AK Fight Blog: Countdown to March 19 (Week 3)

Doomsday Clock

The AK fight blog series is a weekly journal from the fan community featuring a behind the scenes look at "AK" as he prepares for his third professional fight on March 19, 2011. Click here if you missed Week 2.

Weeks until fight night: Five
Current weight: 151 lbs.
Bout weight: 140 lbs.

Here we are, one week closer to my fight.

An outline of my week since my second blog:

Saturday: Breakfast of egg white, spinach and salsa wrap with some grapefruit juice. Off to the gym for:
Three, five-minute rounds of shadowboxing
Three, five-minute rounds of heavy bag work
30-minute 6K on the rowing machine (after which I wanted to die)
Back presses
15 minutes of jogging, about 50-percent of a sprint
10 full-court sprints (regulation basketball court)

Saturday (continued): Post-workout protein shake, a banana, and an apple.
Lunch was a chicken breast and carrots with some greek yogurt.
Dinner was sirloin steak and broccoli.
Then the girlfriend and I went to a local bar and grill to watch UFC 126: "Silva vs. Belfort" with some of my training partners.

My thoughts on the fights:

Torres looked great. Followed a "St. Pierre vs. Koscheck 2" gameplan from UFC 124 and executed it perfectly. I enjoyed that fight and I know I’m in the minority here.

After getting out-jitsed on the ground, Ellenberger decided to use the “Late Takedown FTW” strategy and let's be honest, he really didn’t have any other choice. Rocha has some sick jiu-jitsu. Ellenberger did a good job of staying out of subs in the second and third rounds and controlled Rocha very well.

Griffin-Franklin went just like I expected it to go. I’m glad Forrest won, he's one of my favorites, as is Rich, but I really wanted Forrest to pull this one off. I jumped out of my chair when he dropped Rich with that left hook. A TKO of Franklin would have been huge for Forrest. Very confused why Rich looked so surprised at the decision. I had Forrest winning pretty clearly.

I really wanted Bones to finish Bader and I thought it would happen, but not by way of a sub. I was also very impressed with how easily Bones stopped Bader’s shots. Also thought that jumping kick was sweet, looked like "Rua vs. Rampage" in PRIDE. Rua might be a little too much, a little too soon for Jones, but the beautiful thing is that we are all gonna find out for sure in a few weeks.

"Silva vs. Belfort" also went just like I said it would. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but another easy first round KO for Silva. Ask ( Editor) Geno - I called it! Although not by way of front kick. I was quite shocked by that. I think Belfort was intimated by Silva and that kept Belfort from really opening up and led to his demise. Belfort vs. Marquardt?

Sunday: Another egg-white, salsa and spinach wrap for breakfast. A snack of almonds, blackberries, blueberries and raisins is my pre-gym fodder, then it's time for:

Three, five-minute rounds of shadowboxing
Dumbell bench press
Dumbell curls
Tricep pull-downs
Hanging full-body curls
Box jumps
Medicine ball plyo push-ups
Ninja drops to jump squats

Off to a buddy’s place to watch the Super Bowl and resist all the delicious food that is sitting around. Sonofa…rice cake smeared with peanut butter for me. Which I actually enjoy.

Dinner is a chicken breast, cottage cheese, spinach, and almonds.
Snack is some dried apricots and blackberries. Time for bed.

Monday: Breakfast is whole-wheat cheerios with sliced up banana. Off to work, where I have a raisin, almond and apricot mix for a snack. Lunch is a turkey and spinach wrap on a low-carb tortilla (FlatOut is what its called) with blackberries. Go home, read some more Sun Tzu, eat a chicken breast with some spinach and blueberries on the side and off to practice.

Tonight's practice was centered around functional cardio. We start off doing some shadowboxing, then bob ‘n weave drill (rope stretched out across the mat and you bob and weave under the rope and come up on either side of it). A few rounds of swimming with duck-unders and arm drags, then it's time for a circuit. This is gonna be kinda tough to explain, so bear with me.

