by Don Heatrick

Sports science is often shot down by elite fighters…

Fighters that offer themselves as world class performers, who don’t follow a scientific approach to their training, and that often criticise the performance of others that do.

And it’s an understandable mindset when that’s appeared to be the reality for you personally.

But this thinking is flawed…


Are The Best Fighters In The World Always Right?

We all have certain things that come easier for us, and other things that are more difficult…

And peak performance is nothing but getting your biology to work for you rather than against you.

But it’s crucial to understand your biology is unique to you.

It’s a major error in coaching or training, to take what you’ve found works for you and to try to teach it to other people.

Genetics and early childhood environment (where you are on the introvert/extrovert scale, your risk tolerance) all make a huge difference to how you approach peak performance.

The beauty of using a science based approach is that it’s evidence based, it’s cross-referenced and tested by others in different situations and circumstances, so we can be more certain that it will work for others too.

Another huge plus to using a science based approach, is that it uses a common language that allows us to bridge the gap between a lot of different knowledge bases…

So we can learn from lots of other disciplines, and gain advantage from what’s been found to work in other fields outside of our own too.

A science based approach allows you to see the big picture…

To distinguish between underlying scientific principles, and the specific training methods.

This separation helps coaches see how the principles apply to everyone, but the training methods (that apply the principles) must be targeted to suit the individual fighter.

Does using a science based approach guarantee success?

No! Every individual needs to dial in their own mix to suit their personal biology. 

You may get lucky early, or you may have to experiment to find what works for you.

And your personal biology may not be as well suited to the task as others either!

But, by using a scientific approach, you can test for and identify a more appropriate path to peak performance far quicker.

A path that exploits your biology, and builds it in ways that match the task (of fight performance) more accurately…

Instead of bending your biology to the natural biological path of someone else.

Many of the greats are considered ‘naturals’ by those looking on, and often by the great fighters themselves too.

However, there are others that have found they initially struggled in their training and their performance, and have managed to adapt their training to better exploit their abilities, and unlock their true potential.

A science based approach simply increases your chances of finding this route. Especially when you haven’t been lucky enough to adopt a training approach that matches your biology to a greater extent early on.

Avoiding assumptions is crucial if we’re serious in either unlocking our own peak performance, or helping others achieve that.

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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