by Don Heatrick

In this episode I dig into Jonathan Haggerty’s mindset, methods of conditioning your shins for Muay Thai kicks and shin blocks, and the different maximum heart rates for different exercises.

Let’s get straight into it…

Mandalorian footage – Star Wars (Youtube)
Jonathan Haggerty – @jhaggerty_
Team Underground – @teamundergroundmma_official
Keddles Gym – @keddles_and_bruce_gym_
The Knowlesey Academy – @theknowlesyacademy
ONE Championship – @onechampionship

Jonathan Haggerty’s Mindset

In this episode, I’d like to start by talking a little about Jonathan Haggerty’s One Championship fight against Taiki Naito.

I interviewed Jonathan before that fight, and it was fascinating to hear from him how he’d taken his defeat to Rodtang previously, and used it to fuel improvement – a growth mindset

Jonathan spoke about learning the lesson of controlling his emotions during his fights with Rodtang.

And I just wanted to touch on the importance of this realisation…

Motivation, during a fight, or during the months of training leading up to it, is a set of emotions, either painful or pleasurable.

And although as the social scientist B.J Fogg says, “people change best by feeling good, not by feeling bad”, it’s also true that mistakes happen, and the best, most successful people learn from them.

And ultimately, motivation is a set of habits and routines that you carry out everyday.

But drilling deeper… This motivation… This set of everyday habits, are guided by your values and your identity, fuelled by your emotions.

This is how Jonathan took his losses to Rodtang and worked his way up to his performance against Taiki Naito.

He became acutely aware of his “Emotional Identity”.

He was aware of his individual perspective and personal values.

He was not deterred by his loss, he saw how it could take him to the next level…

His self-identity was not damaged.

He was also submerged in a collective identity, the cultural and societal values around him.

This includes his family and friends, but also critically, the high-performing, and highly-supportive teams that he trains with at Team Underground MMA, Keddles Gym, and The Knowlesy Academy.

This is personally what I love about Muay Thai (at any level).

It helps you learn this about yourself under the microscope, and it applies to being successful in all things, not just Muay Thai.

Much like the classic Jedi line from Obi Wan in Star Wars, “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

I think I may have been watching too much of The Mandalorian recently!

But… A person that’s willing to push themselves to the limit, who’s prepared to fail, and learns from mistakes, never loses.

Ok! Moving on!

Shin Conditioning

I’ve been asked again recently about shin conditioning, and if hitting the shins (with sticks for example) is useful, or if there are other better ways to achieve this.

Bones remodel, getting denser/stronger when subjected to repeated stress.

With shin impact, you also desensitise the local area too – you become accustomed to the sensations of impact – so it doesn’t shock you anymore.

But you DON’T need to hit the shins with sticks, bottles to do this! Despite what you may have seen, even from some gyms in Thailand.

The truth is, kicking solid, heavy bags and Thai pads with enough force achieves the same effect, without so much likelihood of bruising or deeper damage, AND while practicing Muay Thai technique too. Two-for-one – maximum training efficiency.

And you know I’m all about that!

Obviously, any damage that prevents you training effectively isn’t useful either.

Also, ANY repeated stress from sufficient forces makes the bones denser and stronger. For example, running, skipping, and weight training, also increases bone density.

This is of particular interest to all fighters, but especially females, as it helps prevent osteoporosis in the future.


A Different Heart Rate Max For Different Exercises

Heart rate training using different modes of exercise, such as running, bag work, cycling, rowing and swimming…

This come up a lot with the fighters I’m training online recently – trying to find target heart rates while cycling for example.

The main thing to understand here is that your maximum heart rate is affected by your body position.

So, your max heart rate will always be while stood up vertical, while running, skipping, bag work, pad work or sparring.

As you change to a more reclined position, say on a bike, your max heart rate will be something like 10 bpm lower.

And if you’re even more reclined, like on a rower, or even horizontal like while swimming, your max heart rate will be even lower still…

Your heart just doesn’t have to work so hard pumping against gravity when you lay all your pipework horizontally compared to stood up vertically.

So you can’t use the same target heart rate zones across all exercise types.

Either do a max heart rate test in each postural position that you want to use for training, or make an estimated adjustment to your standing upright max heart rate that you’ve recorded…

Incidentally, if you’ve not seen my heart rate training myths video explaining why you can’t use a calculated max heart rate, 

and why I prefer testing for anaerobic threshold rather than max heart rate, check out the link I’ll put with this episode.

And there are links to further resources on the show notes page I’ve linked with this episode too. 

If you found this episode valuable, please like, subscribe, and share this with someone else it could help too!

And give me a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

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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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