Category Archives: Shawn Darling

“Big Dawg” Montgomer Makes Professional Boxing Debut


Hafiz “Big Dawg” Montgomer, 34yr old father of 4, and a 1999 Central Regional HS grad.  He’s a 3x amateur state boxing champion.

He will be making his professional boxing debut against Philly’s Brian Donahue on a Kings Promotion card at Valley Forge Casino & Resort on June 20 7pm.

Hafiz trains 6 days a week with head coach Rahn Carter & assistant coach/manager Shawn Darling at Gladiator Gym in Forked River.

After a long successful amateur career picking up 3 NJ amateur state championships Hafiz decided to turn pro. He plans on winning a Cruiser Weight world championship within 3 years.

How Does Exercise Affect Your Self-Esteem?

It’s probably safe to surmise that sitting in front of a screen all day at work and in front of the TV all night isn’t doing much for your physical health or self-image. A sedentary lifestyle, the default for many office workers, students and retired people, does little to raise your fitness level, your energy, your self-confidence or your general sense of well-being. But looking good, feeling strong and having a positive attitude, the attributes of self-esteem, are all benefits of a regular exercise regime.

Regular exercise makes your heart and bones stronger, lowers your risk for chronic disease right along with your blood pressure, keeps your weight under control and reduces feelings of anxiety and depression. While you’re boosting your energy levels, oxygen capacity, muscle tone and general fitness, a side benefit is an increase in self-esteem. Just the success of creating an exercise plan and sticking to it allows you to enjoy a sense of achievement. Getting a move on is good for your body and mind. The latest studies suggests exercising for 50-60 minutes every other day, picking an activity you enjoy so you’ll stick with it, varying what you do to ward off boredom, and mixing classes, sports and exercise with friends, and individual workouts to keep things interesting, keep pounds off and keep your confidence high.

Society is obsessed with body image and, for many people, how they look has a direct bearing on self-esteem. Idea Health & Fitness Association notes that your personal body image — toned, balanced weight, pleasing proportions, posture, vitality and other factors — is as important as your strength, competence at sports and other measures of physical fitness. Regular exercise, with an emphasis on aerobic exercise, can have a positive effect on self-esteem — especially for those who suffer from low self-esteem — as fitness and appearance improve.

Gladiator Gym of Forked River offers a variety of classes to keep your interest including: boxing, cardio kickboxing and boot camp. An independent study by ESPN has proven the boxing workout is best for improving overall physical fitness. It scored the highest in improving endurance, strength, speed, agility, flexibility and hand eye coordination. Gladiator Gym offers morning and evening classes for all ages and private lessons for boxing and conditioning.

Shawn Darling is the owner of Gladiator Gym and was recently voted the 1# personal trainer by Ocean Happenings Magazine. Gladiator Gym is located at 120 N Main St in Forked River in the Village Green Plaza. Gladiator Gym was recently voted the 1# gym in Lacey by the Lacey Reporter. Call (732)581-3766 for information.

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Top 6 Benefits of Kickboxing Workouts


By Shawn E Darling/Gladiator Gym

If you’re stuck in a workout rut or looking for a motivating fitness routine, you might consider adding a high-energy kickboxing workout to the schedule. Kickboxing workouts combine martial arts techniques with heart-pumping cardio, which means you can get a total body workout and whip yourself into shape in no time. Gladiator Gym offers award winning classes Monday through Friday 9am. Here are six more benefits of kickboxing workouts:

Kickboxing Benefit #1: Reduce Stress

You can kick and punch your way to a stress-free zone within minutes of your high-energy kickboxing routine. The movements in kickboxing challenge several core muscle groups and will give you a total body workout, fast.

Kickboxing Benefit #2: Boost Confidence Levels

Kickboxing helps you release endorphins which will give your mood a boost and help you feel more confident. Endorphins will also make you feel happier and more positive for several hours after the workout.

Kickboxing Benefit #3: Improved Coordination

If you’re suffering from posture problems and have poor coordination, you can strengthen your ‘core’ and improve your reflexes and coordination skills. The speedy punches and kicks in the kickboxing routine will give you a chance to focus your energy to execute each movement successfully.

Kickboxing Benefit #4: Burn Mega Calories

Recent reports have found that fitness kickboxing can burn over 1,000 calories per hour, and you’ll be toning up your entire body as you rev up your metabolism. It’s a high-power cardio routine that’s great for weight loss and getting you in shape, fast.

Kickboxing Benefit #5: Ideal Cross-Training Workout

If you’ve been pounding on the treadmill for several weeks and need a break from your usual cardio routine, kickboxing is the perfect cross-training workout. At Gladiator Gym we mix kettle bells, medicine balls, TRX, plyos and calisthenics to give you a one of a kind SUPER CARDIO WORKOUT! Just three to four routines a week can help you break out of a fitness rut, fast.

Kickboxing Benefit #6: Energy Boost

Kickboxing is a high-energy cardio routine that will give your body and mind a boost, and will increase your energy levels. You’ll be breathing hard and sweating out toxins; this process will give your energy levels a much-needed boost.

Shawn Darling is the owner of Gladiator Gym and was recently voted the 1# Personal Trainer by Ocean Happenings Magazine. Gladiator Gym is located at 120 N Main St, Forked River in the Village Green Plaza. Gladiator Gym was recently voted the 1# Gym in Lacey by the Lacey Reporter. Call (732)581-3766 for information.

The Benefits of Boxing Training for Fitness

By:  Shawn Darling 

The tools used for boxing training such as heavy bags, jump ropes and focus mitts provide a fun, interesting and challenging workout that can increase many aspects of your fitness levels and positively affect your health.

Boxers fight for three-minute rounds interspersed with one-minute recoveries and often spar or do bag work for similar durations. This start-stop form of exercise is commonly called interval training. Interval training is an effective way to develop cardiovascular fitness, which is closely linked to cardiovascular health. The health benefits of boxing for the cardiovascular system include reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, reduced blood pressure and reduced risk of stroke.

Although a highly contested boxing match in itself may be stressful, training for boxing by hitting a heavy bag, doing pad work and working the speed bag provide a good outlet for stress. Intense exercise triggers the release of feel-good hormones called endorphins, which leave you feeling happy, confident and less stressed.

You might improve your health and have a physically fit body by going to the average run of the mill gym but you are guaranteed to get incredible results at Gladiator Gym with a boxing training fitness program. This is the best way for you to have a stronger body and gain confidence. Many people see positive results immediately from boxing training. You will increase your lean muscle mass and decrease your body fat. You will also improve your flexibility and agility. These programs and classes also help you to gain a sense of inner strength and emotional balance. Cardio boxing workouts allow you to burn off 800-1,000 calories in just an hour.

Positive results await you with boxing training. You will enjoy a physically fit body and will keep yourself in better shape. You have the option of working out and exercising in classes or with private one on one training. Enjoy the fun and benefits of these boxing training programs.

Shawn Darling is the owner of Gladiator Gym and was recently voted the 1# Personal Trainer by Ocean Happenings Magazine. Gladiator Gym is located at 120 N Main St in Forked River in the Village Green Plaza. Gladiator Gym was recently voted the 1# Gym In Lacey by the Lacey Reporter. Call (732)581-3766 for information.