Shay Mitchell. Gigi Hadid. Adriana Lima. Karlie Kloss. We could keep going, but you get the idea: models are big into boxing. And almost all of them cite not only the body benefits, but the incomparable high from feeling totally kick-ass afterwards. Don’t believe us? Take it from five-time world title holder Noni Tenge…
You’ll have top guns
Boxing uses your arms (okay, duh), but the extent to which those extremities are honed into finely tuned weapons is where the magic lies. Each kind of punch not only weakens your opponent in a different way, but also strengthens different muscles in your arms. “You need to be fast on your feet, but strong in your upper body,” says Noni. Flabby chicken wings? Be gone. Saggy biceps? Vanished. Soft shoulders? A distant memory!
You’ll be sharp
One of the biggest misconceptions about the sport is that it’s “a men’s sport and that it’s a savage sport,” says Noni. “There is so much control, intelligence and commitment needed to do well in this sport,” she explains. There are combinations to learn and delivering them fast and precisely is the key to knocking someone out (even if you’re just playing Creed on your PS4). It’s this kind of mind-body work that strengthens your cognitive ability and fine-tunes your balance and reflexes.
You’ll be the fittest you’ve ever been
There’s cardio fitness and strength fitness – and then there’s boxing fitness. “Flexibility, agility and mobility all play a very important role in boxing,” says Noni. To deliver an effective punch, you need to rotate from your core. To avoid getting hit, you’ll need to be light on your feet. All these factors come together in one sport that’ll leave you drenched every time, with those Vitality points in the bag: “An hour on the punching bag will burn around 1 300kJ,” adds Noni. “I love how healthy I feel after an intense training session and how it makes me look. I am proud of my physique, as it’s a testament to my hard work.”
You’ll be tough
Ask any athlete and she’ll tell you that her sport is as much a mind game as it is a physical battle. But few have had to be as tough as Noni, facing struggles in and out of the ring – from trying to find funding to keeping up her fitness while juggling jobs and defending her five world titles. “Fighting in the ring has taught me to fight for my rights – you get knocked down, you get knocked out, but you learn to get back up and fight back,” she says. Inspired yet?