour to try and get to the weight. If that does not happen, they often are obligated to forfeit a portion of their pay (also called a purse).

Competitors typically “weigh-in” the day before the match and have approximately 24 hours to re-hydrate. It is not uncommon for an athlete to step on the scale dehydrated and to rehydrate to be 15 to 30 pounds heavier at the time of the match. It sounds crazy, but this is really how it works.

Glove sizes are also chosen according to the weights of the competitors. The gloves are used to protect fighters’ hands and minimize damage to faces. In general, fighters over 147 pounds use 10-ounce gloves and lighter fighters use 8-ounce gloves. This can vary for female fighters. Amateur fighters use larger gloves than professionals (they also typically use headgear).

Boxing No-No’s

There are quite a few things that boxers cannot do in the ring. This helps to prevent injury and keep the fight from becoming a street-brawl. Boxer’s cannot do the following:

• Strike below the belt
• Kick or knee
• Strike when an opponent is down on the canvas
• Grab the Ropes
• Strike with elbows, forearms or the inside of the hand (slap)
• Headbutt
• Wrestle, grapple or hold the opponent excessively
• Bite ears (Yes, this actually has been a problem)
• Poke the eye with a thumb (This has also been a problem)
• Strike intentionally with the back of the glove

If any of these things occur the referee has a few options. Depending on the severity of the offense the fight can be stopped and the offended athlete disqualified. If the offense is minor but has some effect on the fight, or has been repeated and the boxer warned, the referee may call for a point to be deducted off of that competitor’s scorecard.

The most common instructions you will hear from the referee to the boxers are: Stop, Break and Fight.

The Rounds:

The amount of maximum rounds a bout can go is pre-determined at the time the agreement (contract) is signed. This is assuming no one is knocked out prior to the end of the bout. The maximum any boxing match can last is 12 rounds. This is typical for the biggest or most highly promoted fight of the night. Each round often lasts three minutes during these high-level bouts. There is a minute rest in between each round during which each boxer returns to their corner of the ring where they are met by their coaches (also called corners) who usually give them water and advise. The number of and length of rounds are not the same for every bout.

Additional Boxing Vocabulary:

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10 Ways to Recover After a Fitness Boxing Class

By Bryanna Fissori

Don’t be deceived! Just because you are not getting punched in the face does not mean that you don’t need proper recovery for your body after a fitness boxing class. It takes work to make sure you stay healthy and uninjured in the ring or on the mat. Here are BoxingInsider.com’s suggestions for post-workout recovery:



The human body is made up of about 60 percent water. There is a good chance that after class a large percentage of yours is on the floor, towel or soaking your clothes. It is crucial to replenish that fluid. Plain water is always acceptable and numerous studies have shown a clear correlation between high water consumption and weight loss. There are a lot of sports drinks available as well to replace electrolytes, but water is generally sufficient as long as you are eating healthy as well.



Eating the right foods is not only important for body composition and weight loss; it can also help to minimize injuries and recovery time. The body needs adequate amounts of protein, carbs and fats to function at peak performance. Proteins such as amino acids are the building blocks for the cells and they are responsible for repairing damaged tissue.  Without these, the body won’t recover and develop. Your diet is heavily dependent upon your goals. Of course, a diet primarily consisting of fast food and cake is not going to leave you in the same physical condition and chicken, broccoli and Greek yogurt. You have to find the balance that is right for you.



If you leave a rubber band outside where is cold and you try to stretch it, it is likely to break rather than stretch. The same goes for stretching. Jumping into heavy stretching without warming up is not near as likely to promote flexibility and recovery as stretching after a workout. Anytime is essentially a good time to stretch but don’t overdo it if your body has not warmed up.


Natural CBD Supplement for Recovery:

There are a number of natural supplements that can aid in muscle recovery and inflammation reduction. CBD a non-psychogenic cannabinoid that reduces inflammation and serves as a powerful antioxidant. Many boxers and other athletes are using CBD oil as a natural replacement for non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). The World Health Organization has reported that CBD is safe for humans and animals, non-addictive and has no side-effects. Receptra Naturals has both sublingual and topical CBD products commonly used by athletes. 


