Week 2 began in San Diego. I trained 6 of my clients on Monday and then hit the road back to Vegas around 6:30pm.

Tuesday morning started at 8am with veggie omelets (my specialty) and then we went to the TUF set at 9am for the first of our two daily training sessions with the team.

I was coined the “Vasoline Guy” (lucky me), helped the guys get warmed up and they had a great, hard practice of sparring and technique work. After filming, Dom and the Alliance crew hit up Tapout Training Center where they sparred. There is limited strength training equipment there so I did a 30 minute bodyweight circuit and then helped the guys stretch out after practice. We hit the condo for a post-workout Vitargo shake and then had lunch (chix, asparagus, sweet potato). We got to rest for 5 minutes (literally) and then it was back to the TUF set for our second session of shooting. I put the team through a strength & conditioning session. It consisted of:

Dynamic Warm-Up

  • Mini band circuit
  • T-spine mobility
  • Glute Activation
  • Line Drills
  • Squats, Jumping Jacks, Sit Outs, Sprawls

Med Ball Complex

  • Slams
  • Overhead Throws
  • Partner Sprawl & Throws
  • Rotational Throws

Strength Work
Complex 1

  • Front Squat
  • Pop-Up & Broad Jump
  • Tire Push

Complex 2

  • Pull-Up
  • SkiErg Machine
  • Rope Pulls

“Finisher”

  • 10 Sec Dynamic Mode Treadmill Sprint w/Heavy Dummy Carries

After training, we went to the TUF house with the team to check out their pad and hang with the guys. Most of them, Dom included, hopped in the cold pool for a great 14 minute recovery session. We played some shuffle board, talked supplements and nutrition, and then hit the road. We left the TUF house, went back to Tapout and I put 10 guys through a strength & conditioning session that consisted of box jumps, pushups, pull-ups, Stroops band shots, and finished up with a handstand contest (Yup, I won). We got home at 10pm, had a salad and some turkey burgers  and passed out.

Wednesday started early for me with a quick 20 minute run that included a quick sprint routine from John Romaniello. Greek yogurt and fruit for breakfast and then off to the TUF set. Another great practice (Team Cruz is a bunch of beasts…and they are seriously improving all the time). Lots of cage drills and ground technique. After that, we hit Drysdale Jiu-Jitsu for a 2 hour rolling session. I’m writing this on Sunday and I think I’m still sore from this session. I had the pleasure of rolling with Wilson Reis, Big Joe, and the Champ Dominick. I’m a novice grappler and the mats at Dysdale’s are always full of UFC and other experienced fighters so it’s a great learning experience.

We went home, showered, ate, and right back to TUF for a BJJ practice led by Master Lloyd. You can see how long these days are. Aside from the 60 minute lunch break we have in the middle of the day, we are literally on the go from 8:30am til about 10pm every day. After practice, I left the set and hit the road for supplements and a Whole Foods run to stock up the fridge again. For a bantamweight, Dom eats like a light heavyweight. The dude is a calorie-crushing machine. His healthy appetite and clean eating helps contribute to his world-class cardio.

Thursday started with my morning sprint routine and then it was back to the TUF set. I led a straight conditioning session where we put the guys through an interval session. We used 3 pieces of equipment; the airdyne, Woodway treadmills, and a couple Concept2 Rowers. I kept the work to rest ratios close to 1:2 (15 sec work to 25-30 sec rest). Since high intensity intervals are extremely taxing, the actually workout was only about 25 minutes long. Afterwards, I showed the team some new stretches and mobility movements with the foam rollers and then it was off to Tapout for the Alliance team’s training session. They sparred so I got a full-body TRX session in. We hit the condo for a quick meal, and then back to TUF for weigh-ins. Our boy James Vick was 1 pound under at 154. He felt solid an immediately began to rehydrate with some Pedialyte. The rest of the team had a BJJ session with Master Lloyd and they all learned some new techniques. I stretched the guys out with some partner stretches and wall-assisted work. We left and hit up Tapout for a striking practice. I participated and learned some fundamentals (I need all the help I can get). I got my bell rung a few times and we finally finished up at 9:30pm. We made it home at 10pm again, had a quick dinner (salad and chicken), watched the Team Cruz video (check it out) and called it a night.

I missed my morning sprints on Friday and slept in until 7:30. The body needed it after getting hit in the face a dozen times on Thursday. Buckwheat pancakes with bluberries and a couple eggs over easy for breakfast and then off to the TUF set. The team worked on wresting technique with coaches Phil Davis and Shannon Slack. I observed more than anything today. After TUF practice it was off to Tapout. The Alliance crew trained while I got another TRX session in. I helped out Ross Pearson and a few other guys with mobility drills. We went home for lunch and cooked up a bunch of food for Dom for the weekend since I was leaving for the next 3 days after the show.

A TUF cameraman came to the condo in the afternoon to film Dom getting ready. There are cameras everywhere, especially on Fridays. We got to the set and you could feel the energy in the air. Fight night baby! It was an amazing experience. In the locker room, you could just feel the excitement. It was awesome. Stitch came in to tape Vick up. I stretched him out and then he hit pads with Coach Eric. He worked on some technique and final things with Dom and then it was time to head out to the octagon.

It may have been quiet in tv-land, however the room was intense. There may have been 40 people in the room tops. What an amazing opportunity to one of those individuals. James looked a little tight at first and his opponent, Daron Cruickshank, looked good. Vick got hit with a couple decent shots which I only think helped him get “in the game”. He stuck to the game-plan perfectly…he was told to throw that knee if Cruickshank ever shot on him. He worked his jab to keep space and find his range…Cruickshank shot, the knee was thrown, the fight was over.

While the knockout was certainly a high point, another highlight was when Dom and Faber picked the next fight. For the first time in TUF history, Dom picked our fighter (Justin Lawrence) and then gave up his right to chose and let Faber pick his own fighter. You could see the surprise on Dana White’s face and you could see the confusion on Faber. It was priceless. It was even better when Urijah asked his team, “who wants to fight” and nobody…as in not one single guy, raised their hand. It was a very telling moment for me. The confidence is definitely on Team Cruz right now. I realize it’s an extremely long season and anything can happen…but we definitely have the early upper hand. Faber conceded and Dom pick Cristiano Marcello. He’s a BJJ stud and it’s going to be a great fight. Early on, I would say these are two of the top guys in the house.

I can’t even explain the locker room after…anyone who thinks this is an individual sport is wrong. The team was fired up. Sadly, I had to leave the excitement and hit the road. I took off and drove 4 hours to L.A. I checked in around 1am, showered, and went over my notes for my panel discussion, “From personal trainer to successful business entrepreneur” talk that I presented at the IHRSA conference on Saturday afternoon. I went to the show in the morning to catch a panel talk with Allyson Felix and then made my way to the room where I would be presenting.

The panel was led by Todd Durkin and included myself, Joshua Gould, and Isaiah Truyman. We had about 40 people in attendance, received some great questions, and I feel that it went really well. I left L.A. shortly after, made it home, got a big old serving of frozen yogurt and passed out for the rest of the night (that’s how I party on my Saturday nights lately). I’m here in San Diego until Monday and it’s back to Sin City to do it all again! Until next week, train hard, rest hard, and have fun!