Thunk! Thunk! Thunk! Left jab. Overhand Rattling left hook. “Take that, you big, ugly, no-talent, go-cry-home-to-Mama … bag!”
Whether it’s dressed up as box-aerobics, cardiobox, slug-mania or one of a dozen other names, the sport of boxing has become a heavyweight in the fitness world. You can now find boxing classes, or some offshoot, in 21 percent of all U.S. health clubs, according to the American Council on Exercise. And that figure is rising.
To discover what all the fuss is about, I went mano-a-mano with 100-bags for one week and learned what so many others before me have already discovered: Boxing delivers a peerless total-body workout–which you don’t need to attend a class to get.
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BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME
Boxing alone? At home? It’s not as silly as it seems. No sparring partner is needed, and the equipment requirements are elementary: a bag, gloves, jump rope, timer and music. And you’ll get a workout that doesn’t miss a spot: a 1,000-calorie-an-hour cardio bomb on par with running, and a superb all-body tuner that builds shoulders and forearms and works legs, hips, abs, upper back, triceps, biceps and lats. (Want to blast your delts? Try holding 14-ounce gloves at chin level for two rounds.)
Moreover, a boxing-based workout offers you an opportunity to develop real-life skills during a cardio session, to learn the sweet science that many men think they should know, something that buoys their sense of their own manhood.