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Danew's Training Log

I’ve never really tried to keep a log before, so I figured I’d give it a shot here. Some background 1st. I started karate at age 5 and trained mostly in that until I was about 18. Then I started boxing in college and working some japanese jujitsu.

After 2 years at Miami of Ohio, I came back home and opened a karate school. I hosted a seminar taught by Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt Chet Schemahorn, and fell in love with jiu-jitsu. After training with him for some time, I decided to give MMA a shot.

I initially trained some at Modern Gladiator Gym in Indianapolis where I was really exposed to Muay Thai and wrestling a lot. I fought a few amateur fights and then decided to turn pro. I now train with Integrated Fighting Arts in Indianapolis.

I am lucky to train in the same gym with UFC veterens Chris Lytle, Jake O’Brien, and Johnny Rees. I also train jiu-jitsu with James Klingerman in Greenwood, IN. I consider myself to be much more of a technical figther than I do a powerhouse, or great athlete. I love to drill technique and be a student of the game.

Some stats for training information: I am 5’9", walk around at 185 lbs or so, fight 170 lbs. I’d say I’m around 12-13% body fat, though I have to admit I haven’t had it measured. I train with Mike Robertson and Bill Hartman at Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training

(www.indianapolisfitnessandsportstraining.com) in Indy. I also consult with Shelby Starnes (www.troponinnutrition.com) for all my diet needs. I just started with Shelby about a week ago, so I’m excited for some results!

Current Goals: (Next fight scheduled for Feb 14th)

  1. Mike and I agree that my biggest weakness is lower body max strength. Though I haven’t done a 1RM in quite some time, I can reasonably estimate my max deadlift to be around 350lbs and my max squat to be around 265 lbs.

Therefore one of my major goals in training with Mike has been to increase max strength in my lower body. There are difficulties here, of course, because it is hard to do that and train full out for fights. But we are working on it.

  1. Improve power. I have never been a great leaper or sprinter. I do punch and kick hard, but that is mostly a function of having good technique due to the many years of training. We are always working on increasing power output.

One main area of focus is improving my ability to get up from guard, or just explode off bottom while on the ground.

  1. Lower body fat. Shelby is helping me to shed some body fat. This is partially a goal for performance, but also a goal just for personal reasons. About 2 years ago I was 225 lbs and quite fat, so I want to finish this journey by seeing my abs.

This log with mostly cover my diet and weight/conditioning work, but I will answer any questions that you may have about my skill work as well.

Schedule: Please note that I undergo different schedules based on how far out from a fight I am. This is the schedule at this point

Jiu-Jitsu-10 a.m.
Weights-around 2-3 p.m.
Focus today is power development-power cleans, speed squats, speed bench, band pressdowns (I have some elbow health issues), kettlebell windmills, glute-ham raise
High Carb Day

MMA practice-4 p.m. (about a 90 min practice)
Moderate Carb Day

Jiu-Jitsu-10 a.m.
Rehab/Prehab work with Bill Hartman (ART and such)-2 p.m.
MMA practice-4 p.m.
Moderate Carb Day

MMA practice-4 p.m.
Moderate Carb Day

Weights- around 2-3 p.m.
Focus is strength-Trap Bar Deads, Good Mornings with safety squat bar, Walking Lunges, DB Rows, Supine Med Ball throws (an explosive sit-up with med ball throw), Prone Scapations
High Carb Day

Long, slow run…keep HR at about 65-75% max. 35-45 min run.
Low Carb

Sprint Intervals-45 sec easy, 15 sec hard 15 reps
Low Carb

As for supps, Shelby has me taking BCAA’s, green tea extract, fish oil, evening primrose oil, R-ALA, creatine, beta alanine, and obviously a quality protein powder. I also take Vitamin D because I live in cloudy Indiana and have had issues with seasonal affective disorder before. Any Questions will be great…I’ll be updating this regularly :slight_smile:

It sounds like you’re surrounded by a lot of good people (I’ve heard many good things about Clingerman), this should be an interesting log to follow!

duuuuuuuude you consult with shelby?

im going to be watching this shit close!

I’m looking forward to following your progress Danew. At 6’1" and 185 I have similar numbers for lower body max strength so I can appreciate your goals to improve in that regard.

