Power Athlete HQ

Chances are, in the last 5 minutes someone on your social media newsfeed has posted a video of themselves displaying power in a gym. Long gone are the days of posting a faster "Fran" time or ones first kipping pull-up. These feats have since been exchanged for a celebration of moving heavy loads, often very quickly. In 2009 John Welbourn, NFL veteran and owner of CrossFit Balboa knew the importance of a broader base of strenth and power in developing athletes and created the CrossFit speciality programming known as "CrossFit Football". Don't let the name fool you- CrossFit Football is not only for football players, but rather those who wish to develop greater strength and power. With both strength and conditioning workouts posted each day for athletes to follow for free, CrossFit Football quickly became the destination for CrossFiters looking for a strength bias. 

As all unique snowflakes do, CrossFit Football athletes wanted more. They (we), desired a more in depth program to develop greater speed, explosiveness, and power. In response to athlete demands, or moreso a deeper calling to share a better cerebral understanding of programming than the rest, Welbourn released the training platform, "Power Athlete HQ". 


As an avid fan of CrossFit Football programming, I was excited to see what Power Athlete offered beyond the detail of its predecessor. Needless to say I have been more than happy with the program offerings of Power Athlete and have seen my strength numbers jump exponentially beyond what I felt possible in so short a time. I was hooked. I soon found myself planning a trip to visit the team behind the Power Athlete programming, located in Orange Country, California.

Upon meeting John Welbourn one thing immediately became clear- this man was not an average man. At a billed 6'5", 310lb, the once professional offensive lineman obviously practices that which he preaches and I felt immediately happy to know the man in charge was also a man among. During our 6:00am workouts at the private "Power Athlete Gym", John and partner (The) Luke Summers played oversized guinea pigs to their next cycle of training, aptly named "Jacked Street". As I spent my days with Welbourn, eating the same meals, keeping the same company, and doing the same workouts I was  reminded of the words by John Maxwell saying, "A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way". In a world full of "do as I say, not as I do" leadership, the outliers deserve praise. 

As I travel back to my own gym, clients and life, I return with a greater respect for the man in charge of my own workouts and sense of greater responsibility towards my own clientelle to lead from the front. After a week with the minds behind Power Athelte HQ, I can only wonder where our paralleled thoughts and processes will cross down the line... -Melee


Fight Camp: James Krause, UFC 178

I arrived in Kansas City, MO Wednesday, for the final weeks leading up to James Krause vs. Jorge Masdival for UFC 178. This camp will be the third fight I have worked with James on his diet and weight cut with the UFC Lightweight, and I always anticipate a great cut with the hard working athlete. At a month out, Krause would be looking at a 25lb weight cut in the final weeks of his camp- the weeks that require the the toughest, most grueling training for any preparing fighter.

Referred to by many as one of the largest Lightweights in the UFC, the goal of getting the 6'2" Krause down to his weight class is a challenge.  The goal is not just to make weight, but to do so without hunger, weakness, or fatigue- terms usually associated with cutting a 190lb man down to 155lbs in the matter of a couple months. Whats the use of fighting if you must sacrifice optimal performance in the weeks leading up to the fight due to your weight cut?

I've been fortunate enough to visit some of the nations most popular MMA gyms. Glory MMA and Fitness, owned by James Krause and located just outside of Kansas City in the small town of Lees Summit, MO is in my opinion an untapped gold mine of MMA training. In one week of training, fighters will find themselves completing a total of 50, 5 minute rounds of sparring on grappling on top of their learning, drills, and strength and conditioning. Don't let the aforementioned fool you into thinking these guys beat each other up day in and day out- The Glory MMA curriculum is well programmed and systematic, allowing fighters to peak at the perfect point.

As clearly seen, the greatest challenge lies in allowing "The" James Krause to eat enough to train at 100%, while still making his cut. Our plan is not to force Krause into losing the 25lbs over the course of weeks, but rather priming the body to allow us to bring this weight out quickly in the safest way possible, at the very last minute. In fact, weight loss is not necessarily the plan over the course of a fight camp. Our primary focus is to ensure that James' body is fully recovered, unstressed, and ready to get rid of excess fluids.

I could talk for days about the methods used to get some of the UFC's top athletes down to their fighting weight, but I have some chicken and spaghetti to eat with "The" James Krause!  Keep your eye out for more updates on this awesome camp, and be sure to tune into FOX Sports 1 to watch James Krause vs. Jorge Masdival!

