#15 Phil Daru – The Unknown Strength Podcast

Macgregor McNair Podcast 0 Comments

Did you feel that?!? That was the the earth shaking as the latest episode of The Unknown Strength Podcast just dropped! In our longest running episode to date (around 2 1/2 hours!), we were privileged to be joined by coach Phil Daru.

Phil is the head Strength and Conditioning coach over at American Top Team, Coconut Creek, Florida - where he works closely with former UFC strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, current bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, top ranked UFC fighters Dustin Poirier, Antonio Carlos Jr (ShoeFace) and Tecia Torres, as well as the legendary King Mo Lawal.

Some of Phil's other credentials and achievements are:
* Degrees in Sports Medicine and Exercise Science
* Awarded "Best MMA S&C Coach of the year"
* Founder/Owner of DaruStrong training facility in North Florida
* Retired Professional MMA Fighter with 4 pro fights
* Former division 1 Football player at Alabama State University
* Current member of the fraternity at the "Fight Science Institute"

In this episode we explore topics like weight cutting for fighters, Joanna's recent decision loss to Rose Namajunas, all things strength training, the Fight Science Institute, common mistakes made by coaches/fighters, nutrition for fighters, the list goes on and on....

We don't want to wast any more of your time describing this jam packed episode, just do yourself a favour and start listening NOW!

Special thanks to our sponsors:
-> www.mmafightstore.com.au
-> www.jiu-go.com
-> www.gripedo.com
-> Killed by Technology
-> www.darustrong.com

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Mac: Today we have a jam packed episode, this is one of our longest running episodes. Our guest today is none other than Phil Daru. he's the head strength and conditioning coach for AMerican Top Team. he works with a whole bunch of UFC and Bellator fighters, including Joanna Jędrzejczyk, works with King Mo Lawal, Tecia Torres, Dustin Poirier, women's champion Amanda Nunes and Antonio O’Carlos Jr. "Shoe Face", he's a bit of a hero. He’s got a bunch of stuff under his belt. He has bachelor's degree in sports medicine, he’s won the best MMA strength and conditioning coach of the year award from the Florida MMA awards, he's the founder and owner of the Daru Strong training facility in North Florida, he’s a retired pro MMA fighter with four fights under his belt, former division one football player at Alabama State University, he’s a former competitive bodybuilder, he's a current competitive powerlifter, he's a member of the fraternity over at the Fight Science Institute which is going to make serious waves in our industry. Phil is a main contributor of all their course material and their information they are putting out.
Phil’s one of the guys at the top of the sport. He's one of the guys I've got the most respect for, he’s somebody I call a friend, and somebody I can call on for advice and support in my own training and training the athletes Im working with. He's an all round legend and we’re super thankful to have him on aren't we Brenton?
Brenton: Absolutely. We want to thank MMA Fight Store, they have a new store opening up in Sydney, it opened in April, also Kings version three rash guards have just landed. Awesome design with the new crown comp.
Mac: The website is www.mmafightstore.com.au they have an awesome range of combat sports equipment online and in store. Moving along we need to thank Melbourne band Killed By Technology, thanks to Eddie and the boys for giving us their latest single Unsociable Behaviour to be our theme song.
More exciting news for the Unknown Strength Podcast, we have a new sponsor. There's guys are called Gripedo, thats www.gripedo.com. As in like a torpedo. The Gripedo, it's a really cool grip training tool you use in the gym, it has an extraordinarily high degree of transfer into combat sports. These things are versatile. I came across it on YouTube, a review by Dan Strauss, known for his grip strength. Who better to review the Gripedo than Dan Strauss? It really caught my eye for how unique it is for grapplers grip. I reached out to Emre from Gripedo, who is a grappler himself, he's a high level Judo competitor. He was good enough to send one of his units out to us. We've got the Gripedo, Ive been using it, Im enjoying it. I dont think Ive used it to its full potential yet, I'll use it some more then give you a full review of the product on our next episode. Stay tuned.
Brenton: Wanna thank JT Tenacity. Head over to www.jiu-go.com we had a golden ticket promotion going on, the numbers 1 and 500 will be winning some cash prizes from JT. We also had a winner announce the promotion of the JuiGo latest episode, which was the character that shared our post, would be winning a deck of cards. The winner has been selected by JT, it’s Red Forest Chinese Boxing Gym. we’ll be in touch to get your details.
Mac: Congratulations. Last but not least, exciting news. Ben Machar, the Aussie powerlifting sensation who was our co-host on one of our shows. Ben and myself will be holding a workshop for developing personal trainers and strength coaches, the workshop will be called the basics of strength training. It will be held in Melbourne on June 16th 2018, if you're interested in getting confident and implementing the basics of strength training into yours, or your clients training program, stay tuned. We’ll feed more info about that as we get closer to the date. To find out more message us here on ay of the social media platforms, also email me mac@theunknownstrength.com
Brenton: Let's get into it.
Mac: Here we go you guys, enjoy the interview.

Mac: Thank so much again for joining us, we have with us the one and only star of hit television show Vikings, Mr Phil Daru.
Phil: Whats up guys.
Mac: Great to have you on, how you doing today.
Phil: Im good, some people do say that I look like Ragnar, I’ll take that compliment very well. You know that. I'm trying to get out there to all the Scandinavian countries, hopefully someone will pick me up and bring me over. I wanna go Iceland, I wanna go Sweden, I wanna go everywhere. My Viking brothers and sisters, bring me over Im ready.
Mac: Bring him over. It's great to have you on, for everyone listening, Phil and I hooked up about a month ago when my wife and I were in Florida. Phil was good enough to give me some time, we talked shop for a little while and Phil agreed to come on the show. Thank you once again.
Phil: Its an honour, thank you.
Mac: You mentioned Scandinavian countries, you recently did some workshops in Poland over there, didn't you?
Phil: No, I'm going in June, I’ll be there June 16th through 21st. It's the Combat Sports Performance Summit for the Polish Strength and Conditioning Committee. I’ll be leading that with a bunch of other great, well known, well deserved individuals in the strength and conditioning and physical therapy world. Trying to get more people involved in strength and conditioning for combat sport athletes. This sport is very new, so is strength and conditioning. The merger of both, its a beginning stage of what we can develop as an industry. Looking forward to educating, teaching and learning a little bit from their culture. We know I have Joanna Jędrzejczyk that I've been working with for about three years now, since she moved to us full time for her camps. We developed a great relationship there, all the Polish people have been helping me out as far as bringing me in and letting me talk to people. I’m gracious for that and I'm happy.
Mac: Everyone out there in Scandinavia get in touch with Phil. tell us about yourself, what we usually do is we like to get a background on everyone we have on the show. Tell us how you got started, how you grew up. All that kind of stuff man, how's your journey been?
Phil: I grew up in a smaller county, Briorty County in South Florida. Its right above Miami so if you're going North, I'm right there. It's in the heart of where American Top Team is, Coconut Creek, Florida. I grew up around the gym, I knew Tecia Torres when she was in high school, we all grew up together. I started doing Kenpo Karate when I was four years old, made it up to brown belt, then I ended up focusing my energy on football, thats American Football. Focused all my energy there from eight years old till college where I played for Alabama State. There was a lot of hitting going on, a lot of head to head contact. I started lifting weights at 12 years old to get ready for football, to get bigger, get stronger. I always liked looking at muscle magazines. I was a big fan of Arnold Swarchenegger growing up. Then I started getting more into strength training to get stronger and more powerful for football. It just kind of grew into that. I started understanding periodisation and programing. Just due to the fact that I didn't see any real growth after a while. When you first start out, anything you do gets you bigger. I started to see myself at a standstill. During my sophomore year, I started to develop my own program and my high school football coach let me lead the programing for my high school football team. Which was really cool. It was a standard linear progression, but in all actuality we were just young kids trying to get stronger, trying to get bigger, so it ended up working out well. From there I went to Alabama State. Played for a couple of years. My mother developed Lupus, which is an autoimmune disease, and nobody knows this, its a first time for you guys.
Brenton: Alright, let's go.
Phil: With my second year at college, I was about to be a starter there, my dad got in a bad car accident, he was disabled and since he was a navy veteran he got VA benefits, but nobody could work in my parents household. I have a ten year old sister, she was ten when I was in college. They didn't have money, so I was stuck and the NCAA wouldn't allow us to have jobs, so I couldn't give them money. I had a decision to make, I decided to let go of my scholarship and stop playing football. My childhood dream of being in the NFL and all of that.
I started fighting as soon as I got back to Florida, I had to do something. I found an American Top Team affiliated school in a small town called Port St Lucie. I started training with Din Thomas who was a UFC veteran, and now one of my partners at American Top Team, Coconut Creek. When I started there I was just boxing on the off season of college, so I had a boxing, pretty much a good pedigree of boxing, I had a pretty good Kenpo Karate background, so my movement was very good at the time. I was also an athlete so I knew how to catch on to techniques and skills. I was an amateur for six months then turned pro.
At that time I was finishing my degree so I can start training people and start training athletes, there was a small strength and conditioning gym that I worked out of. It ended up being an independent contractor there at the age of 20. All this time I'm going to school, Im training, Im trying to make money for my family, and Im a pro fighter. It was pretty tough, it was long nights and longer mornings. I was always working, always grinding. It hasn't changed in 11 years. Now I can see the true benefit of what I've done as far as the hard work goes. It finally paid off. Getting back to the story at hand, at the age of 21 I opened up my own facility, I ended up doing some bootcamps and training some of my teammates at American Top Team. That's when it started the whole process of me training mixed martial arts fighters, wrestlers, grapplers, things like that. At the age of 22 I ended up winning the Florida MMA Award for best strength and conditioning coach, that was pretty cool because I was going against guys I looked up to and watched.
