#11 Yas & Liz Parr - The Unknown Strength Podcast

#11 Yas & Liz Parr – The Unknown Strength Podcast

Macgregor McNair Podcast 0 Comments


Mac: Alright, thank you so much for joining us again on The Unknown Strength Podcast. My name is Macgregor McNair, with me is my co-host Brenton McKiterick. This is episode 11 – we have an absolutely stacked episode for you today. But before we get into that and before we introduce our guests for the show, we need thank our sponsors: the MMA Fight Store. Website is MMAFightStore.com.au. These guys have a fantastic range of combat sports equipment in store and online and we’ve been talking each episode these days about the Hayabusa T3 range which MMA Fight Store stock and I thought it best to actually reach out to Damien at MMA Fight Store and grab a pair of these so I could actually use them in my own training and give an honest review of these gloves. So, I did. I got my hands on a pair of T3 12-ounce boxing gloves and I really, really like them. There’s a couple of things I like about them, a couple of things I don’t like about them. First of all, what I like is the feel of them. They feel fantastic, they feel firm and supportive. The shape down at the knuckle end of the glove is perfect for my hand right now, but even without wraps on they feel really firm supported and really responsive off the pad. So I’m a big fan of the feel. The thing I don’t like about the feel of them is well, the shape at the open end of the glove, it’s slightly narrow. I’ve got these big monkey hands. It’s not doubt going to wear in and get more comfortable getting my hand in over time, but right now that’s one of the things that makes things slightly difficult. Another thing I like is the double Velcro wrist straps where there’s actually two Velcro wrist straps going in opposite directions what essentially gives you twice the support. Well, in theory anyway. But it certainly does increase the tension you can get around your wrist, if wrist stability is something that you need. The only downside for that is the double Velcro makes it a little bit difficult to get your second glove in. Once you’ve got your first glove on, getting your hand into that second glove is just a little bit more tricky than I’m used to doing, but no doubt I’ll get used to it over time. And the third thing that I really like about these gloves is they’ve got a microfiber fabric over the outside of the thumb of the glove. Now, it’s really soft to the touch this fabric, but I really like it because it’s intended so that you can wipe the sweat off your forehead or wipe the sweat off when you’re in the middle of a really tough session.

Brenton: I really like that. That’s innovation in the boxing world for training. Even for jujitsu you’re either using your own gi as a towel, or someone else’s. We all do it. Don’t pretend you don’t.

Mac: Just par for the course. But yeah, that’s a really handy thing. Anyone who’s used to traditional gloves will know that you need to stop to grab a towel and wipe the sweat off your head. Well, when you’re training now with these T3 gloves, you just use the gloves themselves to wipe some of that sweat away.
Brenton: Makes me think like a squash player where they’ve got those little cotton wristbands. That’s attached to the glove, that’s nice.

Mac: No, it’s great man. They certainly have my tick of approval. Not that I’m any authority in the boxing or kickboxing world, but just as an average consumer I can say they’re absolutely fantastic. So, Brenton, why don’t you introduce the episode? Cause there’s a fair bit of stuff in there, isn’t there?

Brenton: Yeah, there is Mac. So Liz and Yas Parr, double episode. So, the first half of the episode was Liz Parr. She’s a former US National Boxing Champion, was an absolutely phenom in the boxing circuit over in the US and also an international competitor. And now turned coach with her own gym Governor’s Boxing Club. The second half of the episode featured Yas Parr. He’s a PICP Level 5 strength and conditioning coach. He’s also releasing a book this upcoming February called ‘Strength and Conditioning for Combat Athletes’. So we’re on the lookout for that and we’ll let you know when that does actually drop. He also filled in some questions from you, the audience, on neck training, neck stability, and knee stability, injury prevention as well as some questions about power generation and leg strength, as well as how to support the shoulder and strengthen it for throwing jabs. Incredible episode, thank you for joining us.

Mac: Ok, Yas and Liz Parr. Thank you so much for joining us on The Unknown Strength. As most of you listeners out there will remember from our original interview with Yas Parr, we covered a whole lot of ground including Yas’s background. Yas’s role as an educator at one of the more prestigious education providers in the strength and health field. Yas’s role as an online and in-person strength and conditioning coach. We covered a whole bunch of Yas’s mentors and the guys who really influenced Yas in the strength and conditioning field. We spoke briefly about Yas’s forthcoming book – Strength and Conditioning for Combat Athletes, as well as some of Yas’s greatest learnings throughout his career, some of biggest mistakes he’s seen in the strength and conditioning field and some of the best practices he’s seen in the strength and conditioning field. And as we had a first on The Unknown Strength Podcast last time, we actually fielded some questions from the audience, pertaining to strength and conditioning for fight athletes. It was a great podcast, and in addition to all of that, we actually learned a little bit about Yas’s wife Liz who we have the pleasure of joining us today. So, Yas and Liz, how are you guys and thanks so much for joining us!

Liz: Hi Mac, doing great!

Yas: Good! Always good!

Mac: So Liz, let’s start with you since you’re new to the fold here. Tell us about yourself, where did you grow up and what was your background like?

Liz: I grew up in Southgate, it’s a – I would say like a small city in South LA. And my background is in boxing and that started in 1999.

Mac: 1999. Long time ago – how old were you then?

Liz: I might not want to answer that. I’m just kidding. I was 14.

Mac: Wow, that’s good. That’s excellent. And so, as a boxer, what inspired you to go down the path? What was it that got you into boxing?

Liz: At the time, I’ve always lived a pretty active lifestyle. My dad always had us involved in something since we were maybe about 3 and 4. So I was in tumbling and then I was in dance for about 8 years. Then I hit my about 12-years-old when I didn’t want to do it anymore and went into high school. I couldn’t find the sport that I wanted to be in or what activity I wanted to participate in. And the first sport that I was really interested in was weightlifting. My dad was very old-school Mexican and very overprotective and didn’t want me walking at night, like on my way back from practice, and then found out I was the only girl in it and he axed that really quick and said you’re not going there no more. So that was really annoying because I mean, I didn’t know how else to say it at the time. I was really pissed off and annoyed. So I just said alright, well if you don’t want me to do this on my own, then you need to take me somewhere. And I’ve never been good with team sports. I don’t work well with others, so I just wanted to do something – I named off a few things. Karate, anything that I could think of that was like one on one that was a little bit probably more aggressive. And he said there’s a boxing gym where I play handball – he’s always played handball. And that’s how it started.

Mac: Fantastic. So you actually tucked in there with him so he can take you to and from boxing.

Brenton: So was this like a particularly famous boxing gym or was it a standard, local gym? Was it the way you pretty much grew into your boxing career?

Liz: It was a very standard boxing gym. A lot of the boxing gyms in the area – it’s a city called Commerce and it’s East LA. On the outskirts. So people from Commerce don’t like to say it’s East LA, they like to say it’s Commerce, but it’s pretty much East LA. And there’s just a boxing gym, I mean, like in a mile radius you can probably find about 5. So they’re everywhere, and I mean well-known to me, they were all pretty well-known because we knew somebody from every boxing gym. But I was just taken there because it was easy for my dad to kind of just dump me in the gym and then he could go play handball. So it was kind of like a win-win where he was like I’m going to make you shut up and I can do my own thing.

Mac: That’s awesome. So, how long did it take you before you were competing?

Liz: I think it was like about a year.

Mac: Wow, that’s a quick turnaround.
Liz: Well, actually it was the slowest turnaround in the gym because I was so big. Usually, but it’s really, in those gyms at least from what I observed, if you’re not really game, they don’t train you. So the turnaround is really quick. Normally they get you in the gym, they get you in shape and maybe at the most, about 6 months. In 6 months, you’re like ready to go. But – from zero. So if they trained you from zero, usually in about 6 months you should be ready for your first fight. I was 14. 5’9 and a 147 – it wasn’t happening. Cause I was just so big, there was no – there wasn’t very many girls and if there was, they weren’t my size. So it took a long time – it took a lot of like showing up to local competitions and no, there’s nobody, no, there’s nobody. And then you just got to keep going. So the turnaround is usually about 6 months. I don’t know if that’s changed, but I would say that’s pretty typical.

Mac: Wow, so what about your first competition. What did that look like? What was your opponent like first of all?

Liz: It looked terrible. It was terrible. But you know, people always ask me: were you nervous? And I wasn’t nervous like at all. Because I had never done it before. After that, second, third, fourth fight yeah, I was a little bit more nervous. But first fight I wasn’t nervous at all. And there was a – and she was bigger than me. So I don’t remember if I had to like weigh in with coins in my pocket. I had to put stuff in my pockets just to be in the pound that was like enough to fight her.

Brenton: Right, so like a legal minimum requirement.
Liz: Yeah, it’s 5 pounds and I think she was like 154 and I was 145-147, and I had to put coins in my pocket to just make about 149 cause it’s a 5-pound thing. I had, I really wanted to fight so it had already been a year and it’s like all my [13:06] and I was the only one who hadn’t fought. So that’s what happened. It was a mess.

Brenton: You were itchy to get in there and have a fight already.

Liz: Yes, cause everybody else was fighting and I wasn’t, so that was really irritating at the time because it’s hard to maintain the drive to train for fighting and not fight.

Mac: Yeah, of course. Break down your first year of training, like what were the things you found came naturally and what were the things you found you really needed to work extra hard on?

Liz: Punching people in the face came naturally and not getting angry was what you had to work on. That’s the single way it goes. And that’s how they weed people out. If you don’t like it, then they can’t really waste time training you, if you don’t like it.

Mac: It’s like you’ve got to have the fight in you to start with, otherwise they’re just kind of wasting their time trying to build the fighter into you.

Liz: Yeah. And the reason is, a lot of these – not anymore, which is what’s making things difficult, but a lot of these programs where low income or free city-run gyms, so they weren’t going to have the time to just train kids to go over there to lose weight. They would do it, but you’ll get brushed off really fast if there’s another kid who shows up, loves to fight or just loves it – maybe he’s not very good, but it doesn’t matter because the whole thing is about having a team, taking the kids to fight and keeping that whole thing alive. It’s always about taking the kids to fight and building a team. So yeah.

Mac: Excellent. Tell us about what kind of shape you’re in, like strength and conditioning-wise, after your first couple of fights. How long did it take you to really get into fight shape?

