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So you want to be a fighter?

    Thu, 2005-06-09 08:14 — Gabe Ruediger

    Gabe Ruediger currently sports a record of 7-1, all of his victories coming by way of submission or KO.


    Hi, My name is Gabriel Ruediger. I am the current WEC lightweight world champion. My first fight was over 2years ago and I`ve had the opportunity to train and compete with the some of the best athletes in the world in that time. This article will follow my training for my first title defense against Jason Maxwell. Keep in mind that the training for this fight began well before the training diary began. This diary started six weeks out from the fight. Hopefully it will give you some insight on what it takes to prepare for a professional bout in mixed martial arts.

    Monday- Feb. 7th The first task at hand is cardio, HARD cardio. I go to a local college and start with a bleacher run. Up and down the stairs of the visitor`s side (not so bad), around the track and up and down the home side (This sucks). Four times around and now wind sprints. Eight 30second sprints with 20seconds rest (walking) in between. A cool down of two laps of jogging with shadow boxing and I can get some lunch.

    7PM I teach Jiu jitsu at a college (Claremont College system) and make sure I train hard with my students with a fresh opponent every 3minutes. I get 45minutes straight done. Not bad for a days work.

    Tuesday- Feb. 8th 11am. Strength training with Dr. Scott Hohulin ( 1hour of non stop circuit training utilizing all muscle groups, all in motions that would be used in a fight

    2PM Training begins at Millennia ( ) . We start off with 2minute rounds with 15seonds rest on a circuit of bags. Standing, on the ground, shadowboxing with sprawls, jump rope, and sparring. This lasts a total of 9rounds (18minutes). We then switch to grappling. 5minute rounds rotating partners for 3 complete rounds. There was a bunch of really tough guys in the room and this practice turned out great.

    6pm Light MMA sparring with my students. Not too hard just enough for them to work and for me to sweat and work on specific techniques.

    ∑ My hand has really been bothering me, but if I pad it A LOT I can spar and hit pads. Thanks to DR. Scott for assisting me with rehab. My rehab consists of 2-3 times a week sessions of Ultrasound and A.R.T. THANKS SCOTT!!

    Wednesday- Feb. 9th Strength training once again. Same thing, just more torture. I HATE YOU SCOTT!

    5PM Cardio. 4 X 6Minute rounds. The first round is HARD jump rope. 2nd round is HARD shadowfighting (Shadow fighting consists of all strikes, sprawling, shooting. You get the idea). With 1lb hand weights. 3rd round 3minutes of rope, 3minutes of shadow fighting. Last round is 3minutes of the same.

    7PM. More BJJ training with my students, same as Monday.

    Thursday Feb 10th Its cardio time! I do a workout from (got to give credit where credit is due) called takus sprinting intervals. The first 5minutes is a warm-up of a 4-5 exertion level (1 being at rest and 10 being everything you have ). Next it gets bumped up to a 5-7 for 5minutes, back down to a 4-5 for 5minutes and then the fun begins. Wind sprints (just typing that makes me want to puke) 8X 30second sprints with 20seconds rest (walking). A brisk "cool" down of bleachers and its over. I like pushing myself for the cool down because even though I`m exhausted it helps train mental toughness and will.

    6PM More training MMA with my students. Its so much fun beating up college kids that will eventually be making more money than me. =)

    730PM Back to Millennia. 3X5minute rounds of pure MMA with a new opponent every minute! This truly sucks. The first round is okay. The 2nd round was tolerable, but th3rd fricken round is just torture. I will myself through it and finish up with 6X2minute rounds on the pads with a boxing coach, and then drilling takedowns. It was then time to cry, pick myself up and eat/sleep.

    FRIDAY Feb 11th 1PM Strength and conditioning. I started with a full body strength circuit followed by a conditioning circuit. The conditioning consisted of 4X 5minute rounds with no rest in between. We started with skull crushers for 1minute, decline weighted crunches for 1minute, curls for 1minute, 1 minute on the heavy bag, and then a minute of jump rope. Dr. Scott says this will make me be able to keep fighting even when my arms are completely exhausted. It makes me think of different ways of poisoning him. The sadistic prick then makes me "burn out" (that weird, I felt "burnt out" 30minutes into th fricken workout!)With 5minutes hard on the heavy bag. After stopping myself from puking and passing out. I stumble to my car and go get lunch.

