What's up brother - I was victorious in my last MMA fight in large part due to following your training method. I was fighting in the 205lb weight class, but I weighed in at only 199 lbs so I had to put wrist weights in my shorts to come in closer to my fight weight Lol! I was way undersized but a lot stronger than the guy I was fighting. You can check out my fight on Youtube. Thank you for everything and I want to continue a dialogue with you so I can continue to get guidance from one of the best in the business. Thank you for everything.
Congrats man! I found your fight on YouTube…great job!
Definitely keep in touch with us and we will help you out with your training in any way we can.
Nice leg kicks!
I was wondering if there is any specific brand of creatine that you recommend to your athletes. Lately i have been taking Cell Tech and haven't noticed much of a difference. I fully understand the importance of a good diet and I drink about a gallon of water a day.
Thank you for your time and knowledge,
We still recommend creatine to athletes that are looking to gain quality size and increase strength & explosiveness. Creatine is one of the few products on the shelves at health food stores that actually WORKS! It has definitely stood the test of time!
First of all, I would recommend that you cycle creatine throughout the year. Although most supplement companies will tell you that you don’t need to cycle it (because they want you $pending more money on it), I have personally seen much better results when cycling creatine. To this day, the best results I ever got from any supplement was the very first time I used creatine. Although creatine still works for me, it has never worked like it did that first time. I think this is because your body gets “used to” having the compound in your system and your receptor sites down-regulate. This may be the reason you’re not “noticing” much of a difference; it’s not always because the supplement company put out a bad product. With that being said, make sure you stick with the most reputable companies when buying creatine (or any supplement for that matter). Don’t always shop for the best “bargain”. Remember that you get what you pay for. If you find really cheap creatine from a lesser-known supplement company, there’s a good chance that it’s a shitty product that’s loaded with fillers and other useless crap.
Since you asked about creatine, I have to mention a common “issue” we’ve been dealing with at my facility for the past couple months. As many of you know, the new “trend” with supplement companies is to add a boatload of other compounds to their creatine product (besides carbs) so you can “feel” it more; you’ve seen the ads that promise the following…MIND BLOWING PUMPS! RAZOR SHARP CUTS! INSANE ASYLUM INTENSITY! Blah, blah, blah.
Body by 'Super Pump Creatine 9000'
The most common additions to these creatine products are a mega-dose of caffeine to get you wired, Arginine to increase “blood flow”, niacin (which basically makes your skin get flush and tingly so you think something has to be working), a bunch of other stimulants and don’t forget about the massive amount of artificial sweeteners to mask the taste of all this crap. Oh yeah, don’t forget about all the artificial coloring like Red #40, Blue #1, etc. Although these artificial colors cause cancer, that’s secondary to the fact that they make the product look a lot cooler; this, in turn, makes high school kids buy them because if a product has a cool color, it has to work, right?? I’m not going to name any product names because my goal isn’t to try and hurt any supplement company financially or prevent anyone from making a living. But, I have to give this advice to all athletes:
DO NOT TAKE THESE PRODUCTS BEFORE A CONDITIONING WORKOUT, STRONGMAN TRAINING OR ANY ATHLETIC COMPETITION!
In my opinion, creatine products with all the “extras” should only be taken before “regular” strength training sessions. “Regular” strength workouts are working in which you give yourself normal rest periods between sets so your heart rate doesn’t elevate too much. If you take any of these products before conditioning workouts, strongman training or an athletic competition that requires any amount of endurance, this is what happens to most athletes:
You will start the workout/competition like an animal, but within 5-10 minutes your heart rate will elevate too high/too fast and you will not be able to continue the workout. Usually, you will pass out, puke, or just sit down with your head in your hands feeling shaky and shitty! In other words, the initial “rush” you get from these products will backfire on you BIGTIME! Trust me; I’ve seen this happen way too many times.
To this day, my two favorite products before endurance-type of activities are 3-6 grams of L-Tyrosine and/or Endura by Metagenics. You can’t go wrong with these two; they will give you long-lasting energy and you will be focused throughout the entire workout/competition without “crashing”.
Sorry for going on a tangent; but I know if we’re dealing with this, there has to be a ton of other coaches dealing with the same thing.
Q: Mr. DeFranco,
I’m a high school pitcher who’s playing in a traveling summer league. I don’t always have access to dumbbells or even a gym for that matter! I’m worried about keeping my shoulder healthy throughout this summer and in the future. My coach doesn’t like me lifting weights during the season either. I’m not even sure you could help me but do you have any tips or tricks that can help me stay healthy during these tuff summer months coach? Thank you so much it is a dream of mine to come and train with your team someday.
First of all, it bothers me that your coach “doesn’t like you lifting” during the season; just when I think the strength & conditioning field is starting to make progress, I’m reminded as to how many misinformed “coaches” are still out there.
There’s a thousand ways I can answer this question because there are so many exercises you could do, but I will give you an incredibly simple – yet extremely effective – exercise to perform during the season. I suggest that you buy a mini band from EliteFTS and perform 100 band pull-aparts EVERY DAY. Simply grab a mini band with a shoulder-width grip, hold it out in front of you with your arms straight and pull the band apart. (See photos below.)
Perform as many sets as it takes to complete 100 total reps with perfect form. Do this every day during the season. On days you are pitching, perform this exercise any time after your game.
This simple exercise has improved the shoulder health of many of our athletes from a plethora of different sports. From baseball players to powerlifters, the band pull-apart has worked wonders!
Give ‘em a try!
Q: Coach Defranco, what time of day do you believe is best for an athlete to
train, considering the body's natural flexibility, alertness, pain tolerance, etc.?
Thank you for your time congratulations on all of your success.
I do not believe there is one right answer to this question. My answer would depend on the individual athlete, his/her work schedule, sleep patterns and their sport.
For example, many people consider waking up early and training “before the sun comes up” to be a sign of dedication. But, what if you’re a boxer or UFC fighter and your fights take place between 10:00pm & midnight? Is it smart to train your body to get up early, train, and then go to bed early? I don’t think so! I have heard Chuck Liddell say on numerous occasions that he trains late at night – he goes to bed late – and he wakes up late.
This is very smart because he has trained himself to be a “night owl”. In other words, his body is most awake and alert late at night; this is when his fights take place!
On the other hand, if you’re involved in a sport where the competitions take place in the early AM, it would be wise to wake up early, train early and go to bed early. Just be careful not to roll out of bed and start working out. I HIGHLY recommend waiting at least two hours after you wake up before you start your workout. Your spinal disks and ligaments are at a higher risk for injury after rising from bed, compared to later in the day. This is because your intervertebral discs are highly hydrated upon rising from bed and this makes them much more vulnerable to rupture, herniate, etc., during bending and twisting activities. (Think of filling a water balloon with too much water; it is more likely to “pop”, as opposed to a water balloon that’s filled with less water.)
With all the above being said, we can never forget the fact that sometimes “life gets in the way” and our training time can’t always be optimal. If you can schedule your training sessions at the same as your competitions - GREAT! But - if you can’t - it’s not the end of the world; get it in whenever you can!
Give ‘em a try!
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