Liz: That is a very difficult question cause it’s a long time ago and I don’t really remember. There is no – in like old-school, I don’t want to say just like old-school boxing gyms. But the old-school mentality is just being in cardiovascular shape. There is not lifting weights or doing anything like that in the beginning. It’s not anything like that, they just want you to put in your miles, they want you to run, they want you to spar and usually when you can pick up the pace in sparring and you can go through, you know, it’s timed so if it’s 3 rounds, if you can go really hard 5 rounds, then you’re ready to go. And this is when you’re a kid – so it’s pretty difficult at the time. You’re still in school, you still have to go home and do homework, there’s not really a lot of time for strength and conditioning and I can’t really say that a lot of those people at that time knew anything about strength and conditioning at all.

Mac: It was a different time, especially for kids. I mean, how many kids back then were following like an intelligently-structured strength and conditioning regime?

Liz: Zero.

Mac: Yeah, exactly.

Brenton: So, over time, at this point in time, how is your philosophy and viewpoint shifted to, say from a boxer’s point of view, why is strength conditioning important and is it something you particularly emphasize as a boxer?

Liz: That’s important now. It’s the next step. So your talent will carry you, and that will only carry you so far. There’s a lot of hard work as boxing is involved. There’s a lot of just work being involved and if you’re not good at that your talent won’t carry you very far. And then once you get far enough with that, strength and conditioning is what’s going to separate you from the good to the best.

Brenton: Yeah, right.

Liz: I believe that once you get to – in California – once you get to regional level, you’ve already fought so many people. I don’t want to say girls, but guys. I mean girls may be now – I don’t really know, in the amateur world. But guys, in California, have to fight tooth and nail just to make it on the California team to then head to the nationals and then they have to fight another round of guys. So there’s so much talent that I believe have had those guys had some sort of training in strength and conditioning, that’s what would separate them.

Mac: And I guess it’s so much talent. You’re talking about what? A country with 55 states or whatever, and all of those states, being represented at the nationals – that would’ve been a massive event.

Liz: Yeah, yes. And I would think more so in the pros that will make – the strength and conditioning makes a complete difference from black and white. I really do believe that and I see it and when Yas and I first met, I was like a sponge soaking up all this information because I’ve always been really in-tune with my body and I would ask hey, these exercises, I don’t really feel like they make sense but I can’t really explain it, I really hated swimming. I hated it so bad, I can’t even explain to you how much I hate it. And/or running in like really long distances at the time. We’re only going at nationals, you know, 4 rounds. Why am I running all these miles for what? Like I just didn’t understand. I didn’t understand and the swimming, I remember telling one of my teammates, well – we don’t punch like this. Why do I have to do it? This is really stupid, I hate it. But I didn’t have the information, I didn’t have the knowledge, I couldn’t explain myself and my coach is my coach and I need to do what I’m told because that makes my life easier. So I just had to do it. Now that there’s so much information out there, even more so for me because I’m married to like an encyclopedia, there’s so much better. Yas and I talk about fighting and training every single day. Every single day, all day long. That’s what we talk about. And it’s not very one-sided, like for example, the tennis thing on the forehead.

Mac: I saw Yas’s post about that the other day.

Liz: I asked him, hey, you know – our conversation will last a whole day and we’ll think about it and we’ll come back and we’ll share our ideas. And I just asked him – hey, what do you think about that because I don’t really know what to make of it. I don’t see the, I don’t visually see the benefits. I don’t see it. I don’t know what it’s doing. And he’s like – he initially said it doesn’t look back, but it doesn’t really look good. And we both thought about it all day and at night I told him you know what? It might be good for kids, but really, little kids. I mean, I’ve trained kids that are 4. So they don’t know how to shadow box, they don’t know how to do stuff. They feel really awkward – they just look around and I’m like that would be a really good thing for them. But yeah.

Mac: Just for those listening here who aren’t quite following along, what we’re talking about is a tennis ball attached to some kind of elastic band or rope that’s tied to like a hat or a harness around the head, right?

Liz: Yes.

Mac: So, and then, what you’re doing is just punching it like a speed bag really and the ball’s bouncing out and recoiling back towards you. I guess it’s really hand-eye coordination would be the thing it’s trying to be developed there.

Liz: That’s what it looks like, but I don’t know after 2 minutes what you get from that. It’s very repetitive and I don’t see the benefits at all, and I’m not talking crap, but I just don’t see it.

Yas: Can I just chime in as well, Mac? The thing for me is you see a lot of elite-level boxers using it and you can’t be a top level boxer if you don’t know where your hands are going, if you don’t have good hand-eye coordination, you know what I mean? So someone said to me the other day, well they actually they didn’t say in person, it was on the internet – they said they think it would be good for people warming up to get in more focused and actually switch in the brain on and I then I thought about that and thought, you can’t really argue with that. But as far as improving skill, it’s like – I don’t know, in America they call it tetherball, but in England it’s called swing ball. The tennis game where it goes around the pole. Yeah, so I mean you would never get a professional tennis player using one of those to be better at tennis, you know what I mean?

Brenton: So is that like for drummers, how they bring those little pads with them to warm their drumming up for a concert, they’re not learning how to drum and utilize the instrument. But it’s a quick repetitive movement to get the hands in that same mode of expression.

Yas: Yeah, that sounds about right. You can answer that.

Liz: I just started learning how to drum and I’m going to have to disagree because that is the exact movement that you’re using. So with those little practice pads, you practice on it the exact same way that you would on the drums. When you see the movement patterns on that tennis ball, nobody punches down punching at a person.

Brenton: Yeah, it’s not exactly simulating it, is it?

Liz: Yeah. And it’s not in that pace either. It’s very slow, it’s slower than a speed bag – it’s not quite as fast as a double end bag. So I don’t really see – yet what Yas and I used to do on our running days, he tried to do it and I was not very good at it. But I would stand in front of a wall and he would stand a lot further back from me and he would throw a tennis ball at a wall and when it would bounce, I would have to run and catch it. I can see how that’s hand and eye and speed coordination – but when it’s attached to your forehead and it’s just bouncing back, I don’t really see how that works. I mean, one day maybe somebody scientific can explain it to me. But… I can’t see what anyone can say to me that I can’t see visually. It doesn’t make any sense.

Mac: Well, my opinion on that particular thing is that when you’ve got a high-level boxer with such finely-tuned motor skills and head movement and everything, all the mechanics of the punch is so tightly coordinated at that high level, using something like that is just going to undo some of that motor patterning. That would be my argument.

Liz: I think so.

Mac: Yeah. So, it may not be completely useless, but certainly the higher level you get, the less useful it becomes.

Liz: Agreed.

Mac: Alright, well back to what we were talking about previous to this. We were talking about your amateur career, Liz. I guess I’m really interested to know what some of your greatest achievements or lessons or experiences have been through your amateur career.

Liz: All of it was really well. I started off winning the USA nationals. Sorry, getting silver the first time and I was already in the open division, which is, at the time the age group 17 to 34 and I can’t remember if I was 17 or I had just turned 18 and I had, I want to say I don’t remember. But I think I had maybe 3-4 fights when I went. Maybe 6, I don’t remember. And I made it through to the finals and lost on one point and I was – I was very mad.

Brenton: So were all these fights in one night?

Liz: No, they’re day to day, they’re a bracket and you fight one person and maybe there’s another fight in the same weight class and it just kind of like goes down until it’s two people. And I think I fought twice before I got to the final round. And I lost on one point and I was so upset, but my coach was really happy with my performance and he said that’s never going to happen again. And for the next 4 years I won gold.

Mac: What did he mean by that, that’s never gonna happen again?

Liz: He, we both didn’t think that I lost. But I lost. So it doesn’t matter. Anyway, let me move on. So he knew, you know, with what he saw in the division that there was nobody for me. So he knew what he meant was you’re only going to get better and if this is what, you know, if this is where you’re starting, you’re going to get a lot better and this is never going to happen again. And it didn’t for 4 years and I travelled with the USA team, I went to the Panam games and I went to the World Championships. I always didn’t do so well internationally; I never could settle down in my sleep when I travelled. I just couldn’t. The sleep thing really bothered me more than it did anybody else and I already had problems sleeping. So time change, you know, food change, I’m very picky with my food. And not. I just like Mexican food. So I have a problem with it.

Yas: Tell them about the time you went to Russia when there was the exhibition.

Liz: So the first time I went to Russia, well, the first time I travelled out of the States, I went to Russia and it was an absolute culture shock. I thought the food was terrible, and everybody on the team also thought the food was terrible and I was probably the least picky person. And everybody dropped a weight class because of it. Nobody could eat it.

Brenton: What kind of food was it?

Liz: I don’t know. I guess traditional Russian food. And it was very bland, like potato – I remember potatoes and some crap. I don’t know, terrible. It was bad. I mean, I grew up eating Mexican food, homemade Mexican food and then you give me something that’s like water with potatoes and not even a little pinch of salt. It was terrible! So I wouldn’t eat it. And at the time, it was just a USA vs Russia, so it was just a meet and I lost the first round. So not the first round in the fight, but you fought the same person in two different cities. And she was already the world champion. And I lost the first night, but I had no energy. There was nothing in my tank. There was zero in my tank and I still fought all the way through and there was a few days in-between. And I want to say that the first night that we fought was in St. Petersburg. And the second night that we fought was in Moscow and it was her home town. And by that time, I felt like a starved fighting dog. Like I was just ready to kill anything that was in my way because I was so hungry, I was homesick. It was the first time I had travelled, so I was already ready to go home and I beat her in her home town. And that definitely was the highlight.

Mac: Fantastic. How did you beat her, just out of interest?

Liz: Yes, just on points.

Mac: On points, good. That’s awesome, congratulations!

Brenton: Yeah, well done!

Liz: Thank you.

Mac: So that was in Russia, and you said that you were at the world championships as well. What was that like?

Liz: My last world championships was probably one of the times where I felt the most ready to fight and leading up to it, it was probably the worst time in my life. My grandfather was killed – I just feel like a lot of the times the timing was just so wrong. And my mind was just not in it. It was just not in it, the incident happened maybe two weeks before I left. So my brain was not working and I lost.

