MMA Strength Training Rant

This is just a short rant on MMA fighters and strength + conditioning.

Do BJJ classes to improve your BJJ skills

Do Wrestling classes to improve your Wrestling skills

Do Muay Thai to improve your Muay Thai skills

Get the point…

Use your diet to help you add mass or drop weight depending on your goal

Do aerobic work to improve the efficiency of your aerobic system

and finally…





S&C is not just based on circuits and nor should it be, there is a time and a place for everything but as a fighter don’t expect to do circuits when your 3-4 months away from a fight and you cant even do 5 chins, this man surely doesnt…

Lift Big Get Strong



Week in Words 2

Before I forget remember its S&P Carnage this coming Friday at the Milson Rhodes in Didsbury to celebrate our 1 Year Anniversary, Z and myself will be there from around 7 (along with our old gym manager) so get down around 7.30-8 for drinks. Sorry no food this time!

Hip Thrusts do work!

Gym Quote of the Week – ‘ill eat 55kg sandbags for breakfast” IB

Business – Been another busy week at S&P, on 2 days alone we saw over 50 people through the door with lots of pr’s made and records broken, including the 2 plate for reps, and the under 80kg category is getting very heated!! Who said the lighter boys cant lift heavy!!

Its been a busy week working on the UK’s Strongest Athlete (UKSA) which we are hoping to run in early July. This will be a type of strongman competition for anyone who thinks they have what it takes to compete and take home the trophy. There are 4 events and 2 weight categories, the events are not just strongman as such but we have tried to incorporate more athleticism into them. More will be revealed once everything is fully organised and planned. Lets see who will step up and bring it!

Clients – Neil Kirwan from MyProtein had his first Amateur MMA fight yesterday and after having a stomach bug for the past 3 days it was not a good start. Low and behold he held his own even though that he was a good 4kg lighter and should have won the fight except his opponent claimed a low blow and had time to rest!! The fight was a draw.

Training – Trained monday then had a couple of restoration sessions as felt that I needed it. I think this is something which is definately learned with training. Listening to you body and how it feels is crucial to long term development. Although Z ploughed on and smashed the 50kg fat grip clean and press for 5 singles after he missed it last week!

Thoughts – Everyone should do soft tissue work but whether you need to do it before each session is another question? I think we need to look at soft tissue work like training, hard and light days. So on your strength training days just do a light and quick soft tissue session and on your off days go hard and deep!!

Life – I had to change my car bulb this week and being an alpha male that I am I thought I will do it, if us men cant even change a bulb then what is going on!! Got the old bulb out in about 15 seconds and got the new one in in about an hour!! let me explain. Putting a bulb back into a tight space with my macho hands was quite hard, basically I dropped the bulb to the bottom of the car and so had to make something to retrieve it from a very tight space, check the pic below

Check out my saviour, a pair of pliers, a metal rod and a screwdriver taped together with some celotape on the end. With this and some extremely good accuracy and patience I was able to retrieve the bulb!

Who said it takes more than one man to change a bulb!!

Food has been good this week, slightly less carbs as I have only really had one training day. It always annoys me when people say they have no time to make food, im not going to rant but I will say, get your food in check before complaining about not getting results! People need to check out Precision Nutrition System by John Berardi, very good stuff and easy to follow. Below is a an omlette which I made which took about 5 mins to make! Take note!

Exercise of the Week -Ive stole this one from Tony Gentilcore, not sure what its called but I love it

Video of the week – I love watching Matt Wichlinski’s videos as he doesnt give a f*ck what people say but still churns out beasts. Hope to have him over for a seminar in the summer, watch this space

Article of the Week – This is not a new article, its a series of videos put into one place and so I want everyone who wants a bigger bench, or who wants to learn to bench or thinks they can bench (this includes some trainers I know) then please click the link

Industry – I have been thinking this week of what makes a good gym?? Is it the equipment, sessions, members, atmosphere, owners, location, coaches, to be honest I think it is a bit of everything but one does jump out to me as the most important. Alwyn Cosgrove has talked many times about the PT/Strength Coach themselves and how they perceive themselves as providing a customer service and not just a place to train.

