does boxing help you lose weight

Does Boxing Help You Lose Weight? 5 Ways It Does

Boxing workouts are all the rage at the moment; from celebrities to regular gym-goers, more and more people are tapping into the health benefits of boxing classes. 

Boxing provides a high-intensity workout that targets your entire body, burning lots of calories in a short space of time. This makes it a great way of losing weight and hitting your fitness goals – plus, it’s usually a lot more enjoyable than regular cardio routines.

Here, we’ll look at some of the key reasons boxing helps you lose weight.

1. It’s a full-body workout

One of the biggest benefits of boxing workouts is that they engage your entire body, not just certain sections. Even basic boxing movements require numerous muscle groups to be activated and working hard – though it may look like just the arms are doing the work at first glance, there’s actually a lot more going on.

Correct boxing footwork is difficult to perfect and demands a lot from your lower body, in particular your calves and quadriceps. Punching, of course, activates the muscles in your arms and shoulders, but many people don’t realize it also works your core muscles. 

When you factor in other elements like head and upper body movement to avoid punches, it’s clear to see how a boxing session provides such a comprehensive workout. 

2. It burns lots of calories

Any proper boxing session will keep your heart rate elevated throughout and, as it’s working your entire body, this results in a serious amount of calories being burnt through. This can be hugely beneficial to your weight loss journey, as in order to lose weight you need to be burning more calories than you’re consuming.

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An intense boxing session can burn up to 1,000 calories over the course of an hour, though this will depend on the intensity you work at and your current weight. Either way, incorporating a boxing class into your fitness routine is an effective way to burn calories at a rapid pace.

3. It is enjoyable

One of the biggest issues when embarking on a weight loss plan is consistently finding the motivation to exercise and train your body, which is why boxing gyms have become so popular in recent years. Boxing exercise not only engages your body but also your mind as it requires concentration and focus.

Plus, a boxing program can often be very cathartic, as the action of punching the heavy bag or pads is a great way of relieving stress and releasing tension. There are countless boxing variations that can be incorporated into training to make it as engaging as possible every time you lace up the gloves.

You don’t need to get involved in full-contact boxing in order to experience the incredible benefits the sport can have on your health and fitness levels. 

3. It builds lean muscle


Most forms of cardio training can help you lose weight if they are steady-state cardio, such as running long distances, they can reduce your muscle mass. However, given how intense a boxing training session is, it not only helps burn calories but also builds lean muscle.

This also comes from the resistance of punching objects like heavy bags and pads which, over time, helps with muscle building and increasing endurance. As you develop more muscle, your metabolic rate will increase, meaning you burn more calories during the day, thus helping with your weight loss goals. 

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4. It improves cardiovascular fitness

As mentioned, intense boxing training keeps your heart rate elevated for extended periods of time and has all parts of your cardiovascular system working extremely hard. This builds endurance and improves your overall health as it reduces the risk of developing issues such as heart disease.

Improving your cardio fitness improves your metabolism and also helps enhance performance in other exercises and forms of training, which can further help your weight loss efforts. 

5. It encourages discipline


The mantra of most boxing gyms is focused on discipline and hard work, two notions that are vital when it comes to weight loss. By regularly taking part in boxing training, you’re working to build an overall much healthier lifestyle and cultivating a mindset that is better designed to achieve weight loss. 

Losing weight requires a long-term commitment to a healthy lifestyle, including monitoring the number of calories you’re consuming. Boxing helps to follow that lifestyle by increasing your motivation and keeping you disciplined.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to weight loss and burning calories, there are very few forms of exercise that can hold a candle to boxing training. An intense cardio workout that burns fat and builds lean muscle, boxing also helps promote a healthier lifestyle, and the enjoyment of it makes people more likely to stick with it as well.

Of course, boxing alone isn’t going to cause you to lose weight as you’ll also need to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, ensuring that you’re consuming fewer calories than you’re burning each day. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is boxing better than weightlifting?

This entirely depends on your goals, but if you are trying to lose weight then boxing will help you see results in a shorter space of time, simply because it burns more calories. That being said, boxing training won’t help you increase muscle mass in the same way that weightlifting does. 

For maximum benefits, you would combine the two in your fitness regimen, performing different workouts on separate days to build muscle and maintain a healthy weight.

How much weight can you lose by boxing?

This will also depend on some personal factors, such as your starting weight and how much boxing training you decide to do. If you’re consistent with your training and keep yourself in a calorie deficit, you can effectively lose 1-2 lbs each week. This is the optimal amount of weight to lose each week as it is sustainable and will help you see positive results over time.

George Gigney

George is a Level 3 Personal Trainer and qualified Behavior Change Specialist. He has been training clients for several years and writing for over a decade, focusing on sport, wellbeing, and fitness.

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