Fight For Hearts Visits Cuba's Boxing Gym!
Gimnasio de Boxeo
Over the past week (08.28.17 – 09.01.17) Fight For Hearts visited Cuba and trained at the world famous Rafael Traejo Gimnasio de Boxeo (boxing gym). We were able to train along side some of the top national level boxing champions and learned a LOT about the Cuban style of boxing from the legendary coach Nardo Mestre Flores, the "Black Prince".
At the end of our trip, we were allowed to bring in cameras and capture some footage.
The boxers daily training included basic skill training, conditioning, and strategy. Sparring was controlled and technical. The coach would often stop the sparring if unhappy with the boxers execution. Athletes were all well conditioned (training in the heat adds to the difficulty), and are very dedicated to the sport.
Meeting the Legend
We spent hours with the coach discussing training, conditioning, coaching and life. Initially, we explained the purpose of Fight For Hearts organization and what steps we are taking to improve our communities heart health. Boxing club loved this idea and the execution....
Although the equipment is limited, the exercise science applications were not. Coach would check the athletes resting heart rate, as well as the heart rate at the end of each round. Once the range is established, the coach knew exactly where to keep the individual throughout the workout.
Monitoring recovery was also important, which was done by calculating the delta between the end of the round HR and after a full 1 min rest (better conditioned athletes recover faster, or have a larger delta).
Gift Exchange :)
We exchanged gifts; giving out Fight For Hearts shirts and received an official National Cuban Boxing team shorts from one of the boxers (shown in one of the photos below). Overall, the trip was amazing and we are planning on staying in touch with the coaching staff, as well as possibly doing a more in depth visit and study on the Cuban style of boxing at the Olympic training center in the future!