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conditioning, MMA, strength training

It's been a long time since I've updated.

Firstly apologies to my avid reader. I haven’t been able to update due to a lack of access to this here “interweb” and also just being too busy. This is actually going to be a monster post as I’m not sure when I’ll be able to post again. I really am that busy.

The New Gym
In a really funny moment, I got a phone call off a bloke I know from coaching who reliably informed me that me and Will had gone out of business before we’d even started. Oh how I laughed. I laughed because that very day we had signed off on a major deal with a Dublin club and we had ordered some of the best strength equipment available in the world. So rumours of our demise have been greatly exagerrated. There have been some delays obviously as we were supposed to have opened on May 1st. These have been of the usual sort when you try to do business in Ireland: legal. But hopefully I should have some solid news in the next few days as to the actual opening date of the MMA and Muay Thai gyms that will be operating out of our facility, with the strength and conditioning elements to follow soon after that. Suffice to say that we have been extrememly busy behind the scenes and are now really just in a holding pattern waiting on some stuff to be signed off.

The Mini Marathon
This was a small and seemingly insignificant event that went on last Saturday. Basically we did
200 goblet squats with a 16kg kettlebell
200 lunges holding a 10kg medicine ball
200 push ups
50 pull ups.
You could do them in any order you liked as long as they were all as close to perfect as possible. Use of the band on the pull ups was allowed as long as you made an effort to get your maximum unassisted ones done first. My own time for this was 47 minutes, which was the fastest on the day. Next in was 15 year old Darragh who completed in 54 minutes. (I’m building some fit, strong, young men in the under 16s) After that the times varied between 56minutes and 70 minutes. The only notable exception was Hugh, who dd it in 80 minutes after realising that he had completed everything but the push ups, and he still had a full 180 of them to do in a row. The pain, the pain. As an aside to this session, Giant Pole Shayn did this on his own last night in 37 minutes. I’d add on maybe 4 minutes for the time it would have taken him to wait on equipment on Saturday, but his was still way better than my time. Damn. My excuse is that … ehh… I have no excuse, but I’m going to try to hammer him next time.

I’m giving Amanda her own little sectionof the blog until her fight on June 13th. Now I know that might seem a little sexist but you have to understand how rare it is to find:
1) A girl who wants to fight
2) An opponent for said girl
3) A girl who actually wants to do the neccessary training to fight
I know that last one might annoy some people but I’ll clarify by saying that most girls are fine with hard work, not so fine with getting punched, kicked and squashed. Amanda has no problem with any of the above, and at last she’s getting her reward for her patience as we’ve tried over the last 8 months to get her an opponent with lots of false hopes and near misses. She has one now a very game opponent from a Judo background and we’re chuffed. She’s been training away with the lads and on her own a bit too. Some of my many, many female readers (like my Mother for example. Hi Ma!) might be interested in the type of training I do with women. So for example, here’s a female oriented MMA workout from last night:
7pm- Weigh in (she has to cut some weight to fight at 56kgs). Then:

  • Warm up
  • Pummelling/hand fighting 15 minutes with various partners
  • Technique- duck under to harness position. Takedown finish

8pm- Sparring session

  • 3×3 minute rounds Muay Thai
  • 2×4 minute rounds stand up facing a grappler
  • 2×4 minute rounds grappling facing a striker

8.45pm- Conditioning

  • 5 minute round. 10 fast punches with an explosive sprawl for 45 seconds. Then incline push ups for 45 seconds. Repeat to the bell,
  • 5 minute round. 5 round kicks with a sprawl for 45. Dumbell power clean for 45, repeat.
  • 5 minute round. Single arm dumbell overhead squat for 45. 5 hard teeps, sprawl for 45. Repeat.

So as you can see, a female oriented MMA session is a lot like, wait for it, a male oriented MMA session. Now ordinarily we wouldn’t do that sort of volume of work over a 120 minute period. But last night we needed to put in a heavy individual conditioning session as Amanda is in great nick and has been coasting through the team sessions with not a whole lot of effort. To give you an example, the mini-marathon above, she rated as a 3 on her RPE scale. (an RPE scale is a quick and easy guide for coaches to rate their athlete’s idea of the session). I won’t see her tonight and won’t get a chance to put her through her paces on Saturday so we did it after sparring. Not ideal but not bad either.

James is a private client of mine who has been with me a couple of months. I’m going to put up some of his sessions as I think they’re fairly interesting. Basically he has two goals- to learn how to fight a bit and to get big and strong. Up to now we’ve been focussing on his wish to punch and kick stuff but we’re changing tack a bit and we’ll be focussing on putting some meat on his bones for the next few weeks. The reason this may be of interest is because we’ll be doing this side by side with his martial arts training. So in essence, I’ll have 1 hour per week with him to make him big, strong, fit, fast, and able to kick ass. Sounds like a tall order. That’s because it is a tall order. Too tall in fact, for anyone. It’s a recurrent theme in the type of questions coaches field. People want everything at once and they want it yesterday. The fact of the matter is that you can’t change everything at once, but you can improve one thing at a time and at the same time keep the other things ticking over and improving slowly. In James’ case we’ll be doing the lifting of heavy stuff for the purpose of gaining some strength and muskles, and at the same time squeezing in some muay thai at the end of his sessions.

Today was a pretty good example of the type of session we do.

  • Warm up- skipping
  • Mobility work- pull aparts, dislocates etc.
  • Partial press 5×5. 40kg working up to a set of 5 at 60kg
  • Medicine ball lunges (with a twist) 3×12
  • GHRs 3×8
  • 2 rounds on the pads concentrating on breathing technique

So what you have there is some heavy benching, some lower body assistance work and then some technical pad work. James has a problem with his breathing when he’s striking which diminishes his capacity to hit pads, spar etc. so we took some time to work on that today at the end. James has made massive, and I mean massive progress since we started working together and this is the next phase. When we met he was weak as piss and about as coordinated as a baby giraffe, he’s now slightly stronger but much more coordinated and ready for the strength work he’ll be doing.

I’ll start to update more technical sessions for the guys I train in future. I forget to do them most of the time as I leave the records of the sessions in the gym, but now I live closer to work so I’m home in 10 minutes before I’ve forgotten what I’ve done. This way, by reading my blog and Will’s blog, people might get a taste of what’s in store for them when Informed Performance opens. I don’t want to rant as this post is long enough already, but I am constantly amazed at the amount of people who just do what they read on the internet and try to self diagnose and design themselves a programme. Actually worse again are the people who are following (Insert Famous Coach Here)’s 5×5 programme. Or AwesumGunz308 from the internet’s excellent advice. That’s all fine and dan
dy when you’re on your own, but why would you even bother doing that if you had access to a coach? At Informed Performance, if you think some random bloke off the internet’s programme is better, we will happily allow you to do that programme… in another gym… and when you come back injured/fatter/not any stronger we’ll take you on then. Until then, sod off, until you realise you don’t know more than us.


One thought on “It's been a long time since I've updated.

  1. Welcome back to the virtual

    Posted by Damian Griffin | May 14, 2009, 2:12 pm

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