Sorry for the hiatus, but i had a few thinks on like solidifying my status as Europes number one bantamweight, boo yaa. Heres the second part of the functional training summit review.

  • Utilising Combination lifts Coach Dos

This was interesting, first we were introduced to the differences between

  1. Combinations- eg. Power Clean + Front Squat
  2. Hybrids eg. thrusters- movements flow into each other
  3. Complexes eg. Each Movement is performed through a set number of reps before moving to the next movement.

I have always felt that combining strength exercises always limits one of the movements and i have never really been a fan of the strength cardio stuff. But then again i live in a freaking gym and have all day to dick about with stuff. The number one reason to do these sort of variations is to save time and from that perspective i could see its value.

It also seems to be a great way of increasing volume in assistance exercises.

  • Combat Sports- Nick Grantham and Neil Parsley

This was pimp. Neil is working S and C for GB Wrestling and has the opportunity to check out the different training strategies of teams from around the world Por exemple

Eastern Europe
•S&C-Mostly done after wrestling
•Very little use of weights
•Mainly bodyweight exercises
•No programs
•No formal monitoring
•“Athlete driven”
•All metabolic conditioning-running

And they friggin love climbing up ropes. A lot of their faith is placed in this modality.

Far East
•Always in camp!
•Train X3 per day 5/6 days per week
•General prep
–Session 1 Run-Steady state or interval
–Session 2 Technical/Tactical
–Session 3 Weights

Neil also stated that he has yet to see a japanese wrestler who wasnt in super shape and mental explosive.

After the overview of different training regemes we were advised on what we should be thinking about with regards to training combat athletes. I have always been of the mind set of get them monster strong and shit will work itself out.

But a factor i havent been thinking about enough is the importance of velocity. Maximal Strength may be the foundation of sports performance but the rate of force development has more correlation to actual sporting activities a lot of the time.

The hands on was fun I got to crush some rugby players with cross faces and pretend it was core training.

  • CHAOS Speed and Agility Training Coach Dos

I enjoyed this even though it probably has more application for team sports where they have to you know run and change direction and stuff. But some of the concepts and progressions gave me some ideas for footwork drills in boxing.

The basic premise was that closed agility drills can be learned and improved to make you better at the drill. The open drills preferred by Coach Dos have an element of decision making that make them unpredictable and therefore harder to figure out. In his opinion this is better for training decelerative abilities important in sports.

The hands on was wicked fun, as the only person there who didnt own a pair of football boots i spent most of my time falling on my hole and telling everyone that running was for losers and that team sports were for sissy girl men.

It was a great weekend all in and i picked up some new ideas and progressions and reinforced a lot of the stuff i already believed.

Sorry no fat girl this week instead you get


A couple of weeks ago I attended the Functional Training Summit organised by Nick Grantham of Smart Fitness. I think its really important to check out events like these they are a great way to pick up new ideas and network your ass off.

The Keynote Speaker was Robert Dos Remedios. He’s the Author of the book Power Training and is the Director of Speed, Strength & Conditioning at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, CA, a position he has held since 1999.

I really liked his philosophy on strength development and his emphasis on developing mental toughness. Check this out for a look inside his weight room.

Here’s a review of the presentations.

  • Ultimate Core Conditioning- Strong and Stable

This presentation kicked of with some of the current thoughts on training for core stability and strength. We were shown the dangers of trying to isolate a particular muscle group and reminded that a lot of the core training info comes from physios who are awesome at bringing you back from injury but may not have the same insight with regards to performance enhancement.

The hands on was wicked fun, got to play with the land mine thingy and picked up a bunch of good plank progressions and anti rotation stuff with the bands. The spider man push up was hella cool.

  • Recovery and Regeneration Strategies…The 24 Hour Athlete- Nick Grantham

This was a last minute addition to the summit but was one of my favourites. I have really got into the recovery aspect of performance and I suspect i would probably be dead by now if it wasnt for my foam roller and contrast showers.

The presentation introduced us to the Recovery pyramid, beginning with the most fundamental aspects of the recovery equation, adequate sleep, stretching and nutrition. Going up the pyramid the modalities become more involved culminating with stuff like flotation rooms and cryotherapy (which sounded ball shrinkingly terrifying).

