Talented stars, killer physiques.Read article
Weight: 207 lbs.
Residence: Philadelphia, PA
Professional Record: 27-6
After winning the USBA Heavyweight Championship this past April, Steve “USS” Cunningham has his sight set on becoming the best boxer in the world. To get in world champion shape, Cunningham will do exactly what he’s been doing: training hard in his hometown of Philadelphia.
“I try to get back in the gym as soon as possible after a fight because I have this fear of falling out of shape and having to work too hard to get back in shape,” says Cunningham. “I’m in my comfort zone training at home because I’m with my family and I work better when I’m comfortable.”
The MHP-sponsored athlete attributes a vigorous cardio regimen to his in-ring success. Cunningham lifts weights 4-5 times a week in the morning, either before or after cardio, which consists of sprinting, long distance running, swimming, rowing and using the StairClimber machine. Then, he goes home, naps, eats, rests, and heads to the gym to do an intense one-to two-hour boxing workout.
“I train year-round and I always perform well, even in losses,” says Cunningham. “Sprints develop endurance and power and in a fight you need to be able to go on without getting tired.”
A typical Cunningham training camp is six weeks with 60-100 rounds of sparring that start at week five. If he decides to take a fight on short notice, say four weeks, sparring starts at week one. While developing world-caliber athleticism is nothing new to Cunningham, the former cruiserweight champion recently bumped up a weight class to heavyweight.
“MHP has been instrumental in me being a heavyweight because I was always less than 200 pounds in the cruiserweight division, Cunningham says. “Supplements like Dark Matter help me put on solid pounds of muscle and not fat.”
Cunningham adopted the nickname “USS” as a symbol for his four years of service in the U.S. Navy, where he became an amateur champion and decided to pursue a boxing career. Looking ahead, Cunningham sees international stardom in his future.
“My ultimate goal is to be IBF Heavyweight World Champion and I have faith I can do it,” says Cunningham. “Put the right guys in front me and I’ll beat them so I can’t be denied my shot at the title.”
Cunningham does this cardio and weights routine in the morning twice a week. Complete each sprint in less than five minutes. Cunningham uses 185 pounds for the squats and 50-pound dumbbells for the curl and squat. For the hamstring curl, Steve starts at 80 pounds and decreases 10 pounds each set. Do 10 pushups after each exercise, rest 1-2 minutes and move on.
Rest: 40 sec
40 sec. sprint.
Reps, 10, 8, 6
Reps: 10, 8, 6
Dumbbell Curl and Squat*
Reps: 10, 8, 6
*Hold a dumbbell in each hand with a supinated grip. Do 10 curls, then raise the dumbbells to shoulder level so hands are in a neutral position. Do 10 squats while keeping the dumbbells at shoulder level.