Mac: I’m very sorry to hear about your grandfather, and that’s perfectly understandable. We all go through challenging stuff in our lives and inevitably it impacts us in our professional lives, in our sporting careers and all that kind of stuff, so it’s totally understandable.

Brenton: And you’ve got to have your head in the fight.

Liz: Yeah. I just never realized how – it was a very good learning experience because I never realized how much my thoughts could affect my body. I never thought that because up until that point, I could put anything – I could just work past everything, ignore everything else that was going on in my life, anything was probably irrelevant and I could just work through it. If it made me angry, even better. But to be heartbroken in that manner, I was, couldn’t even run a mile in good time. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t function and I didn’t understand it, but it did help me in the future to understand how much your thoughts really affect your training.

Mac: Absolutely. So, do you have any advice for young, up-and-coming amateur fighters? Even higher-level fighters? Just any advice, practical tips to control your emotions and to control your mindset, to perform best in competition?

Liz: The best thing that I could say is just keep your head down and get to work. That’s it. It’s very hard now, I honestly don’t even understand the things that these athletes go through now with social media and all of their business being out there. I can’t imagine how hard that is. So I would love to say stay off social media and mind your business and get to work. But that’s almost impossible. But yeah, I would say, you know, keep your business off the internet. Keep your posts at a minimum and just get to work. If you’re not a pro yet, don’t act like one. If you just turned pro and you’re not a superstar yet, guess what? You’re not a superstar yet, get to work, because all these, you know, Instagram posts are not going to stop the guy in front of you from beating your ass. It’s just not going to work that way. So I would just tell anyone to get to work, just keep working.

Brenton: And it seems to work for so few anyway that you’ve got people like McGregor actually utilize social media as another platform to wage war on their opponent. But I think you see he’s more of the anomaly and the rare exception and being a successful case.

Liz: Yeah. He’s successful money-wise.

Mac: Are we going to go there, really?

Liz: No, we’re not going to go there because I refuse to talk about it.

Brenton: Not in the boxing world yet. The validation from the boxers hasn’t been earned yet.

Mac: No, I really like where you’re going with that Liz, like when it comes to social media, keep your private life private. Act like where you’re at, don’t act like a superstar if you’re not and just get fucking busy and do the work, like I love that.

Liz: Yeah, I really believe that a lot. Because I feel that now with Instagram and the social – there’s so many people watching you that when you make a mistake or you lose, it’s compounded so much more than what it used to be. You used to lose, alright, no big deal. You’ve got something to work on, let’s move on! And it might still be that way, but for the person that it happened to, it might feel a lot worse than it should. So, I mean, how do you tell people to stay off social media? It’s almost impossible. It’s impossible.

Brenton: Exactly. It’s so integrated into our lives today and especially the newer generations coming up, it’s an inseparable element of life.

Mac: Agreed. Yeah, so it becomes almost impossible to separate. Moving right along, I was very interested to ask you, Liz, who was some of the guys early in your career and girls who really influenced you? Not just in boxing, but in your life?

Liz: There was a young guy in our gym, his name – well, it doesn’t matter. But he was very well-known, up-and-coming star, amazing and he was on the Mexico team, went to the Olympics and in that in the beginning was very influential, extremely. I remember I walked into the gym the first night, there was nobody there and I saw his pictures on the wall and I was like wow, this guy is going to the Olympics. Like, from here? It just blew my mind. It was weird because I was like well, none of us are rich, how the hell is he going to the Olympics? How does that work? My brain at the time didn’t even comprehend that somebody that I could potentially meet, I hadn’t met him yet, he was just on the wall, that attended that gym was on the world platform. That blew my mind and I was like man, I want to be like that. But you know, then I found out there was an Olympics for the women but it was still amazing. It was very amazing – I was like wow, I’m in the right spot! So that was very influential. Then there was some of my teammates. The Molina twins. One went to the Olympics for Mexico and one went to the Olympics for the US. Growing up, these kids were a lot younger than me but the talent was just amazing to watch and even though I was older, I would watch them and their older brother Carlos and think to myself, I want to be as fast as them. They were a lot smaller, maybe like 80 pounds, but I was like – I would look at them and be like man, I really want to be that fast. I really want to be that fast. I mean, pros, growing up is the typical Julio Cesar Chavez. And I loved Mike Tyson. But as far as achieving anything, you always look at your surroundings and you see what’s happening around you. And if you can see somebody around you doing really well, you want to do the same thing that they’re doing. So, that really influenced me a lot.

Brenton: Absolutely. That’s imperative I think, for many gyms, for a lot of people to have that model for success and someone that can demonstrate it is possible, that all the tools necessary for the success at the higher level are already available.

Liz: Yeah. That is what made it – that’s what inspires a lot of fighters. Whether it’s the silver gloves when the kids are growing up, or somebody else around you is winning the golden gloves, whether they are on the USA team, you see people winning and you’re like man, I want that! I want that. And in California, obviously you go to different gyms and somebody’s winning something because it’s such a really big sport here, so it’s very easy to say man, I like that person from that gym or I want to be like that person from that gym and things like that. So it’s very easily – you’re very easily influenced to be better when you have that sort of caliber fighters all around.

Mac: Sure. Liz, what about coaches? Who are some of the coaches that had a big impact on you?

Liz: My coach at the time, his name was Robert Luna, he had a really big impact on me. Another coach was Hector Lopez who I train with now and who trains really good fighters right now like Alexis Roca and his brother Ronnie Rios. It’s not necessarily who they train, but their style. So, I don’t care if they’re popular or not popular or who they have under their belt or who’s cool and who’s not. He was the only other coach that I liked aside from mine. I did train with Freddie Roach for about a year and that was amazing for sure. But I didn’t go to him because he was popular or whatever. I went to him because I heard that he didn’t mind training women, and I didn’t want to go around asking at the time ‘Oh, do you train women?’ I didn’t want that. I know he trained women, I showed up to his gym and I trained with him for a year before I decided that I was going to take some time off. And now I train with Hector Lopez who’s the only other person that I would’ve trained with.

Brenton: Can I just ask, what makes Freddie Roach such a revered and highly-respected coach in the boxing world?

Liz: He’s a very good teacher. He’s a very good teacher. It’s not just repetitive. There’s always something that he’s teaching you. And when you – I mean, not me, but when you’re a pro, you already know so much. You know so much, but if somebody can refine you or teach you something new, it’s really, really good. It’s really good. If you feel like you already know a lot and someone has something new to teach you, that – it’s very good. And it works. If they can teach you something and you can apply it to your sparring sessions, that’s gold. It’s gold.

Mac: Priceless.

Liz: Yeah, it’s priceless because you know, especially if you’re already good. Look at Miguel Cotto. He was already really good. Shows up to Freddie Roach not doing so well, turns him into a superstar all over again. And you know, the guy’s already really good. But what refined him, fine-tuned him into teaching him different stuff, man. I mean, yeah, he lost his last fight. But his last few fights? Amazing. So that’s what makes him what he is. He doesn’t care who you are, he doesn’t care anything other than boxing and teaching and watching. He’s a very good watcher, he’s a very good observer. He can tell you no, you know, you got to sit down on this or you got to turn in just a little bit more. Things like that that make a big difference.

Brenton: I think also a side note, something interesting I found about Freddie Roach is, I remember them talking about him the last UFCs I saw that he was in someone’s corner. He intentionally speaks very, very softly and quietly so the opposition and the other corner can’t hear what coaching advice he’s giving. So he’s quiet strategic in that regard.

Liz: Yeah, yeah he is. He’s just soft-spoken anyway, he doesn’t like to yell, he doesn’t have to be.

Mac: There’s Freddie Roach kind of representing the old guard, I guess, these days in high-level coaching. Who’s some of the young blood in terms of coaching, because I mean we can go on for days talking about the old-school boxing methods. Like, who’s some of the coaches that are representing this new, almost scientific approach to boxing these days?

Liz: Liz Parr?

Brenton: Tell us more!

Liz: I can’t really think of their names right now cause I can’t remember. But there’s guys in Oxnard, Robert Garcia is awesome. Then there’s a guy who trained – Timothy Bradley. His coach is really good. There’s a lot of coaches out here, but honestly the ones I’d think about are probably the ones in California. Not because I’m biased, but because those are the ones that I know. And I haven’t been following, you know, too much coaching. I don’t follow the coaching too much. I just like following the fighter, I like watching the fighters, I don’t really watch the coaching or what they do.

Brenton: Sure. So who are some of the people you’ve got your eye on at the moment? A professional amateur.

Liz: Lomachenko. Who’s not watching him?

Brenton: I’m not even boxing person and I know about Lomachenko. I’ve started to see a lot of cool footage on him.

Liz: Yeah, Lomachenko. Terrance Crawford, Mikey Garcia. Those young guys. There’s a lot of really young guys coming up, but it takes a while. It takes a while. You’ve got to let them get weeded out and see who makes past their beginning round and then you start watching that. Amateur-wise, I don’t know. There’s a guy at my gym who hopefully is voted the prospect of the year, and his name is Alexis Rocha. I’m not sure. And he’s just – he’s so powerful. He’s just so powerful. And he’s a really young kid. I think he’s like 19. And he’s so strong and he’s really good. And I would say that I’d definitely have my eye on him, not because – just because he’s one of my…

Brenton: You’re touching on the facts…

Liz: I’m going to watch him!

Brenton: So Mac’s already told me, and from what I’ve seen on social media, the two of you opened up a brand new boxing gym there in LA called Governor’s Boxing Gym. It was hard enough, I was supposed to say like Gov’nor, but what can you tell us about it and how did it come to be?

Liz: I, myself have been training people now for about almost 11 years and in that time, I went from ok, I can train people to you know what? I can train people and I need my own space. I need to stop making money for other people, and I can’t do the fitness thing anymore. I did it for a little while, training people boxing for fitness. I just could not take it any longer. I just couldn’t.

Brenton: Why is that?

Liz: I can still do it now because I didn’t have – I wasn’t putting in my knowledge into someone. I wanted the fights, I love watching little kids fight. I love watching them, I love watching them grow up, I want to take someone. It’s just – it’s the next step. After you fight, what else are you going to do with that?