Warm Up/Cool Down:

Getting the blood pumping before jumping into an intense training session is always a good idea in any sport. Many boxing classes will start out with jumping rope or shadow boxing. These are great ways to get your body ready to go and minimize injuries. These practices can also be added on at the end of a fitness boxing training session to steadily reduce heart rate and adrenaline.


Foam Roll:

If you haven’t experienced the painful yet healing effects of a solid chunk of cylindrical foam, you are missing out. The technical term for “foam rolling” is self- myofascial release. It is the act of placing pressure on “trigger points” or “knots” to release tension and promote healing. Releasing trigger points helps to reestablish proper movement patterns, blood flow and ultimately enhance performance and reduce pain. Foam rollers are available most anywhere sporting goods are sold, and many gyms have them at the facility.



Foam rolling and stretching in great for daily post-workout recovery and general well being, but you can’t do it all yourself. Getting a massage is not always for pampering. A good massage therapist will be able to release and relax muscles that foam rolling cannot. Massage can help with the break down of adhesions and scar tissue that can form in the muscle post training. This is especially important in areas such as the shoulder and back that are used a lot in boxing, but hard to work on without assistance.

Bodywork is not limited to massage. Chiropractic and Active Release Techniques (A.R.T.) also fit into this category. After numerous hours of ducking, weaving and punching during fitness boxing an adjustment is a good idea to keep everything where it is supposed to be through a chiropractic adjustment. A.R.T. is a form of massage that uses the movement of the patient to create tension on scar tissue and treats specific muscles, which target the exact area of the scar within each tissue.



Yes, it kind of sucks because it is really cold, but cold therapy does reduce inflammation to the joints and muscles. The response ice creates in the body is vascular constriction, which causes the blood vessels to narrow, allowing oxygenated blood to the area of the body being treated. This noticeably improves recovery and can be done through local application, full body in an ice bath or in a cryo chamber. On a side note according to Tim Ferris’s book “The 24-Hour Body,” cold burns calories.



Getting an appropriate amount of sleep is important for a number of areas in life, but athletic performance is one of them. If your central nervous system is not allowed time to recover you may see a marked difference in your muscle reaction time and response to pain. You may find yourself slower, less coordinated and weaker during your next boxing session if you are not getting the proper amount of shuteye. Sleep is also an important factor in stress reduction.

If you are having trouble turning your brain off at night, one natural sleep aid is melatonin. It can be taken in pill form or boost your own production by eating foods rich in foods rich in niacinamide, vitamin B-6, calcium and magnesium. Drinking a glass of warm milk before bed is an old home remedy for sleep. This is due to the increase in melatonin it causes.


Do Not Skip Rest Day:

Taking a day to let your body fully recover is harder to do than you think if you really enjoy what you are doing. Don’t worry, the fitness boxing gym will be there tomorrow. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to how many or what kinds of recovery days are necessary. Some coaches may promote an “active recovery” day, which means maybe going for a jog or easy swim instead of going to class. Others will say complete rest is necessary. Factors such as age and fitness level play a part in finding the right balance. At the end of the day, the best thing you can do is listen to your body.

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Building a Better Body with Solid Basic Boxing Technique

By Bryanna Fissori

There are really only a few basic punches that are crucial for boxing. These are the punches you will be using the most in boxing classes. Having the proper mechanics for your punches will not only make them more effective, but it will cause less stress on your body and promote muscle growth and weight loss in all the right areas. Solid basic boxing technique is sure to get you in fighting shape!


The Jab:

This is a quick punch that extends from your lead arm straight out in front of your face. The fist goes straight from point A to point B and back without any elbow curvature. To increase power and speed it is recommended to snap the punch out, finishing with the thumb pointed slightly down. Your lead foot should step slightly forward at the same time as your arm when you throw the jab.

This punch is used to determine and maintain distance from an opponent. It is also the longest reaching punch. The jab can be used to distract, frustrate and set up more powerful punches.

The Cross:

The cross is the straight punch that is thrown with your rear hand. This is often the most powerful punch because if thrown correctly it will engage much of your legs, core and back to generate momentum. To throw a cross the rear hand comes forward in a straight point A to point B line and back, similar to a jab. One big difference is that instead of stepping, the back foot pivots toward the center of the body causing the hips to rotate bringing the rear shoulder forward to extend the punch with force.

The cross usually follows the jab but can be thrown as a lead punch. The majority of knockouts come from the cross or other similar punches thrown from the rear hand.


