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How a professional boxer has gained a sharper edge with kettlebell training for strength and conditioning

January 18, 2011 10:21 AM

Professional Boxer Shaun Creegan achieved success with Russian Kettlebell Strength Training


First, the bad news: 'Big Trouble' has finally come to Dragon Door. Professional boxer Shaun 'Big Trouble' Creegan of Plainville, MA has started working out with kettlebells, following the Warrior Diet, and is now a regular visitor to the message boards. Now, the good news: The 32-year-old bruiser always leaves his troublesome 'tude in the ring, and is yet another boxing pro to use kettlebell training and the Warrior way of eating to pump up his game.

Creegan developed a boxer's spirit in early childhood, while being raised by a father who boasted a career as an undefeated middleweight professional boxer. Watching the sport up close, getting self-defense pointers from Dad, and plain old genetics are what Creegan credits for drawing him into boxing, saying that his becoming a boxer was "really a given and ultimately inevitable."

Creegan didn't begin officially training until his early twenties, though. "Where boxing really started for me was along the journey in commuting to college in Rhode Island. During the half-hour drive each way, I'd see the [Champions Boxing Gym' from the highway. I pulled in after class one day to check it out." He started training intensely at the gym under former boxer Harold Gomes, and soon after began fighting in amateur competitions. "I fit in right away and did exceptional in sparring some great amateurs and veterans. I disciplined myself for years and enjoyed competing and winning." During his amateur career, he fought in the prestigious Lowell Sun Charities Golden Gloves Tournament between the US and the Ukraine, and won two Golden Glove Championship titles - one in the Open class and one in the Novice division. In 1997, after starting to train at the South Shore Police Athletic League in Quincy, MA, Creegan decided to make the leap to pro. Since then, he's had 19 fights, with a record standing as 14-2-3. With over a dozen wins under his belt, underestimating this guy in the ring could get you into-as his nickname warns-'Big Trouble.'

Six months ago, Creegan added kettlebell drills to his rigorous workouts. Steve Baccari, Russian Kettlebell Challenge and strength conditioning instructor at the gym where Creegan trains, introduced the boxer to kettlebells. Creegan spotted Baccari doing his kettlebell workout one day at the gym, and asked what was up. Baccari showed him some drills, and over the past half-year has worked with Creegan to improve his physical strength and knowledge of the Russian fitness system. One can't work out all day with kettlebells, though, and during down time Creegan can be found reading articles on (including one by Baccari about conditioning for boxers), and hanging around the message boards. He likes the exchange of ideas that happens on the boards, and especially values hearing what other people are doing to improve their training sessions. "I love to log on and be a part of the conversations with those phenomenal people," he asserted.

Since starting to train with kettlebells, Creegan reports feeling more powerful in the ring, as well as more energized doing his day-to-day activities. "It just makes my entire body feel so strong," he said. Creegan has also noticed an improvement in his appearance since joining the Party. "I don't have as much body fat as I used to. I mean, I was always in good shape, but I always had a little flab here and there. I have more muscle now."

'Big Trouble' has big appreciation for the kettlebell clan. "I feel very thankful at the chance to gain knowledge from Steve and Pavel. I wish more people knew about it. I wish more could experience it."

He can't give all the credit to kettlebells, though-he also owes thanks to the Warrior Diet. After getting the pro boxer started with kettlebells, Baccari introduced him to Ori Hofmekler's book and helped him start eating the Warrior way. After four months on the diet, the boxer can definitely feel the difference. "I feel more energy. More vibrant, and sort of accelerated. I just feel powerful." In relation to boxing, Creegan has found it a lot easier to meet weight requirements since getting into the Warrior Diet groove. "Normally, in the professional world, you walk around five, six, seven pounds heavier than you normally fight at. The way my metabolism was before the diet, I used to struggle to meet weight. Following the diet as close as I can, I'm finding it much easier to make weight for a fight."

The flexibility of the Warrior Diet is something Creegan appreciates. "You can screw up and not be as faithful quite often, and still [benefit'. You can eat some pizza here or there and make up for it over time."

To make sure he doesn't get too off-track or forget important details about the diet, though, the boxer reviews the Warrior Diet now and then. "There's so much in the book, that you have to keep referring back to it. I'm always going back to the book to refresh my memory about a certain chapter."

When asked if he plans on sticking with the Warrior Diet, Creegan spoke with no hesitation. "I certainly do," he said. "You know what they say: If it's not broke, don't fix it."