Brenton: Right, so it’s like a project – you’re investing your time and skills and watching this person evolve and grow as a fighter and increasingly improve with that continuous investment. Whereas if it’s just for fitness, it’s a get in, get out kind of a transaction.

Liz: Yeah. I mean, the fitness thing, I’m not going to lie, I do enjoy it because I do like helping people. And if they love boxing, then I love it. Do you like boxing and you’re going to use it as a workout and you’re going to hire me? Then I do like it, I do like teaching the classes and all that. But I just – I got sick of not having the other aspect. I could not take it anymore. I want to have a team, I want to train kids to fight, not just to lose weight. That’s not my job – that’s your parents’ job. I just needed that. And having Yas by my side, I feel like having a team and having all this knowledge right next to me, I feel like in a few years I could have one of the top amateur teams in my gym. So I just couldn’t wait any longer.

Mac: So where did the name Governor’s come from?

Liz: There’s a few things. We’re Manchester City supporters, obviously.

Brenton: I was gonna ask, but ok. Disappointing.

Liz: And so we’re Governors. That’s pretty much what it stems from. And like Lenny McLean. I love him very much.

Mac: Author of the book The Governor?

Liz: That’s right. And so I told Yas, you know, if we weren’t married, I would’ve married him. I just love him, and that’s pretty much where it stems from. It stems from being a Manchester City supporter.

Mac: Yeah, that’s great. Remember earlier in the year when my wife Teresa and I were there with you guys in Long Beach. I seem to recall eating amazing sushi and drinking all of the Japanese beer with your guys.

Liz: Yeah!

Mac: And back then you guys were talking about this dream of yours, you know, to open up the ideal facility that catered to both your boxing clientele and your boxing athletes,

Liz. And Yas’s strength and conditioning athletes and clients. So first of all, congratulations. This is absolutely amazing!

Liz: Thank you!

Mac: I can’t wait to visit you guys over there. But do you feel like you’ve got the formula right in terms of that combination of the boxing, athletes and the strength and conditioning aspects? And do you feel like it matches what you guys envisioned when we were sitting down eating sushi?

Liz: Yes. 100% yes. The space is perfect, it’s about 6,000sqft. and just the way the setup is or will end up being set up is exactly what I wanted. Yas will probably in the future need a different space, but still work with me because he sometimes might need a higher level clientele to pay the bills, to train people, to have clients but for me it’s about just training these kids. I’m not going to focus very much on training professionals, I really just want to train kids. I really want to help them live a better life, but I feel like Yas is my secret weapon.

Mac: Yeah, of course. That’s awesome.

Liz: It’s amazing.

Mac: And Yas, how about your two cents on this topic? How are you incorporating all your strength and conditioning? First of all, the equipment – are you going to deck it out with a full kit strength and conditioning equipment?

Yas: Yeah, that’s the goal. Obviously, we’re on a bit of a budget and we have to take care of the boxing side of things first. These 3 separate rooms, the first room’s going to be what the ring and different things out: that’s going to be like mainly for fighters. And then there’s another big room, the third room which is where there’s going to be a load of bags, and that’s going to be for boxing classes, but also some like weight training equipment. And there’s a smaller room in-between the two which is probably not much over 1000 square feet, and that’s going to be a private one for 1-1 S&C. But that’s where I want to put in some decent equipment in. So it’s a perfect space, but the thing is, for it to be a very good facility for Liz, it needs to be in the ghetto, you know? So as you know yourself, it doesn’t matter – I mean, everyone says they train a million athletes, but you know that most people don’t train as many as what they say. So the majority of the clients that actually pay the bills, pay the mortgage, the car payments and all that, they’re actually general population people who can afford decent training.

Mac: Absolutely.

Yas: Yeah, and for that reason, it’s not the ideal situation for me. But there’s no pressure on me, but if someone wants to train a normal person, but if there’s fighters to train, cause my name’s getting out there a little bit, if there’s fighters that wanted to come to me, then I have got somewhere to train them. And also there are have been a few fighters, mostly MMA that have contacted me that live in other parts of the world that spoke to me about moving here specifically to train with me. So it just means that if that happens, I’ve got a decent little setup to do it, you know?

Mac: Yep. And so what kind of gear do you have in mind to get into this thousand square foot room?

Yas: Obviously it needs to be the most space-efficient stuff that I can get, so I’m going to try and probably try and get stuff that is more than one thing. So say, have you seen the Sorinex Base Camp?

Mac: No, I haven’t.

Yas: So, it’s a really good power rack, but they do a lot of attachments so that you can have jam rams on there. I think they do a glute ham that attaches to it. You basically have a lot of equipment that just attaches to this rack, besides that it’s probably one of the best power racks in the world anyway.

Mac: Yeah, I was just going to say, Sorinex gear is sturdy as they come.

Yas: Yeah. It’s unbelievable. That’s probably the first thing that I would get just because I need to think about most bang for your buck when it comes to minimize in space. And also, have you ever seen – they also do a glute ham that turns into a reverse hyper as well – it does both. I think it’s expensive and I never used it; things like that I have to take a serious look at. And also, there’s a bench, it’s called The Transformer. I’m not sure who makes it, I see it on Facebook all the time and it turns into a lot of different things. It’s one bench, but you can turn it into like a preacher bench, there’s an attachment to make it – it’s like an incline, but curved. I think they even do a glute ham attachment. I’ve got all stuff like that, you know?

Mac: Yeah, I mean you kind of got to be creative when you’re restricted with space like that.

Brenton: It sounded like a Swiss army knife for weightlifters.

Yas: Yeah, exactly. But I have to be careful. I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a folding bike or not, but I’ve got a folding bike one time and it wasn’t a very good bike and it didn’t fold very well either. So… I have to try and be careful that I don’t get something that does a lot of stuff and it doesn’t do anything very well. I have been on – last year, I did go on, it was a lying hamstring curl and it also converted into a leg extension and it was actually made by a good company, but it was kind of terrible. So I have to try and ensure that I don’t buy anything like that. Obviously the ideal thing is getting to actually see stuff in person and try it before you order it.

Mac: Of course, I’m totally with you. I wouldn’t deck my gym out with stuff I haven’t used before and stuff I haven’t gotten my head around all the possibilities that we can do with it.

Yas: Yeah, cause everything looks good on the internet, you know?

Mac: That’s right, that’s what marketing’s about.

Brenton: That’s what a marketing team’s for.

Yas: Almost said exactly there.

Mac: You want to watch that, that’ll be $1 in the jar.

Yas: I didn’t here you then cause as usual, Lizzie’s talking over everybody.

Liz: Exactly.

Brenton: So I was saying a bit before the show, about these two have a bit of habit of saying “exactlly” we’re looking to putting a dollar in the jar. So it’s a get rich quick scheme.

Yas: That sounded like a good plan.

Mac: Ok, so, for all the listeners, your Instagram page for Governor’s Boxing Gym. What is it? @GovernorsBoxingGym?

Liz: @guvnorsboxingclub

Mac: Governor’s Boxing Club. And I’ve noticed it’s a massive space from the photos I’ve seen. And like a lot of natural light coming in, and a nice light-colored floor on it. It looks really, really impressive, even with nothing in it.
Liz: Yeah, it’s a very beautiful space. There’s a lot of light – I would say almost 75% of the day right now we have, the sun’s going down early, so it does get a little bit darker faster. But in the summer, I don’t even have to turn the lights on, which is great, really great.

Mac: Yeah, saves on electricity, right?

Liz: Yeah. And the space, it’s just so much space and it’s so great and I could’ve have found a better place.

Mac: I imagine, from one of the videos you put up of just you holding pads for one of your clients in the middle of this empty space, I imagine that it sounds so amazing like the reverberation of the smack of the pads just you know, filling that massive space would’ve been awesome.

Liz: Yeah, it sounds really good. It’s a really too echo-y right now because the ceilings are so high. But it’s really good for the person hitting the mitts because it makes them feel really good about themselves cause it’s super loud, like it echoes like they just hit something super hard and they’re like that sounds cool. And I’m like yeah man, whatever.

Mac: That’s exactly what I mean, I love that sound when you smack right on the sweet spot and it fills the room with sound, it’s amazing.

Liz: Yeah, it’s a really good spot, I’m really happy with it. I’ve been looking for about two and a half years now, so it’s a find for what it for me the perfect spot. I’m quiet satisfied.

Mac: Fantastic. And this Adidas shoot that you did recently, does that have something to do with your Governor’s Boxing Gym?

Liz: Yeah, it was somebody that I used to train used to work for a different sneaker company. And now works for them. Heard, I keep in touch with him, but not very often as we’re adults and we’re working, so I hadn’t really talked to him in a few months maybe. And he sent me an email and said hey, you should meet this person, that person, and then personally texted me and said you know they’re doing these videos on women doing like awesome shit all over the world in big cities and I thought about you and I sent them your info. And I was like wow, me? Like ok, I didn’t really think anything is going to come of it, and next thing I know is a big production motorhomes, streets closed off, I’m like what the hell is going on? And it was amazing. It was a really good opportunity, I felt really good. I felt really good about it. It was pretty much just asking me like you did earlier, like where did you grow up, how did you end up here? And how did Governor’s start? And I think they were just amazed that I was doing everything by hand. There is no contractors, I’m not hiring people, I’m doing everything on my own. I’m sanding the floors, I’m sealing the floors, I’m cleaning everything. Like, Yas and I are carrying everything up the stairs. Yas and I.

Brenton: I saw an Instagram photo, you had a truck full of weights. Probably thousands of kilos.

Liz: He did those, I didn’t do those.

Brenton: Except for that part.

Liz: I carried the 5-pound one.

Yas: Yeah, Liz just got in the photograph.

