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Episode #35: Strength Coach Chad Macias Discusses Sports Performance for MMA

Episode #35: Strength Coach Chad Macias Discusses Sports Performance for MMA

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September 29, 2015

Episode #35: Strength Coach Chad Macias Discusses Sports Performance for MMA

Avatar
September 29, 2015

After competing as a 3 sport athlete (boxing,hockey,football) and completing his undergraduate degree in Exercise & Sports Science from Harris University; Chad spent the next 15 years conducting research and developing protocols in human performance by working with over 2,500 athletes. One of the only people in the world performing sport specific DNA testing and blood lactate profiling he is showing what the future of building super athletes looks like today. Chad is also an Instructor of Exercise Science at University of San Diego, where he stays current with the ever evolving field of human performance while pursuing a post-gradute research degree in Molecular Physiology.

Chad currently works with Phil Davis, Kelvin Gastelum, Danny Martinez, Bec Rawlings and others at Alliance MMA in San Diego.

chad maciasIn this episode, we discuss:

  • Is VO2 Max testing effective for monitoring progress in your athletes?
  • Are high fat diets good for sports performance?
  • Is the IV ban really a BIG Deal?
  • The future of PEDs and how guys are cheating the system.
  • Monitoring recovery using the latest technology

Connect with Chad Macias here:

IHKAthletes.com

Instagram @cm_ihkathletes

Facebook Institute of Human Kinetics

 

Full Transcription of Our Podcast with Chad Macias

 

COREY:         Hey guys, this is Corey Beasley with Fight Camp Conditioning. I’m on the phone with Chad Macias. Chad, how are you?

CHAD:           I’m doing excellent, thanks, and yourself?

COREY:         I’m doing awesome, man. Thanks so much for joining us this morning. I know you are in the car and hustling up to LA to work with one of your boys. So I appreciate you taking the time.

CHAD:           Thank you for having me, brother.

COREY:         So Chad, just for everybody that’s listening. Give everybody a little two cents of who you are and what you’re doing.

CHAD:           Yeah, my name is Chad Macias. I’m a Molecular Physiologist. I basically specialize in human performance. I work exclusively with athletes, blue chip athletes in every major professional sport and quite a few Olympic sports. So I’ve got about 20 years of experience doing that with just athletes. So I think that gives me a bit of a unique perspective into sports performance.

00:58

COREY:         Yeah absolutely. So 20 years of working with athletes, and just so everybody knows what types of different athletes have you worked with?

CHAD:           I mean, well more specifically to combat sports. The typical guys that people are familiar with, Alexander Gustafsson, Kelvin Gastelum, Phil Davis, Norman Parke, Bec Rawlings, that’s the norm of the guys that I’ve been working with for the last few years. But lots of NFL guys, Steven Jackson, just on his way out of the [inaudible] league, 10,000 rushing yards with him entire career. Lots of first round picks, Jake Long, Antonio Cromartie, Brian Cushingt, so guys like that in pretty much every sport.

01:46

COREY:         Right on so I mean, all those years the experience you’ve had with all these different guys, when someone when one of these guys walks in your door, because I know you are down in San Diego, a lot of these guys are training out of alliance, some guys are up here in LA as well so you’re traveling back and forth. New guy calls, walks in the door, what do you start with him?

CHAD:           I don’t do a whole lot of assessment stuff that a lot of guys get into. We won’t go down that rabbit hole with functional movement screen but I just have them do the basic overhead squat. That tells me everything I need to know about the basic areas and go over health history, past injuries and from there just watch how they move naturally through some of the training that we’ll do. If a guy’s at a point where he can’t train and needs to be monitored then he’s not ready to be in front of me in the first place. So scope of practice is not something I have an issue with. I’m here to make the athletes perform at a high level and fine tune them and I can’t do that if they’re hurt. I have a whole team behind me for that, my own PRP specialist, my own surgeon, hyperbaric chambers helping to chance for EPO production. So I have all that stuff in place that by the time they’re in front of me, they’re ready to go. So not a lot of assessment, we just get right into training, I have specific bodyweight adjusted exercises I’ll put them through to see how their strength is through different ranges of motion, and that’s really it. From there we’re ready to go. We have a program designed based on what the athletes needs are individually and for the sport offseason, during season, cetera et cetera.

