#17 Chris Algieri – The Unknown Strength Podcast

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On episode #17 of The Unknown Strength Podcast, Brenton and Mac have the honour of chatting with one of the most decorated professional Fighters on the planet, Chris Algieri, who also happens to be an expert in nutrition and supplementation for fighters.

Clocking in at just over 2 hours, in this interview the boys discuss some of Chris' achievements and experiences throughout his fighting career, including the infamous Manny Pacquiao fight and the Amir Khan fight, as well as Chris' thoughts on a whole range of nutrition and supplementation specific topics as they relate to combat sports athletes.

Another hot topic of discussion is Chris' role as Director of Nutrition at the Fight Science Institute, which is poised to make a massive impact in the combat sports community.

Some of Chris' achievements are:
* Professional Boxer: 21-3
* Professional Kickboxing Record: 20-0
* WBO Super Lightweight World Boxing Champion
* ISKA Welterweight World Kickboxing Champion
* WKA Super Welterweight World Kickboxing Champion
* WKA Super Welterweight Intercontinental Champion
* WKA Welterweight National Champion
* Bachelors in Science (B.S.) from Stony Brook University in Health Care Science
* Masters in Science (M.S.) from New York Institute of Technology in Clinical Nutrition
* Certified Sports Nutritionist from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN)

Special thanks to the sponsors of The Unknown Strength Podcast:
-> www.mmafightstore.com.au
-> www.jiu-go.com
-> www.gripedo.com
-> Melbourne Rock Band @killedbytechnology

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Brenton: Welcome again to the unknown strength podcast. This is episode 17 featuring Chris Algieri. I'm your host Brenton.
Mac: And I'm Mac.
Brenton: Today's episode with Chris. So Chris is a world champion boxer and kickboxer and expert nutritionist.
Mac: And it's also important to note that this guy, Chris Algieri is, well in my opinion, he's the most highly decorated fighter of any era to be so highly decorated in the fields of nutrition and supplementation for fight athletes. So we're, we're pretty fortunate to have him on the show, aren't we?
Brenton: Yeah, exactly. Precisely the kind of vision we had for the podcast and talking to the guests. So really cerebral intellectual in, in their approach with their own training and nutrition and all the sort of the science of fighting and performance.
Mac: He's the perfect mix.
Brenton: Chris with a professional boxing record of 21 and three, um, you know, hold some titles there professional kickboxing record of 20 and 0. Um, and I think Mac knows a bit more about his titles and I do.
Mac: Sure. Yeah. Well, some of his most notable fights have been the WBO, super lightweight boxing championship. He won that over Ruslan Provodnikov, which was an incredible fight. And then that kind of paved the way for his, his proceeding fight against the great Manny Pacquiao, um, who I'm sure everyone's heard of. And then after that he fought Amir Khan and Erick Bone and Errol Spence Jr. And, uh, over his career he racked up a few titles, as Brenton mentioned, um, the WBO super lightweight world boxing championship, uh, the ISKA welterweight world kickboxing championship, the, a WKA super welterweight kickboxing championship, WKA super welterweight intercontinental kickboxing championship, and the WKA I well to white national championship. So is, um, there's a few belts on his mantel piece, I'm sure. In the education department, he owns a bachelor in healthcare science from stony brook university and a master's in clinical nutrition from the New York institute of technology. So he's got a, he's got plenty of miles in the study department under his belt as well.
Brenton: Awesome. So just before we proceed with this podcast, we just want to shout out to, uh, the sponsors that we appreciate. Um, first being MMA Fight Store. Uh, you can jump on their website www.mmafightstore.com.au, or if you live in Melbourne like myself, you can just go down the store on Elizabeth Street.
Mac: And they've also got stores in Malaga, western Australia, and a deer park and the new store ..
Brenton: Over at 29 a major's bay road. concord in Sydney,
Mac: In Sydney's inner west. That's right. Brand new store. Everyone. Sydney side. Get over and check them out. Uh, we also need to thank Killed By Technology for an intro song. Um, check them out on facebook, instagram, soundcloud. Awesome. Melbourne band.
Brenton: I got to see them live. Yeah. Last, when was that? Last friday?
Mac: That was doom scene. It was. Fuck the fitzroy doom scene. Yeah. So they were the previous. a theme song that we had on. Anyway, check them out. Awesome band killed by technology. We also need to thank our newest sponsor Gripedo. That's www.gripedo.com. Uh, the gripedo is a fantastic grip training device specifically for fighters and, and uh, and combat sport athletes. These things are really, really useful and versatile. So stay tuned for an upcoming episode where I'll give my full review of the product
Brenton: Any day now.
Mac: Any day now.
Brenton: AndJ T Tenacity has a say in the last few episodes. We have a, uh, a golden ticket promotion for his product jiu-go, which is, you can check it out at www.jiu-go.com. Check it out to jujitsu, a theme submission card game. Um, a lot of fun. Um, so he's got a giveaway where anyone who draws the number one or 500 will actually receive a cash prize. So those numbers still haven't been claimed yet. I don't believe.
Mac: I don't think so either. Yeah. So one or 500. Go for it. Moving along, we have some super exciting news. Um, the unknown strength and conditioning is proudly presenting the Daru Strong combat sports performance seminar Australian tour, so there's going to be Melbourne and Sydney dates. We're super excited to announce that it's official. it's booked. Tickets are selling, um, the dates first, first and foremost for the Sydney event on Saturday the 4th and Sunday, the 5th of August from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM both days, uh, it will be held at lift performance centre in Redfern. The investment is $850 early bird and 900 regular. Those prices are in Australian dollars on day one. The Saturday, the 4th Phil's gonna cover program designed for fighters performance periodisation for each individual circumstance, understanding bio energetic demands of the sport, uh, assessment protocol, special exercises out of coaching fighters, power development for fighters, functional range conditioning CARS. Uh, which is an acronym by the way. I'm sure Phil, expound on that. A dynamic warm up and form breakdown for Phils top three strength lifts for fighters, right? So that's a lot of stuff he's covering on day one. On day two, the Sunday the 5th, he's going to cover sports nutrition for combat sports. Uh, Perry training, supplementation, white cutting, seven day protocol, nutrient breakdown, the benefits of sodium refuel and re-hydration post weigh ins. And there's going to be a Q and A section as well. So as you can see, this kind of strength and the training on the Saturday and then on the Sundays going to be more nutrition and weight cutting. So those tickets again at 850 bucks early bird and $900 Australian dollars regular for the entire two days.
Brenton: Looking good.
Mac: Oh yeah, it's going to be good. But, um, personally I think the Melbourne event's going to be more a more unique. So we've got something really special lined up for the Melbourne dates. Um, first of all, the dates are Saturday, the 28th and Sunday the 29th of July. The, the investment is 650 bucks regular. There's no early bird. Right? So the reason for this is that, uh, on day one, which is a Saturday, the 28th Phils going to present one of the two days I just mentioned from the Sydney event, um, either strength and training related or nutrition weight cutting related on the Saturday or perhaps he may give us a permutation of both. We don't know. Um, I'm sure he'll surprise us all, but on the second day, the Sunday, everyone will be invited to watch the live UFC event, UFC on Fox 30, with Phil here in Melbourne. We're going to watch the live event with him. He was adamant that on that Sunday he was going to watch the event live because his main man, Dustin Poirier is in the main event versus Eddie Alvarez. So phil's going to be cheering on one of these top fighters and we're going to be right there with him sharing the moment. So that's exciting. Um, and also Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez who fought once before and it was an absolute fucking barn burner, so I'm pretty excited personally just to get some insight as to how Dustin's camp was and all the insights stories in that department. And also on the card is another to have a long time athletes and friends, uh, Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Tecia Torres, um, who were actually fighting each other. So Phil's worked real closely with both these girls. He actually grew up with Tecia Torres, so he's going to be quite invested in the whole thing, I'm sure. So that'll be awesome to share that with him. And just as a footnote to all of that ..
Brenton: It's just a, just such a deep web.
Mac: It's an action packed weekend, but in addition to that, Jose Aldo is fighting Jeremy Stephens on the same card, so not only do we get stuff that's special to Phil, we get some, some amazing fights as well. Right. So I'm excited for that. Um, what else would we need to get through before we get into the interview Brenton?
Brenton: That's pretty much it. Enjoy.
Mac: Enjoy the interview. We'll see you on the other side. Okay. Thank you so much for joining us, Mr Chris Algieri. What's going on man?
Chris: Hey, thanks guys. Real a pleasure to be on here. I'm just a down here in south Florida, my home away from home, which is normally in New York and uh, get a little sun doing some work you know.
Mac: Beautiful man. Beautiful. So for the listeners who haven't already cottoned on Mr Chris Algieri is not only a pro kickboxer and a pro boxer, he's also a member of the fraternity over the fight science institute, which is very fitting because we've had two of the other members of the fraternity on our show, so we're slowly but surely trying to complete the four horsemen of the flight science institute. So that's, uh, that's the main, whether it's one of the main reasons you're on the show today, but other than that, the fact that you're pretty much a perfect fit for this show because you're such a high level fighter. Um, and such a highly educated sports nutritionist. I mentioned in the shows intro that you're actually, in my opinion, one of the most highly decorated fighters of any era to be so highly decorated in the fields of nutrition and supplementation for fighters. How does that make you feel, Chris?
Chris: That's pretty cool to hear coming from you guys. I think I, I think I've thought that before, but I've never heard anybody else say it's a sound pretty cool.
Mac: They go, man, you've, you've heard it first, right here, that's a, that's the truth. And we are really excited to have you on my brother.
Chris: Excited to be here.
Mac: So basically what we want to do is get to know a bit about you and some of your achievements in some of your experiences and the stuff you're working on, including the fight science institute and later on we'll move into some specific questions about nutrition and supplementation if you're up for it.
Chris: Sounds great.
Brenton: Excellent. So Chris, just tell us a little bit about yourself as far as, you know, where did you grow up, what was your background like?
Chris: I'm born and raised on Long Island in New York. I have a very close knit tight family. My father was Italian, my mother was actually born in Argentina. So I have a very familiar culture. You know, both sides of my family have two strong cultures where, you know, family is really important. So we stay very, very close. We still are. I'm very much involved in each other's lives. My brother has four nephews. I feel like I have four kids, you know, with him. So, you know, so I deal with, you know, I talked to my parents and visit them as much as possible and, you know, we, we, we're big about spending family time having, having meals together, eating on Sundays like normal big Italian families would, and long island. But, you know, growing up in long island, it's, it's, it's a typical suburbs, you know, for anyone who's not familiar with the area, if you ever watch any american TV and you kind of see like the wonder years suburbia, that's kinda what long island looks like.
Brenton: I could get the song stuck in my head.
Chris: The town I'm actually grew up in, it's called Green Lawn, you know, it wasn't a very clever name because all the lawns are really are green.
Brenton: Excellent, so how did you get into boxing? But I also want to ask, what was it like growing up in such a family orientated environment and then going into boxing? Was this something that your family got you into or was it something you had some friction getting into?
Chris: You know, it's kinda, yes to all those. So growing up my grandfather was, like I said, my mother was born in Argentina. We have very tight family. My mother's parents lived with us, so I had my grandfather and my grandmother who were from Argentina living in the household with us. My grandfather was, I'm a huge boxing fan, you know, in Argentina, you've got, you've got boxing and you've got soccer, you know, football. So those are the two sports that I kind of grew up around. I played soccer when I was a kid, but whenever there was a boxing match on television, whether it's, you know, TV fights on free TV, like ESPN, Tuesday nights, Friday night fights, things like that, or even pay per views and HBO televised on the premium networks. My grandfather was always tuned in and I was usually sitting on his lap watching fights while he told me about these great fighters of yesteryear.
Brenton: Amazing.
Chris: And so that really got me interested in the sport. It's the first sport I've ever I can ever remember thinking back and thinking about or watching or even, you know, kind of emulating other people trying to be like those guys.
Brenton: Yeah. Right. So at what age did you start to decide that you were going to shape your life around boxing?
