Full Transcription of Our Podcast with Jared Saavedra from Athlete Ready
Corey Beasley [00:00:01]: Hey guys, is just Corey Beasley with fight cam conditioning. I’m on the phone with Coach Jared Saavedra. Jared, how you doing?
Jared Saavedra [00:00:06]: Good. How are you doing Corey?
Corey Beasley [00:00:09]: I’m doing great. Thanks so much for calling in. So Jared, for everybody listening on, Jared owns the athletes ready that’s in New Mexico and works with a ton of different athletes out there, including some of the guys from Jackson Wink man camp and these guys are really doing some cool stuff. So Jared, get everybody a little 2 cent who we got and what you’re doing?
Jared Saavedra [00:00:36]:Yeah, so I’m sports performance coach out here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The name of my company is athlete ready. We’ve been open for approximately seven months now with our own facility, so it’s a very new spot. I’ve been training with athlete ready kind of lets in space out of other gyms for the past year and a half. So it’s been going well ever since.
Corey Beasley [00:01:01]: Now, Jared, how’d you kind of get started in a training game?
Jared Saavedra [00:01:08]:I got started when I was 21, so I’ve been training for about 10 years now. I started off as a personal trainer while I was getting my undergraduate degree at the University of New Mexico. The undergrad in physical education and my graduate degrees and sport admin and I started off as a personal trainer really missed like the sports and performance side of it. Definitely. So when I was getting my master’s degree I took an internship with the UNM strength conditioning staff a very good staff and good coaches. So I was with them for a couple of years as I was an instructor at UNM and I just fell in love with strength conditioning and working with athletes and athletes of different sports, I grew up playing basketball and football, so those are the sports that I was very familiar with. I had two ACL reconstructive surgeries in high school playing football. So that kind of ended my career pretty quick. But once I started getting back in the game and working with athletes, I knew that was the career twist for me.
Corey Beasley [00:02:12]: Now you’re working with quite a few fighters out here, how’d you get started with the fight game?
Jared Saavedra [00:02:21]:So when I started athlete ready our niche and our passion was youth athletes working with youth performance and stuff. And that’s been our passion. I started working with a Jackson Wink fighter about a year and a half ago. And he’s kind of a veteran and been in the game a long while and he came up to me and wanted to train and I told him I didn’t how to work with fighters or any MMA athletes at all and I wanted to disclose that. And he said, well can you get me stronger? Can you keep me healthy? And I said, absolutely. And kind of ever since that point, he’s turned a corner in his career and he’s in and he started doing really well and people started noticing and with the fight community, as people know, they talk a lot and one thing led to another and all of a sudden we have 12, 15, 20 athletes that walk in our doors.
Corey Beasley [00:03:17]: Now from your experience, you started at working with youth athletes. I know for a fact a lot of people that are either coaches or parents or kids and stuff like that are competing in jiu jitsu or boxing or whatever may be wrestling. When you are starting out with like a youth athlete and then we’ll kind of get into the pro stuff in a minute. But when you work with those kids, what are some of the things that you’re doing with your kids versus like them just looking on Instagram and just being like, well this champions doing this. I want my kids doing that where do you kind of start out with the kids?
Jared Saavedra [00:03:55]:Yeah, it’s always basics. It’s sticking to fundamentals fundamental movement patterns with them teaching them how to move correctly. And then as they get better and better at those kind of movements, like the squat and whatever else it may be, you progress them from there. And we do see a lot of the these flashing videos on Instagram and from all these different kinds of coaches and trainers, but it’s still important for us to provide basics for them and continue to show them, continue to level, continue to progress in different areas. But that’s kind of the main thing when parents come to talk to you, Oh, I want my child to be this, my child to do that. And it gets confusing for them so it’s just important to outline, that simplicity sometimes is the best recipe for success.
Corey Beasley [00:04:51]: Now you talking about just working on some of the basics for people that aren’t familiar with strength and conditioning at all. From your perspective at least, what are the basics?
