Fighting fit with Chad Waterbury |

Chad Waterbury is a guy who doesn’t let anything stand in the way of his goals. Period. In this blog, you’re going to learn how to make a meal plan to lose weight, but it won’t be easy. You’re going to eat weird foods and you’re going to feel yucky, but you will feel better. In the end, you’ll be closer to your goals and feel better.

Chad Waterbury has been qualified as a qualified fitness coach since 2002, with his expertise focused on fitness and nutrition. As a qualified fitness coach, Chad has helped thousands of people to achieve their fitness goals. He is also a qualified personal trainer with over eight years of experience working with clients of all ages, genders, and backgrounds in a private gym and one of Chad’s 17 branches.

Chad is a USATF-certified coach and many of his clients are elite and Olympic-hopeful runners. We asked him to share his tips for training for a big goal.

“I was intrigued when I heard Chad Waterbury was developing a new fat-loss program aimed at both athletes and recreational exercisers.

Chad is recognized for his incredible workouts, which blend heavy lifting, high-intensity circuits, and low-intensity recuperation. Basically, anything we promote at PN.

However, I knew this workout would be exceptional when I learned that his latest program, Body of F.I.R.E., is the same one he used to help Gracie Ralek defeat Kazushi Sakuraba at the Dream 14 (a major MMA event).

So, first and foremost, I pleaded with Chad to send me a copy of the program so that I could test it out for myself. (It’s been a week, and it’s been fantastic.) Then I asked Krista Scott-Dixon, one of our resident ass-kickers (and MMA enthusiast), to spend some time with Chad talking about training, fighting, and Body of F.I.R.E. Take a look at the interview below…” J.B.


My closest girlfriend and I watched grainy VHS videos of the first Ultimate Fighting Championships over ten years ago. Martial arts nerds were the only ones who knew about it. On weekends, we’d lay out a few mats or put on our boxing gloves and go at it with no skill but plenty of zeal.

That best friend is now a member of Canada’s grappling squad, which competes worldwide (and works for PN). I’m working on getting my purple belt and teaching new women how to choke each other out. Even your grandmother is aware of MMA.

Perhaps granny, like sexagenarian MMA fighter Skip Hall and late-50s brown/black belt owner of Modern Combatives, Lily Pagle, is honing her kimura skills as well.

Royce Gracie, a then-unknown grappler, choked out Ken Shamrock in under a minute in the first UFC. Since then, the Gracies have earned the title of “First Family of Asskicking.”

Helio and Carlos Gracie, Royce’s father and brother, founded Brazilian jiu-jitsu and introduced it to the sweating masses. Ralek Gracie, Royce’s nephew and Helio’s grandson, is now carrying on the family heritage.

Ralek Gracie recently defeated Kazushi Sakuraba by unanimous decision after three grueling rounds.

Ralek Gracie

Ralek Gracie

This should come as no surprise, but cage fighting/MMA is a strenuous sport. You’ll need to be able to strike on your feet as well as roll about on the floor.

Competition’s adrenaline surge is difficult enough to handle. Before you ever enter the cage, it will suck your oxgyen. Then, once you’re inside, punching, kicking, and holding your opponent in any position – upright, upside down, tied into a pretzel — becomes difficult. And, of course, that individual is retaliating!

So, the next time you want a tough workout, try running up a hill. Make it interesting, though. Obtain the services of a roaring bear to pursue you. Then, to add further resistance, sling a guy over your shoulders. Also, request that he punch you in the face the entire way up the hill.

That’s the level of difficulty MMA fighters face. And it’s at a level of difficulty that necessitates exceptional fitness. How can you achieve that peak level of fitness? Chad Waterbury is aware of the situation.

He’s the strength & conditioning genius who prepared Ralek to endure the gut-wrenching, lung-busting three rounds. And this week, he’s releasing his new conditioning program, Body of F.I.R.E.

I tracked down Chad and inquired about his trade secrets. This is what he said to me.


