SMP 102: Conditioning De-Mystified

 In Podcast, Uncategorized

Today we are speaking with Joel Jamieson, an MMA Strength and Conditioning Coach. Joel is the author of the “Ultimate MMA Conditioning” and the Founder of 8 Weeks Out. Joel is a leading authority on conditioning for combat sports and has been training MMA athletes since 2004. He has also worked and consulted with Navy SEALS and Life Time Fitness, and his BioForce HRV system is used by the NFL, NBA, MLS, and the NCAA. He focuses on an individualized approach based on science and practical applications.

Joel started in strength and conditioning for American football in the 1990’s. He opened his own gym in 2003. His gym ended up being next to the best MMA gym in the world, and he started working with MMA fighters. He also started working with technology and heart rate variability. Joel’s career evolved as he began with football, power, and speed but ended up focusing on combat, sports, and technology. Joel writes, speaks, trains, invents, and focuses on getting the word out on proper training and busting the myths out there.

Today’s topics include:

  • Combat sports provided a broader range of trial and error and gave Joel the opportunity to learn new techniques and training approaches
  • Conditioning is preparing the athlete not to fatigue, but it is more the overall preparation of the brain and body for the environment
  • Preparing for the competition matters, not just doing something fatiguing
  • Conditioning is training to cope with the environment without slowing down
  • First part of the program is to develop the profile and tools required for the sport such as certain levels of aerobic conditioning
  • General training or specific to the environment training to meet these goals
  • Then introduce elements of the event, what surface, shoes, time, competing against, take in as many factors of that environment as possible
  • Necessary fitness, exposed to the environment over and over
  • Energy is generated aerobically with oxygen, or anaerobically without oxygen
  • Increase aerobic power and control use of power
  • The higher power you generate, the more anaerobic energy needs to be used
  • When you can talk it’s aerobic, when you can’t talk you are getting into anaerobic
  • Find pace and sustain power output and increase to train, find heart rate range and improve output
  • Sports are dynamic, explode and then rest
  • What you do when you are not training has a big impact on your body
  • HRV heart rate variability number we want to go up
  • Joel is more focused on the process then the end result
  • Train, eat, sleep – focus on those things and the bodyweight will take care of itself
  • HRV is a 2 ½ minute test you take in the morning
  • HRV correlates with health and life expectancy
  • It predicts cardiovascular disease and strokes and dementia because it shows when your body is not coping with the environment
  • HRV measures bodies work capacity
  • Our bodies only care what we can actually do, HRV helps with sleep patterns and overall health and recovery
  • Diets cause inflammation and insulin sensitivity
  • Have a proper caloric deficit, don’t drop diet and increase training, managing overall calories and eating the right foods
  • The HRV number is also good for finding foods you don’t respond well to and managing caloric deficits
  • HRV can also help manage stressors and gauge what is causing the low numbers
  • Improve one thing at a time and find something obvious to change
  • Mid to upper 70s on BioForce is a good range of cardiovascular protection
  • Keep it simple and don’t train to high intensity training to more than 3 days a week or 2 if you are not in good shape

Links and resources:

8 Weeks Out
Ultimate MMA Conditioning
Bioforce HRV Mobile Walkthrough with Joel Jamieson


“With MMA fighters, you can see the results of the conditioning because they get in the ring and either they have it or they don’t” Joel Jamieson

“I work with one of the best MMA coaches in the world, and everything is one cohesive program” Joel Jamieson

“Most MMA athletes have to deal with four or five coaches and no one is giving them the broad picture” Joel Jamieson

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