Bruce Lombard Boxes, Bartends, And Builds A Life In Happy Valley
Some of us say we never want to leave the home we create in Happy Valley, and some never actually do. This is the case for boxing instructor, bartender, and Penn State alumnus Bruce Lombard. Over the past 21 years, Lombard has created a life and career unique to his own passions and interests here in State College.
Lombard began his undergraduate career at University Park in 1994, persuing a degree in rehabilitation counseling and education. In 1998, Lombard graduated from Penn State with his bachelor’s and promptly earned a job at State College Area High School where he worked with an alternative program for at-risk students. His career at State High was short-lived, as he moved in a different direction after just two years.
During his time as an undergrad, Lombard worked as a bartender at The All-American Rathskeller downtown. Since his start at The Skeller in 1995, Lombard has yet to part ways with the beloved bar; he continues to bartend on Friday and Saturday nights during the fall and spring semesters.
“The Skeller has a tradition of making people stay,” Lombard said. “It’s a good environment, it’s fun, and people love the bar.”
In 2001, Lombard began his career with Titan Fitness and Martial Arts in the Lion Heart fitness complex downtown and has worked hard since then. Lombard’s role at Titan Fitness began with coaching martial arts to those interested in the skillful sport and eventually became an opportunity to create a brand for himself.
Lombard’s involvement with Titan Fitness, along with personal connections, has allowed him to create his own brand: Lombard MMA, MMAFx, and Lombard MMA – FIT. Lombard’s programs have numerous focal points that are specific to those participating.
MMAFx, for example, is the program Lombard uses when he works with football players. The high-intensity cardiovascular, muscular, and agility strengthening program has been used to condition Penn State athletes like John Urschel, Anthony Zettel, Sam Ficken, and Mike Hull. Lombard is passionate about working with Penn State football players in the offseason as well as helping them prepare for the NFL.
Lombard also created MMA – FIT or Mixed Martial Arts – Fitness, Intensity, and Technique as a more technical approach to teaching anyone interested the sport of boxing and Muay Thai kickboxing. Lombard developed this program to incorporate a combination of technique and fitness, as well as self-defense. MMA – FIT allows participants to have a truly intense workout and learn a life skill along the way.
“No one is immune to feeling threatened,” Lombard said. His programs allow room for mental and physical growth as his intense workouts allow participants to not only get an incredible workout, but also learn a skill they are able to utilize. At the end of the day, Lombard’s various programs can be used with any goal in mind. Be it fun, fitness, or self-defense, participants leave with a skill they can keep with them for the rest of their lives and to Lombard, that is the most rewarding part.
“I love this town, I love this area, I love Penn State,” Lombard replied when asked if he sees himself leaving State College anytime soon. However, he added, “If some path leads me somewhere that I could work full-time with football players, it may be a possibility.” But for now, Lombard plans to stay in the Happiest of Valleys continuing to do what he loves.
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About the Author
After losing my father to cancer, I thought there was nothing THON could offer me that I didn’t already know. After four years, I found comfort in the familiar.
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