Meet Muay Thai fighter Ali Sheppard


We met Ali Sheppard after he stopped by the center for whole body cryotherapy session as he was training intensely for his next Muay Thai fight. As a professional fighter, Ali subjects his body to a lot of physical stress. He says that his visits to CryoVigor have helped him recover faster and feel great. We got to know a bit more about Ali in our interview with him.

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: I grew up in Spanish Harlem or El Barrio as I know it. I have lived in this neighborhood for 17 years and I love it. 

Q: How did you get into Muay Thai?

A: I got into martial arts when I was very young as to protect myself. I was very small as a teenager and the neighborhood was very rough growing up. Sometimes you would go to the local bodega to get a sandwich and you wouldn’t be able to leave because people were outside with guns shooting. It was my goal in life to never be a victim or a product of my environment, instead I wanted to be a byproduct something stronger and better as a result of my circumstances; so I turned to martial arts. 

Q: What are your goals in the sport and where are you currently?

A: My goal with Muay Thai is to perfect the fighting style as well as learn additional fighting styles to blend it. I am at the black belt level and hopefully as I continue studying I can collect a few World Championships.

Q: How did you discover cryotherapy? How did you like it?

A: I discovered cryotherapy because my training regimen picked up to 6 days a week and my body was under an immense amount of physical stress. I found cryotherapy online and decided to give it a try in order to trim my recovery time in half. The experience was life changing especially for a professional athlete. I felt energized and reinvigorated as if I didn’t work out at all. The chamber completely removed all soreness and stiffness from my body. 

Q: Tell us about your training?

A: I train 6 days a week for roughly 3 hours a day and I eat about 6 small meals daily. I want to be a well-balanced athlete so, as a result, my training focuses on many different areas. The bulk of my training involves stability, flexibility and core building. I use kettlebells, bench press, lunges, jumping jacks, squats, and I train with my coaches for footwork/mitt work. Many people think of fitness as being strong or looking particularly sculpted; and this is why most people cannot become truly “fit”. The best comparison I can give would be comparing a body builder to a football player. The body builder is sculpted and has the perfect body and can lift incredible amount of weight. However, if a body builder had to run with this weight, squat down into a certain position with this weight or even lift their own body weight they wouldn’t be able to. On the other hand a foot player that weighs around 300 pounds can jump, carry, squat and sprint without obtaining injury. This is true fitness and the key to truly being a well-rounded athlete, you need to be strong in all areas of fitness. 

Q: What is something people might not know about you?

A: While I’ve spent time training and developing my martial art skills, I am also a huge foodie. I am an experienced restaurant entrepreneur and worked for many concepts such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Chopt Creative Salad, and Angelica Kitchen. My positions were multi-unit upper management. 

Kathy Butters