I used to think that all fights were won on the night of the event… That all the running, sparring and pad work was just part of the process to get to the actual work – meaning the fight itself.
I did not realize until years later that all of the training is the work and the fight should have already been won by weigh-ins. I have come to learn that if you are not in fight shape 7-14 days prior to a fight, then you’re not in fight shape. There is nothing more that you can do within this small window of time to get in any “better” shape. You can’t run, spar, strength train, or do more pad work than you normally do. There are only so many hours in the day and your body needs the rest from training in order to recover for the next session. The fact of the matter is that your conditioning should already be exceptional by this point in time and you should only have to focus on the details.
You see, fighters push their bodies so hard through their training camps that when it’s over they almost completely stop training all together. The problem with this is it’s like hitting a reset button for their conditioning. If the fighter is continuing to train all year round with less intensity, then they can afford to dial the training back for a short period of time until the next fight. That way once the next event comes up all the fighter would need to do is crank up the training, thereby being ready to go in just a few weeks.
The time between fight camps should be used to help continue this training, instead of taking completely off and then waiting for the next fight to come up. Again, when you do that you are starting all over again with your conditioning and losing valuable training time.
I know this because earlier on in my amateur career I believed I could do the same. Train really hard for a fight and showcase my skills the night of the fight, then afterwards take a few weeks off. Then try to get back in the gym and start training for another fight.
I failed to realize that I should have always been training no matter what and just cut back on the volume of training after a fight. No matter win or lose, you should always be training trying to fix the little details to get better, sharper, faster.
This is why the fight is won long before fight night. It’s due to all the hours and sacrifice put into training. Fight night is there for you to showcase your skills and how hard you have been training for the event.
Here are my takeaway thoughts about this. If you are always training, then when it’s time to fight it will be a much easier transition for you. If you take time off, it’s like starting all over from a lesser conditioning point. You should always be training!
As always, train hard, be a beast!