Training Log 5/26, 5/27



6pm – 7pm

Obviously no real training can be done with a finger half decapitated, but I won’t let my mind get lazy. I showed up to BMT and sat down and watched class. Or more like sat down, got up and shadowboxed for 5 minutes, and sat down, repeat 10 times. I couldn’t sit still, my fitness is at it’s peak level and I am wasting it laying around on couches and floors.

On another positive note, I planned out my following 8 week block of training and it is looking very intense, but it is exactly what I need to get me to the next level and ready to fight.



9am – 10am

Peeped in on BMT class with coach Vince, Alexa, Andy, Amy, Britney, and Tony. Very hard for me to stay still in class, I want to jump in and train so much, but I will be back soon.


10:15am – 11am

Watched some great rolls at Gracie Tampa and Angel hooked me up with some liquid bandaid for my finger.



“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”

In Pursuit of Excellence

“The difference of great players is at a certain point in a match they raise their level of play and maintain it. Lesser players play great for a set, but then less.”

Throughout my hours spent reading, I have found myself gravitating towards certain kind of books that I really enjoy and feel are more relevant to my life. Some of these books are autobiographies; autobiographies of entrepreneurs, successful people, great and influential human beings, but especially those of peak performers and athletes. Every autobiography I read of a top athlete puts me into their shoes, takes me through their story, and allows me to come back into my own reality with lessons learned and principles planted firmly in my mind.

“The glory is being happy. The glory is not winning here or winning there. The glory is enjoying practicing, enjoy every day, enjoying to work hard, trying to be a better player than before.”

“The glory is being happy. The glory is not winning here or winning there. The glory is enjoying practicing, enjoy every day, enjoying to work hard, trying to be a better player than before.”

Recently I’ve been really dwelling on tennis superstars, surprisingly to myself. I never thought I could compare the two sports, but tennis and MMA are similar in many more ways than meets the eye. Maybe not the rules or equipment used, but internally (the most important part of the game at top levels) they are near identical. Both are very lonely sports, where the player is by himself in the arena, separated from training partners, coaches, friends, and family. Both require heavy mental preparation. Both are sports where the greatest battle is fought not within eyesight, but inside either athlete, each competing to dominate the other’s will. I have just finished my 4th tennis autobiography on Pete Sampras (Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal, and Brad Gilbert were by first 3) and I wanted to touch upon a few of the connections I have made between all these men. They couldn’t be more different in terms of personality, styles, looks, and even mentalities, but they share common traits that propelled them to the top.


1. “Just decide what it’s gonna be, who you’re gonna be, how you are going to do it.. And from that point, the universe will get out of your way.”

All 4 of the men I have written about above may be worlds different, but they all made a similar decision. Pete Sampras decided he had a gift for tennis and he was going to be successful with it. Andre Agassi had been training tennis against his will since the age of 4 and decided that if this was the only thing he could do, he might as well do it well. Rafael Nadal and Brad Gilbert decided that winning at their game of choice was the most important thing in their lives. These choices may have come from different angles and for different motivations, but the end result was that all 4 decisions meant the same thing – Tennis was a very important part of their lives.

“You know my dad pushed me to believe that I was going to be the best. I just never thought of life without tennis, even looking forward.”

“You know my dad pushed me to believe that I was going to be the best. I just never thought of life without tennis, even looking forward.”

When something is an important part of your life, you dedicate time to it, make sacrifices for it, and focus on improving your results above all else. If you don’t decide, at first, that something is important to you, there will always be an excuse or a way out that will prevent you from achievement. I have written about the importance of commitment before and I believe that commitment starts with a decision. This decision is what gets me up at 7am every morning and keeps me going when fatigue breaks me down. This decision cleans up my diet, dissolves my ego, and lets all other things become distractions and fall to the wayside if MMA is concerned.


2. “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

Some people are born with talent. Others are not. It is as simple as that, but what then? Whether or not you have natural talent is irrelevant in the overall picture for peak performers. The only thing these men and women can allow into their minds is what they can control, and what they can control is the work they do and the skills they build. Even among the greatest athletes in a variety of sports, there are those who are not especially talented right alongside, and sometimes beating, those who were born with innate talent for their chosen art. When success is the goal, talent is an option, hard work is a necessity.

“There's always a learning curve, where you've got to learn what your subject is all about.”

“There’s always a learning curve, where you’ve got to learn what your subject is all about.”

