Boxing — A Hit for Fitness

August 2012 View more

NMAG0812_FitnessMy Grandfather had the opportunity to work with Cassius Clay back in the 1960s, who later became Mohammad Ali. My Grandpa told me some great stories about his time with Ali. Personally, I could never jump in the ring and go a round, but one can’t help admire the training these athletes undergo to develop incredible endurance both physically and mentally. Over the years, boxing has made its way into the health and fitness world as a workout alternative. Some local clubs in Naperville offer variations of boxing in an effort to create a lean, mean, and if desired, fighting machine.


Traditional Boxing

One of the more traditional boxing facilities is Jab Fitness in Naperville. Since 2005, Jab gives students a one-on-one, full boxing workout including heavy bags, speed bags, double-end bags, and jump ropes. “There is no ring or sparring at Jab. The workout is set to a boxer’s bell that goes off every three minutes with one-minute rest in between,” said Joe Cassano, Jab owner. “There are no classes or scheduling. I’m not a big fan of classes, as I never knew a boxer to take a class,” said Cassano.

Beyond Traditional Boxing

At Family Fry YMCA in Naperville, they move beyond traditional boxing and offer kickboxing classes taught by instructor Kathy Nutt. “I think many people might be surprised how great a kickboxing workout can be. The class utilizes so many muscles and gives a well-rounded workout, without using a lot of equipment,” Nutt added.

Power Hour

TITLE Boxing Club in Naperville combines both traditional and non-traditional boxing forms. They are known for their Power Hour classes. “The Power Hour workout follows a class structure of a 15 minute cardio warm-up, 30 minutes on the heavy bag (working a variety of boxing/kickboxing combinations), and a 15 minute core cool down,” says Meredith Hess, General Manager.

Picking your program

Choosing between one-on-one classes, traditional boxing, or kickboxing is a matter of personal preference. Whichever program you choose, be sure you’re in qualified hands.

“If you are new to boxing, it is important to have someone instructing you with a boxing background. There are always going to be different styles of instruction, but your technique will be important. In order for a workout to be as effective and safe as possible, having an experienced instructor is important,” said Hess.

Instructors are also finding that boxing isn’t just for young men anymore. Women and students of all ages are jumping on the boxing bandwagon.
“I have about 35% women in the gym. Members range in age from 7 to 65 years,” says Cassano.

Boxing Benefits

Instructors agree that boxing helps improve self-esteem along with increased strength and cardiovascular endurance. “Women in particular love coming in to hit a 100-pound heavy bag for an hour. It gives them an outlet that strays from their normal day-to-day routine. People come back to these workouts every week, not because they have to, but because they want to,” said Hess.

“It’s a high intensity, full body workout. Weight loss, increased muscle tone, strength, coordination, agility, stamina, and overall wellness are all things you can expect to gain. It’s great for the heart and the cardiovascular system. In my opinion, it’s one of the best stress relievers after a long, hard day,” Cassano added.

If you’re looking to get back in shape, improve your current fitness level or simply add variety to your current program, boxing can be an excellent source for a physical and mental challenge. To quote Mohammad Ali, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion!’”