Krause Varner.jpg

UFC Dublin, The Melee Way

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page." -St. Augustine

When Zak Cummings got the call from UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to co headline UFC Dublin, Ireland, I was excited to learn that I too would be traveling across the world to aid in the massive Welterweight's drop to 170. A fighters weight cut is a very tricky process. Essentially, you are asking the body to lose 20-30lbs in as short a time as possible, while eating enough to sustain optimal performance during the final, most intense weeks of training. As if the typical weight cut isn't challenge enough, we are looking at a 5 hour time zone change, finding the necessary food in an unknown city, and dealing with the stresses of travel and unfamiliarity. I would be lying if I said I weren't a bit nervous when looking at all the aforementioned factors, however I am always looking for new challenges so that I can expand my knowledge and experience. 

So far, every expected factor against our efforts has been thwarted by by vigilance, dedication, and preparation. Zak is an absolute gangster when it comes to following orders and sticking to the program. It's always a blessing to work with guys who never question or challenge your instruction or expertise. Upon arrival, we immediately sought out the necessary equipment needed for the final stages of our weight cut. After discussing our needs with Patrick Loewen, Senior Sous Chef of The Gibson Hotel, were were able to ensure that Zak's diet stay up within the realm of our needs. I would like to add however, that Chef Loewen has done an amazing job at taking a potentially bland diet, and worked wonders for us! 

The Irish people have been nothing short of extraordinary. In America, fans ask for an autograph, receive one and walk away. In Ireland, the fans relish the chance to converse and literally shake with excitement when they are met with friendly return. I have also been surprised at the amount of support I have seen for the American fighters over the local Irish stars. The people are not only nice, but also offer a lot for us Americans to learn from. 

The first thing you will notice is a vast difference in the fitness levels of the Irish people as compared to Americans. With diet staples such as potatoes, bread, cheese, and beer it may seem surprising that overweight Irishmen are few and far between. The difference however, lies in both a vast difference in portion size and food quality. I can't even begin to explain to you the difference in Irish and American food, even when comparing the same items. Also, it's clear to see that the Irish people are much more active than your typical American. Although shuttle tickets are very cheap, the majority seem to walk miles upon miles to and from work. Upon asking one seemingly well off individual in a nice suit about his daily walk total, he informed me he walked 7 Kilometers daily, just on his work commute! 

It's not long before you realize something very common in America is largely missing from the streets of Ireland- cell phone use. As in most industrialized countries, the iPhone is king, however it's rarely seen in restaurants or the hands of a walking person. For me personally, this hit close to home as I am really bad for sitting my phone out at the dinner table, and regularly checking it for social media updates- I hope to significantly change this when I arrive home!  

At first, one would think the restaurant service in Ireland is poor, and borderline rude. Your waiter will not rush to your table upon arrival, and your check will not be ready for you by the time you are finished eating. While this is vastly different from the American food service, one will quickly see that this not rude behavior, but rather the tendency of the Irish people to slow down, let you be, and enjoy the moment. You won't see locals rush in, eat, and rush out. These people take their time while eating, and enjoy both the food and the company of those they are dining with- try it!  If you need your bill, you can simply ask for it at which point you will immediately receive it graciously by a server who is truly not interesting in rushing you out the door so they can move to the next table. Tips are either included in the bill at a very small percentage, or not included or expected at all- I haven't asked, but I suspect servers are paid fairly well and focus more on quality over quantity when it comes to tables. 

So, not only is our weight cut here in Ireland going extraordinarily well, but I feel that we are all learning how to live better quality lives form the Irish people. While I am a bit embarrassed by my own spoiled American tendencies, I am finding my self actively trying to fit in with the locals and becoming better for it. So, my advice to any Americans reading this blog is this- Saturday night, sit down without your cell phone to a nice dinner with those you care about. After a relaxed, non rushed dinner and conversation, sit down and download the free trial week of UFC Fight Pass if you don't already have it. Log in, scoot to the edge of your seat, and get ready for an amazing night of fights, highlighted by your very own Zak Cummings as he puts his hard work to the test against one of the best fighters Europe has to offer!  

-Tyler "Melee" Minton 

Leave Joe and Barb Alone!