I was talking to one of our clients this week regarding this and she said that a good trainer has to have a good level of emotional intelligence, so from writing a program to delivering it with the client in mind at all times. E.g the way I speak to my older clients is different to how I speak to my younger ones. This might seem like an obvious point but many fail to recognise this and hence do not get the best results.

Until next time

Lift Big Get Strong


Week in words

I want to start this feature in the blog just to sum up the week in my eyes, so to start…..

Sorry girls but a half naked women to start the blog always draws attention, Ashley Judd does it well!!

Gym quote of the week – “need to get angry to lift this”, CT

Business – Been a very productive week at S&P, had MyProtein down on Tuesday to film some videos for their website, so we were blessed with the company of Ross Edgley, Dan Hipkiss and Martin Brown. Great Lads and will hopefully be meeting up again soon. Also our client logs for our website should be up and running soon, so stay posted.

Training – Been a good week of training for both myself and Z, below is a video from Friday. Z just missed the 50kg Fat Grip Clean + Press and I missed the 55kg on my left, but we will smash these next week. We have been hitting variations of chins/pull ups 3 days a week, take note: they should be a staple in everyone’s training. Shoulders feel great, think this is also due to the handstand push ups that I have been doing. Lets see if they carry over to my bench.

Thoughts – Always have a GOAL/PLAN whether this is in the gym or out, training or working towards something is much more effective than training towards nothing. This could be as simple as hitting a PR or even making small changes to ones diet. Small progression are key in all walks of life.

Life – My wife has been away all week with work, so this has made me be more organised with my food, check the pic below to see what I mean by being organised. Sundays are now my official food prep day!

Exercise of the week – Tony Gentilcore demonstrates an exercise called the Alligator walk. A great exercise for the anterior core and also aids in shoulder health

Video of the week – Bret Contreras shows a great technique to help drill sitting back on the squat, its surprising how many people find this hard to do, so videos and tips like these are very helpful

Article of the week – This is an excellent article by Molly Galbraith that everyone should read

Industry – I have been a gym owner for over a year now and some people might think that I am where I want to be and that I can just sit back and let the business grow, well the answer is far from it. I am constantly trying to learn more through reading books, reading articles and listening to podcasts in my car (not when the wife is in as she doesn’t appreciate the likes of Mike Boyle talking about hip stability) What I am saying is that right now I am like a small fish in a big pond, but I am growing and always will through listening and learning to the likes of Dave Tate, Bret Contreras, Dan John, Chad Waterbury, Joel Jameison, Eric Cressey to name a few. So my advice to anyone starting out or is in this industry to keep learning and always continue your personal development as a coach/trainer.

Until next time

Lift Big Get Strong


10 More things that PISS ME OFF about commercial gyms…Part 1!

Here at Strength & Performance Gym, we can’t help but feel a little smug; why?

Because we’re just plain awesome, that’s why!

you got one more set to do boy….

Just kidding, but on a serious note; it’s been a pretty good first 12 months in business.

Let me explain; in that time we managed to break away from the status quo and set up our very own haven of athletic excellence. Strength & Performance is now firmly established as one of the UK’s best training facilities and we are proud to be paving the way for the future of S&C in our country. We now regularly contribute to 2 of the world’s largest fitness magazines; Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness. We have also featured in Fighter’s Only Magazine, Craine’s Business Magazine, FHM and we also make regular contributions as ‘experts’ for (Europe’s largest supplements company).

Over the last year we have built up a roster of athletes that includes UFC Middleweight contender Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping. We currently train athletes from UK Lacrosse, GB American Football, Netball, Handball and Inline Skating plus several top MMA and Muay Thai fighters, Rugby, Football, Pro Super Kart and more! Not too bad considering our ex-boss gave us 6 months to go under!