The Hook:

This punch, though basic, is one of the more difficult techniques to master. It can be thrown from either side. In a numbered progression of punches, it is typically learned first coming from the same side as the jab. There are a number of ways to throw a hook depending on your instructor’s style. Generally, a hook is thrown to the side of the body (or heavy bag) with the elbow bent. The power for a hook is generated in the torso and hips as they turn with the arm. The elbow should come up as the punch is thrown and stay elevated as the punch lands.

The hook is a great punch that can be hidden behind straight punches as an opponent focuses on blocking the front of their face or body. It is also ideal for building a strong and toned core.

The Uppercut:

The uppercut is a sneaky punch thrown at close range. Unlike the other punches, it comes from below the opponent’s line of vision. Targets for the uppercut are usually the ribs or under the chin. The rotation in the body is again, where the power is generated. Your knees start the punch slightly bent. As the body rotates upward the first drives upward toward the target.

The uppercut can be a game changer in competition and can be practiced on a heavy bag or a teardrop bag.

Basic Boxing Technique Benefits 

Remember that each punch should return immediately back to the blocking position at face level. This is proper technique not only for defense, but to reload for the next punch to be thrown. Using solid mechanics when mastering basic boxing technique will be crucial in forming the lean athletic build that fitness boxing is sure to help you achieve.

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Amazing Sexy Arm Tone with Boxing

By Bryanna Fissori 

If you are looking to get some shoulder and arm definition to complement an overall sexy upper body composition, boxing is probably what has been missing in your life. 

The majority of cardio workouts such as running, biking, step aerobics and Zumba are focused heavily on lower body cardio endurance. That is great a general calorie burn but leaves out those upper body muscles. That being said, the first time you put on a pair of boxing gloves don’t be surprised if trying to punch for a minute straight makes your arms feel like death. Don’t give up! You are about to earn yourself some amazing sexy arm tone. Here are the mechanics of how boxing will get those muscles poppin’.

Pectoralis Major:

Your pecs are the largest muscle used in boxing. It is located in the chest spanning from your sternum, clavicles and lower ribs all the way to your upper arms. This is a powerful muscle that is responsible for a lot of the force generated when punching. The pecs are engaged the most when the elbow is elevated which is the case especially when throwing the hook but also active in all other punches. Strengthening your pecs will give you a more defined neckline and has even been said to help perk up the rest of your chest! 


“Delts” are the shoulder muscles that helped to give you the super defined look of a fitness expert. There are three major shoulder muscles that make up your delts: The anterior deltoid, posterior deltoid and medial deltoid.  These are the muscles that are likely to feel the most fatigued after a long session, especially when using proper technique returning the hands to the face. 

Anterior Deltoid: The anterior deltoid is located in the front of the shoulder and is the most active during boxing. It serves the purpose of generating force in your punches working in conjunction with your pec muscles. 

Medial Deltoid: This muscle is triggered every time the arm is lifted especially for a right cross or left hook. 

Posterior Deltoid: These are located toward the back of the shoulder and activate whenever you pull your arm back from punching (which is a lot). 


You may hear coach encourage you to snap your punches. This is a fast twitch movement that ads speed and power to your punch primarily generated by the triceps. The triceps are located on the back of your upper arm and is often overlooked in a lot of exercise routines. Sexy arm tone requires an overall workout. Without maintenance, this part of your arm can begin to loosen and sag, which is a great reason to keep those straight punches snappy!


This is the muscle that makes people look “buff” or “jacked”. But it really takes little to no conscious effort to tone. The bicep muscle is active the entire time during boxing so long as you are holding your hands up. They are also strengthened more by hitting a heavy bag as opposed to shadow boxing. If you are concerned that your biceps are going to get big and scary, rest assured that usually takes some additional conscious effort and weightlifting to achieve. 

Tips to Optimize your Sexy Arm Tone and Shoulder Workout 

Keep your Hands Up:

Every punch thrown should finish with the glove being brought back to face level, essentially touching the face. This is a good habit to get into to protect yourself and is proper technique. If you have ever watched a sparring practice or live boxing, you may have heard coaches yelling, “Get your hands up!” This is the same for all boxing practices. The act of keeping your hands up will initially fatigue your shoulders and biceps. This may require shorter training sessions in the beginning, but it will get easier and visible results will follow. 

