Training at Multiple Gyms

December 19, 2011 December 19, 2011 by Johnny N Boxing Basics, Boxing Gyms 39 Comments

All the competing boxers I know have been to every gym across town. Some went for sparring, others went just to work out. Can training at multiple gyms make you a better fighter?


Outside fighters have been visiting our gym a lot lately. Their main reason was to find sparring partners their size. Boxing trainers were switching between different boxing and mma gyms to support themselves with enough clients. (Some trainers were pro boxers themselves and met their trainers at other gyms.) And then you’ve also got the MMA guys that work their striking at one gym and then their groundgame at another. Friends are invited along and somewhere along the way, fighters make it a routine of training at different gyms throughout the week.


Could training in multiple gyms be beneficial for your boxing?

  • See the benefits and decide for yourself:

More Sparring Partners

This is probably the biggest benefit. Maybe you’re a featherweight or heavyweight and can’t find somebody your size at your home gym. Or maybe you’re king of the hill and need to find more competitive sparring to improve. Sparring at other gyms will allow you to increase your skills and keep your training from getting stale. You’ll test yourself against different styles and trickier opponents who can sharpen you skills. Your confidence will skyrocket before the local tournaments when you’ve already fought everyone across town.

Better Equipment

There’s no rule saying you have to do your mitt drills, bagwork, sparring, and weights all in one stinky basement gym. Many fighters I know work their boxing technique and mitt drills with their head trainer at a local gym. Then go to another gym to find quality sparring partners and pick up tips from their friends’ trainers. Then do their conditioning, weights and running at a nice clean commercial gym. This doesn’t always happen all in one day, of course.

Mixing up multiple training centers works out nicely. You find quality sparring partners at a busy pro gym. Then spend quality time with your trainer at your home gym. Then go workout with some nice equipment at the local fitness center. Being around so many different groups of people, you’re bound to pick-up new tips about fighting or fitness.

Multiple Trainers

Going to multiple gyms will inevitably lead you to meeting other trainers and fresh sources of information. You learn new boxing styles, tips, and tricks from not just the trainers but your sparring partners as well. Who knows, you may even fall in love with another combat art like BJJ and find something to supplement your boxing, it happens. Visiting multiple gyms helps you stay motivated and always excited to be learning something new about fighting. It’s the same excitement you get when going to new restaurants or bars. (First it’s excitement, then doubt, then fear, then you fall in love with something you never knew existed. I recommend you try it.)

Competition Scouting

You will see your future competition beforehand. You will have a good idea of how good you need to be to win fights. When tournament season comes around, you will have seen it all and have less surprises to be afraid of. Make sure you introduce yourself as a competing fighter when you first go into the gym. Let them know you’re there to learn and show your respect. Do not showoff and don’t knock anybody out unless you have to. It’s always nice to have multiple places to train. You never know if you might need a new gym and trainer one day.

Do you really need to train at multiple gyms?

If you’re not a competing fighter, then no. Or maybe you already come from a famous boxing gym and visiting fighters come from other gyms all the time. It’s not really needed but it can help. Your trainer might also be offended if you tell him you want to learn from other sources. This was the case for several fighters that sparred at our gym without letting us record their sparring. It turns out they were desperate for new sparring partners and didn’t want their trainer to find out they were scouting new gyms.

If there’s one thing that can revive a stale boxing career, it’s training at different gyms. Several trainers at my gym drive their fighters as far as 100 miles away once every month, to give their fighters looks at the future competition. The experience has always been positive. Watching others train makes our fighters more motivated to train harder and give it their all in training. They realize that they’re not competiting with each other but the unknown out there. It builds a sense of community at our gym, creating stronger friendships and respect amongst each other. Some guys are more motivated to compete while others realize they’re only good enough for smokers. The trainers get to share tips with each other. It’s a fun experience for all.

A long time ago, I use to train boxing at 2 different gyms, went to local commercial gym to work out and still scoped out new gyms every other week. Even now, I train and spar at 2 different gyms and still look for new places all the time.  All the competing fighters at my gym train and spar at a minimum of 2 different places and it makes a lot of sense. It’s the only way to really know that your techniques are working and up to date. It always help to get new looks at new fighters and keep an eye on your competition. You’ll know exactly how hard you have to work to win. When the tournament rolls around, you’ll be confident as you say to yourself, “Ahhh, I’ve seen him before.”

So the question is…how many gyms are you going to now?

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Rocky December 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Great article. The idea of training at multiple gyms is great for anybody who is serious about competing. I train at an MMA gym but I always seek out other sources of training. For example, I train boxing with a boxing coach, I train Muay Thai with a different guy who specializes in Muay Thai, and I bring all the knowledge I learn from the boxer and muay thai fighter into the MMA gym. It’s always great to seek out different training sources to become a better fighter.


