Oregon Strength Coach, Scott Plested, Joins Us For Episode #55

Scott is a trainer, massage therapist and lifelong athlete from Santa Monica CA and Durango CO. He is currently the head strength coach for Gracie Barra Portland and works with UFC fighters, Jiu-Jitsu players and top level athletes in a variety of sports. He has a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology from Colorado State University and has accumulated an extensive amount of medical training. In fitness Scott has worked beside and learned from some of the industry’s brightest. Scott’s athletes include UFC fighters Ed Herman, Mike Pierce, Jason Novelli, World jiu-jitsu champs Fabiano Scherner, Ronny Markes, MMA veterans Pat Healy, Ian Loveland, Dave Jansen and a strong stable of promising fighters hailing from Portland Oregon.


In This Episode We Discuss:

  • Scott’s Career Path and Education
  • Using Kettlebells to Build Strength
  • Workout Templates
  • Weekly Training Schedule
  • Coordinating with Other Coaches
  • Behind the Scenes at the UFC
  • and more!

Connect with Coach Plested here:




Full Transcription of Our Podcast with Scott Plested


Corey Beasley [00:00:01]: Hey guys, is Corey Beasley with fight camp conditioning. I’m on the phone here with Scott Plested. Scott, how are you?

Scott Plested [00:00:06]:Great Corey, how are you doing today?

Corey Beasley [00:00:08]: I’m doing good. Thanks so much for calling in. I appreciate it. So Scott, for everybody that’s listening, give them two sense of who you are and what you do?

Scott Plested [00:00:21]:My name is Scott Plested. I’m from Santa Monica, California and Durango, Colorado. I am currently the head strength and conditioning coach for Gracie Baha Portland and work with some great athletes up here. Of course we’ve got our professor Fabiano Scherner and we’ve got Ed Herman up here, worked with Mike Pierce and few other UFC and Bellator guys. So I’m a trainer and massage therapist and give nutritional advice and take care of my athletes.

Corey Beasley [00:01:00]: So Scott, you’ve been trained for how long?

Scott Plested [00:01:03]:
I’ve been a trainer for almost 10 years now and I’m went to massage therapy school about six years ago. And just kind of add a new dimension to my capabilities going to take care of that to do better.

Corey Beasley [00:01:22]: Now, did you how’d you get you start in training?

Scott Plested [00:01:27]:
After I went to school, I went to Colorado state and got a degree in anthropology. And after I got at school, I wanted to get into medicine one way or another. And so I went to EMT school and went to wilderness, EMT school, kind of a fun version of being an emergency medical tech. And I wanted to become a fireman. And that led into some other things. I went to phlebotomy school learning. I take blood on. It’s kind of difficult to get into the LA fire department. So I was trying to get a different angle and I took continuing education classes to gross anatomy and considered maybe going to medical school and while I was training and getting into shape to do the CPAP to get into fire department, the physical aptitude test. I was training some of my friends and just had an epiphany one day and you know what, I’d love this. I’ve got to be a trainer. So I sent off for my certification and applied to couple gyms, got hired at Equinox in Santa Monica and never looked back then. I’ve been trying to understand.

Corey Beasley [00:02:55]: It’s very cool. Everybody got such different path and it’s kind of cool to hear all the different directions and places people had been and how they got their start because I think it really does grow with us and really affects how we view the body, how have you performance, how we view health, all those different things. And coming from that medical side is a pretty unique. I haven’t heard that one yet.

Scott Plested [00:03:24]:Yeah, I kind of always approach things and then medical ways by try not to do no harm. I really want to take care of people and build them up. I was really hesitant to progress people when I was a young trainer. Just because I was afraid of hurting. And I think there was a good way to learn at first the fear kind of holds you back because you don’t progress people fast enough. But it gave me a great starting point and just all the education and anatomy kind of gave me a wonderful background and base. I just see the body a little bit differently than other people. And I’m thankful for that education.

Corey Beasley [00:04:20]: And it’s got to help with some of the boys too. I mean, now in Portland you’re working out a Gracie Baha in Portland there and you’re obviously working with grapplers, you got MMA fighters and those guys just from the nature of the business does quite a bit. So having that background and understanding of the body and stuff to help heal those guys up or at least be a significant piece of the puzzle during their healing process doing camps and stuff like that, I would imagine that is a huge asset.

Scott Plested [00:04:50]: And the time that I’ve spent with various mentors is really helped a lot as well. And massage school really helped with just having that knowledge of the body at one point I asked my dad, my dad’s had a heart surgeon. I asked him, what the most important thing is. As far as medicine, he just said anatomy. It’s like the more you understand the human body, the easier it is to understand it. And so when somebody comes to me with an issue or I see something wrong with the movement pattern, it’s a lot easier to just kind of break it down if you understand the origins and insertions and actions in the muscles and it just kind of gives you a better view of the entire thing.

