By Dean Stattmann
For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to do a first-person combat story. Boxing, Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai – Anything! There’s just something about chronicling the process of developing as a fighter that really attracts me. As a kid I experimented with Karate and Judo, finally landing on Kung-Fu, which I did for about a year. I’ve enjoyed martial arts my whole life, but I was never in the kind of shape that I needed to be in to really hold my own. An ectomorph by design, it takes a lot to make muscle stick to my frame, and at 6’2″ and 165 pounds, I maintained a considerably lean physique right up until my early twenties.
That all changed thanks to the help of two great trainers, the first of which is Jason Ferruggia, the owner of the Renegade Gym in Watchung, NJ. The second is Joe DeFranco, as in Defranco’s Training Systems. Both are legendary strength coaches and have helped numerous athletes and regular guys reach their best. And now, after a year and a half of following Maximum Mass and Westside for Skinny Bastards, Ferruggia and DeFrancoe’s respective proprietary workout plans, I’m knocking on the door of 190 pounds and my body is more defined than ever before.
Finally in fighting shape, I have decided to take on boxing training for one or two months and document every step of the way, including a final match where I will fight a “white collar” of similar experience. I’ll be training at Chelsea Piers in New York City with trainer Jason Lee.
I’m completely and absurdly excited. First, as I said, because I’ve wanted to do this story for so long. But more importantly, I’ve never felt more prepared. I’ve been consistently working out four days a week for nearly two years now, swimming once a week, and running a couple days a week before work. This year I also finally started eating in a way that compliments my workouts (i.e. A lot) and my body has responded very well. I’m more energized and motivated than ever. And while I’ve never boxed before, I somehow feel ready for anything.
First training session is on Monday. Stay tuned.