Boxing Woman 1

9 Reasons to Start Boxing After 40

1. Street cred

Think about the difference between saying, “Yeah, I play a little basketball,” versus “The stitches don’t bother me. I have another fight next month; you should come.” C’mon, it’s just cool. And when was the last time you had legitimate Cool Points, when you downloaded the Zippo lighter app to your iPhone? Puh-leeze.

2. Business smarts

If there is one thing you must do to thrive in the ring, it’s develop the ability to think clearly under massive pressure. That translates really nicely to the business world. Mergers and acquisition? Hostile takeovers? High finance? Forty-seven third graders? Bring it.

3. Get your mind off of work

Forget business smarts, if you’ve been racing your career motorcycle this long, you might want to ease up on that throttle and get off the bike now and then. It feels great to unsuit and pound the crap out of something. And taking a few good hits will definitely clear out the last of your desire to work 24/7, I promise.

4. Increase your bone density

Ok, you’re over 40 and it’s time to lay off the loaded potato skins at T.G.I. Friday’s and get under that bench press bar. Your bones aren’t going to get stronger unless you bring them some game, and weightlifting — a boxer’s primary tool for building muscle — is just the way to do it.

5. Muscle is sexy

All that weightlifting and other training is going to pay off in terms of the way your body looks, feels, and delivers. You’ll like what you see in the mirror, and so will whoever’s looking at you when you step out of the shower. Hubba hubba.

6. Me time

It wasn’t so long ago that you couldn’t take your eyes off the kids for a second or they’d eat all the buds of the neighbor’s peonies and you’d be on the phone with Poison Control. These days, they’re a little older and you only have to worry about paying the extra car insurance, who they’re dating, whether they’re texting and driving, and… whoops, sorry about that. My point was going to be that you can get away some nights and have “me time” without them. Boxing fits the bill.

7. Mentor someone

Ok, if you just don’t get enough with the kids, you’ll find some at the gym. They will be faster and have a higher punch count and they will bring a serious press to you in the ring, but you’ll be able to outlast and out think them. And you have the maturity to see a much bigger picture than they do. Why not be a good influence and also kick their butts (in the later rounds) too? Now that’s what I call a satisfying mentoring relationship.

8. Get out of your comfort zone

Let’s face it, you’ve been trying to find a place of comfort and ease for years. Stop that, it’s not good for you. Get off your butt and out of your rut and learn something new. Growing means risks, and boxing has just the right balance of risk and safety to give you a jolt and still send you home in one piece. Mostly one piece.

9. Eat better

Believe me, you are not going to work hard enough to go a few rounds and then sabotage yourself with crap eating. If you take to boxing, you’re going to want to support it every way you can, and that will spur you to make positive changes to the way you fuel your body. You’re sick of sports bar food anyway. This is gonna be purely delicious.

There’s never been a better time than now.

Original Image by savaman on Flickr

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46 Responses to 9 Reasons to Start Boxing After 40

  1. Steve March 22, 2010 at 5:51 am #

    I can’t agree more. Especially with number 9, eat better. After a real boxing workout, you’re going to crave good, solid protein. (I’d recommend a delicious acai berry shake with a big boost of protein powder, hopefully whey based.) That’s going to lead to building good solid muscle, which in turn is going to start annihilating calories just to maintain itself, which will in turn lead to more craving for good solid protein, which in turn…. see where this is heading? Boxing has, for me, been the absolute best way to get in shape after a pretty unhealthy 30s, and I’ve never felt better. It’s fun, completely different from any other boring spinning class I’ve done, and more effective. Bring a friend to your first class to keep down on the first night jitters, and with any luck you’ll both be hooked. In 6 months, you’ll find your body burning more calories then ever before, due to a tremendous boost in your base rate metabolism. Everything else is just gravy. Enjoy!

