The Penn State boxing team is so dedicated to its conditioning routine that some members have gone so far as to almost make themselves pass out during the training.
Started by team President Will Morrill, some team members have decided to use airflow restrictors while working out.
“Will is a monster when training,” coach Dave Vacco said. “He puts on the air flow restrictor which makes him not get enough oxygen, he says he almost passes out. He does it just to make conditioning harder and as president people see that and want to emulate him.”
The team’s conditioning habits have become an integral part of its success this season. According to Vacco, he believes that conditioning is the club’s strong suit.
“We’re very scientific about our conditioning and our strength training,” he said. “Everyone’s more explosive. Everyone’s in better shape. We’re scientific about our diets, everyone is stronger at a lighter weight. Our whole team is vicious.”
Vacco said the team goes on morning runs three or four times a week, spars twice a week, and does conditioning six days a week.
Morrill (senior - kinesiology) said it’s the coaching that’s helped the team become so well-conditioned.
“They keep our motivation up,” Morrill said. “They’re teaching us and forcing us to be technical, pushing us into conditioning. I think this is the best shape that all of our guys have been in. They’re just the life of the team.”
Morrill also says that his knowledge in kinesiology has been crucial in maintaining his conditioning.
“With cutting weight, strength training, water retention and how that all works, how to regulate your hormones, but especially in cutting weight,” he said. “The physiology behind it and how to do that and just how to take care of your body. It all ties into boxing.”
For the second year in a row Penn State will host the East Regional Championship for the Eastern Collegiate Boxing Association (ECBA) this weekend. When asked what hosting an event like this on annual basis does for the program, Vacco had only positive things to say.
“Yeah I want to keep that going,” said Vacco. “We can cut weight here, everyone’s at home, we can hit our saunas, we can check our weight without having to travel to hotels and everybody from our region travels here. It’s setting us up an anchor of the ECBA.”
The matches will begin at 5 p.m. this Friday and continue through Sunday. The fights will take place in the main gym of the White Building. A day pass can be purchased for $3 and a weekend pass can be purchased for $7.