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S&C UnderGround >> Are S&C coaches REALLY needed for fighters?


11/14/12 10:57 AM
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Tilla
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Boxers used to get by just fine back in the day on just running, groundwork, sparring, pads & bags.

Pretty sure that MMA'ers weren't using them fully even 8-10+ years ago as well.

Are S&C coaches REALLY needed then?
11/14/12 11:52 AM
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vermonter
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If a fighter is dedicated to conditioning and good nutrition, then a solid strength and conditioning coach could probably only account for 1% or less of any subsequent success from conditioning or nutrition.

That 1% or less, however, can mean the difference between top 100 and top 3. A UFC contract, or local shows.

So is it really necessary? I'd say the answer is yes for anyone that either wants to be a top level pro, or anyone that wants to get ahead but isn't motivated enough on his/her own to put the work in without the help.

E.G. Leigh Remedios is a great fighter, and didn't need (as far as i know) an s&c coach to get there. But that's because Leigh is extremely organized and motivated. He's the exception rather than the rule, and even he sees the value of it.
11/14/12 1:18 PM
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Kroger39
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I wonder how much negative effect comes from using a S&C coach? As in they don't really need one or the stuff they're doing is less than optimal.
11/14/12 1:28 PM
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vermonter
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Kroger39 - I wonder how much negative effect comes from using a S&C coach? As in they don't really need one or the stuff they're doing is less than optimal.

Probably not much until the athlete pushes into the overtraining realm. Then incompetent trainers probably do quite a bit of harm...
11/14/12 2:13 PM
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Tilla
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BlackBelt2012 - If you watch GSP's training specials, there's little doubt that his S&C is making him faster and more explosive. This shows in his fights. Does he need it? No, there are many others who do less if any (most that do none probably don't get to the UFC) but it certainly gives him an advantage. This is why he is Champ.

Hard work pays off

I've read in an interview that GSP is not lifting weights again!
11/14/12 2:26 PM
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TheKidAintMine
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Tilla - 
BlackBelt2012 - If you watch GSP's training specials, there's little doubt that his S&C is making him faster and more explosive. This shows in his fights. Does he need it? No, there are many others who do less if any (most that do none probably don't get to the UFC) but it certainly gives him an advantage. This is why he is Champ.

Hard work pays off

I've read in an interview that GSP is not lifting weights again!

In the latest UFC primetime, GSP is shown doing oly lifts.
11/14/12 2:29 PM
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Tilla
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Pretty sure that's an old clip.

He said that will only be doing B/W exercises as weightlifting is bad on the joints.

It's OK saying "That 1%" but WORLD CHAMPIONS have become WORLD CHAMPIONS without using them. See what I mean?
11/14/12 4:32 PM
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ArthurKnoqOut
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Why do you relate weights to SnC? 

11/14/12 4:37 PM
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Tilla
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ArthurKnoqOut - 

Why do you relate weights to SnC? 


I was using weights as an example.


11/14/12 6:25 PM
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Leigh
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I think a good s&c coach is valuable if the fighter has s&c issues. In my experience, most s&c coaches in MMA have very little real experience and think their role is far more important than it really is.
11/14/12 7:41 PM
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Taku
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I agree with Doug. The better you are, the more the little things matter. anything that can improve performace while not adding risk is a plus.

Following up on that thought, I personally feel that a minimum of 50% of what GSP does for S&C is a complete waste of time and energy, not to mention sets him up for potential injury unrelated to his combative training.

Anything that's done must be filtered through a cost to benefit filter. IMHO lot's of  S&C coaches working with fighters today are having them engage in activities that contribute very little (if any) to performance, while exposing them to risk.

TAKU

11/15/12 3:36 AM
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Chocolate Shatner
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I have to agree with Taku and Doug. S&C is vital as you get better in the game. Just as boxing has evolved, or football, or even Olympic sprinting, the margin for error has gotten smaller and smaller and smaller.

Lets look at it just using an MMA perspective. Let's face it, nowadays someone who is going .500 in lower level pro MMA would have been at least a UFC semi-finalist prior to UFC 10 or so.