    • jasmi September 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

      i have to start drinking more milk i broke my 5th metacarpal heating a door after my bully brother say some meanest stuff i hate him i hope he breaks something on his bbody anyway i don’t think i would never will be able to box i wanted to start that but i don’t think i can now

  2. Julie April 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    I just googled “boxing for women over 40” and found your blog & this article. At 44 I decided enough was enough & started working out with a trainer in small-group exercize – with one day a week devoted to the heavy bag & kickboxing. It’s my favorite excerize & now I want to try sparring. This from a woman who spent her high school years dodging gym because she didn’t want to have to reapply her make up.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe April 28, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

      Go, Julie, go! So glad you found the inspiration you needed. It’s scary when you start, but if you have a great trainer and plenty of girl guts, you can totally do this. Good for you.

      Also, I haven’t embedded it on here yet, but I recently gave a 5 minute talk at the Lincoln Theater in Raleigh, NC called “13 Reasons Why Women Should Take Up Boxing.” Click over and watch the video if you get the chance: http://igniteraleigh.com/2010/04/27/lisa-boxing/

      And thanks for reading!

  3. Tom June 24, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    Great article, Lisa! The “40+” theme resonates with men and women alike. I’m 42 and recently joined a boxing gym. Absolutely the most fun I’ve EVER had in a gym! (…well, except that time senior year with Laurie Terrault behind the bleachers….) There is something hard, classic, and enduring about boxing. Something you want to work for. Something you can be proud of. The “work” and “pride” is something that spills over into the rest of your life.

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe June 24, 2010 at 9:02 am #

      Tom, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to say “Boxing isn’t just for women!” — heh, heh. Btw, my trainer is 43 and expects to get (another) title fight this year. Aren’t the 40s FABULOUS? Good for you for finding a gym and sticking to your workouts.

      Check back in and let me know how it goes for you!

  4. JADE December 29, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    My teenagers and myself are all out of shape….I am thinking about joining boxing with my kids, to get into better shape to set a better example for them….The gym by my house is all guys, and I am not sure if they want a 44 year old women in there taking up there space. I was in karate for many years and loved it, but I am thinking if I start boxing, I will loose weight and my kids will be proud of me………………it is something I always wanted to do, but never made the time……am I to old????????????

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe December 29, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

      Hi, Jade — if you are wondering if you are too old, consider that I had my first boxing fight (which I won) about two weeks before I turned 45. I am also planning on competing in the women’s nationals in the summer of 2011. I am in better shape that I ever was in my life.

      Who cares if the all-guys gym near you “wants a 44 year old woman there” — your money is the same color as theirs. I’m the only woman on my boxing team, by the way, and it isn’t a problem for any of us. However, there are LOTS of women who come for the boxing and kickboxing fitness classes.

      But don’t think that the very first gym you try will necessarily be the right match for you and your family. Be willing to get in there and find one that does work out for all of you. Good for you for making the decision to change your life for the better; both for your self and for your kids!

      Drop back by The Glowing Edge some time and let me know how it goes!

      • JADE December 30, 2010 at 11:10 am #

        THANKS LISA! I was shocked to hear there are women out there boxing over 40….I have never boxed but have taken my kids to several gyms. After I read your note, I emailed the owner of the boxing club and your right he said they have a women there over 30 and she placed 4th in the world. Even though she is the only women there training the owner told me to come in on Jan 10th when he gets back from vacation and he will gladly welcome us to his gym….He has owned the gym for 30 years in Chicago and has alot of history behind it. So, yes I am going to take your advice and start training there and maybe I will get good at it….I grew up fighting with my older brothers so I had to learn how to fight at an early age………Thanks for the encouragement sure do appreciate it……

  5. Lisa Creech Bledsoe December 30, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    Glad to hear it, Jade. You’ve taken the biggest step in just getting started. I hope it goes well for you!

  6. JADE December 31, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    Lisa,
    Since I am just starting to train, what is the best diet for me? I do swim twice a week and that is about it. I am going to start jogging for the first time in years so I know my diet is going to make a huge difference…any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  7. Jenny January 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    I’m so glad I found your blog!

