Home Boxing Gym 101 – How to Build an Awesome Home Boxing Gym
Boxing is a great spectator sport. It has fans on the edge of their seats cheering with every blow.
For most people, their involvement in boxing stops at the fan level. However, those that choose to dabble in the sweet science reap enormous fitness and strength benefits. But boxing training has one other ace up its sleeve that makes it so appealing… you can practice it at home.
If you’ve been thinking of building a home boxing gym, this post will provide you with everything you need to get fighting fit.
First off, why would you go through the effort of setting up a boxing gym? Maybe you already have a home gym that is overflowing with equipment (mostly unused) and you don’t need to add to the clutter.
If you’re sitting on the fence, here’re three good reasons to set up a home boxing gym.
#1: Killer Workout
Nothing comes close to the intensity of a boxing workout. The start-stop full-on nature of boxing provides a HIIT workout that works every muscle in your body while sending your cardiovascular system into overdrive.
The high-intensity means your body will be in fat burning mode during and long after the workout. A 30 minute session on the punching bag could destroy 300 calories! Besides the fitness benefits, boxing training also improves your hand-eye coordination and is a workout that is actually fun.
#2: Teach yourself self-defence
Unfortunately, the world we live in isn’t always a safe and pleasant place. Bad things happen to good people, and you can find yourself in a dangerous situation through no fault of your own.
When/if this situation arises, you want to be confident you’ve got the skills to defend yourself.
#3: Inexpensive to Start
Good news! Setting up a home boxing gym can cost as little as $200-$300 (even less if you buy second-hand equipment). Now, this kind of cash outlay wouldn’t get you a top of the line gym, but it will provide you with everything a beginner needs.
If you decide to take boxing to the next level, you can always upgrade or buy new equipment as and when you need it.
Like most home gyms, some boxing equipment is essential, and other items would be nice to have. If you’re balling on a budget, buying just the bare necessities will provide you with everything you need to improve your skills while still providing an INSANE workout.·
Boxing Gloves (essential)
Boxing gloves range in weight from 8-18 oz. Glove selection is based on how much you weigh and what the gloves will be used for (bagwork, sparring, fighting). However, for general training, use 14oz gloves if you weigh under 150lbs, and 16oz gloves if you’re 150lbs and over.
Boxing gloves vary enormously in price and quality. Stick to a reputable brand if you want your gloves to last more than a couple of months. You will be able to buy a good set of beginner gloves for under $100.
Hand Wraps (essential)
Damaging your wrists and hands is easily done when you’re not used to the impact from punching. Using hand wraps will protect the knuckles and strengthen the wrist.
Heavy Bag (essential)
While shadowboxing is an important part of a boxers training, only swinging punches at fresh air can get boring. Pounding a heavy bag (80+ pounds) is a tough workout that will improve your fitness, build lean muscle, and relieve stress.
To hang your bag, brackets can be secured to masonry walls, or you may be able to attach chains to exposed structural beams. If there’s no other option, free-standing frames are available, although these do take up a little more space.
Speed Bag and Double-end Bag (optional)
Both of these types of bags work on improving your speed, rhythm and timing, as well as increasing the endurance of your arm muscles.
Given the choice between the two, I would opt for the double-end bag as it also refines your hand-eye coordination and reflexes.
Focus Mitts (optional)
If you’re lucky enough to have a buddy hold pads for you, a set of focus mitts will add dynamics to your training. You’ll move around more to keep distance with your partner, and your brain will work harder as you process the combinations your partner calls.
If your partner also swings the pads at you, you’ll get to work on your defence and improve your fight reflexes.
Round Timer (optional)
A round timer provides convenience and professionalism to your home gym. However, with a dozen free apps able to do the same thing, this one’s definitely optional.
Many boxing gyms are located in dingy backstreets, are rough-as, and stink of stale sweat. Their equipment is often decades old, burst, and falling apart at the seams.
By now, your gym is probably looking better than most, and it should be set up with everything you need. Besides a lick of paint and hanging some cheesy inspirational posters of Muhammed Ali in his prime, there are a couple other things you can do to style your gym and improve user experience.
One such item is a floor-to-ceiling mirror – and no, this one isn’t just for the narcissists. If you’re training alone, there is no better way to work on your technique than watching and self-correcting your mistakes.
You’ll also want to consider the floor you train on. Ideally, you want a level surface that is solid and provides enough friction to move around without slipping. Timber, vinyl, and smooth concrete floors can all do the job, but, you also want to consider your comfort. A hard concrete floor can be transformed into a safe and comfortable training surface by covering it with one-inch foam mats.
Weightlifting develops muscles that are bulky, have a limited range of motion, and are ultimately ineffective for boxing. Plyometric training and circuit weight training are better suited to boxing as they build lean, functional muscle.
If you’ve never boxed before, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a home boxing gym. There are plenty of free training resources on the internet, and it’s possible to teach yourself boxing from home - even if you’ve never flung a punch before. YouTube is a great place to start with thousands of instructional videos on every aspect of boxing.
In this post, we covered everything you need to set up your home boxing gym. However, we’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to this long-standing and honourable combat sport.
Mastering the art of boxing is a pursuit that takes years. However, don’t let that put you off. By learning and improving just a little bit each and every day, you’ll ensure you eventually become a pugilist pro. And best of all, you’ll be able to train at your own pace, whenever you want, with your very own boxing gym!