03:42

COREY:         Right, right. Now a lot of the guys, the MMA guys that are coming through and working with you, you’ve got some pretty high level guys that you’ve been working with. And for I know for MMA there’s not really a designated off season and on season like there might be with football. With the MMA guys, now at the higher level, they have a little bit more notice typically for fights coming up, right?

CHAD:           No, actually it’s probably the opposite. It’s worse. I mean, you like to think that in an ideal world, it probably seems that way most the time but, you know you really don’t — I mean, I would say five to eight weeks would be the average. And I don’t consider that to be a lot of time because a lot of those guys really don’t train year round. There’s only a small percentage, the guys like Phil Davis that are just like, I mean, he went out there and smoked that Bellator tournament very impressively, and then was at the gym on Monday, or Tuesday. It’s like, come on. There are not that many guys doing that. So there’s a lot of things that play there and it kind of ties into something that I’ve really been kind of researching looking at a lot with MMA fighters is kind of a longitudinal approach and overtraining and their different performances and just kind of looking at that as a whole over the last couple of years and trying to figure out exactly what’s happening in the body without having real time feedback during a fight that will have any kind of algorithm of what’s going on.

So there are a lot of things that those guys that do to hurt being able to stay in decent shape and then there’s a good percentage of them that fall kind of down the middle. And that makes it a little easier as you know, it’s easier when guys are kind of in the middle of the road and kind of stay in decent shape and don’t get too heavy and things like that, makes it a lot easier.

05:55

COREY:         I think a lot of that helps with getting injured as well if they’re always in decent shape, they’re consistently in the gym, they roll and they got the hands on other people consistently, and the managing their intensity levels, they don’t seem to get hurt as much because I think a lot of guys when they get out of shape or they get a little heavier and they come back in and they want to go balls out again. My experience with [inaudible] guys are getting hurt.

CHAD:           Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. I think MMA team training is way too long. Each day, there’s just too much and then they’re coming back and doing their mitt work or [incomprehensible] at night. And then they’re doing their strength and conditioning in between there and however many days it’s a lot. I mean, it really is a lot. They are pretty crazy. When I started looking at some of the guys, some higher level guys that I work with, and other ones that are at the gym that I have the ability to look at and watch training, and I would notice that my guys as well as others would do the same type of camp, back to back camps, not a lot of downtime, and the performances weren’t consistent. Some performances were good, some were not. And I really I couldn’t figure out why I was making changes to the conditioning work they were doing and taking regular blood lactate testing and really trying to have smart design behind what we’re doing but what I wasn’t doing is trying to figure out why it was happening. And once I started looking at that, I realized that the sport is unique in the grind that it brings, and even when guys are out of shape they’re still pretty much training year round. They might take small gaps off, but they’re still doing some form of training almost year round. And what most of that training is when I started really monitoring these guys and now that we have technology to look at, what the demands are from everything, what’s going on in the athlete’s body during wrestling, during kids’ grappling, boxing, sparring. We now have better ways to collect that data real time, not just waiting till after they’re done and taking a blood lactate test.

With that has come a better understanding of what they’re putting their bodies through on a daily basis. And that’s where I really finally realized that their training is so close to their lactate threshold, their anaerobic threshold, that it’s reducing anaerobic capacity. And there’s very little time spent training anaerobic capacity because of the intensity of it and the lack of understanding of how to incorporate it into training. And there is some efforts made to do so like tabata sprints, like non aerodynes or on the treadmill and things of that nature, but it’s just not quite the same, doesn’t quite place the same demand that linear movement does on a track. And there is other ways in a pool that you can really get good anaerobic work and there’s tons of ways that you can really do it, but isolate the system well and train it, you really have to understand where it’s at, you got to do a lot of blood work. And it’s not done in MMA as it is in other sports. And I believe that the main reason why is because we’re trying to tailor the training around what will make sense for them to be able to stay in the gym because they trained so much. So it’s hard for them to get out to the track sometimes, or the demand of the track is too intense so it’s just like recovering from strength training and it’s one more thing they have to recover from it.