Liz: Duh! Instagram. But, you know, we carried the weight racks up there, we’ve carried the rolls of rubber, and those are about 400 pounds. And what a recent funny story was, you know, Yas and I, we were going to start carrying the rubber rolls up and I hadn’t really slept really good the night before so I told him – we picked it up a little bit – and I was like no, I’m not going to make it up the stairs. I’m not, my legs feel like crap, it’s not going to happen. I can’t afford to make a mistake cause this roll can like smash him. He’s at the bottom, I’m at the top going backwards and I’m like I can’t do it today. And at the gym that I used to work at, there is a kid that used to go there and him and his dad were walking past and he said ‘Liz, what are you doing here?’ and I’m like ‘Oh, I’m opening up my own gym?’ He’s like ‘Can I come take a look?’ He’s walking around, he sees that I can’t bring up the roll. So here comes the whole like Mexican macho thing and he’s like ‘It’s ok, I’ll help him’. And I’m like nah, that’s not the way it works. I really don’t think you can’t do it, like if I can’t do it, I know you can’t do it. And he’s like no, just step aside little lady and I’m like ok. He made it up like half the stairs and he looked like he was going to throw up, like he could barely…. And then he helped him up the stairs, and he was like alright, I got to go because – he just left and I never saw him again. He was like I’ll help you carry all this up and all this stuff, man, I never saw the dude again.

Brenton: Some say even today he’s still in hiding.

Liz: Yeah. He looked like he was going to throw up and people always think that if Yas and I can’t carry something up the stairs, it’s because of me. And it’s not. It’s usually because I’m tired of carrying shit up the stairs and I can’t do it anymore. But then, you know, that’s just the way it works and yeah. That’s what we’ve been doing, just carrying all these things up the stairs and part of the video for that shoot was me and him getting that up the stairs and 3 of the guys were having trouble moving one of the rubber rolls and they were like how are you guys going to do it? And I was like ‘I’ll show you in a minute’ and then Yas and I just carried it up the stairs and they were like Yay. This is an everyday thing – Yas and I work very well together, so that whole shoot was really, really cool.

Mac: So this Adidas shoot, how can people like watch it? What format is it coming out in? Is it an ad, or you know, is it going to be on social media?

Liz: I have no idea yet. I’m assuming it’s going to be probably like a YouTube series or Instagram, I’m not for sure. But I think it takes a few months for the production and clearances and all that stuff, so I’ll let you guys know as soon as it comes out.

Mac: Yeah, please tag us in it if it’s on social media, that would be awesome.

Liz: Ok, cool, thanks!

Mac: Then we’ll share it around. Alright, so moving right along, Yas, you were recently awarded your PICP level 5 honors from the Poliquin group, so massive congratulations. That deserves a huge round of applause. Tell us about that if you please cause as I recall reading, it was a BJJ athlete you coached to the SBJJF world championships. Is that right?

Yas: Yeah mate, and thanks a lot as well! Yeah, I mean, I’ve had a couple of people qualify me in the past for level 5, but they changed. It’s probably a good thing, they changed the rules because some people were doing the classroom stuff like level 1, 2, 3, 4 and then they were qualifying because they trained somebody who did well like decades earlier, like 20 years before and stuff. So, the people that qualified me already, I was only level 1, level 2. So then I had to wait and get somebody again. And I’m really lucky I’ve got a woman close by who’s a really good chiropractor but she’s also a brain specialist. She’s got a cool company called SoCal Brain Center and she sometimes refers me to people cause she knows – I don’t know if she knows or she thinks that, I like to think that she knows that I know what I’m doing. So she referred this jiujitsu guy to me. So we actually lived in Long Beach and I’ve been working for him for a year, but the funny thing is we’ve never actually met. So I’ve been doing his programming for about a year and then he was doing those world championships and then he did the gi on the Saturday and the no ghi on the Sunday and he got gold on both days. It’s an online client, like I say, even though he lives close-by, I’ve never met him so if it works out for him that it’s cheaper if he does online. But he’s one of those people that does everything exactly as I ask.

Liz: Exactly man, exactly.

Mac: Exactly – that’s two dollars now!

Yas: That was a different kind of exactly. I mean, cause I have some people who do online training and they don’t really – I won’t say that they don’t try, but they don’t put as much into it as I would like or maybe they’re too busy or whatever. So they don’t get out of it the same, whereas this guy, he does every single little thing as I ask when I give him a new program, he films the exercises cause that’s what I always ask my clients to do. And then sends them to me and I can critique them straight away and tell him if I need anything done a little bit different. The guy’s so good – once he gets the instructions I want him to do, his technique, his form is perfect. He’s like a dream online client. What he gets out of it is exactly the same as if I was there in person and coaching him.

Mac: Right. That is a dream combination, my friend. I can certainly speak from my own experience coaching clients and athletes online, it’s very rare that you get someone doing everything to the letter and giving you the feedback that you need in as much detail as you need to be able to make the right decisions, moving forward. I mean, it’s really, really tough sometimes. So to get someone like that who’s just so on the ball, congratulations.

Brenton: That’s definitely not me for you.

Yas: I find that a lot of people online, it’s more the experienced people because they know what they want to do and they know that they can work hard, but a lot of the time they don’t take into account how busy they are, so they overestimate how much they can actually train. So I have a lot of people and they’ll say ‘I can train 4 times a week’ or if someone wants to do 2 a day, they say ‘I can train 8 times a week’ and it comes back they’re doing only twice a week or 3 times a week. And if that’s the case, I would write them a better program for someone who’s only training 2-3 times a week, you know?

Mac: Exactly. Everything changes when the frequency changes.

Brenton: It’s that classic say-do gap

Yas: Yeah, exactly.

Liz: I almost got you Mac, I was gonna say exactly, right?

Mac: Oh, so good. Lost my train of thought.

Yas: You were asking me about the jiujitsu guy, Cesare he’s called. And because I’ve been working with him for a decent amount of time, and it wasn’t just a camp for the tournament – I know your guy is going to the no gi worlds soon, is it in Anaheim?

Mac: That’s right, young Cooper Burnham. We’ve been working with Cooper for, since 2015, so it’s a couple of years now. He’s an absolute beast. You and I, Yas, we were sitting down, watching them at the Gi worlds in May this year.

Yas: Yeah, I mean, he was impressive. But I was just asking because I think my guy is going to be at those championships as well.

Mac: Yeah, no gi worlds, it’s going to be good. But your guy, he’s an adult, right? He’s not a juvenile.

Yas: Yeah, he’s an adult.

Mac: Yeah, so Cooper’s still 17, and he’s still in the juvenile. And he’s actually competing today. That’s going down today at 3:30 PM our time, which is not good to our listeners because this podcast will be available in about 9 days from today. Good luck Cooper – bring home the gold, buddy!

Brenton: And retrospectively we might already have it.

Yas: Yeah, so what I was going to say – sorry, otherwise I’ll forget what’s going on in my head. That the jiujitsu guy Cesare, because I’ve been working with him for quite a while, so he’s been on an undulating program from relative strength. I don’t know if you saw, cause I’m always – I don’t go overboard with the social media, but I like to post a little bit. Lizzie’s giving me looks.

Brenton: We heard one version and perspective on it at the start of the podcast, and now we’re getting the other version.

Yas: Yeah. So, I recently went with a girl who – where are you based in, Mac?

Mac: We’re in Melbourne, Australia.

Yas: Ok, so you – obviously Australia is massive, so when I say you’re close, you’re still a bit away. But one of my online athletes was in UFC Sydney just a few weeks ago, so obviously cause she was doing camp. What she needs was a bit different cause she does MMA so her programming was a lot different than what I was doing with the jiujitsu guy.

Mac: So what was this UFC’s fighter’s name?

Yas: “Jesse Jess” (Jessica Rose-Clark).

Mac: Fantastic.

Brenton: And she won, didn’t she?

Yas: Yeah, she killed it, man.

Brenton: Was this against Beck Rolland?

Yas: Yeah.

Mac: Bec Rawlings, yeah.

Brenton: That was a really good match, I think it was probably one of my favorites of the cart. It was fantastic.

Yas: Yeah, she’s good. But I don’t think I’m going to be working with her now because she’s actually got a big fight lined up in January but she lives in Vegas and she signed with the UFC, now she’s signed for that fight. But now she’s able to train at the new UFC’s Performance Institute which is just around the corner from where she is.

Mac: Yeah, I was just going to say that UFC’s made that available free of charge for everyone on the contract, right?

Yas: Yeah, that’s it and cause, if you’re basically in like California, then you’re not going to use it unless you’re actually in Vegas for some reason. But she’s based just around the corner from that institute, so it’s a no-brainer, really.

Mac: Absolutely, you can’t blame her for that. And Bo Sandoval, I think he’s still in charge there at the Performance Institute. He’s coming out with some amazing stuff.

Yas: Oh, right. Nice one, I’ll have to have a look. What’s it called, the English guy, Duncan French, he’s obviously, most people know how good he is. I think he’s got a PhD in strength and conditioning and he’s trained a lot of different medalists in the Olympics and stuff. It would be good to be there just to learn from that guy.

Mac: Absolutely. I’m going to be in Vegas around mid-March next year, so perhaps on our way through to California we can catch up, but I’m hoping to actually spend a couple of days there with Bo if he’s still around at the Performance Institute, just to see what goes on there.

Yas: Yeah, I’ve seen videos and stuff, I’d like to go there as well. I’d be pretty stupid if I went to Vegas and didn’t try to go in and have a look.

Mac: Yeah, I would second that.

Brenton: I’ve actually been to the UFC gym in Vegas, it’s pretty sweet.

Mac: This is a different one.

Brenton: It’s not the same thing, but the UFC gym, it’s phenomenal.

Yas: Right – obviously, there’s lots of those little UFC franchise gyms, but they’re not the same.

Mac: This is entirely a new level. But no, I mean, in response to all that mate, I want to wish you massive congratulations for the level 5 honors. I know how hard it is to achieve that and especially for as long as you’ve been in the game, as long as you’ve been trying and as much as you’ve put in. It’s great to see that come to full fruition, mate, so congratulations.

Yas: Cheers mate, that’s really appreciated.

Mac: And you have a forthcoming book: Strength and Conditioning for Combat Athletes. How’s it coming along, it must be getting nearer and nearer to release by now.

Yas: Yeah. I mean, you know, it’s funny cause they sent me – I had a PDF come in my emails today and I mean, obviously there’s some stuff in it that some people don’t like, but I was looking at it today and I was thinking ‘This is good’ you know? It looks good.

Liz: I thought that too!

Mac: Liz approves!

Yas: On Amazon it’s February the 19th, but I’m not sure if that day is concrete or not because it’s also got 192 pages and the PDF that I got today went over to 288. So I don’t know if that date is going to change or not or if that’s a set date, but I mean, it’s not far away.

