Written by James Cooper
Last Updated

Boxing has long been renowned for its ability to help support weight loss and improve fitness but if you are looking to burn off energy and reduce fat, is it really the best choice for you? It’s exceedingly difficult to assess just how many calories boxing burns. 

The number of calories you will burn during any workout depends on your age, weight, your sex, and other factors. The length and intensity of your workout will also impact just how many calories you burn in a session. 

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On average, it is thought that boxing using a heavy bag or punching bag, would easily burn around 350 calories per hour for someone who weighs around 130lbs, compared with 550 calories per hour for someone who weighs around 200lbs. 

The only real way to track how many calories you are personally burning during each workout is to wear a fitness monitor so you can see for sure.

 

How Can I Calculate How Many Calories I Should be Burning?

As a general rule of thumb, you should be burning around 3 calories per pound for each hour of your workout, when you are using a heavy punching bag. So, using this calculation you can work out how many calories you should be burning. 

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Using this calculation, a man weighing 196 lbs would burn off around 133 calories after 15 minutes of a boxing workout, while a woman, weighing around 167 lbs would burn off 114 calories in the same amount of time.

 

 

How Long Should I be Training to Burn Calories?

Burning calories is also about maintaining the intensity of your workout and no one is going to keep punching a bag hard for 45 minutes in a row. You are likely to vary your intensity levels and break for rests so this one is hard to measure. 

If you are training at intervals like this, it depends on how much effort you are putting in. You might burn the same calories as a long, intensive workout, or you might burn less. It’s really hard to tell but the higher intensity, the more calories you will use up.

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Try Adding in Variety to Your Boxing Training

Using a boxing gym will no doubt involve more than just using the punching bag so when you are trying to work out the calorie burns you need to look at all the other activities you are engaged with as well. 

For example, are you working on the speed bag as well as the heavy bag? Are you also doing other activities such as jump rope and maybe you are also getting in the ring to spar with partners? All of these activities will help you to burn even more calories. 

The more variety you can put into your workout the better, and the less likely you have of suffering an injury due to repetitive strain. Including that variety also makes your boxing experience more interesting and means you are more likely to stick with it. 

If you do want to increase your calorie burn, then move away from punching the heavy bag and start sparring with a partner as this has been proven to boost the calories burned up per hour, particularly for those on the heavier side. 

In fact, it has been shown that fighting in the ring with a partner, burns off more calories per hour than any other kind of activity, and, depending on your size and weight, it could burn off around 800 calories per hour. 

However, boxing isn’t just all about burning calories, it also brings a lot of other fitness benefits with it as well. To be good at boxing you need to have strength, coordination, speed, and stamina so as well as burning off those calories you will also be gaining a lot of useful physical skills. 

Boxing training is a great way to get your cardio workout done, without the boring routine of standing on a treadmill. Boxing helps to get your heart and lungs working to full capacity while enjoying your punching routine. 

If you don’t want to go in for actual fighting in the ring, but you like boxing and want to burn calories, then a boxing fitness class might work wonders for you. You will be carrying out strengthening moves with boxing skills incorporated. 

You will be doing things like squats, planks, and using exercise machines like a cross trainer as well as punching the boxing bag, to make up an intense hour-long boxing-based workout. This is a great way to get fit, learn some fight moves, and burn calories, without stepping foot in a boxing ring. 

 

Is Boxing Good Stress Release?

Exercise is well known to help boost your mood and release endorphins which can help us to feel better and deal with stress more easily, but boxing comes into a class of its own when it comes to releasing that stress. 

Sometimes a walk is nice, but it doesn’t stop you from worrying about everything that’s going on in your head still. However, if you are concentrating on a high-intensity boxing workout, either using a punching bag or in the ring with a sparring partner, you need all your focus to be on your workout. 

While sparring, you don’t have time or space to stress about your to-do list or work the next day, so it gives your brain a much-needed break from all that overthinking and worrying. Even while you are resting between training bouts, you will be focused on catching your breath and resting your muscles and nothing else. 

The other reason boxing is a great stress relief provider is sometimes it just feels really good to hit that punching bag over and over again, to release anger or frustration and other pent-up feelings in a safe way, while burning off hundreds of calories at the same time. It’s a win-win for your physical health and your mental health at the same time. The perfect all-around exercise.

 

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