After boxing became really popular for fitness and self-defense a decade ago, we can find many derivatives of “boxing gyms”. Some are for teaching boxing properly, some are for fitness, and some gyms are focused on teaching self-defense.
So a good boxing gym actually depends on your needs however, there are definitely a couple of key factors to determine a good boxing gym and below you can find them.
Trainers: Do trainers challenge people? Or are they busy with trying to look cool while holding the punch mitts? It is truly the most important criterion while choosing a boxing gym.
A wide variety of people go to boxing gyms. Some of them are just beginners and some of them are more advanced. So your level should not matter and everyone should benefit from trainers and they should be able to provide a training plan for every need. Also, you should keep in mind that every individual is different. Some people have longer legs and some have better reflexes etc. So trainers also should be able to create a training program for your physical attributes.
With that, there should be enough experienced trainers in a boxing gym so if you seek any help or feedback, you should be able to get it and develop your skills. After all, you don’t want to do a workout without any feedback. Sure you will get better physically but if you do it without any feedback all the time, certainly it will not be optimal for improving your skills.
Speed Bag Platform: This is actually a very common problem for many boxing gyms. As you may know from my old writings or if you have been following me on my Google plus, you probably know that I travel a lot and have been in many boxing gyms in different countries, cities. One thing is common for bad gyms. It is not a general rule but if a gym does not have enough speed bag platforms, this gym tends to suck. It is one of the obvious signs which tell you to stay away from that gym.
Equipment Quality: Well, even though you can not expect to train with new boxing equipment all the time the equipment and gears need to be taken care of. Do speed bag’s bladder leak air or do heavy bag stands vibrate too much? You should check them before you join a gym. Also, some gyms even have high-quality punch trackers to see your progress closely. Even though generally commercial ones have it, you may run into a few local gyms which have it and if you do, considering my experiences definitely start training in that gym. These guys tend to know how to box and combine their knowledge with the latest technology.
However, keep in mind that you don’t need to go to the most expensive boxing gym to learn boxing. Just check out whether a gym genuinely cares about boxing equipment or not.
Sparring: Here you should learn how to defend yourself, implement punching techniques… So if people go really hard in the ring, you basically can’t “learn” in that environment. So definitely observe how they spar. Is the goal learning or do they only try beating each other?
Also before you spar, you should be checked whether you have necessary gears or not. So someone needs to care whether you wear a mouth guard, proper sparring boxing gloves… or not before you enter a boxing ring.
How is the Environment? We don’t have the same skills and we definitely can’t learn and implement the techniques at the same time. So basically people and trainers should encourage you to move forward all the time.
I have witnessed that a myriad of people lose motivation or even give up because of these reasons. Actually, it is understandable since boxing is one of the most physically demanding sports out there and in addition to that when people face a bad attitude, some of them may give up.
Are you serious about your training? Considering my experiences, most of the commercial gyms generally focus on losing weight, getting fit and these generally don’t teach boxing properly and focus on having good punching bag, focus mitts sessions so you can get fit and have fun at the same time. So if you want to go pro or are serious about your training, just stay away from commercial gyms.
Join a couple of different boxing gyms! Alright, this one is actually a no-brainer. When you go to more than one gym, you will train with more trainers. So you can do many different drills and have more than one perspective.
Basically, you can sharpen your skills and learn in a more efficient way. And you can decide which one will be better for your boxing career/skill development in no time.
Price: A commercial gyms’ price depends on how much they want to screw you over without teaching you necessary skills for boxing. A local gym’s price generally depends on its success. For example, if the fighters win tournaments, competitions regularly and it has best-ranked fighters, the price can skyrocket! In some cases, the price can be even way more than commercial gym fees. I have been in many successful local gyms in the USA, Russia, and Croatia and these charge more than commercial gyms. And even though these may look messier, dirtier than commercial gyms, in my opinion, these ones deserve every penny.
With that, there are also many kids boxing centers etc. and these tend to be inexpensive and focus on teaching young fellows.
When you will find a good boxing gym, you need a proper bag to carry all of your gears and if you want to have a quick look at them, you can check out the reviews of these best boxing gym bags. I also had used one of them for a long time and my gears had constant airflow.
My last tip is to observe. Just have a look around. How is people’s approach? Do trainers spend any effort for improving people’s skills and do they give tips and correct people? If you spend just 10 minutes in a boxing gym you will be able to understand whether that gym is worth going or not.
Please don’t be lazy and go a lot of gyms, do your research before you decide!
I am sure that this article will help you make a better choice and I am definitely not a perfectionist but if you ask me you should consider all of these criteria and if you have any tips, recommendations for choosing a boxing gym, let me know in the comment section.