By Dave Madden @DMaddenMMA
Operating under the pseudonym: “Fluffy,” there is nothing soft about this middleweight’s mindset to grind through training sessions with all his heart and grit.
Friday afternoon and Anthony Hernandez, an undefeated mixed martial artist, loosens up on the mat. He begins to float, even without a mouthpiece or grease, a few butterflies about the wringer he expects Doug Casebier (Coach Doug), MMAGOLD’s strength and conditioning coach, as well as nutritionist, to churn him through. Hernandez is scheduled to appear at Global Knockout 7 at the end of August, and this timetable coincides with where Coach Doug presumes Hernandez, or any fighter eyeing a future camp, should be in his preparation,
“Before you enter into an eight-week conditioning camp, you should have already grown your skills, and then, for eight weeks, grow even more while conditioning. The athletes that don’t succeed are the ones that only try to improve during the eight-week camp. Improve. Grow. Improve. Grow. I can promise you the opponent is.”
Inside the cage, Hernandez lethally pushes forward, and, without question, adheres to the words of his cornermen. On the mats, under the watchful eye of Coach Doug, the same drive springs to life. Power through each station with Hernandez as he completes one of Coach Doug’s infamous strength and conditioning sessions.
As a means of improving the force in Hernandez’s ground and pound, without neglecting other necessary strengths required on the mat, the first workout pushes the rising prospect through twelve sets of:
2 minutes of ground and pound on the heavy bag;
1 minute of bicycle crunches while punching in the air with a six-pound weight in each hand;
2 more minutes of ground and pound on the heavy bag;
1 minute bear-crawling while dragging a mat with your feet.
The second phase of the workout stood Hernandez up and consisted of jogging in place while holding dumbbells, of varying weights, and punching in the air. The pattern was as follows:
30 reps at 12 pounds,
40 reps at 10 pounds,
50 reps at 8 pounds,
60 reps at 6 pounds,
70 reps at 5 pounds,
80 reps at 4 pounds,
90 reps at 3 pounds,
100 reps at 2 pounds,
110 reps at 1 pound.
If the volume of punches thrown hasn’t turned your arms into noodles, workout three may cause anyone other than an MMAGOLD fighter to loosely hang any limbs above the waist at their sides. While punching with five pound weights, Hernandez was tasked to walk the length of a room and back, completing one set, for twenty sets.
Just because this was Hernandez’s last exercise of the day, it was far from a cool down. With every fiber inside screaming to stop, Hernandez hardened his warrior spirit, forged ahead, and wrapped up Coach Doug’s gauntlet on the elliptical machine:
1 minute at level 15,
1 minute at level 16,
1 minute at level 17,
1 minute at level 18,
1 minute at level 19,
1 minute at level 20;
Then, 1 minute at each level working his way back down to level 15.
Slowly, the elliptical grinded to a halt, and Hernandez breathed a sigh of relief after enduring another one of Coach Doug’s wild workouts. Hernandez represents one cog in the MMAGOLD wheel, and Coach Doug explained the passion each fighter beholds to improve, from those professionally ranked, such as Hernandez, down to amateur,
“Every MMAGOLD top fighter is back at it the following Monday after a fight. They lose, they get better. They win, they get better.”