Brenton: So obviously you’ve got a lot on your plate at the moment, setting up a business gym, writing a book. It must be pretty challenging getting all this done at the same time.

Yas: Well, it’s a pleasure. It’s always good to talk to good guys as well, you know?

Mac: Yeah, it’s awesome man. Alright, I’m excited for the release of the book. I’ve got a little space on my bookshelf just sitting there, waiting for it. So, when it comes out mate, we’ll be all over it.

Yas: Excellent. I think you’ll like it, it’s got a lot of stuff in there that’s not in other books of the same time, you know? It’s got a lot of like, supplements for fighters in there, it’s got altitude training, it’s got like the stuff that we talked about in the last podcast, like what stuff people do that’s not good. It’s got a lot of different things in there, so I should imagine people generally will be happy with it.

Mac: Yeah, I mean, our field, Strength and Conditioning for Fighters, it’s really quite narrow. Within that space there’s a lot happening, but there’s not a lot of people putting in all the time and all the work into producing a book like you have. So it’s something that’s quite rare and I’m really excited to get my hands on it.

Yas: Cheers mate! I didn’t realize – common sense tells you it’ll be a lot of work, but sometimes I don’t have much of that. It’s a lot more work than I thought it was going to be but now I’m glad it’s done and I’m really pleased.

Mac: So just the end of the final stages of editing after all that hard work.

Yas: Yeah, like I said, I’ve got the PDF today and there’s a lot of stuff in there, lot of diagrams. So they just sent me the PDF because the person who puts everything, aligns everything on the page is the typesetter, just wanted to – I think just a couple of questions and then maybe me just retake a couple of photographs and it’s done basically. It’s just a matter of just really finalizing the last tiny bits.

Mac: Yeah, awesome. Alright, so let’s move along mate. On our first episode together which was episode 6, we had a first for The Unknown Strength Podcast, where we opened up to the audience the opportunity to post questions for Yas and I to discuss. And we’ve done that again and we had a pretty good response this time, wouldn’t you say mate?

Brenton: Yeah, we’ve got quite a few good ones to choose from.

Mac: And why don’t we jump into a question right now from the audience? Alright, so the first one is from a good mate of mine, Troy Benson who’s a strength coach from South Australia, and Troy says ‘I’m interested to learn how to train the neck properly.’ Now, I know Troy works predominantly with boxers, so why don’t you answer that Yas in the context of boxing?

Yas: Ok, I will do man. Liz is out of here, and she says thanks a lot! What else are you going to say?

Liz: Bye guys!

Mac: Thanks for being on Liz, been a pleasure chatting with you mate!

Liz: Alright. Hopefully we’ll meet up soon and I’ll listen to this podcast later! Alright guys, bye!

Brenton: Thank you, bye-bye!

Yas: Right man, let’s get on. Let me see. Ok, yeah, obviously neck training is important because the better developed the neck is, the more some of the impact to the head is transferred to the body, you know? And also the traps as well, the traps aid in that. But there’s a lot of different ways to train the neck and I see people – obviously a harness is good. You see a lot of people using a harness and obviously Mayweather puts his videos out of him using a harness. But the only thing the way Mayweather does it is he does it – have you seen the videos? He does it like really jerky.

Mac: Yeah, jerky, kind of lying on his belly, on the edge of the ring with white plates hanging off a harness off his head, right?

Yas: Yeah, obviously at least he trains his neck. But that’s – it’s quite a dangerous way to do it. He could probably get away with it because he’s always done it like that, but someone else, I wouldn’t advise that. I would always advise like nice, slow reps and actually, a cheaper and easier way to do it which is actually better would be to do it assisted with a partner and use a towel. So that’s one of the best ways to do it and it’s really old school. It needs to be slow and smooth; I would say probably the ideal tempo would be a 5-0-5-0 tempo, so it’s like a 10-second rep, it’s really slow.

Brenton: So this is obviously because it’s quite risky to train the neck. You’re carrying a bit of weight on the neck and it’s quite a vulnerable component of your body.

Yas: Yeah. Definitely. Cause I mean, and also, the time and the tension personally, in my opinion should be quite long. So you’re going more hypertrophy/endurance rather than load it up with really heavy weights and try to do like low reps. Even if your neck’s strong, it’s still a delicate part of your body.

Brenton: Yeah, you’re not looking for some sort of maximum force or explosive power, more for endurance and durability.

Yas: Yeah, exactly.

Brenton: Laying down those traps for you.

Mac: So, I mean, that’s great. I completely agree. There’s no need working for maximal or relative strength, when you’re working the neck. But one thing I learned from Stephane Cazeault over at Kilo Strength Society is there’s an optimal progression for training the neck which doesn’t involve jerky movements or quick contractions at the beginning. It actually starts off with isometric holds.

Yas: Right.

Mac: Isometric holds to start off, like 6-7-second isometric hold, 6-8 I should say. And then from there, once you’ve built a good base, you move into a high rep range of not explosive contractions, more like a one or two second concentric contraction in say 12-15 rep range. And then finally moving on to some more ballistic work, but not with a cable with weights attached. We’re talking about with a band. So there’s more of a softer end-range resistance, rather than a jerky say like what Mayweather’s doing.

Yas: Yeah, yeah. I mean that makes sense. Everyone does it different, but that makes perfect sense to me and obviously Stephane, he knows his stuff, he’s a really good coach, so it makes perfect sense to me.

Mac: And I’d like to dig a little bit deeper into that question. Troy, actually, who asked the question: he rang me the other day, he couldn’t wait for us to answer this question on the podcast. So he rang me and I gave him my two cents on the topic, but he asked a really good question. Yas, lateral flexion – should you be training the same kind of protocols as flexion and extension with lateral flexion, or is lateral flexion a little more tricky?

Yas: I think the same. You could do that with a head harness, but that’s probably a lot easier to do with a partner, assisted with a towel. So yeah, I would do it the same. See, the thing is, even though it’s just basic, the technique still has to be good. So for optimal muscle recruitment, you would want the towel at 90 degrees from the center of the head. So, yeah, and I would do 7-10 reps so I would say do it slow, but only one or two sets in each direction. Yeah, so I’m not really a big fan of machines. There are some good ones, I think Atlantis does one, they call it Total Neck and I think other companies do one and I think it was called like 4-way Neck Machine or something. The thing that I don’t really – I mean I’m not saying I wouldn’t buy a neck machine, but I wouldn’t have all the neck training done on it because the fulcrum point tends to always be in the same place. So if you do a lot of neck work on a machine and in my opinion, you can get a repetitive strain injury.

Mac: Right. And I suppose if the fulcrum point’s in exactly the same spot, you’re only training one aspect of the strength curve, right?

Yas: Yeah, exactly. So like I said, I’m not totally against neck machines, but that is a negative part of it. So yeah, that’s it. You’re going to get repetitive strain injury, you’re only training one part of the strength curve. If I was going to get a neck machine, I don’t know if you’ve seen – have you seen the one by Hydrogym?

Mac: I don’t think I have, mate. Tell us about it.

Yas: Instead of like a weight stack or some plates, it’s – I don’t know. What would the word be? I don’t know if you would call them like pistons or like, you know the little hydraulic tubes that you get on some…

Mac: Yeah, pneumatics.

Yas: Yeah, yeah. So there’s two parts of the machine – there’s one where you put your head in it, and it’s for doing forwards and backwards. And then the other side is another space for your head where you do the lateral flexion. So with that machine, you don’t have to adjust to anything. So if you’re not very weak, it’s like other pieces of equipment where the more effort you put in, the harder it is. So somebody’s got a neck that’s not that strong, is going to be able to use it and hit all the fibers that they want. And then someone who’s really strong he’s still going to be able to use it and get just as much out of it. That’s the one that I would get personally if I was going to get a neck machine.

Mac: Except you won’t be fitting it into your 1000 square foot space anytime soon.

Yas: No I won’t, that’s why I got the Iron Neck.

Mac: I’m glad you mentioned that because a good mate of mine, Ben Brelis who’s a strength coach and MMA fighter from here in Melbourne, he was asking me about the Iron Neck and I suggest that we ask you, Yas, about the Iron Neck cause you’ve got one and you use one regularly, yeah?

Yas: Yeah. I mean, the Iron Neck it’s unbelievable. In my opinion, that’s by far the best pieces of equipment for training the neck. It’s not cheap, but it’s only a fraction of the price of a neck machine. The good thing about it is you’re not a set movement pattern and it’s not just forwards and backwards and side to side. You can use it rotationally or diagonally, so you can hit every single part of the neck.

Mac: Yep, 360 degrees.

Yas: Yeah. And you can hook it up to a cable system and you can actually, if you buy one, you get one of those – is it call a stroop? The elastic, it’s like a resistance band but it’s inside of its own cloth and it has a carabiner.

Mac: I know what you’re talking about.

Yas: So you can use it with one of those, which you can hook the overhead up to like a power rack or I was doing deadlifts with it a couple of weeks ago and I just had Liz standing in front of me and then lowering herself with me and then coming up as I was deadlifting, so I was actually hitting a lot more of the posterior chain cause my neck was involved a lot more. So, I mean, my compared to a normal deadlift, the timing, the hit back extension and knee extension was a little bit off but that’s because I had 35 pounds pulling my head forwards. I can’t recommend the Iron Neck enough. If you want to find a piece of equipment for training the neck, then that is a – that’s another thing that’s worth its weight in gold.

Mac: It’s an interesting piece of equipment, man. I’m very keen to see some of the studies that come out, showing which actual loading parameters and which protocols are most effective for which types of fighters. I think there will be some very interesting information when it comes out.

Yas: Oh yeah. I mean, you can use stuff for yourself and see the results and document the results, but it’s always good to see real studies coming out that usually confirm what you think, but obviously sometimes they might say something different to what you think and that enables you to improve further what you’re doing.

Mac: Yeah, absolutely. So two thumbs up for the Iron Neck and to Ben Brelis and for Troy – stay away from jerky motions and use slower time on the tension, more towards the kind of 40-70 second mark, don’t be working for maximum strength for neck contractions. Anything else to add there before we move on, Yas?

Yas: Yeah, have you ever seen the Chek Golf BioMechanics Manual?

Mac: I know the book you’re talking about.