Chris: It was actually pretty late. You know, I started out in martial arts first. I played every sport under the sun. I always had trouble with team sports, you know, I didn't like being part of a team. I hated like playing really well but still losing because my team lost and I also didn't like when I played poorly, but my team pulled me through whatever reason. Even at a young age, I had a good understanding that, you know, if I worked hard and I did what I was supposed to do, I would get what I was looking for. So from a team aspect wasn't really, you know, where I saw myself. So that's how I got into martial arts. And then that was, I mean I just ran with that. I think I was about eight or nine years old when I first stepped a martial arts studio. My mother is a very smart, strong woman. She really did her due diligence in terms of picking what dojo we were going to go to. She met with a lot of the sensei and the, and the dojo owners and she hit it off with this, this one owner who ended up becoming my instructor and who I worked with for 20 years and was actually my first kickboxing coach as well.
Brenton: How did you know, you obviously went into boxing. You've got a number of titles on your belt around your waist.
Mac: Kickboxing is where the magic started to happen, right?
Chris: That's right. That's right. So I was doing martial arts for awhile, and my sensei always wanted me to compete, and I didn't really like doing the forms. I didn't really see, you know, what that was all about. I loved sparring, but I didn't really like the point sparring aspect. I like to, I like to fight, you know, I like the punch kids. I like to kick people. So that was where my mindset was. I didn't like did you score points and when. I wanted to do some damage even when I was a kid and we went, we went to a kickboxing fight, you know, we had a couple of kick boxers in our gym, you know, my, my sensei, Bob Morrow, his father was a pro boxer and a jockey in the horse races. So he had a background in boxing. So he had a lot of fighters in the gym, martial arts guys who were actually kickboxers, and they competed in full contact kickboxing. I went to my first fight when I was 11 years old when my dad and I was like, man, this is what I wanna do. I wanna fight. I wanna fight for real. I want to punch people and knock people out. I want to, I want to be in there. I don't want to score points.
Brenton: Absolutely. And so how did you manage a transition from kickboxing and boxing and you know, what inspired you to sort of pick a direction and sort of obviously stay with boxing for a lot longer?
Chris: Honestly, I had kind of always in that my, in my mind that I wanted to be a boxer of them, like kickboxing style is very much a puncher and a boxer. Even throughout my boxing career, people always made note that I was a good kicker, but I was really using my hands so much more and so much, so much more effectively. And that's really what separated me from all the other guys. You know, I use my jab, I was a body puncher, I knocked people out with punches. So, the boxing was always really in the back of my mind of what I wanted to do and even as a teenager and into my early kickboxing career, like I knew what my plan was. I wanted to, I've literally said this, I want to win two world kickboxing titles. One of which had to be the ISKA world championship because that was the gold standard through the ISKA world champ. Then you're the baddest man on the planet. That's the way the world champIons. So for me that had to be on the goal on the list. So I said I was going to do that and then I was going to go into boxing. I was going to be a world champion. I was gonna fight and big fights. I was going to make a million dollars and I was going to retire at 30 years old. And I actually did all that. It did all of that by 30. I really should have aimed higher.
Mac: That's great man. So, I mean, you're talking about how when you were kickboxing you, you had a style that naturally lent itself to boxing and you know, I've been back through a whole bunch of your fights and it really does seem like a seamless transition. I mean you really move like some of the greats in boxing. So I just wanted to talk about your boxing style now. I've heard you in an interview. Describe your one attribute of your style, ring generalship. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Chris: Yeah. It's an often overlooked aspect of boxing. You know, the idea of ring generalship is the idea of controlling the space and the ring and controlling where, what's happening, where the action is happening, whether it's on the inside or the outside, whether you're on the ropes or in the centre of the ring. Its all those things are really important. And boxing and fight sports in general, all about control, controlling one, controlling yourself. A lot of times you fight fighter learns how to control themselves, control their body during training. But really when it comes to competition, it's about controlling your opponent, you're controlling their offence. You're controlling their positioning, where they are there foot work, how they're defending, what they're dealing with. And that's what a ring general is, you know, ring general is, is the controlling of the confined space that the fighters are combating in. So it was always my idea that, um, you know, you're going to have, if you're going to Be a world champion, you're going to have to fight guys of all different styles and you're gonna have to figure out ways to win. So being able to control any style or any aspect or controlling the space inside that squared circle, is really the key to being victorious no matter who's in front of you.
Mac: Absolutely. No, that all sounds fantastic in theory. Now what happens, Chris, when you get another ring general?
Chris: Then you get something very interesting. You get the fastest chess match in the world. And that's the beauty of boxing. And that's what really what separates it from the other combat sports, you know, you only have two weapons, you know, it's your left hand, your right hand and then everything else, you know, there's a million other things to do as well in terms of footwork, movement, head movement, you know, all those different things. But really there's only two weapons so it allows the boxer to be such a master of those weapons and to use every part of their style to set up doing damage with those weapons because that's essentially what the sport is all about. So you really get some beautiful, beautiful stuff in there and when you really look past just the rock 'em sock, 'em fighting idea, you know, and look at the actual boxing and the art of it. And when you get two guys that that are high level, I mean boxing done right is a beautiful thing to watch.
Mac: Now with the styles. Can you give us an example? I mean, I've been back through a fair bit of your back catalogue, looking at your fights. I could probably pick out one or two other guys with that ring generalship style. I'm not just in your own flight career, but over the fights we've seen lately, you know, give us some examples of two guys that really control the space world that put on this beautiful fight that we're talking about.
Chris: So a guy can really take it and it's fresh on my mind because I just was at his fight this past Saturday in New York is Vasyl Lomachenko. Super, super, super hot right now. Everybody, everybody's, you know, really high on him. He just had a right throwing body shot, knockout of Jorge Linares who's a four time world champion. When you talk about controlling the space and the ring and controlling your opponent. That's the guy who's doing it better than anybody right now. Maybe not doing it better than anybody, but he's definitely doing it in a way that grabs a lot of attention because you've got, you've got a guy like Floyd Mayweather who actually did it better than anybody in terms of control, but it didn't, it wasn't as eye catching. Vasyl has got this, this style that makes you just, you can't even look away for a second because he's doing all these crazy moves that you're not used to seeing. It's like, wow, now he's behind the guy. Now no, now he's popping them with jabs and right hands and different shots and coming up with upper cuts and then making the guy miss it's, you know, it's fun to watch.
Brenton: And just phenomenal body movement and head movement. Um, you know, he's ducking and weaving and getting in and out flawlessly.
Mac: So with Lomachenko. You've got a good example of a guy who controls the space really, really well as we're describing, but he's also super elusive and he's always, always cutting angles and getting out of the way. Would you agree?
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, at the highest level, defence is really what makes a difference. The highest level, the best guys are always the guys who have the best defence. Um, champions are, are you don't get hit. You know, was that they had that saying, you know, defence wins championships. You know, it's true. It means the same thing in boxing, because listen, we're all fighting guys who are high level strikers, the best in the world. Literally the maths, like I said earlier, it's two weapons. These guys are masters of it. Their job is to land those weapons. When you're fighting that guy, that's what he does, he hits, you know, he's a hitter. Your job is to make sure he doesn't, but listen, you're going to get hit, everybody gets hit, and if you get hit a more than you, then you really should. It's going to show later on, at the higher level. You're just not gonna be able to compete, you cannot be taking big shots at the highest levels.
Mac: Yeah, absolutely. That's fascinating stuff. I want to want to move on and talk more about that in a little while. But why don't you tell us about some of your education in sports science and the nutrition and supplementation field. How'd you get on that path?
Chris: So, it was kind of always, that was really the, the path, you know, my family told me that you know, I was, I was always a good student and we were really stressed as young kids. My brother and I, that education came first and you know, sports are great and, and you know, you can do them or, you don't have to, it's up to you. But, you know, really your grades are what matters and that's really what's going to carry with you for the rest of your life. You know, winning the high school championship is cool, but, you know, having a higher level degrees is a lot cooler. So that was kind of the way that I was raised and, I was always told I was going to be a doctor. Everyone in my household was like, you know, you're going to be a doctor, you're going to be a doctor, you're going to be a doctor. I argued with them. I was like, I hate hospitals. I didn't want to do what I been wanting to do. I was told anyway, so I'll just like, not for me, not for me. It's not for me. I was actually a high school wrestler. I was a, a pretty decorated high school wrestler and in New York state, which is a damn decent state compared to a lot of the states in the US. So I got it. That was really where I got my competitiveness during my high school years because I wasn't kickboxing yet. And not, not competitively to say, but I knew I wanted to be work with athletes. I knew that I wanted to work with people and help people that were returning from injury and that they were going to not only just want to survive and be, and be quote unquote normal, but they wanted to be extra. They want to be better than than they were before. So I got into physical therapy that I thought that was gonna be my track and I was going to be able to help people and I will always had this desire to work with athletes. So undergraduate I was taking all the courses that you needed for healthcare so I can get into physical therapy and I did some internships and I hated it. I didn't like what I was doing. I tried athletic training and different other things. And again, I always got to the internship and I was like, this is just not for me. I was luckily, even as when I was young, I had the wherewithal to be like, you know, what, if I don't want like this now, I'm not going to like it later, so I might as well switch what I'm doing and, and find something else. And then my advisers talked me back into medical school and they're like, you know, your grades are good. And in the courses I keep people who go into medical school have you ever really thought about it? And I kind of was becoming less hesitant. I was like, all right, that's what I'm going to do that's going to be the move. So I finished up my undergraduate stuff, but at that time I'd started kickboxing professionally and I was really starting to take off. So once I graduated college I was like, I don't want to go medical school and give this fight career up. I'm, you know, I still have these goals set that I want to complete. So I need some more time. I had gotten really into nutrition during my college years because being a high school wrestler and cutting weight, uh, that sucked, like really bad in my high school. My four years of high school were awful because I was just constantly cutting weight, not drinking water, know, sucking on ice cubes, working out crazy amounts, not eating food like at all, even living on like a muffin every couple of days kind of thing. And it was miserable and you know, I, it, it's a plight that a lot of young high school wrestlers go through ..
Mac: Basically doing everything wrong.
Chris: Exactly. I always say if I knew then what I know now, I would have been a national champion because I couldn't believe I was going out on the mat and the depleted way that I was and still performing well. But that really got me into like kind of learning about nutrition throughout my undergraduate degree and while I was fighting and in my professional kickboxing career. so I said, you know what? I need some more time to do this, this, this kickboxing thing. I've been going to school full time anyway. So I decided to get my master's degree and why not do it and the thing I've been studying on my own anyway, nutrition. So I went to a different college and I was studying clinical nutrition, which is more like medical nutrition therapy, which is what you'd see like in a, in a hospital setting, um, which I knew that wasn't my route, but I knew I needed to learn everything, you know, in terms of, you know, the true nuts and bolts and the science of nutrition so I could apply it to where I really wanted to, which was athletics.
Brenton: So was there anything that was standing out to have obviously as you started to become more informed around nutrition and medical science? What, what were some of those, you know, dramatic insights where you said, ah man, I've been doing this really wrong. Like I've been eating this food, it's been doing this to me. Is anything that sort of surfaces to mind?
Chris: I remember, there was two books that I really remember. I'm like really sparking my mind and changing the way that I thought about things. One of them was a, it was super foods RX and it really brought to light the idea of micro-nutrition, micro-nutrients, antioxidants, colourful fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, different kinds of fats. And that really, that really kind of opened my eyes to it's more than just the macros. It's more than just, you know, making weight or losing weight or, you know, eating your chicken breasts and making sure you're getting enough grams of protein and you have enough carbs for working out. And that really brought in the whole health aspect of it. And so that, that was definitely, that was one book. And then ..
Brenton: Just on that Chris. So what is it about these micro-nutrients that is far more impactful than just simply hitting your macros?
