Meet Muay Thai fighter Ali Sheppard

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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