Fighters and Physiques

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    Fighters and Physiques


    One thing I still don't get about MMA is why are so many fighters pretty slobbish in the physique dept. Maybe there are other factors involved, but I know from personal experience that I feel much quicker at 8-9%bf than I do at 15%. If you look at the HW, Sylvia is a slob, Fedor is built like a teddy bear, and even guys like Nog are lean, but not cut or muscular. I understand that MMA is not bbing, and strength is not necessarily tied to muscle size.

    But MMA is a sport with weight limits. Some guys, like Hughes, GSP, Tito, Franklin, etc, are always lean and ripped. But look at Liddel (though he looked better at 66), Leben, Ninja, etc. They have pretty horrible physiques. Couldn't Chuck drop some fat and have less H2O to cut come weigh-in? Couldn't Leben drop a weight class? The Alves/Desouza fight is a perfect example. Desouza could have cut a lot of fat before fight time. Alves was ripped, and even got busted for diuretics to get to that weight. If you can be a fat 170, why not be a lean 155?

    Am I missing something?
    Last edited by Beowulf; 01-06-2007 at 05:33 PM.

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    I guess some cant overcome genetics, and the others rely on technique more who knows a fighter may also feel a lot stronger at a higher weight we have three guys at my gym compete in MMA and they all have to do serious cuts there misrable when there prepairing for a fight. Sitting in a steam room with a trash bag on you has to take a lot out you and then they are expected to go out and fight the next day it must really suck.
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    Yeah, but part of my point is that if you stay leaner you won't have to suffer as much with the water drop, or you still drop a lot and make it into a lower weight class.

    I know genetics could play a role, but I thought I was genetically screwed until I got a decent diet and training protocol down...and by decent I mean Body-for-Life That plan is very basic, but I was still able to get pretty shredded in a short period of time.

    One thing that I imagine fighters have trouble with is the carb cravings. B/C training, especially Muay Thai, is so high intensity, some days I feel like I could sit down and eat for hours straight after training.
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    Most of them do not pay attention to their diet. The only ones that really seem to care about what they eat are the ones that have to cut a good amount of weight before a fight (e.g Hughes, Franklin, Tito).
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    I agree geting your diet dialed in is the holy grail. Ive taken kempo for six years and now im at a hybrid gym judo/bjj/thaibox, played three sports in high school and never have been able to get shreded. Just started weight training again after a long layoff. Learning a lot off AM about diet and traing.You would think most pro mma fighters would have access to this kind of info and ablity to apply it through coachs and trainers. Ive always have been active but i can walk pass the frige and put on five pounds
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    Quote Originally Posted by brass monkey
    I agree geting your diet dialed in is the holy grail. Ive taken kempo for six years and now im at a hybrid gym judo/bjj/thaibox, played three sports in high school and never have been able to get shreded. Just started weight training again after a long layoff. Learning a lot off AM about diet and traing.You would think most pro mma fighters would have access to this kind of info and ablity to apply it through coachs and trainers. Ive always have been active but i can walk pass the frige and put on five pounds
    Read the nutrition forum, or if you have the dough, sign up to train with Bobo. I did his bulking and cutting plans, and the cutter was actually easier. I never felt hungry, lost 14lbs and gained muscle in 8 weeks.

    Eat 6 or 7 meals, approx 40/40/20 (pro/carbs/fat) and you're there. Cut (carbs and fat) systematically as your diet stalls.
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    I was hoping you'd chime in. I read an interview where JLB was talking about the soy thing. I've heard a lot of negative reviews of that blood type diet. BS?

    A couple of fighters from my school have trouble dropping weight. I offered to help with diet, but was surprised to hear the typical excuses about not having time, etc. If you're gonna fight, you may as well do it right.

    I agree about the lack of nutritionists, but I can't believe that every MMA school doesn't have someone there to handle people's diets. You don't have to have a degree in the field, merely awareness of the basics.
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    I don't think you'd have to be shredded or anything. But yeah 8-9%bf would be way better than 15. It's probably ideal for most.
    What %bf do you think GSP is 5-6?
    Does anyone think Liddel's gut could be gh gut, or just beer?


