Fighting at Forty

Bit of a bum week for training. I’ve been working 80 miles away which means regular 11/12 hr work days, plus several family obligations. I guess that this is the lot of us amateur athletes with families and full time jobs!

Anyway, no training at Leicester Shootfighters due to getting caught in the snarl-up of a big accident on the motorway the day I should’ve trained.

Got one session of conditioning in using fight-specific circuits. I’m unsure as to whether circuits are a good way to get conditioning. On the one hand places like IHP and JTS use them with fighters but, as with everything these days, you can find contradicting information on the interwebs. My circuits:

40 seconds each:
Heavybag punching
Sandbag shouldering
Sit throughs
Dummy ground ‘n’ pound
Dummy lift (kinda like a suplex)
Band resisted shoot
Sandbag bear hug (isometric hold)
Heavybag punching.

I went through this and then, after 40 secs rest, repeated twice.


Warm up and good stretch.

5/3/1 ‘5’ week bench. working up to 10 x 67kg
3 x 10 x 40kg dumbell rows
3 x 10,8,6 30kg dumbell press,

Hanging leg raises,

Next week should be easier and should get some good work in.

Been a little while since I checked in but had a MUCH better week last week training-wise.

A great session of boxing training with JD Hylton at Leicester Shootfighters followed by a good half-guard session taught by Rob Hannis. For once I managed to retain some of the info & techniques. Gotta say I’m really enjoying the boxing at the moment & JD’s teaching is excellent.


5/3/1 ‘5’ Trapbar deads working up to 136kg x 8. Felt I could’ve got more but, hey…
Power cleans working up to 5 x 75Kg.

5/3/1 ‘3’ Swissbar press working up to 6 x 64kg. Superset with bodyweight inverted rows.
Dumbbell snatches (with thick handles for grip work) worked up to 3 sets 5 x 30kg.

Mostly bagwork this week for conditioning, wanted to get some sled in but, alas, it wasn’t to be.

Really enjoying it all and feeling good. The improvement in conditioning has started to show in my training at Leicester Shoot.

That is all.

Crap… I forgot to say welcome!!!Sorry for the late greating.

No worries, thanks for the welcome!

Haven’t checked in for a while…

Training has been going well, in particular I’ve been really enjoying my boxing training. Last session was pretty tough spending an hour working pads and sparring 2 minute rounds.

With Jiu Jitsu we’ve been working Guard and Half-guard from top and bottom. Last week Ex-UFC/TUF fighter Roli Delgado was over at Leicester Shootfighters and taught some classes. I picked up some good guard passing concepts. Roli seems like a really mellow fella - out of the cage at least - and I enjoyed and retained his instruction.

The mainstay of my conditioning has been circuits and heavy bag work.

As for lifting, I’m still lifting twice a week with the 5/3/1 system, most recent numbers were, deadlift 12 x 117kg, Swissbar bench 8 x 73kg, swissbar press 6 x 68kg.

I’ll try and be a bit more specific and frequent from here on in…Cheers.

Checking in guys…

Last weekend the gym I train at hosted an amateur MMA event - I had initially thought about entering this when I first decided to get a fight…after one training session I knew it would’ve ended in embarrassment! So with that in mind it was cool to see the fights just to know what level guys are fighting at.

My training has been going well, I’ve really been enjoying my boxing and feel like it’s really improving. The toughest session recently was two hours of MMA working against the cage, getting up with an opponent on top, knackering…

Lifting going well:

Deadlifts worked up to 13 x 122kg
Swissbar press worked up to 3 x 68kg
Cleans sets of 5 reps building up to 80kg
Added in some DB snatches at 32kg - very easy, need to push it a bit.

I have realised that the strength portion of my training is not progressing as I’d like but I think that this is due to the increase in conditioning work - Tabata, circuits, bag work - and dropping weight. I guess it’s true that you can’t serve two masters.

This weekend:


Warm-up ( shadow boxing, mobility, stretching)
3 x MMA circuits. Mixed it up and did different circuits.

