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What To Put Into Your Boxing Gym Bag

Posted by Mike Gales on

Alright, so you’ve made the decision that you are going to start boxing. That is a wonderful decision that you definitely won’t regret. Boxing teaches discipline, confidence, improves strength, flexibility, and coordination but most importantly it is an awesome way of stay fit and trim. Many people are often anxious about first walking into a boxing gym as they think of it as being some sort of Fight Club and that they will be immediately expected to put up their dukes and stepping into the ring. Well, that’s not how it works. The majority of boxing gym-goers have no intention of fighting, in fact, the main goal of the average person in a boxing gym is to fight fat and not other people. In this article, I wanted to help quell some jitters or anxieties that you may have about walking into a gym, by having you prepared as we quickly review what you should carry with you in your boxing gym bag.

  • Hand Wraps
    • I think that if you are going to buy only one item and keep it in your gym bag then hand wraps should definitely be that item. They inexpensive and they will keep your hands protected and safe as you go through your workouts. Even if you simply shadow box then the wraps will still give you some material to grasp and make a tight fist. Also, many gyms will have gloves that they will loan out to members but other people are sweating in those gloves. If you decide to use the community boxing gym gloves, having your own wraps will at least provide you with a semi-barrier between your hands and someone else’s dried up sweat.

How to wrap your hands.

  • Proper Clothing
    • You should wear comfortable clothing that you can freely maneuver in. Also, remember that these boxing workouts are going to be quite intense and so wear clothes that you don’t mind getting all sweaty. If you plan on sparring at all then I would recommend some nice flowing shorts so that your leg movement is never restrict and I would also recommend a t-shirt. Keep the tank tops for competitions only, as you may get some ring-rash on your arms and back from the ropes. Bottom line, I would recommend a pair of shorts and a t-shirt that you are ready to get all drenched in sweat.

  • Proper Shoes
    • If you plan on boxing, then increased maneuverability and footwork is all part of the game. Thus I would advise against wearing combat boots or galoshes, instead, get yourself a pair of light-weight shoes. Boxing shoes are great because they are light weight and they have a flexible sole to help increase foot dexterity. But in the beginning, your favorite comfy running shoes will do just fine.

  • Bag Gloves
    • Most reputable boxing gyms will have loaner gloves for all members to use, but I always found it best to have my own. An all-around boxing training glove (like the one in the picture) is best for pounding away on any of the various punching bags. This style of glove usually has Velcro attachments, so that you can put them on and remove them by yourself. Proper bag gloves can be found anywhere for 8 to 16 ounces. That extra weight means that it will take just a little extra effort to throw each and every one of your punches, thusincreasing the intensityof your bag workouts. Your hand should fit snugly in the glove while wearing the hand wraps but not so tight that it can cut circulation or become uncomfortable. As far as the weight goes, heavier gloves will give you a better workout out, but they will also slow you down and limit the impact of your punches. Thus to optimize your effectiveness, lighter people (150lbs and under) should use 12oz. gloves for the bag and heavier people should use at least 14oz for the bag.
    • The Bag Gloves are often made from synthetic leather with is very durable but it doesn’t glide as well on an opponent’s face during sparring. You definitely could use it for sparring but if you are looking to spar often then I would recommend a pure sparring glove(further down on the list.)

Find out which style of glove is best for you.

  • Speed Rope
    • Your boxing gym will probably have plenty of ropes to choose from but once again I always prefer to have my own. I personally find that a rubber speed rope is the best for boxing training because its handles aren’t bulky, it’s extremely light weight (yet it still cuts through the air) and best of all it is probably the cheapest style of rope at under 10 bucks.

Learn to jump rope like a pro.

  • A Towel
    • There is no way around it, any boxing workout that is worth its salt will have you sweating profusely by the time it’s done. You will feel infinitely more comfortable if you have your own, fresh towel to use, to wipe the sweat from your face. Also if you decide to use any of the gym’s training apparatus, well then it’s proper gym etiquette to use a towel so that you don’t leave a puddle of sweat behind after you are done.