Jared Saavedra [00:05:06]:I mean, the basic movement patterns that our bodies do. So lower body pushing exercises like the squat, deadlift, stuff like that upper body pulling, you know, the pull-ups were so, kind of anterior dominant as human beings that we forget a lot about the posterior side. So a lot of pulling movements, even with our lower bodies a lot of kids and even MMA athletes aren’t familiar with lower body pulling exercises, hip dominant, knee dominant, stuff like that. They had no idea. They’re just familiar with squats and pushups, so when you have their body doing hip hands or something like that, that’s new to their body you oftentimes that it shocks them that they didn’t know, this pattern was never ingrained in their system. So just by showing them the basic movement patterns that our bodies do and progressing from there is really helpful to them.
Corey Beasley [00:05:59]: I mean, you’ve obviously done a good job with some of your guys that are coming in and the referrals in the door. When a new guy does walk to the door, where do you kind of start with them?
Jared Saavedra [00:06:13]:So I like to meet with them privately before they even start training with me just get to know them kind of build a relationship and ask them what their goals are, ask them what they could have done better, their last fight camp, what they’re looking at, to improve from me. What do they want from me, what are they looking for? Really just getting to know them and then kind of the next time we meet, then I kind of put them through an assessment and it’s mostly going through different like moving patterns like we’ve talked about within a warm-up. And that gives us our movement prep we call it, and that gives us a good assessment on how these athletes move. So really building that relationship first and foremost is the most important thing to us. And trying to build, kind of build some trust and take the time to really hear their story, you get a lot of guys who are coming from different countries, from different States who have children who have families elsewhere and they’re here at Jackson wink or some of our other gyms that we have. And we have plenty of gyms here in Albuquerque they’re coming, they’re leaving the families to pursue their dream. So we take that really serious and we want to help them the best we can.
Corey Beasley [00:07:34]: So from your experience in working with a bunch of these different guys, a lot of guys coming to the door, different ability levels, different strengths and weaknesses, stuff like that scene. When you got all these guys coming through the door what are some common things or are there any common things that you see, like deficiencies or weaknesses or anything like that with the fighters?
Jared Saavedra [00:08:03]:Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we see lots of athletes who are not very stable on a single limb on a single lag. And we see that quite often where there they don’t have much ankle stability and stuff like that with their movement. So we do different hip hinges and RDL stuff during our warm-up and we’re able to see all that or just a typical pattern. And seeing that for sure. And another thing that we do notice is just how they move whether or not that they’ve played traditional sports before. We could almost pick out the ones that my coaches and myself I could almost pick out. Ones that had never played traditional sports before, just by the way they move or they just had a wrestling background where they’re not used to, they were never used to playing basketball or a sport like that, that requires a lot of agility, a lot of different types of mechanical running mechanics, stuff like that. So you’re almost able to just pinpoint like, okay, he hasn’t had any that type of training before. And it just, the more athletes we get and we just are able to really observe that without a doubt.
Corey Beasley [00:09:15]: So when guys are coming to the door and going through a typical workout. What’s a typical workout look like for you guys?
Jared Saavedra [00:09:27]:I mean, when they come in the doors, they’re always starting off with their soft tissue work we call it kind of prehab work, it’s on the board and I expect them to be early and get most of that done. And it’s the traditional SMR a mile faster release types, the foam roll, we have lacrosse ball, massage sticks, all that kind of stuff. Every time we get a new athlete in, I always make another athlete, show them the entire prehab and not just show them, but try to explain to them why. And I kind of overhear it because I want to make sure that the athletes, who’s teaching is actually knows what he’s talking about, so I mean, we always start off with that and then we get into dynamic warm up, good activation with all that kind of stuff. And our dynamic warm up ends up with different planes of motion, different moving patterns and all that kind of stuff. And again, we call it movement prep. Then kind of based on where we are at in the week sometimes we have a different theme as we go. Whether one days more of a movement day or power and strength day that we kind of tend to keep earlier in the week. So we’ll get into any kind of power block exercises, plyometric, we’ll compound a rotational power movement with vertical power movement and then get into our strength stuff. And then depending on, like I said, on the day, whether we implement some energy system development, some conditioning and then our cool-down. So pretty much simple layout for them.
Corey Beasley [00:11:04]: Very cool. And you’re typically seeing you guys, how many days a week?
