Mixed Martial Arts

Cieciwa: Breaking down what goes into an MMA training camp

Jordan Cieciwa, TSN Radio 1290
2/15/2013 1:03:27 PM
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Have you ever wondered what goes into a fight camp? Could you do the physical preparation for it?  I don't mean the sparring, but the training and the schedule. 

It is the most gruelling sport on the planet, and that's why a lot of the athletes are in the best shape ever when the cage door locks behind them.

My plan is to be in fantastic shape for UFC  on Fuel TV 9, just to watch of course, not to participate.

With www.onefitcity.com I am on a mission to inspire people to get fit and find a motivation for themselves.  I am just coming off a torn hamstring, and managed to put on about 20 pounds in six weeks (whoops).  I don't look fat, but I don't feel great.  So it was time for a challenge! 

Other than a radio show, a blog and writing for Inside Fitness Magazine, I train athletes in all pro sports.  I have been to Team Quest on many occasions to train. For this project I checked in with the former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Tarec Saffiendine. 

Tarec has taught me a thing or two about kickboxing, and I showed him a few tricks for strength and conditioning and took him and his wife to Disneyland.  It seemed like a fair trade.

I asked Tarec about his training going into a fight, I figure since he was successful in winning the title, he must know a few things.  We talked about his sport psychologist, his team, his wife and son, and he also talked about what I needed to know.  What does a top level fighter do to get fit and eat right.

The words "eat clean" come up a lot from fighters.  When they prep for a fight, they need calories and nutrition (vitamins and minerals).  For Tarec, he fights at middleweight, and that means a weight loss during camp of 10-15 pounds.  It is a process he has made into a "self science", he has found what works for him.  There are no cheat meals, he simply eats a lot of healthy food.

Tarec has a very interesting philosophy.  He purchases his meat/protein and tries to eat it the same day.  He eats as organic as possible and avoids frozen foods.  To lose weight, he simply eats less of the healthy foods. 

I wanted to try something and get readers to do the same.  Can you follow Tarec's fight prep? 

I decided to do everything he does. Except, when Tarec goes to sparring, I am going to use my Nexersys to simulate striking and the interactive part of training.  Minus the painful contact.  I am too old for that, but I do like video games and getting my head into my cardio.  The challenge part means my heart rate will get up there, without the risk of concussion.

Here is the Schedule:

10:30am: Pro practice sparring MMA (big gloves)
5pm: BJJ/No gi or wrestling
10:30am: Pro practice MMA 
5pm: Conditioning 
10:30am: Grappling/wrestling
5pm: Pads muay thai 
10:30am: MMA (little gloves)
5pm: Conditioning
10:30am: Muay thai sparring and technique
5pm: Wresting or grappling

Starting on Monday, I am going to be updating my progress, and putting up a weekly blog right here for my fight ready challenge. My conditioning days will be Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The workouts will be circuit based and posted at www.onefitcity.com

I am also going to work with Manuel Ruiz a respected Japanese Jujitsu sensei, as well as a few local fighters to learn techniques. 

There are very few martial artists out there with the pedigree and teaching ability of Manuel. We will be putting up a series of basic training videos, my goal is to learn a few more techniques to go with the years of striking and kickboxing I have. It will make me a better fan.

The next time we check in, it will be with Lew Polley. His Zephyr health system is awesome and it's the core for a lot of top athletes to make sure their diet is in check. Lew spent a little time coaching on the Ultimate Fighter, and I am excited to check in with him. 

If you follow along on this challenge to be fight ready for Fox on Fuel 9, I promise you the best advice out there.  

Jordan Cieciwa can be heard on TSN Radio 1290 every Saturday at 11:30am ct with his show The Weigh-In. You can also follow Jordan at www.twitter.com/FitCityJordan and get all your fitness tips at www.onefitcity.com.

Tarec Saffiedine (Photo: Esther Lin/Forza LLC/Forza LLC via Getty Images)


(Photo: Esther Lin/Forza LLC/Forza LLC via Getty Images)
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