If you’re a man, you’ve probably owned at least one GI Joe in your lifetime.  While you destroyed every anthill on your battlefield, the girl next door with cooties was busy brushing the hair of a Barbie, which you never understood.  A lot has changed over the years.  We still don’t understand girls, but cooties have turned to STDs and Joe and Barbie are no longer in every home.  In fact, in recent years, Joe and Barbie have suffered critical commentary by many psychologists and feminists who claim they promote bad body image.  These toys, critics claim, drive children to desire an unrealistic body and sets them up for failure when they fall short.  These unnatural body styles also may lead to things such as eating disorders or over exercising.  Sure, over the years Joe has been following an intense workout routine and Barbie has been to the plastic surgeon, but are these really images that are damaging to our youth?  Let’s consider this…

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 10% of Americans have suffered from some type of eating disorder in their lifetime.  While this statistic is astonishing, it holds little light to the 61% of Americans who are overweight or obese.  Yeah, that’s right-  Despite all the youth working hard to look like Joe and Barbie, 1 out of every 5 Americans are still obese.  Did we all work hard to look like our favorite toy and give up once we fell short?  Not likely…  I find it far more likely that we didn’t try hard enough to be like Joe and Barbie.

Is it really that bad for us to teach our children that body image matters?  We all know we feel better about ourselves when we look good.  Studies have proven that employers are more likely to hire the man with strong pecs over those without.  Better body image is generally synonymous with better health and with millions of government dollars going to obesity related illnesses a year, is it not fair to say it’s our responsibility as Americans to raise healthy kids?  I’m not downplaying eating disorders and from someone who used to suffer from one I can personally tell you that it’s a serious matter.  My personal argument with these critics is in the fact that we worry about children developing poor body image, while providing them with the food and video games that will destroy their bodies.  What’s worse, is the fact that as Americans we are growing calloused to the sight of an obese body!

While it’s been proven that the body dimensions of these toys truly are unattainable, I see nothing wrong with setting an outlandish goal only to fall short and still be better for the struggle.  I think it’s far more damaging to raise a child who doesn’t appreciate the importance of working hard to achieve a nice body.  I’d rather my child be upset because he can’t look just like GI Joe, than out of shape and unhealthy because it’s easier that way.  It saddens me to see the public humiliation taking place against smokers, while a much more dangerous killer is being accepted.  A morbidly obese individual can now receive disability for their “disease” .  If a kid has a biting problem he will be punished for his inability to control this urge, yet we see nothing wrong with a grown man unable to control his gluttony.  I often hear female clients upset that they were made fun of by coworkers for their muscular arms and legs or abs, but she’d be in the unemployment line if she retorted with a fat joke.

It pains me above all else to hear people justify their bodies with idiocy and lies.  You’ll hear women quote “Marilyn Monroe was a size 14!”, while not understanding that in the 50s that equated closer to a smaller size by today’s standards.  I hear guys justify their guts with things like, “I’m on a strength cycle” or “Abs are useless muscles”.  Well, I have news for you-  You can be strong with low body fat, and abs are in fact among the most used muscles during intercourse.  Useless, eh?

So, if you’re worried that your kid (who might be in his room shooting cops and beating old ladies with bats on his XBox) will develop self esteem issues from GI Joe or Barbie, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are being the healthy role model your kid needs! 

The JC Colosseum est. 2009

As with all things great, The Johnson City Colosseum has an amazing story. As a group, we have been around since 2009. As the areas first and only CrossFit certified coach at the time, I took up the role of director and head coach at the areas first ever CrossFit gym, CrossFit Johnson City. In 2009, CrossFit gyms were as well known as gluten free pizza, Joseph Kony, and Twitter. In other words, in our "neck of the woods", few knew about it. Although only 20 years old at the time, I already had a years experience of gym management, two years personal trainer experience, and in the middle of attaining a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. For two years, a small group of us could be seen carrying weird objects over head down the side of the road, or running sprints on the sidewalk. After two years in operation the gyms owner, after having her first child, decided to shut down the facility due to time constrictions. As "CrossFitters" we knew we would find no home at local facilities for our band of chalk using, music blaring, callous bleeding misfits. To add to my problems, I was a matter of days away from marriage and with only $5,000 to our name, my wife and I were in a tight spot with my unexpected unemployment. I never realized what a blessing would come from the situation.

Upon learning of the gyms closure, many of my clients became convinced I should open my own facility. My first client ever and best friend David Chambers literally teared up, begging me to open up my own facility. How could I though? To be a gym owner, you need money! I certainly had very little, and the $5,000 I had was set aside for a honeymoon and the start of my new, married life. Nevertheless, within a week I had signed a lease and purchased $5,000 of equipment. Yep- My entire savings... My wife to be and I both agreed to have faith and give it a shot. For those of you familiar with fitness equipment, you will know that $5K doesn't buy much... Not to mention, I drained my account, and had absolutely nothing sat aside for my first months rent! Taxes? Hadn't even thought about it. Our faith paid off however, and within a month we were able to pay rent and utilities no problem. Did I mention we built an apartment upstairs in our gym so we could afford to live now that we had spent all our money on a gym? Oh yeah... It happened. My young wife traded in her alarm for the sounds of Dead-lifts downstairs at 6:00am. Yes, we are still together...