Ok, yesterday I had a good day lifting.

I did 155 for Hang Cleans

205 for speed bench, then felt good after a few sets, so went up and hit 255, 265, and just missed 275

185 for speed squat, but felt good, so went up and hit 225, 235, 255, 265 full squats. Those are good numbers for me and show some good improvement.

Also, in my original post I said I had glute ham raises on this day, I wrote that wrong. I actually have KB swings (two hands). So it was a good day. Also, (using my gym scale for sake of consistency), I have dropped from 190.1 to 187.4 lbs since I started working with Shelby Starnes, which was 9 days ago. So good stuff there.

Alright, practice yesterday was good. We drilled some combinations in the standing position and then went takedowns to submissions sparring. Also, during that last drill, anytime the coach said up we had to jump up, run a sprint, and go write back to wrestling. Tough workout.

Diet is coming along well. I started this thing out with Shelby Monday Dec. 22nd and weight 190.1 according to my gym scale. On the 29th, I weight 187.4. So good progress.

There’s no way I can recommend trying ART for those of you who haven’t. I had my 1st session with Bill Hartman about 3 weeks ago because I was having a lot of left arm pain. Turns out I had a nerve entrapment (which it took him about 2 min to diagnose). After 1 session the pain was at least 90% better, and now after 4 sessions on it (and my right arm as well) I’ve gained a good deal of ROM in my elbow joints and am faster and hit harder than ever before. I have also had trouble with my right groin and hip. I could not pull rubber guard that way at all. After two sessions I’m much much more flexible and comfortable. Not to mention I was able to do heavy squats without pain for the 1st time in as long as I can remember.

Practice yesterday went great for me. I sparred several rounds with a friend who is a good wrestler and tricky southpaw. We sparred 1 round kicks and punches, 1 round punches only, 1 round kicks only, 1 round punches and takedowns, and 2 rounds punches, kicks, and takedowns. I performed very well. Then we took turns going 2 min kicking a shield held by the other. The goal was to incorporate footwork and kicking combinations. Very tiring drill. We did this for 3 rds. We finished off with 60 jump lunges, which burns pretty good after all that kicking.

Happy New Year!

Ok, yesterday was a lifting day for me. I was able to hit 360 lbs on trap bar deads for 2 sets of 2. I also hit 350 for 2x2 before that. So that’s pretty good. I then did 165 lbs on good mornings and 80 lb DB’s for one arm rows. Prone med ball tosses felt fast and strong. I’m down to 6 weeks before my fight. Diet and training seem to be going well. Sparring is feeling tight and good.

Today I hit a 3.5 mile run nice and easy. Just a little aerobic work. Tomorrow I’m looking forward to jiu-jitsu class. I have worked very hard to develop some nice triangle setups with much success. However, I struggle at times to finish.

One problem I’m having is when my opponent takes his trapped arm and makes a frame by placing that trapped elbow on my hip. He knows, obviously, that I want to drag it across, so he keeps it very firmly there. I’ve tried extending my hips to take away his leverage, but to no avail.

So, tomorrow I’m going to bring this question up to Klingerman. The counter is similar to the one Travis Lutter used on Anderson Silva’s triangle in their fight, but instead of placing the hand on the head, my partner simply keeps it near my stomach and holds on tight.

Hey Danew, totally useless post to tell you I’m loving this log, inspiring stuff.

Any reason for the run (functionality of steady state cardio and all that) or is it just to aid recovery, clear the head etc.?

Hey roundhead…sorry for slow reply. I look at it two ways. One, I like it for head clearing, practicing some breath regulation, doing at least a little training on the aerobic side, etc. I feel like it is obviously wonderful to train anaerobic, but it is so hard that occasionally you need a day off to just have an easy run.

Secondly is this, I know the reasons for not running. They make perfect sense and I dont’ disagree with them necessarily. I know that intervals and whatnot are better according to common sense and coaching, but here’s the deal: historically and currently a huge huge percentage of fighters do at least some steady state cardio. Fedor runs 5 miles/day. Many others run every morning or at least a couple times/wk.

Now I know that some will say that they are doing well in spite of that rather than because of it, and that’s fine. I just choose to give it a little try in case perhaps they are right :slight_smile: And seriously, thank you for the kind words.