Mac: Of course, there's some big sharks there in Florida in the strength and conditioning world.
Phil: It was cool, I'm on a red carpet. I had just met my future wife. You can imagine. This is how I snagged her, I believe it. They did a documentary on me from the age of 20 to 22. It was called Outside The Cage, it was the first documentary I did. Our first two dates, one was the documentary premiere at a film festival, that was cool, she thought I was a superstar.
Brenton: How do you [inaudible 00:16:36] after you've met her, “You wanna come out for dinner and see my life story?” Come on.
Phil: I was like here you go, I'm not hiding anything. Then I want to say six months later we went to the awards ceremony, and I won the award. Its cool, I think I got her from that one. Even though it was small time, it was big for her.
Brenton: If you get an award for your life, that's a pretty good endorsement right?
Phil: Yeah man.
Mac: Well played sir.
Phil: As time went on I grew my gym from an 800 square foot, it was pretty much a storage facility. It was next to mechanics, there was cracks in the walls, there was cockroaches everywhere. Nobody cared, everybody was training hard, everybody liked it. I grew that out within three months we went to a 1,900 square foot facility that used to be the old American Top Team that I trained at. From there, I grew out of that and went to 11,000 square feet where I had a full sized cage in there, matt space, a ring, had a full turf. I was training my high school football athletes, my high school track athletes, and my MMA guys, as well as bootcamps and my personal training going on. I had about 7 other trainers under me and 500 members. It wasn't a membership gym. It was more like a personal training and bootcamps, that's the only way you could get in unless you were training with a coach. It was good to have and it was in a small town, it grew very well. At that point I needed more. I wanted to work with the high level guys, I was still training and actively fighting. I had just come off a win, my last fight, I was going to fight again. Im probably around the age of 26. I was two weeks out from my fight, and my training partner, as we were drilling, threw a spinning back kick. It ended up coming back down with his heel on the back of my head. It caused a concussion. At this point I had eight concussions my entire life.
By that time, it just wasn't feeling like a regular concussion. It lingered on for a couple of days and I was still dizzy. Usualy when Im rocked Im dizzy for a little bit, or I’m out. I get up and I’m good. This one was lingering, my eyes would twitch, the light was blinding and gave me migraines. I would wake up dizzy. It was alarming.
I went to a neurologist, they did an EKG, they put electrodes on my brain. They were trying to find out what was going on. They seen some Beta Amyloid Plaques inside my neurons, that basically cause degeneration or death of my neurons. Not a good thing.
He told me if I dont stop with this type of work, then I will have Alzheimer's by the age of 50. That was alarming. It took me two weeks to fully comprehend what was going on. At the end of the day I put so much effort into this sport. I trained my arse off, time in and time out. I was ready and willing to take it to the next level, but my body didn't respond. If it was my knee or my elbow, maybe we could work around it. But it’s my brain, I really can't do much about that.
Mac: That's right. It's so common with guys coming across from American Football into combat sports like this. Concussion and the knock out rates are so much higher.
Phil: At the end of the day, I called my coach Dean, he said that I have a lot going on, that Im a good coach and he thought we could find something better for me.
Time went by, I ended up contacting Dean a few months later and asked him if he had any .. this is when Dean went full time down at Coconut Creek, and I asked him if he had any fighters he wanted me to work with. He told me I may be in luck, because the strength and conditioning coach they had was actually leaving. He asked me to get my resume together. I said that I had it right now, he asked me to come down. Perfect.
I headed on down there, 90 minute drive, first time I trained Tecia Torres, Dustin Poirier, King Mo and Hector Lombard.
Brenton: First days could be easier.
Phil: It was fun. The good thing about it is that it wasn't anything overwhelming. I’d been doing this for a long time. I'm comfortable with fighters. I went to Coconut Creek several times to train. It wasn't anything new to me. I knew all the coaches, they knew me. That being said, I still had to audition. I had to come in every other day for a good solid two months, before they put me on the payroll. It was a grind to get down there and not get paid for it. My wife stood by me. I was doing what I loved, I was around the sport I fell in love with. I’m still able to train hard and to work with high level fighters on a daily basis, which is awesome.
Mac: Its awesome, all the sacrifice paid off.
Phil: Yeah. I always look at it like that. I never dwell on how hard things can be, or how hard things will be. I know it's going to end up for a greater cause and Im gonna end up with success. As long as I do things correct, and to the best of my abilities, nothing can stop me.
I'm very happy with where I'm at, and I still have a lot to go.
Brenton: I guess there's a common thread between all the competitive sports you've been in, you were in football, MMA, bodybuilding, powerlifting. We joked about the start of the show. It's like over performing Forrest Gump with a far better head on his shoulders.
What is it in the areas of these sports you feel you excelled in, as far as sporting endeavours?
Phil: I could honestly say, MMA I execelled pretty well. I got to a pro level. Everything I do, I don't want to sound cocky, I put all of my energy into that modality. When I was bodybuilding, I took eight months and only bodybuilded. I only did that type of training. I only did those types of nutritional protocols to get where I needed to be. I fully engulfed myself in the bodybuilding realm. A lot of people don't understand that, they're trying to do several different things. I was watching YouTube videos of Dexter Jackson, I was watching Flex Lewis, I was watching all these guys trying to figure out what was the best way to train. How to train for hypertrophy. I was seeing how to utilise mechanical overload, and utilise metabolic stress to induce hypertrophy. That's really where I started. As far as powerlifting goes, it was an easy transition. At the end of the day I'm a strength athlete at heart. I did strong man.
Strong man was a little easier, it translated over to a lot of the stuff I do as far as MMA strength and conditioning.
Mac: For sure. There's a lot of transfer between modified strongman and MMA.
Phil: Yeah. i was even doing strongman while I was training for fights and when I wasn't in camp. That was the only reason I did that, because it was something to keep me competing without having to get punched in the face. When I did powerlifting, a lot of it is understanding technique. Understanding programming and understanding autoregulation and fatigue management.
I excelled in powerlifting, and my strength gains went up when I learned how to use proper intra abdominal pressure, rooting and proper technique for every lift. It translated over to my coaching, now I can actually teach these guys how to properly lift. I can break it down so they can have a mechanical advantage, to induce motor neuron recruitment and muscle fibres. To get the most strength gains we can. To be honest, with a lot of these fighters, a lot of these guys have a good gas tank. A lot of them have great conditioning. It's very easy to get a solid conditioning base. It's hard to build maximal strength. It's easier, little kids can run for miles, they have a gas tank when they come out of the womb. But, it takes them a very long time to squat 800 pounds. It's a lot different and you can lose it a lot quicker.
Mac: You mentioned fatigue. These are different realms you've been involved in. you talk about things like energy systems and conditioning, is there an experienced way to translate these insights into a more sophisticated program that understands how to condition fighters, for different scenarios?
Phil: Exactly. My experience in these modalities helps me program accordingly so that we can get the best out of that realm. For me, I know what's going to be the best way to physically prepare a fighter. Just from my experience, along with scientific backing. I do believe that it helped a lot.
Bodybuilding helped out, obviously with the powerlifting, I definitely can understand more about programming, program design. Also motor neuron recruitment, force output, and also the technical aspect of these exercises.
Brenton: We’re gonna go into a questions about technical modalites for program design, and things in the strength training world. Back to where you were going with the bodybuilding prep you went through. I see that the focus and discipline that's required to bring your best physique onto stage. Those attributes are what come to the surface with a lot of these physique competitors. How much of that mindset, discipline, the mental variables, how much translates over into the fight sports?
Phil: I would have to say, I've cut weight a lot of times. Cutting weight for fights is tough. It's a mental game, especially if you're a bigger guy for the weight class. You're worried about the opponent and your weight. But, nothing compared to having to diet for a bodybuilding show. It sounds crazy. The training was easy. It was having to eat basically cardboard, to get my body fat down to a stage ready percentage. Which was next to nothing. At least when you're cutting weight for a fight, it's only for that couple of hours. For this, you have to stay that way for the entire day. Pose your arse off, get in speedos, and prance around the stage and isometric contractions for three to four hours.
Brenton: You're a flexing right? That's a fancy word for saying you're on stage flexing?
Phil: I was trying to be scientific with you.
Mac: I'm just translating.
Phil: I was flexing my arse off .. you lose a lot of electrolytes, you lose a lot of carbohydrates, you can only replenish it with a hamburger in between the morning show and the night ceremony. I was depleted the whole day. After fights, even if I get bumps and bruises, I been through wars. It didn't matter, I would go out and party after the fight. Didnt care if I couldn't walk. After the bodybuilding show I didn't wanna do shit, I just wanted to lay down, I didn't even want a beer. It was just very taxing.
I think it does carry over very well from a mental aspect. Especially being structured with nutrition, being on point as far as scheduling goes, and having a solid goal and foundation to that goal. That correlates into fighting. Also the mental fortitude you acquire getting ready for this thing. I did bodybuilding, I had to get down very lean. Very low level body fat. I did two cardio sessions. If I knew better, I would have done it differently. I did slow LSD work, walking on a treadmill, fasted in the morning. I would train, then I would train again, weights, twice in that day. At night, I would have to do HIIT cardio before I went to bed. This went on for five days. With limited carbohydrates. Under 100 grams. I'm not saying this is what everybody should be doing, it was subjective for what I had going on.
Brenton: I don't know what youre talking about. That sounds like the healthiest way possible to lose weight.
Phil: Its awesome.
Mac: Why is it so significant in this program, to train in a fasted state for you?
