Training a Future UFC Champion


tim boetsch 300x187 Training a Future UFC ChampionI hope everyone tuned into Spike TV to see my client Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch manhandle Kendall “Da Sypder” Grove!  This was a big win for The Barbarian with his Middleweight Debut. The fans were impressed with Tim’s new figure at 185lbs (including  UFC President Dana White).  We worked incredibly hard implementing different nutrition and supplementation to get The Barbarian to a powerhouse at middleweight.  We used a ton of ProSource supplements to get the Barbarian to look the way he did.  We always want to thank all of our fans for the support and will promise to keep working hard to make a real run at the title.  Many of my new ProSource followers were asking how I got acquainted with UFC fighter Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch.  How do a bodybuilder and UFC fighter train together and be beneficial for one another with their methodologies and styles with training/dieting?  This blog entry is going to be dedicated to the dynamic synergy which makes Tim and I a nasty and unique force.

To give a little history lesson of how Tim and I got hooked up, I will take you back to where we originally were acquainted.  Tim and I met in college through a mutual friend and developed a great friendship.  Tim is technically a professional client of mine, but realistically he is a brother to me.  His son Christian actually calls me Uncle Ryan.   It is very interesting how we evolved to where we are today and it’s great story to tell.  My best friend’s brother Mike Cies was Tim’s roommate in college.  Mike has a very successful MMA career and was the person who got Tim into fighting.  Mike and Tim were wrestlers at Lock Haven University which is a Division 1 powerhouse.  I used to always see Tim in the weight room and we talked lifting and training all of the time.  A lot of people don’t know that Tim’s background and true passion is actually bodybuilding.  His hero is the great Arnold (as is the case with most bodybuilders).  Tim has always been a supporter of me in my bodybuilding career, even before he got into any level of MMA competition.  When Tim graduated school, we kept in touch periodically via email talking about nutrition and lifting because Tim wanted to do a local bodybuilding competition in Bloomsburg, PA.  He actually never entered the competition which still bothers me to this day; we just may have to go back to that.

We communicated for years as I would send him my contest results and he would ask me various questions.  I will never forget the infamous email he sent me only a couple years ago that said, “I’m giving up the bodybuilding thing and leaving it to you. I think I am going to try this Mixed Martial Arts stuff.” I remember reading the email and thinking, “Hmmm … he would be good at that.”  Tim was the guy on campus who always had a huge smile on his face.  Though he was always a man of few words, those who knew him knew that he was not the dude you messed with.

I knew Tim would be successful at the sport simply because he was one of those guys who said he was going to do something then did it.  He was a lightweight guy in college at one point and said he was going to be a pro bodybuilder and get up to 265lbs.  Needless to say, he did it very quickly.  Tim truly does have the Nike mentality with “Just do it.” When he tried the MMA stuff out, he held the same mentality. He just went to Iowa, after not training or doing anything other than lifting, went into his first bout and beat the guy up. So I guess a light bulb went off in his head.  He said he was going to give up everything in his professional career and explore a career in fighting with aspirations to make it to UFC.  A couple fights into it, he was on the main cards in Atlantic City and other large venues.

My best friend Cole and I went to see him fight at Asbury Park in New Jersey at some godawful venue.  I will never forget I was so nervous because Tim was set to be fighting this very experienced Russian in the main event.  Tim went in and absolutely crushed the guy, knocked him out in the first round.  Cole and I looked at each other and said, “Wow, Tim is probably going to be fighting in the UFC one day.”

A short time after that, Tim got a call from the UFC to take a fight on short notice against IFL champ Vladimir Matyushenko.  Most people thought he was crazy to take a fight like this because Vlady was beating everyone.  Cole and I were at that fight to see his brother Mike fight and I actually didn’t know Tim was fighting too.  I will never forget looking up at the big screen to see Tim do his interview in the New Jersey Continental Airlines Arena with a black eye.  He had just fought the week before in a smaller venue and he trained his legs a couple days before.  Anyone who knows MMA knows Vlady is the real deal.  As Tim lost in a unanimous decision (some thought he won), it gave him amazing exposure and put him on the map for the UFC.