S&P exists to provide a platform for athletes and non-athletes of all abilities to achieve greatness in every dimension of their training. And we’d like to think that we’re pretty damn good at it, too!

In past lives, my Co-Director, very good friend and long-time training partner, Sean and I have had to endure life, work and training at various commercial enterprises. Along the way we’ve come across some sights that would shock even the most hardened gym goer.

Following the success of Part’s 1 and 2 of the much discussed ’20 Things that PISS ME OFF about Commercial Gyms’ blogs, and having received many comments asking for another edition, we think it is as good a time as any to unleash a little more S&P gold for your reading pleasure!

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

Before we do this, however, I feel the need to put a little disclaimer out there. Not because I give a s**t what people think about my/our opinions on things, more to dissuade anyone from commenting who is offended by the views expressed in this post! In a kind of tongue-in-cheek way, can I just say; ”If you don’t agree with this, don’t f*****g read it!” Simple!

Compiled below is a short list of things that may go some way in justifying certain statements made below, in the event of any negative comments making it through the tough EFS vetting process:

1)    I am NOT an elite(ist) athlete

2)    I am NOT a power lifter, nor have I ever been a power lifter

3)    Yes, I DO own my own gym and I train there

4)    I have worked both as Fit-Pro/PT and in management in commercial gyms

5)    I don’t wear Under Armour or shout “Yeah buddy” when spotting!

6)    My opinions are my own

7)    I am VERY opinionated and I stand by them

8)    I don’t just listen to heavy metal and rap music, nor do my athletes

9)    I have a sense of humour!

10) I am not trying to be like Mike Guadango!

11)  I reserve the right to be offended

12)  Strength & Performance is nothing like Crossfit, nor am I a Crossfit hater!

I hope this helps to clarify my standpoint a little.

So, without wasting any more time, let’s get to it; Part 3 in the series.

1) People with ILATS (Imaginary Lat and Trap Syndrome) – This is possibly one of the worst crimes committed by an all-be-it small but dangerous minority of commercial gym-goers. These people are also known as ‘prize douchebags’!

You can spot someone with ILATS quite easily; they are usually the ones hogging the lat pull-down and low pulley row machines with their mates but rarely actually do any proper back work! You may also catch them hanging tough in the squat racks. They will most probably be doing high rep barbell shrugs with straps and the kind of weight my 16 month old baby girl would be embarrassed to lift!

It actually pains me to see these half-wits, swaggering through the middle of the free weights area like male peacocks, puffing out their chests, permanently shrugging their shoulders like they have a syndrome and holding their arms out wide to the side as if they were carrying a small pig under each one. What they are trying to do is con you into thinking that they have huge lats and traps, but don’t be fooled; in reality they are either very small or non-existent!

ILATS sufferers please take a second to read this important public service announcement; “Take a good hard look in the mirror… go on, I’m giving you the chance to justifiably pose for once. Now, when your back profile mirrors that of a lowland alpha male Silverback Gorilla, like this:

A Random Alpha-male Silverback Gorilla, pictured here grazing in between Prowler runs outside S&P Gym.

Or maybe this…

One of our clients, out for a morning stroll in the local park!

Then and only then is it time to brush that dirt off your shoulder and prepare to be hit on by numerous hot chicks! Until that time comes, please feel free to walk normally and for god’s sake put your arms down. Don’t you realise that you look like a F*ING TOOL!! How about I introduce you to a few sets of full range pull-ups and heavy-ass dumbbell rows? – WTF 8*

2) People who fill up their protein shakers at the only water fountain in the gym. – This includes Personal Trainers too. Yes you, douchebags, I’m talking to you! You know who you are, you inconsiderate pricks!!

