Loren Landow is the owner of Landow Performance, founder of EliteSportsServices.com, Educator for the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and recent author of Ultimate Conditioning for Martial Arts. Coach Landow has been an athletic performance specialist for more than 20 years. He has trained over 500 professionals from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, National Football League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and National Hockey League, as well as Olympic gold medalists and a world-record holder. He has been fortunate to work with some of the best martial artists in the world, including UFC fighters TJ Dillashaw, Brendan Schaub, Neil Magny, Shane Carwin, Cat Zingano, and Nate Marquardt.
In today’s podcast we discuss:
- Recent NSCA Combat Conditioning Clinic
- Philosophy, Methods and Programming for Fighters and Grapplers
- Assessing and Monitoring Athletes During Camp
- Undulating Periodization vs Block Periodization
- Communication between coaches
- and more!
Links discussed in this podcast:
Buy Loren’s NEW Book –> Ultimate Conditioning for Martial Arts
Visit his website: http://landowperformance.com/
Follow him on Twitter and Instagram – @lorenlandow
Full Transcription of Our Podcast with Loren Landow
Interview with Team Elevation Strength Coach, Loren Landow talking about his coaching methods and his new book
Corey Beasley [00:00:01]: Hey guys, is Corey Beasley with fight camp conditioning. And I am on the phone here with Loren Landow. Loren how you doing buddy?
Loren Landow [00:00:07]:I’m doing good Corey. Thanks for having me on.
Corey Beasley [00:00:10]: Of course. I appreciate you taking the time out. For you guys that don’t know Loren is he’s got a facility out there in Denver, Colorado and its Landow Performance. Am I right? And Loren was with guys from the NFL, he works with major league baseball. He looks at all kinds of different professional athletes out there in that area, but it’s also the go to guy for a lot of the UFC fighters that are in that area. Who are some of the top guys that you’re working with right now Loren?
Loren Landow [00:00:44]:You know what Corey, we have a great stable of fighters right now and if we just look at the UFC, I have a TJ Dillashaw, Brendan Schaub, Neil Magny, Shane Carwin, Cat Zingano, and Nate Marquardt, just to name a few. And then we have some really good fighters through the Bellator and the world series of fighting between Brian Foster, Lance Palmer. We have a lot of good fighters that we have a very strong in long list of people who choose the sports are mixed martial arts and choose us to do their strength conditioning in performance side.
Corey Beasley [00:01:21]: That’s exciting. I mean I think it seems to me like Denver has become a hub and over the years where people are training has changed and back in the day, a lot of guys in Vegas and a lot of those guys in Vegas either retired or went about their way and it seems to be kind of transforming work. We’re Denver’s become a really strong hub where there’s a lot of guys in that area.
Loren Landow [00:01:48]:Yeah. You know what, I’d say that we have some really good fight teams in Colorado. And then we have a pretty good relationship within those fighting’s where a lot of the sporting partners will be shared amongst the fight teams. If somebody matches up with somebody stylistically or weight class wise you know, there’ll be a lot of times where they reach out to the different fight teams. And so because of that, there are the separate fight teams. But there is this kind of big Colorado presence. I’m the strength coach for team elevation, which is the sponsored by muscle farm. And so we do all of our training up at the muscle farm facility and I think just that relationship in itself has really attracted people to that. Everything under one roof, kind of a scientific based practices I think really helps these fighters look at the long-term aspect of the sport. Not just the four week fight camp, but really how do I manage my body and my preparation over the next few years.
Corey Beasley [00:02:53]: Well I think that’s a big one. And a couple of years ago when I was out there in Colorado Springs with the NFCA combat sports clinic, I remember Shane Carwin when talking about that specifically just about how they used the chain versus how like Neil Magny who is sitting next to him, it’s changing now and the big difference in how he’s feeling, how he’s performing a type of stuff.
