I met Paul about 3 years ago. Paul is a big guy; and not in the bad way. Former footballer, he resembles more a defensive rugby player, or as he is now known, an heavyweight M.M.A fighter with tree trunks for legs and long powerful arms that can ‘turn the lights out’ with sublime efficiency.
Like any other heavyweight, Paul was missing the ‘running’ portion of his preparation (a little ironic for a former football player, but it is often the case with ‘big’ fighters and former footballers). At that time I was running at noon, on my work break, and seeing as how he was eager to improve, we started running together.
Because Paul is a big muscular guy (bigger than you would normally see out ‘for a jog’), we needed to start slow, managing, pace and distance. We did this so that not only his heart, lungs and feet could follow, but his joints also. We started with 1 to 2 km runs, slowly building up pace, distance, and difficulty of the run.
And because Paul was also training MMA with me, I even added a (he would at least call it unconventional) degree of difficulty to our runs, but not the kind ‘you usually do’.
Just to give you an example, because I wanted him to focus on his ‘run’/activity in time of stress, after he managed a decent distance and pace, most of the runs were ‘spiced’ with jokes, taunts, and many other ‘typical guy stuff’ that I’ll keep between us for the sake of the internet!
Paul, to get back to the ‘run’ talk, rapidly found his runner legs (again), and was soon keeping a pace that would make any man of his size jealous.
As a pleasant side effect, he also lost about 7-10Kgs, training ‘energy levels’ were up, and if he looked ‘ripped’ before, he had now become a (even more) qualified beach body athlete !
That being said, my job was done. But not quite. We still ran together, on medium distances and he soon got the running bug. So what we needed now was something to incite him to continue. We needed a goal and we soon found one : His first semi-marathon !
I will spare you the details of the preparation and I’ll just tell you a funny little story : Paul could have ran his first semi-marathon in 2 hours. He did however ‘forget’ (also known by us, his friends, that he didn’t even know) that a semi-marathon has 20+1 Km of running! So he kind of stopped at the point where everyone was sprinting for the finish, wondering where is the finish line !?!
But he did finish, and he did so in 2:03:08 at or a pace of 5:49min/km. He had also now lost about 14Kgs throughout the journey.
I recently asked Paul his opinion on his whole journey. You’ll find his testimonial just bellow, with our group photo at the ‘Euro Courses de Strasbourg – 13.05.2019 – Semi-Marathon’ finish line.
Checkout Paul’s Instagram if you wan’t to talk to the next heavyweight prospect in M.M.A. !
— Mission accomplished.
Ionel introduced me to Mixe Martial Arts a few years ago. During our training, he highlighted specific points like the importance of endurance and cardio. So we started to running. I used to play football before practicing MMA, and ‘now’ weighed 120kg (264,6lbs), so you can imagine the challenges I had to overcome. We gradually extended the distance and the pace to 16 km. It was not easy, but I managed to keep up with the pace because I told him that I wanted to be the most athletic Heavyweight fighter on earth (he was my coach at this time). He is a good trainer, and I never hesitate to ask him for advice when I need to improve my endurance.Paul ‘La Brutance’
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