    I started taking a boxing class in August and since then, I’m completely hooked! I take class about 5-6 days a week between two different gyms. And since I started the classes in August, I’ve dropped 10 pounds! I’m 45 years old and for the first time, I’ve finally found a workout that I just can’t wait to get to. I schedule my work, husband and 11 year old boy around my boxing schedule. I’ll even be starting with a personal boxing instructor in about 2 weeks! Can’t wait.

    Being in my 40’s, I was so relieved to learn that I’m not alone and that there are other women like me doing this. All of my friends and family are a little perplexed by my new obsession, but they are all getting used to it. All of my Facebook posts in the last few months have been “boxing this and boxing that”! LOL. I’m starting to get into the best shape of my life and people are all starting to notice. I’ve been in that last 15-20 pounds to lose forever and this is finally working.

    For Christmas, I asked for nothing but hand-wraps in every color from Meiser MMA!! Santa got me some and then what I didn’t get, I ordered from Amazon. I really like those. They are 180’s with the cotton/spandex.

    Well, this is great! I’ll keep following your blog!! It’s great knowing I’m not alone.

    Oh, I live in Burbank, CA and go to a gym near my work in Los Angeles and one near my home.

    You’ve got another follower!

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe January 8, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

      Great to have you drop by, Jenny! And awesome news about your boxing. You are most definitely NOT alone, even if we are all scattered about some (I’m on the east coast).

      Btw, if any of you find that you need extra *extra* protection on your hands, I’ve been using gel MMA gloves inside my boxing gloves and it works great. For a while I was taping a slice of a beer koozy (those foam things) across my knuckles, but the gel gloves are da bombtastic.

      Stay strong, and keep up the great work!

      • Jenny January 10, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

        Thanks for the advice, Lisa! I’ve been using 14’s will the MMA gloves work in that size. And is 14 even the right size. I’m pretty average for a gal. 5’6″ in my 130’s weight-wise.

        I had an awesome “Lunch-Boxing” class today. It’s every Monday. Everyone at work knows that they can’t schedule a meeting for me at noon ’cause “Jenny’s Boxing”! LOL. I’ve even recruited other people from my office to go with me.

        Stay warm on the East Coast! And I’ll be checking in often!

        — Jenny

    • Miss D M Keogh November 15, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

      Hi ive just started boxing at age of 37 and luv it i used to do thai boxing when i was 18 for 2 years kept me very fit.i like the work out and the fact thst you can lose loads of weight

  8. jade January 10, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Thanks Lisa for the advice, I start my first boxing class wed. Hope I don’t get beat up to bad!

  9. Jenny January 17, 2011 at 2:56 am #

    I have my first private boxing lesson with a trainer tomorrow!! I’m so excited!! Can’t wait, can’t wait!!

  10. Lisa Creech Bledsoe January 17, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Jenny and Jade, don’t forget to report and let me know how things went for you. You can email me directly at lisa@theglowingedge.com. Stay strong!

  11. Ex Fighter September 1, 2011 at 5:24 am #

    Please ya got to be kidding?
    I started boxing at 18 and was already old for the amertures. I had 23 fights and then retired at 28 ( 17 wins 6 losses ). After that I just got into weights and a bit of cardio to keep in shape.
    I can tell you that by the time you are 30, your reflexes have substantially degraded for most people to have any chance of becoming an effective fighter. Furthermore a body over 30 will start racking up injuries such as tennis elbow, shin splints and stress fractures if it tries to train hard and frequently enough to train for a real fight in the ring.
    Finally allot of these so called boxing trainers have never been in the ring in their life and never trained a real fighter. Be ware they can teach your rubbish form.
    It’s a young persons sport…

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe September 1, 2011 at 9:16 am #

      Hey, ExFighter, thanks for weighing in to the discussion. It sounds like you had a fantastic fighting career!