Phil: Honestly, I don't mind it. I liked it. There's contrasting literature there, so there's a lot of people who say it doesn't work. A lot say it does work. A lot of bodybuilders have been doing it for years. I like doing it on an empty stomach. I like to fast. I did time restricted eating to get my body weight down. Some people believe there's a growth hormone release there from the fasting, and you get to ride a testosterone release. Especially around 10 o'clock. That's when they say testosterone levels are high. I just like to be in that fight or flight. I want to be searching for my food when I’m done. Hunting for it. I was getting back to our ancestors days.
Brenton: I love it. What about your powerlifting career. Tell us about that. Obviously competing. Do you have a meet you're prepping for?
Phil: I was getting ready for one. I ended up hurting my knee. It was from wear and tear. I peaked to early. I had to go to Chechnya in November for a two week seminar I was doing. I was reprogramming their whole entire program. I think that I peaked too early there. I was getting ready for a meet in January. I was doing well, hit all PRs that week, which was strange, I wasn't supposed to.
When I got back I didn't feel right. My knee was aching. I had some tightness in my abductors. It was hurting and I had bicep tendonitis. It could be nutrition, it could be overuse. I was taking on a program that wasn't made for me. It was a program I was given by another coach ..
Brenton: Who was the coach?
Phil: I don't wanna say the name. It wasn't really his fault, he just didn't know my lifestyle, I'm nonstop going. I don't have the luxury to sleep for eight hours. For me it was too much volume and frequency. Where for me three to four days a week is plenty. It was training six days a week, squat sessions three days a week. Too much volume.
I ended up bowing out of that, just because, Joanna Jędrzejczyk was starting her camp, Dustin Poirier was starting his camp. Shoeface came in. I had a lot of guys coming in and they were ramping up their camps. I didn't have time. It was too much. But, as of right now, I'm reaching a point where my knee feels good. Starting to pick up intensity of lifts. I been in a full volume hypertrophy block for the last three months. I'm probably gonna go for another three months to ride it out. Get my body weight up. Then just work on better movement quality and mobilisation of certain joint angles so this doesn't happen again. That's where I got into functional range systems with Dr Andreo Spina. I've been looking more into his stuff. Especially for myself, along with my fighters. It's helped me be a better performance athlete, and to stay safe, and not injure myself.
Brenton: We have a question from one of our inhouse coaches. We definitely want to touch on the functional range conditioning stuff. We've been following all the stuff you've been doing with Joanna and Dustin, all over instagram. The functional range conditioning stuff sounds interesting. We’ll touch on that later.
How are your numbers on the squat, bench, and deadlift, how are they coming along?
Phil: I compete raw, in sleeves. My best right now is a 610 squat, 620 deadlift, which is pounds by the way.
Brenton: Yeah, nobody's deadlifting 620 kilos man.
Phil: Theres some crazxy mother fuckers out there.
Brenton: Did you see Vlad Alhazov’s 500 kg squat the other day?
Phil: I’ll check that out.
Brenton: It happened at the Arnold Classic here in Melbourne. Your bench?
Phil: My bench is 405, I feel good on my bench. My bench is actually gone up. I'm gonna put up bigger numbers in the next couple of months. Especially when I get peaked and ready to go during the meet.
Usually my training it doesn't go always well. That's okay. It doesn't matter what you do in training, it matters what you do on that platform. Same as every sport. It doesn't matter what you do on the matts in training, all that matters is what you do in that tournament. What I'm seeing is a steady progression of weight, I usually do my testing parameters, predicted of AMReps. I’ll take my projected 1RM and I take 75% of that 1RM, and if I can hit over 12 reps on that. I know my 1RM is obviously higher. Just from my abilities. Obviously it won't be as efficient in predicting your 1RM. Some people have better conditioning. Some people are better with reps than strength ..
Brenton: Muscle fibre dominance comes into it as well. It will affect how many reps you can do at a certain intensity, right?
Phil: True. if your fast twitch dominant, guys don't want to do that. Their projected 1RM is skewed from their abilities to do repetition.
Brenton: That's a safe way to predict 1RMs. One thing I like about Chad Wesley Smith’s Juggernaut program, is you've got those 1RM, AMRAP tests built into the program all along. In the realisation phases. Is that something you've been exposed to?
Phil: Its funny, I do that for my out of camp MMA program for my guys at American Top Team. we’ll do accumulation and intensification and a realisation phase. Giving them that RSA at the fourth week. It does work. That's similar to what we do. Me and one of my guys that I train with, he programs for me. He does a mixture of jaugurnaught, the cube and a linear progression. Its intricate, a lot of detail. You need to know the person to hone in on progressions. Its helped me a lot. That's how you know. If you're a coach, don't be afraid to get coached. You need someone to watch over you and pull you back or push you forward.
Brenton: I can't agree more. I have a powerlifting coach Ben Marker.
Mac: Could you give us an overview of why peaking in programs is important, and why it's something you focus on. And also, why is something you need to get right?
Phil: If you can't peak, then you're not gonna be at 100% as far as preparation goes. That's a true testament to understanding the demands of the sport, and understanding the individual, along with understanding periodisation. But, I do believe it's important because you have to be ready to peak, for that time. It doesn't matter what you've done in the gym. But if you can't perform when the time comes, then nobody gives a shit what you did in the training room. That's why I feel that its most important. If you don't have structure or a schedule in place, it's never gonna happen. That's why when I do a program from a coaching perspective, I found out what the fighter needs, I put them through a movement assessment, then we go into altering the program. I do have systems in place that work from a global scale, but each individual is different. I can have a group of guys and girls, ones a heavyweight, ones a bantamweight, ones fighting on the 13th, ones fighting for the UFC, ones fighting for Bellator, one has 20 years experience, one has only 2 years experience. Some of them never lifted weights. All of that has to be taken into account. You have to make sure you have a system, but it has to be subjective to the individual, this is an individual sport, with individual demands.
Brenton: What happens when an athlete peaks early, what consequences are they looking at when it comes to performance?
Phil: You're definitely going to have a lack in performance. When I peaked too early I got hurt. That last week before the fight is vital, especially if you're cutting weight. You want to make sure you're not getting anymore added stress or cortisol to the system. If that happens you have a higher possibility of getting injured from a non-contact injury inside the cage. Which means an ACL blowout, torn hamstring, whatever. That type of stuff may happen, where you get overreached, overtrained, your performance decreases.
Mac: The tissue quality deteriorates too, when you're in that catabolic, overtrained state right?
Phil: Yeah, that's what I said. You're at a higher risk of straining or tearing a muscle or tendon.
Brenton: As a coach, what are some of the signs youre looking out for to ensure the fighters have not surpassed that peak?
Phil: We do go through a stage of overreaching, that's the case of right at the realisation stage. That's the last week before we give them a deload. From my program, for my fighters, we start camo at eight weeks out. At five weeks out I give them a deload. That will help out with the fatigue, to decay fatigue. We don't have to go through that overtraining realm. But, this is a sport of a lot of frequency, a lot of volume, a lot of different demands. I can't just rely on a structured deload, I have to rely on my autoregulatory principles, and talking to the fighters, seeing their schedule, how they're feeling on a daily basis. That will give me a road map to see exactly how they're feeling and what we need to do. A lot of the times, I have the systems and the principles in place, but I'm always calling audibles.
Yesterday, King Mo had a few bumps and bruises during sparring that day, so he couldn't do any type of pressing movement, we had to autoregulate. I had press movement put in place, but we had to go around it. That's what I do from a fatigue management standpoint. From a preservation standpoint. Thats what helps us not get into that overtraining phase. Where you can see this, is in their coordination for drills. Seeing their grip strength in the morning. Seeing and evaluating their heart rate when they wake up. If you want to go into a higher realm, you would get a HRV monitor. For me, a lot of these guys, there's a tonne of fighters I have, some can afford a HRV monitor, some can't. Some just don't even want to do it.
Brenton: Macs giving me funny faces, how long did we trial it for?
Mac: We tried it for all of two weeks, and Brenton couldn't stay consistent with the HRV readings.
Phil: You'd be surprised, but you have your outliers, a lot just dont give a fuck. They don't wanna do that. You have to be a coach at that time and do it physically for them. Understanding, that's where the art of coaching comes into place. You have to understand your athlete and see their mannerisms, see what they go through and know what they're doing on a daily basis. If you don't, then you're just going to keep trying to run their head through the wall. It's going to end up decreasing their performance, or overtrained and possible injury.
Mac: For sure, the body will push back after a while. There's only so long you can keep grinding and over driving the central nervous system before the wheels start to shake.
Why don't we take a slight detour. There's something I’m curious about, which is the demise of the Blackzillians. You were around for The Ultimate Fighter series Blackzilians versus ATT, is that right?
Phil: Yeah.
Mac: You would have witnessed first hand all the rivalry that went on between the two owners. What was your position when Blackzilians really started to fall apart?
Phil: At that time I was still actively fighting, and going down south. I was training with a lot of the guys on the show. We knew we were gonna be there to stay, and we knew they wouldn't be there too much longer, when you have a guy who doesn't know too much about the sport, and he's basically there as a sponsor, never trained at all, doesn't know the sport, just a fan. Your whole entire gym and program and team is developed around that individual, things are gonna go wrong.
Mac: I was just calling him out, Glen Robertson.
Phil: I like that.
Mac: Itr was pretty clear, his interests were financial. Youre saying that was apparent to everyone around?
Phil: He got the guys that were at American Top Team, that left American Top Team, to start his own gym. He was originally a cardio kickboxing student at American Top Team before he left.
Mac: Like boxercise?
Phil: Yeah. pretty much.
