Don’s Winning Fighter’s Principle

Quick Coach’s Chat EP. 03
Featuring Manachai and Yodchai filmed at the Yokkao Training Centre in Bangkok.

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Don’s Winning Fighter’s Principle Video Transcript:

I’d like to share with you a principle I have for winning fighters.

My objective is to increase the amount of power a fighter can produce at 80-90% effort.

For me, this is how fights are won. If you can produce more power relentlessly at 80-90% effort than your opponent can, you’ll overcome them.

You see, if you give 100% effort for too long, you’ll gas out. 100% effort bursts have to be used sparingly, whereas 80-90% (when you’ve trained for it) can be used for the whole fight.

Now imagine if your 80% effort is as powerful as your opponent’s 100% effort, now you have a massive advantage!

And I see this 80-90% being true of both sides of the coin, that’s strength and conditioning. That’s the neuromuscular muscular and the metabolic energy.

Let’s take each one in turn…

Although they’re different physiological qualities, strength can appear as endurance.

For example, if you are only just strong enough to lift your own body weight in a chin up, you’ll only mange a few reps and your endurance seems terrible.

But if you’re strong enough to perform a chin up with half your body weight added to you, you’re capable of doing many reps with just your body weight alone, and your endurance seems monstrous!

And that’s because each rep is a much smaller percentage of your maximum effort, and therefore less tiring.

Continuing with this specific example… A strong chin up performance correlates to a strong clinch performance. And if you’re a clinch fighter, I bet you’ve got a strong chin up.

And your clinch performance will be even better if you strengthen this pattern further.

If you only use 80% of your maximum strength or power, then you can do many submaximal reps without tiring.

So in our strength and power sessions, our objective is to boost our maximum neuromuscular performance, so that when you use predominantly use 80% of this in a fight, it’s a ton more power than your opponent’s got.

And the same is true of the metabolic or cardio conditioning training.

Now rather than the neuromuscular adaptations that we’re targeting with our strength and power sessions, we instead boost how your body centrally supplies energy and locally uses that energy in the muscles too.

If your maximum pace (power output) at 80-90% of your maximum heart rate is greater than your opponent’s… again, fun times!

Then, when you layer this on top of this efficient, economical Muay Thai skill and technique, you have a fighter that’s capable of outpacing their opponent simply due to athletic performance — let alone due to a technical and tactical Muay Thai advantage!

So for me, it’s like this:

Relentless Fight Pace = 80-90% Max Strength & Power + 80-90% Max Aerobic Power + Economy of Muay Thai Movement and technique.

So if you needed some direction for your “training with purpose” that I spoke of in my previous video… there’s a helpful nudge!

Don Heatrick

Founder of Heatrick Strength and Conditioning

Don Heatrick is a family man from the UK, former mechanical design engineer, European Muay Thai silver medallist, former pro Thai boxer (ranked 4th in UK while aged 40-years), a Muay Thai coach, podcast host, and the go-to expert on Muay Thai performance training with over 25 years of coaching experience.

Don helps ambitious fighters and coaches take their game to the next level by bridging the gap between Strength & Conditioning, Performance Science, and Muay Thai.

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