      You’re certainly right that professional boxing is great for younger women and men, but most of us who box (and compete) in our forties are not pro fighters. We are women who simply love the ring and all the joy the sport has to offer.

      It’s absolutely the case that most of the people I spar — who are younger than me by at least 20 years! — are faster and have better reflexes. But I can also hold my own. I learn a lot and feel great when I do it.

      • Trey Dennis March 9, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

        So does that mean that if your close to 30, you can never be an effective boxer in a competition? And in masters boxing, are they only allowed to fight in a exhibitionist way? I like to fight rough, not dirty, but I was wondering if thats allowed in masters?

  12. Ann May 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    So glad I found this post! I had never even considered boxing-but I gotta say, I think I might give it a try. Lord knows it would at least burn off some STRESS!!

  13. Kelly June 27, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Good article! It made me feel like what I’m doing is the right thing. I’m 38 years old with two teenagers that are off doing their own thing. I felt it was time to do something I feel passionate about it. Today I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life and even though my husband does not understand my passion for boxing, my kids are proud of me.

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe June 27, 2013 at 11:03 am #

      Thanks, Ann and Kelly, for taking the time to comment! By the way, if you ever consider competing, USA Boxing just changed the rules so that everyone who is 30 and older is in a category called Masters. It’s just crazy awesome to be a feckin’ Master, no?

      Be sure to sign up in the green bar at the top of the site to get the whole list of 37 Reasons to Take Up Boxing! And cheers to you! Stay strong; you deserve this.

      • Theresa DeTillio February 28, 2016 at 2:09 am #

        Ty lisa im a 45yr old woman love the sport and my goal is to get in a ring thanks for all the support u give us ladies godbless!

  14. Vincent Busuttil August 2, 2013 at 1:38 am #

    Boxing is one of my favorite self defence, since I am active Mixed Martial Arts person, and boxing is one of the effective strike to punch, not just it can help you defend you self but it can gave you more stamina and discipline, keep the good work for your blog men, great job.

  15. Tim September 22, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    Lisa,

    Is there any other blog on this subject besides yours? The topics is very interesting it is worthwhile to bring it as forum so that you can share some best experiences.

  16. Judy Olsen October 23, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    I’m 46 joined a MMA gym 2 months ago holy cow love it best money I have ever spent
    I train at least 4 mornings and 2 evenings aweek sometimes more I do believe I want to compete or know i can.

  17. DJ November 24, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    I will be turning 40 in about a month, and have always pondered the idea, but after seeing your blog, i think i will go for it. 🙂 What a great way to start the new year of 2015!

    Debbie Jo

  18. Leslie January 28, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

    Good article and feedback. I used to take my son to an MMA gym for Tae Kwon Do. The gym also offered kickboxing. I am contemplating taking up kickboxing but I suffer from plantar fasciitis (I hurt my feet training for the half marathon.) The “PF” symptoms are manageable. (I walk with weights on the treadmill 3x per week without much trouble.) But I need to change up my routine. Walking isn’t cutting it. Because of my lack of exercise over my rehabilitation period, I put on the poundage. I am afraid kickboxing may not be the right choice for my feet. Besides I’m a little apprehensive about being the oldest and chubbiest mom at the gym. Advice?

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe January 29, 2015 at 9:09 am #

      You could certainly give boxing a try, Leslie. It’s a lot less impact on your feet than training for marathons, and it’s definitely going to get your heart rate up and your metabolism burning again. As for “oldest and chubbiest mom at the gym” — well, there’s one woman at my boxing gym who is 54, and weighs about 200 lbs. I would advise you to stay out from in front of her jab! My original trainer Bonnie was 190 lbs, two-time heavyweight champion. And I’m still sparring in the ring every week, coaching, training, AND now refereeing at boxing events. I’m 49. Don’t let your age or your weight stop you. It’s rough getting started, but well worth the rewards.