It’s just it’s been a challenge to try to figure out what’s going on and how to make the change in their training to try to combat that as the years move on for these athletes in the sport. But 100% what’s not being realized by a lot of these strength and conditioning coaches universally and other sports as well is that the training close to that anaerobic threshold all the time is going to reduce anaerobic capacity. And you have to train that capacity because there’s such a contribution from it during an MMA fight. This is not a purely aerobic sport. There’s a high anaerobic contribution to it every single round, and that’s why you see a lot of these performances from guys that are not consistent at the top although they’re going through what they call “the best training camp of their life”

COREY:         Right.

CHAD:           So that’s one thing I think really needs to be discussed amongst coaches is that how are these athletes training and what demands are they placing on their bodies during that training. Because a lot of the strength and conditioning is also simulating those same demand. So now you have another stimulus that —  [Corey interrupts]

COREY:         So you just grind it on that one aspect way too much. Right?

CHAD:           Right, too much. And you have to have those efficiencies from a lot of different –three main perspectives, not just one.

11:05

COREY:         Right on. Now with your guys, how are you personally monitoring their level of output or their intensity in all these different sessions?

CHAD:           Well, the main one would be wattage of output for the activity and then blood lactate. If I can get those two readings, then I can get a good idea of what the demands are, if I can get them at specific increments that are going to give me good data to use to analyze for that. I just started working with a company called ASEP that has some really unique technology compression gear with Delphi’s quality EMG sensors in [inaudible] the compression shorts have eight Delphi’s quality EMG sensors and four heart rate sensors that are made by Polar. And it gives you real time feedback as to muscular effort as well as fatigue, respiration, heart rate, max heart rate, when the best [inaudible] were. It gives you tons and tons and tons of valuable feedback. And when you incorporate that in with wattage and blood lactate reading, it takes a very good picture of what the demands are for the athletes and that’s when I finally realized that they’re spending so much time training right at that anaerobic threshold, they just continue to push it higher and reduce anaerobic capacity, and the cardiac output is always reflected by that. And I think with a lot of time coaches just don’t know what they’re looking at with the data. There’s lots of data, there’s lots of ways to collect data. The technology is so amazing right now that anybody can get data, like what does the data represent and what you do with it, the application and stuff. As with anything in our field is where you see the disconnect between research, formal education and how that [inaudible].

13:10

COREY:         Right. Now when you’re talking about — I believe you said wattage or level of output from your athletes. How are you measuring that during their activity?

CHAD:           So I work with another company that has — its about the size of a band aid that the athlete wears just underneath the chest at the rib cage. They wear it 24 hours a day, they have it on. I’ll have them wear it for weeks or months at a time, you change the adhesive once a week. But I get that data from the technology there as well as all the heart rate, stuff and the variables, stress posture, lots of really useful information. And instead of just getting it during exercise, I have it 24 hours a day on the athlete, so it’s really good feedback. And it’s waterproof so I put them in the pool, and same with Athos technology, it’s completely waterproof so you can still get that data when they’re in the pool or in the ocean or anywhere else. So it’s really useful. It’s definitely changed the way that I train out. Because now I have a really good idea of what they’re going through during training, and even sparring, we’re slowly getting this into some actual sparring so we can get real close to what fight data would be with the athletes as well.

14:43

COREY:         That’s huge. Because I know a lot of times, over the last few years, if you go to any trade shows or anything like that, there’s a million watches, heart rate things, VO2 tests, heart rate variability, there’s all these different things that are out there and it is difficult to know not only just what’s what, what’s good, what’s bad, like you said, you’re collecting all this information and data but what does it actually mean for the guys walking in the door every day, they’re going through 2, 3, 4 hours of training a day and then they’re trying to figure out how to make it all work. So yeah, it’s interesting. With the Athos technology and the other systems that you’re using blood lactate and energy output, how does that differ from like a VO2 Test or heart rate variability program?