Chris: Because the human body is, we're an incredibly complex machine and honestly, we don't really know how we work yet. We, we, we have a good idea and we're getting deeper and deeper. But I mean the layers of the onion that the human body is so, so, so complex and when it comes to things like genetics and then, and then nutrition and nutrogenomix, the idea of, of how foods are, which foods are best for each person, because everyone's different. We all have different genes. You don't, we all process nutrients differently. That's why you see so many varying ideas and different diets. What's the perfect human diet? This is the paleo. It's this, it's the keto. This is the best thing and it's all bullshit. It's because there is no human diet because we have humans that live on the north pole and we have humans that live in sub Sahara, Africa. And there's different nutrients and different foods and different macros end up. Humans survive. And our bodies are built for that. And it goes through generation and generation. So the way that those micro-nutrients play a role aren't well understood, but it's, it's, uh, it does, it is, it is a fact, you know, our bodies work in a synergistic way with the nutrients that we eat and just like we can't make baby formula just like, you know, like mother's milk, it's not the same, it's just not the same. Our bodies don't, don't processes in the same way because there's micro-nutrients in those that work synergistically with the other nutrients within whatever the formula or the food or the fruit or whatever in terms of how our bodies assimilate that and utilise it.
Brenton: Very interesting. And something that, I heard you say on the culinary fight or YouTube series, you know, your one of the co-hosts there, you know, the stock, you guys generally being more carb sensitive and you know, that can always obviously brought up when I eat bread they obviously feel really tired, lethargic, and that's something that really sort of resonates with me. I find there was obviously the more carbs I have the more sluggish I feel, and it's not just the fact of when I'm preparing for competitions and I fixed my diet, it's more the fact that I started eliminating carbs and it's more of that impact I think that actually just the calorie restriction.
Chris: Right? And that's individual to you. And everyone has their own individual differences. Again, I get asked a lot about dairy and is dairy bad for you? Like, no, dairy is not bad for you. It's not bad for you. It might be bad to some people, you might have minor inflammatory issues with it or you might have massive inflammatory issues. You might not, you might completely lack the enzyme lactase that, that, that breaks down the lactose and you shouldn't have any dairy, but there's varying levels too. You could just be low in that enzyme not they don't make any of it. Which means that may be less, less is more tolerable to you, but each one of us is so different. and like you, as you just alluded to and I was talking about, body types and how they, how they break down certain foods and certain kinds of foods and different macros. I mean, I've seen it time and time again. A lot of times I can look at my athletes and be like, you know, this guy's going to be a guy that I'm going to focus more on, on fats and protEin and less on the carbs and we're going to focus really specifically where those carbs go. It also depends on the athlete themselves in terms of how they train, what their sport is because I don't just work with fighters and, you know, in terms of how we're going to a quote unquote fixer or, or change or adapt their diet.
Brenton: Definitely. Definitely.
Mac: So tell us, who are some of these fighters that you're working with right now and you're working with, with these guys. When you say your athletes just in a, in a nutritional coaching way, or does that transcend into more of a skills coaching or, you know, a strength and conditioning sense as well?
Chris: It depends on the athlete and depends on the relationship that I have with them in terms of how involved I am with their camp in terms of his wishes, just nutrition. Am I actually preparing their meals, are we working from a conditioning side as well and we working like boxing kickboxing technique because I have guys I work with that as well. For example, one of my first fighters, uh, was Ryan LaFlare who I think he's probably got six or seven UFC fights now, long island guy and he was a stable mate of mine at belmore kickboxing academy on long island, known him, known him even into my kickboxing career as a guy used to spar with. And you know, everyone knew that I was, I was kinda like the nutrition gu in the gym way before I even got my degree. So Ryan used always pick my brain. Just ask me questions like, hey, well, you know, I'm doing this or what do you think I should do about this? Or I weigh this and I want to do this. And, you know, he was just, he was just a, a sharp guy, he was kind of aware of that. He always wanted to learn and I've worked with him in many capacities from doing his diet, helping him with his weight cuts, and his re-feed. So actually holding mitts for him and working, you know, boxing and kickboxing technique. He's a guy that he's probably my first client that I'm working with that I've been working the longest with. Another guy, Dennis Bermudez, another UFC vet who I've been working with for a number of years and is a good buddy of mine,Gian Villante, another guy, UFC guy that I've worked with in the past. I started out with a lot of mna guys because I, myself was boxing and didn't really want to work with too many boxers.
Mac: Why is that?
Chris: Honestly, I didn't want to give up my secrets. As silly as that sounds when I was a young competitive guy and I'm like, I don't know. I might fight this guy. I'm not going to fucking teach them what I did. So that was kind of like my, when I was younger, so I worked with a lot of UFC guys. But even currently to date, like Daniel Jacobs, former WBA middleweight champion is, is probably my, he, he's my most intensive client. When I'm with Daniel, I'm with him for two months and I'm with him everyday and I prepare every meal that he eats. um, I have his nutrition set out for those eight to 10 weeks leading up to fight night. You know, he literally, he leaves it all up to me when he has an apartment during, during training camp. I'm literally across the hall in my own apartment. All the food is kept in my side. He can't eat unless he comes to me, you know, I asked him, hey champ, what do you want for dinner? He's like, hey man, whatever you think I should have. You know, he really, really does trust, um, you know, the process and he's great like that.
Mac: Just a question on, on that, on that style of camp where your living with your fighter and you know, the economics of that must be, must be pretty stressful for people who aren't at the highest levels of the sport. Is that right?
Chris: Oh absolutely. I mean we all need it, but really a fighter's life especially coming up and on your way to a title, you're broke, you know, you're, you're, you're, you're not, you don't have money at your disposal to kinda just hire on a lot of teammates and you got a lot of people working for you that are kind of in it for the long haul looking, you know, to, to make some money later when you actually make some money. I'm having a nutritionist or having a named camp person. It's, it's, it's not economically feasible for most guys. You know, Danny, Danny's a superstar as a former world champion and you know, HBO, you know, darling and easy. He's a big deal. It's a little different. So, so all the guys you know, but there are other guys that I work with remotely and a Volkan Oezdemir who is a UFC just fought DC. Unfortunately he took a loss. I'm like, I'm on my third camp with, with him. Ad we've all got us a little bit different. I'm not with him during camp. We speak often and I check in whenever I can. He works with Corey Peacock, Dr Corey Peacock. So him and I communicate quite a bit about what's going on with Volkan and his training and when I am, I do visit his camp and I'll check them out. I'll see how his workouts are going, I see how his body looks and how we'll do. We'll do body fat measurements and body-weight and just see where he's at and we make adjustments as we go. And we've had great success doing that. You know, it's, it's not necessary for me to be there for every single athlete and it's really impossible. You know, I'm with Danny for two months at a clip. So I'm with a guy like that and obviously, you know, he takes precedent, but at the same time I can still work remotely with other athletes.
Mac: So who else are you working with?
Chris: Sullivan Barrera is another fighter that I work with. He's a top contender in the light heavyweight division. Another boxer. He is a Cuban born fighter from, from, uh, down here in Florida and he just had a tough loss against a Dmitry Bivol on HBO back in March. Great athlete comes from the Cuban school of boxing. Really, really, really awesome fighter in terms of, you know, he's a guy who's a great ring general, really understands the game, has had three or 400 amateur fights in the Cuban boxing program, fighting internationally. And now is making his run for titles. You know, he's, he's right there. He just lost his first fight or the second title fight. But he's, you know, he's getting right back to work and wants to be up there.
Mac: Anyone else of note that you're working with?
Chris: Currently those are, those are my main guys. I don't like to take on too many guys. Because I do like to give as much myself as I can. I worked with Paulie Malignaggi before he retired for his last fight. Couple other UFC guys. Dennis is another guy whenever he gets going, I'm always dealing with him. Dennis Bermudez that is. And then you know, a lot of the fighters that Corey Peacock is works with. I'll help on those and kind of consult and help or I can come and talk to these guys but not so much in an official capacity.
Mac: Yes. I suppose to be more like a collaboration because it's, I guess it's all within the family for you guys at the fight science institute.
Chris: Yeah, I mean it has to be, we collaborate quite a bit and we got fighters that are in certain situations and you know, we always try to defer to the experts in whatever it is that they need help. And so, you know, Corey has been great and I refer to Corey about strength conditioning stuff when I'm with my athletes, he refers to me when it comes to nutrition stuff and we're able to kind of put our heads together and help these guys get the, you know, the best service possible.
Mac: I think that's absolutely amazing. And you mentioned just a minute ago that you don't like to take on too many guys. You don't like to overload yourself. So I guess my question for you is, what would your advice be to you know, to up and coming coaches who maybe feel like they're stretched too thin. I mean, how do you prioritise? How do you systemise? How do you set margins for the amount of work you take on?
Chris: You know, it depends. Like this is not my full time thing. I work in a college setting as well. So, I keep that in mind when I'm thinking about fighters, but yeah, that's a great question and a great skill for young coaches to learn. You got to know your limits. And what happens is if you spread yourself too thin, you're going to give subpar service to these athletes and you're going to lose them faster than you get them, you know, a fighter and a combat athlete mandate they need so much, they need so much attention and they need, you need to take what they're doing very seriously because they definitely do. And what they're doing is, is not only serious but it's dangerous. So you got to understand what, what you have in front of you. I need to prioritise that time and make sure that you're able to give proper service to these athletes so they're getting the most out of what you're offering.
Mac: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, it's a, it's a common pitfall and you see it all the time. I mean, we, when we had Dr Corey Peacock on here, I was blown away with the amount of work he was taking on and in the beginning when he first started working with fighters. And so I kind of posed this similar question to him and I think both you guys seem to, you know, run along to the same tune in that regard. It's really quite impressive.
Chris: Yeah. And I think, I think we've actually helped each other out quite a bit because we take on, if we got guys that come to us and we take them on, we can defer to each other and refer to each other and it kind of take some of the load off of our own shoulders to something that maybe would be a lot more difficult for me to handle, but it'd be a lot easier for Corey to handle. Um, so the load is, is that much more manageable. So working in teams and having that communication with different coaches I think is really important. Sharing of ideas. I'm not doing what I said earlier about not giving up the secrets, you know, I'm all about sharing it at this, at this stage of my career.
Brenton: Definitely. I mean, beyond just managing these fighters, you know, you're managing personalities and managing people. So, you know, there's a lot of emotional energy and mental investment that goes into, you know, working with these people.
Chris: Oh, that's, that's a thousand percent true. I mean, each one of these athletes is, is a unique human and unique individual. And honestly, athletes, fighters are different. They are different than regular people. They're not the same kind of people walking around. So, managing those personalities and their ups and downs, not to mention training camp training camps, tough man, it's tough in a, in a physical way for sure, but it's also tough in an emotional and psychological way. So you've got to be able to understand that and deal with those personalities and the personality changes of the same person, you know, and a good coach. Dr Corey Peacock can speak on this very well. A good coach can recognise which guys walking through that door. You know, I have my fighter coming in that day and you can look at him and if you've been working closely with an athlete and you really understand your athlete, you know something's up when something's up and it's important to to, to understand that, to visualise that, acknowledged that and address it. If that's what works for that athlete, it may not be. It might be a kind of guy like, you know what if I mentioned it, it's gonna mess with his head. He has a shit session. So for him I'm just going to get them through the session and then I'll bring it up afterwards. Other guys I gotta nip in the bud right away. Got to mention it immediately, snap him out of it, make them it can become aware of it and he'll make the change right there. So that's, that's the little differences that you deal with when you're dealing with these different athletes. Like alright, what's going on with this guy? I know him so I know something's up now. What's the best way to deal with that? Do I bring it up? Do I leave it alone? And that's the only something that you can learn through through experience.
Mac: Sure. What about on that, getting to know the psychology of the individual and I suppose you would have a distinct advantage in that area, you know, being at the highest levels of the fight sports yourself, but I mean, are those skills as a coach to really understand and empathise with the fighter? Can they be learned by coaches that haven't been through those stresses themselves? Are there any resources that you can recommend?
Chris: There's some great books out there. Conscious Coaching is a fantastic read and can help a lot of young coaches out there.
Mac: That's Brett Bartholomew, is that right?