Station 1: Rear thai kick to a partner holding pads, jump sideways over a heavy bag laying on the floor, one switch-kick to the thai pad, jump back over the heavy bag, rear thai kick, repeat. 30 seconds of that, then 30 seconds of ground and pound and transitions. After the ground work, it's one lap of bear crawls around the mat, back to the heavy bag and another 30 seconds of ground work. Stand up and it's time for thai kicks again. We do this for two, five-minute rounds.

After the circuit, it's three rounds of sparring. I do fairly well here, I’m tired after that circuit but I gain my wind back during the first round of sparring and I feel really good during the last two.

Time for some butterfly sweep drills. We work these for about 10 minutes just to keep the techniques fresh in our minds. Time for another circuit. 30 seconds of the pitbull drill (after I toss the heavybag as far as I can across the mat, bear crawl to it then start working it), then 30 seconds of a box jump, sprawl, push-up, back to box jump. 10 takedowns (my partner tries to take me down, I try to stuff them). I do pretty well here, for the record. Then it's 30 seconds of me holding my arms above my head, getting punched in the stomach.

This circuit has me pretty tired, but I’ve reached that mental state where all I think about is darkness, focusing on the motions, not thinking about the burning in my muscles. I hear my coach yelling at me “Your opponent isn’t doing this, push yourself. Last round, need this round to win the fight. Do you want it? Push yourself!” This lasts five minutes, but it seems more like three. That’s good.

Live jiu-jitsu rounds end the practice. I decide to go until I literally cannot go anymore. I pair up with a partner much heavier than me and who is much better than me (that same “purple belt” I spoke of earlier, who weighs about 185) and we go for what has to be at least 20 minutes. Im left lying on the mat, so tired I can hardly stand up. Feels great.
Go home, write this blog, eat a banana and some almonds and hit the sack.

Tuesday: Wake up with two different things hurting. Well, two new things hurting. An old injury that tends to flare up each time I start cutting weight and a random pain in my torso. The first one is nothing unusual, but the second one has me scratching my head. If it gets worse I may have to go to the doctor.  My legs hurt like hell, but that’s nothing new or unusual.

Breakfast is blueberries, blackberries, and cottage cheese. Off to work, with an almond-raisin-apricot mix for a snack and a turkey, spinach and salsa wrap for lunch. A banana and a protein bar is my pre-workout fuel and it's time for the gym. Today’s workout was:

Three, five-minute rounds of shadowboxing
Dumbell squats
Box jumps
Incline sit-ups
Back presses
Gorilla-grip pull ups (I made up the name-hang two towels off of a chin-up bar and grip the towels like you’re holding a vertical bar. Helps grip strength.)
Dumbell flys (for back, not chest)
Medicine ball throws (throw a medicine ball against the wall, pick it up, do it again.)

Kind of a light night at the gym tonight, my legs are killing me.

Wednesday: Breakfast is blueberries and greek yogurt, snack is raisins and apricots. Lunch is a chicken, ham and spinach wrap with lots of water. Pre-workout snack is a protein bar and some blackberries. I watch my old fight videos, as well as my opponents again, and I head to the gym with cardio in mind.

I run for three, five-minute intervals with a one minute break between rounds on the treadmill, at an incline, at nine MPH. Then I jog for 15 minutes on a flat plane at about 6.5 MPH. Then it's time for the rower.

Last time I did this, It took me 30 minutes to do my 6K. I wasn't pleased with that, so I tell myself I’m doing it in 24 today. That’s the goal "magicmike" set for me, and I’m gonna reach it. That’s my mindset anyway. I didn’t do it, but I got close. I did my 6k in 25.5 minutes. The biggest thing here was my body was screaming at me to quit at the 12 minute mark. But I didn’t. I finished the 6k, shaving 4.5 minutes off my last time. I can't really describe how I felt when I was done. Extremely tired, covered in sweat with a pool of sweat under my machine, but I felt so…accomplished. I wanted to quit, but didn’t. It felt great.

After the rower, I do three sets of 10 hanging full-body curls, three sets of 10 kettlebell swings with a 35 lb. kettlebell and three sets of six barbell curls. I end the night with three sets of 10 dumbell bench presses, push-ups until failure and jump squats.

