I’m pleased to welcome back to The Seminar, author of Ultimate MMA Conditioning Joel Jamieson. Joel has been a favorite of all in attendance the past two years, and with his presentation overviewing his camp preparation for his MMA fighters, this year is sure to bring it!
JD: Joel, it’s great to have you back on the docket for The 2013 Seminar. Catch our readers and attendees up. What is new with Joel Jamieson?
JJ: Just staying busy, working on a few different projects, training the usual group of fighters and running the gym – same old, same old. Mostly I’ve been focused on the new stuff for the BioForce Project, which is something I’ll be discussing at the 2013 seminar. It’s really exciting work, something that I don’t think has ever really been done before and I’m excited to talk more about it.
JD: Your presentation is going to be an example of one of your fighters’ “camps” leading up to a fight. What can our attendees expect to take away?
JJ: The goal will be to give attendees an inside look at what it really takes to get ready for a fight and my goal is to give them practical ideas that they can implement with their own athletes. I’ll be explaining not just what we did week by week, but also why we did it that way, which is the most important part.
JD: All of the fighters must be absolute freaks. Strong, fast, fit, tough, fantastic athletes. So when you get the opportunity to work with the cream of the crop, like a DJ, where do you start? Where do you go?
JJ: I wouldn’t say every fighter in the sport is a fantastic athlete by any means, but it’s been getting that way more and more in the last few years. You’re finally starting to see some really high level athletes competing in MMA and I think over the next few years the level of athleticism is only going to get better.
Still, no matter how good an athlete might be, there are always places that he or she can improve. This is especially true in a sport like MMA, which requires such a diverse skill set and such a high level of fitness. Whether it’s DJ or any other fighter, there’s always something that can be improved and that’s where the training will be focused on.
JD: What evaluations, if any, do you utilize at the beginning of a camp to see where you need to go with an athlete in their fight prep?
JJ: There’s a ton of evaluation that goes on at the beginning of a camp; we look at their overall fitness levels, their skill set, and their opponent. The biggest part of this is really done by their skill coach because at the end of the day, the sport is one of skills; fitness levels just support that, so a fighter’s skills must be evaluated so that the right game plan can be drawn up based on the opponent. This is where working with a world class coach like Matt Hume is so valuable because he’s as good at evaluating fighters and coming up with game plans as anyone in the world.
JD: With these evaluations in mind, when you start a camp with a fighter, what are some common “issues” you run into with the athletes? How might these change your approach?
JJ: Every fighter is different and so I don’t know that there really are “common” issues. Everyone has their own set of needs, goals, limitations, strengths, weaknesses, etc. At this level, they are all professional athletes and they take their training seriously so it’s just a matter of putting together the right game plan and executing it.
JD: What may change throughout the camp is how well they recover, if they sustain any minor injuries, etc. These day to day issues are really the biggest things that come up and need to be managed. At the end of the day, everything is based around keeping them healthy and training so that they can be ready to fight.
JJ: The strength and conditioning program can’t beat them up, but rather must get them in shape without increasing the risk of injury. It also can’t have a negative impact on their skill training. So on a day to day basis there’s quite a bit of evaluation and management that goes on to keep them on the right track, but the overall approach and game plan stays the same.
JD: Joel, thanks for taking the time out to catch us up with what’s going on with you. We’re really excited to have you in the lineup again. To hear firsthand how you prepared a fighter will be an awesome presentation. I can’t wait to see it.
JJ: No problem, looking forward to coming back to Virginia and seeing everyone again this spring!
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