Early in my career I didn’t train between camps. I would take a lot of time off. It was a hobby and something that I was dabbling with but these days I realize that’s only going to get you so far. I’m all in, I’m fighting the big leagues. There’s no half it, man.
My name is Carlos Condit. I am a mixed martial arts fighter. I’m here with my strength conditioning coach at Jewish Community Center here in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Adrin : My name is Adrian Gonzales. I am the co-founder of Elevate Performance Health and Wellness and I have been Carlos’ trainer now for pretty close to two years.
Carlos Condit: When we’re a ways out from the fight, we’re working on things like strength, high [inaudible 00:43], power. Closer to the fight, we are doing more endurance, more speed, more explosive training because that is kind of what I’m utilizing more in competition.
Adrian: We’re getting ready to take him into really the first big phase for his fight and what we’re trying to do now is lay a good anaerobic and aerobic base for him. It always begins with a little bit of a dynamic warm up because we want to try and get blood kind of stroked through into those muscles. We need that because we don’t want any strains, pulls, anything like that while he’s working out so, we’re trying to cut down on injury prevention. We’re also trying to basically get rid of his oxygen debt so, when he starts working out, he’s not breathing really heavy. You want to accomplish that in the warm up.
Carlos Condit: The wide range of disciplines that is incorporated in mixed martial arts. You know, a boxer has to train for boxing, wrestler has to train for wrestling, a jujitsu guy trains for jujitsu. We have to train everything. We have to change up our game because you can’t just go in there in a boxing stance and not have worked your wrestling and, sometimes, you work your wrestling quite a bit and, all of a sudden, your jujitsu is suffering or vice versa. There’s just so much stuff to work on that it’s really hard to stay very, very sharp at everything.
Adrian : It’s really important especially for an athlete like Carlos, who has so many different demands in the sport of MMA. He’s got to have good aerobic capacity to help him recover. He’s got to have great anaerobic capacity so he can get in there, in the ring, and he can throw minutes upon minutes of punches and kicks and be able to wrestle and move on the floor. He’s also got to be explosive too, which is another energy system we have to develop so, it’s very important that we identify those things and the energy systems work interdependently on one other. They kind of help each other out so, over time, if they develop correctly, you get a complete athlete.
From there, we went on to a little bit of speed agility quickness drills and we added a little bit of resistance tubing. Resistance tubing helps Carlos’ hip rotators, his abductors. It’s a really, really important movement to help facilitate lateral movement so, that will help him in the ring. That will help him in a fight.
Stand low. Lateral stepping moves. All right, slide the bands off. All right Carlos, we’ve got ten elbow push ups. Two, three, four.
Carlos Condit: I’ve been with Adrian for about two years now and I’ve made a lot of gains. I’ve really developed as an athlete and I really feel like I’m close to reaching my potential.
Adrian : Leg cradle going back down there too. You want to grab, pull down, and stay tall for me.
Even today, Carlos came in after sparring with John Jones and his back was a little tight so, before we even started the workout, I had him do some mobility work for his back and some flexibility work. It’s an ongoing battle. This training supplements what Carlos does. This is not the be all, end all of his training so, if he comes in here and he’s a little broken, he’s a little beaten up, it’s my job to help get him put back together again. Not just running him into the ground every single workout. Sometimes, if we’ve got to lay off, we’ve got to lay off but, the idea is, get him strong, get blood back into those joints and get him healthy for the next workout.
All right, with the reach, man, it’s straight out in front, stabilize, pull right through, come back deflection, right back through. Good. Instead of coming all the way to the floor, Los, extend out and reach. There we go. You’re cuing that big stretch through the hamstrings.
Carlos Condit: Oh, yeah.
Adrian : Good and switch.
I think being scientific about it and actually having a professional approach … I think a lot of MMA athletes, they condition and conditioning becomes the primary importance of their training. Carlos, for a guy like George Hapier, he’s going to have to be strong, he’s going to have to be powerful, and he’s going to have to be explosive so, we’re trying to address all those needs to help him be a better, more well rounded fighter for that specific fight. Each fighter presents a different problem and we want to try and give him the tools in the strength and conditioning, in the weight room, that will help him in those fights.
Butt kickers down. High knee skips coming back and then high knees going back. Keep those hamstrings pumping. Pop those arms. Got it, man. That high knee skip, Los.
Carlos Condit: Okay.
Adrian : Pop those knees. Pop those toes. Arms straight up, straight back. There you go. Pulling those arms through. That’s the way, Carlos. Good, man. We’re going to go high knee just fast, same distance, man. Just pump, pump, pump, pump. Drive those arms. Knees up, toes up, knees up, toes up. There you go.
Straight out in front of you. Head high, chest up, land on the balls of your feet. Get that good reach.
Carlos Condit: Reach higher than I did at warm up.
Adrian : Training camp warm up. That’s good, man. Now, we’re going to backpedal and sprint basically. Backpedal, backpedal, backpedal. Turn, open that hip.
Carlos Condit: How far.
Adrian : We’re going to just run just right through that position, okay? Backpedal, backpedal. On my turn, turn, open that hip. Straight through, backpedal, backpedal, backpedal, and turn. Open that hip. You have one more, Los. We’re really driving that knee through to pull us across, okay? Backpedal, backpedal, backpedal, and turn. There you go. Right there. Good. Perfect. Much better. Los, come on down.
I always tell my fighters, my athletes that good training is like building a house and, really, we are trying to lay that first foundation. We’re pouring the concrete today so, that’s a lot of that high end aerobic work, high end anaerobic work. Again, the energy systems all working interdependently so, you know, each one is kind of helping the other and two weeks from the fight, it’s going to end up looking a little bit similar but even higher intensity if you can imagine that.
