The Ultimate Fighter LIVE Week 6 – TEAM CRUZ Coach Doug Balzarini
Another long week in the books! I woke up early Sunday and hit up a neighborhood park for a kettlebell workout with some hills sprints mixed in. I recently signed up for the RKC workshop so I really need to start grooving the kettlebell movements. After the workout, I relaxed by the pool for a couple hours and started reading “Easy Strength” by Dan John and Pavel. I’m about 1/2 through and it’s an awesome book. I highly recommend it. After a couple hours of relaxing it was off for a TUF conditioning session. Since the guys are locked up in their house for 13 weeks, we arranged to meet them at a local park. I think the guys appreciated being outside and getting to train in the sunshine. We met at Lone Mountain Park and I put them through a dynamic warm-up with some mobility drills. After that, they did some hills sprints up this gravel road that took anywhere from 26-30 seconds to reach the top. A couple rounds of that and we called it a session. Our goal is to keep this session fairly light since they have a grueling week of training ahead.
Monday kicked off with a veggie scramble and then TUF practice. The guys sparred hard today and we are seeing a few of them drop the other guy once in a while. Most of these guys are beasts! After practice, we went to Throwdown for team training…the guys had a grappling session and I was able to work in with them since it was mostly technique work and drilling. A quick lunch of chicken, rice, and veggies and right back to TUF for a drilling session. I stretched out a couple guys and watched the rest of the training. At the night session at Throwdown, the team did drills so I hit the weight room for a 45 minute training session.
Tuesday had no TUF show so it’s definitely a light day. I went to Whole Foods in the am and stocked the fridge and then met the guys at Throwdown for the morning session. The guys sparred so I did 15 rounds of treadmill sprints (30 on/30 off ) and then 4 rounds of bag work. I also got to work with one of our black belts our here, Jimmy, on some basic techniques. I clearly have a LONG way to go…the belt around my waist will remain white for a long time I’m afraid. I worked on some emails and programming in the afternoon and then went back to Throwdown for a strength session with a handful of the team. Since the guys in my Tuesday/Thursday sessions are still “outside of camp” we continued to work on our foundational lifts…squats and pull-ups were our primary lifts tonight.
Wednesday, one of our longest days, started off with greek yogurt, berries, and an egg sandwich. I threw in some organic bacon for Dom since he wants red meat or bacon every single day. The TUF session was a wrestling practice that was led by Shannon Slack. I was lucky enough to be a “dummy” again today. I worked with big James Vick who is awesome to work with. He’s a sponge and always eager for more.
At Throwdown, the team went through 8 5-minute rounds of grappling. I personally made it through 5 rounds before I twisted my wrist while I was getting my ass kicked by Tyson Griffin. It wasn’t anything serious but I tweaked it enough to not want to push it any further that session (yes, I used it as my excuse to stop). A couple guys I got to roll with included Shannon Slack, Mikey Easton, and Griffin. They all completely destroyed me. Good times. We ran home to shower and eat, and then it was back to TUF for my strength training session with the guys. The session included:
~ Foam rolling, cuff work, dynamic warm-up
~ Couple sets of plyos
~ Complex 1
Single Leg Deads –> Single Arm Presses –> Pull-Ups
~ Complex 2
Hip Thrusts –> Pushups –> TRX Rows
Partner Band Sprints –> Heavy Carry Variations
My Wednesday evening strength session with the team was cancelled since a couple of the guys did sprint work in the morning and 1-2 of the guys were a little banged up.
Thursday started with omelets and then to TUF for their weekly sprint session. It’s the shortest workout of their week and one of the hardest sessions they have. At Throwdown, the guys sparred and I worked with Colleen Schneider, who is a fighter that trains at Throwdown and she’s getting ready for an upcoming event. I explained the “method to my madness” and we went through a 45 minute session. She’s a strong gal and did awesome. After training, Ross Pearson, Kristie McKeon and I went to The Fight Dentists. The owner, Dr. Adam Persky, was awesome and helped me design my first custom DB Strength mouthguard. It should be ready next week and I’ll be sure to put up a pic of it. After the fitting, I went home to eat and then went back to Throwdown. I skipped out on the TUF show weigh-ins since a bunch of the guys wanted to get an earlier strength training session in. I worked with Ross, Mike Chandler, Mark Ellis, Forrest Griffin, and AJ Matthews…we focused on deads and presses tonight.
Friday’s morning TUF training was a grappling session. I got to help out a little bit and roll with Sam Sicilia…he won easily. At Throwdown, the guys had a wrestling practice. I warmed up with them, which would be a workout for many people, and then did some easy mobility drills on my own….the body was tired from the week. After practice, I did a photo shoot with Fight! Magazine and showed them some of my favorite bodyweight exercises for MMA athletes. After the shoot, we were off to the TUF show for the big fight, Proctor vs Tickle.
While I’m a Boston boy and love Proctor’s accent since it reminds me of home, I had to root for our boy Tickle. He gets a bad rap on TV…he’s really not as bad as they make him out to be. Again, we had the correct game-plan established; keep the fight standing, pick him apart from the outside, throw those big leg kicks, and avoid the take-down. Proctor has great jitz and we knew if it went to the mat Chris may be in trouble. Sadly, we were right. For the majority of the round, Tickle was doing well and definitely winning. Unfortunately, on Proctor’s second attempt, he got Chris to the mat…a few seconds later the fight was over. Proctor took his back and sunk in a tight rear-naked choke. The locker room was filled with anger and frustration. Dominick was giving Chris and the rest of the team a powerful message about execution when I had to leave to catch my flight back to San Diego.
I really wanted to stay and be part of the experience…however, I couldn’t miss my flight. After going up 2-0, we are now down 2-3…we MUST collect a win next week…”From Hell” is just the man for the job.
I was back in San Diego for Saturday…felt so good to be home for a few days. I worked with a couple clients, did some hill sprints at Kate Sessions Park, had a photo shoot for a clothing company (more details soon), looked at an apartment in Solana Beach (didn’t like it), and then relaxed the rest of the day.
Sunday consisted of client training in the morning and taxes the rest of the day…sadly, they took the WHOLE rest of the day. I’m never waiting until the last minute again. Lesson learned…and Uncle Sam just got himself a nice little pay-day too.
This week coming up is all about Hell!! As in Vinc “from hell” Pichel. Team Cruz.