Only a short time after that, he again took a short notice call against David Heath.  You may remember what the Barbarian did to David Heath with the infamous “Rag Doll” KO.  Seeing Tim on T.V was so surreal, but not surprising to me.  Only a few short weeks later Tim fought Matt Hamill in Colorado.  I remember watching Tim beat up Matt in the first round and start breathing heavy in the corner for the beginning of the 2nd round.  Tim gassed out due to the altitude and oxygen issues in Colorado and  lost by TKO to Matt.  It was at that point I knew I had to email Tim to tell him I could help with his training and nutrition.  I wasn’t sure if Tim would accept the offer because I didn’t know who he was working with.  I knew about oxygen accumulation and training and nutrition tools to control the issue he faced so I figured I’d give it a try.  I emailed Tim a couple weeks after and told him I wanted to help him.  Tim and I met and worked out a deal in which we would see each other a couple days a week and train together.  In no time at all, I had him looking totally different and all of his training partners could see a difference with his physique, strength, and performance.

We evolved from where we started and will only evolve more.  I can truthfully say I made some initial mistakes with Tim, getting him too involved with his image where I could have been concentrating more on performance.  It is the bodybuilder in me and in him also.   I told Tim before he was in anything that I supported him with this whole run and would do whatever it took for him to be the best he can be. Tim truly believes he can beat everyone in the division and honestly so do I.  I have believed he was one of the best in the world for three years already.

Tim gave up everything he had with his career and opportunities to pursue his dream.  I pretty much have made the same decisions in my life as well.  I’ve been with Tim every step of the way, and trust me it wasn’t easy for either of us.  We always have encouraged one another along the way, no matter what situation we were in.

When Tim and I started working out together he fought Jason Brillz and lost in a unanimous decision.  Shortly after the fight Tim got cut from the UFC and was back to the small promotions.  Other people thought the Barbarian was done, but we knew it was only the beginning.  Tim came back a year later and had a win over Todd Brown and then lost to Phil Davis.  This is when Tim really did some soul searching and consulted with his team about going to middleweight. I ran some numbers in my head and re-established the game plan. I said “Yeah, lets make the cut.”  Tim and I started training for this past fight in January.  We started adding some pullups into the mix and after the first couple of workouts I knew he was where he was supposed to be at.

Tim is good at fighting; I am good at working out.  I always make sure I perform better at exercises to challenge Tim to advance his workouts.  I always made sure to do a little better than him to push him.  When we started dropping weight, the tables turned a little.  His exercise performance is was through the roof and his heart rate was dropping lower and recovering quicker.  Eventually, he was challenging me to be better.  Everyone in the gym would just stop to watch us workout and be amazed with Tim’s new figure.

We dieted and trained Tim very meticulously and he amazed people at the UFC weigh-in in Las Vegas.  It was really neat to see Dana White and the fans go crazy over Tim’s new figure.  It was incredibly inspiring for him as well as me.  We got Tim to weigh in at 186lbs (UFC allows one pound over) and he fought at 206lbs the next day.   The last couple weeks of dehydration and glycogen depletion are very confusing and it worried me a bit but we dialed it in pretty close.  I have a lot of experience with this because I am a champion bodybuilder and have made multiple weight cuts.  The cut was hard for Tim but we managed to survive it.  There were a couple things we did wrong that I am going to adjust for next round and I plan on having Tim fight at 212lbs, even leaner and not over-hydrated.  I certainly learned some new tricks for myself from this last cut with Tim.  I know the Barbarian and I know his body extremely well.  Believe me when I say we are not even close to seeing his peak yet with any body performance system or body composition.

Anyone that saw UFC 130 realizes Tim Boetsch is the real deal at 185lbs.  Joe Rogan said “Tim Boetsch is a new force in the middleweight division, he is a gorilla at 185lbs.” People were amazed that he got lean and looked bigger at 185lbs.  I knew I could have him looking like that before we even did it.  I did a ton of research and knowing how to manipulate Tim’s body and strength, we did some amazing new things.  I told Tim from the beginning I can make people capable of things they’ve only ever dreamed.  What makes Tim so easy to teach is that he listens to literally everything I tell him. If I were to tell him to run through a brick wall, he wouldn’t think twice.  Tim has a lot of trust in me which sometimes builds a lot of pressure on me to be able to get him the best he can be.  As a function of my true care and respect for him, I challenge myself to learn as much as I can to be a true friend in aiding him to attain his dream.