Corey Beasley [00:05:45]: Yeah, for sure. Now, Scott, you’ve been in Portland for how long now?

Scott Plested [00:05:53]:I’ve been in Portland for a little over a year. I had a job opportunity that I moved up here for, to work with my good friend Chris Dubois, a great trainer in Salem. And unfortunately the job that I moved up here for didn’t pan out. So through a weak connection I had a connection at Rose city fight club. And sooner or later I was actually living on a couch there and trying to train guys for free just to kind of get a start.

Corey Beasley [00:06:30]: So you getting up there, obviously, I mean, some of the boys trust you, you’ve done some really great things or some of the guys in the last few months been watching. And when a guy walks to the door and you’re just starting to work with somebody where you do start?

Scott Plested [00:06:52]:Well, it’s a pretty standard for any educated trainer. Even FMS or my version of the FMS, I’ve done it so many times. I’ve got a pretty good eye for it, but they do movement screen. I check out their posture and see what’s out of whack most fighters if they’ve been around for a while, they’ve got something’s out of whack someplace. Their head postures off or their shoulders are always anterior and rotated inwards and one will be worse than the other one. So I check out all the major postural landmarks and check their movement screen. And then I get an idea for what the best movements are going to be for them just to treat a balanced program right there, upper body horizontal and vertical push pulls and what are going to be the best hip dominant knee dominant movements and then sit and talk to them. Just talk to them for as long as I can get a good idea of where they stand, what their history of trainings been like, just kind of how they think and what their approach to fighting is.

Corey Beasley [00:08:13]: I mean, it sounds like you get an idea of physically where they’re at. You get an idea mentally where they’re at and then you get an idea emotionally where they’re at. Because I mean, these guys go through the ringer and they’re training hard. They usually gone through if they’ve been around long enough, they been through the ups and downs and you’ve got to help I think from our position that trust factors because so many of these guys have probably seen multiple different strength coaches, multiple different skill coaches, a lot of them. And it’s hard to kind of find your home, I think in this place in this sport. So connecting with those guys is absolutely important.

Scott Plested [00:09:00]:And you’ve said that this, there are a lot of people not just in training, but in the fight world there’s a lot of guys who claim they know what they’re doing and especially with the younger athletes that can be pretty detrimental. But the guys who’ve been around for a long time they definitely they don’t let you in at first, they sit back and they watch and they want to make sure that what you’re talking about now that was the case when I first showed up at Rose city I asked them, what is it going to take to be able to work with these guys? And you have to win their trust. Do what you do and prove to them that you know what you’re talking about and you’re not only going to help them out but you’re not going to hurt them because they’ve had trainers in the past that worked them too hard.

Corey Beasley [00:10:05]: So after you go through the assessment, guys walk in for a workout. Now you probably seeing them how many times a week?

Scott Plested [00:10:14]:It really depends on, it sends on the guy ideally three times a week with me. And that’ll be two pretty hard workouts and one that’s a little bit easier, especially if it’s the day before sparring. If they have a wife, if they’ve got a job, family, commute, then two times is probably going to be enough.

Corey Beasley [00:10:47]: You said and you said did a workout to go from hard and easy are you talking hard from an intensity standpoint, volume, strength, conditioning wise? How are you kind of organized throughout the week?

Scott Plested [00:11:04]:
It’s usually intensity. My workouts are when somebody is in camp some of the other trainers that you’ve interviewed there, their workouts will be different. Like each day, like they have a volume day and they’ll have a speed day or dynamic day. My workouts are all a mixture of things that we’ll have reactive it at the beginning. Well everything starts off with some old fashion when somebody comes to me and after I check them out everybody gets their assignment their homework is to roll this, stretch this, they activate this they have to work on their specific problems and they have to show up early to make sure that they get that stuff taken care of before we start working out. And then when our session starts, I go through a certain progression of warming the body up and then we’ll go through them a couple of rounds that will kind of in a way mimic the demands of the fight to get them, get the nervous system fired, get them through something speedy, something fast, and then power. And we getting into a work capacity, grind and then maybe finish with something metabolic body weight ropes get to move around at the end depending on them.

Corey Beasley [00:12:35]: Perfect. Now you see you got a good mix of stuff that’s going. So you’re hitting all those different qualities that they need to be able to perform. Now as you’re going through that and then you’re seeing them maybe two or three times a week are you training them at a facility, like a different facility? Are you training them at the gym that they typically do their skill work at?

Scott Plested [00:12:57]:For a while, when I first began, we added enough space at Rose city to where I’ve got, I had all my kettlebells in there. I’ve been using kettlebells for years now. So I’ve got a pretty good collection of them and then I’ve got those and pull bar, battle rope. So I had enough space to do that at the facility, at the gym. And then I was associated with another gym for a little while. But I’ve moved on and now it is back to everything being at Gracie Baha. So a lot of the things are body based you’ve got some pull up bars to get all my bells. So there’s no heavy lifting at the moment. But I definitely have a couple of heavy bells and there’s ways to get people strong without heavy weights.