40 secs each exercise moving straight on to the next for the first two.

Heavy bag boxing
Sandbag shouldering
Sit through
Dummy Ground and pound
Dummy lift/suplex
Resistance band shoot
Sandbag bearhug & twist
Heavybag boxing.

Heavybag boxing
Resistance band arm drags
Resistance band shoot
Sandbag clean & Press
Heavybag knees
Sandbag rows
Dummy lift/suplex
Heavybag kicks
Heavybag boxing

50 punch heavybag punchout
Sandbag clean & press x 10
Landmine twist x 10
Sandbag row x 10
Sprawl x 10
Get up with sandbag x 10
50 punch heavybag punchout

The get ups are soul destroying…
The idea with the last circuit is to get through as quickly as possible.

Warm-up ( shadow boxing, mobility, stretching.)
11 rounds of thai boxing on the heavybag. 2 mins 40 secs each round, 30 secs rest.
Ab wheel rollouts

Hopefully get some strength training in tomorrow. Nothing today - University work & daughter’s judo.

This week has been a total bust training wise. Work, friends, family commitments has meant every night out and a whopping ONE training session - Boxing & Jits at Leicester Shootfighing. Hoping to get back on track this weekend as all the family are out at an event and I can get some decent training in.

I guess this is what it is to be trying to fight at forty alongside real-life commitments.

Having come to the end of a 5/3/1 cycle and as I stated before, I’ve really felt the decrease in strength as my levels of conditioning have gone up, I’ve significantly dropped my working max for bench & press. Whilst continuing to progress in the DL & TBDL.

With that in mind yesterday’s training:

Full warm up and stretch.

Trapbar DL

‘1’ week working up to 142kg x 4

‘5’ week Swissbar press working up to 52kg x 8

Superset with Swissbar rows working up to 52 x 10

All felt good. On we go.

(I’m working accross weeks - got out of sync, that’s how out of whack my strength trainin’s got)


Full warm up - shadow boxing, mobility, stretch

Power cleans 5 x 5 working up to 67kg
I’ve decided to drop the weight a bit on these as well as my 5/3/1 sets. Previous best was 82kg x 5

5/3/1 Deadlifts working up to 107kg x 12.


Warm up - mobility & stretch

10 x 2 min rounds Bas Rutten’s ‘All round fighting’ workout. Punches, kicks, knees & sprawls. 8 rounds on the heavy bag, 2 shadow boxing.

Ab Wheel

Feeling good, lost 3lbs! Light Heavyweight here I come!

Thursday - some great training, MMA striking & Jiu Jitsu. The MMA session was tough, focusing on muay thai combos. All padwork minus the warm-up, lots of kicking for two minute rounds. The Jits was great, playing open guard, doing a lot of lifting the opponent with the legs, this left my shins feeling it for days!

Sunday - 10 rounds of muay thai on the heavy bag, 2.40 per round, 30 secs rest. Followed by ab wheel.

Lost another 2lbs.

Great week of training last week.

Tuesday - Bench 5/3/1 worked up to 10 x 64kg (Shitty weight, but it’s following serious cutting back all pressing weights.)

DB row sets of 15 x 32kg
DB press 8,6,6 x 32kg.
Hanging leg raises

Wednesday - Boxing and Jiu Jitsu. Lots of pad work and partner drills.

Thursday - Mobility work, stretch, foam roll.

Friday - Power cleans 5 x 5 working up to 70kg.
Trapbar deadlifts 5/3/1 working up to 5 x 123kg
Ab wheel

Saturday - Sled drag. 0.4 miles walking pace followed by 6 30 metre sprints. @60lbs.

This week:


5/3/1 Deadlift working up to 105kg x 12
5/3/1 Swissbar press 59kg x 5
Hanging leg raises.


12 rounds alternating floor to ceiling ball and heavy bag. 2 mins 40 secs work / 30 secs rest.
Ab wheel

3 x ‘Fight’ cicuits. 10 exercises x 40 secs back to back. 40 secs rest between the circuits.