    7PM Cardio 4X6 minutes rounds of rope and shadowfighting. Same order as before.


    Saturday Feb 12th I`m tired as all hell, but I still put in the old 4X6minute rounds. When I finished I get my roommate (Javier Vazquez) to do something he seemed to enjoy. Hitting me. 3X3minutes of body conditioning which is basically Javi pounding my body with boxing gloves. For some reason he had no problem with this.

    SUNDAY Feb 13th I`m still really tired and my muscles are fatigued, but I still drag my lazy ass to train. I get an hour and half of grappling in. I push hard, but my body just wants to quit. I still get through the workout. Sometime you just have to not listen to your body and push through it. Being mentally tough is far more important that physically tough.

    MONDAY Feb 14th A rest day. I don`t do shit. I even cheat on my diet. Ive gone from 185lbs to 175lbs, and Im on target. Another 5-8lbs and Im right where I need to be to cut water.

    TUESDAY Feb 15th Another rest day. I could have trained, but I`m flying to Australia instead LOL! I don`t like to leave in the middle of a training cycle but I had this trip planned well before the fight, so Ill have to use my vacation as training time. Oh well, another shitty sacrifice. * Note to self. No fights should ever be scheduled at the same time as a vacation ever AGAIN!*

    I`m losing 3 training days on the flight over, but I`m not worried. I still have a solid 3 weeks to push.

    Thursday Feb 16th After a LONG flight I end up in Melbourne Australia. I`m picked up at the airport by my good friend and old training partner John "The rev" Jensen. He says that he set up a training session Talgat Ilyasou who placed 6th in the world in wrestling. Great, off the plane to be thrown around! I decided if I`m going to train I better make the most of it, so I do a kickboxing class at dominance MMA (www. for an hour. Immediately after I`m done with the kickboxing class we speed off for the wrestling training. We spend 1.5 hours drilling and wrestling. I walk out sore and drained. Ill sleep well tonight.

    Friday Feb 17th Today I just took it really easy, just went for a long 5-mile walk. It felt good to get some mild exercise and not be killing myself. Ill save that for tomorrow.

    Saturday Feb 18th Woke up and went and trained wrestling for an hour. Drilling for 30minutes and then 3minute live rounds. I taught a 3hour seminar at Dominance and ended up rolling at the end for a good 45minutes. The level here is surprisingly good and I got some really good training in. Thanks to All of the people at Dominance for being such good hosts

    Sunday Feb 20th No training today. I jacked up my back up really bad and needed it to get looked at. I got a massage, but I`m going to see a chiropractor tomorrow. I feel like a lazy ass, but walking makes my back spasm. I don`t doubt that Ill be ready for March 17th. I just really hate not being able to train.

    Monday Feb 21st Umm, yeah. I saw the chiropractor

    Tuesday Feb 22nd I`m in a coastal animal reserve called Wilson`s Promitory. Ill be here for five days and I plan on making this a vacation mini camp. The surroundings are absolutely stunning. It`s going to make for good training. I woke up early and went to the beach for an hour run while shadowboxing. Being away in a place like this gives me a new found motivation. I do a second session at night with the help of Jensen. Windsprints, windsprints up a sand dune, stand up wrestling rounds, 5X5minutes of pads, sprawling, calisthenics and whatever else Jensen could come up with. After an hour and a half we were done and so was I! Jensen seemed to be amused by pushing me and left the beach with a healthy grin.

    Wednesday Feb 23rd 1hour of roadwork on the beach started the day off. I pushed myself pretty hard. My mind kept pushing with the thought that Maxwell was sleeping while I was training. It was a good way to stay sharp and not slow down.

    6PM The evening brought another Jensen special. 4X5minutes of pads with sprawls, 3X5minutes of plyometrics, and ended everything with a 5minute round of shadowboxing with sprawls.

    Thursday Feb 24th Woke up and did a strenuous 6 mile hike to a tucked away beach. It turned out to be a great workout, with a fast pace, uphill, and hard climate. After the hike I take a much-needed nap. Sleep is super important and I try to nap as much as possible.

