I kicked the week off Monday morning with training sessions all around San Diego county…Encinitas in the morning, La Jolla, Clairemont, and then Coronado in the afternoon. After a full day of training, I hopped on a flight back to Vegas. I got in pretty late and went straight to the condo.

Tuesday was a relatively light day out here…no TUF training so I started the day off with a Whole Foods run to stock up on fruits, veggies, and fresh meats. At Throwdown, the guys sparred so I did my first strength session in 3+ days. While my strength felt great (I clearly needed the little break), my oblique was still bothering me. It does feel a bit better, however, I have a feeling this may continue to bother me for a bit…I’m afraid I need to cut back on the grappling and striking until this baby heals up. The rest of the afternoon I caught up on computer work, did a little film editing, and read another chapter in the “Easy Strength” book. I then watched my Celtics, led by Paul Pierce, tie up their playoff series 1-1 with the Atlanta Hawks. Loving my C’s right now!! I capped off the night by listening to Episode 101 on the Strength Coach Podcast site which I highly recommend if you are a trainer and/or coach.

Wednesday morning included buckwheat pancakes for Dom and eggs and veggies for me. I’m in my second week of following a diet plan designed for me by Brenton Robinson. I’m really happy with the way things are going so far and suggest you check out his Facebook “like” page for more info. At the morning TUF practice, the guys went through a BJJ session led by the 5th Ninja Turtle, Wilson Reis. I worked in as a drilling partner for a little bit, however, the oblique is still hurting so the guys took it easy on me. At Throwdown, the Alliance Team wrestled while I did some light intervals on the treadmill. Dom & I ran home for salads, chicken, and sweet potatoes, and then back to the TUF set for a conditioning session. Basic format of the session went as follows:

1. Dynamic Warm-Up

2. Mobility Movements

3. Med Ball Power Work and then 3 Broad Jumps each (Tickle is in the lead)

4a. Circuit 1
~ Rope Pulls –> Tire Drags –> TRX Superman

4b. Circuit 2
~ Hip Thrusters –> Kneeling Diagonal Lifts –> Versa-Climber

5. Finisher – 100 meter dash on the Concept2 SkiErg

At Throwdown that night, I put 5 guys through a session that consisted of heavy deadlifts, lots of bodyweight movements (pullups, pushups, TRX work), and finished up with sled pushes and heavy dumbbell carry variations.

I had more chicken and salad for dinner and crashed out.

Thursday started with omelets  and TUF training where the guys did sprint work on the treadmills. With my 10 minute warm-up and 5 minute cool-down, the entire session was done in 35 minutes. At Throwdown while the guys did kick-boxing, I worked on deadlifts, a number of shoulder mobility drills, and then sled drags and heavy carries. That night we had weigh-ins at TUF…our boy for this week, Mike Rio, looked good weighing in at 156. He’s a long-time wrestler from Miami so weight cuts are easy for him. His opponent, Andy Ogle, also made weight at 155. The team worked on cage drills while I stretched out a couple guys and then watched the rest of the practice. I went home after training skipping out on the second Alliance team training. I didn’t have any athletes to train tonight so took the night off and finished up my ‘Easy Strength’ book. If you are a trainer or coach, buy this book. You will learn a lot from the authors Dan John and Pavel. Great read.

Friday morning I slept in. We gave the TUF team the morning off so our first training of the day was at Throwdown. I put Dom through an upper body training session.  We focused predominantly on back side strength and added in some pushups, torso rotation work, and plenty of shoulder mobility. As I type this up (Monday), an official announcement went out regarding Dominick and a recent injury. A couple days ago during training, Dom’s knee did not cooperate and, unfortunately, he tore his ACL. He and the team are quickly looking into the next steps so we can get him rehabbed and training again as quickly as possible. It was one of those freak accidents that any precautionary measures would not have prevented. I’m crushed by the news and feel bad for him as I get to see first-hand how hard he works day in and day out. He’s such a competitor that I know he will follow his rehab protocol and get back to championship-level form as soon as possible.

After training, I ran to Whole Foods for a couple things, had lunch, and then it was back to TUF for a frustrating fight. Our boy, Rio, felt confident during warm-ups, and he had the game-plan down.

He went in there and did great in Round 1. He used his jab effectively and scored the only takedown in the round. Personally, I thought he should have gone for a couple more takedowns in the round. Round 2 started pretty much the same way…he was winning the exchanges on the feet and scored another nice takedown. He was in dominant position and was looking good. Ogle is a tough kid with a lot of heart though and never gave in. He is super scrappy and turned the match around on the ground taking Rio’s back. A minute later, after some ground & pound, he tapped Rio out with a rear-naked choke. Another frustrating locker room…not getting used to that feeling at all. That was the 8th and final first round match-up of the show…Faber’s team has the edge 5 athletes to 3 heading into the quarter-finals which start Friday. Our first two guys up; James Vick will face Joe Proctor and Justin Lawrence will face Mike Chiesa. I’m so fired up for Vick and Lawrence…Friday night will be an awesome night of fights! I hung out with the guys in the locker room for a bit and then hit up the airport to pick up my girlfriend who was flying into town for the weekend.

Saturday morning I went to the TUF set and put the team through another short, intense sprint session. Then, at Throwdown, I put 9 guys through a 4-station metabolic circuit session. I got my workout (which included some rope climbs) in with Jenn after training the guys and the the two of us hit the strip for lunch.

We walked around to “people watch” (Vegas is the best city for this) and then went back to the condo. We cleaned up and then cruised back to the strip for dinner at Blossom which is at Aria. The food was great and the gin & sodas went down smooth as well. We then met up with some long time friends of mine from Massachusetts at Hyde  in the Bellagio for a bit before calling it a night.


Sunday was another fairly chill day…we slept in, had lunch at the Daily Kitchen near the condo (great little spot), and then hung by the pool for a little bit. There was no TUF training in the morning and the Alliance team had the whole day off…the only training session was the afternoon TUF workout. I brought Jenn on set and together we put the team through the FMS. We each took 1/2 the team and, not surprisingly, the entire team scored poorly on their shoulder mobility test. This is THE worst movement pattern I see in fighters and this is one reason I incorporate so many thoracic spine mobility and scapular stability movements and exercises. It was great having Jenn on set to show the guys a few drills that will help them with their range of motion and, hopefully, keep them from future injury.

Dom’s mom also came into town for the weekend so we all had some of her enchilada’s for dinner before Jenn and I caught a late showing of Avengers in IMAX 3-D.

Jenn isn’t a big super-hero movie fan (weird, I agree) but she was a trooper and went with me. I had to give it an A grade. I thought it had everything I look for in a movie…action, comedy, well-written with a good story, and it left me wanting more which it seems we will get down the road. I’m in.

‘Til next week – keep training hard, keep training smart!