Loren Landow [00:03:18]:And I think that that was probably a pretty cool little look into the window for a lot of the attendees at that conference. Because here you have a guy like Shane Carwin and like you said, they didn’t really know what they were doing as far as volume and intensity. They just went and now you have a guy like Neil Magny who really, if you look at the pace that Neil’s been on the last two years, it’s unheard of. But at the same time, Neil is the unique 1% or of these athletes. But at the same time we take it very good structured. And I’d say the biggest thing is communication within all the coaches to really make sure that Neil prepared and that we’re reading the old right and that he’s in the best place possible one to start a camp. But then we manage his programming during his camp. And that just comes from communication, which I think back in the day, communication was one of those things. I could, each coach had their agenda and they put forth their agenda and you’re not going to tell me what I’m doing is wrong and you’re not going to tell me I’m doing too much. We’re just going to roll with it. We’ll see what happens.
Corey Beasley [00:04:21]: And I think that’s been a pretty resounding topic and I’ve seen it and read it. And in talking to guys like yourself and Joel Jamison and all those are Abbott presenters that were there. That seemed to be a very common theme in the last few years is just opening up communication because there’s so many of these guys are traveling between different camps. There are very few that are all under one roof. And having that communication is vital?
Loren Landow [00:04:48]:The communication is vital and I think we owe it to our teams, our fighters and the other coaches to also provide the education side where I’d say a lot of the Catholic coaches really have a good intuitive understanding of sports and sports preparation. But if we can come in with just a little bit more of a science backbone, we can go into these coaches and say, Hey, you know what, here’s why we should structure our training like this and here’s why we should maybe put this practice before that practice. And you know what with his recovery heart rate or where his resting heart rate levels are, maybe we should do X, Y, and Z. I think we owe it to those coaches and our spiders to educate them. And then on top of the education has maintained the communication.
Corey Beasley [00:05:34]: So Loren, if you are talking about let’s say Neil Magny and he’s getting ready for a fight maybe his last fight versus a Hector Lombard, which was amazing by the way. Dude. I was like, that was up off the couch freaking out. I couldn’t believe. That was a level five hurricane right there.
Loren Landow [00:05:58]: There’s not a more dangerous man than Hector Lombard. And when I saw that we made it true that that flurry in the first round, I knew it was over and I had to actually told people at the combat clinic that day. I didn’t say specifics, I said, but we have a fight. They asked how much did that me as a coach, do I provide them to the game plan? And I don’t, there’s nothing stylistically. However, what I do provide is like the simple biological measures. We sit there and we look at a Hector Lombard. We look at it Neil Magny and I know this if we have a three round fight, I know that after that first round our chances of success go really high. So it was one of those things. Once we got through that first barrage, I was like, we got it done. Even though Neil, he had gone through a level five hurricane like you said, or category five, I knew that we had it.
Corey Beasley [00:06:55]: Well that was exciting, but as you are preparing those guys, what are some of the benchmarks that you guys are kind of monitoring with these guys? They’re going through all these skilled training, all their strength and conditioning stuff, managing recovery, all that type of stuff. What are you looking for? What are you monitoring?
Loren Landow [00:07:11]:Well, I’d say from a monitoring standpoint. One, it’s the talk test. First and foremost, when they come in each day, I’m having a small conversation with them. Nothing really specific about training, really just trying to kind of see where they’re at with their eye contact, like what their like are they low on calories or they’re mentally consume? Like where are they? And that’s probably one of the first kind of benchmarks I’ll pay attention to. But the second one is I’m always evaluating their strength and their quality or strength or quality or range of motion. One through our warm-ups, but then also through our workouts. On the strength side and our power side as well. We’ll look at vertical jump measures. We’ll look at med ball throw measures. And then as we get into the camp a little bit further, we’re paying attention to what recovery heart rates are at anywhere between 30 and 60 seconds, but then out to 90 seconds in a minute 20, I want to see where their recovery is and how quickly they drop. Those are the things that I really pay attention to, to see you know, if we’re trending in the right direction. I also have my guys three days a week giving me resting heart rate values and sleep information just the quality of sleep and the duration of sleep. Those are the things that we really try to communicate with the fighters because I know that if they’re doing all the right things away from me I should see everything on my end either at maintenance of strength or even gain a little strength during a camp. That’s the funny thing. So people say, I pulled my strength workout five weeks out before the fight and not me, we can fit in all the way to the end brother and ironically enough, we have guys who are strong all the way up until they fight. And to me that’s a big confidence booster for these guys as well. But I think my biggest reasoning for that is if we look at like underpinning qualities where muscular endurance underpinning quality of strength, strength and underpinning, quality of power and powers and underpinning quality of speed. If I remove the contribution of strength in my training and just think that they’re getting enough strength work from tactical sessions, I could be cutting off my nose to spite my face on their power and their speed quality. So we keep it in.