CHAD:           HRV is a popular way to monitor overtraining and/or to prescribe training modalities from. It’s just not reliable data. That’s the bottom line with that, is that it’s equivocal at best with more studies showing that it’s unreliable, and most of my endurance athletes, which is a better place to observe that type of data and in least my opinion, middle distance and endurance athletes, all the changes that you would think would reflect their performance in a negative way and actually continue to perform or achieve personal best gold records, Olympic medals, things of that nature, so it 100% doesn’t correlate with performance in every athlete. Can it? Yes. Is it a reliable measure? No. So if you’re unaware of the data, it’s very easy to get sucked into the newest thing or whatever trend is going around, just like same thing with diets, whatever is trending, what’s going around? Can it provide useful data? I mean, for me, not really. I would much rather do a blood work and get a testosterone and cortisol ratio test or see what the cytokines are, interleukin, something like that, a really simple blood test is much more valuable to me if I feel that there’s any true issues with overreaching or overtraining, because HRV is just not reliable enough. For me, I don’t have room for error.

Same with VO2 Max that seems to be another one that’s making rounds, it’s popular. It’s not that VO2 Max doesn’t have value, it’s what we really know about VO2 Max is the conversation is very short. The real question that needs to be asked is why it’s so much training focused on a variable that doesn’t change in well trained athletes, barely changes in moderately trained athletes, levels off after a short period of time and doesn’t even correlate well with performance.

17:51

Now, with that being said, it’s pretty difficult to talk about VO2 Max after me saying that. It’s just the bottom line. There’s tons of data on it, in well trained athletes, highly trained best athletes in the world, lots of Olympic medalists and world record holders can take part in research studies. So we know that VO2 Max — in fact, I have a couple different athletes I have worked with, hold world records in the marathon and has been competed at a high level and through the Olympics and VO2 Max actually drops. It remains pretty much steady for over a decade. Another endurance athlete I worked with that was Olympic medalist, their VO2 Max dropped from 72 down to 67, but they achieve world record time. So it doesn’t correlate with performance. And the reason why is because what people don’t take into effect is anaerobic capacity. Because how well you deal with lactate is going to be dictated by anaerobic capacity. So the wattage at above point you approach lactate special is going to be different in an athlete with a higher anaerobic capacity.

So if I have an athlete that has a VO2 Max of say 67, he has a good anaerobic capacity, and other athlete with the VO2 Max of 71, in theory, the athlete with a higher VO2 Max should perform better but that might not be the case if he has a lower anaerobic capacity.

So it’s an incomplete picture of what’s important to performance. And a lot of coaches that don’t have the foresight of looking at it through that lens don’t realize the limitations of it and they put too much stock into what data they get back from VO2 Max. And the way I see it being used, I think more importantly, it does have a lot of value, but the way I see it being used is incorrect. If you’re relying on what VO2 Max numbers tell you to dictate whether or not an athlete’s improving and more what their training should be, then you really have no idea what the data is to be used for. And so that’s why I see that the things being marketed heavily pushed and used when they really have little value in terms of performance and when you start working with athletes where there’s little room for error in terms of cardio-metabolic training then you realize that these things are not a reliable way to go about your training. So it just comes down to experience and realizing what the data actually says if you look at it as a whole.

20:35

COREY:         So Chad, for a lot of the guys that are listening as far as the tip top, the cream of the crop, the guys that are competing for World titles and stuff like that. A lot of the guys that are listening might just be weekend warriors, guys that are going to jiu-jitsu class, maybe they fought maybe they don’t. For a lot of these guys a lot of the blood testing and smart technology that they can wear and all these different things, they’re probably not going to be doing a lot of that testing on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. What are some ways that from all the things that you studied and researched and use and tested, for a lot of the guys that don’t have access to a lot of that stuff, what are some ways that they can monitor their recovery so that they’re not overreaching and not overtraining and not get hurt, not doing too much?