The average size of an NFL lineman has increased 10 kilos in the past ten years, I think I remember reading.

Players are stronger, larger, and faster than ever. The margin for error is disappearing, to the point where perhaps even if you do everything right, you are still not gonna make it.

Now, as Taku mentions, an S&C "coach" who doesn't know what the fuck they are doing is perhaps more dangerous than not doing S&C at all. But, a good S&C coach is an essential part of any fighter's team.
11/15/12 5:11 AM
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Tilla
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The only reason a .500 fighter would be a semi-finalist is down to the skillset, not what they're doing on the track or in the weight room.
11/15/12 7:13 AM
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Chocolate Shatner
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No shit, it's because of their skillset. Problem is, EVERYONE in MMA now has a similar complete skill set at the pro level. So, gaining an edge in every other area becomes more important. Such and S&C.


And you keep mixing up the idea "S&C" with "weight room."

The terms are not synonamous.
11/15/12 9:25 AM
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vermonter
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Tilla - 
BlackBelt2012 - If you watch GSP's training specials, there's little doubt that his S&C is making him faster and more explosive. This shows in his fights. Does he need it? No, there are many others who do less if any (most that do none probably don't get to the UFC) but it certainly gives him an advantage. This is why he is Champ.

Hard work pays off

I've read in an interview that GSP is not lifting weights again!

Someone mentioned it, but even if it were true (which it doesn't appear to be), that doesn't mean he doesn't have an S&C coach. In fact, i think i've met the dude.

Additionally, you asked if s&c coaches were needed for success. GSP almost certainly has one now, and has had one in the past, so he is no example opposing the use of s&c coaches.
11/15/12 9:36 AM
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vermonter
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Tilla - Pretty sure that's an old clip.

He said that will only be doing B/W exercises as weightlifting is bad on the joints.

It's OK saying "That 1%" but WORLD CHAMPIONS have become WORLD CHAMPIONS without using them. See what I mean?

I know this is a troll thread, but since CS is getting worked up, i'll chime in on this.

I sincerely doubt you know which world champions have had or have not had s&c coaches. I also sincerely doubt there is an existing world champion in MMA that has not done, and isn't currently a part of some kind of organized s&c. Furthermore, not even the best among us knows what some other coach's methods did to help or hinder an athlete, so any discussion of its merits to some other athlete is untenable. Sadly, for unprepaired coaches, it can be hard to tell what their methods are doing for the athletes that they themselves are training.

So i will say the following:

1. The athletes that i have personally worked with do better than if they hadn't worked with me, by my measurment, empirical evidence and their own reckoning.

2. Not every athlete needs a dedicated S&C coach to do well. However, many have a skill coach that functions in this regard, or they do it themselves. Again, Leigh (who is on this very thread) is an example of that. Leigh is essentially his own S&C coach and has been educating himself here and elsewhere for over a decade. And yet still, i think he'd say that he's learned a thing or two in working with me (I'll leave such judgements up to him), as I have certainly learned from working with him.

3. I you ever want to fight rather than troll, send me a message. I'd be happy to show you the merits of s&c.
11/15/12 10:10 AM
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Taku
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Doug,

As always I appreciate your input, and your diplomacy in your response.

I agree that more often than not one needs to actually be there to truly know what the coaches intentions are, and to see what tools, modalities he/she is using (as well as how - when -  why). That being said, I do feel that one can look at even some small clips of what an athlete is doing, and know if it is indeed a waste of time or not. There are many activities that have no real valid place in the prep of a fighter. So why waste time and energy doing them?

TAKU

11/15/12 10:42 AM
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vermonter
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Taku,

I agree with you 100% but for the sake of discussion i'll elucidate my own experience regarding your point about seeing clips of what athletes are doing:

When Spike did their "day in the life of" thing for Kenny, they were primarily interested in his conditioning prep. Well, there were some issues with that:

1. They were there for one day. Some of the things we worked on just weren't available, so we made due.

2. They also showed stuff he liked to do himself, like yoga. This was a part of his own philosophy in more of the spiritual and mental aspects of fighting. It wasn't something I had anything to do with other than i wouldn't allow it if he was pushing his limits already.