Jared Saavedra [00:11:09]:Typically we see them three times three times a week they’re either in the kind of the Monday, Wednesday, Friday crew or the Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. So we offer like kind of unlimited membership and then we have like specialized groups as well, whether there’s a few less athletes and those ones. So just kind of depends on the package that they did.
Corey Beasley [00:11:35]: Now I know it’s a lot of the combat athletes, whether it’s jiu jitsu, wrestling, MMA they’re all pretty similar. There also are going through a lot of other skill practice, so they might be going to a few different coaches. From your experience, they’re coming to you for strength and conditioning. They’re probably working with a handful of other coaches for their skill work. What do you guys do to either collaborate or communicate or may said that these guys aren’t doing too much?
Jared Saavedra [00:12:09]:Right. And that’s a great question and I wish I could have the most perfect answer for it, but at the end of the day, it is about communication. As much as possible we do try to communicate all that we can with their coaches. But as you know as most a strength coach is now with these guys they do have a lot of people with their hands on their programming, whether it is the jiu jitsu, the striking and all that kind of stuff. So what we’ve tried to do the best that we can is try to monitor the total week, the volume of training sessions. So, right when these athletes sign up with us and our training, we give them a sheet and I actually got this idea from Joel Jamieson at the NSCA sports combat sports clinic. And I was that’s a great idea. Something so simple but can be so beneficial is having these sheets with Monday through Sunday the athletes sits down and writes down every single time they spar. Every practice they have, every private they have anything else that they do outside of strength conditioning. And based on that is kind of how we program for them during the week. So we really try to track their volume that they’re putting in and some do 12 sessions a week and in some love to do 16 to 20, which is crazy sometimes. So we have them, we teach them recovery days so that sometimes that they come in and say, Hey coach, I’m going to do a recovery day to day. And it’s really cool to see that because they’re really taking accountable for all the stresses that they’ve been through that entire week to know that their body needs a rest and then to do something a little bit different for them, which is great. But we try to track it as much as we can and we tried to reach out to their coaches and a lot of them are really busy. So we don’t get the most feedback sometimes, but we really try to bridge that gap with communication.
Corey Beasley [00:14:07]: So you got your guys coming in two, three days a week, you have a good varying program that’s kind of keeping tabs on all their training, their volumes, they’re out of body feeling and stuff like that leading up to a fight or a competition. How does your program change?
Jared Saavedra [00:14:32]:Yeah, absolutely. So as a fight starts to come up, we really sit down with the athletes and talk to them about how their program’s going to differ from someone else’s program who maybe just came off of a fight and getting it right, getting back into it. Which is really important as well. So I think we do a pretty good job with our taper as we go on. We know some of them are starting to cut quite a bit of weight their caloric intake is down. So we don’t want to stress more volume and more things on their body. But we do want to keep somewhat high intensity but just a low volume. So I mean, we kind of do three or four weeks out where we start to taper as far as volume. But again, keeping the intensity high and keep them of keep them firing on all cylinders. But I mean, we want to maintain as much strength and power through the entire time. So we definitely don’t cut it short. And six to eight weeks out, we just stopped weight training or anything like that. We just really kind of manipulate the variables as far as intensity and volume.
Corey Beasley [00:15:42]: So Jared, from your experience and I know you’ve collaborated and talked and you do a lot of work, just educating yourself and improving your craft. What are a couple of things that you’re doing this year that are new? Because, I mean, your experience in the past has been a lot with youth athletes, with basketball, traditional sports and stuff like that. When you’re coming in with the MMA guys versus other sports what’s different, what really shocked you?