CHAD:           The biggest thing and even with guys who are high level researchers, the biggest thing is just common sense. I mean, you don’t have to have all that technology to use common sense. I mean, it’s great to have all those things and to have a clear picture of what’s going on but perceived exertion is not a good reliable measure. So how the athlete feels during training is not necessarily a good feedback tool, but how the athlete feels after training between it, how they’re sleeping, what their sleep habits are like, what their nutrition is like, and not necessarily the composition of each meal. So whether or not they’re going to KFC or not, but how is their nutrition for the day? Are they hungry? Are they eating the normal number of meals that they should? Are they getting adequate amount of protein? I’m not talking bodybuilder style but they’re professional athletes that are burning 5000-6000 calories a day. A weekend where who does a part of that is still going to be burning close to that amount every time that they train. It’s just the nature of the sport and the demands of it even at a recreational level.  So just being attentive to those things, use common sense. How do you feel, how are you feeling today? What is your recovery like? Are you staying sore for longer? And I think a lot of people already know this. And what you’ll find is I’m not going to be able to give you anything new and useful in that regard. But what most people do is they completely disregard that information. If their elbow is sore because they were too afraid to tap, they still go and roll the next day, and their elbow is swallowing like, come on, man.

So not doing stuff like that is probably the biggest piece of advice I can give you. The hardest thing to do is — all of my guys is to keep them out of the gym when they’re injured or just even taking a few days off. I know I used to have my guys trained through injuries a lot because you almost have to, and the outcomes just weren’t very good. And when I said we’re just going to take three or four days, let’s say it’s a Wednesday and you get hurt, twisted your knee a little bit or something. We’ll see you Monday. Just doing that made a huge difference in their ability to recover. So just being smart about it, having common sense and realize that you’re not going to be 18 or 20 forever. Just like your mom always told you, all the basic things that people have always reminded you of, just security. He’ll be on [Inaudible].

24:13

COREY:         Yeah exactly. So you kind of alluded a little bit, but it’s good sleep, good food, time off, different things like that. As far as diets go, I know that there’s a million opinions out there, like books, DVDs and programs and nutritionists and all these different people out there and for these combat sports, everybody’s got to weigh in and everybody needs to perform at a certain level. What are some mistakes that you see with people doing with nutrition and then what are some just good pillars that you’re using with your guys to get them just 80 90% on track so that they can live a life and not spend their life in the gym and in the kitchen?

CHAD:           Well, that’s definitely a good one. What I see definitely with nutrition because it’s almost like politics or religion, people get very fired up about it. And there’s no real wrong way to do something I would say because you can take almost any kind of nutrition and make it work for an athlete. You can take high protein, you can take high fat, you can take high carb, there’s going to be different responders to each. Some people will respond well to one and poor to another.

With that in mind, there’s the health side of what this nutrition does to your body and there’s the performance side. Body composition issues is usually what dominates this discussion and it’s usually in relation to people losing weight, but for our sake, it’s about athletes and performance. And so what I see right now what’s popular is the high fat diet, MCT oil, bulletproof coffee and all those things. And there’s a lot of fierce debates about it because there’s a lot of researchers that are trying to make the research show that this is a valid performance enhancing nutrition protocol, and the reality is for performance in sports, it is not smart. It doesn’t outperform any other type of nutrition for ultra endurance or endurance athletes that is a myth. That is not true. There are certainly going to be people who can go ketogenic and go high fat and perform well. But I think the problem is why there is a need to look for that. There is nothing wrong with agile way people have been doing it. We know that athletes who perform anaerobically are going to need carbohydrates. That’s just the bottom line. And then there is a high anaerobic output. So you’re going to need carbohydrates.