Corey Beasley [00:13:51]: Now you’re doing that, you’re in house, you at Gracie Baha you’re able to communicate or see more what the guys are doing. I would imagine since you’re under one roof versus being in another facility, a lot of the guys have talked to and there’s only a handful of camps in the whole country that have everything under one roof. A lot of these guys are bouncing from gym to gym or at least doing a strength and conditioning under somebody else’s roof. So it’s got to be an advantage to be in the same proximity or be able to see what the guys are doing outside of what you’re working with them?

Scott Plested [00:14:21]:Yeah. And when I first started training guys, long time ago, I asked people that I knew what with some of the keys were and what would help. And somebody I trust a lot said, your work won’t really truly matter until you’re on board with the other coaches. I took that to heart. And as soon as I started really working with guys, especially up here I’ve really made it an important thing to, to speak to all the coaches. We have meetings about specific athletes and I am always in here. I’m always talking to other guys and we truly have 18 surrounding each athlete. And that’s been, it has changed things so much and I can say like, Hey, we worked hard today make sure the boxing coach are all tall. Tell the boxing coach in person or that I need and take it easy. It’s just work skill today. I don’t work in too hard. And then we have meetings and they tell me, what’s the game plan and I will train accordingly. And so it has been a lot of fun and it’s nice to be part of that team, that team feel well.

Corey Beasley [00:15:47]: And the more and more I’m talking to people and also just experience and stuff myself, I mean that is a kind of a make it or break it deal. And you might get away with it for a little while if nobody’s communicating, but you put enough kids through that program and coaches aren’t communicating and then bounce around from gym to gym and nobody’s on the same page it never ends. Well, people end up burnt out. They performed my crap they either get ailments in it and aches and pains and stuff like that real quick they can’t recover or they just get injured and then they’re out for six months to a year. And for a lot of guys that I’ve seen so many guys get major injuries, ACL and shoulders and stuff like that. And they’re done, really talented guys that were on their way up and just got lost in the mix and they don’t make it back.

Scott Plested [00:16:34]:Yeah. And when I first tried to train guys years ago, just training a few amateurs that were at a PKG in LA and constraints center that was one of the things I ran into, because I didn’t have time to get over to the gym and I wasn’t able to communicate with the coaches they ended up doing a lot more stuff on top of what I was doing. And it may not have been what I would consider appropriate for those athletes. And it’s kind of old school stuff and no attention to detail as far as warming. And they’d come back to me, they’re rubbing their shoulder or they’re rubbing their low back. And those are the signs that something’s not going well and they’re starting to wear down.

Corey Beasley [00:17:31]: So, Scott, you’ve had a few guys at some of the big shows and Bellator and UFC and stuff like that. And I know you’ve attended some of those events and been there with them while they’re kind of doing their fight week, not only in the camp, but during their fight camp being at the fight week being at the event. Talk to us a little bit about like what that experience is like when guys do behind the scenes and they’re cutting weight and getting ready and doing all the media crap and going through that?

Scott Plested [00:18:05]:
Well, it’s a trip. It’s pretty exciting for me since MMA is the only sport that I truly care about. Once I get past that, the guys all handle it differently they’re all different fighters and some guys do really well with it and they seem to be really happy with the experience. They get to see guys that they haven’t seen long time. Maybe they trained with this person 10 years ago. They had this coach they’ve been doing podcast interviews with this person and that’s their show. Their excited. Generally, if guys are following my nutrition plans and doing their weight cuts they’re in pretty good mood. They’re not too depleted. And just kind of keeping calm and happy going on. Lots of walks and maybe hit up the pool and think about the fight and the opponent and get plenty of sleep. But it’s different for everybody some of the guys are super calm and other guys they’re kind of nervous and pretending not to be, it’s a little different for each guy, but for the most part most of them that are excited to be there because that’s their time to shine. That’s their stage. So it’s quite an experience. It’s a good time.

Corey Beasley [00:19:51]: Well, good stuff man. Well, Scott for people that are wanting to reach out and learn more about what you’re doing or if they happen to be in Portland and I want to swing by and either check out what you’re doing or work out with you, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Scott Plested [00:20:06]:Well they can we can stop by Gracie Baha, Portland. You can send me an email at my Gmail, it’s just my name, Scott [email protected] I’m on Instagram under my name and Facebook. You can always call the gym and set up an appointment or come check us out.

Corey Beasley [00:20:33]: Well guys, I’ll put that link down below and if you guys are ever in Portland, definitely cruise by and check out check out some of those workouts with Scott. I know this guy’s doing a lot of great stuff for people, so Scott, thank you so much for joining us and sharing some of your experiences. I really appreciate it.

Scott Plested [00:20:51]:Thanks Corey.