Taking shorter rest periods between intense intervals of exercise is known to increase the effectiveness of your workout, and boxing is one of the most challenging high-intensity, short rest, interval training regimes you can take up. An average training session will see you go ten three minute-long rounds, with 15 seconds of rest between rounds. Boxing is one of the best ways to build core strength, but it does so much more than just build your body. Here are five ways boxing will transform your mind as well as your body.
Number Five: Confidence. Millions of women around the world love the confidence they see in people like Miley Cyrus, standing up for herself in the face of often harsh criticism and staying true to the person she is. That kind of self-love comes from knowing you can face down any challenge and survive. Stepping into a boxing ring requires you to face the possibility that you are going to get hurt, yet knowing you will survive and emerge even stronger than you were before, and that takes confidence.
Number Four: Endurance. Learning to breathe through the pain, pace yourself and know your limits is critical to building endurance, whether you’re running a marathon or just trying to survive three minutes pinned in a corner with an opponent who won’t let up. Sometimes life is gonna get hard, and there will be no easy way out, just a long slog through. Boxing prepares you to face those moments, knowing you can and will survive to fight another day.
Number Three: Resilience. There’s a reason we love artists who capture a spirit of resilience, like Alanis Morissette. Millions of women shared her heartbreak captured in beautiful music, as well as her unwillingness to let stress and adversity undo her. No one wins every round (except Ronda Rousey), and we all need to suffer, fail, get knocked down and get back up again. Boxing teaches you, round by round, minute by minute that you can be hurting one moment and back on your feet the next. There is always another round to fight.
Number Two: Persistence. It’s often said that bad things come in threes, which is another way of saying that sometimes life doesn’t throw you just one hardball, but two or three or four at once, and that can be hard to deal with. It’s tempting to fall into self-pity and just throw in the towel or tap out of a fight because every round is going badly. Boxers learn that three bad rounds can be followed by one good one, and that’s all it takes to triumph. Persistence, or the ability to keep going, keep chasing your dreams and your goals, is part of what a boxer does every time she steps in a ring.
Number One: Strength. Boxing will shred your core, buff your arms and give you legs of steel as you take blows and never waver, but strength is more than just physical. Strength is a way of life, a way of taking on what the world has to offer, and bending it to your will. Strength is a way of undergoing, processing and absorbing loss, and then moving on with your whole self still intact. Boxing means accepting that you will hurt and knowing you will survive, because that’s what strength is for.
Life, they say, is a dangerous game: no one gets out alive. The difference between people who go through life timid and unwilling to take the risks that lead to rewards and people who thrive in any situation comes down to having confidence, endurance, resilience, persistence and knowing, deep down, that strength is something you can make for yourself. There is no better place to begin the journey than in a boxing ring.