Should I Take Boxing or MMA Classes? What To Expect - Combat Sport Events

Should I Take Boxing or MMA Classes? What To Expect

You may be reading this because you are trying to decide whether to take Boxing or MMA classes. Perhaps you just feel like you don’t have any idea how to protect yourself? Or maybe you are looking for a way to keep it? Or perhaps you love combat sports and want to take part.

Whatever your reasoning is this article will answer the question on just which class you should take.

The short answer on whether you should take MMA or Boxing is it depends. It depends on many factors so let us compare Boxing and MMA classes.

Firstly we will breakdown exactly what you do in each class and what to expect.

Then we will compare the two classes and see which one will benefit you.


Boxing classes are great. They are a high-intensity full-body workout that can burn a lot of calories.

What to wear

anthony-joshua training with Rival gloves

Choose clothes that are the most relaxing for you and should not hinder you from moving around, your clothing should also hold up no matter how much you sweat.

The fabric should be foremost breathable and cool to the body and will not cause you to feel stuffy after sweating too much.

Any pants you will wear should also hold up in a place no matter how much you jump and do your workout.

Get shoe ideal for boxing, cross trainers can be a good fit as well since they have similarities to boxing shoes.

Running shoes is a no-no though because they have thick soles that can make turning difficult for you.

To view what gear I would recommend click here.

How to prepare for class?

You need to prepare yourself mentally and not just physically.

You need to have a snack or light taken 30-45 minutes before the start of class or if you are like me 2 hours before your training.

You should also be fully hydrated by taking in at least 20-22 ounces of water 2-3 hours before class starts.

Don’t forget to take plenty of water with you also.

Boxing can be intimidating to others, so best to be ready and keep in mind what your goal is – which is to have a great workout and learn a few defensive stances at the same time.

Start of the class

Tell the instructor it is your first time in the class and you are not familiar with anything yet.

Ask for help and let him show you around the gym or studio first so you can get the feel of the place.

It is not expected of you to know how to wrap your hands properly so your instructor can provide additional support to you. Also, tell your instructor if you have any prior injuries or body limitations so they can modify your boxing class for you.

The instructor will help you with what exercises you can do instead and what stretches are more applicable to you.

What can you expect?

You can enroll in high end or upscale studios that specialize in boxing class if you are particular with the setup. Some gyms are rough, and at the low side but can still give you the learning and workout that you need. They still have the necessary equipment for the training. It will depend on your choice and particular taste.

Most boxing classes are 45 minutes to 1-hour class that includes an intense cardio conditioning, warm-ups such as lunges, mountain climbing style, and squats there is no immediate hitting the heavy bag if that is what you are expecting, you will be conditioned first and work out is the key to that event.

Your hands will also take some workout with all the punch and beating it is about to do so you need to get it used to it.

With the cardio conditioning, it is the most important aspect in boxing; you need to up your upper body strength, need to increase cardiovascular endurance, and improve your body core.

Each boxing weight class can easily burn calories from six hundred to a thousand calories per class.

So, you are assured that you will lose weight in no time. You are not expected to be attending the class daily but you can choose your schedule, and how often you can make it to the workout.

Also, at first, you will have soreness and seemed to be too tired to move but after a while, your body will get used to the training and slowly adapt.

Once your instructor can gauge your readiness you will then be introduced to the following:

Mitt/Pad Work

It is what you often see in boxing movies where thick pads are being held in front of the face and the other one will be hitting it with specific combos. These are called focus pads. Most trainers will just call them mitts or pads. This is being done to develop and improve your accuracy, speed and reactions.


This is where you will throw punches but with no opponent in sight. No heavy bag, or other specific targets. Just you and your imagination. It helps with movement and visualizing shots your opponent will throw.

Heavy bag rounds

This is where it gets all exciting. Trying your punches on a punching bag usually is timed. This is now the target and the opponent. You can hit it as hard as you like and whatever technique you may have learned, this is the time to use it.

You should also try pacing here because this can wear you out the fastest.

Benefits of Boxing

Now that you have a gist of what a boxing class has in store for you, let us now look at the benefits of boxing.

It increases cardiovascular fitness

Boxing makes your body move a lot. Each punch you throw makes every muscle in your body to move.

Your heart, and your lungs, are also working double time. Your body will adapt to the constant activity in no time and will keep your cardiovascular system working like a well-oiled machine continuously and perfectly delivering oxygen to your whole body.