    Quote Originally Posted by Beowulf
    One thing I still don't get about MMA is why are so many fighters pretty slobbish in the physique dept. Maybe there are other factors involved, but I know from personal experience that I feel much quicker at 8-9%bf than I do at 15%. If you look at the HW, Sylvia is a slob, Fedor is built like a teddy bear, and even guys like Nog are lean, but not cut or muscular. I understand that MMA is not bbing, and strength is not necessarily tied to muscle size.

    But MMA is a sport with weight limits. Some guys, like Hughes, GSP, Tito, Franklin, etc, are always lean and ripped. But look at Liddel (though he looked better at 66), Leben, Ninja, etc. They have pretty horrible physiques. Couldn't Chuck drop some fat and have less H2O to cut come weigh-in? Couldn't Leben drop a weight class? The Alves/Desouza fight is a perfect example. Desouza could have cut a lot of fat before fight time. Alves was ripped, and even got busted for diuretics to get to that weight. If you can be a fat 170, why not be a lean 155?

    Am I missing something?
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    Chuck's got a weird physique, but I don't think it's GH. He looked pretty cut at the weigh in. He may just have some degree of natural stomach distention(sp?) and a little beer gut. It seems like low BF would be ideal and impossible not to have with the cardiovascular requirements of the sport, but I see things from an ecto/meso perspective. I'm sure diet has something to do with it as well as guys wanting to fight at the largest weight class at which they can dominate. If Fedor could strip away most of his BF he could probably make 205, but why , he dominates at HW.

    Rogue, how heavy is the steroid use in K-1? Some of those guys are monsters like MacDonald and JLB and of course Sapp. And come on don't write off all sherdogisms, give us just one "War JLB"?
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    May sound silly but fighters are in the profession of fighting, not modeling or bodybuilding. Physique is not a priority. While some fighters certainly look as though they could use more cardio or more strict nutrition, this does not directly correlate to their capabilities as a fighter.
    In some cases, I actually speculate that carrying some additional fat on the stomach may act as a benefit especially from a body punches/kick/knees. The extra fat acts as a protecting pad like a shin pad or a glove so when a blow lands it is not as devastating.
    There is a cost/benefit to getting lean or staying softer or getting big. For example, look at some of the bigger built fighters such as Sapp, Baroni, and Coleman, there tend to tire much more quickly in a fight. Then look at someone like Hunt, who is heavy and could use to lose some fat, he uses his weight to his advantage as he puts his bodyweight on other fighters as a means of tiring them out.
    In the end, for many fighters, I think is comes down to genetics. Some people are simple more inclined to have one body type over the other. So the fighter chooses to focus on changing his body type/image or training to be a fighter. Since fighting is his priority, one chooses to not fight genetics as steadfastly as one who focuses on one's body image
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    I think it boils down to winning and losing. If they are winning they will not want to or feel the need to change. If they are losing they will look for anything to get an edge (winners do to).

    Basically it's the old "if it ain't broke..don't fix it".
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    If I may interject, as it pertains to Size's post, Baroni, Sapp, Randleman, there lack of endurance could be correlated as much to Anabolic use as it can to there amount of muscle. Personally, Anabolics absolutely rob my endurance, and call me cynical but I don't feel the fighters mentioned got those physiques purely on good diet/solid training.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletsoldier
    If I may interject, as it pertains to Size's post, Baroni, Sapp, Randleman, there lack of endurance could be correlated as much to Anabolic use as it can to there amount of muscle. Personally, Anabolics absolutely rob my endurance, and call me cynical but I don't feel the fighters mentioned got those physiques purely on good diet/solid training.
    Hey now, Randleman only supplements dead human urine.
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    It really is hard to balance all of the training aspects of cardio, striking, grappling, and strength training. Unless you are very meticulous with your diet, it is very easy to not eat enough. Most eat for performance and not aesthetics. Although, when i saw Tito's diet, I was surprised how little he eats for a guy his size.