Yas: So there are some neck exercises in there that are like that – basic with just a small swiss ball against the wall. Static holds. I like those, those are 30-second holds, so you get to do an extension, flexion, side-flexion, but the good thing about doing those as well is you can also do rotation. Actually, turn in your head into the ball, I really like those as well.

Mac: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, you get that rotation, more of that 360 degree of movement. Not quite the same as the Iron Neck, but it’s still something that most gyms will have access to, right?

Yas: Yeah, and like I said, with the other, things like a head harness or even the 4-way neck machine, unless there’s one I haven’t seen, but they don’t really do rotation. So that’s another good thing. So like you said, most gyms have swiss balls, so it’s normally really easy to do.

Mac: Ok, excellent. Alright, next question we have from another mate of mine: Clay Lyne here in Melbourne. He asks ‘I’m interested in knee stability and injury prevention.’ Now, I know Clay pretty well, he’s a Brazilian jiu jitsu fighter and he gets very frustrated because of previous injuries to his knees and I think just about every other joint in his body is pretty accident-prone. But let’s talk about knee rehab and injury prevention in the context of jiu jitsu, please Yas.

Yas: Right, ok so I mean prevention is more my area. I mean getting people stronger and preventing injuries rather than rehab. But I would say that the usual what you would know yourself, the main thing is eliminate any imbalances. So obviously if someone doesn’t have the whole area around the knee joint is imbalanced, then there’s less stability, but also the knee doesn’t track right. So, usual exercises like to target the VMO or hamstrings, especially medial hamstrings. And another thing that I think is a major point is, whatever your – obviously everybody’s range of motion is different, that’s why it’s wrong for some people to say that somebody’s not going full range when they see them doing an exercise. But for you, for yourself, you need to be strong in the full range. So I mean, if you can do a full range ass to ankle squat and I’ve ever did low bar, then you – if you’re good at squatting, you’re still going to be strong in that range that you don’t do, but not as strong as you personally should be. So that’s where your risk of injury comes there because the end range down there is where you’re weak because you don’t train in that range.

Mac: Absolutely. And leaving so many gains on the table in terms of fiber recruitment, body composition improvement, and end-range strength.

Yas: Yeah, that’s it. And so, if I have somebody who can’t do a high bar squat and they have to do a low bar, then I still make sure I find them a different leg exercise where they can go hamstrings to calves because whatever their range is, they need to be strong all the way through it.

Mac: Which forms a big part of injury prehab, injury prevention. What about training the hamstrings cause I know firsthand the hamstrings can act as a dynamic ACL and kind of help stabilize the knee joint and help prevent the interior shear force and all kinds of things like that. What are some tips and tricks for training the hamstrings to help prevent knee injury?

Yas: Obviously you need to train. A lot of people, they only train their hamstrings with hip extension and a lot of people say things like training knee flexion is a waste of time. Cause you got similar educational background as me, so we’ve learned a lot about different types of hamstring curls, and I think that’s an important exercise. Knee flexing would be an important thing to do because it’s different to doing hip extension. I think you should do both, but also – as you know, most people have weak medial hamstrings. I think a lot of attention has to be shown the medial hamstrings because you see anybody in a gym and they’re doing some kind of hamstring curl, they always – once it gets difficult, they’re always turning the feet out and recruiting and pulling the toes back to the shin and just recruiting mainly the lateral hamstrings. That’s what everybody’s got. Unless they target the medial hamstrings specifically, then everybody has an imbalance there. That really needs to be worked. Also, like I said hip extension as well, but I think different speeds I would say. As well as a standard tempo, cause they’re explosive muscles, they also need to train ballistically quite a lot.

Mac: That’s right, very fast twitch-dominant muscle.

Yas: Yeah, that’s it. So you have to try – unless you’ve got a coach who can give you good advice, you need to try and research how the muscles work so that you’ve got a bit more knowledge and if you’re aware of the fast-twitch dominant muscles, then you need to try like I said as well as a standard tempo, you also need to do quite fast, as long as you – obviously it needs to be warmed up and it needs to be under control, but it still needs to be that ballistic movement.

Mac: Yeah, absolutely. And coming from a Poliquin-esque background, Charles has been banging on about internally and externally rotating the feet and your feet dorsiflexed, planter flexed, during knee flexion in hamstring curl exercises. I think that style of approach is like gold. You’ve got to train every head of the hamstring in order to get the most out of it.

Yas: Yeah.

Brenton: Mac’s making penguin hand motions while he does this by the way, so with a dorsiflexion and everything if you think of a penguin.

Yas: Yeah, like you say, that’s gold. You can target the medial hamstrings specifically or you can, like you say, you can plan a flex to try and take the gastrocnemius out of the equation as a knee flexor. But I do also like the hamstring exercises that Charles taught where the eccentric accentuated. So like you go, as you know, you use the strongest position for the concentric and your body in the weaker position for the negative which obviously you’re a lot stronger on.

Mac: So like a 2 up, 1 down leg curl.

Yas: Yeah. Turning your feet out for the concentric and then turning them in to the eccentric so you’re overloading the medials with more weight than you would be able to if you were just doing straight reps with your feet in.

Mac: Yeah, got it. There’s plenty of options and there’s plenty of different ways to load those different foot positions and everything. So there’s some really helpful tips there for Clay in terms of getting your knees healthy and keeping them healthy. Anything to add to that, Yas, before we move one?

Yas: I mean, you would have learned as well, I always learned that obviously most people miss out parts of leg extension exercises like squats, the bottom range. So I always learned that – I haven’t been able to find anything that confirms it, anything scientific. I mean, there might be stuff out there that the top 15% of the range and the bottom 15% recruit the VMO a lot and a lot of people, because they don’t do that, they have underdeveloped VMOs and you need to be balanced. So if you can work on that, then you create a lot more stability at the knee, you know?

Mac: Yeah, absolutely. Things like Poliquin step-ups, Peterson step-ups, terminal knee extension, that kind of thing.

Yas: Yeah. Going full range on the squat or if you can, if your orthopedic profile doesn’t allow you to, then coming up with some single leg exercises that allow you to go hamstrings to calves. So, the stuff that you can’t do doesn’t ensure that certain muscles are neglected that you do find a way to hit them to keep healthy and keep the joints stable and so injury-free.

Mac: Yeah, that’s awesome. Some gems in there. So Clay, get on it. This next question is from a dude who’s got the greatest name I’ve ever heard, other than my own. His name is Mondo Woodcock and he’s a pro Thai boxer and a strength and conditioning coach in Scotland, so Mondo, what’s up? His question is: “what’s more beneficial for a fighter in terms of leg strength and power/force production in the ring? Back squat and front squat or more unilateral single leg work?” Yas, take it away.

Yas: Ok, so I know some people are all about only doing bilateral stuff, so like squats, deadlifts, front squats. And then some people are all about single leg stuff whereas personally, I think you should do both. It’s just that the type that you do is dictated by how close you are to competition or how far into your training program you are. So obviously at the start of working with a coach, then typically you would do single leg stuff to try and correct imbalances. If you have a lot of imbalance between the right and left leg, then doing squats straight away would be a big mistake cause one side of the body is a lot stronger. So at the start I would do the single leg stuff, but it’s more static. It’s a lot of split squats rather than lunges, cause it’s a lot more static than a lunge. And then I would go on – I’m into bilateral stuff as well for a fighter, because if you want to get really strong, that’s where the strength is built and the big exercises are bilateral. So say if you’ve got one of the strongest guys in the world and he could squat, what would it be in kilos, 300 kilos or something. He can’t do a pistol squat over 150kg.

Mac: Exactly, that’s crazy.

Brenton: Bodyweight single leg squats are hard enough, right?

Yas: That’s it. And even something like split squat or a lunge, you still can’t do anywhere near half and that’s not a perfect example of a single-leg exercise because it doesn’t matter how much you try, the other leg, the non-working leg is still recruited.

Mac: Exactly, it’s a different kind of contraction though.

Yas: You can’t take it right out of the equation unless it’s something like a pistol squat where it’s not touching the ground.

Mac: Yeah, exactly.

Yas: So I’m a fan of doing more single-leg stuff that’s more static at first, then the bilateral stuff and then as you get closer to competition and it’s obviously a lot more dynamic, so you can still do two leg stuff, you can still do bilateral and squat jumps, Romanian rhythmic squats, stuff like that.

Mac: Romanian rhythmic squats. Yas, you better explain what they are for everyone in the audience.

Yas: Right, so it’s only – you can just do free weight squats, but I like to use bands as well. So what it is it’s a partial squat, but it’s fast. And it’s 50 rep, they’re really fast like an X-0, X-0 but it’s only a partial squat, so you alternate. You do like 10 with your feet flat, just partial and squats going up and down really fast. Then you do the next turn without stopping and you go into the next turn and the next turn, you’re going on to the balls of your feet. So it’s more triple extension so you do 10 of those really fast and then you go back to feet flat. So you do that until you’ve done 50 reps and that’s one set. If you do them, your quads are on fire but it’s also a really good exercise for the Achilles. So, if you want to be explosive and change direction, then that’s a really good exercise.

Mac: Yeah, that’s great. So rarely is Gastroc and the Achilles trained ballistically in strength training on the gym floor.

Yas: Yeah, you don’t see much. I mean, I used to look at seated calf raise and think why have you got that? It’s just a bodybuilder’s thing, even though the machine’s not big, I think it’s a waste of space. But then I learned that you can actually produce more power from the soleias than you can from the Gastrocs and now I’m a big fan of seated calf raises.

Mac: Rather than standing, because the seated will engage one of the soleus, and standing will engage one of the gastroc, right?

Yas: Yeah, I do like both types, but I used to dismiss the seated as just like a pretty boy piece of equipment whereas now, if I can remember the numbers correctly, the soleias you can generate 8 times bodyweight through it, like fast. And the gastric I think it’s only 3.

Brenton: You can use like a seated leg press for the calves, right? In that same sort of motion while loading it up.

Yas: Yeah, you can do that. I mean, have the knees bent for gastroc and the knees bent for soleis and then knees straight for gastroc. I think typically people are doing the calf raises with the leg straight on the leg press, they count that as donkey calf raises, don’t they?

Mac: Yeah, pretty much.