I gained my first weight when I was 14 years old. Since then, finding the most effective techniques to strengthen and modify the human body has been my passion. It’s been my objective to help people acquire the body and performance they want in less time than they believed possible, whether they’re elite athletes or just normal people who want to look better on the beach.

How do you approach training in general?

My approach to ultimate fitness, after 14 years as a professional in this industry, is simple: excite the most number of muscle fibers possible to generate the largest metabolic cost with each workout.

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What do MMA fighters require?

Giving MMA athletes the tools they need to flourish at their style of combat is the key to training them. I don’t train strikers in the same way that I train jiu-jitsu practitioners. They necessitate various techniques and training strategies.

“The ultimate test of athleticism is an MMA fight.”

MMA is a whole package.

With that in mind, I appreciate the challenge of working with fighters since an MMA bout is the ultimate test of athleticism. Other sports usually concentrate on just one or two fitness characteristics. Only endurance is required of a marathon runner. Only maximum strength is required of a powerlifter.

An MMA fighter, on the other hand, must be the complete package, with high levels of power, stamina, and mobility combined into one machine.

  • Explosive tempos are used to create power.
  • Short rest times help to build endurance.
  • Lifts that require a full range of motion and body weight workouts improve mobility.

Personalizing the strategy

A coach’s job as a trainer is to rapidly discover where his or her team’s deficiencies are. That’s why it’s critical to do a comprehensive evaluation of each fighter beforehand.

Some fighters are born with inherent abilities. Other fighters have a lot of endurance but not enough strength to be successful in the sport. The endurance and mobility of a strong fighter are usually lacking. The mobility of an endurance animal is normally enough, but it lacks the maximum strength required.

Balancing training & recovery

The most crucial aspect of a fighter’s training regimen is fatigue management. They have so much work to complete on any one day that they must continually balance performance enhancement and tiredness.

As a coach, I am well aware that I have a finite amount of time to build the physical attributes that a fighter requires. In the best-case scenario, a fighter will give a strength and conditioning coach three tough and productive workouts per week.

It’s critical to squeeze as much as possible into those three workouts in the smallest amount of time. The last thing you want to do in your striking and grappling sessions is wear down your fighters and hinder their technical performance, endurance, or power.

The most difficult aspect of training fighters is learning to handle exhaustion and injuries. Fighters are continually pushing the boundaries of healing and modifying their joints. As a result, you must strike a careful work/rest balance rapidly.

Working with fighters also necessitates a thorough understanding of soft tissue treatments and good joint mechanics. I employ a variety of treatment methods, including muscle stimulation, active release, and volcanic clay packs, to mention a few.

Sport conditioning vs. bodybuilding

Bodybuilding is all about sculpting particular muscular parts into abnormal dimensions while ignoring everything else. A fighter, on the other hand, must balance his or her entire body so that it functions as a single unit.

Rest between exercises is one of the most significant contrasts between show and athletic training. My fighters do not take a break during their training with me. At start, the core of the workout will last ten minutes if a fighter can only accomplish 10 minutes of continuous activity. Then I’ll gradually increase the fighters’ work capacity until they can train at a high intensity for 30 minutes without stopping.

Fighting necessitates nonstop, all-out effort. As a result, a fighter’s strength and conditioning program should reflect this.

There’s no point to focus on it in bodybuilding or general fitness because such intense levels of nonstop activity aren’t required.

However, I believe that a weekend warrior should follow many of the same training techniques that I utilize while training fighters. Why?

  1. To begin with, the majority of people wish to lose weight. You’ll burn more calories and fat during and after your workouts if you train with short rest periods and quick tempos. That assertion is backed up by research.
  2. Second, for fitness aficionados, full-body workouts will usually produce the finest effects. Because you’re stimulating all of the major muscle groups at once, you’ll get a bigger hormonal response from this type of training.

