Success in the rapidly evolving world of mixed martial arts requires tenacity, dedication and constant innovation on every front. UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and his training partners at Team TakeDown in Mansfield, Texas rely on TRX Suspension Training and Rip Training as part of their preparation for battle. Team TakeDown strength and conditioning coach Adrian Ramirez, a TRX CORE member, says that what truly sets Hendricks and his teammates apart might surprise you.
“One thing that ties our team together is that the fighters truly listen to the coaches and trust them. For example, Johny comes in and asks what we want him to do, and then he gives himself completely to doing it.”
Three days a week at the end of practice, Ramirez has Team TakeDown fighters grab TRX Rip Trainers and hop in the cage at their training facility in Mansfield, Texas. For the next 5-7 minutes Ramiez has the team push through a punishing battery of Rip Trainer core movements. “I love the TRX Rip Trainer for functional core strength. The movements in MMA require rotational power, and the Rip Trainer is a great tool for developing that power.”
Ramirez incorporates TRX Suspension Training into strength training, mobility work, stretching and corrective exercise for Team Takedown fighters throughout their training cycle. “During a strength phase, there’s always a use for the Suspension Trainer. For instance, one of our strength workouts is close-grip bench for 10 reps with heavy weight, bent over seated rows for 10 reps as heavy as possible and then we’ll go to inverted rows on the TRX with a weighted vest or plate for 10 reps.”
When Ramirez hits the road for a fight with a Team TakeDown athlete, he brings the Suspension Trainer on the road for continuity of training whether they’re in a hotel room, a hotel gym or a new training facility. He uses it for his own workouts on the road, too. “I can’t tell you how many times I go to a hotel or we’re out of the country and there’s not a gym or anything. I’ve become accustomed to not using their gyms because I get such a better workout with the TRX in my hotel room or off a pull-up bar in their gym.”
A highly skilled strength and conditioning expert who works with some of the best mixed martial artists in the world, Ramirez also holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His involvement in BJJ competition put him on the path to his current career. “I was competing in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments and wanted to get in better shape. So I got certified as a personal trainer and started training myself. From there, people wanted to train with me.”
He started using TRX Suspension Training in 2009 and started searching the internet and YouTube to pick up tips. A TRX Suspension Training Course in 2010 rapidly accelerated his knowledge and made him an even bigger believer in TRX. “It was really helpful. I went in knowing 30% of what I know now going off of YouTube. But being there in the class made a huge difference because I found so many more exercises and saw so many things I was doing wrong with the exercises I was already doing. Once I saw how to do the exercises correctly it made a huge difference.”
Now as a TRX CORE member, Ramirez has access to a huge library of exclusive, original blogs and videos from top TRX experts and new content added every week. Like the fighters he coaches, Ramirez constantly strives to master his craft, seeks out the masters in his field and pays close attention to what they have to say. “Focus on the small things. Don’t rush your training. Take your time, learn and be open to different ideas and listen to your coaches.”