When boxer Mike Lee walks into the ring at the MGM Grand later this month, standing in his corner will be Andy Galpin, associate professor of kinesiology at Cal State Fullerton.
Galpin has been working with the undefeated heavy lightweight to help him get in shape for his July 20 match against International Boxing Federation super middleweight champion Caleb Plant.
“My job is to focus on his nutrition, as well as maintaining high performance,” says Galpin, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, National Strength and Conditioning Association certified physical trainer, and an expert in human performance down to the biochemical and molecular levels.
“Andy has helped me physically and mentally with this fight. I have never fought at 168 so going down one weight class can be difficult if you are not properly prepared,” says Lee. “When I selected Andy I was looking for his expertise on the human body and physical performance.
“Andy has helped me cut the weight while feeling strong and fast. His approach from nutrition, supplements, training regiments and recovery modalities has been incredible,” adds Lee. “He is one of the best in the world for a reason and it shows in his work and results of his athletes.”
“He (Galpin) is one of the best in the world for a reason and it shows in his work and results of his athletes.” — Boxer Mike Lee
Working together, Lee and Galpin “monitor and track a wide range of factors from what Mike eats, the type of training he is doing, how quickly he is recovering … even what else is going on in his life that day,” says Galpin.
The scholar explains it as “problem solving — adjusting on the fly and making sure that Mike has everything he needs.” Right now, Lee and Galpin are staying in touch three or four times a day.
“For me, it’s my form of competition,” explains Galpin, a former football player who still trains in weightlifting and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. “It makes what I do in the lab mean more. It’s more than theoretical.
“And what better way than to work with elite athletes and see what’s happening on the molecular level?”
Galpin, who joined Cal State Fullerton in 2011, has worked with several top athletes, including Conor McGregor, a professional mixed martial artist currently ranked NO. 3 in Ultimate Fighting Champion lightweight division; 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Helen Maroulis, the first American to win the gold medal in women’s freestyle wrestling; and weightlifter Morghan King, who finished sixth in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Co-director of CSUF’s Center for Sports Performance, Galpin’s most recent research explored muscle cells of competitive weightlifters to see what changes occur in their muscle mass, particularly as a way to understand why and how muscle grows, shrinks, repairs and dies. The results were published in the March 2019 issue of PLoS ONE.
Galpin holds a doctorate in human bioenergetics from Ball State University and has served as a strength and conditioning/performance coach for a variety of clients ranging from professional athletes to various clinical populations, including stroke victims.
More information about the Center for Sport Performance is available on the center website.