The good, the bad, the broken, and the champions...
Overtraining, always hard sparring, little gloves, shin conditioning….. what do these things have in common? They are all tools that stupid people use consistently in training under the guidance of even more stupid people that have the nerve to call themselves trainers, coaches, kru, whatever…. Stupid people train in ways that leave it all in the mat and leave nothing for the ring or cage. While smart and knowledgeable coaches know how to have their athletes peak on fight day.
If you leave training in an athlete's sole possession, you tend to get 1 of 2 extremes. They either train way too hard or not even close to enough. Athletes are usually of the lazy or obsessed variety. Rarely do you find an athlete that can objectively look at training and do what science has proven to work. Why take time off when I still have gas in the tank? Isn’t hard sparring the only way to simulate a fight? Why wear big gloves in sparring when I will be fighting in little ones? So many counter intuitive things happen in a fight camp that you just have to trust your coach to understand.
I was young and stupid once too. I destroyed my body by going to hard and I rarely fought even close to 80% because I was set to peak 1 week after a fight. You know the week you have to take off because you are too banged up to train. That was the week I actually recovered from camp and was ready to go, if I didn’t have all the hematomas and pain while trying to walk. If you are experiencing this, you are definitely overtraining and dealing with diminishing returns.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. 4 hour training marathons on a daily basis prove that you are gritty but ensure that your performance will be shitty come fight day. The idea is to train and recover so you are physically stronger. If you are just proving how strong your mind is because you are always dealing with dragging ass syndrome, you are not getting ready for competition.
One of my friends is a multi time world champion in K-1 and Muay Thai. To get ready for 3 round K-1 fights he would train 1 hour in the morning and 1.5 hrs at night. For a 5 round Muay Thai fight, it was 1 hour in the morning and 2 hrs at night. This is a 7 time world champ at the pro level in Europe and Thailand. He convinced me that it is not quantity but quality of your intensity that mattered most.
Don’t let a bad coach convince you that a daily death is required to fight. Don’t let a bad coach convince you to do bad things to yourself with words like pride, glory, warrior, champion….. There is a real place for high ideals but they have to be backed up with science and technique. Training must be hard but it should not be detrimental.
Train hard, train smart, train to win….. don’t train just to train. Always have a purpose and surround yourself with coaches that understand what it is you want to achieve. Make sure these people are qualified to work with you to make ideas a reality. Coaches should not be dreamers, we are the deliverers of reality and the architects that make goals achievable.
You will have to be the nail before you can ever be the hammer. Don’t use what I am saying as an excuse to not take your lumps on the way up. Just don’t take so many lumps from assholes who don’t care about you or don’t know how to make you truly elite. As you rise you will learn who to work with and who to avoid, you will learn to value training that preserves your body, or you will be one of the many young people who quit too soon because their bodies are battered or their records are crap because of fools that sold them a bag of crap wrapped in fancy words like team, unity, brotherhood, tradition…….
Be smart and take care of yourself. Earn your scars in the ring or cage where the real glory is won. Don’t leave the best of you on the mat. Achieve great things beyond the walls of your gym.
Now back to work!
Killer B Combat Sports Academy