Yas: Yeah, cause you don’t really see donkey calf machines these days and as far as I can gather, they’re like the size of a bus.

Mac: Again, there’s plenty of good stuff in there, starting off this is answering the question of should be doing unilateral or bilateral work for fighters. Yas is suggesting single leg work to begin with until you’ve established some kind of structural balance between left and right, then moving into the bilateral work, building a good base in the bilateral squat movement pattern. Then moving into some more ballistic or more explosive work to generate rate of force production. What else would you suggest there Yas?

Yas: I would also say that’s when you do a different kind of unilateral leg stuff also. Lunges more because they’re a lot more of a dynamic movement than a split squat, but also let me see, stuff like different kinds of – so step-ups can be put there every time. But towards competition more dynamic step-ups, like Russian step-up, or like, cause these different versions of the Russian step-up, they’re different difficulty so you can go on a triple extension when you’re coming right off the ground. Stuff like that. I was speaking to a guy recently and he does a lot squats, deadlifts, he does a lot of cleans, he does a lot of box jumps, broad jumps and I showed him a video of it’s actually Mundo, this Thai boxer doing the single box jumps. So this guy is quite athletic and then he went ahead and tried it but because he doesn’t do any unilateral stuff, he could jump but as soon as he landed, he just crumbled because he didn’t have the stability.

Mac: Ok.

Yas: So that’s a – I’m a big fan of stuff like that, like single-leg box jumps, but another thing as well which I almost forgot to say, the thing if you only do bilateral stuff like squats and deadlifts, obviously you’re really strong. But because you’re not used to doing unilateral stuff then, when you step forward, so anyone who steps forwards any kind of fighter does, your hips don’t remain stable so there’s normally a hip hike. So one side drops and that causes an energy leak, so you get tired quicker. There’s plenty of reason why I’m not in favor of just one or the other – it’s not either two legs or one leg and I do like to bring both in, use both for different times of preparation.

Brenton: That’s really interesting, and I think that’s not different to Brazilian jiu jitsu and I have heard some pretty high-level fighters speak in a similar vein, saying unilateral movements are actually good for like grappling specifically because your body, as a grappler, you’re trying to put your opponent in a position where you’re compromised. So there’s quite often when you have an arm isolated and you have to use simply one arm to move away, to push off. So by training those unilateral movements, you’re actually training some transferable benefit.

Yas: Yeah, big time. You have to do a lot of unilateral stuff because I mean, there isn’t really many sports where you stand square and both your hands move at the same time, so you have to incorporate both.

Brenton: Absolutely, yeah. So we actually have another really awesome question – this one is from Kyle Morgan. He’s a boxer and jiu jitsu practitioner from Absolute MMA in Melbourne and he asks how do you improve your shoulder strength for jabs?

Yas: Obviously a big thing about jabs is technique. So I mean, if you’re a boxer and you practiced jabs a thousand times, then your jab’s pretty good as long as you’ve been taught properly. If you want to improve power output, with a straight punch or a jab or a right cross, then it’s like I was speaking before, you have to get strong by doing stuff like incline dumbbell presses, but then you also have to train to be able to generate that strength fast. You know so, let me see, so, I mean you have to look at bar speeds, cause there’s different bar speeds that hit different strength qualities. But also there are a lot of pieces of equipment that are out there now that are specifically for training explosiveness. Yeah, so the same – I haven’t got one and I’d like to buy one. But the same company that make the neck machine I was talking about called the Hydrogym is the company, they do a machine called, I think it’s called a Power 360. And there are some other companies that do similar, there’s one called – there’s a different company does one called the Torque. So it works the same as the neck, what did you say the things…

Mac: Pneumatics.

Yas: Yeah, so it works the same as that, but the Power 360 is like two ski poles and it’s the same thing, the more effort you put in, the harder it is. But they’re really good for training explosive and I like it because you’re training the movement pattern and in my opinion, it’s not simulation, you’re explosively pushing your hand forward, you’re not trying to do a perfect punch with the resistance, which as we spoke about before, detrains the punch. So yeah, I mean, as far as – you can make the shoulders strong and powerful, but I wouldn’t try and purposely make them bigger because I think there’s a negative to that because they’ll quickly be a lot of waste products in the shoulders so they’ll be burning, and that will have a negative effect. If your shoulders are on fire, you can’t keep your guard up. If you have too much hypertrophy then that’s going to be a problem there. I like all fight sports, but I don’t know as much in the way of who people are apart from the big names in MMA as I do boxing, but I was watching a guy, a top fighter and the first thing that stuck out to me was how big his belts were, how big his shoulders were. Only seconds after that I noticed that he couldn’t keep his hands up. Yeah, I mean, if there’s too much hypertrophy there and generating too much waste products, then they’re going to be on fire and you can’t do what you’d be able to do if the muscles are smaller. So obviously making them bigger is a lot different to making them stronger and then training rate of force development to making them more explosive.

Mac: Yeah, and Yas if I may, I 100% agree with all of that. I mean, the bigger the muscle, the more waste product and the more fatigue these things are going to induce. But even taking a step back and looking at remedial exercises like external rotation, scapular retraction, there’s a whole bunch of shoulder stabilization exercises. Not big compound movements, we’re talking about isolation, remedial exercises which work the stabilizing musculature of the shoulder. Some of those exercise can be hugely beneficial just in terms of making that shoulder rock solid without messing with the movement pattern or the motor skill of the punch itself.

Yas: Yeah, man, big time. I’m glad you said that cause you could take anybody and only train that and you would improve them a lot, if you didn’t train anything else and you trained that aspect of training external rotators and working on shoulder stabilization and scapular stabilization. You would make them a lot more efficient but also – the power of the punch would go up a lot as well. So I’m glad you said that, Mac.

Mac: We certainly agree on all of that. And I’m looking at the timer over here mate, this is a two-hour podcast which I think we’re going to have to split into two parts. I mean, almost the first hour we were chatting about Liz and this second hour has been a continuation from our first episode, Yas and I. But in closing, since we need to wrap this up now
Yas, I’m sorry mate, what have you guys got in store for 2018 and how can our listeners get in touch with you?

Yas: So the gym’s opening as soon as possible. Then, let me see my area, cause obviously it’s funny cause that little room that I’m going to use for the one-to-one strength and conditioning is going to cost more to kit out than the whole of the rest of the place. So that has to be done afterwards, so the gym’s going to be open as soon as possible. And then my book, not long after Christmas. I can say at the moment, the date I’m seeing on Amazon is 19th of February. So that. I don’t think I’ve mentioned before, do you remember in the episode 1 when I mentioned a guy in Arizona called Dean Bozzano?

Mac: Dean Bozzano, yeah. I’m friends with him of Facebook now.

Yas: That guy’s excellent, man. He’s so smart. I feel like a 5-year-old who can’t read when I speak with him. Yeah, I want to be doing some stuff with him and his business. He’s got – they’ve got a gym, him and a guy called Shane Dalton, they’ve got a gym, The MMA Lab in Scottsdale. And they’re putting together some software, it’s called 6 Sigma Fitness and if you’re a coach, the new software that they’re bringing out is going to make it so much easier to train people better. It’s going to work off a platform, I think it’s like Trainerize, but they’ve done their own stuff, so it’s going to have supplements on there, hormone sites and nutrition, even doing stuff like VO2 Max. I went over there to visit him and there was a lot of really good fighters. There was one guy there who’s a Bellator fighter called, what’s he called? Henry Corrales? He’s a really good fighter. And they showed me the software and I saw his profile and he had, he was two weeks out and they were saying he’s lean and I was like he’s not that lean. He looked good, but he didn’t look like he’s ready to fight, but also he was obviously two weeks out. But they showed me his profile on this software and he had down to the smallest percentage exactly how much muscle, fat and water he had to lose in the next two weeks to not only make weight, but also be at his peak. And stuff like that, that takes it to a whole new level because you can track all the way through camp you can track all the way through where you’re at and where you should be. So I’m going to be working with Dean on his software cause I want to be adding the strength and conditioning component. But it’s also going to be doing a certification to teach the methodology of everything that they’re doing as well, so I’m going to be, the plan is me to be teaching that in different places throughout 2018. So I’m looking forward to that so hopefully that comes out and that should be good.

Mac: That sounds fantastic man. Just a quick question on the Six Sigma Software. I guess speaking from my own experience, I get very set in my ways when it comes to program delivery and like the layout of each workout. Does this software have much customization for guys like me that might be very resistant to change and things like that?

Yas: Yeah. I mean, Dean’s been working on it – I think he’s been working on it for 10 years. So it’s almost there. If you need to know, cause you’ve got him on Facebook, if you need to know more about it, then he’d probably be a lot better person to ask. I would imagine you can change it a lot because he’s not going to bring something out that’s so set that a lot of people are not going to like certain aspects. You’re going to be able to change stuff. So yeah, I think, you need to ask Dean if you want to know more about it, but I can almost say 100% that you are going to be able to do your own thing over there and change what you like, what you don’t like. You don’t have to use it all, I think there’s going to be different kinds of assessment stuff. So a lot of people like FMS and a lot of people don’t, so there’s going to be different things, different ways of doing these assessments. I mean, to me, from what I know if it, it’s going to take everyone’s coach up another level if they use it.

Mac: Fantastic. I’m looking forward to learning more about that. And I guess, you and I Yas we should probably continue the conversation about us putting our heads together and coming up with a product for the strength and conditioning community for fighters.

Yas: Yes, mate. Anytime you want to talk, I’m up for it and I obviously I like training. I’m not somebody who goes out for a drink and just doesn’t shut up about training and nutrition, but it’s something I’m passionate about. I’m up for doing courses and I know you’re one of the top guys when it comes to training combat athletes so I think we’ll be a good team.

Mac: Yeah, cheers mate, I appreciate that. And I totally agree, it would be an unique product, whatever it ends up being.

Yas: Yeah mate, definitely, almost said ‘exactly’.

Mac: Well, on that note my friend, it’s been an absolute pleasure talking to you and getting to know Liz a little bit better and learning about her story. So, thank you so much for joining us again on the podcast.

Yas: No problem, it’s been really good talking to both of you.

Brenton: Yeah, it was fantastic, thank you Yas.

Yas: Thanks man, and we’ll take you out for some food and drink.

Mac: Alright, see you then!

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