Tim and I both had a recent conversation about where we are at in our lives today. What got us to where we are is our spiritual relationship with the Lord.  I am never a religion pusher, but the reality of it all is that faith got us to where we are today.  When Tim was out training and I was helping my sick mother I prayed every night for strength and guidance to know what I am doing.  I gave up everything to take care of my mother and I often wonder now if she is repaying me for helping her and giving everything up that I once had.  I know God guided me and challenged me to get my Master’s degree and learn more.  I knew I didn’t want to continue my schooling, but doing it was a true blessing.  I’ve now expanded my professional network with my Masters degree under the guidance of Dr. Oz’s fitness specialist Wendy Batts. (She happens to be a huge UFC fan also!)  She taught me a lot and was a huge help to me and the Barbarian. When Tim got cut I had to go back to the drawing board and reassess how I was training Tim and how I could make him advance to the next level.  Understanding new principles, re-learning the Krebs’ cycle, physiology, biomechanics, sliding filament theory, actin/myosin, etc. was difficult but not impossible.  I can honestly say I was questioning myself to even think I could do it.  Tim has always been the best thing for me with my bodybuilding career and intellectual stimulation, so I knew I had to do it for us.  The things I learned with new tactics and principles helped Tim significantly, especially in his core strength and flexibility.  I really only compete anymore to learn more to be able to help him.  Granted, I love the sport and the discipline it takes to compete. However I don’t think I would do it if I wouldn’t want to learn more for Tim.  I told him years ago that no matter how far he gets, I am going to be there to help him as much as I can.  If we were still fighting in small promotions I still would be up there working out with him.

The Lord also guided Tim to do literally everything he is doing today, including recently dropping to middleweight. When his original church members were very unsupportive of Tim and his career, he followed his heart and his relationship with the Lord and ended up switching to a church that supports him 100%.  Tim also was guided to re-hink his training and went out to AMC gym in Kirkland, Washington  to train with MMA coaching legend Matt “The Wizard” Hume.  Tim works with strength and conditioning genius Joel Jamison out in Kirkland also.  It has been a blessing learning various methods and theories from Joel.  If you are really interested in conditioning visit Joel is awesome at what he does and has been a huge help to Tim and me.

It still is mind-boggling to me to know that I work with “The Wizard” and his team and that we consult on a regular basis.  I never told Matt this, but I have been a fan of his for years even before we met him. I always have been a UFC fan ever since I was a kid, so looking up to these guys and working with them now is really neat.  I actually used to watch UFC Fight Night with another one of my workout warriors. Janelle Antes, every Thursday night and I would follow Kendall Grove on the reality series. Now, Boetsch just beat him up.  It really is awesome and a blessing.

There is no other explanation as to why Tim and I got to where we are at today.  Tim and I made it through some horrible situations and were tempted to give up our dreams many times.  So few people have the guts to go through whatever it takes for them to live their dream.  Tim used to say he was going to fight in the UFC back in college and I said I was going to be a champion NPC bodybuilder and train UFC fighters.  I won a Mr. Pennsylvania state title at 22 years old and Tim just beat a high-profile UFC fighter.  Tim and I are small-town people with small-town minds, but we’re following our dreams.  Relentlessness and belief in ourselves ultimately took us to the beginning of our destiny.  We never take any of this stuff for granted and continue to be the best we can be.  We are a unique and nasty team that always draws attention when training together simply because we are modern day gladiators.

I am the top of my class in my Master’s program simply because I have to be.  When I compete this coming October I have to be the best I can be and win that show.  There are a lot of good trainers/nutritionists out there that would kill to be where I am, so I have to stay on top of my game.  I always think there may be someone out there studying harder than me, being more passionate than me, doing one more pullup than me.  They key to success is not only relentlessness but staying hungry and wanting more.  Tim and I are and never will be satisfied.  I also like being the best I can be so I can help other people.  I treat none of my clients any different than I do Tim.  I am all about making every single person the best they can be and to become happy and healthy.

After learning advanced training and nutrition, we have made Tim a human wrecking machine.  Every fight we learn something totally different about his body and systems.  I challenge Tim to always get better at advanced lifts, training techniques, supplementation, etc.  We tried ProSource’s Mega BCAA for the last show and it took Tim to the next level with hardness and density as well as recovery.  I have a couple more tricks up my sleeve to beat up the Barbarian with as we start training again next Monday.  If there is one thing for certain, we will promise to all our supporters and fans that we will work as hard as we can to be the best we can be.  We appreciate all the support and love all the fans.  God bless you all, and if there is one thing I have learned to be successful it’s this: Never settle for ANYTHING less than the best with anything in your life.  There are going to be some ugly roadblocks that test your mind and strength.  Never stop being positive even if you are faking it sometimes.  Stay good and true with whatever you do.  If you can dream it, you can do it.  God bless you all.  Make it happen.


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