How I Became Interested in MMA Training

For Rickson Gracie’s Jiu-Jitsu Center in Los Angeles, I designed and conducted a strength and conditioning program for two years. During my time there, I formed strong bonds with a number of great fighters and teachers. Word spread quickly, and one of the teachers, an MMA fighter, advised Ralek to pay me to prepare him for his bout with Sakuraba.

I didn’t know much about Ralek when I started training him because he’d only fought twice professionally, both in Japan. So I watched his battles to get a sense of what I’d be up against.

Right away, there were two things that caught my attention. First and foremost, he is a master in jiu-jitsu. Second, he was really frail. Many jiu-jitsu fighters avoid strength training because they are afraid of becoming slow and stiff.

Ralek was, in effect, a Nascar driver attempting to win the Daytona 500 in a Honda Civic. He possessed all of the necessary abilities, but he required a machine with more horsepower. Despite this, I could tell he had a strong physical structure, and given his age, I was confident he’d respond well to the program I had planned for him.

Chad training Ralek

Ralek is being trained by Chad.

My difficulties

Because I only had 8 weeks from the time we started to prepare him for Sakuraba, it was a challenge. A 12-week program is usually required for appropriate development, peaking, and tapering. Despite the time constraint, it turned out beautifully.

Ralek claimed after the bout that it was the first time he felt like his body could do what he wanted. But Ralek’s journey is only beginning. Wait until you witness his next bout to see how powerful and explosive he is.

I had fun with the challenge! Any expert in his area wants to be questioned at some point. Developing an MMA fighter is the ultimate challenge for me because every fitness quality must be developed to an exceptional level.

It’s simple to develop great levels of endurance, and it’s not difficult to make a man extremely strong if he has nothing else to do. However, developing superlative levels of explosive strength-endurance while maintaining a high level of athletic mobility offers a tremendous difficulty.

That is one of the reasons why I appreciate dealing with fighters. It wouldn’t be any other way for me.

What’s on the horizon for my “battle card”?

My most recent project has piqued my interest. It’s a full-body workout and diet plan that burns fat and increases athleticism faster than any other program I’ve ever created.

It’s called Body of F.I.R.E., and I’ve had everyone from regular people to professional athletes like Ralek Gracie use it to great success. Full-body, intensive resistance training is the fastest way to burn fat and get in shape, hence the term.

Chad’s fitness routine for fit fighters

Prehab and mobility are the first two steps.

Mobility drills and foam roller exercises are a common start to a fighter’s routine. Fighters will first jump rope for a few minutes to increase blood flow, then use joint circles to mobilize their ankles, hips, thoracic spine, and shoulders.

They’ll then foam roll any tight areas, which are usually the hips, IT band, glutes, and thoracic spine. It takes roughly 10 minutes to complete this routine. They’re now ready to begin training.

Step 2: High-octane power and quickness

To improve speed and power, the training plan will begin with explosive body weight exercise combinations. Fighters, for example, will perform a five-minute cycle of jumping jacks, split jacks, and burpees without stopping.

Step 3: Increase your strength and take in more oxygen.

Then, while wearing a weight vest, they’ll execute a circuit of strength exercises.

Pull-ups from the rings will be followed by dips on the rings, followed by leg lifts on the rings.

They’ll next perform some kettlebell swings before sprinting 40 yards down and back.

The circuit repeats as soon as they return. They’ll usually perform the circuit for about 15 minutes without stopping.

Step 4: Relax and unwind

They’ll do stretches for his ankles, hips, and shoulders towards the end. Grapplers and strikers should be especially concerned about these issues.

I also want to transition away from one-on-one training to free up time in my schedule to assist MMA schools in developing and implementing more effective strength and conditioning programs. Although schools are springing up all over the globe, many old-school training mindsets are preventing fighters from reaching their full potential.

I’m ecstatic to be a part of this rapidly expanding sport, and I’m looking forward to the new challenges it presents to me as a strength and conditioning coach. To learn more about Chad’s new show, go to:


Find out more.

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About Vaibhav Sharda

Vaibhav Sharda

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