Corey Beasley [00:09:26]: Now as you do get closer to fight either other variables that you’re manipulating to keep them under control or to keep them covering, because I know a lot of times as the fight gets closer, a lot of those guys, their intensity in the gym comes up, their mentality changes they’re brought on them pretty hard. They might be doing a little bit more volume in the gym. So how do your workouts change as you do get closer?
Loren Landow [00:09:51]:My workouts do change quite considerably. And one thing that I talk about a lot in a recent book I just wrote, I talk about in camp, I do a daily undulating periodization model where I pick the best day of the week that I could influence their strength, speed and power. And that for me it’s typically my Monday session and then Wednesday I have more of a muscular endurance or a lactate day. And it’s either a lactate capacity or lactate threshold or lactate power depending on where I am in camp. If we’re within our first four weeks of camp, it’s more lactic capacity work. And if it’s if we’re in the last three to four weeks, then it’s more lactate power. And then my Friday session becomes more of a steady state aerobic day. So what I do is I hit that undulated model. I don’t dose like a block periodization, because I can then move my variables of training around based on how the guys are feeling. So I have a little bit more of a fluid model of periodization where I can look at an athlete’s readiness and say, you know what, today we got to go to our steady state day and we’ll hit our speed power day later in the week if need be. But it allows me to have room in my programming. But the way I look at the undulated model is my goal once they’re in camp, is to maintain those qualities that I work so hard in the off season of building. And so if I can provide a little bit of attention three days a week to each of the qualities, I feel that I preserve all those qualities pretty damn well.
Corey Beasley [00:11:28]: Yeah. Now that’s during camp. I mean, you’re outside of camp? These things change a little bit. You can get a little bit more focused in different specific areas right?
Loren Landow [00:11:37]:I do. And here’s where the X factor, I think of mixed martial arts comes in depending on who your fighters are. If it’s a high level UFC caliber fighter, we know they’re going to fight one, two, maybe three times a year, so we can really have a true off season and really peer guys and block their training. And we can sit there and say, well, this person needs more of this or we’re going to give them that and we can spend a little bit more time in block training. But a lot of the MMA fighters out there, they’re taking very short notice fights, fighting maybe upwards of five to eight times a year because they’re trying to get the experience and the skill of fighting down as well and how to control their nerves and just becoming more comfortable walking through that cage. So I think in those situations as well, they’re just different too. Because you may want to do block periodization with them, but you may not have the opportunity to. The other thing that I find that people tend to make a mistake with the martial artist is they will go like traditional block periodization. They say, okay, I’m going to spend a four or five weeks of hypertrophy cycle and then I’m going to go to my strength and then I’m going to go to my power. Well, if you look at that eats up about three to four months of your programming right there. And that’s just not realistic in the most of the MMA world that I’ve seen because guys are getting called one for short notice fights, but they also have to be live sparring partners for guys too. So it’s more of a con current method of training as it is. So to put a block system in place is a little bit more difficult because you’re developing all qualities at once across the board. I do think that you can get away with some strategies where you have and I’ll go back to the block issues that I see sometimes as well as I’ve seen it where guys stay in like a hypertrophy or an auxiliary block too long and now they’ve just put on a lot more mass on the frame that from 20 weeks from now, you’re going to make a very hard way cut for that fighter. So you have to really pay attention to you know, how each athlete is responding to the stimulus that you’re putting under them. And if somebody responds pretty aggressively to a more of a muscular endurance or a hypertrophy workload, you better pull that back. And so what I’ll tend to do is I’ll then go into almost a weekly undulated model when I’m outside of fight camp. So I won’t dedicate a full block, but I will dedicate a full week. So for instance, Corey, I’ll do a one week of muscular endurance. I’ll do one week of strength, one week of power, and then I repeat that cycle after my deloaded week. And that way I can touch on all those qualities I talked about in the daily undulated model, but I can give just a little bit more attention maybe to the guys who do need to put on a little more mass. Like for Neil Magny he just got done with his fight with Hector Lombard. We went to a three week block of you can call it, if you want to call it your hypertrophy cycle, whatever you want to call it. But we just did three weeks there. We’ve got his weight back up to where we want it. He looks good now it’s time to get him back to more maximal strength and power development because I know he’s going to get a call here pretty soon.