I don’t know what pisses me off more; the fact that most of these special people probably don’t have the faintest idea why they are ingesting extra protein in the first place or that it is unsympathetic in the extreme to the needs of the Bad-Ass strength disciple who is no doubt being deprived of much needed H20 while they’re pontificating over what type of protein is best, and whether taking Creatine is ‘cheating’, and what are fat burners anyway?

Save that shake for the changing rooms you pumped up poser and quit purposefully ‘flexing’ every time a foxy blonde strolls by in her Juicy tracksuit. It doesn’t impress them and it certainly doesn’t impress me! – WTF 7*

3) Stupid people who ask “Are you still using this, mate?” as you stand gasping for breath over a loaded barbell. – You begin; “Listen ‘mate’(The fact that I’m still standing should give you a clue here, Einstein), if I had enough breath in my body I would beat you to death with this barbell (for now you just have to settle with an icy ‘don’t f**k with me’ glare). Even if I have finished this set, I certainly won’t be giving you the bar you prick, instead I think I’ll give it to the outrageously HOT female who looks like she knows more about lifting weight than you do.” Girl put those glutes away before you hurt somebody!!  – WTF 7* (Not the chick!).

Yes I am using these!!

4) When you do something remotely athletic i.e box jumps, farmer’s walks, explosive medicine ball throws etc, the management look at you as if you come from Mars. – What, so I’m not allowed chalk; no dead lifting over 100kg’s; no loud noise; Jesus ‘H’ Christ, I can’t even exhale, or break wind without some two-bit jobs worth manager telling me to “keep it down please, you’re intimidating other members”; And now I’m being penalised for being straight up athletic as well? What kind of outfit are you running here?

So it’s fine for you to spend squillions of pounds of my hard earned cash on the latest new-fangled functional bulls**t that I for one am never going to use, but when it comes to me wanting do my own thing in order to make maximum gains, it’s not allowed? Why, because I choose to do things a little different to the way you were all taught at Personal Trainer school?  Give me a break!

Just because I’m a BAD-ASS mofo, it doesn’t give you the right to treat me like a second class gym member. If I want to hit 50 plus inch box jumps on the pink and purple aerobic blocks on the gym floor then I’m going to! Let me worry about the consequences! Roman curls with my feet under the cable cross-over machine, help bullet proof my hamstrings; don’t like it, don’t watch! And hand-stand press ups to increase my bench; It IS safe, if I have a proper spot so please save me the lecture and worry about something else like making sure your abs class is properly staffed!  WTF 8*

5) People with skinny legs in comparison to their upper body! – “Each to their own!” I hear you cry; F**k that! I don’t care what you say, looking like that should be punishable by high rep dead lifts until sick!

Tell me where in the international texts on bodybuilding/nightclub security does it say that you must possess the upper body of Jay Cutler combined with the lower body of an underfed giraffe? If you can show me then I’ll happily eat my words!

“But, dead lifting hurts my lower back (because it’s weak!) and squats hurt my neck….. and anyway, I used to squat 500lbs when I was 12 but then my legs got too big so I stopped doing them” (“coz I’m a weak little b**ch” is what you really mean, isn’t it, buddy?) – SORT IT!

It’s time to wake up and smell the ‘Hot Lava Java’ coffee! Don’t you realise that hitting heavy, deep squats, twice per week will not only put hairs in places you can only imagine but they will also help to produce strong children and instantly make you irresistible to the opposite sex. This is an indisputable scientific FACT!  I’m sure big Jim Wendler said so, once…and he’s never wrong, so there! 😉 Now run along before I embarrass you in front of your drug dealer friends, fool! – WTF 6*

6) Those Balance Band thingys. – BALANCE BANDS?!…. Whoaa there, just a second, back that s**t up. Which idiot invented these? No really, I want to know! Clearly someone with too much time on their hands. Maybe I should introduce them to the person who invented that blue wobbly half disc thingy. They would have a field day together wearing balance bands and balancing precariously while performing strict pistol squats with one kettle bell above their heads! I mean, seriously…. Balance bands?! Give me a break! And please feel free NOT to comment below if you wear these tacky pieces of s**t plastic that probably don’t work! (just my opinion) – WTF 7*

This just about sums it up!