Chris: Yes. Yup. I think, you know, what I think also really helps, I think training in the style that your athlete trains in getting that experience feeling and you know, if you're working with a boxer like go hit some mitts, go grab coach , do a couple of days, do some rounds, learn some of the basics, feel how difficult it is. Feel what, what, what it feels like to be that without gas, are that tired and get an idea of what that athletes doing. Go through some of the strength workouts with them, you know, do some stuff when they're not around. Get a feeling for what it is that you're having to do and when you have that connection to what the athletes doing, it comes across in your coaching. If you're disconnected, the athlete is gonna know that he's going to feel that and you're gonna you're gonna ask things of him that maybe he will feel that is not right. You know it's wrong, you asking too much for me right now, but if you know that guy can do it too, then hey, what are you going to say? If the coach can do it. Come on man. You can do it. You're the one fighting.
Brenton: Definitely hear that Mac, you got to let me beat you up more often.
Mac: For those unaware. Yes. I am Brentons strength coach and I suppose now I have to give him permission to kick my ass once or twice.
Chris: It'll help, man. I'm telling you to help with that psychology For sure.
Brenton: Build that empathy.
Mac: Yeah. That's fantastic man. We've got some great stuff we need to get into now. So why don't we change gears? Yeah. Chris, I wanted to talk firstly about Jim Lampleys, summary of your entry into the Provodnikov fight. I was on my YouTube video I was flicking through. He said he said that you were a relative unknown and you know, Provodnikov just needed a credible opponent to springboard him into the Pacquiao fight. And I thought, well it's going a bit rough, you know, like obviously Chris's, he's earned place at the top levels of pro boxing. But I mean the thing that got me was how Lampley completely back flipped and ate words. He totally backtracked. And that was after you, you took everything that Provodnikov threw at you and you, you walked through it, you're out boxed him, you, you know, you took charge towards the, you know, the later rounds of the fight and you actually won the decision. So you know, how does that make you feel like with guys like Jim Lampley counting you out at the beginning of that fight?
Chris: Oh man, you don't even know how counted out I was from every step. I was at that announcement press conference two months before and literally I had, I had interviewer is asking me like, do you think you have a chance. I'm like, who asked that? What do you mean you would think I have a chance of course I do. So like what the fuck am I here for? I'm an undefeated fighter. Like, I'm coming here to win this fight. And I remember it was fight week and this guy, one of the writers, Michael Woods, comes up to me and he's asking me a question and I looked him in the eye and said, I'm going to win this fight. And he goes, and he says it right into the microphone. He goes, I'm here with Chris. Algeria. He just looked me in the eye and he said he's going to win this fight and I believe it. And I believe him if he looks like he's, he thinks he's going to win this fight. He's like, are you scared? I'm like, no, I'm here to win this fight. And yeah, so, I mean, all, everything leading up to that fight was, , I was the sacrificial lamb. I was down and out before I even started. But, you know, man, I put in the work and they would have had to do.
Mac: Sure. I mean, but it really did feel to me like they were feeding you to the monster and Provodnikov certainly was a monster at the time. Like, not too many people were walking through his punches in 2014
Chris: He was actually, he was the boogeyman at that time. I mean, he was a monster. I was watching them on ESPN years before. Like, Jesus, this guy's a monster. I really liked watching him fight. At the same time I was thinking like, man, I don't ever want to get into ring with a guy like that. Sure enough, that's where I ended up of course. But, yeah, no, at that time, I mean, he had just come off the fight of the year with Tim Bradley who he lost a very, very close decision. Although he knocked him out three times in that 12 round fight. But Tim is such a work order. People he battled back to win and then Provodnikov went to, went to Denver and fought in mile high Mike Alvarado to get the title. And I mean, he brutalized that poor man, went to his hometown in front of, I think it was like 20,000 or something like that. And he won every round, drop him two or three times. It was a brutal, brutal, brutal assault. So coming into this fight, you know, he was, he was one of the baddest guys in the world. Nobody wanted that guy. And they were lining him up for that Pacquiao fight. So it was a tough spot to be in for sure.
Mac: How would you describe Provodnikovs style?
Chris: He's a pressure fighter, and he's a brutal, crippling puncher. I mean, he's the hardest puncher I've ever been in a ring with. His left jab was, that was hardest punch he threw and the, everything he threw his hard. And, and, and honestly, that guy literally, he's hard from head to toe. Every part of his body was like a piece of iron. So being in there with that, with that kind of guy, he's, he's a come forward guy. He's going to try and cut off the ring. He's gonna, he's gonna loop his shots over and under and he's really just going to look to get in there and, and, and hope you trade with him. That's what he wants. His chin was granted. Nobody ever really heard I'm going to put them down, but he knew if, if, if we trade punches, you hit him the same time he hit you, he's going to win. And that's, that's, that's what you know, that that was his style and you wanted to get in there and, and make you trade with him. So you're going to get hit.
Mac: That really is more favourite one of your fights that have, that have watched. What do you think, you know, towards, in my opinion, like towards the later rounds, that's, that's where you started to really come to life and things started really going your way. Tell me, what was your key to success there? What were the things that we're really starting to fire for you?
Chris: You know, really what we mentioned earlier, it was ring generalship. Fighting that fight in the right places, the right times, you know, so, you know, it was a boxing match. I outboxed him, but there are times where I stood and I threw combinations and I traded punches with him and I made sure I was in the right positions to do that. It was just me really being aware of where I was during, during the fight, but also being aware of protecting my eye. That was .. honestly it wasn't so much that it was, it was painful or any dash didn't want them to stop the fight. You know, I wasn't worried about my face getting more damage or, or, you know, or it hurting. I was worried about them stopping the fight. I had to argue with the doctors in between every round. Listen, I'm winning the fight. I'm okay. I can see I'm fine. If I had given them any inclination, but I was uncomfortable in pain. Wasn't, wasn't feeling good about where I was gonna be they were going to stop that fight and there would be no argument whatsoever if they stopped that fight. So for me, I had to make sure that I was doing the job in the ring and also in, in between the corner of letting them know like, listen, I know what I'm doing out there. I know I'm winning this fight. I know I can. I can win this fight. You just got to let me keep going out there if you. If you let me go, I can't win. If you don't let me go out there and try.
Mac: Yeah, for sure. That eye was a massive factor in the fight and just just when you break down the styles with Provodnikov being a pressure fighter, he's always gonna try and bait you into an exchange. Ring general shipping. In your context for the way you approached the fight is almost controlling where he's moving, drawing his momentum into where you want it to be is that what I'm picking up from what you're saying?
Chris: Yeah, exactly. So with him, he had to be set to the punch and I knew if I kept them off balance and was able to hit them and make little adjustments, his power would be, would be diminished somewhat. So I was constantly trying to keep him off balance, constantly picking on him with the jab, cutting an angle, making him miss. Whenever he was throwing, I was, I was generally able to abate his shots. I saw them coming. I knew where they were coming from, even with the eyes closed. I just had this rhythm. I figured his rhythm out in the first couple of rounds and I was able to maintain that. Boxing is all about rhythm when you know your rhythm or it's their rhythm and that can change throughout the fight. Good fighters can change the rhythm as they're going and change the pace of fight Provodnikov, although he's a good fighter, his rhythm was kind of set and I figured it out and that's why towards the end of the fight I was really in control. Also, my style is I said before the fight, I'm like, I'm a pressure fighter to, and everybody liked looked at me like what? I'm like, yeah, I'ma different kind of pressure fighter. I make you think I'm psychologically putting pressure on the guy in there, making these little adjustments, these little movements, changing level, stepping in, stepping out and making you miss, making you reach, hitting you when you don't think you can get hit making you miss when you think you're going to land. All that. Psychological guesswork can be exhausting. You got a guy. The feint thing is something I don't see a lot of fighters do anymore, but the feint thing is a lost art in it that gets the guy to make that little bit of adjustment and you're sapping at his gas tank every time. Little things. You're in control of those things. You're in control of his reactions. Then once you get all of that man and you have him reacting to the things that you're leading on, his gas tank is going down way more than yours.
Brenton: And also once you've got them thinking and they're actually investing far too much time into actually thinking about what they're doing, you know, that's when you're gonna start to see those opportunities emerge.
Chris: Exactly. You're one step ahead and one step in, in that game at that level is, is, is light years. So, you know, towards the end a fight, he was really he was gassed, he was tired from all the thinking thought, tired from all the movement tire from, from me making him, making him work
Mac: At the same time. You had kind of shepherded him into making the same movement patterns, the same mistakes and you capitalising on them.
Chris: Yes, exactly. Different circling as he was trying to. He wasn't cutting off the ring as much and being able to hit them and move as I was moving land those important shots.
Brenton: That's a fascinating thing about fighting of particular interest of mine. When you talk about psychological warfare, when it shatters the confidence that it ends up sort of eroding that calmness that allows them to stay in control of the fight, manage their breathing, the adrenaline, all of that. And once you throw them out of that comfort zone, that's exactly as you pointed out, that's when they're expending so much more energy than is necessary.
Chris: Exactly.
Mac: Yeah. It's beautiful man. I mean I just needed to point out right now the irony of that flight with Provodnikov because it really is kind of like a Rocky story. And then the irony is that Provodnikovs nickname is Rocky
Brenton: And you had the blown up eye as well.
Mac: So that's hilarious. And what about the Amir Khan flight? I mean, that was close as shit. I mean, so many people thought that fight could have gone either way. It. Tell us about that one.
Chris: Yeah. And that's another talk about ring generalship is a different style. I had to, I knew that I knew that my, my ring generalship had to be different in that fight. I made that fight happen where I want it to happen. I wanted it to happen in the center of the ring. I wanted it to happen with his back on the ropes and I was able to impose my will. So the fight happened where I wanted it. Amir Khan's awesome. He is incredible. He's an incredible boxer, incredible fighter, incredible champion. And that guy is super fast. He hits hard. He's got great combinations? He's a, he is a very good ring general himself. He understands where he is in the ring. Understands what, where he is in the, during the round. If you stay in there and try and box with, that guy, he's gonna cut you to ribbons. He's very fast. He's strong. Like I said, all those things I said before, if you try and stand there and box with him, that's what he does it, that's what he's the best at. But if you make him fight, he likes to trade more than he should. And I knew that and I knew that if I could get him into these exchanges that I would be able to get to get him in in positions that where his assets wouldn't, wouldn't work. And that's really what the game plan was and that was able to capitalise and utilise that throughout the fight to bad the judges didn't see it that way.
Mac: So what you're saying is you were trying to, I guess, pull him into a space where he overexerts himself and the game plan was to capitalise on that. Is that what I'm hearing?
Chris: yeah. Essentially. I mean, I, I Was, um, I was really impressed with his conditioning. I thought he was going to tire out as the fight went on because he was holding really, really tight early on. And I was like, god, he can't keep that up. You're squeezing me super, super hard. Every time I got close to him and he did superbly condition guy, he was in, he was in great shape at night. You know, and that's that. I think that definitely helped because I thought I was going to get them late and from I was, I knew I had to put a lot of pressure on him. I knew I had to wade through the speed and the, and the, and the combinations. And just, you know, keep that pressure on.
Brenton: It's always a perpetual point of frustration I think for fighters and fight fans, you know, how do you feel when you're sitting across the ring from a, you know, from a fighter and you've, you've put them on wobbly feet and then end of the end of the fIght, you know, you see their hand raised.
Chris: Yeah. That was, it was, that was brutal that, that fight, that decision of that fight crushed me, that, probably the most emotionally drained I ever was from a situation of boxing. I really, I, I Thought that I had done enough. I thought I did my job. I did what nobody expected again and I, I looked across the ring at Amir in that last round. He looked at me and I looked at him and I was like, man, great fight, but I got this shit and he looked at me and I kind of, I could see it in him that he wasn't feeling like he won to fight. I just, I had that. I had that feeling. You get you feel or is when you're in, you're in a ring with a guy and you know, I just felt like my aura was, was, wasn't in a position of, of the winner. And then when they read those scores, I was like, man, I couldn't have won this fight if I, if I knocked him out, if I have to get a draw, you know, because the scores weren't even close.
Brenton: Absolutely. And I love that you brought up that about or is it because I think in any kind of fight or competition you can always feel there's always this ongoing sort of dynamic of tension and you know, most of the time it's pretty aware and both people who's, you know, who's controlling who's winning, who's more likely to actually finish the fight.
