Behind the Bar To Your Health

Why Did a Miami Bartender and Bodybuilder Start Boxing Too?

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Pricilla Verona has proven herself as a bartender and bodybuilder. Now she’s taking on boxing.

Pricilla Verona has been competing in bodybuilding competitions for nine years and bartending for 11. It’s no coincidence that she began training seriously soon after becoming a full-time bartender.

“It’s so easy to drink when you’re around it a lot. Once I started packing on the weight, I was like, ‘Oh, no, it’s time to lose it,’” explains Verona. “I lost 43 pounds and fell in love with the commitment and the rewards that come from the discipline.”

Soon the Miami bartender was squatting 275 pounds, deadlifting 255 and benching 135. Working late shifts at a high-volume nightclub hasn’t made it easy to stay in top shape. Verona’s shifts often go late, meaning that she’s not getting home until four or five in the morning. That leaves little time to sleep and train, but that didn’t stop her from taking on a new challenge: boxing.

“As a female bartender that gets out very late at night, I always have to be on my toes and watch my surroundings when I’m going home,” Verona says, going into why she applied for Bar Spar, the health and wellness program from the Bartender Boxing Organization and Tequila Cazadores. “My expectation from this program has been to learn to protect myself a little more, if needed.”

Verona quickly discovered that training for an officially sanctioned boxing match—which happened in Miami on December 2—is much different than preparing for a bodybuilding competition. The most obvious change is the amount of conditioning required.

“Our coach made us run five miles in the sand in 80 to 90 degree weather. It gets intense,” says Verona. “There have been times when I wanted to give up but he pushed me past my limits.”

That might seem extreme, but that’s only because Bar Spar doesn’t treat its bartender boxers like amateurs. Tequila Cazadores covers the cost of three sessions a week with a professional boxing trainer, and gives participants personalized meal plans and top-of-the-line equipment. It’s part of the brand’s mission to empower bartenders to build healthier lifestyles.

The intense training regimen does mean that anyone who attends the upcoming match in Miami will be in for a good fight. But given Verona’s commitment to the program and background in bodybuilding, it would be foolish to bet against her.