    Another hike, this time only 4 miles. It finished me up though and I call it a day. Between both hikes I did a lot of swimming in the ocean and playing around. My dinner consisted of a huge BBQ that was great. I ended up drinking some wine with dinner and getting a little buzzed. Its really hard to be on vacation and still be in a training mode. I tell myself before bed that Ill burn the extra calories off tomorrow

    Friday Feb 25th I woke up early to get my day started off right. The alcohol didn`t seem to effect me today, so that`s a good thing. Back to business. A solid hour on the beach wakes me right up. I would do a 4-minute round of shadowboxing with sprawls and then immediately sprint up a sand dune. 12 rounds and I crawl back into bed.

    *My day comes crashing down with news from my Manager there are some contract disputes involving my up coming match and the fight could be cancelled. This is disappointing to say the least. My vacation has been cut short with entertainment in order to train. I try to stay optimistic, but being half way around the world doesn`t help. *

    I still end up doing 3 X5minute rounds of pads and a body weight workout (Scrappers workout #1 ) Hopefully everything will be worked out and I can get back into the right frame of mind. As of right now, I`m feeling pretty low.

    Monday Feb 28th I haven`t worked out since Friday. My motivation was a little zapped, but I feel like its coming back. I checked my weight last might and I`m good at 175lbs. When I get home I plan on getting the situation squared away. I still have 15 solid days to prepare and I`m in pretty good shape. I`m in the mindset to crush Maxwell. I don`t dislike him nor have any ill will towards him, but it`s my time to make a statement!

    *Confession time. I drank a large amount of alcohol Sunday (last) night. I woke up feeling fine though. It was a minor transgression, but my mood dictated it.*

    I get to live this day over again. The flight back to the states gives me a 2nd chance because of the time difference, and I plan on taking advantage of it.

    Monday Feb 28th Again (US TIME) THE FIGHT IS BACK ON!! A little negotiation and everything is back on. I trained jiu jitsu for an hour tonight. Ill push really hard this coming week with the intention of crushing Maxwell!

    Tuesday March 1st Today I did 4X5minute rounds of mixed martial arts, followed by 3X5minutes of jump rope. After each round of rope I had someone hit me with gloves for body conditioning for 2minutes straight. Tomorrow promises to be worse, but it will be worth it.

    Wed March 2nd I went to Irvine and trained with Mike "Joker" Guyman and Eric Apple, and their crew. We did 1hour of grappling from standing to the ground. There was some talent in the room and it pushed me well. Next, I did 3X5 minutes of pads with sprawls and takedowns. Thanks for the work out guys. Directly from there I get in my car and drive to Riverside to train at total fitness for my strength and conditioning. Scott and Steve (one of the trainers at TOTAL FITNESS) were in a particularly sadistic mood. We started with a circuit of shoulders. After 3 sets of each machine of "Failure plus Five" it was onto the versaclimber for 5minutes at 140 strokes a minute. Back to a circuit of arms and then the versaclimber again. A circuit of back and then back to that FUCKING versaclimber! I really hate that thing. A circuit of triceps and another round on the versaclimber and I`m done. I drive home and shovel some chicken and raw spinach into my mouth and rush out of the house to go teach. I held pads for every student in my class for an hour and then headed to teach jiu jitsu. I rolled with my students for half an hour and then wrestled for 3X3 minute rounds. I got home and collapsed.

    Thursday March 3rd My body is too exhausted to go and to strength and conditioning, so I opt to sleep in. I get up and go to MILLENNIA at 2pm, and begin. We start off with 4X4 minutes of wrestling/grappling. Right to 4X4 minutes of Mixed martial arts with a fresh opponent every 2minutes. To finish the session off I do 3X5minut rounds of striking a heavy bag on the ground whole working for position.

    I do another workout in the evening of 3X6minute rounds of jump rope and shadowfighting.

    Friday March 4th Day off

    Saturday march 5th Takus interval training (See Feb 10th)

    Sunday March 6th It`s getting close to fight day, and I`m getting excited. I killed myself with cardio today. Accelerated pyramid on the treadmill at TOTAL FITNESS. I start at 7mph for 5minutes, kick up the speed to 8mph for 4minutes, 9mph for 3minutes, 10mph for 2minutes and then 12mph for 1minute. I rest for one minute and then go backwards. 12 for 1, 10 for 2, you should get the idea. When I get to 7minutes for 5mph I immediately kick the MPH back up to 12 for 1minute. I change gears and do a core and neck workout for 30minutes. My final task is 3X5minutes on the versaclimber (did I mention I fucking hate this thing?) keeping the strokes at 140. By the time I`m done my gym clothes were soaked through. This last week is going to be tough, but I need to push through it. The trick will be to train hard and not get hurt in the process.