Chris: That's an awesome point. Yeah. It's so true, you've got that Dynamic back and forth. It's like, it's like the health meter on street fighter video games. It's true, man. That's what it's like in there. So, that's a great point.
Mac: Yeah man. Well thank you. Thank you for putting on such an amazing fight. It's a, it's a crying shame. It didn't go your way, but I guess that's a, that's one of the main things about this sport, isn't it?
Chris: Yeah. I mean it's, it's, it happens, you know, it's when you have judges and their subjective, you know, decisions that that's, it is what it is. But hey, that's like I said, that's part of the game. People always ask me like, what do you know, like aren't you worried about,a know, a robbery or this or that. And I wouldn't say I was naive to it, I was just kind of very positive mind. I was like, hey, if I do my job then I'm going to win. You know, I was always my mindset and it had never happened to me. I never expected it to happen. And I'm not saying it was a, it was a robbery, I just, I'm just saying that I thought if I at least should have been a lot closer than it was on a scorecard, but may, I just felt like, geez, this is a new new feeling for me.
Brenton: I think for anyone who has seen the fight or hasn't seen the fight, just, you know, pay attention and particularly, when they're announcing the winner of the fight, I think when you looked at both faces, you know, yourself and Amir Khan, I think it was very evident who felt they won, who felt they didn't win?
Mac: Amir looked surprised.
Brenton: Yeah, he was, you know, you had your hand raised before they'd actually announced it Amir looked just sort of depleted.
Chris: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But the fight ended and my hands went right up and he kind of mustered his hands up too. But yeah, it was like I said, that was a real heart breaker that, I took a while for me to get over mentally.
Mac: Sure. Well, again, thank you for putting on such a great performance. Now let's change gears for a second. Since we had Cory Peacock we had Phil Daru. Now we have yourself. What do you think about us getting Tony Ricci, to join us on the show to complete the four horsemen. What do you think?
Chris: Has to happen. And I'm glad you saved the best for last Tony is the absolute. He's the man. He's the godfather of all of us.
Mac: Well, he's, he's been in the game for a lot longer than most of us. Right?
Chris: That's, that's absolutely true. And I mean, he's got shoot. He's got stories from, from so long ago with some amazing, amazing fighters. You know, guys like, like, like Mesga from back in the, he's, he's something else, man. He is. He is a real testament to um, longevity in this sport. This guy has been around for a long time and honestly he, he was my nutrition mentor. He was the guy that I went to. Um, you know, when I had questions about, about performance nutrition, you know, I needed this, I have to do this or I'm an athlete or that, you know, how do I deal with this or, and then also with coaching, how do I deal with other athletes, how do I talk to other athletes, how do I present to people? You know, I, I owe that man so much. He's, he's taught me so much of what I do, and it has helped me develop as a professional outside of my own fight career but as a coach.
Mac: Absolutely, a fairly well rounded coach and individual.
Chris: Oh, a thousand percent. Absolutely. he's, um, he's got a wealth of experience and knowledge. Um, and uh, he's just, he's an eloquent speaker. One of the best public speakers I've ever seen. The guy's just, he's great and he'll be a really fun guest and you guys will have a good time. He's, he's awesome on these.
Mac: Well, I hope so. So shout out to Tony Ricci we're coming for you brother. Please let him know what to expect as well because are our interviews tend to go on for quite a while? We've been told so yeah, right now for our listeners, I'd like to get ..
Brenton: So we've been told. We have no idea.
Mac: It's not us sitting here right. So tell us about the fight science institute. We've got Corey and Phil's spin on it. Just, please tell us from, from your experience, what, what is it, what's it shaping up to be, all that kind of stuff. Man,
Chris: You know, it,'s the four of us. We've worked together in one capacity or another. We all kind of came together different ways, you know. I Think Tony and I have been the oldest relationship just as we are from the same area. And then, you know, kind of coming into meaning Dr Corey Peacock with the ISSN and then I think tony had met with met Phil and they were going back forth and they had done the podcast and then quarter inch all came together. I just had a lot of, a lot of like minded guys working in the same field and we were doing, we weren't doing things necessarily the same, but we had the same ideas in mind. And, I think that us coming together just had that happen in it. I think once we all kind of met and started, started speaking, we're like, we gotta do something, you know, we've, we've got, we've got a lot of, a lot of experience here. We have a lot of talented athletes that we work with. We have a lot of education and um, you know, the fight sports needs this, they need something where you have a reference and you have something that's going to be just a pillar of knowledge to share information. That's what we're about just sharing that information. It was one of those things where it was like a no brainer, like we didn't have the idea going in, but then we kind of started there, started talking and meeting and we're like, we gotta do something, let's do this.
Mac: Things just kind of grew and evolved. And now you've got solid plans for a direction for the fight science institute. Is that right?
Chris: Absolutely. So you know, one of the reasons I'm down here in south Florida now so I can, I can work closely with, Dr Corey Peacock and Phil Daru, um, you know, between Corey and Phil they're like the strength conditioning arm of the science institute where Tony and myself are more of the nutrition side, although we all work in every capacity, but that's kind of like what our expertise's lie, kind of how we're going to really kind of break up the work, but we're also of course going to work together and communicate on everything. But yeah, we're looking to do our first seminar. I'm down here in the south Florida area, hopefully a look into getting a date in July and get that going. so we've been hammering out a lot of work, working really hard. It's gonna be something to see. It's going to be awesome.
Mac: Fantastic. Well, I'm super excited for whenever I get the chance to attend one of those things. We've got Phil coming out here in late July, August. We're bringing Phil out to Melbourne and Sydney for a couple of seminar dates, so it would be a awesome to get the fight science institute out here to Australia as well to put on a certification course or a seminar run or something like that if you guys are interested.
Chris: That's awesome. Yeah, I love it. Yeah. Phil was telling, telling us about the Australia trip that should be great. And yeah, no, we're, we're, we're looking to, to expand and get out as much as possible and reach as many people as we can.
Mac: For sure. Well, we'll be here trying to help you facilitate that as much as we can, brother.
Chris: Much appreciated
Mac: We need to at some point talk about the Manny Pacquiao fight. Kind of a big deal. He's only one of the biggest names of all time in boxing. He's done some incredible things both in the ring and out of the ring. I mean where do we start in beginning to question you about that experience? You know, over to you mate the floor is yours.
Chris: So it's funny. People always ask about that. You just said it. I don't call it a experience because honestly it was, it was such a whirlwind leading up to it, you know, that our fight. And I was like the last really big press tour that top rank had done with Manny. You know, we did a seven city tour. It was like two and a half weeks long. I was just coming off the Provodnikov fight. My eye was still super banged up, you know, I had a broken arm and a broken nose and I had a black eye for four months after that fight and you know, so. So it was like, probably about six weeks after the Provodnikov flight were leaving for the seven city press tour. And we went Shanghai and Macau, China and Las Vegas and New York press conferences and all of them. It was insane. I mean, it's just so much travel and such a crazy experience. Literally a year before, like I could barely pay my phone bill, my cell phone bill. And now I'm in five star hotels. Chang, you know. Um, it was, it was, it was pretty wild. I remember thinking distinctly, I was in, um, I was in the venetian, in this gigantic suite for the press tour in Las Vegas and I had moved to Las Vegas when I was, it wasn't like 2011 to pursue my boxing career full time. And I literally was sleeping on a mattress on the floor with a empty cardboard box with a pillow case over it as an end table. I really had no money, couldn't, couldn't. I was going into debt and all my credit cards and all my bills. And it was three and a half years later. And I'm in like a giant suite overlooking the Las Vegas strip. Like, wow, this is, this world is a crazy place and you know, boxing can, can turn on it's head so fast. So yeah. So with the Pacquiao fight, it was, it was amazing, you know, and then I had training camp I lived in the Venetian hotel or had my training camp right there. They built me a training facility right in the basement there. I have on the ground floor at the Venetian. And we held open workouts once a week where people could come train for two hours on a Saturday morning and have a couple of hundred people there watching. It was, it was great. It was, it was, what it was, what I think boxing was probably a lot like in know earlier days when, when promotion was a real wake, promoting fights and promoting fighters and allowing people to be around them, um, was a big thing. You don't see that so much anymore, you know, it's Just, I think it's just finances, you know, it's, it's, it's expensive to do. I think also the world we live in now is so digital and we've got social media and we can share things without actually having people there and there's, you get a different kind of insight into the, into the sport itself now just because of the digital platform that we live in now. But still, it's not the same. You don't get that, that touch of, you know, I was having hundreds of people come every Saturday watch me train, I got to take photos with me, sign autographs, and you know, it's not the same when you watch it on YouTube or Instagram, you know, it's not that authentic experience that you're going to have those memories, you know,
Mac: Back to something you said a minute ago, I've never heard of a training facility being built in a major hotel in Las Vegas for one fighter. Is, is that just me or is completely unique?
Chris: It was, it was a very unique experience and neither sure how it came about. But you know, top rank had bought our own kind of made that happen. And it was, it was awesome. It saved me a lot of money and training costs. I lived right upstairs in one of the hotel suites and I would literally take an elevator down and it was an old restaurant that was in there that was. I Wasn't being used at the time. They allowed me to use the, the industrial kitchen to make all my food because I make all my food during training camp, so I was able to cook. It was awesome. I was right next to the gym, which was completely private and go whenever I wanted. They put a ring right in the middle. There was mirrors. They set up any kind of bags that we needed. It was incredible. Like it was a some experience, you know, just literally jumped on elevator, shoot down, make my breakfast and in the industrial kitchen and then go train.
Mac: Do you think that might've had something to do with Bob Arum controlling the promotion for, for yourself as in he can. He can dictate who comes and goes. How many people you know, what's being put out into the press about you?
Mac: Partially, but I think he really just wanted to because I wasn't that well known probiotic. I'll fight that kinda put me onto the scene. Just like lampley said, I was relatively unknown before that fight. So they didn't really have a whole lot on me. Um, I didn't have an amateur background to speak speaker. They might my face, a lot of my flights weren't televised prior to that. Um, so I think bob had the kind of use any means necessary to, to create content to promote the fight.
Mac: Gotcha. Okay. That makes a lot of sense.
Chris: You know, and, and, and bob has his, I think he was an incredible, incredible promoter. He pretty much invented how to promote fights in the seventies and eighties. I mean, he's still doing it.
Mac: How old is he now?
Chris: He's in his eighties. He still works, I remember going into the offices and he was literally with his sleeves rolled up, suspenders on carrying papers and talking to people and working. And he's very rural. For those, for those eighty years, man,
Mac: Unbelievable. And he really liked, he said, wrote the book on, on promoting fights.
Chris: Yes. One of my favorite people in sport, man, and was seeing that guy work is incredible. He is, he's Just, he's, he's, he's something special for sure.
Mac: Absolutely, man. why don't we, uh, why don't we move along and, uh, and get into some questions now. We've got some questions here from one of your biggest fans. Actually, he's a guy Ben Brellis. He's one of our in house superstar trainers here at the unknown. So massive shout out to the young squire we call him. We've named Ben Brellis, but he's first question for you. And these, these questions are all nutrition, supplementation specific. Um, and he's, he's done a lot of research on you and he's done a lot of it, was listened to all your podcasts. And so as I said, he's a big fan so he's picked out a bunch of things that you've touched on that he would like you to expand on. So, um, first first thing from Ben is, you've spoken in previous podcasts about how you get your athletes to load creatine in small doses throughout the day. Is this loading based around the training sessions or done at random or how do you organise them?
Chris: So the organization depends on the schedule of the athlete themselves, the idea of why we're doing that, the reason for it is that studies show that muscle saturation is really the key. So having creatine in the system in the muscle there and so it, there's not so much like we used to always hear about, oh, you gotta to, you got to do a loading phase, you gotta do this, you don't really have to do that. And then it's there. They're showing that in studies that your body utilises it best in smaller doses throughout the day. So I usually say two to three grams, two to three times four times a day, and that's been shown to be the best way to load. That can be difficult because it's, you're taking four doses of something scattered throughout the day it can be easy to forget, you know, schedules are busy. So what I usually do is I'll have it in my morning smoothie, which is the first thing I have when I wake up. I have it in all my post workout shakes and so that in that case, if I train twice in a day, I'm having, in my morning smoothie, I'm training, I'm having my post workout smoothie, I'm resting, I train again, I have it in my post workout shake after that workout and then I'll have another dose before I go to bed at night that when I'm getting in my four doses scattered throughout the day. It's easy to remember because it's in my post workout meal snacks, which is usually just a shake.
