SMC Weekly Fitness: Student and Amateur Boxing Sensation Pedro Alvarez

Whereas most 10-year-old boys spend their time playing with bugs or chasing girls around the playground, Pedro Alvarez found interest in other hobbies; some of which included fine-tuning his right hook.

Alvarez, now a sophomore at SMC, started boxing at a very young age, a pivotal factor behind his stellar 84-1 record as an amateur boxer. But in a sport that requires constant maintenance of the body in order to make weight for a match, staying fit is no easy task, as Alvarez's training system proves.

"I like to mix it up between cardio and fast-paced workouts," says Alvarez. "When I'm competing I go on 5-mile runs everyday to make weight. Jogging is really my foundation."

Alvarez is no stranger to the gym, frequently pouring hours into conditioning with his coach. "I shadowbox with weights in my hands for a couple rounds and then try some rounds without them, to work on my speed," he said. "I really like fast-tempo workouts, like working with the punching bag and jumping rope."

His constant upbeat workouts have undoubtedly contributed to the power he owns, which is expressed by the 66 knockout wins in his career.

Working out is only one element of staying in top shape for Alvarez, as he also has to watch what he eats. "I have to drink plenty of water and eat a lot of carbohydrates, like pasta and white bread," Alvarez said. "I limit myself when it comes to fatty foods."

However, there are foods that are too tempting for Alvarez, especially during the off-season. "I'm real weak when it comes to In-N-Out burgers and Papa John's pizzas," he says with a laugh. "But I have a fast metabolism, so it doesn't affect me too much."

When looking to get pumped up before his fights, Alvarez takes a surprisingly passive approach for his type of sport. "I pray a lot, which really helps my mental state. Everything is mental."

Although he says much of his inspiration is drawn from his father, Alvarez has turned to another family member as a main source of motivation to continue fighting competitively. "My brother has inspired me everyday of my life and has taught me everything I know, and I never would have made it this far without him," said Alvarez.

As an athlete who is taking twelve units at school as well as working out five to six days a week, Alvarez has little time to address his personal life. "I didn't have much of a social life when I was younger because I've been doing this since I was 10-years-old; it pushed me away from people a little" he said. "It's a little better now that I'm in college, and I eventually get to party when I have time."

Currently being held out of competition because of a thumb fracture, the welterweight sensation is currently focusing on a lot of cardio workouts that don't require much strain on his injury and is also spending time coaching at his old high school.

When giving advice to students who feel too overwhelmed with homework and trying to stay in shape, Alvarez encourages a positive mentality. "You know, just never let anything hold you down. I've been juggling boxing, coaching and school for ten years now and if I can do it, anybody can," he said. "Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it; you just have to work hard, plain and simple."

Alvarez plans to re-enter competition in June in an exhibition match and is anticipating a return to international silver and gold glove tournaments during the summer.