How Age Affects Your Training
Boxing is a demanding sport on the body. It requires energy, coordination and stamina. It also requires sticking to a consistent training schedule. So, is there a perfect age to begin training for fighting or for fitness? If you want to compete, it’s best to start in your youth. If you want to box for fitness, it is possible to train into your fifties and beyond.
The Best Time to Begin Training
The best time for men and women to begin training to compete in boxing would be in your twenties. You have some advantages at this age that would help you achieve your competition goals. Let’s look at some of those advantages.
In your twenties, you are in the best phase of your life to begin a new sport and can compete on all levels at that sport. First of all, this is when you peak physically. Men peak in their testosterone levels into their early thirties, so your twenties are the perfect time to start boxing. Testosterone helps men build muscle mass and keeps your bone density strong.
Building muscle mass is important for you to have a punch with power behind it. Strong bone density means that your joints are in good working condition and you can handle moving in the ring with agility and speed. Footwork can be especially demanding on a boxer. A man in his twenties has the stamina to keep one step ahead of his opponent without tiring too quickly.
For women, your twenties is also the best time to start boxing if you want to train to compete. Women during their twenties are at the peak of their childbearing years and hormonally this means there is an equilibrium in a woman’s health. As estrogen is at optimal levels, a woman’s muscle mass and bone density are the best they will ever be.
Dense bones mean healthy joints that will help you in the ring. You will need agility to keep up with your opponent. Although you cannot build muscle mass to the level men can, your strength is still equal to a man’s per muscle mass. If a woman was the same size as a man, the strength from her muscle mass would be equal to his. Because women are smaller, their muscle mass is smaller. You can still build muscle and have the strength to level a powerful punch!
Like men, your emotional and mental maturity will give you an advantage over your teen years. You now have patience in the ring and the ability to make studying fights a priority. You also strive to compete against yourself and not to prove yourself.
Training in Your Thirties
If you don’t start to train until your thirties, there are still many benefits to be had. Training for competition is possible but there maybe things to consider when you start. Here are some considerations when starting to train after the big 3-0.
Men in their thirties can still box for fitness, but starting competition is more difficult during this time in your life. Your testosterone is declining, which means building muscle mass is more difficult and you are starting to lose bone density. Losing bone density means that your joints are at risk of injury when you are in the ring.
However, starting training for fitness is still absolutely possible. Training in your thirties can improve cardiovascular health. Boxing is an intense workout and can get your body into shape at a rapid pace. It also engages your core, which can prevent injuries in and out of the ring. You need to know when to quit to prevent repetitive use injuries. You can’t push yourself in the ring like you could when you were in your teens and twenties. This doesn’t mean you can’t do well in competition or in training for fitness-- you still can and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Your metabolism is slowing down in your thirties, and you can’t process what you could as a teenager or in your twenties. However, if you eat a healthy diet and train consistently, you can develop the muscle mass needed to convert calories into energy instead of fat. This means that you can feel young again even if you are in your thirties.
Being in your thirties also means your life has changed. Many men in their thirties have started a family and have advanced in their careers which often leads to limited time to train.
To be successful in your training efforts, you must implement a schedule to make sure you stick to your training. Consider doing shorter sessions, such as a Lightning Session, to fit with your responsibilities. Focus on full body workouts, combining strength and endurance when possible.
Even though your testosterone is declining and there may be some physical and social changes to your life, it is absolutely possible for you to start training for competition or fitness at this age. Don’t let the drawbacks keep you from trying and succeeding!
In your thirties, your estrogen is declining, which makes your bones are less dense. As you age, building muscle mass takes more effort. If you have children, your body has changed, and the demands of motherhood and career, plus your diet and exercise may have suffered.
These factors don’t mean that you can’t start boxing training for fitness though. You are still young enough and have more estrogen than you will in your forties. That means you still have an edge. It may not be as much as in your twenties, but you can still build muscle mass and get some of that much-needed energy back. Your bone density means you need to protect your joints with stabilizing and mobility exercises.
Your metabolism continues to slow during your thirties. What you eat is important now. Training can help give you more energy and improve your mental health. Your body is circulating oxygen better during training which means better heart health.
You may have responsibilities, but if you don’t take time for your yourself you may not be able to adequately take care of others. Training for either fitness or competition can give you the physical and mental health that you need to function in your social life. You also may gain added confidence and pride in your accomplishments!
Training in Your Forties and Fifties
If you’ve already started training, you will be able to continue on through your forties and fifties. If you haven’t started yet, then consider your late start better than never.
Don’t think that just because you are in your forties or fifties that you can’t give it a go! Your forties and fifties may make boxing training more challenging, but it is still possible. You are at greater risk for chronic diseases in your forties and fifties, so focusing on developing a healthier lifestyle can save your life.
Without training, your heart health will decline. Furthermore, your muscle mass will become depleted-- a condition called sarcopenia. Your bone density is also decreasing.
Even in your forties and fifties, you can still gain muscle mass which can protect your bones and joints from further deterioration. You just have to remember that recovery takes longer. Give yourself more time and pace yourself in training.
At your age, career and family demands mean you may have a more sedentary lifestyle and your diet may be full of foods that can increase your weight. Remember that your metabolism isn’t what it was in your twenties. However, if you adopt a healthier diet and train consistently, then you may undo all the damage that was done to your body. Be sure to do mobility and stability exercises to protect your joints as an injury is more likely at this age.
Anthony Haden-Guest a reporter for the Daily Beast decided to start boxing at 63 and did pretty well in competition. He began training again before he turned 80 and fought again in the ring. He was determined and put the work in. So you have no excuse not to at least try!
In your forties and fifties, you can (and should) still train for fitness. Women in their forties and fifties are experiencing a steady decline in estrogen and entering perimenopause. You also may have already experienced menopause. These conditions make your body have to work harder to exercise.
Your bone density is steadily being depleted unless you take action. Training can actually reverse aging bones and keep them from thinning further. You can still build muscle, which will protect your bones and strengthen the soft tissue around your joints.
Chronic diseases are also your nemesis at this age. Heart disease and diabetes are some of the most common due to a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. If you change your eating habits and consistently train, it will improve your cardiovascular health and lower your blood sugar levels.
It is important to know your limits. If you have been training since your twenties or thirties, you will have significantly more energy than those who are just starting out. However, you don’t have the mobility that you had when you were younger. Make sure to do mobility and stability exercises before and after training.
Like the guys, you may have some age-related challenges, but don’t use that as an excuse to not push your limits and expand your horizons. Know the challenges you have and simply work around them and finally through them. Tenacity can be an important tool to learn how to box. Like feeling that first blow in the ring, you simply just get it over with. So don’t let age prevent you from getting out there and trying then ultimately succeeding. Showing up is success!
Boxing for Life
Boxing is a sport that can help you achieve your fitness goals. It also can satisfy your competition goals as well. Just know at your age what your limitations are and what your strengths are and go for it! There are men and women training into their seventies in sessions all over the country, so don’t use it as an excuse to quit or never start in the first place! At Gloveworx, we’re open to all ages. Take our quiz to find the perfect training session for you!