    When I have every aspect of training in full swing, I find myself feeling very lethargic unless I eat a good amount of carbs throughout the day (~400-450g). I cut back on the weight training volume and focus mainly on strength and not hypertrophy and I generally do 45 minutes of cardio per day, not including BJJ or Muay Thai.
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    The problem is, however, that a sound dieting scheme for athletic performance and aesthetics should be quite similar; it is the type of activity your perform which determines the final outcome.
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    I think it's safe to say a fighters physique will not tell who will win. I've boxed for 10 yrs. and never was the most buff person at my boxing club have the best punching power, cardio, speed, and skill that someone with less of a physique. Looks do not tell the whole storie people.
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    Looks definitely don't tell the whole story, and as I said in the beginning, I realize aesthetics are irrelevant. I just thought it would be advantageous, especially for a non-HW, to be as lean as possible. I know I won't sacrifice any muscle for fat if I ever do fight.

    This may just be my stupid mentality, but when I'm cut, I feel like I keep my midsection rigid all the time. When I'm carrying some blubber, I feel like my posture slouches. Maybe I'm different than others, but I would think, at least in my case, I'd be better off being leaner, and maintaining a rigid core, than tubby and letting it all hang out.

    As for the endurance of guys like Baroni, I remember Bas saying (in reference to Arona) that more muscle requires more oxygen, and just b/c you're bigger doesn't mean you're body is pumping more oxygen in the blood. Plus, Baroni, Coleman, and Arona are all hotheads, so I bet some of their waning endurance could be attributed to the adrenaline dump.

    Definitely some interesting points on the big boys use of the pudge. I especially liked Rogue's description of Fedor's belly as a fulcrum for GNP
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    Wandy is also a hot-head, but his cardio is legendary so I don't know if it adrenaline. Those fighters have a ton of muscle for their frame which is why they gas out.
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    Does Franklin ever gas? He is huge for 185.

    I wonder to what degree it could also be a matter of breathing properly. Baroni throws countless bombs, which is tiring. If his breathing is short of perfect, gassing is no surprise.

    Wandy is an anomaly. He gets psychotically energized, is very muscular, and never seems to tire. GSP is not a psycho, but has tons of muscle on a small frame, and it doesn't happen to him. It could also be a matter of whether or not the guys train to improve cardio.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beowulf
    Does Franklin ever gas? He is huge for 185.

    I wonder to what degree it could also be a matter of breathing properly. Baroni throws countless bombs, which is tiring. If his breathing is short of perfect, gassing is no surprise.

    Wandy is an anomaly. He gets psychotically energized, is very muscular, and never seems to tire. GSP is not a psycho, but has tons of muscle on a small frame, and it doesn't happen to him. It could also be a matter of whether or not the guys train to improve cardio.
    Franklin never gasses, but he has fought at a higher weight class so being a MW is not as hard on his body. Baroni could easily fight at LHW so I wonder if is more of the bigger weights that gas more frequently.

    I know CC had a nasal problem so he could not get enough O2 and had to breathe through his mouth.
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    Cardiovascular training and proper respiratory execution are the two most critical factors when it comes to endurance. Body fat levels follow that distantly.

    I'm surprised noone have chirpped BJ Penn. He's a classical example of a guy who should drop the BF and resultingly, a weight class.
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    Lifting weights is what gives you a ripped, lean physique. Most of these guys don't have the energy or the use for large volumes of weight lifting, and so even when they cut weight they stay somewhat soft (depending on their natural level of leanness). You can tell the fighters that lift a lot because they come in shredded, but a lot of them have endurance issues simply because almost nobody can handle heavy endurance training, skill training and weight training simultaneously. It's also a lot harder to keep the diet in check when you're burning 2000 extra calories daily with your training, you will tend towards more calorie dense foods since you need to eat a lot more but having a gut full of fiber and light foods impairs your ability to train.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stay Puft
    Cardiovascular training and proper respiratory execution are the two most critical factors when it comes to endurance. Body fat levels follow that distantly.

    I'm surprised noone have chirpped BJ Penn. He's a classical example of a guy who should drop the BF and resultingly, a weight class.
    BJ gassed when he fought Pulver, so his issue is more about training than about extra weight.
  

  
 

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