  • Performance Management in Strength and Conditioning Coaching Nick Ward National Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach, Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme

I think the basic premise of this talk was write shit down and keep records of your results. This was good for me as i can be pretty lazy with that side of Strength Coaching. This one was more applicable to those looking to work within established teams and have proof of their abilities, as opposed to me who already has a gym and body of athletes who have to do what i say or i kick off.


This was the first Keynote presentation and was turbo good. This was chopped into 2 parts the first being stuff people do wrong in the gym while the second part focussed on Coach Dos training philosophy and methods.

Heres some of the mistakes we talked about in the first part:

  1. Steady State Cardio for Fat loss- not as effective as you know not eating cake.
  2. Not enough resistance training- strength training is the shit
  3. Not enough patience with progress- program jumping
  4. Ridiculous diet practices- like i am curently doing,
  5. Too much time in the gym- his athletes get about 15-16 sets max
  6. Too much socializing in gym- I pod in and go.
  7. Scared of athletic movements- olympic lifts, medball stuff, plyos
  8. Not Enough Variation- same old routine
  9. Too much focus on Isolation Exercises
  10. Ignoring the overload principle- progressive overload is key.

The next section covered a lot of the stuff covered in the power training book. I liked the idea that athletes look totally awesome as a byproduct of their performance enhancement training as opposed to training for asethetics.

We went through the way he ratonalises his philosophy and program design. His ideas on alternating linear periodisation was interesting and made a lot of sense. This was 3 hours of awesomeness.

ill do the next part tomorrow but first

Just kidding but now that youve had your morning cup of vomit in your mouth heres olympian amanda beard

1. We are lucky enough to have jiu jitsu black belt John Kavanagh over this weekend at the Griphouse. John has been coaching me from the very start of my career and has also been a great mentor for the whole running a martial arts gym business. He will be coaching for 8 hours over the weekend and covering a lot of great no gi guard variations. Theres still a few places if your interested

2. Ive been giving some serious thoughts to giving myself an off season of sorts. An off season is present in most sports, its a period of time when you dont train for the sport but focus on making yourself a better athlete.

Up to this point i have been trying to do everything at the same time jits, wrestling, Muay thai and strength and conditioning. I cant help but thinking that im limiting development in all these areas by not specialising.

The shear volume of cardio we do training for the sport has got to be limiting strength gains and I am constantly banged up which cant help. I think a few months of dedicated strength work coupled with tonnes of low intensity technique work might be a nice way to change things up.

Problem is a get a bit twitchy if i dont have an awesome gym war every few days and I dont think ill be able to sit and watch guys sparring and not try to jump in and maul someone like a spider monkey hopped up on mad chinese shit.

3. I dont think I get periodisation. I know its fundamental to the whole being a strength coach vibe and I understand a lot of the concepts. I just dont really do well with options (you should see me in blockbuster trying to find a movie to go home and illegally download) does linear still have value, what about undulating, then there is linear alternate, should i be concurrent with strength and power development, which is better for in season training and lets face it we are always in season as mma athletes.

At the minute all is well  due to the training age of most of my athletes i could tie a pig to there backs all day and they would probably get stronger, but as they get more advanced i may be in the shit.

Thankfully i have guys like Ollie Richardson at to annoy and a few others who will be getting spammed with my brain farts.

4. whoops gotta go sign a mortgage thingy and im still in my pants later guys have some blog mainstay

This is a quick one folks. When I was a personal trainer in a normal gym people would often tell me that my meal plans and eating schedules were unfeasible.

The food was too expensive, tasted crap, took too long to prepare, blah blah whine. The bottom line is that if you are a interested in fat loss, nutrition should be your main focus. Learn what you can about it and start doing things right. If that means finding some extra time for food prep you just do it.

As I am a total dick i used to love to make people do horrible metabolic circuits or interval training only to tell them that they burned about the equivalent of the Powerade they drank during the session. Its a great reminder of the importance of nutrition.

Nutrition doesn’t just apply to those trying to lose weight. If i eat well my performance in training is much better. Its just a happy coincidence that it helps make me totally jacked and tanned.

“Not now chief I’m in the fucking zone” I love guidos.

I am a big fan of the whole Precision Nutrition program and the Gourmet Nutrition cookbook was one of the best things I have ever bought. However with fight training I have been getting shit lazy with everyday activities like cleaning up, preparing food and maintaining basic standards of personal hygiene.