He was in there with the soccer moms.
Mac: Obviously there was some really cool things that came out of the inception of Blackzilians, we were speaking with Corey Peacock, he found his way in there. There was a lot of cohesion between the coaches. How did ATT benefit when Blackzilians fell apart, did a lot of guys come back over to ATT, or was the rivalry still too thick?
Phil: We had a few guys that bounce back and forth. To this day a lot of guys go to Henry, and still come back to us. I have no problem with it. A lot of guys may not. It makes sense, especially if your a ride or die American Top Team team member or coach. I have a lot of respect for anybody who steps in the cage and fights. There's no animosity, I work closely with Corey and he works with those guys. We were just over there for fights. Titan Fights. It was in their gym. I was in their gym getting my guys ready for fights. It was nothing like that, I think that if you don't have the resources to get what you need form a gym or organisation, then you have to outsource, I have no problem with that. That being said, I am still a ride and die American Top Team coach and former athlete.
If I had my choice, if I was still a fighter, I'm coming to American Top Team.
Mac: There's a lot of insecurity built into the structure of those gyms that don't allow cross training. It's not really taking the athletes best interest to heart. Its trying to protect the club. Its a negative mindset from what I can see, do you agree?
Phil: Yeah. there is a thing of loyalty. We got to make sure that people are loyal to the team in general. They’re willing to put out, and they are representing us. If you go to another organisation, especially an organisation thats down the street. There's been known rivalries there, if you're going out there with an American Top Team patch on your shorts, but you've been training with whoever outside of that. It's not a good look for the organisation, it's not a good look for you.
Mac: Rivalries aside, there's still a whole lot of value for guys from ATT to go to a Gracie Academy a few miles away. That kind of cross training is what Im talking about.
Phil: In my colleagues, would disagree with that. Listen, if you want to get a different look at some point, I’ll go different gyms and just train. I have my own gym, but sometimes I’ll go to another powerlifting gym down the street, just to get away. Just to get a new feel, a new environment. Sometimes you need that so you don't go crazy and not like what you're doing.
Mac: That's so true, I don't train at the gym I own most the time. I train elsewhere. I totally agree, sometimes you need a change of scenery.
Brenton: You gotta seperate you work from your play.
Mac: Since we had Dr Corey Peacock on the show, now we have you Phil, do you think we should hustle and bring Chris Algieri and Tony Reachy on as guests too?
Phil: That would be the best option.
Mac: I was thinking we could make it like the unholy union. The four horsemen of the fight science institute.
Phil: Those guys, Chris and Tony are very knowledgeable, especially when it comes to nutrition from a sports science perspective. They're on another level. Even when people don't know, Chris is obviously an active fighter, at the highest level. He’s fought Manny Pacquiao, he's getting ready for a fight right now. Tony is a guy that's been in the game for a long time.
Mac: He's been around forever.
Phil: I don't wanna age him, at the same time, I look at Tony as a legit mentor to me. Even though he will say he's my biggest fan. That guy truly is a mentor to me. Definitely knows his stuff. It would be great to have him on. Id wanna listen. You gotta slow him down a bit, he gets crazy.
If youre saying you don't know what isometric contractions is, youre fucked. If you dont know, hes on another level when it comes to sports performance.
Mac: On your podcast, when you had Tony on, I know what you mean. He was off and running man.
Brenton: Maybe we can catch him in the night when he's slower.
Phil: I don't know man, he's ready to go 24/7, Ive never seen him slow down. I don't know what it is.
Mac: He's just that guy. How did the Fight Science Institute come about?
Phil: I think it just started between Corey coming up with the idea. Me and Corey had been working together for quite some time. I utilise his lab, for testing parameters for a lot of my guys. I brought Joanna down there, Dustin, to get a pre camp testing parameter for everybody. Just to get a perspective from a statistical data that we can use to help with performance and the program in general. Also we go back and forth, we’re close here in Florida. We work with the same amount of people. We go through the same amount of things, it's really good, it was a breath of fresh air to have someone else in the same realm as me. Whereas I cant connect with another strength and conditioning coach who trains football players, or who's at a collegiate level. It's totally different.
Even when you came down, we shared similar things, it was cool.
Mac: We were talking the same language.
Phil: We hit it off there, he said once I started doing my seminars, he said we should do a certification course. I thought it could work. He had this guy whos really smart, that's when I met Tony, he told me about, I didn't know this, Tony followed me on instagram before this. I looked him up and seen he had a lot of good stuff on there. He's super smart, he's been in the game a while. We connected with Tony, then Chris was always around because Chris and Corey worked together on the nutrition side of things. Chris works with the weight cuts that Corey has the guys going with. Chris goes back and forth with him. They been working together a long time. We brought Chris in to solidify the four horsemen.
That's pretty much what we declared to do. We come up with the name, we came up with the vision and direction. Now we just have to put the parameters in place so we can get all the fine details done. We just partnered up with Eight Man Strong, who is a powerlifting company. Now they're getting into MMA, they're gonna be helping with marketing. They’ll be partnering up with shirts and banners and things. It's cool to get involved with them. It's a good mix, it’s a good partnership.
We are talking to Polar, the heart rate monitor company. They’re sponsoring too. Im gonna talk with Chris Duffin who is Kabuki Strength, you guys know who Chris is?
Mac: Yeah man, you're a Kabuki ambassador right?
Phil: I'm an ambassador, and I’ll let it out man, all new stuff on your show today. I'm going to be a sponsored athlete for his nutrition company aswell, that will be in a couple of weeks. Sponsored athlete for Kabuki Strength, I work closely with Chris here and there. I want him to get involved with Fight Science Institute. Then in September we’re going to the NSCA conference at the UFC Performance Institute, to speak about what we have going on. It's a good thing, I'm excited, its something thats going to be ground breaking. I don't see anybody doing this. Thats doing it on the level we've done it at. I don't see anybody that's done it, has worked with the amount of fighters we have collaboratively.
Mac: Absolutely. It's such a unique thing you guys have put together. I guess other than putting out ebooks and information, you guys will be running a certification course. What's in the pipeline for the course itself.
Phil: What we’re trying to do is a strength and conditioning side, then we will be doing a nutrition side. We don't know if we want that on a two day seminar. Obviously they'll be doing the exam after the seminar. I'm thinking of giving you study materials a couple of months in advance. Then from there we go over the set parameters as far as program design for each individual fight sequence. Exercise transferability, working on optimal bioenergetic demands, and learning and understanding them from a combat sport perspective. As far as the nutrition side, proper nutrition guidelines for performance and the ability to have a solid weight cut. It's going to be all encompassing. After the two day course, you're gonna go ahead and take your final exam,exactly a week later. We don't want it to go further than that so it's fresh in people's minds. We don't want to fail anybody, but we are making sure it's legit. We’re gonna be NSCA certified, it's gonna be CEU. So, we’re trying to make it as legit as possible.
Mac: Legit as fuck.
Phil: I'm glad you said it. That's gonna be our fucking slogan. We’re gonna have a hashtag ..
Mac: #LegitAF
Phil: I want it to be that. We’re gonna partner up with a bunch of guys. A board of directors, guys like Andy Galpin, PJ Nestler. Bigger guys in the industry. Joe DeFranco. Guys that understand what we do as strength coaches for combat sports. We have a good community of coaches in this whole entire institute.
Mac: I'm really excited. I can't wait to see what you guys come out with. I’ll be keeping a breast of all your activity and keeping our listeners updated with what you guys are doing with the Fight Science Institute. Right now, please tell us about the latest ebook you and Tony Richie put out there, Weight Cut Systematic Strategies.
Phil: This kind of developed after Joanna's last fight. When she had ..
Mac: Rose number one?
Phil: Exactly, in Madison Square Gardens where she had that horrendous weight cut. I was not involved in any of the weight cutting process. The company that she was working with secluded everybody, including Mike Brown. Ended up having her cut 15 pounds the day of weigh ins. You know UFC weighs in at 9am. She had two hours to cut 15 pounds.
Mac: That's bullshit dude.
Phil: It was from not being totally knowledgeable, maybe it was a mixture. Or being negligent. They totally messed her up from that. It's not just because of her losing the belt, losing the fight. Rose is a better competitor right now, she had the formula to beat Joanna at this certain time. But, you could see a different change from when she got with George Lockhart the second fight, to when she fought her the first time. That little shot she took dropped her. The second fight she took all the punches and smiled at them. You could see the synovial fluid in the brain, if you get rocked and there's not enough fluid in there, it's gonna rattle you. Its gonna shake your brain up, equilibrium is gonna be thrown, and you're gonna get dropped. Also she had no legs. She had very little blood flow, no glycogen in the muscle. When she was moving around she had no pop, no movement quality.
Mac: Feeling heavy?
Phil: Real heavy.
Brenton: Thats something thats talked about more these days, the correlation between weight cutting and getting knocked out. Do you think you could expand more on that. You mentioned that fluid build up, what is the relationship between weight cutting and concussion?
Phil: If you don't have the optimal nutrients in the system. It's not gonna be beneficial for you from a cognitive perspective, and from a musculoskeletal perspective. If I'm not putting in the proper amount of glycogen, sodium, protein, and creatine, you're not gonna be able to be performing at the optimal peak, and you're at a higher risk of getting knocked out. You're not putting the right amount of nutrients to replenish your body. Put that water in and get that water .. our body is roughly 70% water. If we don't enough of that, your body won't function with quality performance.