I go home, get a much needed rub-down (my legs are absolutely killing me), drink a protein shake and eat some spinach and blueberries. I’m exhausted, but I feel good knowing that I went as hard as I could today. As I’m chilling on my couch watching “Monk," I get a very interesting phone call from the owner of a local MMA apparel company. Guess who’s got a sponsor??? This guy! Although I think I’ll be getting paid more in the form of apparel than money, its still pretty cool. I think so, anyway.

Thursday: Wake up with blisters on my hands from the rower. Nice. Breakfast is cottage cheese, granola and blueberries all mixed together (Thanks Mr. Holland, it was delicious!) Off to work and it's a turkey, salsa and sipnach wrap on a low-carb FlatOut with blueberries and blackberries on the side. A protein bar is a snack and my pre-workout meal is a very tasty spinach, romaine lettuce and chicken breast salad with an asiago-parmesean vinaigrette dressing and croutons. Why havent I been eating these everyday since I started dieting!? Oh well, off to practice.

Shadowboxing to warm up, then it's time for 10 rounds on the Thai pads working specific combinations each round. After the pad drills, it's four rounds of sparring.

Sparring goes well tonight, aside from two things, both caused by the same sparring partner. He is an extremely good muay Thai fighter and he threw three switch kicks to my body, one after the other, very quickly. The first kick I block effectively. The second kick lands on my elbow and my arm is instantly numb from elbow to fingertips. I instinctively react to that, raising my arm a little and trying to shake out my hand when the third kick lands deep into my ribs. Instantly, all the air from my lungs is gone, but I do a decent job of faking like it didn't hurt, even though I can't help making some strange grunting noises. The rest of the rounds went pretty well. I’m starting to pick and choose a few specific techniques that I’m going to try and land in my fight and I’m executing them pretty effectively while sparring.

Is it fight day yet?

After sparring, we work on defending and countering while stuck in a standing guillotine. Some
position battling drills follow (myself and a partner clinch up and battle for underhooks, plums, body locks, arm drags, etc.), and I end the night, as always, with some live jiu-jitsu gos, about 15 minutes tonight. I go home, eat some dried superfruit mix (blueberries, cranberries, and pomegranate seeds) and it's off to bed.

Friday: Wake up feeling very refreshed and just plain-old good. It's supposed to get up to like 20 degrees above zero today, so it’ll be nice and warm. Breakfast is oatmeal and blueberries and it's off to work. I’ve got an apple and some cottage cheese for a snack and my lunch is gonna be another one of those delicious salads with some fresh strawberries and blackberries, all washed down with green tea. I'm looking forward to lunch today. That tells you how mundane life can get during training camp when the highlight of my day is gonna be the salad I eat for lunch!
I’ll be going to a specialist today about my old injury to just try and keep it from getting worse. Depending on how that goes, I may take the evening off from they gym, which frustrates me. I hate taking days off during training camp but I can always do yoga.

If I’m able to work out after my appointment, I’ll be doing the following at the gym today:

Three, five-minute rounds of shadowboxing
Hanging full-body curls
Two-minute planks
Two-minute side planks (both sides)
Oblique crunches
Back presses
Tricep dips
Weighted rows
Standing cable flys.

I'm getting very anxious for my fight. Like a kid that knows Christmas is coming. The more I watch video, the more I know I can beat this guy. I cant wait to get in there.

I also noticed I have a lot more energy this week. I don't know if you're out there "Drubbin," but check over my meals, I’ve been trying to balance protein, low-glycemic carbs and fiber and I feel like it's working. Overall this was a good week for me. Weight is coming down, my cardio is improving noticeably and sparring has been going well. I just wish I had more patience.

I wanna fight tomorrow.

Thanks as always for reading Maniacs. Again, feel free to throw out any suggestions you may have. And if anyone knows of a fish oil supplement that doesn't leave a fishy aftertaste and has small-ish pills (300mg or so) I’d love to hear about them. 

Happy Friday, hope you all have a great weekend.

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