I don’t like Training Camps here’s why…


Chael Sonnen


MMA,mixed martial arts,Chael Sonnen,UFC,Bellator,Ultimate Fighting Championships,Bellator MMA,MMA Fights,MMA podcast,Beyond the Fight,Chael Sonnen podcast,mma fights,Fighter,Bad Guy Inc,Randy Couture,Team Quest,Training Camp,Lyoto Machida,machida vs sonnen,machida vs sonnen promo,bellator nyc machida vs. sonnen,Bellator MMA NYC,MMA training,MMA training camp,Weight lifting

got to tell you guys I've had a couple of good days of practice all right now I don't say that very often I don't think I come to you guys I am feeling really good lately you want to know why cuz I never am part of training camp and training camps always a term that for whatever reason it's very personal I resist it I don't like the term I don't like training camps I don't like when guys have to leave home and be away from their families and lock themselves in isolation as a way of getting ready for a sporting event I just don't get it I've never gotten it I don't see basketball players or a football player I don't see any of these guys going and doing some of these things that have been adopted by MMA fighters which started from the boxing world I don't even know that they're bad I'm just telling you on a personal whenever I hear that term I mean training camp a grown-ass man you do when you're camping you're sleeping outside in a tent it's the whole reason I've been prize fighting for my whole life so my tent days are behind me all right fine but I still do mark down on my calendar in fairness what is my training camp and what's what's different about me then I think a lot of other athletes and I got this from Randy Couture okay I came through team quest Randy was the guy Randy was the champion I appreciated his skills and his work ethic and his discipline very much at the time of his career but when Randy Couture's career ended and it ended at 47 years old going back and forth between two of the hardest and most coveted weight classes light heavyweight and heavyweight in capturing victories and staying healthy and staying apart finding a way to extend his career 247 that's what I really had a new appreciation for Randy and as much as I stole so many different ideas from him and so many things that he did he never spoke about that I don't know if he has ever identified himself what it was that allowed him to extend his career and that is a major sign of success is a major feather in his crap to be able to do it for that long so I then had a sit back on my own and come up with my own hypothesis of why he was able to go so long and one of the things that I was able to identify aside from the obvious aside all the blood work buzz words that he led a good life and didn't get it and didn't get into alcohol and fast-living got a good night's sleep I get all of that you guys understand that too but something that I was able to observe is that Randy also never did the training camp well again when I talk about this term training camp you're talking about guys that are sitting on their ass doing nothing playing video get whatever I don't even know what they do I couldn't imagine getting up and doing nothing but large section of our community of fighters they do nothing they then sign a contract for a fight they still don't get off their ass they wait until eight weeks before the fight commonly that eight weeks is usually the number and then they go back into training and they used those eight coveted weeks to study some film and start to work on their game plan but the first three to four to five weeks is just about getting back into shape and I see this happen and it works a number of times but those guys also have shorter careers Randy Couture on the other hand went to practice every single day and there was times where he did not work as hard in those practices as he did when the fight was getting a little closer but he was there every day and to tell you the extent of that so I say this without exaggeration the UFC where Randy was fighting in used to play Friday nights okay there was a large part of the history of the UFC it was a Friday night show before went to Saturday he would get on a plane Saturday he would be back in Portland he would usually come to a local event at the Roseland theater to support the teammates to be seen by the crowd to come in and do an interview just do something just be a cool guy and get back to the community he dressed on Sunday and practice it'd be Monday he'd be there now don't forget he was always fighting for World Championships he went and looked at 20 of Randy's fights 18 of them are world championships okay really hard long drawn-out five battles and Wars that was a Friday he would be to practice by three o'clock on Monday I can even remember a time or two when he'd be all banged up and he went to practice he would be to practice on Monday he would go into the locker room he would change his clothes he would be on to the mat at 3 o'clock like everybody else and when coach got done showing instruction and okay find a partner and let's work on this a lot of times he'd wave his hand at somebody asking him to be his party is signified no I'm not gonna go but he was there he never got out of that habit I can just tell you as a guy who's had a good life of discipline but I have had a couple of breaks taking that break you just stop forming those good habits all of a sudden you start to have a mental burden practice it three takes a half hour to get there I gotta be in the trunk at 2:30 oh that becomes a met that almost almost too big for you to take on you have to spend a good week just getting in the car and getting to practice on time then you got to deal with the warm-up and then you got to deal with the instruction then you know whatever the live situation the conditioning the cooldown and get out it can take you a month depending on how old you are how poorly you got out of shape to just be able to complete a