Ok, was away for a day or two, so here’s an update. On Monday I had my speed day lifting. I used 185 for squats and 225 for bench this time. I’m a fairly strong bencher for my weight and I notice that even though traditional westside protocols suggest 55-65% of 1 RM for speed, I don’t find that at all challenging and the bar doesn’t really slow down at for for several more pounds up. So even though my 1RM is bettween 285-295 area, I am doing a bit more weight.

I guess my level of power is greater than my overall maximal strength. Anyway the lifts felt great. I also did 165 for hang cleans again…really trying to improve technical things with that. Before Mike I had no technical coaching at all, so I have some improvements due there. Then did KB swings with the 53 lb KB (By the way, if you’ve never done these, give them a try.

Focus on moving your hips back and snapping them thru as hard as you can. They are very fatiguing on your ass and hams.) Band pressdowns and KB windmills felt good.

Yesterday I had practice. My sparring and such has felt great lately. My biggest weakness undoubtedly is in my wrestling and yesterday we did a lot of wrestling. :slight_smile: Therefore I didn’t have a marvelous day. I was paired with one guy who wrestled in college and has about 10 lbs on me, but held my own. The 2nd guy, I’m not sure of his background, had about 25-30 lbs on me, and honestly he smashed me.

Was good with his weight on top, I was tired after 3x5 min round with the 1st guy, and he just beat me. Then we did some kicking drills, which I shined at thankfully. The good news (good?) is coach says that he’s impressed with me and is going to pair me up with Chris Lytle, Johnny Rees, and Jake O’Brien a lot now to “turn up” my training. This will be a great experience I’m sure. Thanks for reading.

[quote]danew wrote:
One problem I’m having is when my opponent takes his trapped arm and makes a frame by placing that trapped elbow on my hip. He knows, obviously, that I want to drag it across, so he keeps it very firmly there. I’ve tried extending my hips to take away his leverage, but to no avail.

So, tomorrow I’m going to bring this question up to Klingerman. [/quote]

What did he say to do?

pch2…I actually was unable to make it that morning due to unforseen circumstances. Sorry to leave you hanging. As soon as I get an explanation, I’ll pass it on.

Yesterday in practice we did a lot of boxing work. We sparred a lot of rounds and we broke it down like this:

Rd 1-Jab and parry jab only
Rd 2-Jab, left hook off jab only, right hand after parrying jab only
Rd 3-same as two except could throw lead uppercut
Rd 4-body punching only
Rd 5-body punching only
Rd 6, 7, 8-regular sparring

Then I hit mitts for a round, hit bag for a round, hit mitts for a round, and shadow boxed for two rds. coach had a nice surprise for me, he filmed me shadow boxing and I owed him a pushup for every second my hands were down. haha…fun. The drills were fun and different and allowed for some practice on personal weaknesses without having to think about all possibilities. Give them a try.

[quote]danew wrote:
pch2…I actually was unable to make it that morning due to unforseen circumstances. Sorry to leave you hanging. As soon as I get an explanation, I’ll pass it on.[/quote]

Well, I asked last night, and now am wondering if you’ll get the same answer. We did it gi, but it’s probably the same no gi. He basically said to grab the sleeve (wrist) with the same side arm and the elbow with the cross side arm.

Then bump up hard and pull the elbow over. I tried it a few times and it takes a lot of energy (at least for me) but works.

[quote]danew wrote:

Then I hit mitts for a round, hit bag for a round, hit mitts for a round, and shadow boxed for two rds. coach had a nice surprise for me, he filmed me shadow boxing and I owed him a pushup for every second my hands were down. haha…fun. The drills were fun and different and allowed for some practice on personal weaknesses without having to think about all possibilities. Give them a try.[/quote]

Good ass drill imo. videotaping is fucking crucial. It’s one thing for your coach to tell you “do __________” its another when you can armchair quarterback yourself.

