8 Weeks to ‘Embrace The Grind’ by Anthony Bynoe
So today is February 22nd and it’s 54 days until my round one light weight tournament match up on ‘Brace for War 39’. After having 18 months off outside of the cage due to a string of impact injuries, a dislocated knee and then broken foot with a snapped tendon it’s time for me to get back in to the ‘Grind’ and compete again.
So after spending a long period on the side lines and coaching fighters I thought to myself…. What is the best way to learn from this? So I decided to write a blog for the 2 months training of a fight preparation camp.
I hope this helps others with their own personal challenges!
Starting today I am heavy, the heaviest I have been in 7 years and am carrying more as a more mature male. Also, during my injury I spent a good portion of time focusing on hypertrophy training to build my legs up. My current weight is 85.8 kg. My Goal is to hit the scales on April 15 at under 70.3kg!
So the first day is here and I start with a 7.30am rise and eat breakfast which consists of
2 eggs 3 chicken, spinach and pine nut sausages. Organic and gluten free or course! 1 long black coffee.
I work between 9am-12am training clients and running a group kick boxing class.I am able to get a juice in also which consists of 1 beetroot½ carrot½ green apple1 lemon and some ginger.
I consume 20 grams of BCAA’s before training and I always have this with every training session.
Now it’s time for my strength session! A lot of fighters don’t understand this is just as important as any skills and fitness training when preparing for a fight. This is due to what’s called ‘motor unit synchronisation’ which in layman terms means the brains ability to recruit the muscle fibres to perform the tasks needed. As my sport requires power and endurance, strength training does two things;
- ‘You cannot lift a heavy weight slow’! Try it! When you lift heavy weights you stimulate more muscle fibres and your nervous system gives it all to move that weight. Therefore everything is exploding to lift but not going far as the weight is restricting you. Nonetheless I am giving it 100% and that’s what develops power.
- ‘A strong muscle can endure more’. Weight training helps me become more resilient with impact and gives me confidence in my ability to impact another fighter.
Between Dion, my strength/striking coach, and myself we have designed a strength program to compliment what’s required in a MMA fight and largely will look at my muscle imbalances and therefore weaknesses.
Today’s focus is heavy lifts of 5 sets of 2 reps. I am performing full body exercises with mobility in-between sets. In 45 minutes this was mentally and physically challenging.
Time for food to recover! I consume 190 grams of tuna, a handful of sweet potato, 1 cup of broccoli and 1 cup of steamed carrot.
Today I do all my meal prep for the next few days so 3 hours of cooking preparation is key for me on a Monday.
Meal 3. 3 home made turkey burgers (see viva recipe on website)1 handful of sweet potato, 1 cup of broccoli and 1 cup steamed carrot.
Time for MMA training at Trinity MMA. 90 minutes drilling different skills in prep for the fight under my head coach Nick Hughes.
Dinner-250 grams of chicken breast, 4 cooked mushrooms and a cup of baby spinach.
11pm Time for bed day 1 down what a grind! Now it’s time to remind myself why I am doing it and what’s at stake to do it all again tomorrow.
Day 2 Tuesday I wake up at 745am. The pain from day 1 is real, the body hurts already what the hell am I going to be like by the end of the week? That’s future Anthony’s problem to think of for now!
Breakfast-3 eggs and 100 grams of smoked salmon with my traditional black coffee and off to work.
Today is busy. Train clients from 9am until 11am. Time for a Juice (my usual)Then I’m on the desk between 11am-5pm at the gym.
Lunch-200 grams kangaroo and a handful of sweet potato, 1 cup of broccoli and 1 cup steamed carrot.
Pre work out meal (90 mins before workout) 200 grams chicken, a handful of sweet potato, 1 cup of broccoli and 1 cup steamed carrot.
5pm-6pm train clients. 6pm It’s time to kick box with Dion in the ‘Viva Warrior Kickboxing session’. Tonight is good, the technical aspect of striking is clicking well and the fitness considering the time out from the fight is good. 7.15pm Time to train one more client and then head home.
8.15pm Dinner-I am starving! The first week and last week is always the hardest I just hope I don’t eat my arm soon. 200 grams of raw tuna steak with a mixed salad. I could have eaten double that but I have a goal and I must persist as failure is not an option, cheating is not an option!
10.45pm Lights out today! I’m starved but was successful! I know it is going to become easier once I get through week 1.
Day 3 Wednesday- 7.45am I’m feeling not bad, sleep was rough last night. My dog blade decided to wake up every few hours and that that was going to be best for both of us…But there is no rest in this game it’s time to get at it!
Breakfast-4 kangaroo snags and my black coffee today with a spoon of organic honey for a pick me up.
Work time 9am-3pm, juice mid morning.
Lunch-250 grams of turkey mince, fresh chili, garlic, snow pea’s, mushroom and spinach.
3pm time to kick box 1 on 1 session with my striking coach Dion. Today’s focus is counter the big right hand, which my opponent is known for, via leg kicks, left hooks and movement. This is stuff I find mentally hard and frustrating as my style is normally being the aggressor so it’s hard mentally as we get it done but still I question am I good enough? Will it just be a matter of me doing all this work just to get hit hard and knocked out straight away?
It’s time to train a few clients from 4pm until 530pm and then head to SABJJ for MMA and BJJ.
6pm-7pm working on defending take downs if they come and gaining advantageous positions.