Straight Punches:

A straight punch is a punch that is thrown directly toward the center of an opponent (or heavy bag). If thrown with the lead hand it is called a jab and with the rear hand is called a cross. There are also other terms for these punches but those are common ones. Throwing a punch straight requires the strength to hold your arm out extended repeatedly engaging all the important muscles. Don’t sell yourself short by letting your punches go limp. 

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Familiarizing Yourself with Boxing Gym Equipment

By Bryanna Fissori 

The first time you walk into a boxing gym, you may notice a lot of random bags hanging from the ceiling or equipment scattered about. It can be a bit overwhelming at first. Here is a quick guide to the boxing gym equipment you may see. 

Heavy Bag

The heavy bag is what it sounds like it is. It is a big bag that is typically very heavy and usually hangs from the ceiling by a metal chain. It is the primary tool for most fitness boxing classes. Lengths and weights can vary pretty significantly. You should have to put in some effort to make the bag move when punching, but not so much effort that it feels like hitting an immovable brick wall. 


Teardrop Bag

A teardrop bag typically hangs a little higher than heavy bags and is shaped like a teardrop with the largest portion of the bag on the bottom. This bag often moves a little more easily than a heavy bag and is often used to encourage using movement and angles.


Focus Mitts

These are the thickly padded mitts that slip onto the hands similar to a baseball glove but flat on the outward facing side. They are used to receive punches during training. This makes it possible to practice combinations and movement on a moving target without direct impact to the receiving person. 


Speed Bag 

This is the small, noisy bag that is typically hung face level or a little higher. It requires steady and consistent hand movement to use, which helps build speed and hand-eye coordination. The way the speed bag is struck is not the way an actual punch is thrown. 



The mannequin in the corner that looks like an angry man with no arms or legs is Bob. This tool is used to promote accuracy in punches using a more lifelike target. Power punching is done on a heavy bag, but Bob is very helpful for technique. 


Double End Bag

There may be a round ball that is roughly the same size as a small soccer ball attached to a string at both ends. One string is secured to the ceiling and the other to the floor. This is a double end bag. Don’t hit it really hard at first because it may hit you back. This is a great tool for practicing long-range strikes and footwork. 


Other Boxing Gym Equipment 

There are plenty of other tools of the trade to be found in a boxing gym, but these are arguably the most popular. When familiarizing yourself with the boxing gym equipment, it is a good idea to watch how it is being used by other students and trainers. When in doubt, ask your trainer about the equipment. They may even give you some pointers along the way! 

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5 Reasons to Start Boxing for Health and Fitness

by Bryanna Fissori 

Fitness trends come and go, but a heavy bag and pair of boxing gloves will never be outdated. 

Competition aside, boxing for health and fitness is undoubtedly one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. Boxing requires a certain degree of athleticism: speed, strength, agility, hand-eye coordination, endurance and more. Luckily, all of these things can be trained and mastered with a little time, effort and sweat. Fitness boxing provides a platform for anyone to hone those skills without having to take a punch and increasing number of gyms are offering classes specifically designed to promote health and well being through boxing. If you aren’t already convinced, here are 5 reasons you should give boxing a try.

1. Cardio

Running can get boring very quickly. It is also hard on your joints. Biking requires expensive equipment and maintenance. Swimming is hard to get motivated to do and all of these things are often solo activities. Though they are still good ways to get your heart rate up, these activities typically allow the mind to wander and dwell on the hardships of the day. Focus! 

The interval training that accompanies most boxing classes varies in intensity throughout the session. With fast-paced hands flying in specific combinations, the mind will not have time or energy to think about anything but throwing the next punch. Boxing provides amazing and stimulating cardio that will have your heart racing without having to put forth a conscious effort to work harder. 

2. Muscle Tone

How often do you see fluffy girls duking it out on HBO or Showtime? Not often if ever. Typically, boxers are fit and muscular. This isn’t from lifting weights. 

Most competition gloves for women are between 8 and 10 ounces. Training gloves are typically between 12 and 16 ounces. That is up to a pound on each arm, not to mention the squats and side-to-side lunges that come with boxing footwork. Core strength and composition will improve naturally even without all those crunches you will likely be doing in between rounds. The body has to stabilize through the core in order to throw effective punches, and the twisting motion that generates power in those punches is sure to tighten up your tummy. 

