PROFITING FROM THE ELDER BOXER
In the United States, the percentage of adults over 50 years old has reached 50% of the population. This is a
good time to look at this segment of our society to profit from health and fitness in the fighting sports.
Of course, this group should not be encourage to take up Judo, Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, and ultimate style submission fighting
because the frequency of injury. But they are great candidates for boxing.
Boxing for elders is quietly exploding in the US and Canada. The percentage of over 40 year old boxers in fitness gyms
and boxing gyms are growing. The martial arts have enjoyed steady growth with children and young adults. But the elders tend
to stay away from being tossed on mats and long sessions of kicking with tedious instruction.
The cardio fitness appeals of boxing, be it light contact, body only contact and in most cases non-contact, has great appeal
to the baby boom population. Unlike other fighting sports, we are seeing a growth of professional boxers who refuse to retire
at age 40. Many like Tommy Hearns and Evander Holyfield never announced retirement, but are fading away at their leisure.
Often the elder boxer gives younger fighters competitive matches, for example George Foreman who has retired and Larry Holmes
who still fight guys 20 years his junior.
While kickboxing and mixed martial arts requires more weapons and training of the fighter. Boxing just requires the use
of the upper body, two fists and good footwork.
The baby boom population enjoys the personal touch that boxing gyms give them. The brisk pace of instruction and the low
risk of injury are very appealing. If you run a martial arts or a fitness facility, boxing is the king for the older set outside
of fitness courses such as Yoga and Pilates.
With the population steady growing to age fifty to fifty-five, boxing is the great stress reliever for those who are in
stressful occupations. Elders enjoy boxing as a group activity, so if you decide to add elder boxing to your facility, this
is an important fact to keep in mind.
Classes should be unhurried and stress free. In my experience instructing the elder boxer, I found these factors to be
important to the senior boxing class.
Forty-five to 60 minute classes. Two to three days a week.
Full body stretching
Varied stomach conditioning. Not a lot of sit-up conditioning, but Pilate/Yoga/isometric stomach conditioning. Be aware
of hernias and weak backs.
Seniors love bag and mitt work.
Non contact face to face sparring.
Light contact sparring with classmates they trust. No head shots.
Light dumbell work.
Isometric/dynamic tension strength exercises.
One to three miles of jogging or cycling. (Outside of class)
Email and telephone coaching. For those who are often traveling.
The elders are a population who should not be ignored. They are a huge segment of our society and they are living longer
because of advances in medicine. They are a group who is very fitness conscience.
If you have any questions on starting a boxing program for elders, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
KEEP ON PUNCHING!