27:01

So going on a high fat diet for an MMA fighter makes no sense from a performance perspective. It’s just there’s nothing, there’s absolutely no reason to do it. It’s completely — it will literally hinder their performance. There are other athletes in endurance sports that can get away with pure endurance sport. But even there, the data is very clear that athletes are going to perform better with carbohydrates especially during the kick, last part of a race or something of that nature.

So I think with nutrition, staying away from trends, whatever’s popular right now like, which right now is the high fat diet, staying away from the trends and food avoidance. Allen [Inaudible] and he’s always preaching that nothing that includes food avoidance is ever good. Extremism is never good in nutrition unless there’s a medical reason you can’t have something. And so when you’re going on a high fat diet you’re avoiding carbohydrates, that’s pretty extreme. Forcing the body to use the system that it uses when we’re starving doesn’t make a lot of sense. That’s what ketosis it, that’s how our body uses when we’re starving and have no food, it’s ketosis, so we don’t die. So it’s not necessarily something our body wants to perform with.

So with my guys, we just kind of look at what the research says with athletes and what our experience tells us, these guys train a lot and burn a lot of calories. It’s hard for them to maintain lean mass. So just a few real basic simple things that carb up before training, litharge is a great example of something that can be used before training to feel the training. If you do want to train low carb, you can only use carbs then you can just use them before training. And then getting adequate amounts of protein post training and post strength training, and two or three times throughout the day outside of training, and it’s always a good idea to get some protein before bed as well, in terms of retaining lean mass. So just those few basic things that you can do, carb up before you train, make sure you get protein post training after you lift and then a couple times throughout the day, three or four times a day you need to have protein what the research suggested is optimal for an athlete to prevent protein breakdown. It’s the best way to maintain lean mass.

If the athletes are cutting weight, obviously that changes the discussion. I think there’s so many different ways to do it but caloric deficit is obviously key. So as long as you’re in a caloric deficit, you can remove carbs if you need to, to get rid of some water. But it’s really simple when you’re cutting weight, you just have to be in a deficit and adhere to the kind of diet that you’re going to stick to, it’s the best way to lose weight when you’re on a diet.

30:12

COREY:         So just the simple basics, right?

CHAD:           Yep, just the basics. Adherence is key, man and you’re never going to stick to a diet that you hate. So you find something you like, realize you got to eat less of it, and that’s it. It’s pretty simple. It doesn’t have to be some extravagant, manipulating things way people are now doing is too much.

30:34

COREY:         Right on. So as you started to talk about cutting weight and our big topic right now is the IVs getting banned from before weigh-ins and guys have used IVs for years, post weigh-in to kind of rehydrate their body. What are some of the things that are going on with that and what’s your opinion on using the IVs or not?

CHAD:           I’m actually pretty passionate about this one and I’m outspoken as well. First, let me just start by saying, in Olympic boxing and wrestling, the IV use has been banned for years and years and years. It’s well accepted in that sport. It started out the same way people made a big fuss about it but now it’s just accepted. That also might be why Daniel Cormier wasn’t even able to wrestle and make weight, but it’s accepted in other sports and I think it’s a good addition to the rules that are in place to help keep these guys safe. I think the backlash from the sport is because athletes would like to fight with an advantage. So they’d like to be 25 pounds heavier and cutting down. I don’t think that they should have those advantages. I don’t think that athletes should feel the need to need the 25 pounds advantage to be able to beat their opponent. It says a lot about their mentality. But there’s also the misconception that IV use is the only way to rehydrate. And in the event that the athlete is dehydrating from cutting weight because they’ve cut so much weight, there’s nothing that suggests, there’s not a piece of evidence that suggests that IV hydration is superior to oral. There’s nothing. There’s nothing in the research that you can find that would say it’s going to help improve performance. If you have some type of medical situation where somebody can no longer digest fluids, I think that’s the time when IVs need to be used.

