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Train Like Rangers

In 2013, I was contacted by two Army Rangers from the US Army Special Operations Command, who asked if I would help guide their personal performance conditioning and nutrition program.

These Rangers were boxing fans that had followed my work in professional boxing—dating back to 1982 when I assisted Michael Spinks in his historic move up in weight class from light heavyweight champion to claim the undisputed world heavyweight title from Larry Holmes, a feat that had previously never been accomplished by any light heavyweight moving up to the heavyweight division.

I chose to volunteer my time and performance testing—VO2 max cardiopulmonary assessment, DXA Scan for body composition, and nutritional assessments—to fulfill their request—along with providing nutrition products to their unit during a deployment to the Middle East.

In 2017, I invited Rob Jackson, a Ranger / Green Beret, who originally reached out to me, to come see undefeated boxing champion Andre Ward—whom I assisted in his move from super middleweight to light heavyweight—unseat the reigning champion, Sergei Kovalev, at the fight in Las Vegas.

In 2018, I invited Jackson to come to New Orleans to watch the testing and evaluations of #1 pound-for-pound-rated boxing champion Vasyl Lomachenko—assisting his rise from 135 to 140 pound to fight at a higherweight class.

Jackson, along with fellow Ranger Eric Echavarria, made a decision to compete in the annual Best Ranger (BR) competition, which takes place in April. This year’s event, a continuous, 60-hour grueling schedule showcasing Rangers skills—known as Stakes—occurred on April 12-14 at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Both Rangers asked if I would develop a BR conditioning plan, which started on December 17th, 2018, when I tested them in New Orleans: VO2 max, DXA Scan, and nutrition assessments, with follow up laboratory assessments at their unit in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Our team also included another Ranger, Thomas Patrick (Pat), who previously won the BR competition with his partner in 2012. Pat coached the Ranger Stakes.

When the BR took place, our two man unit—Team 36—earned a top-five finish. A four star Army General commented, while watching Echavarria performing Ranger pull-ups on the second day as part of the PT component, “look at how these two 38-year-old Rangers are outdoing their younger counterparts.”

Remember, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise, diet, or nutritional supplementation program.

Mackie and April share exerises every Wednesday on WWL-TV