I wrote this post last November (2015) in an apartment in Flic En Flac, Mauritius, whilst cutting weight ahead of the the World Cup event there. Now, as I sit in a suite in Buenos Aires, Argentina, again loosing weight ready to fight this coming weekend I feel that the following words are relevant to myself now more than ever. With my website having just gone live, I feel this is a great place to restart blogging my journey, experiences, thoughts and ideas as I continue to travel all over the globe doing the thing I love to do. Thanks to all that continue to support me.
The 70-90% training theory is something I’ve spent a fair amount of time contemplating over the past 12 months. The idea was first introduced to me by a good friend of mine, Nick Fraser, who has spent the majority of his life training in Martial Arts and Strength & Conditioning. Nick also spent a long time working in the Fitness industry, when I say ‘Fitness’ industry I’m not talking about this gimmicky look good in a t-shirt garbage; I mean real functional, aiming to optimise the human performance to ‘do another person harm’ training! So when Nick gives me advice or reading recommendations etcetera I pay attention. Now the guy Nick put me on to was a chap by the name of Steve Maxwell, highly recommended S&C coach, a long time BJJ black belt and all round lunatic so naturally I was instantly interested. The article of Maxwell’s that I was drawn to was one in which he discussed his ideas regarding the intensities that strength training should be performed at, which in short he claims, should be somewhere between 70-90% of an individuals maximum. This reiterated a point Nick had made to me on a number of occasions; 1 repetition maximum lifts are a great tool for DEMONSTRATING strength, not building it.
Now I am someone who has always struggled with moderation, and it just so happened that shortly after reading Maxwell’s article (about 50 times in a row) I began a 14 week training period targeting maximal strength. So for the next 98 days every morning I was waking up thinking about this theory and where about in the 20% window that days training intensity was going to lie. The further into the block I got and the more I thought about the theory, I began to attempt to adapt it into other areas of my training. Very quickly I realised that the majority of the training I’d been doing over the previous couple of years already fell in line with this ‘new school’ of thought, pretty much my entire life I had gone hell for leather for all sessions until after the London 2012 Olympic Games where I began to slow down slightly and concentrate more on technical development. So with my current S&C and Judo sessions being done at 70-90% intensity (Judo technical at 70% and randori, depending on what my aim for the selected block of training I’m in, could lie anywhere between 70-90%) I feel I can successfully judge how hard I need to be physically and/or mentally working.
Again, I am an extremist, so after about a week of feeling content about my own evolved version of Maxwells theory I then began to think about it within my lifestyle. Now I’ve always eaten fairly clean and I feel I have a good knowledge of nutrition, however occasionally I do enjoy a bit of chocolate and a pizza………..and a night on the beer, more occasionally now that I have to loose a bit more weight than I used to do to compete, paradoxically! Implementing the theory into my life weekly has helped me feel more ‘balanced’ about the whole ‘athlete lifestyle’. I feel I have gone from living like a monk for so long and then spending a couple of days on the lash and living on fry ups and takeaways to having the ability to implement ‘cheat’ meals and days’ or time off (literally and mentally) within a cleaner, hard working diet and lifestyle.
Then after not being selected for the World Championships after being on a 3 tournament gold medal medal winning streak and, in what I felt was the form of my life I knew I had a considerable period where I wouldn’t be competing. So, shortly after the selections came out I spent about a week eating and drinking too much and came to the conclusion that even the 70-90% theory should be, or can be, implemented 70-90% of the time.
Thank you for reading.