If you plan on taking your fitness regime to an entirely new level, then you may want to step in to the ring for some sparring. If that is the case, there then will be a few more items to add to your boxing gym bag that will come in handy.

  • A Mouth Guard;
    • This is the most inexpensive item on the list, yet it is the most crucial. I never let any, and I mean any of my clients set foot into the boxing ring to spar without one. Aside from saving those pearly whites of yours, a mouth guard is your primary protection against concussions. I know that you may find wearing one uncomfortable at first but before long, you won’t even realize that it is there. This is also the one item that you can’t borrow from another person. Each mouth guard must be custom formed for your individual mouth for it to be effective.

  • Head Gear
    • The real key to achieving sustainable results is to be consistent. Wearing head gear while sparring will not only soften the blows to your head, it will also lessen the likelihood of you getting cut. Sometimes in close quarters, there may be an accidental clash of heads. Wearing head gear will ensure that you don’t receive a nasty gash if that ever were to happen. Also, this style of Everlast head gear has the cheek protectors as well. That limits the ability for most shots to make contact with your face, thus drastically reducing the instances of black eyes or bloody noses. Once again, every boxing gym will probably have loaner equipment but if you plan on sparring often then having your own headgear that you have customized for your specific head is a must.

  • Sparring Gloves
    •  A Sparring Glove is also great all-around training glove as they can be used for the double-ended bag, the focus mitts, and the heavy bag but for me, they are primarily sparring gloves. They are themost expensivetype of glove and that is because they are made from the highest quality of leather. That higher quality leather is smoother which will lead to fewer scratches on the faces of your sparring partners. Notice thatthis style of glove also has laces. The laces will provide the ultimate support for your wrist and hand which can come in handy if you land a punch on a super hard target like some one’s elbow. The sparring gloves typically range from 10 to 20 ounces. Remember that during sparring, you will be hitting another individual. Using a heavier glove will not only proving you with a more intense sparring session but will it also soften the blows on your partners head and ribs as well. Lighter guys should use at least 14oz. gloves and heavier guys at least 16oz. I personally use an 18 oz. glove to spar as I’m a heavier guy and I am not looking to harm my partners.

  • No Foul Groin Protector
    • It doesn’t happen too often but once in a while, you may get an accidental shot to the family jewels while sparring. If that’s the case then you will be extremely thankful that you decided to wear a cup. These days, a groin protector like the “No Foul” has a cup but it also has built in padding to protect your kidneys and hips from wayward or deflected shots. I know that I sound like a broken record but I definitely prefer to have my own groin protector that is custom fit for me.

  • Petroleum jelly
    • This may seem like an odd item to keep in your bag but trust me if you are going to spar, then it is a necessity. You will apply the petroleum jelly to your face, especially all of the parts not covered by your head gear. When a punch does make contact, the friction forces will be greatly reduced thanks to the jelly and you will be much less prone to cuts and bruises. It’s such a simple thing… but it works. Most gyms will have a container right next to the ring. But sometimes they run out and so I keep some spare jelly in my gym bag, just in case.
  • Some Tape; Once you have your spring gloves on, nice and snug, you will want to add a layer of tape over the laces of the gloves. That will make sure that you don’t needlessly receive any abrasions from the laces when your guys spar in close. It will also ensure that the laces don’t come undone. Once again most gyms will have the tape one hand, but I like to keep a roll in my bag just to be safe.

Boxing is one of the greatest methods of training to get yourself into the best shape of your entire life. People often balk at the idea of even giving it a try because they are afraid of getting hurt. Other people are anxious because they are not sure exactly what to expect when they walk through the door. The truth is that in most gyms, you can expect to find friendly trainers who are there to put you through the greatest workout ever. You will soon come to realize that boxing can be quite safe if you are properly prepared. Hopefully, after reading this article, you will be well equipped to handle it, because you will know exactly what you should bring with you in your boxing gym bag to start knocking out some calories.

You may also want to check this video on getting ready to spar, if you are curious about how to put all of this equipment on.

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