There is higher muscle stamina

Your muscles will be in tune with the workout and will keep up with the activity, making it more strong and keep longer durations of training which will help you burn more calories in the long run.

It can burn fat fast

Because of the high-intensity activity in training, boxing can burn calories from 500 to 600 calories per session.

It gives you better muscle tone

Since boxing keeps your whole body moving, it can tone your whole body muscle and not just fixed on one muscle. It improves muscle tone because of the fast and repetitive action during training.

Improve your over-all balance

Boxing can vastly improve your balance, with the constant rotation and the fast movement while throwing a punch, your core muscles get used to these movements with every class.

It improves body strength and power

Punching against resistance can cause all our muscles from the hips, legs, core, glutes back and shoulders and the chest and arms to contract depending on the force and the speed of the punch. Which in the long run will develop body strength and power?

It gives relief from stress

Mentally, it just gives you the feeling of being in control. It helps in keeping you calm and help you relax. Boxing just somehow gives us the release we need. With every punch thrown, stresses of life also lessen.

It gives you additional confidence and adds to your self-esteem

Boxing just gives you a feeling of calm and feeling good about yourself. The more you get the technique and the more training you get and the better you get with every training just up your self-esteem. Not to mention that when things push to shove, you will have some punches to throw.

Improve your body coordination

By moving different parts of your body all at the same time, boxing keeps your body well coordinated in the long run. Your brain and your body are well-coordinated, because of the focus and discipline you are getting from the daily activity (or every other day activity).

If there are advantages, there is a disadvantage

For those who reach the professional boxing level, some professionals get hit in the head so many times it has taken a toll on their body, most especially their brain.

Others who have learned the art of boxing may be too sure of themselves, having no self-control and easily look for a fight, this sometimes leads to a violent life.



MMA has become huge. Especially the UFC. With the sport of MMA surpassing several boxing pay per view events it’s easy to see why people want to train in MMA.

MMA is a combined discipline from wrestling, Thai-boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing and many more.

A lot of MMA fighters came to the sport being a professional already in one of these sports.

MMA is such a demanding sport so much that a lot of experts would say it is tougher than Boxing. While Boxing focuses on one discipline, striking with your gloves, MMA focuses on several at the same time.

Some examples of this are striking with elbows, kicks, take down, grappling, chokes and joint locks.

The UFC was released to the United States in 1991 and had a rule set of ‘No Holds Barred’ however it has since changed as there are many set of rules that are currently followed.

With many gyms available around the globe to choose from, you should go for gyms with highly qualified instructors and once you are there, look around and have a feel of the gym.

MMA has now also become a popular sport because of the UFC and stars such as Jon Jones, Rhonda Rousey and Conor McGregor.

Before you enrol in MMA classes, know what your purpose is in taking this class. Was it just to lose weight or do you want to learn how to protect yourself?

The second is if you are fit to take these classes, and you have to be ready mentally not only physically because MMA class teaches you a lot of things but foremost, know that it is not easy.

So, you have answered these questions and now on your first day.

The instructor on the first day will not expect you to do some sparring with other learners, they will guide you at first and will tell you the step-by-step training.

There is a complete body warm-up as new learners will have a workout and do workouts to improve their stamina, balance, speed, and strength.

They will need conditioning and strength training.

It will teach learners teamwork and will have their sights on goal setting and how to achieve such goals.

It will teach them discipline, control and not just working out the whole time.

Benefits of MMA

MMA Fighter Preparing Bandages For MMA Training.

The benefits of MMA mirror that of boxing. The benefits include:

  • It increases cardiovascular fitness
  • There is higher muscle stamina
  • It can burn fat fast
  • It gives you better muscle tone
  • Improve your over-all balance
  • It improves body strength and power
  • It gives relief from stress
  • It gives you additional confidence and adds to your self-esteem
  • Improve your body coordination

How do you prepare for your first MMA Class?

First, wear the right clothing and bring body protection with you. You may get a nice mouthpiece and groin protector.

Have your boxing gloves, MMA gloves, and shin protector also if you are taking the kickboxing class.

You should bring what you need such as water (lots of it), a towel, and extra clothing.

Do not eat a heavy meal before your class. A cracker, banana or any light food should do.

What to expect during your first class.

