Does boxing captivate you? Have you been dreaming about fighting under the lights of a boxing arena, surrounded by throngs of cheering spectators? Or is it the boxing physique and mentality you are after: the lean and muscular upper body, the mental toughness, and the laser focus? Whatever reasons are intriguing you about boxing, you are not alone. Millions of people love the sport and engage in boxing training every day, from seasoned professionals to amateurs just figuring out a good workout routine.

Boxing is a sport that has fascinated humans throughout the ages, and you can find plenty of boxing in ancient history. While boxing likely started as a bare fisted and bloody fight between men, today's boxing is filled with modern heroes that take on the the mesmerizing work of outwitting and outfighting other skilled opponents for significant sums of money. Fights on pay-per-view channels and cable sports television are watched by millions around the globe, and many people flock to small venues to see live fights between local athletes in the community.

If you are intrigued by boxing and want to learn more about the sport and how to get into competing in Canada, you have come to the right place. This article will give you a brief background of the sport, what you need to do start your learning, and introduce you to how boxing is organized. Let's take a quick look at the history of boxing.

How important is it to get a boxing coach? Find out your options for learning to box in Canada.

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What is the History of Boxing?

Boxing started in prehistoric times, and ancient civilizations have documented some organized fighting in art and other media. Ancient Sumerians are said to have the earliest mention of boxing, and the first image of a boxing fight was found in Minoan Crete. Ancient Greeks played a key role in developing the sport, and introduced it in early Olympics competition. Winners may have won gold or livestock. Ancient Romans started using tools on fists, and gladiator fights took place in circular shaped boxing rings.

Modern boxing that we know today was largely influenced by fighting in England, where 'knuckle boxing' or 'prizefighting' became popular in the 17th century. While there were no rules initially, the Marquess of Queensbury published official guidelines in 1867 that became the foundation of the sport as we know it. Fighters were organized into lightweights, middleweights and heavy weights. The Queensberry rules can be summarized as follows:

  • Use of a 24 foot square ring
  • 3 minute rounds of fighting with one minute of rest
  • No wrestling or hugging
  • Knockout declared after a 10 second count
  • A fighter dropping to a knee or caught in ropes with feet not touching the ground was considered down
  • No more than 2 fighters at a time
  • Use of 'fair-sized' gloves
  • Referee to determine proper gloves and footwear
  • Referee to reschedule fight if needed
  • Continued use of the Revised Rules of the London Prize Ring

An enhanced version of the Queensberry rules was used as professional boxing surged in the 1980s, eventually catching on all around the world.

What are the different competition divisions in boxing? The answer may surprise you.

boxing weight classes
Boxing is one of the most popular sports in Canada. Source: Unsplash.

Boxing in Canada

Canadians love boxing, and has its own tradition of famous fighters like George Chuvalo and Lennox Lewis. Boxing is regulated nationally by Boxing Canada, though each province has its own specific guidelines and levels of organization. Boxing Canada also is also recognized by the Canadian Olympic Committee. Below is a list of Boxing Organizations by province:

  • Boxing Alberta
  • Boxing British-Columbia
  • Boxe Quebec
  • Boxing Ontario
  • Boxing Saskatchewan
  • Boxing Newfoundland
  • Boxing Nova Scotia
  • Boxing P-E-I
  • Boxing Yukon
  • Boxing Manitoba

How do I Register As an Amateur Boxer for Competition?

Each provincial boxing organization has its own guidelines for boxers and affiliations with different gyms. For example, Boxing Alberta's guidelines state that athletes first have to become members of an affliated boxing club. You must train for 6-12 months to learn the fundamentals of boxing (stance, defense, ring craft, offense, combination, rules and shadowboxing), until your coach or guardian decide you are ready to spar. When you are ready to compete, the coach will then register you with Boxing Alberta, and arrange for boxing trainings or unscored matches.

While this may seem like a lot of steps, the whole intention is to ensure you are adequately prepared with the appropriate skills and knowledge for an actual bout. This supports athlete safety, and scaffolds your journey toward bigger, more challenging competitions. You will eventually be matched with opponents of similar age, weight, skill level, and gender. When you have completed 11 bouts or more, you are considered "Open Class" and eligible to compete in provincial championships.

