Willard Shepard

NBC 6 anchor Willard Shepard works out at the Biscayne Boxing & Fitness Club. (Biscayne Boxing & Fitness Club, courtesy)

Willard Shepard has played sports and exercised for most of his life. Although he's now a television journalist, law-school student and reserve fighter pilot, he still finds time to work out almost every day.

In January, Shepard suffered a heart attack but has bounced back. He boxes regularly, lifts weights — and feels better than he used to.

Why do you keep fit?

To keep healthy, to keep up my energy, to perform better in the military, and I just like to. I played sports my whole life — basketball, tennis and track, and football in college.

Which exercises do you do regularly?

Boxing and weight training mostly. I exercise five or six times a week.

About 10 years ago, I tore the meniscus in my knee and the doctor said, "If you keep playing basketball, you'll need a knee replacement." A buddy told me about boxing and how difficult it was, so I started that. I also do Muay Thai (Thailand-style kickboxing). I do about 90 percent boxing and 10 percent kickboxing.

Why do you like boxing?

It's the most physically exerting sport I've ever done. You need the stamina of a marathon runner, the ability to explode like a sprinter or football player, and the strength of a weight lifter. If someone wants to lose weight or improve their physique, boxing is great. Boxing is murder. You can't waste a second. In wrestling, if you get in a certain position you can rest for a second, but not in boxing.

What's your typical boxing workout?

There are three different workouts.

The first is sparring. We have a group of guys and we'll rotate to get seven to 10 rounds of sparring each. We spar two- or three-minute rounds.

Another is taking a class with a big group of people. This involves strength training, jumping rope, a lot of lunging and hitting the boxing bag. And it may require some running, too.

The third is in the ring with one of the trainers, where we're working with the hand mitts for all combinations: jabs, hooks, rights. It includes a lot of abdominal work.

Do you lift weights?

I generally lift four days a week, about 45 minutes each time, at the gym in my home. Some days I do bench [press], some days flies, curls. I don't lift super-heavy weights after pinching a nerve in my neck from the military press four or five years ago. I do a lot with dumbbells, which are easier on your joints because they're not locked into one position. And I'm big on working the cables.

What are your fitness requirements in the Air Force Reserve?

Twice a year, we take the Air Force physical fitness test. It includes a mile-and-a-half run, which I stink at. But I'm good at the push-ups and sit-ups. I can match those for an 18-year-old kid. And they check our body fat with a tape measure.

Do you have a personal exercise or sports motto?