Intensity Wave

Why It’s Good to Lose Intensity with Training

Recently I got asked a question about regaining the intensity of training following a big MMA match. Although the analogy that I use could be geared towards any martial art or any sport really. Because as I’ll talk about in a second, every high has it’s low and has to come down.


So our friend who asked the question, we’ll call Bob because he wishes to remain nameless.


Bob said, he had an MMA fight in his hometown in front of 1500 people. He won his fight in the 1st round by Guillotine Choke. It was great! He said he felt better than he ever has both mentally and physically.

Intensity is needed for the fight

The problem has come following the fight. He says after the fight he cannot recapture the intensity he had leading up to the fight.


I think we’ve all felt this way sometimes right? You were just killing it. You’re body felt great and then for some reason you lost that drive to train for some reason. Maybe you know why, and other times you don’t.


In Bob’s case, it’s clear why he lost his drive to get after his MMA training. He fought and rode this wave to a super high point. Rather, he is the wave and he build himself up to this big peak. If you guys have ever won an MMA fight. . . it’s an incredible high.


And a intense high like that can’t last forever. Eventually it has to come down.


Going back to the wave analogy. Think of a wave. It undulates. Up and mouth in a certain rhythm. It’s the duality of nature really. There’s an up and down, give and take, and ebb and flow.


And when a wave moves closer to the shore and builds up to a peak, and then what does it do? It CRASHES into the land! Just like Bob and his fight. He worked himself during his fight camp to a peak and then came CRASHING into his MMA fight. Winning in impressive fashion.


After the crash of the wave onto the shoreline. What happens with the wave? It begins to recede backwards. And then it will eventually build back up sending another wave crashing to the shore.


Don’t Fight The Downward Wave


Bob is experiencing the downward undulation following this crashing on the shore. And when you find yourself in this situation, you  have to go with it. If you fight against it, you’re only going to weaken you’re future potential. If you fight against this natural rhythm and continue the climb for more intensity. Eventually instead of riding a wave down, you will come crashing down via injury or just complete exhaustion and burnout. Instead of fighting to get back to this red hot intensity. Ride the wave down.


I know because I’ve been there before.


As a MMA fighter or BJJ competitor who is obsessed with getting better. This downtime can seem infuriating and counterproductive. But if used right it can be one of the best points for growth in your game.


During this period of downward undulation when you’re in a more relaxed stage. Use it as a time to bring in new weapons into your game. Use it as time to grow and evolve.


For me, whenever I didn’t have an MMA fight looming over me. Or even now. When I’m not actively preparing for a BJJ match our tournament. I use it as time to play around with different techniques and options. Expanding my available avenue of weapons. Consider it research and development.


Then once a battle is looming on the horizon and I have to ready myself for the conflict. I sharpen my blade and prepare. That’s fight camp, that’s tournament prep. It’s grueling and focused around the A game and improving your ability to execute the weapons you have in your arsenal. Not necessarily to bring new ones into the mix.

1st MMA fight win

Really Good MMA Fighters and BJJ Competitors Evolve


If you watch really good MMA fighters from fight to fight to fight or BJJ competitors from match to match. Watch how they evolve. They’re not the same forever. They continue to change and grow.


During this period of lower intensity. Work on evolving. Work on growing. When there is no fight fueled nervousness or anxiety associated with training where you’re questioning yourself, “am I doing enough?” Be a sponge and just soak it all up. Learn as much as you can.


This way each time your wave of intensity builds up. You’ll come crashing further and further down the shore. So that hopefully you can realize the true potential you have in you which will represent the high tide of your life.


But if someone fights against the natural current of their body for too long. The tide will recede further and further back till eventually theres just calm waters.


So if you’re in the same situation as “Bob” and you can’t get your intensity back up following a big win or competition.
  • Remember, this is normal, there is nothing wrong with you. Rather it’s the natural wave you’re a part of.
  • Instead of fighting the wave as it slides down. Go with it and use it to facilitate growth in your game by bringing new techniques and weapons into your game.


I also created a video on this subject!

I hope you enjoyed the esoteric wave rant. Hopefully it made sense!



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If you’d ever like to train with the team and I. Check out my gym Derby City MMA in Louisville,KY.

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