practice to be there on time and not leave early and do everything that's asked of you it can take you a month so my way of avoiding ever having to do that and I did steal it by watching Randi saw how he kept his body healthy saw how he never had to do major weight cuts because he was always exercising and burning those calories always in a level of shape I was convinced that that consistency is what helped to keep some of the wear and the tear off of his body I could only imagine if he put on 30 pounds in between fights then a great doesn't know if he's heavy weight or light heavyweight signs a contract for light heavyweight has to lose all that weight super fast get back in the gym taking the plunge is taking the kicks and going through everything as opposed to building up a conditioning and a resilience I do not know for you for sure if I'm right but I think as I just said it to you guys that sounds right doesn't it that sounds pretty obvious and I saw a guy even have a focus group I saw a guy do it and now I'm stealing from him and I'm doing it the other side of that coin is when you're in a contact sport like this it is very hard to feel good I mean you just end up banged up sometimes it's an injury sometimes it's an owie sometimes it's something in between either way there's a soreness it's long it's drawn-out I had a point in my career where I had some goodies to take care of that they came in they changed the rules they took all the fun out of it but the poor is now I'm stuck to an ice bath and a hot tub and a good night's sleep okay great but I usually don't feel good so this training camp has been totally different and I set out and I had a real long conversation with my father-in-law Steve and he's a big athletic guy and if you ever someone he looks like he's an athlete right now doesn't pack a pound of fat on him he's always in shape he's never not in the gym he's always on a diet he's just one of these guys but he also follows my career very closely comes to practices he comes to all the matches so he was somebody that I could just lean on a go look I can't do what I used to do and these were terrifying words for me to speak they were terrifying words that I never wanted to bring into the universe laws of attraction and that whole thing I didn't want to do it and I will tell you guys right now as soon as you ever hear an athlete of any sport say these words train smarter not harder never bet on him again that is the kiss of death statement to everybody who is justifying being lazy but then expects to get a really good result it is a sucker's move and it is a first step to failure by a lazy man to accept those terms so I I'm not doing that now and I never did that with Steve either but I did sit down with him and said look there is some fat on the bone here we're going in and doing our long workouts in the morning we have a little time to recover in the afternoon and we go back in the evening and we do to our workouts okay but there's fat on the bone if you go and look at those two our workouts they're spinning the first 20 minutes warming up running in a circle whole team gets down they do push-ups they do you count them off in a number they roll over they do setups and numbers I did all of that stuff I did that stuff for 30 years jumping jacks together I'm not teasing the coaches for doing it but I am and when I talk to Stephenson look that's 20 minutes of wear and tear on the budget that quite frankly I don't need because unlike the other guys at the gym I am warmup I am warmed up that's what I did this morning that morning workout that extra when I went get that warmed up my body I feel good so I want to skip that want to come to practice I want to skip that warmup want to go right in to the techniques to the drilling to the live to the gives everything hard I want to do but if it's not hard I don't want to do so I'm not being lazy this is very important to me from a psychological standpoint I want to make sure I did the hard stuff but sometimes I'll even be at practices and you'll fit if everybody does a good job will be rewarded will be rewarded with a game sometimes will get a ball play a game of basketball will play you know some kind of field hockey will do something so it great way to trick guys into running and getting their cardio up while smiling and laughing it's a team-building I believe in all that stuff but it's still a game so if I can take those twenty minutes away I can take the front twenty minutes away all of a sudden I've kept all of the tangible parts of the sport all of the learning all of the condition all of the drill and all the punches and kicks and the stretches and the chokes and the take that's the whole bit but I just saved myself forty minutes I saved myself 40 minutes of wear and tear and the same thing goes for the conditioning workout in the morning there is some fat on the bone we've been able to polish that back from an hour work out to 45 minutes in the afternoon we are hitting an hour or sometimes just over but it's not easy there's no easy there's no stand around instruction you get a few minutes from the coach you go back kind of talk about it with your teammate coach brings you back in listen to him talk three or four more minutes I like me in the room for two hours that is how my high school coaches did it that is how my college coaches did it that is how Clayton hires does it it is a two hour workout so I don't take any pride in the fact of shortening up the room but as I do look at it and I talked about it with Steve we are now getting better results I'm spending those 40 minutes doing something to recover instead of warming up with the gymnastics and the stretches and the the push-ups and the setups and the team of a spin net in an ice bath I'll spin that in a hot tub and I'm just telling you guys I am feeling better feeling better does not always equate to victory and you will hear in this sport all the time that