J December 20, 2011 at 2:23 am

You can never know too much 🙂


J December 20, 2011 at 2:24 am

Or anyone can never know to much for that matter. Highly appreciated Johnny im thank ful for another article .


sid December 20, 2011 at 5:10 am

i train at one gym. i do my boxing stuff there. i do calisthenics at home and do my running in the streets. i already get good sparring


Gil December 20, 2011 at 11:08 am

Johnny wrote:

“Going to multiple gyms will inevitably lead you to meeting other trainers and fresh sources of information. You learn new boxing styles, tips, and tricks from not just the trainers but your sparring partners as well. Who knows, you may even fall in love with another combat art like BJJ and find something to supplement your boxing, it happens. Visiting multiple gyms helps you stay motivated and always excited to be learning something new about fighting.”

I’s like having a fresh set of eyes from different trainers and fighters. One person may see something that another did not. That’s not necessarily a bad reflection on a trainer and in no way negates his/her work with you. It’s always a great idea to meet other fighters for traning tips, and do cross training, etc. There is no such thing as too much info. I would simply use what’s helpful to me. It’s also a great idea as you stated, Johnny the importance of building relationships within the sport. Ultimately, it’s ALL about respect.

Other than that, I can do my strenght/conditioning work anywhere, as I do only bodyweight and medicine balls.

I have trained BJJ/MMA and while I have nothing but respect for both, they just weren’t for me. I prefer traditional boxing and it will always be my first and only love.

As always, Johnny, thanks!



Johnny N December 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm

“Ultimately, it’s ALL about respect.” That attitude alone will get you far, Gil. I wish everybody thought like you.


Alex D December 20, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Awesome article.. I never actually thought of training at multiple gyms I’m still fairly new to the fight world but to me it would feel almost like I’m “cheating” on my main gym. I just got registered with my main gym but a friend of mine just signed up at a local PAL & said the trainers there are amazing so now I’m thinking of checking them out for a workout. As an amateur boxer are you allowed to sign up to compete under 2 gyms or is it best to have your “main” gym work your corner?


Johnny N December 20, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Your trainer works your corner and wherever you like to claim or wherever he likes to claim is what you put down. It all depends on who sets up the fight, you or your trainer.


sicnarf December 21, 2011 at 1:46 am

Hi johnny,if u wer a trainer and a coach,will you let your other fighters train in a different gym? Is it disrespectful not to tell your coach,for instance im in a mma gym,and for me i like boxing,ders times that i dnt show up at my gym to train at this boxing gym to work my hands and ders time that i do my own .My mma coach doesnt know dat.if u wer my coach and u didnt know about it.will u get mad? Hehe I find it weird telling because he might get upset.


Johnny N December 21, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I actually do train a few of my friends for their amateur fights and personally I don’t get offended if they seek out higher knowledge because I want the best for them. I will give them my best until they don’t need me anymore. As for you and your coach, it’s important to have an honest relationship. Let him know that you want to learn other styles to become the best fighter possible.


usarmy6440 December 21, 2011 at 2:27 am

Very good article been thinking about doing this sucks sparring the same guys in the gym and you get accustomed to their style. Will start looking for a gym next week i guess even harder to find gyms in South Korea.


Johnny N December 21, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Hahaha….yes, everyday you come in and everyone knows everyone else’s style right away. Everyone knows how to annoy each other and every sparring match often becomes the same thing everytime. It helps to establish some rules beforehand so both of you can try new things without fear of getting hit too hard.


JaketheSnake December 22, 2011 at 12:17 am

It’s also a good idea to sort of sound out your trainer if you’re going to other gyms. Back here (Philippines) it seems everyone knows everyone else, so your main trainer might get a little defensive. Here each student is an important source of income since the trainers are usually retired boxers who don’t have any other livelihood.


King December 29, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Hey Johnny I wanted to know when you think someone is actually considered a boxer. Is it when you start sparring with ameatur fighters reguarly or when your actually start competing yourself?


Johnny N January 3, 2012 at 12:56 am

A professional boxer is one that gets paid to box. An amateur boxer is one that competes in amateur boxing competition. The art of boxing is to fight using the rules of boxing. Anybody that fights using their 2 hands to try and punch without getting punched in return is pretty much a boxer. Whether or not you’re a good boxer is an entirely different story.


J January 4, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Will i be disrespecting a trainer by gym hoping? or should a good trainer understand that im trying to find what gym is best for me?


Johnny N January 5, 2012 at 12:25 am

You’re not disrespecting your trainer if your trainers are teaching you different things that other trainers are not. Either way, you have to be upfront and let your main trainer know that he’s your main trainer BUT you still want to learn from others. As for the other trainers, let them know that you already have a main trainer but also respect knowledge from others. Be honest and communicate and you will have the benefit of multiple trainers.


J January 5, 2012 at 12:55 am

i dont have a main trainer yet thats the thing


Johnny N January 5, 2012 at 1:02 am

Then you don’t have to worry about this yet. 😉


J January 5, 2012 at 1:11 am

so if they give me a free week trial he most likely wouldnt take it personal if i said ill like to see what other trainers i can meet? im guessing with a one week trial i probably shouldnt be expecting to learn any tricks?