For several months passerby would see the same crazy group under the new name of "The JC Colosseum" throwing basketballs filled with sand and duct tape, pushing our cars, and carrying one another up hills. We worked out on used equipment and the 2 power racks, 5 squat stands, 5 barbells, and 9 kettlebells my hard earned $5K had afforded us. We hit our chest to the ground on a little bit of rubber, but mostly on the 1980s style carpet we were forced to use for the majority of the flooring due to affordability (the stuff was ugly!). Still yet, we grew...

The JC Colosseum had survived its first two years of business without missing a bill. For two years, our proud little group worked out in less than optimal conditions. It was high time we moved into a facility that we deserved. After our lease, the JC Colosseum would move to a new facility. Our new spot was not only equipped with the equipment of our dreams, but also had the look that represented our JCC family- one of strength and honor. It's been a mere 6 months since moving to our new facility and I tear up when I think about how far we have come. I have made my best friends through our journey. Dave "RoboCop" Chambers, while no longer with us in body while he recovers from a severe brain injury is as much a part of the gym as the brick that holds it together. Through hard times, we have banned together and pulled one another through. We have grown as a family and have seen one another make miraculous changes. I have grown as a person as a result of my journey with these people, and have met some of the best people on God's earth. I never knew that back in 2009, my wonderful, supportive wife and I would start a journey that would forever impact me in the way this journey has. I look forward to "work" each and every day and miss it every moment I am gone because I know there is nowhere on earth I can feel the support and love I feel when I enter The Johnson City Colosseum.


Excuses are like...

Ok... I know I have young fans and readers so I will keep this PG and simply say, "excuses suck". As a Performance Coach, I hear a lot of them- Some are good, and some are bad, but they all suck. Now, I'm not saying that some excuses aren't 100% completely unavoidable. I understand that sometimes a father or mother is left to watch the kids and can't make it. I know that sometimes people get the flu, and to be honest, I wouldn't let you in my facility if you tried. That being said though, these excuses are rare and will typically be the only excuses I ever hear from a dedicated individual. Things like time, age, fitness level, and dare I say money, are never (EVER!) appropriate excuses for neglecting ones health. I've said many times, some of my best clients were the ones who had the least amount of time and money.

I like to use my best friend David "RoboCop" Chambers as an example in this situation. Dave is a single father, working a very underpaid job as a SWAT Officer. He has incredible debt, and no credit. His schedule is constantly changing, and he is often on call. Dave makes little money, and with bad credit, can typically only pay for what he can get with cash. When I first met Dave, he was overweight and unhealthy, but highly motivated. Dave had recently been in an altercation with a suspect that left him on the ground, grasping for air, and realizing his health had effected the responsibilities of his job. While Dave had every excuse that I often hear, readily available, I received none. In fact, at one time I had learned that he had recently had his cable and power turned off for a month, so that he could pay his gym rent- Never once did Dave ask for cheaper dues, or if he could pay me back later. I will admit that Dave's methods are a little extreme (which reflect the man), but as I like to say, "Great results require great effort".

Why excuses suck- Well, because in the majority of cases, they are just examples of ones own laziness or lack of commitment. Again, I understand that some (very few) excuses are truly unavoidable. Money is one of the top excuses I hear from individuals and is the one I hate the most. If you and your family have cut all unnecessary grocery expenses (drinks that aren't water, snack cakes, milk, bread, chips), eliminated all unnecessary leisure expenses (movies, dining out), cut out needless habits that cost money (smoking, dipping, alcohol) sold unused clothing and junk around your home, have been turned down for donating plasma, and are STILL unable to afford a gym membership, then you are an exception. Think these sound extreme? My gym is filled with individuals who have had to do all of the aforementioned in order to pay membership dues. Guess what? They're also my best clients. My most dedicated are rarely the ones with the most money and time on hand. Those who receive the greatest results are more often than not those who can barely find the time and money to make the commitment.

So, how can we take this negative topic and my previous paragraphs of verbal abuse, and use them to positively impact ourselves? First off, stop making excuses, and when you do, recognize that it sucks. No matter your excuse, ask yourself if there is any true way to avoid it, even if it means discomfort... If there is a way, understand that you are making a conscious effort to go AGAINST your goals by making it. If your excuses are legitimate, try to sit down and discover if there exists a way to eliminate them. Maybe to rid yourself of an excuse means you must have a yard sale or start penny pinching. Perhaps cutting off the cable... If time is an issue that you know is keeping you from reaching your best, look at ways you can increase your time by possibly cutting out things less important. It's times like these I will always be able to tell those who want it from those who want to talk about it.