Talent is a double edged sword and can hurt just as much as it can help somebody. Some of the best tennis superstars in the world that I read about were not born with natural talent (namely Brad Gilbert and, to a lesser degree, Andre Agassi), but developed skills that those with talent would not be able to. Others, such as Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal, were a force to be reckoned with right off the bat on the tennis court, but would not have been successful without the same work ethic and dedication to skill that those less talented possessed. Skill is the great equalizer and all 4 of the tennis masters I read about concerned themselves, for the most part, with improving their skills.


3. “Vincit Qui Se Vincit” (He conquers who conquers himself)

All successful people know this truth, but none better than athletes. There is an enemy out there who will stop at nothing to make sure you stress yourself out constantly, choke during the most important moments of your life, and ultimately fail to achieve your dreams. This enemy is yourself. Or more accurately, a part of yourself. Steven Pressfield calls it resistance and it shows up in the form of doubts, fears, insecurities, excuses, and can even be projected externally, but make no mistake, this enemy is 100% internal. All 4 athletes I read about were completely aware of this enemy and did their best to conquer him. This is the reason they succeeded, while others broke apart.

“The difference of great players is at a certain point in a match they raise their level of play and maintain it. Lesser players play great for a set, but then less.”

“The difference of great players is at a certain point in a match they raise their level of play and maintain it. Lesser players play great for a set, but then less.”

Andre Agassi was extremely vulnerable to this enemy and would fail countless times due to distractions, insecurities, and external pressure on his shoulders, most notably during the most important games of his early career. It wasn’t until he made a concerted effort to overcome that voice in his head and rise above it that he became a legend. Brad Gilbert realized the importance of getting out of your own way and urged others in his book to let your opponent beat themselves (which happens more often than not). Rafael Nadal had an elaborate ritual beginning the day before his matches to block out and eliminate this hidden enemy. Pete Sampras was probably the most successful of the four at beating out this enemy due to many reasons (most likely his extreme awareness of it) and it shows in his 14 grand slam titles. These 4 men demonstrated a certain truth – before we can conquer our opponents, we must first conquer ourselves and each of these men did this successfully (to different degrees).



“I shall take the heart. For brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.”


Training Log 5/22 – 5/25


5/22 – 5/25

I like to take a few days off and the following week very light, low volume work after I finish an 8 week block of specific training and that is exactly what I’ve been doing. I went home (Pembroke Pines) to celebrate my Mom’s birthday, see some of my best friends and family, and make up for all the fun I’ve missed in one weekend. Well… Mission accomplished.

I had an amazing weekend, one of the best this year, and feel recharged to take my training to the next level, especially with this new development I have for my conditioning (which I will get to in the future).




In this range of days, I did my best to do no exercise, but I did want to do one thing. Test myself. I saw this chart, pictured above, on statistics of top fighters. I wanted to see how I fit in comparison and I went ahead and did most of the tests. I scored Amateur in each category except for the first, the 1.5 mile run, which I believe has ridiculously high standards. I killed myself in that run and did it in 10:30 minutes which was beyond amazing compared to any of my previous running times. I shattered my expectations, but of course, there is always a higher ceiling to reach and I am on my way!

Bodyweight – 160 lbs

1.5 mile run – 10:30 minutes

Resting Heart Rate – 58bpm

Max Push Ups – 40

Max Pull Ups – 18

5RM Barbell Squat – 225 lbs

3RM Bench Press – 195 lbs

Front Plank – 2 minutes

10s Push Ups – 13

Triple Jump – N/A


And then I went into work and slashed half of my finger off with our very sharp bread knife… I’m going to get stitches tomorrow, hopefully this doesn’t affect my training too much.


“If I had 6 hours to cut down a tree, I would spend the first 4 sharpening the saw”

Training Log 5/21


9am – 10am

Amazing training today at BMT with coach Vince, Alexa, Amy, Paul, and Gil.

Warmed up with our 2 punch series and moved into a few combinations including the TJ, 2- switch 2, step cross hook 2, and the Benavide. The Benavide is a little tricky, but all the combinations felt smooth and fluid for me. We moved into kickboxing and started it off with the catch and correct drill and did a round of kickboxing combinations with counters a piece. My kicks felt great, better than ever, especially my 2 kick combo. Finished off with a great combo, the London, and some strength and conditioning!

What I did well: Kickboxing, combos, switch steps, everything!

What needs improvement: Breathing and footwork


10:30am – 11:30am

BJJ at GT with a great group of training partners.