Johnny N January 5, 2012 at 2:09 pm

No trainer will take it personal unless he’s been dedicating his time to you and grooming you to be his best boxer.


curtis c January 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm

what do you think of David Tua’s left hook? What kind of left hook does he throw the most often? And most importantly how can I train at these gym’s to throw AND set up my left just like my idol David Tua?


Johnny N January 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Curtis, work on your left hook. Master the regular one first using good technique, and the other hooks will come natural.


A January 10, 2012 at 10:40 pm

i asked my coach about going to different gyms for these particular reasons, and he is not ok with it. so any advice johnny if possible?


Johnny N January 11, 2012 at 7:35 am

Obey your coach or get a new one. In the meanwhile, you can do your own “self-learning” by reading websites and watching youtube.


A January 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Thank you johnny you cleared alot up


A January 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm

now im starting to understand


Seve January 21, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I help train guys i encourage them to train with other people and learn as much as possible,and if possible come back and teach me a thing or two, for most guys its a tough sport and a short competitive one for most,I also like training with guys who come in from other states ,because i learn from them ;however,if its your only source of income it would be differcult.

I feel from a boxers perspective you must train with those whom you have confidence and feel your learning and developing most effectively -if you look at the great trainers such as Emmanuel Stewart and even freddie Roach some great fighters have moved on and trained with guys of lesser reputation and gone on to continued to be successful and its no refletion on those trainers ,im a huge Freddie Roach fan -factors such as personalities ,training methods etc can all come into play.

If all you do is feel frustrated -its time to move on


Johnny N January 23, 2012 at 11:02 am

Well said, thank you!


antz March 13, 2012 at 10:33 pm

i have just began boxing about two months ago and have found myself addicted to the sport .on week 1 i joind two seperate boxing gyms which is great and i am learning alot,however i wasnt sure if this was allowd and failed to tel either my training days are clashing and to make things worse they have both askd me to jump in the ring 4 them.i enjoy both gyms and do want to compete but i feel i hav dug myself a bit of a hole,any advice?
this website rocks btw and i concider it my third gym haha


Johnny N March 15, 2012 at 8:39 am

Welcome to the ExpertBoxing gym, antz! I promise not to get angry if you train elsewhere — lol. I would just tell the gym you don’t want to fight for that you’re already training elsewhere and feel weird representing 2 gyms. Make sure you tell them that you respect their advice and like learning from as many places as possible. Most trainers can respect this.


akshay July 3, 2013 at 8:12 am

Hi, johhny n
I am a 19 year old guy from India. I read most of your articles and a regular viewer of your videos on YouTube. I am a great fan of your coaching abilities and efforts. As I mention I am from India. Boxing is not so famous in this part of world. There are hardly any boxing gyms in my city. So I am planning for train myself. I am a college going student so I hardly get 2 hours for training and developing my boxing skills. I learn the basics of boxing from internet and practice them daily. I want to ask you that can I manage to become a professionally good boxer. I am very much interested in this sport.
Hoping for your motivational reply sir


Johnny N July 10, 2013 at 10:13 am

You have a find a way. You have to get to a boxing gym.


miguel July 6, 2013 at 12:11 am

Hey johnny, I have a coach but I went to another gym looking for sparring n they were trying to put me in the sparring class, n charge me money per month . How do you recommend me approaching these gyms when looking just for sparring without becoming a member n getting charged ?


Johnny N July 10, 2013 at 10:15 am

Tell them you’re only looking for a day rate. Some gyms will even let you in for free if all you’re going to do is spar. It’s good practice for their fighters which can be hard to get if nobody else is available in the same weight class. Make sure you find a serious boxing gym with real fighters and not just some place looking to make money.


Waffles July 2, 2015 at 9:09 pm

Hi Johnny,

Dumb question, would it be rude for me to go to La Habra boxing gym and ask one of their coaches to help me with my inside boxing ?


Waffles July 24, 2015 at 7:30 pm

It would feel kind of awkward to randomly walk into La Habra boxing gym and ask one of the coach to show me how to box on inside.


REE January 28, 2016 at 12:44 pm

I actually train BJJ. I’m still new but I love going to the tournaments. I’ve started traveling to different gyms when I’m preparing for a tournament because my “main” group does not compete very often. The other gyms I visit have a competition team. It’s a totally different attitude and approach to how you train. I have received a few off handed comments about going to the other gyms and I think it bothers my main instructors a little bit. But I’m paying my dues to my main gym and pay one time fees to the other gyms when I travel, so I figure it is my money and time and effort and I want the best results. I’m always respectful no matter where I go but at the end of the day, I’ve got to be satisfied with my own progress.


victor alika October 10, 2016 at 3:41 am

Good Day Sir.

Sir I am victor Alika a Nigerian boxing Coach,Sir i saw your gym and i so much like it,sir i want to bring my boxers to your gym for training,i took my 9 boxers to Ghana for a tournament only 3 boxers won their fight and 6 lost,sir i am not happy about this,please sir we are responsible for our accommodation,feeding, transport and other expenses e.t.c,in Nigeria we lack of boxing facilities,please sir we need your help seriously,looking forward to hear from you soon.Thanks.




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