If the aforementioned offends you, don't take it as a personal attack at who you are, but rather an attack at who you are being. As in all things, we can change WHO we are by changing HOW we are. So, if your toes are sore from my stomping, I hope you can use this article to motivate you to do better, and be better... We are human beings. We were created to do amazing things and are complicated creatures. Never underestimate what you are capable of and never accept less than your best!


Cinderella Man

I never knew how much a part of me fighting had become until I spent a year and a half away from it. Last Saturday, August 17th, 2013 marked the end of a dark period in my life. You see, before fighting I was no body of public interest. I grew up a fat, nonathletic kid, always in the shadow of others. It wasn't until mixed martial arts that I began to see something special in myself. I had found a sport that I could not only compete, but excel at. I was no longer "Bobby Hill", as I was mockingly called growing up due to my likeness to the overweight sitcom character. I wasn't even Tyler Minton anymore. Now, I was Tyler "Melee" Minton, the fan favorite professional fighter with a promising future and no thoughts of slowing down. That is, until sickness and injury forced me to a complete halt.

For a year and a half I was without the sport that changed my life. In a lot of ways, I felt as if I was the unpopular, nonathletic kid again. My confidence had plummeted, and I began to lose motivation. After my shoulder surgery, I soon met the man who would recharge my passion for the sport and inspire me- The "American Gangster" himself, UFC superstar, Chael Sonnen. After being part of his fight camp preparing for Jon Jones, I began regular correspondence with the UFC bad boy, and through him began to feel confident once again. I began training harder and smarter than ever, with a passion like I had never had before. I wanted nothing more than to fight. I was back on track, full steam ahead and ready to tear up the mma scene. Life however, presented another obstacle in the form of my best friend David "RoboCop" Chambers suffering a severe injury in a devastating car accident. Instead of hindering my training however, my passion was fueled and my desire to make Dave proud pushed me even further. I was ready for war.

On August 17, 2013, I finally got my chance in Pigeon Forge with the 3FC promotion. I won my fight with a dominating first round submission. More importantly however, for the first time in my fighting career, I learned how to fight without nerves or fear. I walked to the cage full of passion and a desire to fight and carried that emotion until the finish. I didn't worry about the fans, or the outcome of the fight. In the locker room, I accepted the fact that the outcome was already destined, and all that I could do was compete with all that I had. I'm happy to say that this night, God had destined my hand to be raised... While the year and a half leading up to my fifth professional win was marked with darkness and negative emotion, I can now see that it was all in the grand plan of sharpening me as a fighter and person. Although I spent many bitter months questioning God's will and beating myself up over the outcome, I wouldn't trade these months for anything! "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose"


Guest Blog: Christopher Seaton, "And They Call Him 'Melee'".

Chris Seaton in I.M.H.O.5 min read
And They Call Him “Melee”
A preview of Minton vs. Melton at 3FC on August 17

One line that sticks out in my head more than any other from “The Dark Knight” is when Henri Ducard (later revealed to be the villainous Ra’s Al Ghul) tells Bruce Wayne “If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, you become something else entirely…You must become more than just a man in the eye of your opponent.” On August 17, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Dameon Melton will step into a cage with someone who is determined to become more than just a man. Dameon Melton will face a living, breathing Melee, and I hope he has the fortitude to come out in one piece as a result.

I am privileged to call Tyler “Melee” Minton a friend. During my brief forays into training with local MMA professionals, I met Tyler Minton at the cusp of his push from Amateur to Professional Mixed Martial Arts. I was very much taken with the world of MMA and the fighting sport that required an understanding and expertise in nearly every discipline (standup, grappling, submissions, throws), but I had yet to meet a man as intelligent or as disciplined as Tyler Minton. As I drifted more towards freerunning as my preferred style of exercise, I kept in touch with Tyler Minton and eyed his career closely. “Melee” is on a collision course with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and I couldn’t be more proud.

Tyler Minton’s base camp is with Team Oxendine Mixed Martial Arts in the Johnson City, Tennessee area. He trains under the watchful eye of Casey Oxendine, a world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach, and numbers as his colleagues Stoney “Skuller” Hale, Dustin “Diablo” Walden, “Ladies’ Love” Nate Jolly, and Tim “MOAB” Stout. At this point, Tyler is 3-1 in his professional career (h/t to Sherdog.com for those stats), and he’s gained the attention of none other than “The American Gangster,” Chael Sonnen. Tyler is currently in his “one year” goal to get into the UFC as a result of his training and dedication, and I see him being a force at the 170 pound division when he gets to the bright lights of Zuffa’s flagship promotion.