32:46

So the research is very clear. The guys are afraid they’re not going to be able to rehydrate. You can rehydrate up to 150% of the fluid locked in an hour without side effects. It’s very well documented and a large population is baffling that that’s possible. It’s not ideal, but it’s possible. So the main problem with it and what people don’t realize is that it has a lot of the physiological systems that are necessary for your body to recover from the water cut and/or from the dehydration process. The limitations of IV hydration, it bypasses the oral pharyngeal stimulation that has influence on lots of different hormones. So your evapo-suppression, your cutaneous vasodilation, so a lot of things that are going to be playing very important roles in your rehydration process.

So people don’t realize that science can tell you a lot about what’s happening in the body and if you’re ignorant of it, it’s no excuse. And the fact that people are so resistant to this change suggests that they’re just unaware of this information. So maybe the first one to tell you that you can 100% orally rehydrate better, any amount of time that is allowed between [inaudible] and fight compared to IV, because of the reasons I just explained to you.

So anybody that’s listening, please understand you have plenty of time to rehydrate, plenty of time to rehydrate with [inaudible] fluid equally better than an IV. So I think with all that being said, I’m not quite sure why people are so resistant to the change when it’s only going to make the sport safer and try to prevent guys from cutting to safe amount. Because I can tell you that every single UFC venue that I’ve been to, I’ve seen an athlete count out for cutting weight and not [inaudible]. So people don’t want to talk about things like that but that’s the reality of the sport and I think kudos to the sport the UFC and commission for trying to implement changes like California and places where they’re going put a limitation like somewhere around 70% of body weight is going to be [inaudible]. I think that’s excellent. They’re going have to fight up in weight class but that’s the reality of it. Like one of the guys I work with tell me yeah, he can’t fight at 185, the hydration and little things are going to be an issue, that’s what it’s looking like. He’s not big enough to compete with the [distortion] So guys are going to run into the similar issues, and I don’t have answers for that, but it’s great for the sport.

35:48

COREY:         Yeah. Now you’re talking about IVs and stuff, giving them a competitive advantage because they’re able to put on like you said 20 to 30 pounds. These guys are cutting and then the day of – I mean some of these guys are huge, right?

CHAD:           Right.

COREY:         I know another big topic as far as you’re getting a competitive advantage is a lot of the talk about PEDs and different performance enhancing drugs and stuff that are some known and some unknown and some people are familiar with all the different things that are out there that revolve around that topic. What are some of your experiences? I know you’ve had a lot of experience in different places, dealing with different testing and there are a lot of changes going on. Can you give everybody some insight on what is happening? What are some of the things guys are using, why they’re using them? Stuff like that.

CHAD:           Sure. As you know I’m very outspoken against PEDs as well. I’d like to see a clean sport. I’d like my athletes to be on an even playing field. I work really hard to get my athletes the advantages they have and doping certainly changes what can be accomplished with or without training. So I was very outspoken with the way the Brazilian Commission held drug testing [distortion/inaudible] UFC. And there was a lot of questionable ethics and improper reporting of testing results and thing that people just wanted to sweep under the rug as all the stories in last few days about the UFC, all of this sort of thing. That’s exactly what my experience was that the Brazilian Commission was definitely aware of impropriety with the process. They’ve had their labs shut down. There’s been multiple accusations begin with the Commission of Brazil. But I think what that is, is a small glimpse of what the sport is as a whole as we saw it, though the multiple fighters were being caught for the same synthetic steroids.

It was not an accident. We have three or four guys tested for the same exact thing. It’s a pattern, a pattern of behavior. You see that from certain camps, everybody knows it, people don’t want to talk about it. I will call anybody out on a sec but certainly we know the camps that are mentioned in those conversations. And the testing is definitely going to bring to light the athlete’s biological passport that’s being introduced by you USADA for the UFC is very similar to what Olympic athletes feel through year around random testing that paints a longitudinal picture of your testosterone, the epi-testosterone ratio, and it can really detect subtle changes in that. And what people are doing now in the sport and in every sport is this micro dosing, these drugs, this testosterone [inaudible] and keeping the levels within the allowable limits, but still above what the athlete would naturally have. So they’re getting an advantage and performance advantage that is sizable but it’s not being detected by the current testing standards. So with USADA in place with the biological passport, it’s the longitudinal look at the athletes blood, those type of subtlety and changes will now be detected. And they don’t even have to have a dirty test, just the changes in those tests can be enough to suspend the athlete.