Mac: Do you find the absorption rate and the half life of it in your system? So to speak effects when you need to dose it?
Chris: I don't. And it's hard to kind of check muscle creatine saturation levels like, like during, during your training, it's not really possible. But a lot of the times the effect of, of these supplements, you don't really notice them and that's, that's, you know, that's what good segmentation is about, you know, its those minor one percent change or those less than percent changes that you're really looking for. So just making sure that you have a consistent protocol of loading I think is important and not so much to kind of do it around certain workouts or certain meals is to not just maintain. If you're getting in, if you're getting in those three, four doses a day, then you shouldn't be, you should be fine because you're keeping the muscle saturation up.
Mac: Consistency is the key. Like a lot of things.
Chris: Exactly.
Brenton: Is creatine that you start to sort of supplement out once, you know, you're getting closer to that fight week, because obviously, you know, when you're supplementing creatine and you're holding a lot more water. So in your eyes is the actual tangible benefit of creatine, does that outweigh the pounds of water you retain?
Chris: So, the training benefit will be there, right? So you've been using it throughout the entire camp. It's been helping you get that extra rep has been helping you get that extra, that extra round of sprints, has been helping to get in that extra box Jumps. So the training effect of, o the creatine used throughout the camp will 100 percent be there. But honestly in terms of like deloading or bringing it down an order because of water retention, it depends on the athlete because some people hold more water than others when they are using creatine. Some don't really hold much. Some hold a lot more. It depends on the athlete themselves. I try and keep the creatine coming into their system as close up there to fight as possible. Some guys that don't cut it at all, it depends on how their weight is. If they're a little heavy and we have a little more water to pull, then I'll be. I'll be conscious of that and we'll start to, we'll start to, to, to take it out a couple of days prior, but honestly the washouts pretty quick, especially when you're, you're doing hard workouts like that water will pull through if you're, if you're doing proper water loading and minor dehydration techniques to make the weight. So long story short, I try and keep it in as much as late as I can and if I don't have to pull it, I don't .
Mac: So that's great. That answers the first question. So next question from Benjamin with athletes who can tolerate the tingles of beta alanine, when do you recommend that they load this supplement?
Chris: So the thing about beta alanine, it's awesome by the way, it really is an incredible, incredible ergogenic aid. Um, it's, it, it's another muscle lactic acid buffer that allows you to basically just go harder for longer, which for an endurance based sport like fighting and boxing especially, it's, it's, it's a real benefit. Um, but yeah, it's, it's, it's difficult to, to get athletes to be consistent using it because that tingle can be, can be very uncomfortable for, um, for certain people. And again, similar to the creatine and the war and the, and the, and the water attention, it affects everyone different, you know, um, tony reaching, for example, the guy doesn't get tingles at all. YoU can have three, four grams at a clip and not even feel it. Um, and then I know like my work was with Daniel Jacobs, then he freaks out and half with one or two grams. He's like, man, I got that. I'm itching. I mentioned, trust me, champ, you need this. This is important. This is, this is for aroUnd 11 and 12. Trust when you need this,
Mac: Toni Ricci. He strikes me as a kind of guy who can slam for double espressos and then go straight bed.
Chris: That is exactly the man that we're talking about. He's also a guy who probably slam bacardi 1:50, one, three or four and then go dance and then go home and be like, all right guys, I'll see you later. Wake up completely on, up, hung over. That's the, I've seen him do that too. So a specimen. Yeah, he's, he's something else. But yeah, no, it really depends on, on how it affects the individual, but the dosing, the thing about it is the more you do, the better it is almost. Um, so really getting in, um, the minimum of three or four grams per day for at least a four week period. That's how long. That's the thing that you have to be consistent for a minimum of four weeks to see any kind of benefit. So there isn't, there is, there is a, a, uh, a loading time that it takes in order for the benefit of take to take effect. And that can be very difficult to, with your athletes, especially if they have a shortened camp where they're taking a flight last minute. Um, so it's important to, to, to make sure that you're consistent with the dosing throughout the day and it take as much as you can. That's what I tell them I got. So we're going to take as much as you can tolerate, um, in, in a minimum of two to three doses a day over four, six, and hopefully we can get a full eight weeks in. Yeah, right. Okay.
Mac: Yeah. So I wasn't aware of that. Beta alanine was the kind of thing you need to kind of load and an increase the dosage of to get the most benefit out of. So that's, that's really helpful for me, man. Thank you for that.
Chris: Absolutely. Yeah, it, it, it really, that's the thing. A lot of people, they, they don't see the benefit because it takes time, it takes time and all these things are properly done. It's just like training. It's consistency. You got to be consistent over time.
Brenton: So another question we had from one of our listeners was when do you use liquid carbohydrates in the fuelling process for your athletes? Is that for pre, intra or post workout?
Chris: It could be used in any of them. Um, so when you're thinking about liquid, you're thinking about speed. Um, and it depends on the athlete themselves and I really focus on changing up and switching up carbs and, and focus on those kinds of things around specific workouts. Right. Um, so if it's a sparring session, I want to make sure my, my athlete is properly fuelled and has a good amount of carbs in their system. Their, their, their stores, their glycogen is topped off because when it comes to sparring, that's the thing that's closest to what the actual sport is, right. That's, that's, that's the competitive, that's the competitive nature of, of, or the competitive aspect of the training. Um, and what I think is the most important. your skills training, can you be a little bit under, under fuelled sure, can you be a little bit lacking some carbs and some, some extra juice. Absolutely. Um, for your long endurance run, you know, can, can you power through it? Yep. You know, but for sparring, I don't want to power through sparring. I want to be sharp, I want to be, I want to be fuelled, I want to be reactive. Um, for a couple of reasons, one, it's good for them technique wise because they're going to be properly fuelled on fight night. So why not have them do that during the sparring session. Psychologically, they're going to feel good. They're performing their best. Um, and three, they're taking less damage. Sparring is damaging. I, you don't want to be getting hit with shots that you shouldn't be getting hit with because you're under fuelled. So, um, I really focus on, on the carbs for, for my guys around their sparring, especially when we're in like that cutting down phase. We're trying to lean a guy out trying to get a body weight down. Um, but I'm big, big, big on recovery. So my liquid carbohydrates, I really, I really focus on as a post workout because that's where the speed of absorption is really important. Um, because when you got a, a, a typical fighter will train six days a week and you're looking at two sessions a day. So essentially you're, you're recovering all the time when you're not training your recovering. So focusing on maximising that recovery window right after your workout. Um, and making Sure that, that, that at fast digesting carbohydrate hits the gut and gets into the bloodstream as quick as possible so we can get her back into the muscles for, for, for the next workout, which is only a few hours away in any, in any, in any point during the training camp, um, is, is vital.
Mac: So can we then recommend a particular brand or particular substance? I mean, I guess we're talking here about things like vitagrow, dextrose, maltodextrin, waxy maize, things like that.
Chris: Exactly. Those are, those are great post workout. Um, they're uh, they're great at spiking insulin, improving recovery right after, um, again, like the waxy maize, like a high molecular weight, um, carbide just going to leave your guts quick and it's going to go into your bloodstream and allow for your muscles to rehabilitate them and stored as glycogen for the next workout. Um, some natural, um, non supplement that I use a beet juices as is a big one that I use a lot of my guys. I'm beet juice. Beet juice. Yep. Beet root, beet root juice, a pomegranate juice, a lot of good research coming out on pomegranate juice as a vassal, dilate or opening up the blood vessels is specifically for. I've read a lot of, a lot of work on it as a pre workout. So openIng up the vassal, dilate, opens up, opens up the blood vessels, the nitrates that are in, in, in those, uh, in those, those foods opens up the blood vessels, allows more blood, allows more oxygen flow to the work...
Brenton: I just said Macs got really sheepish grin.
Mac: I was debating whether to ask you if pomegranate juice, helps in the bedroom as well?
Chris: It's going to open up those blood vessels and there's, there's, there's quite a few blood vessels in, in, in that member of yours. It can definitely be helpful in that case.
Mac: That's classic man Okay. So any other, uh, any, anything else to add on liquid carbohydrates and a vaso dilators?
Chris: I use, um, I use a beat, reduced pomegranate juice with guys. Um, and If, and honestly those, those are actually all as the statements as well. They're, they're pretty, they're pretty pricey, you know, so for a lot of these athletes who were coming up who don't nearly have the bank account for that, um, I use a lot of punches, fruit juices, they're usually very high in carbohydrates. TheY're, they're fast digesting. Um, you know, you've got some fructose to deal with, but, but, um, honestly post workout it's, it's, it's not the worst thing.
Brenton: So what do, what do you mean by that? You've got some fructose with what are your concerns around fructose?
Chris: Fructose is in terms of the way it's broken down, it takes a little longer because it has an extra process or in there in the, uh, the metabolism process. Um, so the speeds a little different in terms of its absorption, but it's, it's, it's minimal and there's a lot of carbs anyway, so your body will maximize. It's fun.
Brenton: Yup. Excellent. Um, something. I'm noticing a theme with guys like, you know, you particularly really exemplify that paradigm shift from that old school. I'm gritty, train hard, train till you die mentality more towards, you know, how we can train smart, optimize things. Um, you know, it's a really sort of fascinating sort of philosophy that we're starting to see emerge, particularly in, you know, you guys in the fight science institute, maximizing recovery, things like that.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the way I look at it as like, we're, we're in a damaging sport, you know, you're, you're, you're going to get damaged one way or another. Um, and the traininG is gruelling. The fighting's gruelling, the sparring, you know, it's all going to be breaking you down. So, um, and generally the fighters that are at the highest level of the levels that we deal with, they're all hard workers, you know, they're all going to push themselves really hard. UM, and it's up to the coaches to make sure that they're, they're recovering properly. That's where the biggest thing that I do with my guys, I, I preach recovery. I preach about what we're going to do in between. We're going to make sure that we're getting our arrest. Um, you know, with the guys like Sullivan and Danny Lamb with full time, you know, I'm going to make sure like, all right guys, where are we scheduling or recovery, where are we making sure that we're getting, are getting our naps in? Where put your phone down, go lay down, go to this, you know, like I, I've been telling the guys a little time like, you're not rested and you're sitting there, you know, click it on your phone, you know, even though you're laying in bed, I want you to put that down, chill out, relax, nap if you can, you don't have to, but definitely get horizontal restaurant, um, because it, it, it's, it's important to, to, to fully rest out of yourself, to um, to recover and be ready for that next session. Because when I look at it training camp, do you have a finite amount of time to improve?
Brenton: You got finite resources, right? I mean it's about how are they best allocated.
Chris: Exactly. So I want you to show up to every session, whether it's your am session of your pm session, whether it's Monday or Friday, I want you to show up every session the best version of yourself. So if your property recovered refuelled and fuelled for that workout, then you're going to be the best surgery to get the most out of that session so you can be that much better for next week and next week and next week potentially for fight night.
Mac: Yeah, that's great. Following on from that, Uh, that last question about liquid carbohydrates. I'm BCAAs and EAAs are they used in the fuelling process with the carbohydrates.
Chris: So, um, I use a high quality protein with the liquid carbs, um, and depending on the session, the athlete where were at during camp in terms of what the ratio will be, whether it's a four, four grams of carb, one grab a protein or four or three to two to one slash one. Um, so the protein itself, if you're using like a high quality whey isolate, you're going to have all the branch chain amino acids in there. I don't use them separately. I don't think it's that necessary. Um, there are certain guys that I have that like to train fasted in the morning. Um, if that's the case, I made sure that they have some bcas and their water. Otherwise I don't really use vcs that much because it's founded out of your way anyway. So you're getting all those amino acids.
