Is Boxing Better Than Going To The Gym?

From a combat point of view, boxing is always superior, however, both forms of exercise have their own list of benefits. In this article we’ll discuss the positives and negatives of both, hopefully answering this question and shedding some light based on pure facts.

In this day and age, we see plenty of different opinions regarding why one is better than the other. Let’s get debunking any myths surrounding these similar yet different forms of exercise.

Why Start Boxing

There’s a multitude of reasons that show how boxing can be beneficial physically and mentally. The Art of fighting 1 vs 1 has always been popular for as long as humans have existed. Let’s start by taking a look at some benefits.

Physical Benefits: The physical benefits of boxing are increased cardiovascular endurance, increased strength, speed, and agility, along with better reflexes and a significant increase in self-defense and hand-to-hand combat. It’s always best to avoid any physical altercation, in the worst-case scenario, knowing how to defend yourself could make all the difference.

Mental Benefits: Boxing as a whole from training to fighting requires high levels of discipline, self-control, and determination. These qualities are extremely valuable throughout all stages of life. Training for hours on end is exhausting, forcing the body to surpass its limits will allow the individual to get ‘comfortable with being uncomfortable’. The idea that nothing good comes easy is true, when boxing at a high level, staying consistent and dedicated is difficult, the resilience that the individual will build from training like this is extremely beneficial.

Boxing is an excellent form of exercise and builds practical strength. It’s a great way to lose weight however from boxing alone don’t expect to pack on tonnes of muscle.

If you are someone who’s thinking about starting your boxing journey, its defiantly worth giving it a shot!

Why Start Going To The Gym

Going to the gym is another form of exercise with plenty of different aspects to choose from. On the one hand, you have the ‘lifting weights’ side of the gym and on the other, there’s the cycling, treadmill, rowing, and aesthetics side. All of these different methods of training take place within the gym environment. Let’s go into some more detail about the 3 main forms of training.

Lifting weights: Weight training has lots of benefits, not only can you improve your physic, but weight training is also perceived to be a great way to improve mental health as well as increase testosterone and all round well-being. In this day and age, this type of training has become increasingly popular. Weight training allows you to progress fairly quickly which is great when it comes to self-improvement. As individuals develop in their training it’s common to see them becoming a lot more conscious of healthy eating as well as supplementation, in most cases this helps prevent illnesses and deter athletes from bad habits.

Calisthenics: Another form of training that is commonly associated with the gym. Calisthenics consists of body weight moments that build muscle, strength, and endurance. A few examples could be pull-ups, Push Up variations, and Dips. These exercises build high amounts of core strength/stability and are great for all-around health.

Cardio: Often associated with losing weight, cardio is an excellent form of exercise for everyone. Being able to adjust the pace and progressively improve means its suited for all levels of gym enthusiasts. Cardio helps with the improvement of cardiovascular health, blood flow and releases plenty of endorphins. Its a fantastic way to lose weight and is a form of training that can be suited to an athlete’s preferences and requirements. Treadmills, bikes, rowing machines, and skis are all commonly used examples of gym equipment.

When Is Boxing Better Than Going To The Gym

Boxing teaches self-defense, if you want to learn how to fight, going to the gym and acquiring muscle mass will not help you reach that goal in any shape or form. Muscle is heavy, and having too much of it can be seen as impractical.

Even though it’s the complete opposite of being fat, the muscle that significantly increases body weight puts more stress on the heart. This can in worst-case scenarios leads to heart failure. Like with everything done in proportion is your best bet.

Boxing is definitely harder than weight training which means it requires more dedication and resilience. Being able to endure pain and continue is one of the hardest things to master. Hence why the majority of people would not be able to have a 12-round fight. Both the gym and boxing do require years of dedication and are all dependent on how hard you train, for us fighting, will always have an edge over lifting weights. It comes down to an individual’s goals and ambitions.

Why Training In The Gym Better Than Boxing

Gym training in some cases is safe than boxing. Even though you can obtain significant injuries from the gym, the potential negative side effects of boxing tend to be worse. From broken bones to brain damage boxing can be a dangerous sport. This factor alone could give going to the gym an edge over pure boxing. Unfortunately, with boxing, there is always that element of risk that can’t be escaped.

Training in the gym also gives you a variety of different exercises allowing you to choose what’s best suited to hit your own personal goals. When it comes to boxing its predominantly all the same. The 3 most popular forms of boxing training are sparing, bags, and pads/mit work. When comparing this to the number of popular gym exercises its a night-and-day comparison. This variety should in some cases help you to stay on track and not get bored.

Comparing The Gym And Boxing

Boxers can make great use of the gym. From weight training to cardio majority of the exercises that take place in the gym can help with improving yourself as a boxer. Compound movements such as incline presses, deadlifts, and overhead presses can be great for building explosive power. Movements such as the squat are ideal for building the lower half of the body. This is crucial when it comes to boxing, not only is there a lot of pressure on the legs but it also helps with generating that power from the ground up.

Cardio in boxing is essential, If you’re a beginner or a pro, having good cardiovascular endurance is mandatory. Theres plenty of machines in the gym that helps with improving cardio, yet another reason why boxers can and should defiantly go to the gym.

Let’s look at this from another angle. There are 2 different reasons people go to the gym. Strength and aesthetics. Typically boxers aren’t focused solely on developing a well-rounded aesthetic build. However many boxers are in tremendous shape. A few examples are:

  • Mike Tyson
  • Evander Holyfield
  • Anthony Joshua
  • Anthony Yard
  • Kell Brook
  • Wladimir Klitschko

For a better insight into the top boxing physics, check out another one of our articles. Best boxing physics

The cardio side of boxing allows individuals to never achieve cardiovascular failure before muscular failure. This in turn means boxers should be able to train harder for longer if they are looking to improve their physique.


Training in general is important, doing what you love will mean you’ll be able to maintain your training for as long as possible. Different sports and forms of training will inevitably give you different results however its about finding what works best for you. Both boxing and the gym are great physical work, discovering what you prefer is a simple case of trying everything out.

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