Really wanted to leave it all on the mat today so I started off with the drill of the day. Definitely started off slow and thought it might not be my day, but I stopped that thought right in its tracks and went on to have one of the best rolling sessions ever. Rolled with christina first and did very well, especially my guard passing and armbar set ups. Then got a roll with Rico and it was very fun, back and forth, but my armbar set ups felt great again. Rolled with Alex (squid) and it was competitive, but I felt good. Rolled with Jay and had 2 amazing armbars, one where I’m not even sure how I did it, but lifted him through the air with it. Finished off a lot of rolling with Gideon where we went back and forth, as always, and had a great time.

What I did well: ARMBARS! and cutting through guards like butter.

What needs improvement: Active guard, watching my neck better against gullotines and chokes.


I will be going home for my mom’s birthday and recovering from my 8 week endurance block for the weekend, starting today. I might not write any training logs, unless I decide to work out during the weekend (which I probably should not do). See you guys next week!


“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”

Training Log 5/20


1pm – 2pm

The END! of my 8 week conditioning block!!!

Final workout at Crunch was some Threshold Training. I was so sore and beat down before showing up to the gym, I had no idea how I was going to be able to push myself hard enough to do this, but I just showed up and everything played itself out correctly. I warmed up with 15 minutes of shadowboxing and jumped on Jacobs Ladder for 3 sets of 6 minutes at an average heart rate of around 177bpm. 3 minutes of rest between each set and I finished up.

I will test my conditioning either this weekend or the following week depending on how well I recover, from the obvious overreaching I’ve been doing, by this weekend.


“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

Training Log 5/19

Leonard Garcia auto

6pm – 8pm

Crawled into Bang Muay Thai exhausted today and it was a full class, probably about 8 people.

Started off teaching a new guy through some combinations. I don’t get a chance to be a coach often so it was very enjoyable. Started off with the 2, switch 2 combo and then worked the dutch drill, step cross hook 2 combination, and some kickboxing rounds with counters and front/round kicks. My kicks felt great and I had a lot of fun.

By the time the 2nd hour of class came around, I felt like Daredevil in that one episode where he is fighting guys in the hallway and nearly dying during the fights. My mind stayed pretty focused though, and that is ultimately far more important for performance then how the body feels. Started off with the TJ and the step cross hook 2 combo again. Moved onto some kickboxing rounds and ended up with the Leonard and drive by + a short round of pyramids.

What I did well: Focus, enjoyment, endurance

What needs improvement: power in kicks


“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”

Training Log 5/16, 5/17, 5/18



Two a day’s yesterday and I work tonight so I took an extra rest day today.



Rest Day!



9am – 10am

Start the day off right with a little BMT. Coach Vince, Alexa, and Amy in class today.

Warmed up with our two punch series and moved into a great combination – 2, switch 2. Got our shin guards on and did a round of the dutch drill and another new combination, the drive-by. I liked both of our new combinations, they flowed well for me. Then me and alexa did 2 rounds apiece of kickboxing combinations and finished up with an intense sessions of pyramids.

2, switch 2 – jab, cross, switch cross, step cross

Drive-by – push cross, step cross, swing hook, rear head kick


What I did well: Combinations

What needs improvement: Focus


2pm – 3pm

Exhausted, but I had to do my conditioning today, I wouldn’t be able to fit it anywhere else in my training schedule this week.

Second last endurance workout in my conditioning block. I used the Explosive repeat method.

  1. Barbell Squat Jumps. 8 sets of 14 seconds, 40 seconds of rest between sets.
  2. 10 minutes of active rest
  3. Explosive Push ups. 8 sets of 14 seconds, 40 seconds of rest between sets.

Very difficult workout. I had a serious carb up before the workout to give myself energy and I don’t think I would have made it through without that. The barbell squat jumps were tough, but the explosive push ups had me dying by the 6th set. Glad I did my workout though and, despite how hard it was, I know my conditioning has improved tremendously.



“I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. That is when I start counting, because then it really counts. That’s what makes you a champion.”

Training Log 5/15


9am – 10am

BMT with coach Vince, Alexa, and Amy.

Warmed up with the hands and footwork drill and moved into 2 rounds each of boxing combinations. Since I was with coach as my partner, I got 4 rounds!

Hit a bunch of combos and I kept my punches long which is one thing I try to focus on: not choking myself up with combinations. Barely missed any combos and had 4 great rounds at a good pace. Moved onto kickboxing with front kicks and round kicks. Both felt really good for me, I can throw head kicks with a lot more ease now. Did a round of front kick combinations including follows and Kamans. My front kicks have been feeling good lately!

