How Many Calories Does Boxing Burn?

how many calories does boxing burn

To answer that question, boxing likely tops the list among other sports with approximately 800 calories burned in a span of an hour.

Boxing is one of the oldest sports in the history of the world. But it was only in recent years that the general public had started to strike a strong enough interest to actually participate in it. One of the questions often asked about boxing is, how many calories does it burn? Read on to learn more.

In this write up we are going to tackle how boxing had transformed over the years, and what factors may have contributed to this relatively sudden development.

Boxing For All

If you walk inside a boxing gym around the neighborhood today, or maybe down the metropolis, you’d be surprised.

Whereas, back in the day, boxing gyms were normally filled up by a predominantly male crowd, nowadays one might witness a larger female population of various ages whamming up the heavy bags, shadow boxing in front of a wide mirror.

Just by watching from a distance, you might assume they’re preparing themselves for a real bout.

The training is basically of the same structure and foundation of how veritable practitioners are primed for a fight.

The origin of the sweet science is a prehistoric one. It’s formal introduction came during the Greece Olympics in 688 BC.

As a professional sport, its golden years were back in the nineteen eighties with star athletes such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, and Tommy Hearns.

The key factor that has made boxing so popular in recent years is its transition from a mainly hand-to-hand combat sport to an ultimate workout for practically everyone.

As a result, there are also more fashionable gyms in operation nowadays. Boxing merchandise sales are thriving.

If you have not been outside the man cave for years, you’d be surprised by how many stylish, colorful boxing gloves there are on display at sports shops in every mall.

Fancy a camouflage or a pink hand wrap?

For so many years past, boxing had remained an intimidating sport, clustered in mystery.

Its gradual accessibility to the public has opened up a new, friendlier environment, and people are finding out that not only do you learn self-defense by enrolling in boxing lessons, but it makes you both real fit and healthy too.

It’s like hitting two birds with one stone!

Boxing Lessons for Fitness, the Definitive Workout

The beauty of taking up boxing lessons for fitness is that a black eye, broken nose, or cracked jaw is completely out of the monthly package. Taking a hit is completely optional.

Other than this, the basic routine is the same. From calisthenics warm up, speedball and bagging drills, learning defensive skills such as parrying, or anticipating an incoming shot; all that jazz without having to kill yourself in the gym or be obliterated on fight day.

So what makes boxing the ultimate workout? Below are just a few reasons why:

If you’ve been into boxing for some time now, you must have heard a friend or two inquire about how much calories a boxing workout burns.

Boxing, being a combat sport, can be so thrilling that you’re probably burning calories from being pumped up merely watching it on screen.

A whole body workout

Pop quiz, hotshot. What do boxers Laila Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Sugar Ray Leonard and Evander Holyfield have in common? They’ve all competed in Dancing with the Stars.

The best boxers out there are the most graceful ones. Like natural dancers, they are light and swift on their feet, and their body movements never seem forceful at all.

Boxing workouts nearly utilizes every muscle in your body. It requires constant movement from your feet, hips, and shoulders, up to your head when you slip a punch- unless you want to end up being a hittable target.

This constant movement is played out with changes in rhythm (to avoid being predictable to the opponent) so it is similar to incorporating DANCING and PUNCHING at the same time, as though shifting from the samba to jazz, and pop!

Developing cardiovascular strength

It goes without saying that the drills necessary in boxing are a great exercise for the heart and lungs.

Protect yourself from heart diseases while you learn self-defense. Unlike some cardio exercises, boxing for fitness is not MONOTONOUS.

It does not use the same type of muscles every time like long-distance running does, for example. So not only is it DYNAMIC, but it actually keeps you from injuries due to wear and tear from lengthy usage.

Promote mental health through focus

Boxers are probably the fittest athletes in the world for a good reason.

Unlike other sports like cycling where a performer may use the momentum to glide along at times, relatively rest a bit; boxers have to be on guard one hundred percent of the time.

A blink of an eye at the wrong timing could spell the difference between sweet victory and a devastating defeat.