3. Mental Focus

If you drift off in your own little world during yoga you may end up in child’s pose while everyone else is in downward dog. If you drift of during boxing you may get punched in the face. Well, not hard but even in cardio motivated classes it is common for coaches to keep students accountable with light reminder taps. Again, this isn’t running or weightlifting. Punching combinations require focus. Blocking punches requires focus. Boxing requires that you live in the moment, which is something many people find difficult to do and boxing makes possible. 

4. Self Defense

Everyone should know how to defend themselves. Boxing will not teach you how to disarm a gun or choke someone, but it will provide the confidence and kinesthetic awareness necessary to react appropriately in physically intimidating situations. Someone who trains in boxing will not only be more likely to defend a punch, but will have the proper footwork and sound mind to evade and remove themselves from a situation. Having both defensive and offensive natural reactions could make a big difference. 

5. Anger Management

According to the Mayo Clinic, almost any form of moderate to intense physical activity can decrease stress by increasing endorphins that boost mood and improve sleep. Boxing takes that to the next level adding a degree of adrenaline that is hard to find in other workouts. 

Frustration is a natural part of our everyday lives. What we choose to do about it determines how healthy our coping mechanism is. Are you going to find your vice in food, alcohol, retail therapy . . . or are you going to hit something? Not just hit something, but hit something really hard! The heavy bag can easily become your boss or your significant other. Let it out and go home with a smile on your face! 

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Increase Calorie Burn with Fitness Boxing 

By Bryanna Fissori 

Everyone burns calories at a different rate depending on their metabolism, weight, age and various other factors, but overall boxing is an amazing way to burn a large number of calories in a short amount of time. It is arguably more stimulating, fun and therapeutic than a lot of other exercise routines. Here is what kind of calorie burn you can expect from boxing workouts: 

Heavy Bag: Working out on a heavy bag can burn on average between 354 and 558 calories per hour according to LiveStrong.com. You would have to be in pretty good shape already to punch for that long, but intensity intervals can make up the difference. Using the heavy bag is a great way to strengthen muscles, work your core and technique. One suggestion is to set a timer and do sets of intense intervals to get the most out of your training. 

Partner Drills:

According to HealthStatus 155-pound person will burn 423 calories in 30 minutes of sparring drills, while a 185-pound person will burn 505 calories during the same workout. Sparring drills are techniques done with a partner at varying rates of intensity. They do require contact, so if you are just doing fitness boxing and don’t care to get hit, this probably isn’t your best option. It is fun though! 

Shadow Boxing:

The routine of boxing without striking anything but the air is called shadow boxing. Virtually every martial artist does this before practice or performance. It is a great way to practice techniques for striking, blocking and footwork. It is also a great cardio burn if done with some intensity. An average of 300 calories could come off per hour of shadow boxing. It is a great thing to do in front of a mirror to make sure your form looks good. Shadow boxing can be done with or without any gear. Wearing gloves may provide a little greater calorie burn because of the weight. Some people use weighed gloves and/or ankle weights. This is acceptable but be aware that it could place additional straining on the supporting joints and muscles. 

Jumping Rope:

According to WebMD jumping rope for 10 minutes are at a rate of 120 reps per minute will burn the equivalent amount of calories as running an eight-minute mile. For a slower jumper 15-20 minutes of jumping would have the same result and if done correctly may also be lest impact on your joints than running. Jumping also aids in balance and agility, which are important parts of boxing. 


Strengthening the core naturally happens in any boxing workout, but crunches are a common addition to the regimen. According to Livestrong.com, a 150 woman could burn an average of 26 calories per five minutes of crunches. She could burn up to 46 calories if the intensity is higher. The big benefit isn’t necessarily the calorie burn, but the muscle that is being built up to form those awesome abs everyone is looking for. 

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It Takes More Than a Pretty Face to Be a Champion – Female Boxers

By Bryanna Fissori 

Mendez Boxing Gym in New York is known as one of the top boxing gyms in the country, producing countless champions at both the amateur and professional levels. On May 17th, two female boxers training out of Mendez found success in their respective rings. 