When somebody gets hit in the head, and they don't have the optimal amount of water, or nutrients inside their body, every little movement can make you dizzy. Every strike to the head, can rattle your brain and throw you off your balance base. Everytime she got hit, you could see it was different. That's very concerning for a lot of the fighters. This is why we decided to develop this book. We've seen it happen time and time again, I've gone through it, Ive had shitty weight cuts, and I felt like I had no conditioning. A lot of the time when you cut down to a very low weight, for me I cut to 155, I walked around at 178. The first time I cut to 155 I did it in a sauna suit, sitting in a van at a parking lot, in 100 degree heat. Obviously not the greatest thing to do.
When I got out to fight, I just didn't have any juice left in my legs, I had no pop to my punches. Every strike that landed, even if I blocked it, Id still get rattled in my brain. That was the case.
If you can't replenish your body with the proper amount of nutrients and fluids, you will not perform optimally and you’ll run the risk of getting knocked out and getting a serious concussion.
Mac: For listeners having to cut weight for amateur events, touching on being dehydrated to the point where every blow and impact is gonna rattle you. Can you give some advice to some of these amateurs out there who may not have had a whole lot of experience cutting weight. But they're gonna have to do it in the future. What times and ratios of fluids do you think are optimal for a day of competition weigh in?
Phil: After the weigh ins, you want to make sure you have a proper amount of electrolytes, water and carbohydrates and aminos. You've depleted your body through the entire day, or two days of the cut. First thing I do with my guys and girls, I’ll get pedialyte, with a liter of water. I’ll dilute the pedialyte with half a litre of water. They end up drinking that fully. We can't do IVs, they would be optimal. We drink the mixture, you knock it down. From there you drink water with BCAas and vertigo. Which is a form of glucose. From there, they keep on hydrating. I want my guys and girls to be hydrated enough to where they pee clear. Once that's done, then they can have their first meal. The first meal, I want them to consist of a steak, or something that's easily digestible. It could be something like white fish, cod.
Brenton: Do you mean if they have standard issues with digestion, or do you mean through the process of weight cutting, you incur some kind of digestive issue.
Phil: Both. Let's say that the diet is steadily, with the same food choices for when they go and do their rehydration and refueling process. I never wanna throw in new foods, we’re always gonna be doing the same foods. That can throw off everything we’re trying to work towards. It can mess up your digestive system. I’ll go ahead, it depends on the individual. Mostly its fish and white rice, something that's easily digestible. Something that's going to get to, and partition to muscle as fast as possible. Then two hours later, when they’re fully digested, then we can have something of a red meat because I do want to get the creatine, I want some cholesterol in there to help regulate testosterone. I mean, that would be perfect. Something like a sweet potato for nutrients. Very easy.
Brenton: Music to my ears, I love sweet potato.
Phil: Usually I’ll o a mix of yams with some honey. It's primarily a fructose. With that nutrient dense carbohydrates. That will upregulate the glucose levels and get the glycogen into the muscle tissue so that they feel good and feel full.
Then it's just a play it by ear type thing. Play by eye also, see how much we want to go up to after the refueling process. Usually I like my guys and girls to get up to the weight they were at six weeks before the fight. That's usually the most comfortable, where they’re not depleted, and they're moving efficiently and they're at the best shape. That's right before their structured deload. That's right where they’re almost at their peak. Thats where I want them to be from a weight perspective after we refuel the next day.
Mac: It's kind of hard to do when you're talking about a same day weigh in. you wanna rehydrate back to the weight you were six weeks out. For pro athletes it's a very different story.
Phil: We’re thinking about doing another ebook on same day weigh ins. That's gonna be coming out pretty soon. As far as that goes, that just comes down to not going to low on weight classes. Stay somewhat to where maybe 5 no more than 10 pounds your walk around weight. Because there's too much involved. You're not gonna have enough time to rehydrate, recover, refuel. Definitely you're leaving performance on the table. By not being in the proper weight class. You shouldn’t be cutting 20 pounds on a same day weigh in.
Mac: That's kind of built in to the structure of amateur events. Same day weigh in cuts down the amount that most are cutting right?
Phil: I've only had one same day weigh in, I cut 8 pounds. At the most. That was pretty much all water. Your body holds 7 to 8 pounds of water, per gallon in the body. If I do a water cut, usually I would do seven day protocol, eight liters of water then decrease by two liters a day through the week of the weight cut. On the day of the weigh in you should only be having eight, maybe six ounces of water, just to get a snack here and there down. If everything works out, their diet is on point, they should be eating food throughout the entire week of that weight cut.
That would be the best outcome. If we can keep carbohydrates in, decrease the water, water cut. They're not losing any nutrients, it's easier to put water in than nutrients.
It all depends on your diet. What you decide to eat throughout that camp. Also where your weight less the week before the fight. I like my guys around 10 to 12%, thats lean weight. It's not body fat. 10 to 12% from scale weight. If I have a welterweight that's fighting in eight weeks, I want them around 195 to 193. No more than that. If they are heavier than that, and they have body fat on them, that's ok. We know we can get the body fat off with the diet and the amount of training. If they’re lean, like what we seen today with Kevin Lee, if they’re lean and theyre 4% and their 10 pounds over, we’re gonna have a tough time getting that off. Only because you can only take so much water off.
Yes, having large amounts of muscle mass does help with water cuts, water is stored in the muscle. It's not stored in fat. I want them to be lean, I want them to be 10% at the max 12% starting eight weeks out, thats body fat. Then the week of the fight they should be 9-8%, no less than that. I want them to be lean, but I don't want them to be stage bodybuilding lean. It's different.
From there you do the water cut, they should have 8 lbs of water. We’ll go to the welterweight perspective, if they're 181 or 182 and we know we have 2 gallons in us, or like I said, 2 gallons or 8 litres. 8 litres in their body, I know we have 8-10 pounds of weight to be lost. Cellular fluid and some body fat, maybe a little bit of muscle. Not enough to where it will cause a decrease in performance.
Mac: Back to something you mentioned, when you have an athlete that's so lean, bodybuilding stage lean, you've only got fluid to lose, have you experienced when you try to get a really lean athlete to drop a lot of fluid, the whole process is so stressful for them, it pushes them into a more catabolic state and water retention increases rather than reduces. Have you experienced that?
Phil: This is where the art of coaching comes into play again. You have to make your athlete, or your fighter, feel comfortable at all times. For me, not telling them what's going on, fighters are funny man. If they don't know anything, if they leave it up to us, everything's cool. Once they try to do more than what they're supposed to do, and they try to worry about their weight, it just goes to hell. What I try to make sure I do is I make sure they're comfortable, they're not doing strenuous activity like padwork, or drilling. A lot of the stuff we do when we’re trying to cut, or diet down to a particular weight, we’ll do low level cradio, some shadow boxing, then we’ll hit sauna sessions or the bath, depending on what they like best. I prefer the sauna because I like the sauna, I like the fact you get a growth hormone release due to the hypothermic conditioning effect. A lot of guys like sitting in the bath, it's easier, not a lot of stress involved. Some people feel very drained from the bath so we go the sauna. You can do both at the same time.
What was the question again?
Mac: All good man, we were talking about creating a more catabolic environment, and increasing water retention.
Phil: Yeah, like I said, keeping them feeling good, and making sure they're not doing anything else to add anymore cortisol. They're already in a stressful state. Its fight week. Usually they're traveling, they are worried about the fight, they're worried about the weight. We want to make sure they are as comfortable as possible, getting in solid work so we can decrease the weight, but also make sure they're not stressing their body out entirely, sleep is a big factor of that. A lot of guys drop weight just sleeping.
Mac: That sounds crazy, but its physiologically possible.
Brenton: I think on average you lose 2-7 pounds overnight.
Phil: I would say that, I've seen upward of ten pounds. That's for guys who really drop a lot of water throughout the night, they're pissing constantly.
Brenton: I sleep with a dooner on I think I lose ten pounds. Im an oven.
Mac: That's great man, I’ll cut that short just so we don't ruin all the surprises and all the treasures in your ebook Weight Cut Systemagic Strategies, how can our listeners get their hands on your ebook?
Phil: Easy man, go to my website darustrong.com and go to the store section. You'll see it right there. Click it, it’ll go right to you. Send it to your smartphone. Make sure you save the file, once you get it, you can't go back. Save the file, I get a lot emails about that, it’s a huge process. So please just save the file.
Mac: Cos the download link expires. Save the download. So, moving right along, we’re gonna need to delve into the mind of Phil Daru after the highs and lows you've had with Joanna's second loss to Rose Namajunas at the latest UFC 223.
Where do you wanna start man, there's a lot of ground to cover with both those camps.
Phil: I guess what I can say is, I feel good about the fight, even though she lost, she performed great. She landed more shots, she landed more significant shots, it's shown in black and white. I was very proud of her, she had great conditioning, her footwork, speed, riming was a lot better. Her precision, covering the distant was a lot more efficient, a lot more optimal.
All that being said, Rose is a different animal, she fights with a style that's hard to manage. Styles make fights. You could see the difference, Joanna's a traditional kickboxing style, its linear movement patterns, its very timable. Where Rose was more off rhythm and slipping and using feints, just things like that that kinda didn't throw Joanna, but got her off her game just a bit. I could see a little bit of a lag in the ability to pull the trigger. There was a lot of things that could have been done. I'm not a skills coach, but I have fought for years, I've trained for years, and I've watched plenty of high level fighters fight. I'm around a lot of great coaches. What I can say is that, for me personally as a physical preparation coach, she was top notch that night. The only thing is, Rose was just a little bit better that night. Whatever, we’ll get a chance back at it again. I feel, and I know my other coaches around her, feel the same way. I feel like we need to go to 125 for a little bit, test the waters at that weight class. See where it goes from there. I think that Andrade can beat Rose, I think that Andrade has the formula to beat Rose, but we have the formula to beat Andrade. We do well at 125, Andarade beats Rose, we go back down, we fight Andrade for the title, we get that title back. Then we fight Rose with the title on our side.
