Carina came in to see me around 2004 after the IOC had just determined that Woman’s boxing was not going to be an Olympic event. Carina had been holding out and waiting for the Olympics, but when the IOC made their decision, Carina turned professional.
Carena had a world class boxing trainer named Rick Noble who had also trained Francis Farley, a former kick boxing champion that I trained briefly in the past. Rick and Carina came to me and asked if I would be her strength coach. She had everything she needed in terms of skills with Rick, but needed help conditioning her body to withstand up to ten 3 minute rounds with endurance, strength, speed, and movement.
So we worked with kettle bell training, resistance sprinting, traditional strength training, Olympic lifting, and flexibility work which was a major component to get Carina more mobile in terms of her joints – she was pretty locked up when we first started.
Working with Carina as her strength coach and conditioning specialist, I learned a lot about boxing. When I train professional athletes, I look at their sport and get a better understanding of their movements and their demands what the need is for the athlete. In terms of participating in a lot of the sports in which I train the athletes for, I don’t have any experience, so I’m more of a biomechanist. I look at how they move and try to get them to move better in their sport
Boxing was not something I was brought up with. I enjoyed watching Mohammed Ali and Joe Frazier and all the greats back in the 70’s and 80’s, but never got anything close to ringside until I trained Carina. It was just remarkable to see the true prowess and athleticism that a boxer must maintain in order to stay at the top of the game.
What I started doing more of with group settings, because of Carina, was that I was starting to set up circuits in 2-3 minute routines. More or less the time it would take to box one round – 3 minutes on with a minute off, 3 minutes on with a minute off. I started to do this with some the groups – not all the time, but I would throw it in there and it got them, it got them worked. So it was fun to take that kind of conditioning protocol and put it into mainstream members.
I trained Carina for 2-3 years and she became the world champion holding many belts. At 5 feet tall and around 105 pounds you wouldn’t know she was a champion boxer. She was so demure and quiet, but the moment she set foot in the ring, she was a completely different person. It was remarkable to watch that transformation. I saw her just tear apart opponent after opponent. She was like a little Mike Tyson. Her opponents may go 2 rounds, maybe three, but then they’d just throw in the towel. They just couldn’t match her speed and her ferocity. It was amazing.