Corey Beasley [00:14:57]: So Loren, I know you kind of hinted and mentioned it a little bit before, but you did recently just come out with a new book on strength and conditioning for combat athlete. What’s the title of that book?
Loren Landow [00:15:16]:I did. So it’s ultimate conditioning for martial arts and it’s a human kinetics. They published it and you can get it through human kinetics, you can get it on Amazon and, and it will be at Barnes and noble. I’m sure here in the near future, literally just got released at the beginning of April. So we’re getting some great feedback on the book. And it was it was a pretty tough write really when you really think about it. And I was first given the task of writing the book, they said, well, here’s what we want you to do is we want you to come up with a strength and conditioning program for all martial arts in this book. Yeah. And I kind of sat back and I said, well, I go, here’s basically what you’ve asked me to do. You bet. I said, you basically asked me to write a book about all sports with a round ball. And they said, what do you mean? And I said, well, the only consistency of all those sports are the round balls at the ball is round. I said, aside from that are so stinking different. And I said, that’s the hardest part about writing a book for this. However, we can find commonalities in all of these disciplines that transcend and crossover. And so that’s kind of what I did is I kind of looked at it from a general or a global perspective and then I started narrowing it down and I really subdivided the book. It’s very complete, but then I subdivided certain chapters on striking and kicking chapters and grappling and wrestling trappers as well. So that way there’s a little bit of change, a little bit of wiggle room. If you are mixed martial artists in all disciplines are important to you or if you are truly just a BJJ specialist and all you care about is really the preparation for the jujitsu aspect of it. So it was a fun writing. It’s a book that I always tell people that you have to read from first page to last page because it tells a story and it sets up with the philosophy and the philosophy then breaks down into my methods and then my methods match my philosophy as we go. As we get closer to the end of the book, I get into my programming how I actually programmed from my athletes and the things that I just talked about early on in this, a phone call in this a podcast. I outlined in the book pretty significantly on how to set up blocks of training and the common faults that you run into and then pitfalls with tapers and things like that. So I put out my taper and strategy. There’s no secrets to my practice. My practice is very straight forward, scientifically based, and I don’t claim to have a knowledge base that nobody else has. I do think that I’ve found a unique system of how to employ it that works for our fighters and our fight camp for sure.
Corey Beasley [00:17:50]: That’s exciting that you got that put together. It had to be a lot of mental pushups to kind of get a lot of that stuff organized but cool because when you have to organize it, it forces you to kind of systemize your stuff and really think about it more than you typically would right?
Loren Landow [00:18:08]: And that’s just it, it came down to one of those things where I once I really laid it out, I was like, okay, this is kind of cool because I’ve always had my system and training. But once I really laid it out in the book format you can kind of see how all pieces match and I think it just really unfold to the system. And I’d say, the thing that we’ve been real successful with Corey is we’ve been able to, one, our fighters make it to their fights. Knock on wood, our fighters make their fights we not pulling out last minute because of this injury or that injury. Because I do believe that we’re smart in how we paradise things and how we communicate things. And really a lot of the methods we use we take that, that approach of do no harm prepare the body physically and mentally but do no harm in the process of preparation. And as I laid it out in the book really the goal was, okay, I want people to sit there and say, I’m not seeing everything here. These are my unique strategies and if you follow this, you will be X, Y, Z. But I’m sitting there and saying, this is a resource. This is a resource and how you choose to use my information. I think it can be helpful for you if you understand the variables with which I’m talking about.
