About Physical Mastery

8 ways boxing will transform your life

I’ve been a boxer for over 10 years, and nothing has changed my life more than boxing. This is a list of reasons why you should start boxing today.

Ed Latimore, author, blogger, and retired pro boxer
Ed Latimore Author, retired boxer, self-improvement enthusiast

What if there was a magic pill you could take to give you more confidence, strength, testosterone, respect, patience, wisdom, and the ability to protect yourself?

If you hadn’t already clicked on this article to learn why you should get into boxing, you’d think I was trying to sell you snake oil.

The thing is, boxing gave me all of these things and more. It transformed my life, helped me through the depths of my alcohol addiction, and most importantly, it proved that I was capable of accomplishing anything I could put my mind to.

In this article you’ll learn exactly what makes boxing so great, and if you’re on the fence about starting boxing maybe it’ll help convince you to get started.

1. Boxing makes your confidence soar

Confidence is the key to getting anywhere in life. If you don’t believe in yourself, then why should anyone else? If hitting the weights makes you feel strong, wait until you know that your fists can defend you.

The difference is profound.

Lifting makes you feel strong. Boxing makes you feel invincible.

That confidence—the problem-solver’s kind of confidence—can’t be gained any other way than learning how to fight.

2. It teaches you that pain ain’t shit

Here’s a little-known secret outside of boxing circles: everything in boxing is painful.

Unless victory is achieved by a devastating knockout, you’ll sustain quite a bit of pain even if you win.

This is because a person trained to hurt you is trying to do just that. It’s not like dealing with a hoodlum off the streets. A fighter’s punches have power behind them. But Rocky said it best:

It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

The training in boxing is extremely gruelling and rough. You will experience tremendous pain just getting in fighting shape.

ESPN ranked boxing the toughest sport to compete in and for good reason. It’s painful to train, painful to compete, but if you push through the pain then the glory is all yours.

Sport END STR PWR SPD  AGI FLX NER  DUR  HAN ANA Total Rank
Boxing 8.63 8.13 8.63 6.38 6.25 4.38 8.88 8.50 7.00 5.63 72.375 1
Ice Hockey 7.25 7.13 7.88 7.75 7.63 4.88 6.00 8.25 7.50 7.50 71.750 2
Football 5.38 8.63 8.13 7.13 6.38 4.38 7.25 8.50 5.50 7.13 68.375 3
Basketball 7.38 6.25 6.50 7.25 8.13 5.63  4.13 7.75 7.50 7.38 67.875 4
Wrestling 6.63 8.38  7.13  5.13 6.38  7.50 5.00  6.75  4.25  6.38  63.500 5
Martial Arts 5.00  5.88  7.75  6.38  6.00  7.00  6.63  5.88  6.00  6.88  63.375 6
Tennis 7.25  5.13  7.13  6.75  7.75  5.63  3.00  5.00  8.38  6.75  62.750 7
Gymnastics 5.38  6.13  6.63  5.00  6.38  10.00  7.50  6.88  4.50  4.13  62.500 8
Baseball 4.63  5.75  7.63  6.50  6.75  4.75  5.13  5.63  9.25  6.25  62.250 9
Soccer 7.75 4.50 5.13 7.25 8.25 4.75 3.63 6.25 6.50 7.50 61.500 10
A glimpse at the ESPN rankings where boxing came out on top for toughness

3. Boxing is a great way to get in shape

There’s an ongoing debate between cardio or weight training and which is best for getting in shape.

Most dudes don’t want to look like a roided up freak show. Nor do they want to look like a skinny Kenyan marathon runner. They want to look ripped and athletic.

Boxing training is both anaerobic and aerobic.

You can burn tremendous calories hitting the heavy bag. If you compete—and I recommend every man compete in a boxing match at least once—the training will turn you into a beast.

Ed Latimore training boxing

Getting in shape is a great reason to box

4. You become more disciplined than ever

It’s impossible to get good at anything without practice.

You can fool yourself about how often you run or go to the gym, but fight night tells no lies. Unless you want to suffer the pain of embarrassment, you train hard every day.

If you can handle boxing training, you can become whatever you want.

Between the technical training, mental concentration, toughness and physical conditioning, there is no room for laziness or non-commitment.

The discipline you develop in boxing can be applied to anything.

5. You learn how to be patient

My coach always says: “Bad things happen quickly. Good things tend to take a little longer.” All progress takes time. If you want things to happen quickly, you won’t last long in training.

Boxing weeds out people who expect quick fixes.

An immediate test of your patience is how long it takes before a coach takes you seriously. Unless you’re a ridiculous physical specimen or rich, most boxing gyms won’t pay attention to you at first.

This is because most gyms only have one trainer. This one trainer has to train other fighters, both professional and amateur. He might even run a few regular fitness classes.

And then there’s the new guy who most likely isn’t going to stick around.

You’ll have to prove your worth and that will take time. But, if you do, it’ll be well worth the wait.

6. Boxing will make you more humble

The only way to get better at this sport is to suffer.

You’ll suffer through running. You’ll suffer through sparring. Eventually, you’ll lose a fight in front of a crowd. It will be extremely embarrassing. Especially if you get knocked out.

However, if you commit to the sport, you will not only get past these difficulties, but you will become a better person. There’s nothing like a black eye, bloody nose, and sore ribs to build humility.

Ed Latimore getting knocked out

I lost my first televised professional fight, getting knocked out in the process. Talk about getting humbled.

7. Boxing reminds you of your own mortality

I know every time I step in the ring there’s a chance that I come out permanently altered, and not for the better. The toughness needed to fight also exposes you to the fragility of human life.

You learn how easy it is to damage a human being. You develop a newfound respect for people and empathy for their pain.

This is not to say that one develops a tolerance for weakness in others.

Rather, what you gain is a profound appreciation for the body’s ability to persist against difficulty.

You appreciate the mental fortitude required to continue in the face of pain.

8. You discover the true meaning of fear

Most importantly, you learn how to deal with it.

Once you fight a man who is trained to hurt you, the rest of your fears seem small in the comparison. I once heard this phenomenon referred to as “drowning out the noise”.

A fighter is always scared before a fight and for good reason. A person is trying to hurt you. He has a good chance of doing it. If he succeeds, it will be in front of everyone.

The two biggest fears people have—dying and public humiliation—are imminent. All fighters experience this, but every weekend they act in spite of it.

Learning to persevere through your fears and staying committed to your goals will completely change your life in ways you never imagined.

Nothing has had as much of an impact on my life than boxing, and if you’re wondering whether you should start my answer will always be yes. Start as soon as you can.

Before you know it you’ll be on your way to becoming a version of yourself you never thought was possible.


Ed Latimore, author, blogger, and retired pro boxer
Ed Latimore Author, retired boxer, self-improvement enthusiast

Further Reading

How to avoid a street fight, and what to do if you can’t
5 Hair Loss Remedies To Try Before It’s Too Late
5 life lessons I learned from lifting iron
How to be an attractive man (no-BS guide)