For many, staying in shape is a journey full of ups and downs, or dramatic transformations, but for elite athletes like the MMA legend Rich Franklin, consistently staying on top of your game is essential if you want to continue claiming to be the best of the best.
When M&F sat down with Franklin to discuss the essentials that provide phenomenal punching power, before a A championship last year, it became apparent that while the retired fighter may serve as a cadre in this fast-growing martial arts promotion, he is still as likely to mix things up in the dojo as he is tossing ideas in the Council chamber. At 48, and no longer in active competition, there’s no pressure for Franklin to always be at the top of his game, and yet his love of the process keeps him hungry.
So, hoping to learn more about the mindset and factors that keep Franklin fit, we caught up with “Ace” again, to see if there’s any advice from this superathlete that can be shared as a source of inspiration for us mere mortals.
“I guess growing up I was a huge Bodybuilding and fitness fan,” Franklin shares. “So when I finally got to do the cover (January 2011), I was really excited.” Looking at recent photos on her instagramMore than 12 years after this issue of the magazine, Franklin is still ready for the cover, and here are some of the ways he continues to push his limits.
Rich Franklin likes to leave his comfort zone
Before we get into training and nutrition, let’s first understand that in order for Rich Franklin to win a UFC middleweight championship, he had to start believing that hard work would pay off, and for him that meant leaving a financially stable job as a math teacher, in order to hone his craft. “The idea of being able to make money in MMA, at that point in history, just didn’t really exist,” Franklin recalled. “My dad saw what I was doing and felt like I was completely messing up my studies, and he wasn’t happy with me. So come full circle and my dad got to see me fight in Las Vegas. He went to my title defense, when I fought Loiseau (in March 2006) and a friend of mine pointed out how proud my dad must be, because I had my dad’s name, so that’s his name. he saw in lights, on the Las Vegas strip.
As you begin to tighten your grip on your own athletic or fitness goals, you will no doubt encounter skeptics who will question your choices, but while not all of us can validate ourselves by posting our names in lights, there will always be clear signs that your mental and physical changes are serving you well, and that will be proof enough that you are heading in the right direction. “I get chills now telling this story,” Franklin shares.
Rich Franklin’s progress is driven by numbers
Although the scintillating striker may have given up on his job as a teacher, he still used his skills with numbers to ensure he tackled Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA with the same clarity on which it would build in math class. “I’m a left-brained, addicted to analytical numbers,” says Ace. “Everything about my training was, and is, numbers driven. I have journals that track the number of calories I consumed per day, all the macros, breakdowns, the amount of supplements I was taking… What I weighed when I woke up in the morning and what I weighed when I went to bed at night. How much water I drank? It was all about the numbers. Then in my training, and that was before the HRV (tracking of heart rate variability) really isn’t a known ‘thing’, we were doing a lot of heart rate tracking, we were doing interval training where we maxed out my heart rate and then brought it down. We had markers for where I wanted to be, at the time of the fight.
The process of tracking your progress down to the finest detail is not something only the elite can pursue. With the health and fitness market now awash with awesome wearable technology, you need to make sure you’re tracking your own heart rate, calorie intake, and recovery to maximize your own potential. Following in Franklin’s footsteps by focusing on the numbers is a great way to make sure you don’t waste your precious training time.
Rich Franklin has no time for booze or sugar
Here’s something you probably don’t want to hear, but alcohol does nothing to help you achieve your fitness goals. Now, if you want to drink in moderation, few people would blame you for wanting to indulge in a drink here and there, but if you have the ambition to be the best you can be and want to learn from the elite, then you you may have to face the harsh truth that alcohol is a terrible training partner.
“Just so you know, I’ve never had beer in my life,” Franklin says. “It’s a lifestyle that I live. I remember when I was in high school I went to a pre-season track meeting and our coach just made the comment, ‘If you want to be an athlete, you have to eat and drink like an athlete”. little comment he made really stuck with me, and I started making changes to my nutrition at that time. I went to lunch at school the next day and took regular milk instead of chocolate milk because it has less sugar, and gradually I started to change my diet.
Rich Franklin eats enough, but never too much
When you start tracking your daily calorie intake, like Franklin does, you can look at the numbers and make judgments with your head instead of your stomach. Those hitting the gym in the New Year may feel hungry due to the extra physical demands they put on their bodies, but without checking your individual needs and sticking to them, it becomes easy to overestimate how much fuel you need. your body needs. to function, which will lead to an increase in body fat.
“The calories I put into my body are specifically determined by what I need nutritionally, on a daily basis,” Franklin explains. “If I train harder I might need more carbs for the day to refuel, especially on stage days for example. Whereas on a different day I might lighten up a bit my carbs.
Rich Franklin still trains hard
Although Franklin no longer supports fight camps, he still implements many aspects of fight camps into his regular training routines, such as jiu-jitsu drills and technique. “Ace” tells M&F that he always eats north of 4,000 calories a day because of the intensity he trains with and that he likes to get his heart rate up while working out. “Whether I’m in the gym or sparring, I’m going to sacrifice myself,” he says. “The difference is that at that age, when I was 25, I could come in and strip the morning session, come back the evening session, then come back the afternoon session… strip again then come back and help my mate move his couch from apartment to apartment!Now if I tear up in the morning I go home and take a 2 hour nap because the body just won’t recover not as fast at that age. I’m very smart in the way I train now, maintaining such an intensity that if I’m stepping onto the mat to wrestle, I’m in decent shape.
Whether you intend to dominate the martial arts or simply lose a few pounds, you could do a lot worse than follow the lessons learned here from Franklin. Stepping out of your comfort zone and making a conscious effort to live by the numbers, and ditch the hangers like alcohol and sugar, while training hard and finding time to recover, is a surefire route to Success.
ONE Fight Night 6: Superbon vs. Allazov will air live next Friday, January 13 on Prime Video and is free to all Amazon Prime subscribers in the US and Canada. Those who are outside the region can watch on watch.onefc.com.