a guy must be confident I'm here to tell you as a pessimist confidence has never served me I do my best work when the house is on fire when they are about to pull that curtain back ask me if I'm ready and I know full well what I want to tell them which is no can I have another minute but that's not the way this game is played I'm telling you now I will never use the words that are the early deathbed and trap of suckers that have come before me that I am training smarter instead of harder I will not say that I am training just as hard but I have tactically and strategically found ways to shorten my time in the practice room one of the strongest guys I've ever met is a man named les gotchas one of the baddest son of bitches I've ever met too is also happens to have the same name of les guts but he told me I strong I mean this guy is strong strong he told me you never spend more than 45 minutes in the weight room period you get in at 45 minute you get out and if you haven't completed your workout that when you come in tomorrow do it faster you don't spend more than 45 minutes I grow in generally spent a little closer to 90 but I started to adopt more of his philosophies I started to do it faster I started to realize the cardio burst that you could get as well as the strength and start to combine that strength and endurance this is before CrossFit came about some people don't like CrossFit workouts I love them I fully believe in them I realized the naysayers I realize that it moves very quickly and people don't take enough time and emphasis into training and doing the technique right I get all of that but I know how to do those right I was trained by Tom Ogun Tom Hogan is an aficionado of making sure that you have form before you ever even get to put a weight on the bar so I just happen to know how to do it right but I love that combination of a workout I love that CrossFit has found a way to blow up your heart rate while working your muscles and getting it all done in 15 to 18 minutes think it's brilliant so I'm stealing from I will also tell you to do a CrossFit what to do CrossFit style okay that's cross-training workout where you're getting all those reps and all that exercise and all that weight gets moved in less than 20 minutes that's harder than if you did the same thing the way I spent a large part of my life doing it just took me 90 minutes to do it I wasn't doing any more reps in those 90 minutes I was taking more rest and more breaks so now I will tell you when I started getting ready for Machida and Machida to be very openly is likely the last name that I wanted to see come out of the Hat at that point in my career I thought I had inside information I thought it was gonna be Jail versus Vitor that looked like the way the wind was blowing is just to remind you guys Vitor and I got our own history it dated back a long time and Vitor became a free agent I mean he's no longer locked up with the UFC now he had subsequently retired however just as it comes in at a time I get done with phaidor now I'm looking for a dance partner Vitor throws his name back out he says you know what I don't know about this retirement I kind of missed the sport and I really thought I knew they were having talks I knew Vitor was flying out I knew there was talks going on I'm hearing this stuff I don't have any direct knowledge but social media is a hell of a tool and Vitor it's finding his way to Scott Coker's office in San Jose so I knew that this was going to be likely and if he did land I think he would have landed with me but all of a sudden Vitor ended up not signing in fairness had nothing to do with me this is my way of saying Vitor chicken that had nothing to do with me feet feet or just ended up sign it with organization boom I got a phone call is you and Machida and the reason I say that Machida it's just a weird style I've been there done that guys I go back to the mid 90s very late in 1997 I had my first fight I've seen it all whether I've been in there with those guys where I've been in practice I've seen every style every size every which way that you want to do I've never seen Machida the closest I think that I've ever had firsthand is when I used to spar with David Laws oh and I don't know how great that comparison it but David Lewis was very tricky too he was very quick he was very fade make you look at his foot while he punched you in the mouth he came from a Taekwondo background but it was very unique for anything I had seen or felt so when I tell you that Machida probably would have been the last name but I would have thought I also didn't think that was going to be likely because I'm making my searches back down to 205 and maybe even doing some more heavyweight fights Machida was officially named number one contender 185 pounds he's off the radar we are now in two different ways just simply isn't gonna happen wrong it becomes Machida okay great so when I start getting it ready for Machida my body was naturally bigger I had spent over a year in the heavyweight division so now I'm walking around it 230 pounds 232 pounds too big for my own size not I don't want to be that bit my clothes don't fit the same but at the same time I need to be responsible if they're going to put me in there and heavy whatever stocks is doing a match with Mitrione we're both in the Grand Prix we both lost in the semi-finals let's have the losers ball play this thing all the way to third I mean I didn't know where I was going to go so to get discipline and get some weight off when maybe I'm going back up the other I just didn't know what to do so when I started to come back for Machida I must tell you I was getting tired fast above everything else I was just getting tired fast I'd be partway through practice I'm huffing and puffing I'm looking over my partner is too but I'm wheezing a little harder than he does I this is a weight issue then when I'm in there spar and I'm getting punched I don't