You’re right Xen. On to last night…

This was probably the most enjoyable practice I’ve had. We started off working on grappling technique and I was paired up with Chris Lytle. This worked out beautifully for me because I was able to just sit and ask him question after question for about 45 min. He is very gracious and was happy to help. We did…

  1. Double under guard pass to reverse scarf hold side mount, then mount.
  2. Mounted armbar, stuck in armbar position, to back, to triangle from back (Chris and I also did armbar from back)
  3. He showed me the technique he caught Jason Gilliam with, the double submission, triangle from top side mount and straight armbar combo. Lovely.
  4. He also showed me some bottom sidemount and bottom half guard escapes (I have trouble in these positions).
  5. I asked him about the triangle problem I’m having…when this happens to him he either grabs the untrapped arm, or preferrably side’s leg and really angles his whole body almost completely perpendicular to the head. This makes it supertight for sure.
  6. He emphasized the importance of being able to make a frame on my opponents neck. He does this from top side, bottom side, top and bottom half, and standing clinch positions constantly.

We then rolled and I sparred with Chris some (I did not win ha!) and then a couple other guys before I was paired up with Jake O’Brien. Jake is very tough on top and very tough to hold down. He is about 40 lbs or so heavier than me, but he really tried to not just smash me with weight so I could get some work too. Thankfully. Great guy as well and really good wrestler.

For a finisher we did three things:

  1. Group hug…get in a tight circle and put your arms on the shoulders of the person next to you (like they are your buddy). The whole group then did 60 jump lunges. I was next to one fella who was about 275 lbs and got tired at about 20 lunges. He pushed hard though and got through. The drill is great for team building because I had to pick him up as he got tired.

  2. Flutter kicks. I think everyone mostly knows this. On your back, leg lift position, kick your feet. We did about 200 slow ones. Very tough.

  3. Push ups. Now this was different. We got back in that circle, there were about 10 guys. Everyone in ‘up’ position. Guy one does 1 pushup, guy two does 1, guy three does 1, etc, all the way back to guy one. Guy one does 1, 2. Guy two does 1, 2. Guy three does 1, 2, etc. All the way until you are doing 10 straight. This superhard because that is a LONG time to just hold yourself in pushup position. So it is like a ladder drill but with 10 guys and you have to wait your turn to go. That’s all folks.

Oh, by the way, weight was down to 185.4 lbs as of Wednesday from the starting weight of 190 point something. So good work with Shelby Starnes of Troponin Nutrition so far. Thanks for reading.

Yesterday I was very sore and tired from three straight hard practices. So Mike had me do a lot of mobility and recovery style stuff. It was my deload week in the weightroom anyway, so I was due an easier workout. I did a ton of stretching and moving. Everything seems to be well.

Ok, training today (I took a lot of time off over the weekend.) New lifting cycle started today. Monday will still be speed day, Friday will be heavy day. Today I did underhand (“granny-style”) med ball tosses. These are mainly for me to keep working to develop quick, powerful hips. Then speed deads, speed bench w/ bands, glute-ham raises (I’m not sure any other single exercise has improved my strength as much as this one) turkish get-ups, and band pressdowns. Good workout today. Started back to college today as well. Good times. Organic II, Physics II, and History. :slight_smile:

Winter Blows. The focus yesterday for me was striking. I started out with 2 rounds of shadow boxing. The 2nd round had an emphasis on getting a lot of sprawls in. My main focus during this training cycle is to throw more combinations, so I’m doing that with all these drills. After that I did some footwork drills with a partner and some pummeling with a partner.

Then the mitts came out. I did a round hard on one mitt plus suitcase, obviously working punch to low kick combos. Then a hard round on two mitts. Finally a hard round working body shots and just trying to wear myself out. After that I drilled my partner on mitts for two rounds and finished with a pushup pyramid, taking some body shots while doing high knees, and stretching.

Yesterday was a mix of grappling and striking. Two things I’m really focusing on is the ability to sprawl off a thrown combination, which I practiced a lot yesterday, and mixing my strikes up more. So yesterday I hit up two rounds of shadow boxing. The 2nd round I used a punch band and focused on exploding speed. Then I hit the bag for 2 rounds. Again the focus here was on combinations of punches and kicks. Also side to side movement is emphasized.

Then I did some grappling drills for 2 rounds which are great for technical skill, conditioning, and flexibility. Last, I stretched for 2 rounds hard. My hamstrings are still tight from all the glute-ham raises, so i’m loosening those up. Today, I plan on getting some heavy sparring in.