How To Choose A Boxing Gym

Health Clubs

Exercise fads come and go. If you don’t believe me, sit up after midnight and watch the parade of info commercials on TV. The majority of them focus on the latest hot trend for shaping up. Some health clubs do offer boxing classes, but they may only view it as a temporary fad. In other words, the classes will be offered only as long as gym management thinks that what their customers will demand boxing training. If you want to do training for the long run, find out if the gym offers the class on a regular, on-going basis. This is important if you’re going to put your money down. Health club memberships usually aren’t cheap, and their contracts can be hard to break.

Some health clubs have fitness or aerobic boxing classes, which focus only on the workout itself. No sparring is involved. If you only want to hit the bags and the punch mitts, these classes are perfect. If you do want to compete at some point, talk to the trainers to see if they do prepare people for that. If not, seek out another gym.

Take into account the atmosphere of the health club. Some are glorified social clubs, while others cater to a certain crowd, like bodybuilders, for example. The culture of the club may have a bearing on how you may like or not like training there.

Traditional Boxing Gyms

A buddy of mine attends a gym where mostly professional boxers train. He described the boxing training atmosphere as being intense and no-nonsense. The fighters are hungry, and they want to win championships.

These types of gyms are usually privately owned. Some have a mix of amateur and professional boxers among their members. I have heard of a few gyms that are strictly for professional fighters only. Be prepared to work when arriving at the door of a traditional boxing gym. The trainers will expect that everybody who comes there will work hard on their training. They’re not going to waste time on anyone who won’t.

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Prices vary. Unlike health clubs, some boxing gyms do not require people to be locked into long term contracts.

Participants can pay their membership dues on a monthly basis. On average, monthly fees can be as low as $50.00 all the way up to a couple of hundreds a month. Those who know they’ll be going less often can pay a day fee, which may range between ten to twenty-five bucks each time. Paying a day fee is also a good way of checking out a gym before committing to boxing training there.

Personal training as well as group classes can be had at traditional boxing gyms, but keep in mind that separate fees are involved.

Some of the older gyms haven’t gotten around to making their places welcoming to women, unfortunately. Don’t be surprised to find there’s no designated women’s washroom or locker room in older gyms. If you can overlook having to use a converted custodian’s supply room in order to change into your workout clothes, more power to you. Maybe if you push enough, management will make the changes.

Municipal Park District Boxing Gyms

If you live in or near a big city, boxing training via the park district may work for you. The fees to work out are much less than going to a health club or to a private gym. Another plus is that these types of boxing gyms often can be found closer to your neighborhood.

Their biggest asset, being open for all, can also be a park district’s boxing gym’s major drawback as well. All kinds of characters are drawn to boxing gyms. Private health clubs and traditional boxing gyms can put barriers up to keep some problem personalities out. Those who train at park district gyms may have to grin and bear some difficult people. It’s a great idea to talk to the coach before signing up to get a feel for how those types of gyms operate.

Boxers in these types of boxing gyms often participate in local competitions, and some park districts do hold boxing shows throughout the year. If you find an adults-only boxing class through the park district, great! But keep in mind that the park district’s main focus is being family-friendly and providing recreation for youths. Many of their boxing programs may be for all ages, in the same gym, at the same time. If it’s not going to be a problem to train alongside grade and high school kids, then go for it. Being around people who are at different levels in terms of boxing skills is a good thing. Everyone can learn from each other.

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These types of boxing gyms tend to be no frills. The field house, or building where the boxing gym is, may not be in the best of shape. There may not be locker rooms or showers, depending on the location. If the coach can’t make it in on any given day, the gym may not open.

Getting personal attention once in awhile may be a challenge depending on how many people are in the class. Some people question the level of training and the quality of coaches who work within the municipal recreation system. But you may prefer training in these types of boxing gyms as opposed to privately owned gyms.

All Female Boxing Gyms

These gyms are a great alternative for women who want to avoid dealing with issues in predominately male gyms, such as sexism and macho attitudes. The emphasis is on empowering women. They tend to be more respectful of women who are only interested in becoming fit, as opposed to wanting to compete. Many offer classes for those who prefer classroom structure.

Ask questions, talk to the coaches, and talk to the people who attend the gym so you can get a clearer picture of which gym will work well for your training purposes.


by Hillari Hunter