Mac: I have a question, an observation from Joanna and Rose 2. I agree with you from all of the tape I've watched of Joanna, this most recent fight with Rose is the best version I've seen of her. Just in terms of physicality and movement quality, conditioning. You can see all the work you guys have been doing together reflected in that performance. Congratulations on that. My observation is, going into a title fight as the challenger, it's a very different fight, it's a different mindset to the person who is defending the title .. you following me? What I feel like I observed watching Joanna was, she fought a champion's fight, she was very defensive, she wasn't pulling the trigger on the high risk shots. She was generally cautious as if she were defending her belt, does that make sense?
Phil: It does make sense, and I can see where you’re coming from with that. I can say one thing, I believe that Roses ability to change rhythm and move efficiently, threw her off her game and negated that aspect of going and pulling the trigger. Also you gotta remember, even though Rose got that punch off the first fight they had. It's still there, it doesn't matter, you gotta be cautious, yeah I agree, she may have been too cautious. At the end of the day she did what she needed to do, or did what she could do against an opponent that that night was stylistically a better match.
Mac: Rose, hats off to her. Again, she did a great job, she did just enough to defend her belt. She did enough to win the rounds that all the judges agreed upon. There was a couple of strange calls on those score cards, but anyway, the consensus was she did enough to pull off the win. The significant strikes, the strikes thrown, strikes landed. The numbers don't lie. Joanna was busy the whole time.
Brenton: How much was it again, 142 to 100? Is that the numbers.
Phil: Something like that.
Mac: It's a tough one man, no doubt you guys have a whole bunch of lessons learned from that fight and you have a strategy to move back and get that belt back. We’re wishing you all the best for that.
Tell us about Dustin man, you guys been doing this for a long time right?
Phil: Yeah. Its funny man, when I used to fight I fought a lot of times in Louisiana, thats where Dustin's from, I fought a lot of guys that he’s trained with. I fought on a card that he was on the undercard of, and I was the main event. It was my first pro fight. Didn't know this at the time but he was on the come up, he was about to make his way to the WEC. my first pro fight, Dustin was on the undercard of that. I wanna say he was the comain event, this was right before he got a shot at the WEC title. I been fighting in Louisiana a lot, I fought three or four times there, thats where Dustin is ultimately from. It’s cool when I got to Top Team as a coach, we kinda just clicked as far as styles and him understanding nutrition and performance. He was always asking questions. I like that type of athlete, I like that type of fighter. He's a true fighter. Somebody that really didn't have all the athletic attributes, but is a fighter at heart. Once we got to develop that athleticism, now he's hitting his stride, he's almost at the peak of his career right now. We’re putting everything together now. His skill, his tenacity, his fighter heart and will. Then the athleticism along with that. Along with learning his body a lot more now. He understands properisation, he understands timing and precision and learning how to move in multi directional phases. From there you get some strength on him, now he's a fucking monster. I'm excited to see what we’ve got for the next year. I truly believe, if we get a shot, we’ll take that title.
Mac: Knocking Justin Gaethje out, that hasn't happened too many times.
Brenton: It seemed like Dustin hadn't stopped punching for the entire fight until the guy was down. Credit to Gaethje, he took a lot of hits to the head.
Mac: It's an exciting fight style, wading forward and taking punches until the other guy goes down. It's like a throwback to Wanderlei Silva, whos my favorite fighter of all time. Not the smartest strategy. Especially when you have a crafty guy like Dustin on the other end.
Phil: Yeah, the thing people don't know is that Dustin has an amazing gas tank, he can go. Same thing with Joanna, the good thing about both of them, when we did VO2 testing, they have a very excellent ability to recover in a short amount of time. I've seen Joanna's heart rate get to 172 sustained, within a minute she can drop it to 120 BPM. I've never see that in this entire time I've been a strength and conditioning coach. Dustin is similar, he can drop 20, 30 BPm at rest. As soon as that bell rings and their sitting on a stool, I know once the bell rings again they're ready to go 100%. It's an awesome feeling to know you have a lot in the gas tank, especially for these individuals that are fighting five five minute rounds.
Mac: I have a question on that. From my experience 60 second heart rate recovery of 40 BPM and over is considered elite, so for Joanna to be dropping 50 plus BPM in 60 seconds is fucking astronomical. that's exceptional. How would you suggest to replicate 60 second heart rate recover, being thats the amount of time in between rounds in the cage. Is there anyway you can replicate the kinds of stressors and the environment and the adrenals that are happening during a fight so you can condition the fighter outside of the cage, to be able to drop that kind of BPM in 60 seconds?
Phil: There's a couple of ways to do it, nothing's going to match getting into a high level UFC or Bellator fight. Your adrenaline, your nervousness, the crowd, the TVs the announcer, all of that stuff comes into play from a psychological perspective. What I can do from a physical preparation standpoint is, nothing's gonna be the sport specific demands, simulations inside if your skills work as far as sparring, as far as sparring grappling. Most of all is full go MMA sparring. That helps a lot but your sparring partners are different form a true fight. Sparring is different from an elite MMA fight. But, we can make sure they push it enough that they get right to lactic threshold. Then have them think cognitively for a sustained amount of time, then have to recover in that 60 seconds and see how much we can bring down the heart rate. What I like to do, the guys Nick, you ever see the guy with the lights that Dustin's been doing a lot? The FIT lights?
Mac: Like a whack a mole but with lights?
Phil: Yeah. Nick is a guy I went to school with, he is a masters in sport psychology. I brought him into work on cognitive aspect of physical preparation, just to make sure we;re covering all aspects. What I’ll do, say with Dustin, we’ll physically tax him of all energy demands. We’re talking muscular endurance, to aerobic endurance, lactic threshold. As soon as we get his heart rate to 170 175, his threshold is very high, I want to make sure he's able to think cognitively under that duress, and be functional and technically sound in that duress. I think that's something that really hit home for us. We've seen a tremendous result with that.
Mac: This FIT lights thing, what's it called again?
Phil: Thats what its called man. His company is Mind Body One. what we try to accomplish here is, we’re not trying to do total sports specifics, we’re not throwing punches at lights, like what a lot of these people are doing nowadays. Which, it looks cool for Instagram, but at the end of the day, you don't want to hinder the biomechanics of a certain individual. If you're placing lights at certain places, their biomechanics are all thrown off. What we do is we try to make sure they're proprioception, their timing, their hand eye coordination is all on point under a stressful state. Thats what weve been doing for the past few camps with Dustin and King Mo. you can see it within the fight with Gaethje, his eyes and his vision were skewed due to the eye pokes. His leg was beaten up from the leg kicks. Its funny because what we do with him, I’ll have him d a heavy prowler push, until the acidosis builds up in his legs and the blood flow is cutting off the circulation until he almost can't stand up. Then we put these flash glasses on him where it flashes black light while he's looking to be cognitively sound with the lights in front of him. You're working on precision and timing and hand eye coordination with all these discrepancies going on inside his body in the outer extremities. It worked , we carried over very well. We have stats that can prove that.
Brenton: Sounds interesting. It reminds me of an advanced version of what .. I don't know if you've seen that documentary of Fedor and he’s training in his backyard, getting used to spinning in circles and trying to balance himself so he’s simulating being concussed.
Phil: Yeah, this is similar without having to rattle your brain.
Brenton: Having a mirriad of careers within the fight realm, I'm sure you've got some defining lessons or experiences throughout that career that you can share with our audience.
Phil: First lesson I learned when I was a young kid, stop trying to prove a point with your training, and try and run these guys into the ground, make them try to throw up. It's not optimal for what they're trying to accomplish, even though they may appreciate it at the time, it’s not gonna help. Getting things in order with properly programming and understanding fatigue management, understanding proper deloads and getting them able to train efficiently, we never wanna train minimuly, we never wanna train maximumly, we always wanna train optimally. I think once I understood that, that's when my abilities to coach went to the next level.
Mac: That's great. You see that all the time, I don't wanna call out any methodologies, but you see so many coaches trying to smash and grind the athletes into the ground. There's that saying, it’s easy to make an athlete tired, but it's difficult to make an athlete better at their sport.
Phil: Yeah. listen, anybody can make anybody tired. I tell you to do a shit ton of burpees and rowing with the prowler, and shadow box your arse off. Is that really conducive of what we’re trying to accomplish? No.
Another thing, understanding the athlete and getting to know them personally. This is something I've been good at for my whole career. Being personable, being a mentor, a teacher. A coach is not just a guy that puts together exercises. A coach is there for you when the time's are rough, the times are great. In and out of the gym. Whenever you need them, you're there for them. Anybody else, you're just an exercise guy or a personal trainer.
Mac: You get the full package going on there man. Why don't we move on and start answering some of the questions from our audience.
About a month ago I put the word out, that if any of our audience have any questions for Phil, post them, comment. We will field those questions in this interview.
Our first question is from the esteemed Doughy Boxall. He asks, “Phil, is there anything you do in terms of exercise programming, periodisation, or anything related that seems ridiculous to most people, but you stick with it regardless?”
