Gerard Marrone knows a thing or two about getting in shape from a deficit. After being shot at age 21 while defending his sister, he battled back from being paralyzed to boxing again. “I still have a bullet in my body,” he says. “If I can get in shape, anyone can.” What follows is the three-part plan Marrone follows when he needs to get in fighting shape — and quickly.

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“For cardio, I put myself through a boxing regimen. Most importantly, when I do cardio I am on a fast. I wake up an hour early and hit the gym before breakfast (a coffee is fine). That way, all the calories I’m burning are from fat and not muscle.”

“The second important part is the high-intensity element. When boxing, I work either hitting a heavy bag or speed bag for three minutes and then rest for one minute. As a result, my heart rate spikes for a short time and then I rest. Heavy bag work also strengthens my upper body and gives my legs a run for their money. This is my 10-round workout, which I do three days on and one day off.”


“I do weight training at night, after I’ve eaten most of my meals for the day. Sometimes I use free weights, sometimes I use machines. Free weights are more difficult and machines are better for anyone who is just starting out. The workouts listed below are high reps with moderate weight.”


“This is 70% of the entire plan. I can work out religiously, but if I’m not eating clean, I’m wasting my time. I eat five small meals a day that consist of protein, good carbs, and veggies. No cheat meals except once on Sunday. Here is a sample day of meals (accompanied by one gallon of water per day) that will get me into lean and mean fighting shape.”


The above plans might seem intense, but they helped Marrone not only climb out of his wheelchair and walk again — something his doctors said he would never be able to do — but even box. “If I can do it, anyone can do it,” he says.

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