One of these strong women never intended to compete, comfortable to train for fitness. The other was an experienced competitor who needed an assertive push to make it to the next level. Both female boxers were trained under the watchful eye of Coach Jose Guzman.

Rebecca Goldberg Transitions from Fitness to Fighter

Rebecca Goldberg is a physician’s assistant who started taking boxing classes in order to lose weight and stay in shape. Not only did she enjoy boxing, but it turns out that she was pretty good at it. She started training about a year and a half ago, with absolutely no intention of competing. 

“I kinda tricked her into sparring one day and she did good,” said Guzman. “I told her she should spar more. Then this charity (Fighers4Life) came looking for fighters for their event. I asked her, but she didn’t want to do it.”

Like most fitness boxers, Goldberg was hesitant to get hit or go through the grueling camps she had seen others do in preparation to compete, though she is no stranger to hard work. 

“I asked her if she ever got tired or just training and working so hard with no goal. She finally gave in,” said Guzman. “She’s a very sweet girl and there is not a bad bone in her body. It was hard for her to hit somebody and to develop the instinct to do that. It’s hard. You get beat up every day and it can be emotional.”

There is nothing like your first fight camp. It is grueling both mentally and physically. Cutting weight, time management and workout recovery coupled with the mental stress of knowing that someone wants to punch your face in. These are just a few of things to take into consideration. Rebecca also has a full-time job, which typically doesn’t make camp less stressful. 

“Then I found out that I wasn’t going to be at her fight because I had to travel to Nebraska with the national team,” said Guzman.

Goldberg had committed to the fight and was going to see it through despite not having her coach in the corner. 

“I had no idea what to expect,” said Goldberg. “It is intimidating to perform in front of friends and family while getting punched in the face. When I started training it was just for fitness. Competing is totally different.”

Fighters4Life is a boxing promotion that hosts USA Boxing sanctioned amateur bouts for charitable causes. 

“Rebecca competed against one of Heather Hardy’s girls and beat the girl up. A year ago, she didn’t want anything to do with stepping into the ring!”

Jennifer Lopez Commits to Becoming a Champion 

“Jennifer is 7-1 as an amateur MMA fighter and she would do boxing on the side,” said Guzman. “She was talented but was just getting by without putting in the hard work. I met her about a year and a half ago. She moves well and has power in both hands. I thought I could polish her up to be a good fighter. It was her first boxing camp with a real trainer and she thought she knew everything. I’ve had close to 200 amateur fights and 21 pro. I told her to trust me and I would guide her and make her a champion.” 

Lopez is not a professional in either sport. She bartends to make ends meet, but that lifestyle can often make it difficult to stay disciplined. 

“A few months back I didn’t think I was going to compete in the New York Golden Gloves because I felt like I wasn’t ready and had a short amount of time to prepare and get in fight shape. I spoke to my trainer (Jose Guzman) and he said if I really wanted to compete I will have to give it my all and that’s exactly what I did.”

In a sport where lack of focus could have big consequences, Guzman wanted to make sure Lopez was serious about the competition. 

“We were training her for Golden Gloves and she was getting lazy and staying out late. I told her that if she didn’t get it together I was going to pull her out. She started training hard. She cut 10 pounds in a week. In her first bout, she fought the defending champ from last year. I was hoping we wouldn’t draw her early. Jennifer had sparred her before and got a little beat up, but time Jennifer out-boxed her. She stuck to the plan of hitting and not getting hit. Everybody was surprised at how well she did.” 

Out of 13 female boxers in her division at the Golden Gloves National Competition, Lopez took home second place. 

“I’m proud of how much I’ve accomplished. Even though I’ve boxed for some time now, this was my first boxing tournament on a national level,” said Lopez. “Fighting back to back and making weight almost every day for a week was challenging but I gained new confidence and built lifelong new friendships with other fighters. I am beyond grateful for team metro and everyone who invested their time to help me, without them it wouldn’t have been possible.”

What’s Next?

Both female competitors have a desire to continue fighting. Look for Jennifer Lopez to also continue her career in MMA with a new-found focus on striking. Now that she has a taste for boxing competition, Rebecca Goldberg hopes to be back in the ring and continue to grow as an athlete. 

If you happen to be in New York, stop by Mendez Boxing to meet Coach Jose Guzman and watch champions being created one training session at a time. 

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