Depending on where you live, there can be many boxing gyms to choose from. In fact, with the emergence of chains like Title Boxing gyms, Floyd Mayweather’s chain, George Foreman’s expected chain, and others ( 9Round for kickboxing), there is evidence of a resurgence in the sport of boxing.
And of course there are the hundreds of independently-owned, old-school gyms that have always thrived.
But, how to choose a gym that’s right for you?
There’s more to it than just “I’m interested in fitness”, “I want to learn self-defense”, “I want to get in the ring”, or “I’m looking to get serious about moving from amateur boxing to a pro.”
When you start looking for a boxing gym online, most people start with Google, and Google immediately suggests “boxing gyms near me”, which is why we chose our domain name. Our hope is to have people who are interested in boxing find us as an option to check out local gyms and get some advice and inside insight along the way.
Here are just some of the things to think about as you’re making your choice, in no particular order:
- Gender – Do you want a gym that has mostly members of the same gender as you? For some people it makes a difference in how comfortable they feel when working out. For other people, a good mix of women and men is cool. Perhaps even to be another venue for social activity.
- Boxing Only – Want a “pure” boxing gym, or are you interested in other styles like fitness kickboxing, Muay Thai, MMA, martial arts, etc.?
- Classes vs Training – Are classes more important to you than availability of personal trainers? Especially trainers with real-world boxing experience.
- Price!! – Membership pricing can range dramatically – $50/month to $150/month are the typical ranges. Does the gym offer affordable per-class/drop-in options. How much of a commitment are they asking?
- Facilities – Are you looking for modern facilities with the latest equipment and that clean vibe? Or are you looking to get in touch with your inner beast and train like Rocky?
- Strength Training – Some gyms are really only set up for boxing classes. But other gyms have weights and equipment so that you can fit in weight work as well.
- Family – Many gyms have great youth programs for kids. Finding a good mentor or place to get fit and feel confident is great for kids of all ages. Maybe you want a boxing gym that you and your kids can go to together?
- Location/Distance – Pretty obvious that a gym close to where you live or work is an important factor. But also consider the type of neighborhood, availability of parking or public transport. Last thing you want is to start skipping classes and training session because it feels like a pain to get there.
Here are some tips for choosing the right boxing gym for you…
- Word of Mouth – This is the most obvious. And you probably wouldn’t be reading this article if you had friends already recommending gyms that fit you. But this would be the best place to start.
- Yelp, Facebook, & Google Reviews – Take a look at reviews of gyms from all three of these sources. Get a feel for which reviews are genuine. There will be some reviews that are “planted.” One way that we are trying to help people sort through these kinds of review and social media sites is through a “best reviewed” article series. Here is an example of our Best Reviewed Gyms In NYC approach. By looking at the collection of ratings and reviews from all these sources in one place, we are working to save you time in finding a boxing gym.
- Pictures – The pictures that gym owners post on their websites are a huge clue to the personality and vibe of the gym. Are the pictures focused on happy groups of people that look like people you would enjoy meeting? Are the pictures focused on class workouts or gritty sparring sessions? How does the equipment look?
- The Trainers – Most boxing gym websites will list some or all of their trainers. Look to see if they have trainers with real fighting experience. For more serious gyms, check out if any of the trainers have won amateur (or pro) titles, like state or national Golden Gloves. A step further – look to see if they are USA Boxing Certified.
- A Ring – If you are looking to spar, then you want a gym that has at least one regulation-size ring. Multiple rings is a sign of a pretty serious gym. Some gyms will have a single, smaller ring just to give you a chance to get in a quick, occasional pad workout with a trainer.
- About Us – Check out a gym’s website and read their “About Us” page (or just browse through the site). It will give you a sense for how the owner(s) approach the sport of boxing.
- Free Lesson – Most gyms offer a free trial lesson. With the possible exception of some of the very down-and-dirty, old-school gyms that cater to training amateur and pro boxers. Try a free lesson at a couple places to get a feel for the instructors and the type of people that go.
Have thoughts on other ways to find the right boxing gym for you? If you’re a gym owner reading this, please give us your thoughts.