Mac: It's good. I think that kind of answers that question and it kind of rises one of my own. Um, and you mentioned fasted cardio in the morning. What's your, your experience with that been like,
Chris: Personally, I don't like it. I feel like crap when I do it. And um, I know some people love it. I think they, they feel they get more out of it. Um, research shows that you really, you don't, I'd rather be fuelled and work harder than, you know, be under fuelled and fasted and kind of breaking down, um, you know, and, and, and trying to lose more in the morning or get that much more depleted. I'm a lot of fighters that they'd like to get depleted. They liked that feeling. They like to be empty and then, you know, getting kinda grinded down back to what you said earlier about nitty gritty, hard feeling. That's how fighters are they like that they like to work extra. They like to work hard. They like to get broken down. They like to get, um, to get that depleted that they feel better about it. When in terms of did they do enough work? they feel better about it when it comes to the weight. I got lower, I got lighter. Oh, I saw this number on the scale after my last workout. So I know I'm going to get there. There's a lot of that psychological aspect to it. Um, but for me, I'd rather, I'd rather have myself or my athlete be fuelled and then just work hard because that's gonna pay off even more if you can instead or instead of running 30 minutes and your, your dragon because your low carb, um, wake up a little earlier, have have a meal or have a shake and then go run for 40 minutes and feel awesome. You know, you're going to get more out of that. I feel I'm getting yourself into those depleted states.
Mac: Yeah, definitely. I mean you're kind of using the way you feel as your compass in, in the decisions you make with your training and your nutrition and your recovery, right?
Chris: Yes, absolutely. I mean that's the thing, like with training camp, you have your set sessions, right? But like you don't know if that's. All those sessions are going to happen. Guys get hurt, guys get tired as good gasket. Dad gets sick. You know, you gotta you gotta, you gotta monitor day by day and is every, you know, every monday going to be my two, our boxing session. Maybe not even the guy comes in, like I said earlier about knowing your, asking, knowing then how they are day to day. He comes in and he's looking rough and it's boxing session. He's supposed to do strength finishing later. That's when I'll contact my strength coach, whether it be cory or or or scooter who ended up in up in New York or I use or spill and be like, listen to it. He was really dragging during the session this morning. The strength coach wasn't there to see that. Right. So having that communication is important so you can make those adjustments. Like, man, we don't, we don't have to, we don't have to grind this out today. He, he got us to our boxing and this morning he didn't look right there. We're not going to make it up in the strength conditioning session. We're gonna, we're gonna. We're gonna cater to where that athlete is at that point.
Mac: Rather than increasing the recovery deficit.
Chris: Right. Exactly. Why increase the load? He's already, he's already in that definitely like you said, why, why take them any lower?
Mac: Yeah. Yeah, it's good. Very, very helpful stuff, man. Tell me a next question from Benjamin. Have you got any experiences with athletes using Citrulline Malate to help with improving performance?
Chris: Um, I don't know, especially, um, a lot of the fighters that I work with, especially the boxing guy boxing super old school when it comes to, um, kind of training modalities and, and, and supplements. Um, I haven't come across a lot of fighters who, who know exactly what they're taking or why they're taking it. And those kinds of supplements that aren't like mainstream, um, a lot of guys won't be taken. MMA is a little different guys. Um, I definitely feel like MMA guys have a different kind of background, different kind of upbringing. A lot of them come from college wrestling. They've had like real strength coaches before they've, um, you know, they, they have a different kind of backgrounds than, than a lot of boxers, boxers do. So a lot of times there'll be a little more knowledgeable about training modalities and supplementation and things like that. Um, but really all My guys, I need to know exactly what you're taking, why you're taking it. Um, but I personally don't have a lot of work with guys who were used sexually. I don't, it's not one of the main ones that I, I suggest the guys either.
Mac: Yup. For, for the listeners, what exactly is it and what does it do?
Chris: So Citrulline Malate, it's an amino acid and it really is the best way or it has to do with kind of what we were talking about earlier, like the nitric oxide. Um, and it's, it's, it's basically a keeps you going longer. Kind of summarise what we were saying earlier about being an ally, you know, you're, you can train longer, you know, and it's supposed to be fatigued fighter supposed to have a recovery. There are some, some, some good information I've seen about, uh, about using it for recovery, but for the most part I think with food first kind of guy. Anyway, so myself, imitation is not, I'm, I'm, I'm not having my guys taking a million different things. I don't do that myself either, but no. So if that's one of the ones I'm going to add to the mix of the stuff I'm already trying to give them. And I'm like I said, a lot of guys, they don't want to take this stuff and you want to take any, you know, they're like, oh, I got more pills. Yeah. So it's, it's, it's, uh, it's, it's just one more thing to add to the ends of the group.
Mac: Sure, sure. Let's move along. Next question from benjamin. Um, if your athletes have to take part in an early morning training session, don't necessarily have time to eat. What liquid nutrition would you recommend? and he's, uh, he's put in brackets here, a concoction that he likes to use, but what would you recommend?
Chris: So I, I start my day with, um, with a smoothie and if I'm doing a workout I'll usually incorporate some fruit, just add some sugar in it or a fruit juice. Um, but I liked that. I always like to start with some kind of green, so I'll do like broccoli and spinach in a smoothie and a drink. Um, and I'll, I'll spell blend that with some protein. Um, I'll add some, some almond milk and some kind of thicken it up and some juice to add some carbohydrates to it or a banana if I want to add carbs. Um, I was actually just talking to, um, a Volkan yesterday because he's, he's getting ready getting rear period up on camp and he's about 10 weeks out from his next fight. And um, he said that he's feeling hungry in between his workouts and he has, he has a, a company that provides meals for him. He's, should I add another meal or should I just add a shake because I'm feeling hungry. I'm like, let's just do a shake 'em. He's like, yeah. But he's like, is that going to be enough? I'm like, well, we can make it enough. You can now add, we can add, um, oatmeal to the shake, the ed carbs. We can add, um, you know, bananas for carbs as well, or fruit or fruit juices. We can add fats. We can add peanut butter, almond butter, almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds. We can add coconut oil to it, you know, we can make that shake into a four or 500 calories shape. So it depends on, on the athlete with the needs are. Um, I usually like to keep it a little leaner if it's going to be a pre workout. I'm not gonna use a lot of fat and something like that. But, um, but yeah, it gave me frozen blueberries. Some, some, some baby spinach, um, some pomegranate juice, a scoop of whey, you know, and, and that can be a good way to get into your, your creatine, glutamine. I'm a beta alanine as well. And then right before your workout.
Mac: Okay. Plenty of information there. That was, um, that was incredible. Now that the thing that, uh, ben's got in brackets here that he uses himself is coconut water, electrolytes, lemon juice, creatine EAAs and carbs. They're base based on what you've just said there. How could Ben best kind of tweak that to suit him on a training morning?
Chris: So it depends on what his training is that day. If it's going to be, um, if it's going to be a lift and it's not going to be a really long session, that sounds like an awesome an awesome cocktail. Um, if, if it's going to be a longer duration, maybe an endurance work or an endurance runner or something that's going to be laSting more than an hour or even more than that, he's probably gonna. Need some more carbs in there. And I would, I would, I'm a big fan of using a protein. And especially whey protein because that's how fast to digest. So adding that to the mix, um, as long as your stomach can handle that, fine, you don't have an issue. I've been using some vega sport pea protein with my guyS in the morning. Um, that's been going over really well. Some guys, it's just, it's more tolerable for them in the morning. Um, but, um, that's, that's, that's a preference thing.
Mac: Yeah. I mean I personally use a pea and rice blend for my protein and I use that full time. It's, it's fantastic. So I can certainly vouch for switching to a vegan option.
Chris: I dig it. I've been mixing that in as well. I use, I keep my way from my post workouts where it's really important for, for anibolism, but in my morning stuff or in between or if I'm just having like, just a shake just to have the kind of a bridge Snack, I'll use my, uh, I'll use my, uh, my pea protein.
Mac: Did you just say a bridge snack
Chris: Bridge snack? Yes, that's a, that's kind of a term that I've coined lucky. Yeah. So I, I talk a lot about blood sugar and insulin and certain spikes throughout the day and um, when we've got an athlete who's training very high in training, uh, very often, uh, it's difficult to get big meals in, right? So if you just finish up your session A lot of times right after I workout, guys aren't that hungry, you know, especially an intense session. That hunger kind of comes on later. That hunger comes on later and they have another session. You can't eat a big meal there. So you ended up having a lot of snacks throughout the day and kind of sandwiching your day with, with larger meals, like a larger breakfast and a larger dinner and a bunch of snacks in between. So, um, I use the term bridge snack when I've got guys that are kind of trying to make it to the next meal or the next training session without having a big meal and them or, or, or eating, thinking a lot more calories than they need.
Brenton: What is it, what do you do about fighters? Um, you have to battle inflammation every day. Um, you know, do you have any kind of nutrition protocols around this to help combat it? Um, you know, things like food supplements, I mean, what's your recommendation to stay on top of that?
Chris: Great question. Um, I'm big on inflammation. I, you know, again, at least get broken down. Um, eyes always harbouring a lot of injuries and things you gotta get I'm to be aware of. Um, pineapple is a, is, is a, has a compound called bromelain, which is a potent anti inflammatory, uh, of using pineapple a try and give pineapple to my athletes most days if not everyday. I put her in the smoothies in the morning. I'm the highest concentration of the bottom line is actually in the core of the pineapple. So using that in your smoothies is a, is a good idea because it's little, it's a little tough to chew. Yep. Um, they also have that segment form. You can take that. They've got a bromelain alone. They also have a turmeric which is another great, um, uh, anti inflammatory and anti every. I mean, turmeric is also really good for everything, but um, yeah, uh, beets, beets are also good for that, for inflammation as well. Anytime anything gets the blood flow flowing is really good for any kind of inflammation or kind of injuries that you may have. So again, going back to the beet roots, the pomegranate juice, pineapple, I'm making sure you eat fatty fish, keeping your magazine, taking omega three supplements. Um, yeah, I've, I've always been big on omega three supplements, actually fish oils, things like that. I actually wrote my, my graduate school thesis on a, on a omega three supplementation and federal sclerosis and heart heart disease. So there's a lot of great research on, on um, on omegas and, and you know, omega three fatty acids and their effect on, on blood vessels and health in general.
Brenton: Right? So what was some of the key takeaways or findings in particular insights you derive from that?
Chris: So what I, what I think is the most overlooked thing by, by whether they're athletes or, or, or, or day to day people is, is how much of the ingredients of those supplements are in that you actually need. So really what you've got to look for as the dha and epa content of your omega three for a supplement. So you wouldn't hit about 1100 milligrams of the combined dha and epa. So everybody read the back of your, of your labels, look at your omega three segments. You might do a little bit of math, but it should be at least a thousand milligrams, two or 1100 at least to have a beneficial day to day effect. Um, a lot of times, lot of segments will, they'll tell you to take two caps, but you, you look on the back and it's really only six or 700 milligrams of epa, dha, epa. So, um, that's, that's, that's one way you can be, you can be doing your due diligence to be taken your, your, your supplement, but you're not getting enough of this stuff you actually need. You're right.
Brenton: So how, what kind of role does it play in the body, like wire, omega three's something we should be paying attention to.
Chris: So, um, all of the cells in our body have a liberal phos with bio layer that, that, that's how the cells communicate with each other, um, and they're made. There's a fat and there's a limit in there. So, um, what you're, what, what that fat consists of or what that liquid over it consists of is important for cellular communication. They're really gonna effect. Everything on, in terms of how your body is, is communicating how your cells communicate. Like I said earlier, the body is an incredible, incredible machine. It's really good for, again, it's another, another, um, another southern other food that keeps your blood flowing, right? So it's all about blood flow. It's good for inflammation, your body responds with as either a. Trying to think the best way to put this. So when it comes to omega three, omega six, omega nines, right? We hear all about those things. Why OmegaThree's better technically. omega threes are considered a anti-inflammatory where omega sixes and nines or are more pro inflammatory. That's not exactly the case. It's really kind of like the ratio of what your diet looks like in terms of how much omega three you have compared to how much omega six, omega nine. But um, essentially it's that our current diet and the society we live in, the, in the food sources that we have, we have a lot more omega six than we do omega three now and that's based on just the change in the diet over over the decades, you know, eating less fish, eating more, eating more, um, more green fed beef, meat sources. So a, it changed the omega content of the, of the food that we eat, which in turn change the american content of us. Right? Because you are what you eat. So omega threes are trying to get back to a healthier ratio of omega three, six and nines, which again has to do with, um, being more anti inflamatory.
