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Getting in Shape: IBP Program Isn't Just About Boxing
Posted By Editor On November 27, 2008 @ 9:10 am In Area News | Comments Disabled
By Michael Hicks
Mary Ifft knew Scott Crossen through their play on the volleyball court, yet it was there that she started questioning him about one of the programs at the Berthoud Athletic Club.
The 40-year-old Longmont resident wanted to learn more about the Integrated Boxing Program (IBP). What she found out seemed to be a perfect fit for the cardio-vascular conditioning workout she was seeking.
“It’s great core-strength conditioning. It’s high cardio. It’s awesome,” said Ifft, a former college soccer player.
Twice a week –– on Wednesday and Fridays –– participants gather at the BAC for the Integrated Boxing Program. Classes run for two to two-and-a-half hours, but the lessons and camaraderie gained by the experience last much longer.
For $199, participants get six weeks of intensive training under Crossen’s leadership. But don’t let the name fool you. IBP isn’t your typical punch hard and knock out your opponent class. If anything, it might be the opposite. IBP is about conditioning, dieting and as much mental makeup as it is about how to throw a right-left combination.
“I didn’t want it to be just a boxing program,” said Crossen, who started the program back in the late 70s but didn’t really develop it into what it is today until 1990. “I was working with kids and diet was the biggest effect on what they were thinking. These kids would go out and eat fast food and stuff and come into the class wired, aggressive, whacked out. So I started to realize back in the early 1980s that there was more to this than just using their hands.”
As Crossen put it, it was about diet, mind, attitude and discipline. Most of his earlier students were troubled teens, but nowadays it’s the total opposite. In a class of nine or 10, which is the maximum per group, seven or eight of the participants are female.
There’s no rhyme or reason behind the change, but whatever the reason, females have certainly stepped up to the challenge the class provides.
“The female participants really excel. They really do pretty well,” Crossen said. “The guys who’ve joined the class keep coming back, and we’ve had tremendous results. People have lost a lot of weight –– both male and female. They tone up and their cardio conditioning has increased three-fold, four-fold.”
Though the class is predominately comprised of females, they’re not all adults, either.
Patricia Mohon is a 16-year-old student at Thompson Valley High School. As things would turn out, the Berthoud Athletic Club and Crossen’s boxing program went hand-in-hand for her.
“I was applying for a job and I’ve been looking for a boxing class and I found a boxing class,” Mohon said.
She also found a job. She is employed at the BAC.
Mohon’s not sure what sparked her interest in boxing, but she knows that it’s fun and she’ll keep doing it to work on her conditioning. There’s also the bond that comes out of being in the class.
“I just get to know a lot of great people and we have a lot of fun,” said Mohon, who also stays in shape by playing indoor soccer in Windsor and dancing.
That’s the atmosphere the class provides. While the group is small, it’s a tight-knit gathering. Everybody has gotten to know one another and they know when someone’s not there.
One of the two men in the class is Weld County’s Jim Russo. The 54-year-old, like most of his classmates, doesn’t have a boxing background, but he took on the class to get in some exercise and to stay in shape.
“My 18-year-old daughter took it about a year ago. She told me how great it was and said that you’ve got to take it dad. It will get you in shape,” Russo said.
So he gave it a try. But Russo will admit that he was a bit surprised by the number of females in the class. Yet one constant has been the other male taking the class, Jim White. Yes, that Jim White, the Town Administrator.
While Russo did some running before joining this class, getting in approximately two miles about three times a week, he wasn’t used to the combination of training that Crossen’s class offers. The stomach work, the weight-lifting, footwork training and punching.
Russo doesn’t run as much nowadays due to lack of time, but he still tries to run about once a week, usually between Friday and Wednesday, to keep his training up during the five-day break between classes. But there’s nothing that competes with the class.
“It’s a great stress relief. You work all day and come here at night and start hitting. It’s great. There’s a lot of mental, a lot of concentration,” Russo said.
Ifft, who hikes and takes other conditioning classes, agrees.
“This is the core. This class is the core,” Ifft said. “It’s different than anything else you’ll do.”
<p>Lisa Lindgren (left) works on her left-handed jabs while practicing with Jackie Nelson during an Integrated Boxing Program class last week at the Berthoud Athletic Club.</p>
<p>The only males in the class. Jim White, left, and Jim Russo, work with each other during an IBP class.</p>
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