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Boxing is better for cycling than cycling

Boxing is better for cycling than cycling

The best training for cycling is boxing. 

Not because being punched in the head prepares you for falling off your bike. Because training for Boxing will take you to places mentally far worse than you can ever go on your bike.  Even the most daunting col in the Alps is not as frightening as stepping through the ropes for 3 rounds of intense sparring. 

If you don’t believe me, listen to what a Great Britain cyclist said on his return from the 1968 Olympics in Mexico: “the cyclists hadn’t really mixed with the other athletes, many of whom seemed to be there to enjoy themselves. The ones they mixed with best were the boxers. The boxers know that if they don’t train they’re going to get a leathering. The cyclists were the same. So the cyclists and the boxers behaved impeccably – they had that in common.”

The point is that both cyclists and boxers suffer in way that drives them to train hard. Other than sparring, boxing training consists of conditioning which on the most part is good old fashioned circuit training – which you may know but it’s more fashionable names of: Boot Camp or High Intensity Interval Training. 

I’m not sure whether it was the fear of being hit by guys that weighed 80kg versus 70kg that made me lose 10kg in 10 weeks. But the sparring and conditioning work blasted the excess weight in a way that aerobic running or cycling never had.  All of a sudden I was posting personal bests on my favourite rides and runs. 

You don’t need to pull on boxing gloves rather than cycling gloves to get fit or lose weight but try mixing your training up. Try different gym classes or sports if you’ve plateaued in your cycling.

That 10kg – well, all the cycling stopped it going back on again when I concluded punishing myself on Boxhill was preferable to being punched in the face.



the author

Ben Walder

Ben is a keen cyclist, road and mountain biking, runner, skier and even enjoyed a brief flirtation with boxing. He’s cycled John O Groats to Lands End, London to Paris in 24 hours, 5 countries in 3 days and ticked off some legendary climbs from the Tour de France. When he’s not dragging his mates out on cycling adventures across Europe he’s being dragged around by his 2 young daughters to karate, ballet, gymnastics, tennis and swimming..