7) Loud People discussing in detail last night’s conquests with their loud friends. – You must have encountered these ill-mannered baboons before!.. If not then you obviously haven’t hung out at many commercial gyms as unfortunately I have. (I look forward to the comments below from people who adopt the ‘it’s your choice to train there – no one has a gun to your head’ approach; please accept my sincere apologies if I choose not to be bored with your unwanted views!)

Personally I feel disinclined to have my ears polluted with the ramblings of some incoherent, pimply-faced weed of a teenager who either did or didn’t ‘get some’ last night! This isn’t helped by the fact that they seemingly haven’t had access to a dictionary or indeed any form of education for the last 18 or so years, so all you tend to hear are phrases like “sick, blood, innit” – don’t quote me directly on this, though. My apologies if my ghetto-speak is a little rusty!

If you focussed your energy more on lifting heavy weight and less on flapping your gills, you wouldn’t have the body of a 6 year old girl and you would almost certainly see more action!

Save your bulls**t for the school yard, son. I’m trying to focus on getting ‘swole’ here and I can’t concentrate with you yapping in my earhole. If I hear another peep out of you I’m going to make you eat that dipping belt and trust me when I say that it doesn’t taste nice! – WTF 8*

8) People who drive around the car park for half an hour, looking for the nearest possible space to the entrance when there are squillions of spaces towards the back! – I know this isn’t technically limited to commercial gyms but what the heck, it’s a very valid point that I feel should be shared; Some call it the law of attraction, I call it stupid sheep like people with NO brain and zero originality! Yeah, that’s got a nice ring to it!

Seriously, how long will it take to walk that extra 100 yards? One minute? Maybe two minutes then.. Come on you guys, step out of your comfort zone. Live a little. You’ll die a lot older if you exercise at a moderate intensity for 2-3 minutes a day! – WTF 7*

While we’re on the subject, the same applies to those inconsiderate morons who think they can just pull up outside the gym, in the loading/drop off zone or worse still, park in the disabled spaces (these guys are clearly NOT disabled in any way!) and just swagger into the gym like they’re some untouchable gangster. I hope you douchebags get clamped or towed, or better still, clapped in irons and thrown in the dungeons!  – WTF 8*

9) Ugly receptionists – Just kidding!!

9 – (the real 9 this time) People who wear skinny fit T-shirts to exaggerate small arms. – This is a dirty low down trick employed by those who simply don’t possess ‘guns’ worthy of public viewing. I bet you think you’re mighty clever don’t you, pouting over by the water cooler in that suspiciously snug fitting Hollister number? Let me see, I can’t quite see the label…is that a size Medium or a Small?

Yes, but there’s no need to advertise the fact!

Unfortunately it doesn’t add inches to your manhood and it won’t help you to lift more! These are two facts you should probably bear in mind before rushing out to your nearest retail outlet. My advice is this; Put away that post work-out banana, which you no doubt shoved in your training bag before you set off for work. Bananas will NOT turn you into a babe magnet – fact! Instead, fill your shaker full of whey protein and oats and prepare for your weekly food bill to double! It takes a long, LONG time to get big (cleanly); this is a hard fact of life my friends so either get used to the idea or be content on staying small and weed-like, it’s your choice! But don’t just cop out and reach for the tightest t-shirt you can find in the dryer! (a great shrinking tool by the way). This just makes you a pathetic cheat, and no one likes a cheat do they? Plus, you’re bound to get found out pretty damn quickly when those knots in your arms suddenly become visible over-night.

Now Bluto can pull it off!