You will be instructed first and will be informed on how the class operates. After the introduction, there will be a warm-up session, they will ask you to do some jog around, do some jumping rope, squats and push-ups.

This will take you about 5 to 15 minutes to finish.

Then you will do some shadow boxing training for 5 to 10 minutes with combinations that they will ask you to do by your trainer.

Next, you will do some intense cardio sessions and some stretching after. The typical class may take an hour to an hour and a half to finish.

When you are ready, your instructors will pair you with the seasoned learner and you will then have sparring sessions.

Here your combinations will be observed and your stance and how you spar with the other learner. They will ease off on you because you are a first-timer but you will have your share of fighting positions to use in the long run.

You will be asked to do stretching every after work out and every class, this is very important since this will help your muscles relieve stress and avoid muscle soreness.

Of course every class is different and every MMA gym has their own way of doing things.

Pros and Cons

With MMA class you can learn different disciplines and can use all in different situations.

You have plenty to choose from which can add confidence and you can improve on these fighting techniques.

It will take time for you to learn though, and you need all the patience you have.

As I mentioned above most experts enter MMA which are professional in other sports.

Which is better MMA or Boxing?

Both can help you if you are thinking of learning something that can help you in the long run, or if you want to have confidence in protecting yourself.

If you are thinking about doing it professionally though, I can say that you can give your focus to boxing.

(Think of Mayweather and Pacquiao), the money (and I mean money!) is just there in boxing. Boxing just gets more viewers, if you know what I mean.

Although MMA is famous because of UFC, the majority of fighters still do not get as much money as the boxers do. To learn more about Boxer and MMA pay click here.

Both styles are effective, although if you are thinking of taking the class for self-defense.

Boxing can give you some skill set on reading your opponent, you have timing and you have focus.

In boxing, you train your hands to do the punching, how to evade, how to move and how to take punches.

These things can be useful when you and your opponent are standing, but when the fight gets to the ground, that is when boxing becomes somewhat useless.

What will you do after the takedown? As long as your opponent will not trip you over and overpower you, you are safe with boxing.

This is where MMA can help you, with the techniques you get from different disciplines.

With MMA it teaches you to deal with kicks and punches, whether on the floor or standing up.

You can use your elbows to give that good shoving, your knees for that hard strike or that strong kick to do the trick. You have different options to take when the situation calls for it. You are ready to take the challenge.

Which is better for fitness? MMA or Boxing classes?

Both can give you the benefit that you need. With both, you can lose weight. You can enrol in cardio in several classes like Boxercise, Kickboxing fitness etc if it is just for losing weight while using some of the movements.

With both sports it is also unlikely for you not to sweat, both sports are extremely tiring and can give you the practice that you need.

The activities are gruelling, so it is a sure fact that you will lose weight in a short time with both classes.

MMA requires you to use wrestling, grappling and striking giving you a serious full body workout.

Boxing requires you to use your legs but not in the way MMA does.

MMA often can require less striking while grappling replaces it.

Boxing requires constant striking throughout.

MMA fighters have short 3-5 minute rounds during the fight, and often fights do not last long.

Boxing can be slightly different in that they boxers to last longer.

At the top-level Boxing, fights go 10-12 rounds of 3-minute rounds and females go for 2-minute rounds. The conditioning is slightly different from MMA in that sense.

The strength and conditioning training can be very similar for each sport however if I had to choose a class to based on fitness I would choose MMA for the fact that you use muscles that you would not normally use in Boxing.

So, which class should you take?

Both have similarities. They are often compared to each other for several different reasons however, the differences could be the deciding factor as to which one you take.

If you have a background in other martial art disciplines like wresting, Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Judo or any other grappling sport I would recommend trying MMA. Your skills in any of these areas will benefit you greatly whilst training.

However if you are starting from scratch then I would suggest Boxing.

Boxing allows you to focus on one discipline while still giving you an incredible workout.

Both will teach you discipline and focus.

If you already have a background in boxing and want to try MMA to be a more complete all- fighter obviously, you can choose MMA class and learn different martial arts.

There are just many disciplines to choose from with MMA class and you can’t go wrong with adding these disciplines to your lists of fighting styles.

These two have many similarities. Both have there benefits and dangers. It is completely up to you on which you choose.

So whether you choose Boxing or MMA classes just remember don’t be afraid. Get stuck in and go for it.

If you are looking at what equipment to buy before taking a class then click here to view my recommended gear.

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