When he’s not training professionally, Tyler dedicates his life to the idea of physical and human perfection. His gym, the Colosseum, is a “hardcore Crossfit” gym in the truest sense of the term. You won’t find fancy cardio machines, spas, or flatscreen TVs there. Just old-school gym equipment, dedicated trainers, and a family of people dedicated to making themselves better one day at a time. Not content with the average “Brotein” method of diet or relying on telling his gym “family” to work their diets by buying the latest supplement at GNC, Tyler spends a great deal of time helping those who train at the Colosseum tweak their diets and programs to attain individual levels of human optimization.

In short, he knows how to hack your body into better health than it’s ever seen, and he’s really good at it.

Pursuit of physical perfection isn’t the end of Tyler Minton, though. When you meet “Melee,” it’s clear he’s a very well read and opinionated individual. He can hold his own in a conversation with anyone about any subject ranging from politics to pop culture. He is a deeply spiritual person, keeping his Christian faith at the front of his life. And his personality will win you over the moment he walks in the door—I’d liken him to a cross between Ric Flair and Tim Tebow without all the negative qualities Flair and Tebow possess. The personality of the man they call “Melee” is one defining factor that sets him apart from most of the other “professional” MMA fighters today—just like Chael Sonnen, Tyler Minton knows how to sell a fight. He gets the intangible aspect of knowing how to persuade people to pay out their hard-earned dollars to see him smash someone’s face in. Certain champions in Zuffa’s employ would do well to pay Tyler for a few coaching sessions on how to conduct an interview.

No wonder “Melee” and “The American Gangster” get along so famously.

Tyler Minton is currently in training for what he considers the biggest fight of his pro career to date, and I’m not entire sure that’s a good thing for his opponent, Dameon Melton. This August 17 fight is so important because Minton has dedicated it to his friend, David Chambers. On June 5, 2013, David Chambers was severely injured in an accident in Washington County, Tennessee. Chambers, a Washington County Sheriff’s Department SWAT Sgt., sustained severe neck and head trauma that left him in the hospital and has him slowly working towards recovery.

David “Robocop” Chambers is an amazing man, a great father, and a living, breathing testament to the idea that if you want to change your life, and you want to get healthier, you can do it through determination and work. He worked with Tyler and managed to blast away excess fat, tone down to a muscular level the likes of which he’d never seen before, and even took the added step of testing his abilities in the cage against another man. Chambers has been in Minton’s corner on several occasions, and the two are lifelong friends. With Dave Chambers’ medical bills piling up, Tyler has seen to it that fundraising efforts are underway to take care of one of Washington County’s finest, he’s been bedside through the recovery process, and “Melee” Minton has kept the rallying cry of “Robocop Strong” as his mantra through the training camp leading to his clash with Dameon Melton at 3FC on August 17.

There’s nothing more dangerous than a man who devotes himself to an ideal, and Tyler “Melee” Minton has done that with August 17. In two weeks, “Melee” will be fighting not for himself—but for David “Robocop” Chambers.

I know Tyler’s mindset fairly well, and I know that during this fight camp, he’s kept David Chambers in his head with every punch, every takedown, every submission. I know that during his workouts and weight cut times, he has “Robocop” on his mind. I know that when Tyler Minton walks into the cage in Pigeon Forge on August 17, David Chambers will be in the cage with him. “Robocop” will be at Tyler’s back, fueling every punch and kick. “Robocop” will add extra fuel to Minton’s stellar takedowns and submission arsenal. And Dameon Melton will be the unwitting target of every bit of frustration, rage, and anger Tyler Minton has experienced during David Chambers’ recovery.

I don’t have much in the way of advice for Dameon Melton. I do expect him to be there, and I do expect Melton to attempt to win the fight. I feel nothing but pity and sadness for a man whose sole recourse is to put away a fighter who will get up after every knockdown, who will refuse to submit, and who will look to finish the fight at every opportunity because of an ideal. Dameon Melton, the best thing I can do in the way of giving you advice on your fight against Tyler Minton is a line I’ll steal from former pro wrestler Taz:

Beat “Melee” if you can. Survive if he’ll let you.

Follow Tyler Minton at @MeleeMinton for updates on the fight, and on “Melee’s” Career.

On Clients: A coaches perspective.