Jared Saavedra [00:16:21]:Kind of everything the mentality of a fighter compared to a youth athlete is just night and day different especially dealing with kind of the veteran type MMA athletes who are kind of set in their ways it’s a lot different than dealing with a child who’s extremely open-minded, listened to everything you tell them and soaks up all the information without a doubt it’s different. But at the same time, what we’re really trying to do and stress with our MMA athletes is his long-term athletic development, which is, I feel is kind of new in the MMA conditioning world as a whole. So what we’re trying to do as much as we can is stress the importance of long-term athletic development program for them. So they’re not just coming to us for weeks before the fight. Hey, I need to get in shape before my fight. It’s like, no, after you fight and you healed up, your true gains or improvements are going be during that time before your camp. We want to help prepare you for your camp. So kind of shifting that attitude and mentality to where they’re all their tactical stuff is truly priority and we just want to be a supplement to that and a support staff to that is what we’re really trying to focus on. So we’re trying to go away from trying to peak them at the right time every single time. It’s really about long-term athletic development. Let’s keep you healthy, let’s keep you in the game longer which for youth athletes is completely different because you’re in the development stage when some of these guys they’re veterans. They need a whole different type of programming. They need a whole different type of coaching figure for them. And it’s more mental with, with MMA athletes and we all know that it’s a lot of is so much based on how they feel, how do they feel, how do you feel as opposed to a youth athlete. It’s really night and day. And with our schedules that we have at the gym, and I’ll go from working with eighth grade tennis player to the next time I’m working with two top 10 UFC athletes like the next hour, so my vocabulary needs to change, my demeanor has to change. So it’s kind of a juggling act sometimes, but at the end of the day, we still want to stress the long-term ethic development.
Corey Beasley [00:18:46]: That’s cool. Now, when you are talking about long-term athletic development again, sort of people that are listening, maybe they don’t understand exactly what that means. Can you break that down and give us a little bit more about what your thought process is on that?
Jared Saavedra [00:19:02]:Yeah, absolutely. So especially with our younger MMA fighters, we’re looking at career longevity and like I said we want to keep you in the game as long as possible so it’s not just killing you and peaking you for just one particular fight. It’s we want to keep you in the game longer. And a lot of it has to do with the right amount of volume, the right amount of intensity of your workouts. Not just completely going old school and making you run six to eight miles every other day or whatnot. It’s really, truly implementing scientific based approaches to keep you healthy. And it’s new to people and it’s new to combat athletes. So when someone comes and we know they have a fight in six weeks, but they’re an amateur athlete our focus is the longevity of their career. Like let’s build this athlete to keep them continually, get him stronger, more powerful, whatever it is. So that when he does have a chance to become a pro, he does that. He’s not so burnt out from his amateur career and trying to grind so hard and kill himself just to make it to that level. And then once he gets to that level, he’s already peaked off. We want to continue to push your potential to help you further your career. It’s more of a mental shift, paradigm shift really in mentality. And with this new wave of fighters and these younger fighters, we have a lot of young fighters within the ages of 20 to 23, 24 and they’re really getting it and they’re really starting to learn and I was talking to one of my today who’s a young guy and he has a lot of time ahead of him and from his last count, this is our first camp working together. And he was doing his conditioning with one of his coaches and who made him run six to eight miles, like two or three times a week. And his knees were bothering him, his ankles were bothering him, everything was bothering him. And once we completely took that away and we got our roadwork done in different ways, in different modalities, that’s when he started to feel so much better. It’s like your knee shouldn’t be achy as much as they are as for being so young, so that it’s just the paradigm shifts really.
Corey Beasley [00:21:28]: So it sounds like you’ve got a lot of good stuff going out there. For everybody that’s listening, if they want to connect it to you and learn more about your program. Where’s the best way for them to reach out?
Jared Saavedra [00:21:43]:There’s several ways. Definitely on Facebook. Pretty personable on their Jared Saavedra, I’m also on Instagram. We have a company Instagram athlete ready. My personal Instagram is his coach_Jared_Saavedra and then I just started an MMA strength conditioning page which is athleteready_MMA_strength. So it’s going to do a lot of educational posts on there and stuff like that geared towards fighters so that I can kind of keep the youth separate from the MMA because there’s so much different to really keep them separate. But I still reach out to the masses.
Corey Beasley [00:22:22]: Well, thanks so much for sharing with us. We will definitely be hearing from you soon and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about your guys who are coming up pretty quick.
Jared Saavedra [00:22:31]:Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me on and thank you so much for doing what you’re doing in this MMA community and bringing coaches together and everything for you doing a great thing.
Corey Beasley [00:22:41]: Awesome, man. Thanks so much.