Article Contributor: Andrew
There are many different types of boxing for fitness routines available in Dubai and Abu Dhabi – Boxfit, Boxercise etc. Are any (or all) of these training methods good as a cardio fitness routine?
In order to improve your cardio fitness in in the UAE you have to take part in a physical activity that brings your heart rate up above at rest or light activity (like walking) levels.
You should feel your heart beating faster and your breathing should be harder. You then need to sustain this for a decent amount of time to see improvements.
The harder the activity, the higher the intensity of your workout.
So, all forms of boxing activity can improve cardio fitness, from shadow boxing to hitting pads and sparring. Heart rates at about 167bpm (beats per minute) have been found on average for boxing pad work and 170-180bpm for sparring.
To put that into perspective, a rough estimate of your max heart rate is 220 minus your age. Anything above 55% of that max can be classed as cardio fitness training.
Is your boxing workout pushing your body? Is your breathing heavier and your heart rate up? If so, you are improving your cardio fitness.
You will already know what boxing is but in case you haven’t heard of cardio boxing in the UAE let’s take a quick look at what it is.
Both cardio boxing and boxing are great ways to get in shape but cardio boxing is strictly used as a fitness method whereas boxing is a sport with a combat element.
Using the many different training techniques that prize fighters use, cardio boxing will get in you great shape and help you maintain a high level of fitness too.
Generally speaking, cardio boxing is a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT) that allows you to focus on many aspects of fitness, these include:
Weight loss and fat loss
weight loss and fat loss are achieved because you will be burning calories at an accelerated rate during your cardio boxing sessions. Combine this with a great, personal trainer approved nutrition program and you are guaranteed to lose weight and decrease your total body fat.
Body toning and body shaping
A really good cardio boxing session does much more than help you lose weight. Because of the routine many muscle groups within the body are activated and used at the same time. This results in better definition in the arms, back, check, neck and legs. Combine this with fat loss and you’ll start to notice you’re taking on a more shaped look.
Increased strength is definitely something you’ll notice as you do more cardio boxing. Hits and kicks power your way through the routine and whether it’s air kicks or bag kicks your overall power will increase.
Rapid movements and muscle engagement as well as the length of the session will greatly improve your cardiovascular fitness when you do cardio boxing regularly. Jump rope, bikes, treadmills and HIIT elements all aim to get your heart rate up which strengthens the heart. The more you breath and the deeper you breath means your lungs will be increasing capacity too, helping to increase oxygen intake. Increased cardio performance has also been shown to help reduce and even ward off many cardio related illnesses like heart problems, blood pressure and more.
Cardio Boxing is an intense cross training and total body workout. While you will be improving your overall health, toning your body and having fun along the way you’ll also be improving your endurance. Endurance relates to how long you can do an exercise for and at what pace. But, it also has other meanings in general.
For example, if you tire easily when walking, climbing stairs or just doing everyday tasks then your endurance needs to be improved.
Cardio boxing helps you improve your endurance greatly with timed circuit based exercise routines. This means that within a few sessions you’ll notice that you can train harder, with more intensity and for longer periods.
No experience is required at all when it comes to cardio boxing. A good male or female personal trainer in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah or RAK with boxing coaching knowledge can start you off at an easy pace (for private coaching) or you can join a cardio boxing class in the UAE and train with men and women who are at a similar fitness level to you.
Also, when you join a class it’s a great way to meet new people and build your confidence. Men, women and even kids of all ages can really benefit from cardio boxing.
When people hear the word boxing they firstly presume it is going to be full psychical contact. Have no fear, as the hardest thing you will hit is a boxing pad which you will be taught how to use sufficiently.
You will learn basic boxing combinations along the way as well as defense techniques.
One of the main reasons men and women all over the UAE choose to hire a fitness coach is with the goal of losing weight.
Any exercise will help you lose weight and manage your weight better but certain types of training, like cardio (aerobic) boxing can help you lose weight quicker and more effectively because of the training methods used during the workout sessions.
The secret, like any weight loss programs is to push yourself and challenge yourself to overcome your self-imposed boundaries.
Yes, you will ache and yes you will feel like the session is never going to end sometimes but the end results are more than worth it.
If you attend classes or keep up with your cardio boxing personal training sessions you are more or less guaranteed to lose weight because of the intensity of cardio boxing.
Cardio boxing is suitable for all ages, men and women. It is simply down to the individual how much they wish to push themselves during that class. When it comes to personal training, pad work is a great way to not only improve somebody’s performance but also there recovery rate which is very important when doing sport’s specific training.
Working to a high intensity for up to three minutes with a one minute rest just like a Professional Boxer would do is a great way to improve your performance and all round fitness.
This will then transcend onto many other benefits such as feeling healthier, becoming faster and stronger.
How many times per week should someone be doing boxing for fitness routines if they are trying to improve and maintain good cardio health?
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity.
So, if your cardio fitness regime consists of only boxing workouts I would recommend 2-3 sessions per week.
As with most things the more you do the faster you will see improvements as long as you are recovering well from your workouts.
But remember, if your schedule gets really busy all of a sudden, you can maintain your current cardio health on 1-2 sessions per week.
Once you find more time you can increase your volume of training to see cardio fitness improvements.
For beginners, you may feel like you can’t push hard for 2-3 sessions per week. Don’t worry, just do what you can and your fitness will increase soon enough.
Almost everyone can use boxing as a cardio fitness regime but you may have to tailor it for your current needs – a boxing coach or boxing for fitness PT in Dubai can give you advice.
If you have upper body joint problems, especially in the wrists or shoulders, you will want to avoid hitting pads until you have healed those issues.
This, however, does not stop you using shadowing boxing in the mean-time.
When you have not done any cardio fitness training for a long-time then going straight into a session of hard sparring would not be recommended – a good boxing coach will be able to recommend a starting place for your level and change things up when you are ready.
Your workouts do not have to be all or nothing. Work around any injuries/issues, start from your own fitness level, don’t compare yourself to others and take the advice of your fitness coach when needed.
Whenever you start your workout it is a good idea to do a warm-up. This is simply just some light activity to get the blood flowing to the muscles you are about to work.
It will also help to lubricate the joints helping to prevent injury. Some examples are skipping, elliptical machine and bodyweight exercises such as jumping jacks.
When trying to build skill at boxing you can do pad work with a partner, punching bag drills and shadow boxing. Not only will these build skill but will also be a hard cardio fitness workout.
You can improve your technique against an opponent using different sparring sessions.
It is also a good idea to include some core and mobility work in your routine as well.
When boxing is your only form of exercise in Dubai or Abu Dhabi it is recommended to add in some full-body strength training work to balance your body, helping with injury prevention and muscle strength.