As a constant student of exercise science and the fitness industry, I read articles, insights and musings of the aforementioned near daily.  I am very proud of my programming and take extra care to pre-program all routines, months ahead of time.  If new research or well respected opinion present an idea that differs from my own, I scrutinize it, and if found credible, take no time in adjusting my own thoughts and programming.  I'm proud of my coaching and also very proud of my clients.  That being said, I think the coach/client relationship is one that should be very structured, with expectations made clear from the beginning of the journey.

I was considering the respect and admiration I have for my own clients, and decided to list my own opinions, derived from my experience of what makes a good client.  The following list contains the attitudes and points I have always appreciated most as a coach, and those that foster the best performance and results.

"A good client..."

1.)  Respects the coach.  Coaching doesn't pay much- trust me!  However, coaching is a very rewarding job where one can benefit others through (continuing) education, passion, and example.  Especially when you're younger than many of your clients, it's always appreciated when a client respects the coaches opinion enough not only to ask questions, but to carry out the answer with strict adherence.  Likewise, a good client will willingly adjust their form, technique, and/or intensity based on the coaches recommendations even if the adjustment wasn't requested. 

2.)  Has integrity.  Client integrity comes in many forms, and it's always/100%/without a doubt obvious when it's not there.  If a client skips reps, a coach knows- Everybody knows.  Also, and most importantly, a clients integrity in terms of their goals will always be obvious.  This leads me to the next point. 

3.)  Does their homework!  While I hate fitness cliches, the widely used quote, "You can't out train a poor diet" is fact.  If an individual is busting their butt in the gym without making noticeable strides towards their goals, you can guarantee the problem lies in the kitchen.  If you're serious about your goal and want it bad enough, you will reach it.  Fact. 

4.) Trusts the programming.  First off, if your coach has no true programming, then find another one.  However, if your coach takes the time to utilize his or her education to program your workouts, you should trust them!  I'm not saying you can't ask questions of your coach concerning the program and in fact would recommend it...  I'm simply saying a good client never questions the coaches programming behind his back. 

5.) Is proud!  If you are following numbers 1-4, you are not only a good client, but one that is getting results and turning heads.  So, if you are enjoying your gym and your results, get others involved!  This isn's (just) a way to help your gym pay it's bills, but also a huge benefit to you as a client and athlete.  Anyone who has undertaken a goal alone knows how hard it is to stay on track.  If you are one of the lucky ones and are surrounded by a friendly support group, you know its benefits!  Group training thrives on excitement and enthusiasm.  A group of 15 will always bring more intensity than a group of 2.  If you love your gym, share the love! 


Day 1 at Grindhouse MMA in Kansas City, MO

I'm just rounding out my first day of my fight camp here in KC and I am super excited about the level this gym will push me! First off, I'm very happy to be staying with my friend and fellow fighter Zak Cummings. Preparing for his UFC debut as well as his debut at Welterweight, it's excellent for us both to prepare with the same goal in mind. Our first session of the day (10:30am) was led by UFC vet James Krause, teaching various standup techniques and wrestling defense. When you walk into a gym and immediately see 3 UFC vets, as well as a handful from both Strikeforce and Bellator, you know you are in for a tough camp! I'm very happy that I learned several new techniques and methods today that weren't only beneficial, but ideal for my particular style of fighting. Our second training session (5:30pm) was taught by the gyms primary striking coach and consisted of some excellent defensive drills and sparring. All in all, I am 1 day into an amazing camp and cant wait to see how much I grow from this experience!

Shameless plug...

In my latest blog entry, I spoke about the changes I have made in my own life, and how recovery has played the most important role in my health renaissance.  Now, I'm not going to spend time trying to hock a product or get you to buy something so I can benefit from it.  I am however going to talk about a product that has inherently led to my ability to sleep better and wake up in the mornings without an aching back. 

My sponsoring Chiropractic office, Kind Chiropractic" produces a memory foam mattress known as the "ChiroSlumber" mattress.  While I hate to even mention the product "Tempu-Pedic" I do so only for you to understand the "type" of mattress I'm referring to.  While I have never owned the latter brand myself, I know that for me personally, the price of the "ChiroSlumber" along with personally knowing and fully trusting the owners made it a clear choice for me.  

I'm a big believer in ROI, or Return of Investment.  If I'm sacrificing my hard work or money into a product, I want to know that the ROI at the end makes it all worth while.  I average 3,285hrs a year in my bed sleeping.  It's important to understand that while you sleep, you aren't simply ending or separating your days, but rather spending time in your bodies most prime state for HGH (Human Growth Hormone) production and cortisol (makes you fat) blocking.  So, as someone who needs/wants to wakeup with my body primed to burn fat and recover, sleep is a pretty important factor!  A good quality mattress will last the user 10 years.  When I finally realized that I could purchase a product that would allow me to improve my training and life for the next 10 years for pennies a day ($0.35/day), you can imagine I saw my ROI as a good one!

