Julia Avila wins her debut performance at UFC 239 Julia Avila wins her debut performance at UFC 239

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Thread: Julia Avila wins her debut performance at UFC 239

  1. #1
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    Default Julia Avila wins her debut performance at UFC 239

    • wichita falls texas march seminar date
    • woodmere new york april seminar date

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    Ray Gillenwater's Avatar
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    Good for her. The fighters that are willing to defy the strength-training-makes-you-slow dogma are the ones that will have a competitive advantage.

    Until the rest catch on. They will. But in the meanwhile, fighters like Julia get to reap the benefits of not following the conventional wisdom.

    Itís amazing to see a fighterís game change after Starting Strength. The evolution is usually similar: the fighter becomes more offensive, the fighterís opponents become more defensive than they would be otherwise (after the first few exchanges), and wins by KO/TKO become more commonplace than wins by decision.

    The first Starting Strength UFC fighter! Great to see.

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    Congratulations to Julia and her husband. I hope this is the start of something paradigm shifting. I'm tired of all of these bullshit arguments in martial arts about strength.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Gillenwater View Post
    It’s amazing to see a fighter’s game change after Starting Strength.
    I had a similar experience with a client of mine who is a brown belt in BJJ and went from a 135lb squat to 315lb squat and gained 20lb. Basically, people who were "at his level" now felt like he was way above them all the while maintaining that they need "functional fitness". It's weird how, in a game of moment and force, force production is beneficial.

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    I've always been so enraged by the martial arts/sports myth that strength slows people down. I just watched a fight breakdown from a respected MMA voice that attributed a fighter's poor performance to his getting stronger (this after having crucified him in the past for fighting at a lower weightclass). The fighter in question has had numerous severe injuries, had staph during the fight, has been brutally knocked out multiple times, has a risky style that doesn't work well when someone is your physical equal, and was fighting up a weight, but it must have been the muscle that did him in.

    I was psyched when Panda won (in style) because she cam be a great role model for strength training. Too many girls don't have knees anymore because of bad advice.

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    Ray Gillenwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewLewis View Post

    I had a similar experience with a client of mine who is a brown belt in BJJ and went from a 135lb squat to 315lb squat and gained 20lb. Basically, people who were "at his level" now felt like he was way above them all the while maintaining that they need "functional fitness". It's weird how, in a game of moment and force, force production is beneficial.
    We are on the right track. Remember the nonsense in the martial arts world before the UFC? Secret death punches and pressure points! The beautiful thing about all of this stuff is you can test it and everyone can witness the results.

    Andrew, if your client is game for a Starting Strength Story interview please drop Nick Delgadillo a message. The word is starting to spread in the BJJ community and the more high level belts that get strong and help us spread the word, the better.

    Well done with your client.

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    Congrats, unfortunately I missed the prelims this weekend so I can't comment on the performance specifically. A 6-1 record is a fantastic start to a career!

    I'm just wondering why people think lifting makes you slow. I guess when asking themselves this question they look at examples of people who are only focusing on lifting and getting big. Of course if you have a single focus you're going to become a specialist. The idea that including a proper lifting routine into your athletic training is somehow going to detract from the training just makes no sense to me though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corrie View Post
    I'm just wondering why people think lifting makes you slow.
    My opinion, FWIW (ex-amateur fighter, my striking coach also coaches a few ex-UFC champs, I've coached a couple of fighters):

    Symptom: Recovery.

    Root cause: Programming.

    More on the symptom:
    Now that sterioids are thoroughly tested for and the potential upside doesn't justify the risk of taking them, MMA S&C coaches avoid "heavy lifting," especially in fight camp (6-8 weeks before the event). Why? Because these animals are doing striking practice, BJJ practice, wrestling practice, plyo, yoga, agility drills, running, HIIT, "movement drills," etc - it's the Vegas buffet approach to training and the stress is extreme and hard to recover from. In your 20s and taking steroids? Feasible. No steroids? Aging? Something has got to give. And in the sport of being as strong and lean as possible, while being as light as possible, the fallacy is that lifting is the problem. And it certainly CAN be a problem, if the fighter HAS to prioritize practice and sparring and has some significant weight to lose, while improving conditioning. That doesn't mean it must be completely removed though. Which leads to the root cause, programming.

    More on the root cause:
    What would happen if a 32 year old male UFC fighter ran LP during fight camp? It would be way too stressful to productively focus on other priorities like cutting weight, improving conditioning (these fights are 15 or 25 minute events that require extremely good conditioning), and refining their skill-set to match the game-plan required to defeat their upcoming opponent. MMA S&C coaches have never been to a Starting Strength seminar. They likely have never learned how to lift weights properly. They haven't read Practical Programming. And they do things the way they were taught to do them, often with no analysis. This is how sub-optimal human traditions permeate their way through the generations. Good news, we now have the internet. And the cage is the best lab for testing these ideas. Coaches that take it upon themselves to understand the stress, recovery, adaptation process will find clever ways to program their fighters appropriately, inside and outside of camp.