To be get the full set of guidelines for your province, visit the website and read the organization's rules.

kickboxing classes
Boxing classes will help you build the muscle strength to pack a punch! Source: Unsplash.

What is A Boxing Workout Like?

If you are a fitness enthusiast who is new to boxing, you will find boxing workouts a great way to diversify your routine, build upper body strength, and meet other athletes. Boxing workouts are among the most challenging and fun workouts, and will definitely get your core muscles firing while having a lot of fun.

What your boxing workout will look like largely depends on the purpose of the class. If your goal is to train to compete, you will find that the workout is largely focused on the development of mental and physical stamina, technique, and meeting the criteria for sparring competitively. While every boxing gym's approach may be different, a typical class would last about an hour and include a cardio-warm up, body weight exercises, and core work. You will build the strengths and the skills to fight opponents, defend yourself, understand footwork, head movement, and develop your reflexes. You may do work with punching bags and other gear that is specific to the sport.

Alternatively, you may find gyms with boxing inspired workouts that are intended for people that may not necessarily want to fight competitively and are instead looking for a new way to challenge themselves physically. These boxing classes may be around 45 minutes in length, and focus on incorporating high impact fitness movements like burpees and squats in with punching exercises. Your gym may loan you gloves to use for punching exercises, and you may do exercises where you will hold a strike shield while your partner practices their punches. More focus will be on exercise and stress relief rather than mastering defensive or offensive moves.

Which ever type of boxing class you choose to take, you will be sure to have loads of fun and burn plenty of calories in the process.

How young or old should you be to take up boxing? Find out if boxing is right for you.

What are the Boxing Weight Classes?

As you may already know, boxing has different weight classes for matching individuals against one another. For example, larger fighters will fight in a "Heavyweight" division, while smaller boxers might be considered in a "featherweight" group. We will share the different weight classes in a chart that follows.

To fight in a certain category or division, you will need to qualify by weighing within a certain range. This is where diet and nutrition are critical for boxers: many will monitor their eating closely to ensure they weigh in at the right amount on a certain day. In fact, some boxers will actually try to lose weight so they can get into the lowest weight class possible, so they can have an edge of over their opponent. Doing this can be incredibly challenging, however, as you may have to restrict fluid intake and exercise without compromising muscle mass. If you are looking to lose weight while you train, make sure you are consulting with a trained coach or sports nutritionist that can give you the best advice to lose weight and stay healthy.

Below is a table with the boxing weight classes.

DivisionWeight
Heavyweight200 lbs. +
Light Heavyweight168 lbs. - 175 lbs.
Middleweight154 lbs. - 160 lbs.
Welterweight140 lbs. - 147 lbs.
Lightweight130 lbs. - 135 lbs.
Featherweight122 lbs. - 126 lbs.
Bantamweight115 lbs. - 118 lbs.
Flyweight108 lbs. - 112 lbs.
boxing workout
Boxing workouts are great for enhancing your cardiovascular fitness and strength. Source: Unsplash.
The best Boxing tutors available
Muhaimin
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Muhaimin
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Patrick benitez, p. Eng.
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5 (4 reviews)
Patrick benitez, p. Eng.
$45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Julien
5
5 (4 reviews)
Julien
$30
/h
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1st lesson is free!
Marcus
5
5 (6 reviews)
Marcus
$49
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Elroy
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Elroy
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Saarang
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Saarang
$25
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Ivan
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Delver
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Delver
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Muhaimin
5
5 (6 reviews)
Muhaimin
$45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Patrick benitez, p. Eng.
5
5 (4 reviews)
Patrick benitez, p. Eng.
$45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Julien
5
5 (4 reviews)
Julien
$30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Marcus
5
5 (6 reviews)
Marcus
$49
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Elroy
5
5 (2 reviews)
Elroy
$80
/h
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1st lesson is free!
Saarang
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Saarang
$25
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What Are Kickboxing Classes?