What I did well: Front kicks, keeping my punches long, counters

What needs improvement: footwork, specifically staying light on my feet during punches


10:30am – 11:30am

BJJ! Got two extra long rolls today with Chaz and Brian.

Chaz was good to flow with and try new techniques including new armbar attempts and I hit my first gullotine, from top half guard,  in a longggg time! I have been trying to work on my arm chokes more. Really pushed the pace and we both ended up pretty tired after about 15 minutes.

Next I rolled with Brian, who is a beast. He has one of the best guards, especially for the time he’s been training, and he’s very strong. I love passing guard though, and I was able to do it pretty successfully repeatedly. He did nearly catch a kimura once which tells me that I need to stay focused 100% of the time and not underestimate someone. After about 25 minutes of rolling, we were both exhausted so we called it a day.

What I did well: Pushing the pace and endurance, guard passing, attempting new attacks

What needs improvement: Finishing head and arm chokes, attacking more from guard/active guard


11:30am – 12pm

Yoga with Angel! Great stretching, I felt like I was made of dough. Finished up with some handstands which were difficult as hell!


9pm – 10pm

Exhausted from training earlier, but I prefer to do this today then tomorrow!

HICT (High Intensity Continuous Training) at Crunch!

I did 2 sets of 15 minutes on the spin bike at max resistance with 5 minutes of rest between. Almost done with my 8 week conditioning block, I have 2 more workouts left next week and then I test myself to see the improvements I’ve made.


“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is life, fight for it.”

Training Log 5/14


1:30pm – 2:30pm

Crunch Fitness in the afternoon!

Blazing hot outside, but I like shadowboxing in a hoodie and compression pants so thats what I wore. Stretched out and did 30 minutes of shadowboxing, just for fun and to warm up. I was telling my coach the other day that I used to hate shadowboxing because I thought I looked stupid doing it and I felt like I was forcing myself too much. Nowadays, throwing on a hoodie and some headphones on, shadowboxing is literally one of the most enjoyable things I can do. It really gets me into the flow zone and I feel like I improve every aspect of my striking by doing it.

Afterwards, I moved into the real reason why I came to the gym: Threshold Training. With an average heart rate of 175bpm, I did 3 sets of 5 minutes on Jacob’s Ladder (it’s like climbing an endless ladder), with about 2-3 minutes of rest between each set. The extra minute was tough, but I pushed through it and by the end, I was flowing with each step on the ladder and could have gone for quite a while (despite the pain). My endurance is feeling really good.

Finished up with a few minutes of hitting the heavy bags and went to Trader Joes to do some shopping before I go home.


“If one should conquer thousands in battle, and if another should conquer only himself, his indeed is the greatest victory”

Training Log 5/13


9am – 10am

BMT with Andy, Alexa, Amy, (army of A’s), and coach Vince.

Loaded up heavily on carbs yesterday so I wouldn’t die during training again and it paid off, I was still exhausted, but I had enough energy to get fully through class very functionally. On top of the that it was a great class and I made it even more challenging and enjoyable by doing the entire thing in southpaw, especially because Andy was southpaw. We started off with 2 rounds a piece of boxing combinations. My southpaw boxing felt pretty good, but I leave myself open and am a little uncoordinated with my punches which is getting better each time I train southpaw. Got a video of it up on my facebook. Moved onto Kaman’s which are front kicks followed by a lead hook and cross and the 2 2 2, 3 3 3 combos. Finished up with some push ups, squats, and sit ups and it was a great class!

What I did well: Enjoyment, challenging myself, front kicks

What needs improvement: Southpaw!


10:20am – 11:30am

BJJ at GT!

Worked on some head and arm chokes for technique. This is awesome because it’s an area I’m really trying to improve. I feel like my attacks have become more one dimensional (really just armbars and kimuras) so throwing in some chokes will open up more options for me. Can’t wait to try some of these d’arce’s and anaconda chokes.

Got a roll with Charles first. I felt good and threw up some good armbars and triangles. Same thing rolling with Christina afterwards. I was seeing many openings for armbars I usually don’t see and going for them paid off. Finished up rolling with Broc and it was a very good roll. I pushed the pace and defended a bunch of head and arm chokes. Learned a lot today.

What I did well: Guard passing, pushing the pace and staying relaxed/calm while doing so, aggressive and aware with armbars

What needs improvement: Head and arm chokes, trying new attacks and opportunities

“Intent is not a thought, or an object, or a wish. Intent is what can make a man succeed when his thoughts tell him that he is defeated. It operates in spite of the warrior’s indulgence. Intent is what makes him invulnerable. “