Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Step Up To Me...The Making Of A MMA Champion!

Five weeks ago I was presented with a challenge I refused to turn down: train an amateur MMA fighter for an important title fight to win a long coveted belt.
Josh Leonard, 26 has a 6-1 record and a very solid cardiovascular base; eating, breathing, and practicing 5-6 days a week. Utilizing not only his purple belt Jui-Jitsu moves and Muay Tai stand up, he also weight trains regularly to create a more muscular physique than other fighters. He has a great fighting family to help him prepare in all areas of his sport.
He maintains an ultra clean diet regime which allows him to hold a weight near 170lbs. This diet focus's on clean carbs like sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and fruit, as well as quality proteins found in chicken, ground turkey, whey, and plenty of natural peanut butter. With this strong athletic foundation already, I was thrilled to be able to take this fighter and propel him into a crazy conditioning program three days a week incorporating Metabolic Effect training protocol.
Tuesdays were reserved for the 20lb weighted vest workout where we spiked his heart rate using explosive movements such as burpee’s and jump squats. My personal favorite plyometric sequence was: squat jump, grasp the pull-up bar, do a pull-up, then ab raise, jump back down, burpee to push-up, then repeat. We followed this pretty intense cycle with a series of suicide sprints.
All of our workouts were short, intense, and no more than 35 mins. On Thursdays we trained at my powerlifting gym East Coast Barbell and did a combination of tire flips, heavy prowler pushes, sledge hammer abs, resisted band sprints, and more weighted vest followed by heavy chain ab work. This is not your normal Nautilus workout! Saturdays we trained outside on stadiums, (again using plyometric’s and bodyweight movements). Sundays were critical for recovery and I made sure he did just that!
The big fight came on March 13th in Lenoir, NC promote through Elite Championship Cage fighting. The venue was crowded and Josh made his entrance with the song “Enemy” by Sevendust. His team of guys Shawn, Chris, and Brian cornered him for the fight. It lasted less than two rounds and he won with a TKO ref stoppage. Josh came away with the belt in a battle he truly had prepared for both physically and mentally.
As his conditioning coach I was extremely proud and impressed by how the hard work paid off. Josh may have uttered some words off profanity towards me during these few weeks but he kept his focus on the belt and succeeded! Stay tuned as his makes his Pro debut later this year and seeks out a sponsorship.

Commentary of the fight:

Fighting Resources:
Eight Points Muay Thai in Clemmons, Chris Clodfelter & Crystal Parrish
Kim Coronel, CPT & Unconventional Training Coach
Cutting Edge Metabolic Training
Outfitting and Educating the Strongest Athletes in the World
(the best place to buy your prowler)
Joe Hurst Jiu-Jitsu, Concord