Brenton: So what was some of the natural foods you could be, you know, deriving omega threes from, like you mentioned, fish oil,
Chris: Fatty fish, salmon, tuna, um, those are, those are great sources of omega threes. Also grass fed beef has a certain amount of omega threes in it. So that's, that's another good source. The non meat sources, things like flax seeds, walnuts, those, a great source of omega threes there. Although it's a little bit different, it's like epa and dha, that one has a ala in it, um, different, different fatty acid but not, it doesn't work as, as well as, as the, the other two in the meat sources, but it still is beneficial in the body. So keeping keeping in those omega threes in your food is, is, is always your best bet.
Mac: That's a, that's obviously a hot topic for yourself. Chris, having written your thesis or your, um, uh, was it a dissertation or a thesis you wrote on it?
Chris: It was a thesis
Mac: I mean, I'm sure we could rap all day about a omega threes and, and different fatty acids. But we'll move on to the next question. Um, this is about electrolytes. good one. Um, do you recommend your athletes take their water with electrolytes throughout the day or just around training?
Chris: Not really. It depends on, on, on the ambient temperature and where we're at. Right. so, um, south Florida different than New York. Vegas. Different. Yeah. different, different ambient temperatures, different levels of community, different, different amounts of water loss. Um, I mostly will keep it around the training sessions and not so much during the day. I'm a wall. I won't have the guy like drinks sports drink with lunch, I'll have that for, for a post workout or a pre workout or during, during exercise, uh, during, during the training session. And the rest will get from food, right? I can just add more salt to the food. I can, you know, make sure they're eating varied colourful fruits and veggies. So making sure they're getting in those nutrients and they're gonna retain, retain water in their body from really sodium is really where you got to be worried about when it comes to water retention and staying hydrated.
Brenton: You mentioned about obviously not having a drink with food. is there some kind of rule or a, I guess, philosophy around how much liquids you have with food? Is that something you try and separate? Does it have any kind of impact on your digestion? What can you sort of tell us about that?
Chris: You know? Um, I don't, I don't really restrict my guys and I, I'm, I'm more worried about them not drinking enough then drinking too much or drinking during their meals, um, but I want to make sure that they're getting their, um, their nutrition and if it's going to keep my guy, for me, if he drinks too much water and he's not going to eat as much, um, there's only so much room in the gut, but if you drink two liters of water and then try and have a big meal, it's going to be tough to get all that food down and that could, that could, that could affect the digestion rate as well. So I want to make sure that they're getting their nutrients and especially when it comes to those recovery windows, um, and then to really hydrate post-meal and just to stay hydrated. That thing about hydration is you don't want to, you don't want to just pound a bunch of water, you know, and it'd be like, all right, well I got my, I drank my liter of water, you know, at 2:00, I don't even drink again until later. It's, it's more, it's better to drink sporadically throughout the day because what happens when you drink a lot of water at once, um, your body signals gets a signal that, okay, we've got a bunch of fluid or else we gotta we're gonna push it through a little faster. Um, so causing that diarrhesis quickly because you drank so much, you're not going to retain as much as, as you know, you probably could if you were drinking slower and slower,
Mac: Was it diarrhesis you just said?
Chris: Yes. that's a diarrhetic. Like a diarrhetic causes a diarrhesis as your basically your, your, your kidney filter, filtration rate and how it produces urine. So that's like the fluid electrolyte balance when that's why sodium helps you retain water, your, your, your concentration gradient, right? How much sodium is in the, in the fluid that's in your gi and vice versa. Versus outside where, why you're holding water, not holding water, you know, that makes sense.
Mac: Yeah, sure. That's great. Oh man, we've had tons of, tons of great stuff. Both brands and are scribbling notes away frantically over here, but we will need to be conscious of time and we've only got one or two more questions for you mate. Um, this last question from Ben Brellis. It's, it's a really good one actually. It's a close one to my heart for me having lived in Hong Kong and Macau for six years in my mid twenties, um, you know, I can, I can personally vouch for just how bad the situation is for food over there and how difficult it is to really get hold of good, clean, good, clean food for the most part. So ben's question is on the fight camp conditioning, podcasts you discussed, uh, the package, our fight and how you really struggled to find the foods you were used to eating while you're doing your cut. I'm just just tell us about that experience in, in Macau and uh, and what the food situation was like and, and, and that just basically that experience.
Chris: Yeah. So, you know, I was concerned about that for weeks and months leading up to it, like what am I going to do about my food while I'm out there? Um, and I made very, very detailed list of the food that I wanted and, and certain things just weren't available. And also it was a bit of a language barrier with the foods that I was asking for with the foods that were provided. So it was difficult, you know, it was really difficult for me. I was so used to eating certain things for all my, my, my, my cut weeks in my fight weeks and um, and my recovery, I'm recovering food. So that was really difficult for one to catch the way down because of that. And also everything there is really salty, salty, and fatty and oily. So it was it that made it a very, very challenging cut. And really we even worse was the rehydration. I had a lot of trouble keeping the water in my body up and rehydrating again. My way back up. I think I weighed more. I did. I tried weight more fight night for protocol than I did for pack out. And I showed him. What did you put that down to? I'm not having the foods that I was used to and I'm not sure I, I couldn't, I couldn't keep 'em. I couldn't keep the myself like hydrated and eating up to leading up to that fight. Um, you know, I was, I was, I was a little bit. I was having some gastrointestinal distress leading up to the fight as well. So it was a number of things. But um, yeah, that was, that was a nightmare.
Mac: A whole bunch of stresses including nutritional stress and.
Chris: Yeah, including fighting Manny Pacquiao
Brenton: as if, as if that wasn't a big enough problem as it was. I mean, what can you tell us in terms of adaptability mean you mentioned that you're not, you weren't eating the foods that you normally use to, um, you know, so what's going on there when it, when it comes to, is there some kind of adaptation? Is it certain enzymes? I, what's the story there?
Chris: You know, I think I'm honestly, I think I'm just too strict sometimes, you know, and just kind of um, you know, and I think I was so in my ways, you know, at that, at that time, like I got just got out of there and I think I've learned now by more as a coach and as that has a better, isn't it? You don't have to be that strict and it's probably better not to be, um, you know, I just read a recent study about, um, something about, I know study or an article about, about meagan's and there they were kind of checking them out over time and like the less strict vegans were the healthier that shoe because they were getting some of the nutrients that the year that the stricter vegans are missing. And it was kind of rounding out their health. Um, so yes, I think it sometimes it is good to kind of go outside of the norm and, and, and kind of listening to your body, you need the foods that you might be craving because maybe you're missing something that you're not even aware of. That's where nutritional testing really comes in and being able to check blood work, have your athletes comes into play because you can see these little nutrient deficiencies show up that they, they've been, they've been insidiously decreasing over time and not, not having any clinical effect. And then all of a sudden it's like you fell off a cliff, they fell off a cliff, you know, so it's, it's, it's great and it's, it's rare, but you can have, when you're able to have, um, you know, blood work on your athletes to see where they are at nutritionally, at the micronutrient level. It's really beneficial.
Brenton: Amazing. I mean, something else, again, you touched on it, that craving foods. Is there some kind of scientific correlation between what you crave? I mean, I mean, you know, obviously like I crave chocolate a lot and I can't really listen to that. I don't, I don't, I'm not sure what it is, what's in it beyond sugar that I'm after. But um, you know, what do you understand about these food cravings? I mean, sounds like I've heard stories of pregnant women talk about craving certain foods like tomatoes and things like rich in certain nutrients. I'm sort of operating within our body.
Chris: I mean, it, it, it makes total sense, right? Like it's, it's our body telling us in the most natural way possible that we're missing something may not be able to conceptualize what that exactly is because we don't really need to in nature. It's like, right, you know, like I need to go lick that salty rock because my body needs. That's just, that's just, that's just kinda how nature works. Logical machines been growing. So when I talk to like my, my, my regular clients who we talked to me about, um, uh, you know, their, their cravings, I always ask, well what are your cravings? And people kind of fall in very distinct categories that they're creating. But you said chocolate. That's, that's a big one. Um, but why is it chocolate? Is it, is it sweetness? Is it the fat? Because sugar is high fat content. Um, is it some of the minerals that are in it, you know, is it just, is it, is it actually a psychological thing is maybe you just studied a lot. Exactly. That's exactly. So it could be a number of things. I was trying to break down. What exactly is your craving? I like, I crave potato chips. Like, okay, are you craving the salt? Are you craving the fat? Are you craving the crunch? You know, so there's all these different things. If you really break down what that food item is, maybe it's not that food item. Maybe it's something that makes up that food item. Maybe it's like I said the salt in it. Maybe it's um, you know, the fat or the sugar or whatever. Maybe you've been depleted in your, your low and your glycogen. So you're now thinking like I'm craving sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, right? So I guess the, the, the lesson we've sort of learned from here is to really interrogate and question, you know, the underlying reasons that you're craving a certain food. I mean, be mindful. I'm, I'm, I'm big on having that mind body connection to like why, why am I hungry, why should I be hungry right now? Like, what should I be craving this? Like, what's the reason for that? And you don't need to think too much about it, but I would say listen to your body if you feel like having something had that.
Mac: And I guess like most things, mindfulness and being in tune with your body and what it needs, it's, it's a skill that can be developed. Right? So have you got any advice for those of us, you know, the morons, if you like, you who really struggle with that kind of stuff and one's a lack discipline.
Chris: Um, I do. And I think it has to do with a touch of meditation and a touch of kind of cutting off from everything. We're all attached to our phones, right? Everybody's always, always on their phone, on the phone, on the phone. I think it's really hard to be mindful of your own body when you're, you're always dealing with this, this thing that is almost attached to us at this point. We're not the phone. It's always biased. Where's my phone? I think putting that thing down, I'm taking some time to sit and relax and kind of meditate and think about what's going on in your body. It doesn't take much, a couple of minutes a day, you know, maybe not even every day, but just kind of, you know, put your phone down, go somewhere peace and quiet and, and just, just relax and they kind of get in tune with your body, think about, think about what's going on. Think about all the beautiful things that are actually going on within your body. Um, and I think that can really help you to connect. Um, you're disconnecting from the other, from the outside world in and reconnecting with your inside world and I think that can really help you when it comes to controlling navy, those cravings, understanding of your body a little better, um, and at least just opening your, your, your eyes and your ears and your senses to what's actually going on in there.
Mac: That's a very interesting indeed. Um, you know, meditation and mindfulness are obviously closely linked, but, you know, taking that time, disconnecting with all the screens that we're constantly surrounding ourselves with the obviously an extra appendage in our lives now, like a lens for the world. Yeah, Thank you for that advice. Um, so we should probably, uh, here, look at the clock. We uh, we should probably start to wrap this up mate. So, um, please tell us, you know, what, what have you got going on for the rest of the year, you know, how can, how can our listeners get in contact with you? Have you got any seminars coming up, all that kind of stuff.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely, chrisalgieri.com has got everything in that, you know, you can, you can find a contact email there. Really it's just chris algieri.com. Super easy. You can spell my name, you could find me. Um, my, I'm pretty easy on my, on my Instagram. That's really the only social media that I use and link it to my twitter and my Facebook, but I'd literally never even logged onto those so IG is the best way to find me and that's really it. I mean we'll keep you guys posted, you know, the public out there about anything coming up with the fight science institute. But um, yeah, just stay tuned. A lot of good stuff coming up for my thanks.
Mac: We will be tuned and we will be helping you guys promote whatever you guys have got going on in Australia. So there's no need to worry about that. Um, all right. Anything else from you Brenton or should we wrap this up now?
Brenton: It's amazing. I thank you for joining us is absolutely amazing episode.
Chris: Absolutely. Guys, thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed it and I look forward to coming out and seeing you guys in Australia.
Brenton: Please do.
Mac: I cant wait mate. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much again.

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