Okay, bro. Okay, one leg each bar. There you go. Pop it, pop it, pop it. Good arm movement, Los. All right, twos man. Get small. There you go. Get low. That’s the way. That’s the way. That’s the way. Remember the threes, man?
Carlos Condit: Yeah.
Adrian : Three are two feet out, Carlos, two feet in each box. We’re Iggy Shuffle coming back. Stand low, stand low, stand low. Good base, good base, good base. Got it. Good, man, Excellent. All right and then that Iggy Shuffle, man. One, two, three. It’s when we slide the foot up.
Carlos Condit: Okay.
Adrian : Good Carlos. Stand low. Good feet, good feet. Good spacing there. Stretch that band. Stretch that band. There you go. There you go. Got is, man.
Carlos Condit: Biggest motivation is my family without a doubt. This is what I do for a living. This is how I put food on the table but, second of all, in a close second is to be the best mix martial artist that I can be. That’s my goal. To be the best in the world.
Adrian : Then from there, we did some speed work on the sled. The speed work on the sled, just like it sounds, to help build his speed, help build his explosiveness.
Max effort. Good, Los. Good. Carlos, in five, four, three, two, and get it. There you go. Good pump, good pump. Breathing, breathing, breathing, breathing. Good. Two to go, okay?
Carlos Condit: What?
Adrian: One more down and one back. All right, Carlos, in five, four, three, two, one, get it. Punch, punch, punch, punch, punch. Short turn around here Carlos. In five, four, three, two, go. Get it. Got it, good. All right, done with the harness.
Carlos Condit: Early in my career, I wasn’t all that professional. I didn’t train between camps. I would take a lot of time off. Kind of relied a lot on talent and not hard work and, these days, I realize that that’s only going to get me so far and, you know, I just have a much more diligent approach to my training. I stay in shape and try to make gains in the off season.
Adrian : We also went and did some hurdle hops and, the hurdle hops, same thing. A little pliometric there to try and get the hip flexors rolling and try and get his explosiveness up.
Gaining momentum from momentum, right? Hop, mini hop, jump. Obviously, hop a little bit more aggressive. Mini hop …
Carlos Condit: Explosive.
Adrian : Explosive, yeah. Perfect. Just like that.
Carlos Condit: I’ve got to make my weight. I’ve got to cut 20-25 pounds in the next three months so, eating clean is definitely a must. I try to eat about 90% of my meals very, very clean, healthy food. You know, 10% I kind of eat whatever because you have to have that balance but, it’s hugely important.
Adrian : Last thing, Los, before we go into your sparring session, we’re going to do tall kneeling chest pass, okay?
Carlos Condit: Okay.
Adrian: Down. There you go, max effort. Two, one. Recovery.
Nutrition is very, very important for everybody but, professional athletes in particular, especially a fighter who is having to deal with like a lot of inflammation in their joints, sore muscles, tight muscles. Having the right diet, having the right nutrition, having the right balance can really help people actually recover and refuel from workouts instead of people being rundown or feeling ill, it can really help get them into their next workout feeling much, much better and much more recovered.
Adrian : All right, Los, and in three, two, one. Go. There you go, man. Forty pounds working around. Let’s go. Spring through, attack those shoulder blades. There you go. Snap those hips. Got it, Carlos. Good.
Lift those hands, pop your chest up. Like that, man. Great big movements hip to shoulder, man. Punch, punch, there you go, man, there you go. Twelve seconds, ten seconds. Good rhythm. Five, four, three, two, time. Good. All right, man.
The viper is basically a mix between a medicine ball and kind of a kettle bell so, it’s got alternate handles. You can grip it from all sorts of different directions and you can basically do all the same drills that you could do with a med ball or with a kettle bell with that viper so, I had him using that. It’s kind of big. It’s kind of awkward but that’s sort of the idea. I want him using that, utilizing that so he puts himself in some different positions and he gets some different looks, challenges his body in a different way that just throwing around a med ball or just throwing around a kettle bell.
I treat this like a job because it really is. Early in my career, it was something fun to do. It was a hobby and something I was dabbling with but, these days I’m all in. You know, I’m fighting in the big leagues and, you know, there’s no half it, man.
In the pool, we’re starting out using some Aqualogix equipment and the first thing that he did was a little push, pull series.
We did that for thirty seconds and basically, just like it sounds, we’re using the flexors and the extensions of his shoulders and his back.
It’s great for his posture. The great thing about the pool too is he can do that sort of thing and kind of unloads his body. You know, he doesn’t have all the forces of gravity attacking on him.
The underwater breathing or holding the breath underwater, that’s to help build capacity, his lung capacity so, basically when he’s underwater like that, we’re looking for oxygen conservation. What will happen over time, as he builds that up and that gets stronger, it’s going to be able to fuel oxygen rich blood to his limbs more and more efficiently.
The resistance is still very much there in the water and that’s what those tools are for. More than anything else, the tools actually provide a steady stream of resistance the entire time so, he’s not just guiding on the concentric phase. He’s also getting the ecentric.
His body is really having to work very, very hard while he’s in the water so, even though he’s on there and gravity’s not quite acting on him, adding another element that he just can’t quite duplicate on land without it.
Carlos Condit: George is a tough fight for anybody and his style definitely poses some problems for me. He’s a great wrestler and that’s probably one of the weakest parts of my game but, you know, I have I think good aspects to my game that I can incorporate to make it an interesting fight. I really feel confident and believe that I’m going to come away with a win. That’s my goal, to be the best in the world.