7 Things New Boxers Want to Know

Every day I receive emails from people who are new to boxing, people thinking about starting boxing, people thinking about thinking about starting boxing and so on.

A lot of them ask the same questions.


New to Boxing?

I wish they had posted them to the site so everyone can learn from them, but alas, everyone seems to like the individual one on one conversation and is scared of publishing their questions for all to read. Stop it, there are other people just like you...

Anyways, here are the seven most frequently asked questions regarding how to get started in boxing or how to fix something or how to......you fill in the blank:

They are, in no particular order:

1.  What kind of boxing gloves, wraps, heavy bag, mouthguard, speed bag, skipping rope, etc... should I buy?

2.  Do I really have to wrap my hands to box?

3.  Do you know of a boxing gym or a boxing trainer living in .....(fill in the blank)?

4.   I wear glasses or contacts, can I still box?

5.   How far do you think I should run every day to get in shape?

6.  Can you develop me a meal plan to help me lose weight/gain weight/tone up/tone down, etc...?

7.  What is the minimum I should buy to start boxing?


1.  What kind of boxing gloves, wraps, heavy bag, mouthguard, speed bag, skipping rope, etc... should I buy?

Generally speaking, anything made by the main boxing suppliers are usually fairly good quality items. The top/most common suppliers would be Everlast, Title, Ringside, Rival, and Boes. As for individual product recommendations, I have started a beginner's guide to boxing gear and equipment that details what you should be looking for when starting out boxing.

2. Do I really have to wrap my hands to box?

Metacarpal bones hand
Protect Your Hands - Wrap Them

Unless you're some kind of freak, you were born with 300 bones that magically turn into 206 bones by the time you are an adult. It has to do with cartilage turning into bones and bones fusing together -- a lot of stuff your doctor knows that you don't really need to know...

Over half of the bones in the human body are in your hands and feet. There are 27 individual bones in your hands alone and your hands aren't that big. That means those bones are small and fragile.

Do you really think your hands were made to repeatedly pound into a hard mass of anything?

Boxing is all about punching.  If you have a broken hand, you can't punch therefore you can't box.

If you haven't seen Cinderella Man - watch it and listen for the sickening crunch of Russel Crowe's hand when he breaks it in a match. Then imagine how much it would hurt (until it numbs up) to slam your now broken hand into something again and again....not very appealing is it?

You have to protect your hands by using wraps properly. Granted that some people do not use wraps and only use bag gloves. They are still getting some protection, but I recommend that you always wrap your hands AND use bag gloves when hitting the heavy bag. Just wraps on the speed bag or double end bag is fine. Those bags will give when you hit them - you aren't absorbing the full force of the punch in your hands and forearms.

3. Do you know of a boxing gym or a boxing trainer living in .....(fill in the blank)?

Yes, in fact I probably do. I have the contact information for boxing gyms and trainers in our directory for pretty much anywhere in the world. Problem is that I never have enough time to put them all on the site so you can easily find them. I plan to keep plugging away and adding them, but if you need to know - email me and ask.

Until I get every boxing gym and trainer I know on the site - feel free to keep asking me where the closest boxing gym or trainer is to you. I'll respond as quickly as I can.

4. I wear glasses or contacts, can I still box?

This is a damn good question and one that is not easily verifiable as the regulations seem to differ in various places. As I see it - poor eyesight shouldn't deter you from boxing and you have two options - either take off your glasses and swing away blindly or put in contacts and go until they get knocked out. You may be at a slight disadvantage - but that is all part of combat - overcoming your limitations.

I have inquired (not yet confirmed) and it seems Larry Holmes wore corrective contact lenses later in his career. It is rumoured he even used them as an excuse for not doing as well as he should of against Hollyfield -- remarking that one got knocked out. As well, Sugar Ray Leonard wore or wears glasses/contacts although it is probably a result of his eye surgery. I don't think he does as much boxing anymore.

At any rate, it's clear there are few professional level boxers who wear glasses or contacts. At the amateur level, I know of at least three guys in my gym who wear contacts. My own son boxes with some pretty poor eyesight - luckily he sees good up close, just not far away. Sometimes they take them out while sparring (which makes it easier for me), sometimes not. I have never heard any of them complain that they have been knocked out and you will have to check the amateur rules in your area to see if there are any regulations against wearing contacts in amateur level competition.

In short, yes you can still box if you wear contact lenses - you may just have a more difficult time becoming the world champ (feel free to prove me wrong on that account)

5. How far do you think I should run every day to get in shape?

Running long, slow distances (LSD) and boxing seem to go hand in hand. Whenever one envisions a boxer, one pictures the boxer in a hooded sweatsuit sweating away for hours and hours and hours on the road or chasing the trainer's car.

Roadwork is only one small part of boxing training and it's importance is one of the great training myths attached to boxing training. In reality, short intense bursts as found in interval training are more effective at developing the energy systems (anaerobic) you use in the ring.

Boxing is an anaerobic sport requiring maximum output for short durations. Long distance running develops your aerobic system and will help you recover in-between rounds but will not help you when it counts. (much).

In short, training to box requires a lot of discipline and a lot of effort. The results both in terms of performance and physical appearance are well worth it though. The CBBT for Men or CBBT for Women programs address questions of this type in detail. It is mentored coaching - completely online - one of a kind - and always developing. Any feedback I receive on it gets integrated into future versions. The training approach is based on long term athlete development models, includes audio, video, compliance tracking and a bunch of other cool stuff.

6. Can you develop me a meal plan to help me lose weight/gain weight/tone up/tone down, etc...?

I did - it's called CBBT for Men or CBBT for Women. If you're not able to join one of my programs right now for whatever reason, then keep reading what I give away for free. I give away enough information and training (i.e., the free transformation courses for men and women) that you can use to change how you look.

7.  What is the minimum I should buy to start boxing?

I get this one so much I'm thinking of putting together a beginning boxer's equipment package. Assuming you are working out at home, by yourself, to start boxing, equipment wise, you need:

  • a heavy bag
  • bag gloves
  • hand wraps
  • skipping rope
  • desire and motivation

That's it. Total cost = approx $175.00 - less desire and motivation which is priceless. Eventually you can build yourself an awesome, equipment filled home boxing gym like I have at my house, but in the meantime, start out slow, make sure you like the sport and go from there. With a little ingenuity you can even build your own boxing equipment (more to come on that soon...).

Those are the 7 questions I am constantly being asked. There are others - check out the FAQ page. Do you have any questions that I should add to the list?

Want more? Join Our Kick-Ass Club!

If you want a complete boxing system, training plans, and meal planning tools, I encourage you to join our club.

You'll get even more coaching, interactive support, and accountability for both men and women to help you learn how to box and transform your body.

Come check out the Commando Boxing Online Boxing Club.