Monday was a full day of training clients in San Diego. I finished up with my last client around 5:30pm. It was great to catch up with my home clients and see how they were doing with their health and fitness. I truly do hate being away from them for so long….fortunately, we have passed the 1/2 point of the show so we are getting closer to the end.
Tuesday started with a morning kettlebell session (TGU’s, snatches, swings, and windmills) and then on the plane back to Sin City. I met a bunch of the athletes at Chipotle for lunch and then to the condo to work on paperwork. Since their was no TUF show training today I only had one training session – I met the Ross Pearson, Forrest Griffin, Mark Ellis, and a couple other athletes at Throwdown for an evening strength training session. Our primary lift tonight was the deadlift; they went for 6 sets of triples tonight. I added a number of accessory lifts and we were done in 40 minutes.
Wednesday morning I cooked up some omelets for Dominick and I and then went to the TUF set. They were working on wrestling technique with Dom and assistant coach Shannon Slack so I left early and made my weekly Whole Foods run. I met up with the guys again at Throwdown and Dominick and I went through a strength training session together. We also worked on our deadlift and I added a lot of T-spine mobility and shoulder strengthening exercises for Dom. After our session I joined the rest of the group who was working on cage-control drills. I was lucky enough to partner with UFC athlete Mike Easton (yes, the Hulk) and he proceeded to throw me around for the next 15 minutes. A quick shower and lunch (quinoa, shrimp, veggies), and then back to TUF for my strength session with the guys. We went through a warm-up, a couple sets of broad jumps, and then went through 2 full-body complexes:
1. Rear-foot elevated split squats –> 1-arm rows –> TRX hip drops
2. Hip thrusts –> pull-ups –> RIP rotations
They finished with 100 meter sprints on the Concept 2 Rowers coupled with heavy carries.
I finished up Wednesday night with another strength session at Throwdown. We focused primarily on front squats and weighted pull-ups tonight.
Thursday morning’s breakfast was buckwheat pancakes and organic bacon for Dom and eggs and berries for me. I am also starting a meal plan that a colleague of mine, Brenton Robinson, put together for me. I really like some of the updates and suggestions he provided me with so I’m looking forward to it. Give me a week or two on it and I’ll send out an update. At TUF, we had the team go through a tough sprint session. After 6 hard weeks of training, we can start to see the rigors of the season taking a toll on these guys. We plan to lighten things up for the next couple days to let their bodies, and minds, reset.
I lifted and did 15 rounds of sprints and then stretched out a few of the guys after practice. We ran home for lunch and then I skipped out on the TUF weigh-ins so I could get some paperwork done. I met some of the guys back at Throwdown later that night for a strength session. Weighted pull-ups for the guys tonight and then I did 4 rounds of bag work. My dinner that night was a big salad with some salmon.
Friday turned out to be an awesome day. We gave the TUF team the morning off so I got to sleep in. At Throwdown training, Vitor led a grappling session that was awesome. I learned some sweet new techniques. We drilled for a good 90 minutes before heading back to the condo. On the way home from training I found a great tweet that loosely said, “Team Faber is partying at the pool today while Team Cruz is training with Vitor Belfort. I guess that says it all”. I loved it! There were pics of Faber’s crew hanging at a local pool catching rays while Dom and his team was drilling and working hard. In short, hard work pays off…and earns you the championship belt!
Back at the condo, I went to the pool to get further into my latest read, “Easy Strength” by Dan John and Pavel. It’s been a great book so far. It’s really reinforced a number of things I’m already doing and made me question a number of things I’m doing as well.
After hanging in the intense Vegas heat (makes me appreciate San Diego!), it was back to TUF for the fight between our boy Vinc Pichel and Team Faber’s John Cofer. Cofer is a DI wrestler with decent stand-up so we were mostly concerned with the take-downs. Vinc is, without a doubt, one of my favorites on the team…an extremely hard worker, listens well, and may be the strongest guy on the team. I stretched him out and he hit pads with Coach Eric. He seemed very comfortable and confident; two good traits heading into a fight. If you missed this one, I highly recommend you check it out – it was my ‘fight of the season‘ so far. They had some great exchanges and Vinc stuffed every single take-down attempt that came his way. Cofer took the first round, Vinc won the second, and they had to go to a sudden victory 3rd round. We have always preached in our practices that the 3rd round will always belong to Team Cruz. We train too smart and too hard to not have better cardio and own the final round. Sure enough, 44 seconds in to the last frame, Vinc choked Cofer out.
Being in the locker room after a win is one of my favorite feelings! It’s such a team atmosphere…love it. I stayed in Vegas this weekend as well so no need to rush to the airport. Next up; Sam Sicilia vs Chris Saunders – should be another great one.
Saturday was another morning off for the TUF team. I met the the guys at Throwdown for an afternoon metabolic training session. Unfortunately, there was a seminar going in the gym so we had to training outside…and it was 98 degrees. Tire flips, sled drags, and Anaconda slams. Dom, Ross, AJ, Kristie, and Juan were beasts out in the heat and survived the quick, but intense, 25 minute session. After training, I had the pleasure of meeting Ronda Rousey, who is only the baddest gal in MMA. Dominick brought Ronda in as a guest coach to show the guys a couple Judo moves. If you don’t know Ronda, Google her. She is a beast! The team was fired up to see her and she then went ahead and hip-tossed them all for a 60 minute training session. I even had the honored of being dropped on my head by one of the best. The guys drilled easy and got a lot out of the training session. Dom, Ronda, and I went to the condo for some food and then we were off to the TUF house to watch UFC 145: Jones/Evans. One of my athletes, Travis Browne, was on the card so I was pumped to watch. Overall, the card didn’t impress me a ton…Travis threw a picture-perfect flying knee and then shortly after he choked out his opponent, Chad Griggs. A nice submission of the night bonus check is in the mail for Hapa. The main event went the way I thought it would, with Jones winning. Although, I thought he would finish Evans…it was a good fight on Jones part who won every round. We hung out with the guys at the house for a few more hours just shooting the breeze and then called it a night. Another long week in the books! The season is heating up…
More updates coming soon…
- Interview with John Boesky for MMA Conditioning Association *VIDEO*
- STRENGTH & CONDITIONING WORKSHOP At Alliance Training Center in San Diego
- World-Renowned Mixed Martial Arts Conditioning Coach Doug Balzarini Joins MMA Conditioning Association Faculty
- MMA Legend Vitor Belfort Training With Dominick Cruz & The Rest Of Alliance MMA in Las Vegas
- The Ultimate Fighter LIVE Week 8 – TEAM CRUZ Strength & Conditioning Coach Doug Balzarini