Get active: Boxing

The beauty about boxing training even as an amateur or beginner is that it gives you immediate results


Explain it to me: It’s a bit of a silly argument to ask which sport is the toughest or requires the highest level of fitness, but when pushed for an answer, most athletes will go for boxing. The beauty about that is that training for it even as an amateur or beginner gives you immediate results. You will never work harder in an hour than you will in a well-drilled boxing ring. So stick that up your crossfit.

Where do I start: There are boxing clubs in pretty much every single town, and although they might seem intimidating form the outside, most are incredibly friendly and full of people who are so enthused by the sport, they are more than happy to show a beginner the ropes.

There are also plenty of boxing gyms – where people are training more for fitness than for competition. Underdog in Dublin is excellent, with small classes, decent facilities and excellent trainers that’ll have you rattling the speed ball in no time. Do get some lessons from the outset. Getting your stance right, learning how to punch the bag properly, and how to move and defend yourself are all crucial early skills, and if you get them right from the start, it will save you an awful lot time , effort and injury further down the track.

Costs: Most boxing gyms such as underdog will provide you with gloves, so get yourself the usual gym essentials. A set of wraps for your hands (around €6) will make a big difference, and will help you feel like Michael Conlan.

Lessons aren’t exactly cheap. A 10-week beginners course (two hour-long lessons per week) is €325 at Underdog. But these are full-on technical lessons at the top end of the market. Local boxing gyms will be more reasonable so shop around.

Top Tips: You don’t want to be hit? Right? Neither does Floyd Mayweather Jr and he seems to have done alright. Realistically, if you take up boxing now, you’re unlikely to get into a proper fight, though decent sparring is definitely something to aim for. The training itself is surprisingly enjoyable. Improving your speed, dexterity and ability on bags is actually brilliant fun. And working with friends on mitts will give you plenty of scope to learn and improve. Oh and did we mention that taking up boxing will pretty much make you better at everything else, be it football, swimming, biking or badminton?