  19. Gwendolyn Strain April 1, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

    I’m 63 taking up boxing as a exercise. I have energy to dance the night away. I’m able to run and ride bikes

  20. Phil Wilson April 3, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

    Hi I am 56 male wanting to start muay thai at my local gym ,worried if its too late

  21. Laura Ramsey June 18, 2016 at 1:15 am #

    I’m so scared to post this but I was approached at the YMCA to join a “new boxing class” and I sarcastically asked the worker who approached me “is it boxing or TyBo type of class he said “it’s a legitimate boxer trainer(Olympic qualifier) who’s teaching the class just come on” so I did. The teacher(now my COACH) approached me saying that “I had potential” a little Leary I joined him at another gym that he taught classes in. Well needless to say his coach (3xs Golden Gloves coach of the year) is also now training me to reach my goal of going into amateur and eventually into pro. I train 6 days a week, sometimes twice in a day and run about 15-20miles a week depending on my schedule and I AM 40 YEARS OLD!!!!!!!! I am the first female my coaches have worked with in10yrs. They said I have potential and I WANT THIS SO BADLY!!!! No fights yet just sparing with MEN! Yep me. I’ve had a lot of “haters” people who think this is a joke but uhhhhh I spend wayyyy too much time in this for it to be a “joke”. My name is Laura Ramsey and I wanna be a fighter and fight for the equal rights in boxing. It’s a long road but I am in it!

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe June 18, 2016 at 7:42 am #

      Good for you, Laura! It’s a hard path, but it’s incredibly rewarding. I’ll look forward to hearing more from you as you progress. Fist bump, badass!

  22. Laura Ramsey June 19, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

    Awe thank you Lisa!!! That means a lot to me! I will definitely keep my progress open for people to follow.

  23. Phil Wilson July 22, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

    Well I joined the gym and at 56 not the oldest doing the training struggling with the combination work but I’ll get there ,it’s not a race ,Glad I gave it a go

  24. Keke March 19, 2017 at 7:33 am #

    i’m a 56 year old male doing boxing training 3 times a week. i never felt better… btw, 3/4 of all the people in our boxing gym are female!

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe March 19, 2017 at 10:39 am #

      Hi Keke, so glad to hear you’re enjoying boxing training! And I do see more and more women in boxing gyms these days, but it still seems most of them are there to get in shape or lose weight (which is awesome), but not to actually spar or compete. I’d love to see that start to change a bit. 🙂

  25. Jenn H March 19, 2017 at 8:41 pm #

    Thank you, this is exactly what I needed to read today. I just turned 40 a couple of weeks ago and I was nervous to get back into martial arts (I have previously done Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, Karate, Krav Maga, so martial arts is not foreign to me). But I’ve been struggling with turning 40 and have gained a lot of weight from having kids (and being lazy/eating poorly). I keep thinking “what am I doing?” “what if I have to train with a bunch of 20 yr old boys?”, etc…
    So, I started Muay Thai kickboxing last week, and, I was training with a bunch of 20yr old boys. I out skipped them in the warm up, and went punch for punch through the work out! Watch out boys!

    Thank you again for this encouraging blog! ( ;

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe March 19, 2017 at 9:24 pm #

      Hah! Way to work, Jenn. Keep at it; you won’t be sorry you did!

    • Roger August 10, 2017 at 9:03 pm #

      Great job

  26. Laura Alford April 17, 2017 at 10:01 pm #

    Am loving this blog, Lisa! I’m in a PhD program at LSU and the newly renovated student rec center has a boxing studio. Both times I’ve been to group boxing class, over half the class are women in doctoral programs but I’m the only one old enough to be their mother– thank you for the inspiration!

    I tried to download the Badass Manifesto, but couldn’t see the spot to put my email.

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe April 18, 2017 at 10:37 am #

      Thanks for the kind words, Laura! Here’s to continuing to work the ring, no matter what age we are!

      Re: The Badass Manifesto — I am emailing you a copy now. I still have it, it’s still entirely free, but I quit running that list when I just ran out of time to keep up with it. 🙂

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