get punched very much might fight ground get punched very much and practice I don't get punched very much I got relatively good eyes not trying to compliment myself here just the opposite because it was getting punched guys are hitting me right in the face what's going on let me practice haven't taken my eye off both ball I still got the eye of the tiger but I'm getting tired faster and I'm also getting hit more and I was resigned you know what this it this is a scale I got a weight issue I can get this weight off naturally I am going to feel better naturally I'm going to be quicker and early you guys have ever done this they have something called a weighted vest one thing that I will do often times it strengthen condition is we will warm up with a weighted vest on now if any of you don't know what that means it's exactly what you would think it's a vest that has weights in it the waist the weighted vest that we use up at the hill it's 40 pounds so we'll go do a warm-up it's of a long warm-up and we'll do some dynamics in there and some side steps and walk backward and go up and hit we'll do a lot of things but at the end once you go a mile you're now full loop you're back at the training facility you take your vest off I can tell you how bad it sucks to wear that vest but it feels so good as soon as you take it off feel like I could jump up and dunk a basketball you mean just you feel really good when that weight comes off so I was using that as an example going okay I'm weighing about 232 if I get that down to about two twelve to fifteen even I'm gonna feel like I took a weighted vest off and I think I'm going to be in better shape I think I'm just gonna be able to last longer that makes sense I think I'm going to be a little bit quicker I think those punches are gonna quit landing ensure I push through every practice as hard as it was as tired as I was I push through I pushed it I'd be wheezing some days I'd be on the mat gasping for air people looking around thinking what's wrong with jail but there's nothing wrong with me I just waited damn much and I just did the practice as hard as I I could do result wasn't totally what I wanted but I'm banking on one thing which is my condition is going to go up and when I pull that weight down I'm gonna get it rip the rewards and I'm really feeling it I'm not I'm not I'm not calling for victory in this man man it's a two-man sport but I will tell you the biggest fear that an athlete has it does combat boxers wrestlers mixed martial artists the biggest fear we have is not losing it's not failure that's publicly what we say privately the biggest fear every combat athletes has is exhaustion that you will reach exhaustion and not be able to finish the fight that you will reach a level of fatigue where you can no longer protect yourself that is the biggest fear that's why you guys will always see in every countdown show from boxing to mix martial arts and anything in between you see so much roadwork guys are outside running why I said right with you you gotta have your gas tank it is the biggest fear that any combat athlete has and I'm no different and I'm feeling that gas tank as the weight comes down that tank is extending I don't know that could go 15 extremely hard minutes right now and I will need 15 extremely hard minutes against Machida I can see to that it's a very tough fight for me but I'm close I was at six minutes a couple of months ago all of a sudden I got to about eight minutes I passed that 11 minute mark I'm close to go on 15 and the training isn't doing I'm gonna do anything different I'm training hard and listen to my coaches but I'm getting that weight off and I'm really feeling I just thought that I would share that with you guys because you still get a cheat day now the words of Mike Dolce it's not a cheat day it's not a cheat meal it's an earned meal so I'd earned a meal which is really the whole point of that long diatribe I just went on to tell you guys what I did so I have been eating seven-layer burritos since they started making seven million burritos when I was in high school and they're delicious there's seven things in them I couldn't name them for you I think guacamole and sour cream and beans and rice and lettuce and tomatoes boom I'm I'm at six I'm forgetting one that maybe they can't maybe they count the rap as number seven but one thing about the seven-layer burrito is there's not a whole lot of substance in it aside from the beans which are very good they're refried beans and I'm sure they're processed to hell and I'm sure they put a whole bunch of sodium and maybe even slipped some sugar in him it's a very good snack but I pulled in a Taco Bell yesterday on a whim I had an earned meal coming I had fasted all day now my father-in-law Steve had roasted up some chickens but he took him to my house so I just finished my second workout I'm starving and I got 40 minutes to get to the house I don't think wait you know I could use my earned meal save those chickens eat them tomorrow but here's what I'll do I'm gonna pull into Taco Bell because it's right off the exit and I'm gonna ask the guy I'm gonna tell the guy straight up you know I've been eating these seven layer burritos since you guys started making them what do you think about throwing some chicken in there I actually went with a steak I was gonna ask you do chicken her steak and I did ask him that and he said yes I said great put some steak in there so now I've created an eight layer burrito which when I asked the guy apparently wasn't a big deal kids have been doing this from the begin at a time cuz he knew exactly what I was talking about but I felt like I had just reinvented the wheel here so you know what my gift for you guys today is aside from this wonderful podcast of which I'm glad you all tuned in for but you want to know at the tip of the day is get yourself a cell layer burrito don't change anything add steak to it thank me later