Phil: I don't think I get any negative feedback with what I do. I think some people don't understand certain exercises I may do, like people don't understand the Zercher Squat, or don't agree with some of my glute bridge variations. You gotta understand the process, you gotta understand the individual I'm training and where they are ii their camp. If you look at it from a biomechanics perspective, the Zercher Squat is probably the best exercise that will transfer over into the sport from a skills perspective. You're utilizing under hooks to drive the bar up with your hips, your glutes, your hamstrings and your upper back. From a takedown, to a takedown defence, this correlates into a fight sequence. Even with grapplers, you dig for underhooks, you drive your hips up, you make sure you're getting lower than your opponent, keeping your back flat. That correlates into what you do inside that cage, or on the matts. As far as my glute bridge variations, I feel that having the ability to lock down a joint and move another joint is vital when it comes to scrambles on the ground, when it comes to jiu jitsu moves, when it comes to locking down your opponents joint on one side and having to move and create space, or to pass guard. If you don't have these abilities and you're not strong and stable in these abilities, then you're not going to be optimal in your performance. Those are the only things I see maybe I get questions on. Not to a point where people are asking, “What the fuck are you doing bro?” It’s more like people asking me to explain it. Nothing crazy.
Mac: I think you touched on that beautifully. Leading into our next question, which is from Ben Brellis, who is one of our inhouse coaches here at Fitline and the Unknown. Ben asks, “What are the specific strength markers that would have to be met for you to be able to implement the Zercher Squat into a program?”
Phil: The fighter itself has to establish abilities to be stable under heavy load. If they have weak glutes or hips, if their knees have problems from getting banged up over the years, weak upper or lower back, any posterior chain instabilities or weakness. It's gonna skew my ability to program the Zercher Squat for that individual. I do make sure we have a regressive standpoint put in place. So what they'd do is a goblet squat and a dumbbell. Once they can do that with 50% of their body weight, at least around ten to 20 reps, that's my guideline and my parameter there. Then we can put them on a bar.
The good thing about the Zercher squat is it sets the bar in a position to not fuck up the squat. There's a counter balance through the weight, so there's no axial loading, there's no chances of you having to good morning the bar up, unless you have no core strength. Even then it's easy to dump the bar if you get stuck, if it was a back squat you’re kind of fucked if you don't have good spotters or a rack. I just wrote an article on this, for fightcampconditioning.com, what I said in this is that it’s the safest barbell lift we can do, aside from a trap bar deadlift, that will induce the right amount of performance, and stimulus response that we’re trying to acquire with a barbell lift. That and usually a rack pull, or something along them lines. What I primarily run into, and what I see a lot of, these guys they have limited range of motion in their hip flexors, due to a lot of inguard practice. Being stuck in that crunched state. Playing in guard or throwing kicks, or doing wrong strength and conditioning movements over the years. Poor rotation on the shoulder joint. That will cause them to have a limited range of motion in a back squat. Imagine a guy who can't get fully rounded in the shoulders, and trying to put a barbell on their back, it's gonna be sitting on their neck, they're gonna be rounded forward, they'll have a kyphotic posture, then what will happen is, you're looking at a weird good morning toe raise type deal. It's gonna hurt them, it won't look good, I won't let my guys have the opportunity to hurt themselves. From that perspective also, we’re getting them comfortable having weight distributed on their arms, which will help the upper back strength which helps with takedowns, takedown defence, things like that.
Mac: Now, the only argument that I've come across, against using the Zercher squat is that the pressure from the bar on the crux of the elbows, can cause damage to the connective tissue, can cause adhesions within the muscle, and cause damage to the fascia through what's a fairly sensitive area through there. How would you respond to that, that's the only negative I've ever heard.
Phil: Like I said, we’ll put cushions and towels down. It's not like totally crushing them. At the same time, these guys aren't lifting a massive amount of weight. They're not powerlifters. At most the heaviest Zercher we've ever done was in the 300 lb range. It's only done in singles, doubles and triples.
I do understand that, and I can see that happening. But they're not doing it frequently enough to cause that problem. If they were doing it every other [crosstalk 01:53:20] --it never is, because what's going to be the defining factor there is gonna be them, it just ficking too painful for their arms. Then again, my maximum lifts, aren't really truly maximal. A lot of these guys don't understand how to strain, and something is going to falter, now you're at a risk of injury there. Usually, at the most, we’ll do doubles and triples at 85-90% one rep max. Nothing more than that.
Brenton: So with Zercher squats, are they more or less applicable to people with bad backs, in the lifting community people refer to them as glass back.
Phil: First of all, if you have a back problem, we have to develop a stronger posterior chain in general. I would aim towards that, a lot of my guys have back issues just from years of training and fighting. But I've never had a fighter complain about a Zercher squat at all. The most they'll complain about is conventional deadlifts, where the load is distributed in the front, but also where they're in a hip hinge direction, where they have to extend through the hips. That's just coming from the floor up. As long as they can develop that proper intra abdominal pressure, where they're getting good stability in their lumbar spine. That's also something we harp on a lot, is corrective exercises for the lumbar, for the thoracic, making sure they can disassociate different sections of the spine, making sure they can breathe and brace properly. That's gonna help them entirely, from all lifts, and from their skills performance too. If they have a back problem, I wean them off heavy barbell lifts. Maybe go into a trap bar deadlift, where the weights distributed evenly throughout the midline of the body. Then we can work once we get the back functioning well with dynamic neuromuscular stabilisation techniques. Things like bird digs and planks, things like that. Where you get their core string, that's when we can start loading, if they have the ability form a mobilisation standpoint, or a Zercher squat where they can handle the load distributed in that area.
Mac: With the lower back issues, do you find a Zercher squat, much like a safety bar squat, the centre line of the weight is lower than a back squat. Because the weights distributed lower, it distributes the force and the stress lower in the body as well. You're overloading the hips, the hamstrings, the quads, rather than in a back squat, where you would be overloading the lower back if not done in a real hip hinge pattern?
Phil: Yeah, that goes back to where it's easier for them.
Mac: It's easier, it's a mechanical advantage.
Phil: In my perspective, I train fighters in groups, a lot the times my guys are training six to eight fighters at a time, they're all at different weight classes, they all have their subjective measures that they need to accomplish. I put them in the least of a dangerous situation. I want to get them on the most mechanical advantage exercise as possible. If I turn my back for one second they're not gonna fuck themselves up. I make sure that everybody understands how to properly lift, how to root themselves into the ground and get the intra abdominal pressure. Once they can do that, the lift tales care of itself. We’re never gonna maximally load, we’ll never do one rep maxes. Unless I have a gu that's experienced in the weight room and an outstanding athlete. That's primarily gonna be a front squat, back squat or deadlifts. Something along the lines of that. A Zercher, from my perspective, is the safest route of a squat to initiate a stimulus response.
Mac: That's fantastic. We covered a lot of ground there with Ben's first question. We should keep going through these questions. Ben's second question is, “On your instagram, I've seen you using the agility ladder for multi directional movement and change of direction drills. Where do drills like this fit into the training week and the training cycle?”
Phil: I wanna go ahead and say this before I get any scrutiny from this. I don't use the agility ladder for agility. It's not agility in my mind. A lot of that is basically warming up their lower extremities and getting the blood pumping. It's keeping it interesting for the guys and the girls, it's fun for them, they compete with each other. Where it fits into my program, I usually do more of that at the end of a training camp to where it's very easily done, we’re working on speed and agility, but it's primarily on a warm up basis. It's not something we do to induce agility. Especially sports specific agility. I do some stuff where they're in their fights stance, and they'll be going in and out of the boxes. Working on footwork, that's functional for the fight itself. It's still too structured for a specific skill adaptation. I would say it gets them moving, gets the heart rate up, stimulates the lower legs, helps regulate muscle fibres inside the tibia, you feel it in the VMO and some of the glutes, depending on what movement pattern I have them doing. A lot of the time I’ll have them doing it barefoot, so they can get the feel of their feet getting stronger. A lot of my guys and girls don't have optimal foot strength. They don't have the ability to dissociate each individual falange, or each toe. That's due to not knowing. It's more of a neurological inhibition than not having the strength. Once we get that going, we do that a lot introducing it with the foot ladder, that's primarily what I do. More at the end of camp, around three to two weeks out. That's when I’ll introduce it.
Brenton: Do you ever encounter athletes, I’m thinking of myself here, my toes don't flex back, but I can roll over them like a ballerina.
Phil: You can't bring your big toe to your shin?
Brenton: Exactly. I've been doing jiu jitsu for twelve years, so I know the importance of having hooks, so it's something I work around. You're a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, so I understand, you would have come across something like butterfly guard where it's important to hook onto the back of someones knee to limit movement and mobility. Do you ever encounter athletes who have that limitation, maybe it's not your realm. What can you do for people who can't roll their big toe back towards the shin, is it something I can train?
Phil: This is like a perfect segment to talk about FRC, what we do with functional range conditioning, we do a thing called PAILS and RAILS, which is progressive and regressive angular isometric loading. That will put that big toe in the flexion state, you'll do a slight progression form 10% to 100% of isometric contraction, so pushing your big toe into the floor. In 10 - 20 second repetition phase, we regress and you try to fall back and drive your toes up with active range of motion. You're utilising your own strength to pull your toes up to your shin. It gives you more free range of motion and active mobility in that movement pattern.
I can show you more than I can tell you, but I’ll send you guys some videos to get better with your hooks. I understand, and I see it a lot, even with my jiu jitsu practitioners. I work with a lot of blackbelts that have very limited hips, knees and ankles and toes.
Brenton: It impacts my squat.
Phil: It's going to. In turn if you keep on squatting it will impact your knees and hips. Make sure you get that fixed. It all comes down to your foot and your toes. Especially walking, your gaits probably all fucked up.
Brenton: When I did my own research, it's called hammer toes. It's a condition, I was wondering, is it something structurally, or is it something I've trained my foot into the position.