The last 30 minutes is sparring time 5 x 5 minute rounds with a different sparring partner every night this is where I step up, I feel good so I reduce the break to 30 seconds between the first 3 rounds to account for adrenaline in the fight. In the last round, minute three an accident happens as I head clash and I am cut above the eye! Bloody hell this wasn’t meant to happen. I finish the round and quickly look at the cut and it’s not too bad but will need a few butterfly clips. There goes BJJ as I have to get this sorted! Get home and get the cut dealt with. It’s gonna be ok, just need to be careful of it for a few days.
Dinner-Things happen and I am not prepared so I go to a scoop of protein powder mixed in with 175 grams of Greek yogurt. It’s the first time I try this and it’s amazing, the pick me up that I need and it fits in with my food goals. This was a positive end to a hectic day.
10.30pm Time to sleep. I am hurting from two hard sessions and exhausted. Night time always seems to be when I think why do I do this to myself?
Day 4 Thursday-8am Wake up feeling better today mentally looking forward to strength and power. But first it’s breakfast time with 3 gluten free chicken patties and a black coffee with a spoon of honey.Off to work training clients 9am-10am.
10am time for strength and power. Today’s aim is full body working on explosive power so I am fast for the fight. Being a Dopamine dominant athlete I love this stuff short reps and explosive.
11am-5pm I work on the desk. In this time I have my juice1 bowl of Mum’s home made chicken and vegetable soup 250 grams of turkey mince, fresh chili, garlic, snow pea’s, mushroom and spinach
5pm-7pm I train clients and take a kick boxing class 7.30pm home and time to eat
Dinner-200 grams steak, 1 cup of cauliflower and 1 cup broccoli.
10pm bed time. Today has been a good day I am feeling strong mentally. My thoughts are I can finish this fight in the first round.
Day 5 Friday-6.45am I wake up. I know to most this isn’t early but I hate mornings! Breakfast 4 kanga banga’s and my coffee with a shot of honey
8am-1pm work Have a juice Eat chicken and vegetable soup
1pm I train conditioning pyramid rounds where I add an exercise every minute 1 2 3 4 5 minutes then drop one exercise every round and then come back down 5 4 3 2 1.
Time for Physio to help my body move and work how it should as this sport is grueling and taxing on the mind and the body. After a good needling, massage and mobility session with Steph I am sore but feeling like I am ready to spar hard tomorrow… Watch out!
Food time for the afternoon-Snack 175 grams Greek yogurt with a scoop of protein powder.
Dinner- 250grams of turkey mince, fresh chili, garlic, snow pea’s, mushroom and spinach.
It’s Friday night my friends are out enjoying a social drink I am laying in bed at home. Prep for a fight or any serious sporting event is a lonely world in its ways of plenty of time to contemplate your life, the fight and basically anything else. Sometimes you have to hate something to love it and this is something that runs through my head. You hate the fact that you love doing something that is so hard but so rewarding you tell yourself not everyone can do this, lead the way.
10.30pm sleep time. I visualize sparring for the morning which is going to mentally test me and I can’t wait.
Day 6 Saturday-8.30 am wake up. Had a great sleep and feeling good.
Breakfast-Omelet with mushrooms, spinach, onion and feta and a long black by itself today.
10.30am get to Ringworks for a inter club sparring day I have organized with my friend and the only person to beat me in a fight Myles Simpson, who is also preparing to fight but 3 weeks before me. We spar 5×5 minute rounds at a high pace back and forwards on who is winning. Glad that’s over, my fitness is coming up but it’s a long way to go.
Food time, I had to drive 90 minutes to get here and keep food in the car so I bring 190grams of tinned tuna and 1 small cup of brown rice. I don’t usually eat this but it’s needed for my recovery on the drive. Home now I juice.
Tonight I have a friends birthday. I know I can’t eat what they will eat there and I know I can’t drink what they will but I have to go it’s a close friend.
Dinner- I eat before I leave for the birthday. 250grams of turkey mince, fresh chili, garlic, snow pea’s, mushroom and spinach.
I drink water and keep as social as I can but it’s hard, everyone is drinking and enjoying food and I feel like a wet blanket! I am sore, tired, hungry, or as my friends say ‘Hangry!’ I only stay a few hours before I retreat to my home where I decide to play my favorite video game from the start again Batman Arkham Night as this will help me relax and not think about stuff, after all I put in a good week and I need a come down. 11pm time for sleep and tonight I am out like a light.
Day 7 Sunday-8.30am wake up. It’s time to check my weight and see what adjustments I need to make next week to my training, food and sleep plus supplements. Weight is 83kg on the dot success week 1. I have done what I needed and expect quick weight loss early through dropping sodium etc.
Breakfast- 200 grams of roo diced and a short black.
90 minutes later it’s time to do some sand runs short and hard today, 1 minute as hard as I can then a 2 minute walk by 10 rounds and then done. I hate this it burns the lungs, it burns the legs but all I think is I have to be doing this I need to train harder and smarter than my opponent to give myself the best chance of winning. Recovery food is yogurt, protein powder and a fresh juice.
It’s time to get all my shopping done as this process begins again tomorrow. I shop at a Butcher, fruit and veg shop and the supermarket only for a few items as I want organic stuff as this is best for my body and recovery (every little bit helps).
Lunch-3 hard boiled eggs, 1 cup spinach and 4 cooked mushrooms in garlic with some fresh chili in the eggs.
Dinner-200 grams of chicken, sweet potato and 2 cups of broccoli. No cheat meal for me as my weight is too high and the crime was done before hand. Mentally I am strong this is the only reason you would need a cheat meal for mental relief and I sacrifice this because no cheat meal will make me feel as good as winning April 16!
10pm and I’m tired. Early night, a new week, a new challenge ahead and I reflect on the week… I did what I said I would, I am hurting but I feel rewarded. I will check back in with everyone at week 4… Wish me luck!