Like boxing, kickboxing is a style of combat fitness that is popular and well loved by fitness and martial arts enthusiasts. Kickboxing is a style of fighting that incorporates handwork with kicking and footwork. While kickboxing may sound new and trendy, it has actually existed for years in forms of combat that mix kicking and punching: Muay Thai, Lethwei, and Yaw Yan are just a few forms from Asia.

Kickboxing classes combine resistance and cardio training, using the arms and legs to master combinations and build speed and agility. In a typical class, you will do dynamic exercises during the warmup period, and will then work through different combinations of kicking and punching. You may find yourself responding to the demands of an instructor so you develop your reflexes, and may engage with sparring as you gain experience and understand kickboxing safety. Following the class there is usually a cool-down period where you will stretch and calm your heart rate.

What are the Benefits of Boxing Classes?

There are so many benefits to learning boxing and taking boxing style classes. Let's review some of the top reasons.

Build Confidence

If you've ever experienced being bullied or have a child that has, boxing classes are the perfect way to build your confidence and strength. When you learn how to box, you will tone your body and feel strong, and take your fitness levels to new heights. Having the opportunity to do partner work with other boxers and connect with new people is also incredibly gratifying, and will help you build your social network and circle as well.

Get Physically Fit

Boxing can get you in the best shape of your life as you train for a full body workout. Training often involves running, jumping rope, and other cardiovascular activities. You will be surprised at how your arms, abs and torso change with repeated boxing exercises and resistance work. Even your blood pressure may go down as a result of the additional exercise, your heart will benefit from all the extra cardio, and you may even lose some weight and look more slim and trip. It is hard work, but you will have a strong and healthy body that will be able to meet the challenges of the sport.

Do you have what it takes to become a boxer? Learn all about career pathways in boxing.

Kickboxing is also a popular sport. Source: Unsplash.

Decrease Stress

We all have bad days, and definitely days where we leave work or even our homes needing to release some anger or stress. What better way could there be to release stress than boxing? Very few activities out there encourage your to release aggression in such a satisfying way. Picture whatever or whoever is causing your stress and lay it all out on a punching bag. You will go home feeling much more calm!

Sculpt your Shoulders and Midsection

One of the most enjoyable benefits of boxing are the physical effects. Because boxing uses so much upper body strength, you may find yourself with rock hard abdominals and some serious shoulder boulders with consistent training. What a great reason to keep training!

Become Part of a Fitness Community

Boxing gyms become community hubs for athletes with all sorts of different goals and ability levels. You'll meet all sorts of people with similar goals to yours, and athletes with a wide range of experiences that you can learn from. Maybe you are looking for ways to enhance your nutrition, improve your stance, or perfect your punches - ask your fellow boxers and you will surely learn from their feedback. Of course, you will also make lifelong friends and enlarge your social network!

Learn a Whole New Skill Set

As with any learning journey, you will start looking for answers and building knowledge. At some point, with continued training and learning, you may become the one people will ask. With a dedication to boxing training, you may choose to learn skills to compete, coach, run classes, or play an active role in the fitness industry.

Where are the Best Boxing Classes Near Me?

Finding the perfect boxing classes are easy if you live in a large city or town, where you will surely find at least one boxing gym. You may also find boxing inspired classes at boutique fitness studios, or even big box gyms that offer specialty classes. If you are looking for a complete boxing workout with all the equipment, then a boxing gym is definitely the way to go. Before picking any class, make sure you read some customer reviews and visit the gym before committing. Find out what a membership costs, if classes can be purchased individually, or if you can even do a trial to see if it will work for you or not.

Toronto Boxing Classes

Toronto is Canada's largest city, and has an abundance of boxing gyms, studios and general fitness gyms you can choose from. In addition to gyms, you will also find plenty of great places to watch a match and be around other boxing fans! Here is a list of some of boxing gyms in the city:

  • Red Owl Boxing
  • Toronto Boxing Academy
  • United Boxing Club
  • Bloor Street Boxing and Fitness
  • Sully's Boxing Gym
  • The Boxing Loft
  • Hardknocks Boxing Club
  • Atlas Boxing and Fitness Centre
  • RingFit
  • Studio K-O
Boxing Classes Near Me
Boxing classes can be found in major cities across Canada. Source: Unsplash.