Phil: It's a little bit of both. It's the same thing as rolled shoulders. Just from years of being in a bad posture. A lot of people have that kyphotic look. You have to be able to pull back and work on the opposite end range of that joint in a sense. If you can start to work on extending the toes, instead of curling the mother fuckers, you'll be good. Isometric holds. You ever do PNF stretching?
Mac: Love PNF.
Phil: PNF is good, but it doesn't have enough intensity to cause a stimulus adaptation for the long run. It may work for 15 minutes, but you'll go back to being stiff. Like everything you have to train your mobility, your active range of motion, you train everything. It's not a party trick. It sounds like you have a neurological inhibition to disassociate your toes form the opposite range of motion. Also you develop that structural problem, doe to the fact you were curling the shit out of your toes as a youngster, now your stuck in that position.
Mac: Mr Dale Hansford, another phenomenal coach asks, “As martial arts is a sport without a performance starter, sprinting you have time, weightlifting you have the load. How do you know that what you're doing in the weight room is correlating with your performance on the matt?”
Phil: This is why we develop that Fight Science Institute, we’re trying to come up with statistical data to show progressions in a fight itself. From our physical preparations we do. I think a lot of it is also getting set parameters before camp and also at the end of camp. Like, explosive power movement. A jump max, or something like that. A dead jump or vertical jump. Finding those for maximum power output and maximal explosive med ball throw, for distance. Then as far as from a lactate threshold standpoint, doing a windgate, or just a standard lactic threshold, or lactic testing with that we can see how far we accomplished with those parameters. Then a VO2 test, I know a lot of people say it doesn't simulate into a fight, we’re just trying to get general testing parameters. From a sports specific perspective, watching them spar inside their skills training, and getting analysis and feedback from the fighter, and from coaches and their training partners, helps us a lot. From a strength perspective. I can test them, I do a pretest around eight weeks out, then we do a mid test six weeks out, then we do an end test at two weeks out, where we test a compound lift, like a Zercher squat, or trap bar deadlift. Depends on what we decide to do that day. It's all AMRAPS, we don't do max separate reps to test maximal strength. It's not entirely accurate from an absolute strength perspective. But it’s statistical data we can show the fighter.
Mac: In the actual fight, on the matt, what are the exact tells, or the exact ways that you can see that the strength you've built is improving the performance. It goes a lot deeper than a W or L as a result.
Brenton: Your opponent isn't a constant level of force being applied against you.
Mac: It's very difficult thing to gauge. There are metrics we can control and evaluate in camp, which can give an idea. Would you agree with that?
Phil: Yeah. especially when it comes to watching them spar, and drilling. In live situations. Thats where you need to understand a sport. You have to be there during their skills practice, a lot of coaches can't do that as they go outside to get their strength and conditioning. I understand that as well. I'm in house, I can watch these guys spar. You can always get video and film work. Or take your time to go see them spar. You're trying to look at movement quality, speed, agility, in and out control. The ability to drive through a take down with strong leg drive and strong upper and lower back. Once we can see that, that will correlate better. It helps the fighter, they see it's working from a place where they get paid. That's inside the cage.
Mac: Marcus Baker, another strength coach from Sunshine Coast asks, “Do you use Olympic lifts, if yes or no, why?”
Phil: I don't use Olympic lifts due to the technical aspect of that lift. These guys are fighters, most the time they don't wanna be in the weight room. For me to go through a technical lift, clean and jerk or a snatch, it's going to take time away from their skills practice. It will also get them mentally exhausted. I'm trying to get the biggest bang for our buck type of exercises, where they're not highly technical, but give us a stimulus response. I do also incorporate dumbbells, like a dumbell snatch, dumbbell clean and press, to where it's not as highly technical, it's easier for them to grasp the fact of doing the movement. If they get in trouble they can just throw the dumbbell. You can bail out, know what I'm saying. I'M not efficient in Olympic weightlifting. If I don't do it, I'm not gonna coach it. I don't feel it's necessary, you can get more from an explosive power standpoint, you'll get more from a med ball throw and a box jump, than you do a clean and jerk. I know my Olympic weightlifting coaches are gonna be pissed about it. I'm just doing what's best for my athletes and fighters. A lot of them don't have the mobility, the stability. We’re trying to attain that, I'm not gonna throw something at them they're not ready for. That's an Olympic sport. People train for that. Why would I take them away from what they're trying to do to get paid, and have them fully focus on that type of lift, where the margin of error is very small. I want to make sure we’re getting the best bang for our buck. I'm not opposed of it, if you know how to coach it, then go ahead. For me, I don't feel it works good for my situation.
Mac: I agree 100%. Olympic lifting is such a resource heavy thing to coach and learn. Those resources in my opinion, are better spent elsewhere to further the development. We are in agreement there.
Phil: That's why I like you.
Brenton: Emre the founder of Gripedo, says he's a big fan, he asks, “In the past, you've said your athletes do contrast therapy with ice baths and saunas for three rounds. How long should each round be? Do you use Keiser functional training for your fighters? Is there one you prefer for your athletes?” That's a lot of questions.
Phil: Usually it depends on where they at in camp, a lot of time it's closer to the fight. At that point we’re trying to make sure they're recovering as fast as possible. We want as much stimulus as we can, they're doing a lot of skills work and tactical training. So I don't want them sore or tired. What I’ll do there is a three minute in the sauna, and two minutes in the ice bath. We do that for three rounds. That gives them a good base to not get too comfortable in either of the situations. They'll get the inflammation decrease from the ice bath, then they'll get the muscle from de stressing, and relaxing in the sauna. That contrast works a lot for us. Further away from the fight itself, around eight weeks out to around six weeks out, I have tem just go straight into the sauna for 20 minutes. There's a couple of reasons, for the most part my guys love to fucking train. They'll train from sunup to sundown, my girls too. What I always see them doing though is, they'll have sparring the same day. They'll come do strength and conditioning, instead of going back to their apartments, they'll go hit the bag or go run for five miles. Totally decreases our stimulus adaptation die to the cortisol release. Especially if your running long distance. You're gonna throw the organism into a different direction. I tell them, just to keep them busy, and not to have them do bag work, go hit the sauna. Sit in the sauna and relax your body. Get ready to shut it down for the night. We have our training sessions late afternoon, they should be shutting down and getting fuel in. if you look up Ronda Patricks work. I'm a big follower of her stuff. Hyperthermic conditioning is something I use for growth hormone release and maximal testosterone regeneration. Making sure the hypertrophy is maintained. It helps with the recovery process. A lot of people do it wrong.If you're looking at means of fatigue management, hopping in an ice bath after you do a strength training session, you're limiting your abilities to cause a stimulus adaptation. We want to keep inflammation as much as possible so we have the stimulus adaptation. If you're trying to decrease inflammation, then we’re not giving yourself the best ability to progress. I make sure these guys don't hop in ice baths.
Mac: The inflammation is a vital part of the recovery process.
Phil: Exactly, we’re trying to cause adaptations. It really doesn't matter at that point for recovery. I'd rather you get proper nutrition and sleep. Let that inflammation to settle so we can cause that strength to stay active. Once you get closer to the fight, our time is limited, you shouldn't be looking for more adaptations that are so significant that they carry into the fight. You're at a point now where you're trying to manage fatigue and get recovered as fast as possible. There's a hierarchy there, when at the end of the camp, that's when preparation becomes more on the low end of the spectrum, and where skills and tactical training are at the highest peak. That's can come from a proper recovery process.
Mac: Fantastic. Phil we have kept you here for two hours and twenty five minutes, how do you like that?
Phil: That's crazy, the longest time on a podcast.
Mac: It's the kind of thing we could keep rapping all day with this stuff. We try to limit things to two hours. It's very hard to do when we have a guy like yourself, whos very passionate, we could talk all day.
Thank you for your time. Before we wrap this up, please tell us what else you have in store for 2018, and what's the best way for our listeners to follow you and get in touch?
Phil: We got alot going on for the rest of the year. You could check out the ebook, Weight Cut Systematic Strategies, co wrote by me and Tony Ricci, you can find that in darustrong.com you can check out my instagram or twitter @darustrong, as far as seminars go, I have a seminar in Burbank, California at the end of this month me PJ Nestler and Dan Garner are collaborating, it's called Engineering Combat Athletes, after that I'm doing my own seminar on May 19th at my private facility in Florida. Also I got a couple of fights coming up, King Mo is fighting for Bellator, for the heavyweight tournament. In Poland, I’ll be there June 16th. After that I'm going to Russia, in October I'm going to Singapore, August I'm in Vancouver Canada, then September we’re at the UFC Performance Institute talking about Fight Science Institute there. Going over all the protocols for the certification at the NSCA conference. I'm looking to compete sometime at the end of this year. A lot going on. Some things will come into play. Also, as far as my program releasing, next week we come out with my 24 week Fight Strong Program, that's beneficial for people that wanna train like a fighter, that want to build a foundation of strength. That's gonna be on fightcampconditioning.com I have a whole bunch of videos and articles about that.
I'm also teaming up with Overtime Athletes, Chris Bernard, he's a guy I connected with in Florida, but he's big in the strength and conditioning world for football. We collaborated on an MMA strength and conditioning program that's coming out in the next couple of months. Also, you can always find me on my instagram. DM me, email me phil@darustrong.com, and I hope I said enough. I'm tired as fuck.
Mac: Dude, my head is spinning. Jesus christ.
Phil: Listen, if you guys would like for me to come to Australia, I would be open to coming out.
Mac: I'm on it.
Phil: My man.
Mac: You leave that with me, I’ll put some plans together. Let's wrap this up. Thank you Phil for joining us today, what a pleasure, you legend. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with our audience. I've had a blast, what about you Brenton?
Brenton: Amazing.
Phil: It was fun man.

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