Power cleans 5 x 5, working up to 70kg
Trabbar deads 5/3/1 working up to 130kg x 10.
Ab wheel.

Lots of late evenings workwise so no training at Leicester Shootfighters last week.

No weight lost this week either. Doh!

The busy work and family life have continued so the training’s had to pared down. I’ve written some about this on my blog sharing my view of the role of Zen practice in MMA training!

Anyway, the strength training has had to take a backseat this week - anathema to most T-Nation’ers I know!
I managed to fit in a session of thai boxing training, a session of clinch fighting and a session of Jiu Jitsu. Hoping to get some solid training in over this long weekend - we’ve got four days off in the UK due to the Queen’s 60th Jubilee.

Hopefully post something more sooner.


Full warm up and mobility drills. Managed to snap a resistance band doing shoulder dislocates.

Swissbar bench 5/3/1 working up to 11 x 68kg
DB bench 3 x 8 x 30kg
DB snatch 3 x 5 x 3o kg
Ab wheel


Circuits: Tried something a bit different.
1 min heavybag strikes
1 min shadow combination + sprawl
1 min dummy lift
1 min dummy ground ‘n’ pound.
done twice through with no rest.

1 min rest

1 min heavybag
1 min g’n’p
1 min dummy lift
1 min combo + sprawl
1 min heavybag

Ab wheel


Power cleans worked up in 5’s to 5 x 75kg.
5/3/1 swissbar press 3 x 62kg (shit I’m weak!)

Hanging leg raises.

More new shit @


10 2min rounds Bas Rutten Thai Boxing workout on the heavy bag.


Sled sprints x 10, alternating 15, 30 & 40 metre sprints. Walking with sled between sprints. Covered about 2/3 mile in all.

3 x 5 plyo box jumps (60 cm/24 in)

3 x farmers walk 240 ft, 160 ft, 80 ft.

Up to June I had been pleased with my progress. I’d maintained a consistent pattern of training at Leicester Shoot and felt that I was improving. The conditioning still had a long way to go but even that was getting better. The came June, and with it massive work stress requiring extra attention, family members in hospital, an injured shin, a skin infection in the other shin and now finally a nasty gash in the previously injured shin! (Walked in to a broken sheet of glass). All-in-all this has led to me missing 3 â?? 4 weeks of training and feeling not a little pissed off.

Still, it’s a case of train what you can, when you can. I can’t deadlift but I can press, clean & use the trapbar. I can’t grapple or kick with my left leg but I can box and kick with the right. When I’ve been pressed for time I haven’t stressed about what I’m not doing, just found ways to get some work in â?? 15 mins of barbell complexes for example.

My last session at Leicester Shoot was an MMA sparring class. It’s difficult for me to get to these as I need to look after my youngest on this evening so this was the first I’d been to in a while. Anyway, it was a testing session, building up from drills to limited sparring and then in to less limited for 3 minute rounds. By the time we’d finished I needed to sit for 15 minutes before leaving the gym, and I still looked like this…

Boxing tonight, on we go…

Got more training in over the past few days.

Sunday: 5/3/1 Power cleans up to 5 x 75kg
5/3/1 Trapbar DL up to 8 x 135kg
Hanging leg raises.
Rock carry x 240 feet.

Monday: Boxing at Leicester Shootfighters

Tuesday: 5/3/1 press up to 8 x 52kg, superset with Yates Rows.
Dumbbell snatch 3 x 5 x 32kg.
Hanging Leg Raises

Wednesday: Bas Rutten thai boxing 8 x 2min rounds.
Ab Wheel.

seeing as you train I was wondering how hard do you guys spar… how often do the guys in your gym get injured. I have 3 guys preparing for a fight and we always seem to spar hard. we intend fo 50% but end up at more like 80 or 90… any way just curious.

for my crew black eyes are weekly , usually a different person. we have had a minor knee injury, dislocated rib and a pulled shoulder muscle in the last month wit a total of about 10 guys rolling/sparing.

How often do you guys practice takedowns