    Solutions:
    1) Go up a weight class. It's HARD to suggest this to a fighter because it's terrifying to think about how much harder the bigger guys hit. Everyone wants to be the biggest in their division. Especially since the weight class jumps in the UFC are between 10-20lbs. You fight at 185 and want to go up ONE DIVISION to fight at 205? Enjoy that! Many fighters have done this successfully though. Alistair Overeem started as a Middleweight in Pride and then became the most feared and decorated heavyweight in kickboxing and MMA thanks to "powerlifting" and (presumably) lots of steroids. Anthony Johnson was taking years off of his life getting down to 170lbs. He eventually settled in at 205lbs and was the most dangerous striker in the division. Easy to recommend, lots to consider.

    2) Do less silly bullshit. If a fighter thinks he has a competitive advantage by doing Conor McGregor style movement drills and wants to spend his time on that instead of getting "slow" and "bulky" lifting heavy, good luck trying to change their mind. Delusional, magical thinking is almost a necessity when you're a fighter. You HAVE to believe that you are the best and that what you're doing is the exact recipe for success. Doubt can turn a winner into a loser before the fight even begins. If Conor is doing it and he's [was] undefeated, it must be the silver bullet, right?

    3) Learn about programing. George St-Pierre, considered by many to be the greatest UFC welterweight of all time is coached by Firas Zahabi. Firas is a smart dude. Is his programming precise and optimal? I can't comment as I've never coached an MMA fighter and I can only speculate about how tough it must be to manage their weekly stress/recovery/adaptation cycles WHILE cutting weight. However, he does use barbell training for Georges, just not to failure, and no sets across (if I remember correctly). Him and Joseph Valtellini (ex-pro kickboxer) seem to understand the importance of barbells. In fact, Joseph didn't run. He pushed a prowler and he used barbells. I believe this will become a more standard approach to strength and conditioning in combat sports and will slowly take over since it's more efficient and less risky than many of the other approaches. Don't believe me? Go the the UFC YouTube channel and watch any random "embedded" vlog of these guys doing S&C in their fight prep. It's collegiate S&C coach level bad.

    4) Get as strong as possible outside of camp. When a fighter isn't preparing for a fight, the goal is usually to focus on the biggest areas of improvement, or recover from an injury. What's the biggest bang for your buck when there's no fight coming up? Making sure you're stronger than your next opponent IMO. Granted, you're going to get the "I don't want to gain weight" objection, but it's not black and white. Getting stronger and keeping weight in check is better than not using barbells at all. And hey, more muscle mass means more water retention, so if you're going to destroy your body cutting 20+ lbs before a fight, that extra muscle mass is a big sponge that you can squeeze the water out of. Although I don't recommend extreme weight cuts if you care about life after the fight career is over.

    5) For fuck's sake, ban weight cutting. This ridiculous activity has already killed someone in ONE FC (Asia's UFC) and it's bound to kill more. And that's not counting all of the long term health consequences of abusing your body and kidneys like that. If there was a "weigh-out" instead of a "weigh-in" (what ONE FC is now doing), and the weight classes were closer together, fighters could focus on strength, with fewer risks. The athletic commissions are the ones that need to move on this, since the UFC has no incentive until someone actually dies. Most commissions are as worthless as the majority of bureaucracies, but Andy Foster in California (ex-fighter) is a sharp guy and a trailblazer. Guys like him have a good chance at changing this risky situation.

    We fear what we don't understand. It's scary to be a coach with the responsibility of ensuring a fighter's health, safety, and performance. The stakes are HIGH. So these guys don't have an incentive to change their "tried and proven" fight prep tactics, especially if getting stronger means the additional risk of going up 10-20lbs to the next weight-class. It's safer to stick with the status quo. This is why we need more fighters like Julia to blaze the trail and show everyone else how it's done. And then everyone else will follow, because the causation will be impossible to ignore.
    Last edited by Ray Gillenwater; 07-11-2019 at 02:56 PM.

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    All of my friends who now come to me for training advice instantly see the benefit of strength when I explain to them, "Look, there's no such thing as weight divisions in real life when it comes to self defense or combat. Get as strong as you can... you're not even competing."

    Then, five minutes after being back in their dojo/school/whatever, they're back to doing bodyweight to failure to "really get smoked."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Gillenwater View Post
    If there was a "weigh-out" instead of a "weigh-in" (what ONE FC is now doing), and the weight classes were closer together, fighters could focus on strength, with fewer risks.
    I've thought about this. The only issue I can see is that a fighter that makes weight loses the opportunity to decline/negotiate a fight when his opponent doesn't make weight. Think about an all out war and getting stopped in round 5 only to find out your opponent missed weight by 10+ lbs (again). Maybe there can be a supplemental weigh in to prevent this, but then we're more or less back to where we started.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Waters View Post
    I've thought about this. The only issue I can see is that a fighter that makes weight loses the opportunity to decline/negotiate a fight when his opponent doesn't make weight. Think about an all out war and getting stopped in round 5 only to find out your opponent missed weight by 10+ lbs (again). Maybe there can be a supplemental weigh in to prevent this, but then we're more or less back to where we started.
    I thought ONE already changed their rules to nip this in the bud. They now do hydration testing leading up to the fight and when they get weighed they have to be at a certain level of hydration. Apparently there are still ways to cheat these tests but the crash weight cutting over 24 hours seems to be a thing of the past for ONE.

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