How To Box At Any Age
Boxing is a sport with a reputation for aggression, brutality and a lot of testosterone. Thus it's natural to think that boxing should only be practiced at a certain age, when we are in our best physical shape.
If we look at the statistical data, though, on average, boxing exercises lead to fewer, less severe injuries than football and soccer. Therefore you should be able to practice those drills much later in life. Looking at medical studies you will quickly discover testosterone levels (in men) remain relatively high throughout later stages of life, too. Practicing the sport is not only possible at any age, but it also has significant health benefits. Improving cardio, increasing bone density and just adding up to your overall stamina and energy levels are among the many benefits you can get out of boxing, regardless of your age.
But is it ever too early or too late to start? Let's dig deeper and see if and how you can box at any age.
When is the earliest you can start boxing?
We think that the earliest that someone shows interest in boxing is the right age to start.
We have FightCamp users who report that their kids love going through their boxing gear and imitating shadowboxing routines. We see kids even punching the heavy bag, mimicking their parents. If a child shows interest in the sport, once they get to a stage where they can communicate effectively and carry out simple instructions, they’re at the right age to start boxing.
Boxing for young adults and kids has benefits beyond just building physical strength and exercise. Boxing has a philosophical side to it. Learning how to withstand adversity, how to work out aggression in a healthy way, and how to keep a cool mind are all real and useful lessons that transcend the sport.
For specific routines and more advice on boxing for kids, you can check out our guide "How to Start Boxing [Kid's Edition]".
Is 50 too old to start boxing?
No, 50 isn’t too late to start boxing. George Foreman won a world heavyweight title when he was 47 years old. Bernard "The Alien" Hopkins defended his world title in the light heavyweight category at the age of 49 and retired from the sport at 51. Granted, those are athletes who have boxed their entire adult life, but if someone can win a world title when they are close to 50 years of age, anyone can at least train at that age.
The key to being able to box when you’re older is adjusting your training. For example, a 50 year old should train differently from a 26 year old. Here is some advice for training:
- Take your time warming up. Try to move every joint in your body for at least a few seconds to get it warmed up and to prevent injury. If it takes 30 minutes to loosen your muscles and to get a sweat going, then take that 30 minutes! It is important not to rush the warm up.
- Use proper protection for your hands. This includes using boxing hand wraps and high-quality boxing gloves. Even if you use very padded gloves, still wrap your hands.
- Maintain a more moderate tempo for interval exercises. When you are hitting the bag, jumping rope, or doing running intervals, be mindful of your pace and try not to put too much stress on your heart. Add rounds to your workout slowly, as you feel ready for it.
- If you choose to spar as part of your training, keep it light and easy.
- Don't try to compete with the younger people in the gym. Your only competition is yourself.
Can you get into boxing at any age? What about competition?
Yes, you can get into boxing at any age, however, competing in boxing as an older adult is a bit more controversial. Although there are boxing for seniors competitions out there, boxing competition requires and demands a tremendous amount of training and experience. If you are just starting out as an older boxer, serious boxing competition is often not recommended. Boxing teaches you discipline, builds self-confidence, improves your physical strength and overall fitness. You don’t need to compete in order to see those benefits. Simply engaging in boxing workouts, practicing boxing combinations and drills, and shadowboxing will all keep you in shape.
Ultimately, the hardest competition you will face is the one with yourself. Tracking your progress is the best way to make sure you constantly improve and technology can make this an easy task. With FightCamp’s Punch Trackers, you can measure and analyze your stats and make sure you are advancing without the danger of getting in the ring. Fun fact: If you improve 1% in a certain activity, every single day, in exactly 70 days you will be 2x better than when you started.
What age is too late to start boxing? Is there one?
Boxing is a total body workout and includes a wide variety of exercises. There is no age that is “too late” to start boxing. To deal with the challenges age presents to seniors who want to box, simply adapt the training:
- Decrease the number of rounds (time & count)
- Increase rests
- Turn down the intensity
- Modify exercises
- Replace more vigorous exercises with calmer, easier ones
Additionally, even if your lower body mobility is impaired, there are boxing workouts online that you can do sitting down.
As the famous saying goes, "Age is just a number". You can start boxing at any age and (almost) any prior physical condition.
Your workout should constantly be fine-tuned to your body. The condition you are in, at any point in time, dictates your pace, exercise selection, etc.
If you have a child who is interested in boxing, you can help them explore it. For kids, boxing is not only an amazing sport, but it can also teach them a lot about conflict resolution, negotiation and result, power of will, and discipline.
Finally, if you think you are too old to learn boxing, don't let that stop you from giving it a try. You can never be too old to start a boxing workout regimen. It doesn't matter if you are in your 40s, 50s, 60s, etc. Boxing is a great way to get into and keep in good shape, and it's a workout that's never going to be boring.
The FightCamp trainers have years of experience working with boxers and kickboxers of all ages and all levels, and are available to answer any questions about training and gear on our Facebook Community.
The Author: Nikolay Tsenkov is a dad, husband, entrepreneur, and boxing aficionado. He started training late, when he was 26 years old. One of his biggest regrets in life is that he never competed. For several years he has trained alongside national and European champions and professional boxers. He is an avid student of boxing, but enjoys all sorts of martial arts.