    Monday March7th Boxing. 6X3minute rounds and then grappling with strikes for another 6X3 rounds.

    7PM BJJ teaching and then training for an hour with my students.

    Tuesday March 8th A conditioning day. A circuit of weights (High reps low weight) immediately followed by a 5minute round on the versaclimber. This is done until I get through every body part. Scott then decides that I need some type of ROCKY training and makes me chase him while I try and hit him for 10minutes. We do this fun drill twice, and I limp out of the gym.

    2PM back to MILLENNIA for sparring. I only do 7X3minutes of boxing and call it a day.

    Wednesday March 9th A much needed rest day.

    Thursday March 10th Back to the grind. I go through the same strength and conditioning routine that I did on Tuesday and then head to MILLENNIA. I do 6X4minutes of kickboxing with takedowns.

    730PM I come back. I push myself through 5X4minutes of ground fighting with strikes I have to keep the intensity up and at the same time be aware of any possible injuries

    Friday March 11th I wake up early and go see my chiropractor, DR. Chris Florentino at Tustin Chiropractic (I like to call him the miracle worker). After an adjustment and a small breakfast, I go in for my last HARD work out. 6X3minute rounds of kickboxing with takedowns (be aware that every time I`m sparring a new fresh person comes in to really push my limits). This is followed by 4X5minutes of Mixed martial arts. With that the torture is over. The next few days will be filled with cardio and drilling. After practice I decided to go for an hour walk. This helped burn excess calories and gave me some time for mental preparation. I spend as much time doing self-visualization as possible.

    Saturday march 12th Day off. I rested and went to sleep early. Ive been restricting my diet to 1000calories a day and I`m hungry and cranky. Making weight is always the worst part of the training, IT SUCKS!

    Sunday March 13th Woke up and did cardio. 2X5minutes of jump rope and 2X5minutes of shadow fighting. I then went for another hour walk. I did some body conditioning as well. A very good massage by Angeline and the day is over

    Monday March 14th Drilled takedowns, getting up off the fence, and ground techniques for 30minutes. Right after, 6X2minutes of pads and its off the see DR. Chris my chiropractor again. I stop by the RVCA (WWW.RVCACLOTHING.COM ) warehouse to get my new shorts and the day is done.

    Tuesday March 15th More drilling. The hard work has already been done, so it`s just a matter of fine tuning certain aspects of my game. I went really light, just to get a sweat going. I ate small breakfast (emphasis on SMALL) 2egg whites and a few pieces of raw spinach. That is the last thing Ill eat until weigh in tomorrow night. My water intake has gone down to sips, because its REAL weight cutting time. This is the hardest part of preparation and at the same time it lets me know that fight time has arrived. It`s the culmination of all of my training and hard work. I put on my sweat bags given to me by FAIRTEX (WWW.FAIRTEXGEAR.COM Yeah, I know, another shameless sponsor plug. Hey, I need to pay the bills some how. ) and do a long stretch and begin the sweating process. I go to bed weighing 162lbs. Tomorrow I have to get rid of the last 7lbs. Not bad considering I was 173lbs on Saturday!

    Wednesday March 16th WEIGH IN DAY! 430AM I wake up really thirsty. I will myself back to sleep, but what I really wanted to do was guzzle a gallon of ice cold Gatorade. I then wake up at 11am and feel a little better. My weight when I wake up is 160lbs, just 5lbs to go! Ill endure a day of thirst and hunger and then put my sweat suit back on 1hour before weigh ins.

    7PM I KILLED MYSELF BUT I MADE THE WEIGHT!! As soon as I got to the hotel I put my sweat bags and sweats on and hit the sauna for 45minutes. I felt really drained, but I stepped on the scale at 155.5lbs and the fight is on! I immediately stepped off the scale and started to rehydrate with pedialyte and then went for a good meal. TOMMORROW THE SLEEPER AWAKENS!! (I figured I would finish off with a cheesy movie line-its from DUNE)

    Gabe Ruediger successfully defended his WEC World title against Jason Maxwell by Rear naked choke at the 3minute 30second mark of the first round

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