If you’re interested in getting into boxing, there are a few questions that you should ask the gym before joining. I’ll start with a list of questions, and then explain them further below:
- Do you have a punching bag?
- What kind of gloves do your members use? Are they required to purchase their gloves?
- Are sparring sessions mandatory? If so, what type of gear is used?
- How often do you run classes, and at what times during the day/weekend can I attend them?
- Is it possible for me to shadow another member as he or she trains if they agree to it beforehand?
A lot of these questions might seem like common sense, but you must ask them anyway. This way, you’ll know what to expect when you go into the gym for your first training session (and if they’re not willing to answer these questions, simply thank them and walk out).
1. Do you have a punching bag?
If the boxing gym doesn’t have a punching bag or mitts, there’s no reason why it should be considered a boxing gym; this means they don’t focus primarily on boxing and martial arts – and some might even be a Muay Thai/MMA school with only one boxing trainer who knows nothing about proper boxing technique & conditioning.
If they do have the equipment mentioned above, then proceed to question #2.
2. What type of gloves do their members use? Are they required to purchase their gloves?
This is important because you don’t want to train with gloves that are too small/large, too light/heavy, or in bad condition (leather gloves should be broken in overtime).
If the gym requires you to provide your equipment, make sure they have a decent quality standard before joining – there’s nothing wrong with asking for a few recommendations from your coach if he knows a good company.
Also, make sure their punching bags and other equipment meet the same standards as far as practicality goes; it wouldn’t be very helpful if the staff was advising on how to improve your form when you can barely hit the bag.
3. Are sparring sessions mandatory? If so, what type of gear is used?
Some boxing gyms offer supervised sparring to help their students develop technique and conditioning; if not, they usually have unsupervised sparring (you’re free to pair up with other members).
The better choice would be an unsupervised gym since you won’t need a coach to supervise your sparring matches.
If you want to test out your new skills, ask the staff how often they hold these types of sessions – it’s also important that they use headgear and large gloves for safety reasons.
4. How often do you run classes, and at what times during the day/weekend can I attend them?
Many boxing gyms offer different types of classes at different times throughout the day and week which is very helpful for people with busy schedules. The best choice would be a gym that runs morning or early afternoon classes so that you don’t interfere with work/school.
Look for something like ‘5 am Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays’ (it wouldn’t make sense to go to a 5 am class on Mondays or Wednesdays since your body probably won’t be able to handle it).
If you can only make certain hours of the day, see what they’re offering on those days and choose accordingly.
5. Is it possible for me to shadow another member as he or she trains if they agree to it beforehand?
This is simply something that most people are too shy to do, but if you’re trying to learn as much as possible about boxing technique & conditioning this is a great way to see what’s going on at the gym without getting in other people’s way.
Simply talk to one of the trainers and ask them if they wouldn’t mind letting you shadow them while they train – it might seem like an odd request but they’ll be happy that you’re willing to put in the extra effort.
Remember: ‘what I don’t know won’t hurt me’. Gym Highett might be of help to you, so check them out.