As mentioned, I'm not trying to push a product that I've been hired to, or even get a kickback on for your purchase.  I'm simply telling you my own personal story and appreciation for a mattress that has allowed me to wake up after a night of deep sleep without pain in my back.  I know a lot of people have a hard time seeing the long term benefits of health related endeavors, so I wanted to illustrate to readers the small investment when compared to the large return.  I'm happy with my mattress and the rest and recovery it inherently provides and want others to know how easy it is to do the same!  


"You can only train to the level of your recovery." Repost from 06/20/2013

The aforementioned quote is one I often use when consulting clients and is a personal reminder to myself of the importance of recovery. A year ago, the term “over training” was one I had heard, but thought only applied to the novice undergoing a poorly programmed CrossFit workout. After all, I was a professional athlete and had different bodily requirements and limits. I was elite, and therefore my 3 training session a days and 1,800kcal (low carb) diet were just part of what made me different. Every weekday, I pushed my fatigued body through hour long workouts. Nightly, I would break my physical and mental limitations and move my aching joints through intense bouts of mma training on my road to greatness. I slept 4 to 5 hours a night, after television, and my morning clientele began at 6:00am. As a married, 25 year old, gym owning professional athlete, it would be an understatement to say my life was full of stress. I had complete and total control of my life.

I was also miserable. Despite my strict diet and adherence to low-carb living, I walked around about 10lbs heavier than necessary.  My lifts were going nowhere and my body was constantly sore.  I was wide awake when I was supposed to be asleep and half asleep when I was supposed to be awake.  Coffee, my favorite drink, was no longer something I simply enjoyed, but rather a substance I needed to function.  Despite my high activity level and low caloric intake I had little appetite, and any large meal would lead to stomach discomfort and often vomiting.  I was constantly investing more and more, without seeing a return on my investment.  Then, one day, it all came to a halt. 

What started out as a routine weight cut for a high profile fight, became a fight for my life.  Anyone familiar with weight cut sports understands the stress a weight cut puts on an athletes body.  When done correctly, this minor stress has little effect on an athlete’s body.  As previously made clear, my body was under a lot of stress.  During my weight cut, my body began to shut down.  The methods I had used numerous times before weren’t working.  I began blacking out and waking up in the bathroom floor next to the bathtub filled with hot water I had been sweating in only moments before.  I began losing eyesight and the ability to form words due to the dehydration of my mouth.  My heart was racing and my insides hurt.  Moments before weigh-ins, during the pre-fight physical, I was told by a doctor that I would be unable to compete due to my heart rate and blood pressure.  In anger, I stood up with the intent to argue only to black out once more.  I would later be diagnosed with severe adrenal and kidney fatigue and on the cusp of failure in both areas.  I couldn’t believe this was happening.  Here I was, the man with total control of his body, being told my kidneys and hormones were shot.  After some time off, I returned back to my lifestyle only to suffer a terrible shoulder injury that threatened to end my fight career forever.  I was shaken, angry, and knew I needed help. 

I met Robb Wolf in 2008 at a CrossFit Nutrition Certification and had corresponded with him several times since the meeting.  I knew Robb was a fan of mixed martial arts and had recently been writing some controversial articles on low-carb lifestyles and overtraining.  After evaluating my training and nutrition history, Robb began working with me not only to change my habits, but also my entire mindset.  It was as if everything I thought was overrated such as sleep and recovery were among the most important.  Things I once thought were of the utmost importance such as my intense workouts were now seen as not only pointless, but downright dangerous.  It was a renaissance of everything I thought I knew about the world I was so passionate about. 

Much has changed within the last year and I can’t believe the return of investment I see in my efforts.  My intense, 5 day a week workouts have now been switched to 2 days of basic, strength and gymnastic only workouts.  My low calorie, low-carb diet has been revamped to include nearly triple the calories and my off days are now higher carb than my highest carb days once were.  My four hour, poorly slept nights, are now a minimum of eight hours, and most often ten.    I have found new ways to stress less and am letting go of responsibilities and distractions that I had allowed into my life that were damaging to my goals.  My normal, 215lb walking weight is now 195lbs, and my training intensity has gone through the roof!  I have followed a paleo style diet for years, but am now reaping the many benefits of adopting an entire paleo lifestyle.