 

So I think what you’re going to see is a sport that’s being forced to clean up at the highest level within UFC and it’s going to be a cascade effect downward from there. And hopefully other organizations adopt the same type of testing protocol, and you will definitely see a clean sport. And on top of that, a side note, there’s a lot of people who think they’re going to evade the testing process in regards to IV rehydration. Let me be the first one to tell you that that’s not going to be the case. They will be able to test for trace plastic and your blood is a very simple test. It’s not expensive, and they are definitely going to be using that at USADA I spoke with the USADA representative responsible for overseeing the UFC as well as the UFC’s new drug test very [distortion] for people who are breaking the rules.

So I think athletes need to be aware that the sport is being brought on to the level that other sports are at because of the desire to put it in Madison Avenue a desire to grow the sport financially has put it in mainstream America’s [distortion] in order to do so people want to see it clean. So in order to adhere to that, like the other sports like the NFL, like Major League Baseball, that’s why the attempts have been made. And I think in all honesty, knowing what the testing process is like any other sports the UFC is setting the precedent. There is no other sport outside of the Olympics where there is year round biological passport monitoring by USADA or WADA. So it is unique. They will be the first major professional sport to do so and I applaud it for doing that.

42:01

COREY:         Yeah absolutely. It’s a huge step and I know it’s been a giant issue, across the border, not only in just the UFC, Bellator and all these other top organizations, but even at a lower level this stuff is so prevalent in gyms and so readily available all over the place that you go to any fitness convention, it’s like all jug Olympics. These guys are walking around in 200, 300, 400 pounds and it’s embarrassing.

CHAD:           Well, you know, as much as I want to have faith in sports, it’s being brought to the light, there’s been a couple big reports in the last three or four months that detailed the testosterone levels of every medal winner from the last three Olympics, and besides Usain Bolt and one or two other athletes, there’s very few people that don’t have questionable results. It’s quite alarming you really realize how fast this epidemic really is. It even surpassed what I had thought. I was being in a pretty good stick against the PEDS and it even astonished me at how far it has reached and the level that it has impacted every major sport, like what we saw with [inaudible] that’s essentially what we have everywhere around us. So it’s up to us. It’s up to two organizations sports, it’s up to us to be vocal about it and hold people responsible for not adhering to the standards that we expect from our athletes. And not to mention how unsafe the side effects can be when the stuff is introduced for long periods of time. Nobody really does it that very often. It’s just about getting caught or what’s going to happen 20 years from now. Another thing, all you need to do is ask athletes to be fair, be it football, bodybuilding, be it any sport, or it’s been tied to the sport and get that area [distortion] those athletes are at now. It’s not a good picture.

COREY:         Yeah, it’s true. Well, good stuff, Chad. Well hey, there is a absolute wealth of knowledge you’ve shared with us. And man, I really appreciate you taking the time. Chad, if guys are wanting to get in touch with you, what’s the best way for them to reach out?

CHAD:           You can just go ahead and drop me a line at the website, it’s ihkathletes.com. It’s Institute for Human Kinetics, just drop me a line. If you have any questions about anything we discussed, I’d be more than happy to answer your questions.

COREY:         Awesome. Well, Chad, thanks again, man. Guys. I’ll put that link down below the podcast here. And Chad, thanks again. We will talk to you soon.

CHAD:           Alright brother, thank you.

 

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2 Comments
  1. Avatar
    George
    October 3, 2015

    Could you send me the name of the 2 companies that you are using to monitor your athletes.
    Thanks
    George

    Reply Reply
    • Avatar
      corey beasley
      October 5, 2015

      George the tech clothing is called Athos https://www.liveathos.com/...I will ask Chad about the specifics of the patch he mentioned.

      Reply Reply

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