Even when training for fitness purposes only at the neighborhood gym, students are forced to keep their eyes on the target for every set, all throughout at the end of the session.

One needs to be in sync with the rattling of a speedball, for example, or a slight miscalculation of the hand versus the bounce of the equipment will cause it to clank against the wood it is attached to. Then you’ll have to start all over again until you get things rolling.

To work on the punching bag does not mean all you have to do is exhaust all your energy through your punches.

One has to move around it, step in or out, and make lateral movements as the bag sways back and forth.

You wouldn’t want co-enrollees at the club to see you knocked down by a punching bag, would you?

Boxing sessions at the fitness center may be short. It usually lasts for an hour or so for beginners. But studies have shown that the amount of focus one puts in when training teaches our brain to let go of other external stressors.

Generally, exercising has a way of improving our mood. Add that with the amount of concentration needed in boxing and people literally feel de-stressed after a single session.

The benefits of boxing workouts extend way beyond burning calories and getting fit. But we’re not even done yet.

Develop reflexes and timing

We mentioned earlier about how all the muscles in our body are simultaneously activated in training.

This goes beyond the physical to include even our minds by making it focus, develop reflexes, and timing.

If you have not tried working with your trainer doing the mitts, it is actually a simulation of how a fight goes.

If you are not observant enough, it may be hard to see when the need arises to duck, slip, and weave when the trainer simulates a specific punch your way.

This overall physical activity plus the mental alertness contribute even more to how calories are burned in training.

As boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard says, it is the ultimate workout!

Perfect for weight loss, burning calories

Taking into account all the aforementioned exercises in boxing workouts, one loses around 600 to 800 calories in the span of an hour. This is mainly for beginners and novices.

Top boxers in the world burn even more calories considering the rigidity of their regimen.

The range of calories burned varies according to factors, such as a trainee’s body weight, age, sex, the intensity and explosiveness of the training, and the surrounding temperature.

Other articles also fail to mention that as our bodies are acclimatized to training regularly its metabolism also increases moving forward.

An active pro boxer normally trains for an average of six weeks before a fight, and you’ll notice that the resultant physical changes are quite tremendous compared perhaps to a beginner that trains for that same span.

On average, a male weighing around 150 to 155 lbs. loses 400 calories by working on the heavy bag for an hour. An hour of sparring would burn approximately 600 calories. Warming up through jumping rope burns around 10 calories in a minute.

If burning calories through fitness is your main objective, then boxing is the way to go. Fancy getting into straight away? Check out this incredibly tough boxing workout below.

What To Eat Before a Boxing Workout

Obviously, you would not want to step inside the gym too full, or right after a meal. But if you do, however, we are quite sure you aren’t the first to ever do it.

Added weight is bad for the knees, and it restricts achieving optimal performance level. Boxing workouts can be utterly rigorous, so it is imperative to feed your body just right with the proper nutrients to last the session.

Having a proper meal rich in carbohydrates and protein would be ideal three to four hours before training. Avoid soft drinks that may be refreshing at first but would dehydrate your body.

Regardless of sport, bananas provide a rich supply of potassium. It makes your muscles contract better and recuperate easier after a rough session.

Three minutes in boxing can be the longest three minutes you’ll ever experience. Don’t make it longer than necessary by not eating right and training malnourished.

Losing Weight the Proper Way

It is not unusual to hear someone say that they would want to lose weight fast. Either summer is closing in; you would want to achieve that beach body quick, or simply to impress someone.

Burning calories to achieve a desired weight takes time. It is neither a one-time, nor a one-month gym subscription thing only and you expect to look good after that forever.


It is all about lifestyle change. Boxing for fitness can burn as much calories it possibly can at a given time, but the proper question should be if you are doing it the healthy way, and what would you be willing to do to maintain it.

It takes a holistic and wholehearted approach to burn enough calories to look ripped and to box at a high standard. Never mind the notion that it is only for fitness.

And if you hear somebody say that boxing workouts are too tough, remember that that is exactly what makes the sport special. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!