What i have gotten good at is making sure I get decent nutrition with virtual no preparation or cooking. Heres an example from today.

  • 8am 4 egg omelette- 4 eggs, half an onion, skank load of tomatos, peppers and mangetout. I chopped everything up the night before. Prep time about 3 mins
  • 11am protein shake- 2 scoops, big whack of raspberries, banana, flax meal. Prep time about 1 min
  • 2pm- Cottage cheese blueberries and some almonds. Prep time about the time it took to take of a lid.
  • 5pm- Pre packed Chicken breast with no mu spice stuff, green beans and red pepper. Prep time about 1 min
  • 8.30pm- John West no drain tuna, balsamic vinegar spray, sugar snap peas. Prep time about 10 seconds
  • 11.00pm- 100g herb ham. Prep time it took me a while to find it in the fridge.

Apart from the omellette (i use the name in the loosest sense it was scrambled eggs with vegtables really) nothing required much more prep than using a tin opener. I do like to cook but if im short on time its cool to know that i can get great nutrition without eating crap.

If I do eat something thats a bit shit its because ive chosen to do so not because im forced too by circumstance.

Now get some Famke Jansen


Sorry for the delay folks, Friday was a total write off. My day began with the infamous hill sprints which you have seen before. However this time imagine I’m by myself and its monsoon season in Glasvegas. To be honest i think my sprint times were faster because of the sheer desire to get back home before i drowned.

A few hours later we were off to Bathgate for a new mma show. We had 3 guys on and went 2-1. Danny Boomtime won by armbar (his opponent subsequently proposed to his girlfriend in the cage) and JC decapitated a guy from Manu Fernandez’ team with a head kick. Bam lost by armbar but knows the mistakes he made and will be better for it.

1. There really is no better preparation for a fight than sparring. We have been having regular team sparring sessions, bringing together our best people and letting them kick my head in. This has been great for several reasons

  • I was tired of being ridiculously, ridiculously good looking
  • In my next bout i wont have to fight 8 different fresh guys.
  • My next opponents weight  wont range from lightweight to light heavyweight.
  • And ill have a full week of tapering before I compete as opposed to doing this shit at the end of a horrible training week.

If you have only a few hours to train for a fight hard sparring a few times a week is the way to go. Everything else falls on top of this sparring foundation. Don’t get so caught up in a particular program or workout at the expense of the most sport specific form of conditioning available to you.

2. Unless you are way better than your sparring partners and aren’t getting a conditioning effect because of your superior skill set, then some fight replication circuits are in order.

We tend to use these a lot when approaching a fight as we get fight level intensity, mixing lots of the energy systems involved and utilizing techniques we expect to see in a bout, all with a decreased risk of injury. They are great from a strategy standpoint as we can use these to reinforce game plans even when the fighter is megatroned.

Here’s an example for a grappler vs striker scenario

  • 45 seconds Thai pad combination into double and single leg entry
  • 45sec competitive clinch against wall to takedown
  • 30 seconds finishing single leg
  • 30 sec finishing double leg
  • 45 second ground and pound and prevent partner standing
  • 45 second return to standing from various positions
  • 1 min Thai pad combination into double and single leg entry
  • 1 min ground and pound bag.

Repeat till it becomes immoral, usually 4-5 rds with 1 min rest between them.

3. I took trip down to Newcastle at the weekend to corner Mark Connor who was competing on Strike and Submit and attend the functional training summit hosted by Nick Grantham and featuring Robert Dos Remedios.

After the fights i bummed a lift to manchester and trained with Karl Tanswell and the guys at Straight Blast Gym. Will give this all  a bit of a write up on its own later in the week.

By the by Mark won via triangle against the very dangerous and undefeated Bill Coultas in what turned out to be a great fight.

4. Heres a band we have been checking out at the gym that you may not have heard off.Well unless your really into J Metal but arent we all.

5. And keeping with the japanese theme


P Nice

Stop press: just heard that my brother from an Asian mother Lyn Excitement Minn Dyn just kicked a dudes head of in his Muay Thai bout at the Power Of Scotland show. Thats 2 head kick KO’s by my team mates in one weekend. Flash fuckers 🙂 well done guys.