Corey Beasley [00:19:26]: That’s awesome. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. And it came out this month, right?
Loren Landow [00:19:32]:It came out the beginning of April. I think the actual day was April 1st and I was like, okay, this a big April fool’s joke. Like, is it really happening? And it sure did. I got the copies sent to my house and it was really cool. It was fortunate for me. The publishing company they had known, I had done a lot of work with Brendan Schaub, former UFC heavyweight and they found a pretty cool picture of him. And they put that on the cover. And it was unique for me because I’m one of those people I like to when we’re on a ride together, we’re all on the ride together. And for me to be able to put one of my first MMA athlete actually on the cover of my book it was really a cool experience to be able to say, Brendan Schaub the guy who was the Genesis of my strength conditioning career for MMA is now on the cover of my book for martial arts. So it was really cool.
Corey Beasley [00:20:27]: I’m excited for you and guys, I’ll be sure to put that link down below so you guys can get your hands on that book. It’ll be a good resource for all of us, so Loren I know you got the book coming out, you got a lot of fighters coming up that have big fights scheduled and you’re also in the of a kind of rebranding your gym and moving into a new facility as well?
Loren Landow [00:20:51]:We have a lot going on, Landow Performance is pushing strong and we’re in our current facility and we’re just busting at the same, so it’s time to move to a little bit bigger locations. So I’m in the process of doing that right now and at the same time we’ve got Cat Zingano getting ready for her big fight with Julianna Pena at UFC 200 and we’ll have a number of fighters getting ready to go here in the next probably two to three months. So it’s going to be a busy schedule. And then we have obviously the Olympics coming up as well. So things are moving along strongly here and we have a lot of our younger amateur fighters in our young profilers that have a lot of things coming up. Dustin Jacoby who has a fight with the title fight for glory, kickboxing coming up in May. So we’re just pushing along.
Corey Beasley [00:21:45]: A lot of exciting stuff. So Loren if people wanted to reach out and get more information, obviously I’ll put that link to your book and the website as well. But what’s the best way for people to get in touch with you if they have questions or anything important?
Loren Landow [00:22:01]:People can hit me up on either of my social media on Twitter. It’s @Loren Landow and Instagram is @Loren Landow as well. I put a lot of exercises on my Instagram and some kind of quick tutorials on certain things that we’re doing. But at the same time, if they want to dive in a little bit further, I have an online education actually really cool that has some of the top practitioners around the world. We’ve got Dr. Andy Galpin involved. Actually I have an interview set up with Joel Jameson on it and there are CEOs that are available for practitioners that need CEOs through the NFCA but it’s www.elitesportsservices.com and you can get on there, create a free profile and just kind of tool through a lot of the interviews that I have with some of the top coaches in the world. And then you can thumb around and see if there’s any of the education courses or classes that you want to take. So that’s a fun way. But if people have further questions they can also hit me up on @LorenLandowperformance.com and I’m happy to respond and answer some questions but ask them questions in return as well.
Corey Beasley [00:23:16]: Well, Loren, thank you so much for your time and I’m excited about all the stuff you’re doing. And I have to get out there to Colorado here in the next few months and visit your new facility when you get that thing squared away.
Loren Landow [00:23:29]:Corey, anytime. And thank you for all that you do for Fight camp conditioning. I know I’m on that site. I know I’m on it all the time. I’m always on your Instagram page. I’m always looking at things that you’re providing you during the heck of a job, putting together a resource and that’s really the goal I think in this industry is none of us have the answers. We’re learning as we go. It’s an evolution and I think that you’ve created a platform of resource tools for all of us to pull from and learn from. So I can’t thank you enough for continuing what you’re doing.
Corey Beasley [00:23:59]: Well, thanks man. I appreciate it. And guys I’ll put all those links down below. Be sure to get over there and check out all the stuff that Loren’s doing, transforming the industry, and has a ton of good stuff for you guys. So I hope you guys enjoy it, but Loren, thanks again and we will hopefully talk to you soon.
Loren Landow [00:24:16]:Thank you, Corey.