Boxing Calgary

Located in Canada's Western province of Alberta, Calgary is a beautiful city situated close to the mountains where fitness is a popular pastime. There are some great boxing gyms to choose from, including:

  • Southpaw Family Fitness and Boxing Gym
  • Legacy Boxing Club
  • Impact Boxing and Fitness
  • Grizzly Boxing and Fitness
  • Rumble Boxing Gym

Boxing Vancouver

The jewel of Canada's West Coast, Vancouver is a metropolis of glass skyscrapers set against jagged mountain skylines. Wellness is a main focus of Vancouverites, and so there are lots of great boxing gyms to discover:

  • Eastside Boxing Club
  • Quinit Boxing
  • Contenders Boxing Classes and Training
  • Rumble Boxing Studio
  • Sugarrays
  • Rock Steady Boxing
Boxing Toronto
Find a boxing class near you and become the athlete you want to be! Source: Unsplash.

Learning Boxing on Your Own or At Home

Working out from home has its advantages: you don't have to drive anywhere, you don't have to share any equipment, and you have the privacy of your own space. It is perfect for people that do not want to box competitively, but want all the benefits of a boxing training regime. If you have kids, you won't have any childcare dilemmas to solve. Is it possible to learn boxing at home? Absolutely, but you will need to stay focused and will miss many of the benefits of being in an in-person class or studio.

Here are our tips for getting started with boxing at home.

Set Up a Great Home Gym

You'll definitely need a great home gym to get an at-home boxing fitness practice started up. Your basement may be the perfect place to start, if you have one available, as you will be able to spread out your equipment. Have a fitness bench, free weights, kettlebells, a punching bag, and a yoga mat in your workout space - try to purchase used to save some money. You'll also want a TV or stand for an iPad or laptop so you can follow video instructions while training.

Take Advantage of the Great Outdoors

Working out at home doesn't mean you have to stay locked up all the time. When the weather is nice, make sure you use the outdoors as much as possible to exercise. Get your cardio training in through a long run in the neighbourhood, or find a local high school with a track. Use park benches to do some exercises, and if your community has an outdoor gym space that can be a great place to sneak in some exercises.

Use a Lot of Videos and Apps

When you are working out from home, fitness videos and apps can be your best friend. Especially when you are in the beginning phases of learning boxing, you will find plenty of great starter videos that will introduce you to some basic punching moves. Boxing fitness apps are also a great source for workouts and tips for boxers. Keep your self motivated to follow app based programs by carving time into your daily schedule for workouts and rewarding yourself with a healthy breakfast or meal after!

Thinking of jumping into the boxing ring? Make sure you do so safely and following the rules of the sport.

Hire a Personal Boxing Trainer

Getting a personal trainer to work with you may sound costly, but it is one of the most worthwhile investments you can make into your health. If you prefer to exercise at home or away from the gym, a personal trainer is perfect for helping you to meet your fitness goals and staying motivated. They can tailor a program specifically for your needs, and work with your to enhance and improve your physical fitness and nutrition.

Finding a personal boxing trainer is easy with Superprof Canada. The site has listings for dozens of fitness trainers, and you can use the search tool to optimize for a boxing trainer. You can view the profiles of coaches and trainers near you, and find someone who will align to your interests, budget, and schedule. You can also message trainers directly through the site, so you can set up a virtual meeting or try a first session in person. If you prefer to do a fully virtual training schedule, you can arrange meeting through a virtual platform and choose someone from any part of the country you wish.

Even if you are not learning from home, a personal trainer is a great option to choose! They can meet you at a gym or a convenient location to start. Why delay? Find a personal boxing trainer on Superprof today.

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Colleen

Colleen is a Toronto-based educator, mom and freelance writer who believes in lifelong learning and strong coffee.