3. They wanted to see everything he did condensed into one day. We were close to a title fight. I wouldn't allow him to exercise for a full day so close to a fight. Some things were modified for the sake of that.

4. At the time i did that professionally. I don't want to show everything i was doing.

5. The opponent gets to see the program too. This isn't super important, but we had to be careful not to show key portions of our strategy.

6. MOST important: My work with him in cardio, nutrition, tactics (i did a lot more than s&c), and psych made up 98% of our time together (i lived with him, so that means 24/7). That stuff doesn't translate well to the screen so it seemed like the more exciting stuff made up more than the other 2% of our time, but it did not.

Point is, even with an hour long program detailing what a coach is doing, it can be really tough to tell even when the coach is very good. I want to reiterate that I agree with you, and if you see a coach preaching the benefits of a balistic arched-spine good-morning than you can write him off as terrible. I just figured some folks might be interested in the process of what you actually see on tv. It's more complicated for the coach than it might seem.
11/15/12 10:43 AM
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vermonter
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PS. i'll assume the "always" part of your first sentence is not attributed to the later "diplomacy" part ;)
11/15/12 10:59 AM
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Leigh
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Doug is correct in that I am my own S&C coach and I have learned a lot from this forum and other places, including some great stuff from Doug.

My S&C is very simple (do a search on my K.I.S.S. thread) but I have had S&C coaches in the past who thought I should be doing stop-start sprints up hills, doing weird types of plyos etc. None have told me to work my aerobic system and lift heavy and none have taken my MMA training into account. It was all Bompa periodisation model cookie cutter crap. And none of it worked - I was already a strong, explosive athlete. I needed better conditioning and better recovery but that wasn't addressed.

So in that regard, I see where the OP is coming from cos we've known for over a century how to get strong and in shape for combat sports but its been a very simple, unflexible approach and only suits some people. A tall skinny girl with an endurance background needs different training to short, heavily muscular man. A good S&C coach can bring the best out in an athlete and that isn't always easy.
11/15/12 11:03 AM
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Taku
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Good stuff guys...

Doug, great points. And I do always appreciate your input.

TAKU

11/15/12 11:16 AM
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None So Blind
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Quote that has stayed with me from my one (very) brief meeting with Isao Inokuma (former All Japan judo champ and Olympic gold in judo, trained Yasuhiro Yamashita who is arguably the greatest judoka of all time) after a seminar:

"There is no such thing as a weak champion."

I wasn't following the conversation (my Japanese sucks), but as it was translated to me, he meant that lifting and strength was necessary in his eyes to reach the top.

Thoughts?
11/15/12 11:20 AM
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vermonter
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None So Blind - Quote that has stayed with me from my one (very) brief meeting with Isao Inokuma (former All Japan judo champ and Olympic gold in judo, trained Yasuhiro Yamashita who is arguably the greatest judoka of all time) after a seminar:

"There is no such thing as a weak champion."

I wasn't following the conversation (my Japanese sucks), but as it was translated to me, he meant that lifting and strength was necessary in his eyes to reach the top.

Thoughts?

I think everyone would agree that strength is important. General strength is critical for every athlete. Specific strength is as well, but the debates center around what qualifies as specific strength. Can you do it in the gym or not? My own answer isn't super popular, but there are people at both ends of the spectrum and at every point in between.
11/15/12 11:31 AM
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ArthurKnoqOut
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Chocolate Shatner - No shit, it's because of their skillset. Problem is, EVERYONE in MMA now has a similar complete skill set at the pro level. So, gaining an edge in every other area becomes more important. Such and S&C.


And you keep mixing up the idea "S&C" with "weight room."

The terms are not synonamous.

the last part is precisely what I asked and he said he used "weights as an example" that's a pissporr example.

11/15/12 11:33 AM
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vermonter
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That's because he's trolling. I just figured it was a cool topic for everyone else anyway.

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