You would gain more respect from your peers if you just manned the f**k up and wore the right size or maybe a size bigger, that way you can at least earn the right to show those arms off but don’t come up in here and pretend your Ronnie Coleman, just coz you know which way the beach is! – WTF 7*

10) People who take/use their mobile phone’s on the gym floor – Just when you bunch of first class DOUCHEBAGS thought you’d got away with it…. BOOM, GOTCHA! I was just saving you lot till last. Not so smug now, are we?

Can I just make this point abundantly clear; there is not one good reason to have your mobile phone on the gym floor! I’ll spell it out in capitals so you get the message loud and clear; THERE IS NOT ONE GOOD REASON TO HAVE YOUR MOBILE PHONE ON THE GYM FLOOR!

“But i’m a doctor and I HAVE to have my phone on me at all times” Bulls**t! “Why, what’s so important that it can’t wait a few minutes?” If you’re expecting an emergency call at any moment, let’s face it, you probably shouldn’t be wasting your time on that treadmill should you? Pick a day and time when you’re not on call, and if you’re always on call, well then may I suggest you get a gym in your garage at home. You don’t have a garage? Oh well, never mind, you can just make do with your living room instead. As long as the solution doesn’t involve you hogging my breathing space, I couldn’t give a s**t!

I couldn’t care less if the future of civilisation depended on people having their phones with them when training, I don’t want to see them, hear them or even know they exist when I’m trying to shift some weight! There’s nothing worse than having to listen to some moron talking to their business partner, either, about some deal that’s about to go down.

You won’t be smiling for long, if you don’t put that phone away, son! And is that a Smith Machine you’re benching in? DOUCHEBAG!!

That s**t is just annoying! If it’s that important why don’t you run along and actually do the deal instead of taking up a bench that could be better used by someone who actually gives a s**t about their training! – WTF 9*

I do hope you enjoyed this post. Please feel free to leave your comments below. Please see above for reasons why you should NOT comment and please forgive my irritable responses. Rest assured that I will be working away on the next instalment so any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

I also intend to pen some articles on topics a little closer to home. It is not just commercial gyms that may come under fire. This may shock some. I’ll try and keep that under wraps for now though so until all is revealed you’ll just have to keep checking us out on Facebook, Twitter, Four Square and at our website:

Was that a shameless plug? I think so! Haha.

Ok, enough already! Please feel free to laugh; cry; enjoy; share; tweet; re-tweet; rant; cancel your gym membership; lift some heavy s**t; burn you’re A&F t-shirts; run out and buy a barbell and some plates; whatever… just keep doing what you do and strive to be AWESOME!!

Until the next time, stay STRONG!


S&P Blog Returns

After a long awaited break the S&P blog is back up and running……

Im going to start the new blog with a little recap on what’s been happening down at S&P. It was our 1 year anniversary a couple of weeks ago so to celebrate we are having a get together on the 1st April in Didsbury at The Milson Rhodes (the old Pitch and Piano), so all members + 1 are welcome. After many hours of communicating with our web designer we are very proud to have our new website complete. If you have not already checked it then head over to and let me know what you think. Our new merchandise should be arriving this week, so get your order in quick before the stock runs out!

Now onto Z’s and my training. Anyone will tell you that you should always find time to train no matter what and I fully agree with this!! however over the past few months our training has not been where it should be, why? Well I think that when you are trying to grow your business your mind shifts, so benching or squatting big numbers is not the main focus anymore, the effort turns towards expanding the S&P tribe, whether it is looking for new members, going over accounts, planning programs and/or even furthering our own knowledge as S&C coaches.

I wont lie owning your own business is great and has many perks but you never get time away and you are constantly thinking about it 24/7, so hence why training has taken a back seat.  But now the focus is back on training, why? well because our athetes are getting so dam f*cking strong as coaches we have to step it up as well!!

Below is a little clip from our training yesterday, this is week 2 of a 6 week phase, so things are going well.


Stay posted for the next update on our training, thoughts and experience

Lift Big Get Strong


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