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Wanderlei Silva’s Training Methods Are Unconventional


(You laugh now, but we’ll see who’s laughing when those ice caps melt.)

You might think that Wanderlei Silva, who came up in the old school Vale Tudo circuit in Brazil, would have some outdated training methods. It’s not hard to imagine him carrying several people on his back around a Rio de Janeiro beach, or sparring with pitbulls to increase his courage and the speed at which his blood clots.

Not so, as it turns out. In fact, Silva and his strength and conditioning coach, Rafael Alejarra, are so cutting edge in their training methods that it is literally ridiculous. One wonders how much Silva’s decision loss to Chuck Liddell has him feeling desperate for a victory and willing to try anything, even snorkeling. Alejarra explained it all to MMA Weekly:

Wanderlei is always searching for the best training, and by that he wants the best for me. So he said to me that I will always travel to places where I can learn something to add on to his training. I am very happy to have a boss like him. By that, I have the opportunity to grow as a sport scientist.

Today, I am studying a new training called HIPOXIA, which consist in a few words in a hard training with low demand of oxygen. This kind of training is developed in other sports and I am bringing it to MMA. It’s a very hard type of training because the athlete must tolerate a huge quantity of lactic acid in the blood.

I have made some tests with Wanderlei and brought it to Brazil and presented to a board with Masters of Exercise Biochemistry and the results of the study were that the athlete had a great increase in conditioning of the aerobic and anaerobic (energy systems).

It sounds so crazy it just might work. Silva’s upcoming bout with Keith Jardine will be an important one if he wants to stay in the UFC for very long, and it could also dictate whether he’ll continue competing as a light heavyweight. Alejarra wouldn’t say whether Silva was planning a move to middleweight, commenting only that they were “waiting for the natural process.”

That could mean a lot of different things. Getting beat up by bigger and stronger opponents could be considered a natural process. The UFC telling you to lose fifteen pounds or find a new line of work? That could also be considered a natural process. Sort of.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

EDIT: As it turns out, Wanderlei has used this training before his bout with Liddell. Rachelle Leah has the full story for you.

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Dota- May 4, 2008 at 2:52 pm
lol @ limbo
Limbo Spice- May 3, 2008 at 5:21 am
Or better yet how about the evening news teaser:
"Tonight's top story: former MMA standout Wanderlai Silva found dead in his trash can full of ice wearing a snorkel, a bullet proof vest and a retard helmet holding a 35 pound plate. Training accident or cold blooded murder? O.J. Simpson is being sought for questioning. More at 11."
MKXii- May 2, 2008 at 11:21 pm
Yeah, I can see the newspaper headline next week. "MMA star Wanderlei Silva dead at 31. He was found with a snorkel in his mouth. A sting ray is presumed to be involved."
BIG CHRIS- May 1, 2008 at 9:11 pm
Never posted on sherdog....and no it wasn't an attempt at humor it was sound advice....
skidding- May 1, 2008 at 8:13 pm
Add some wheels to Wandy's shoulders and knees and he'd look like Optimus Prime.
Friendo- May 1, 2008 at 7:55 pm
People will try anything. Alot of that training regime seemed excessive. The circuit training with weight vest and a snorkel is very similar to what firemen go through on a call. That kind of activity is like HEART ATTACK HELPER. Jumping into the ice water is just another huge shock. I hope he stops doing that shit because its not healthy. Just train hard and smart bro and leave the gimp suit antics to the S&M crowd.
skidding- May 1, 2008 at 7:19 pm
Big Chris, that's very mean and Sherdoggish-Post thing to say.

The bleeding thing is just malicious...

I don't get the cleaning the kitchen one... it sounds like there might be a little tinge of humor behind that. Is it some kind of inside joke?
ak- May 1, 2008 at 6:31 pm
dude you need to make a correction: Wandy was doing this style of training before his Liddell fight, not as a result of it
Armbreaker- May 1, 2008 at 6:08 pm
Eric Garcia is correct, just inarticulate. Wanderlei trained the same way for the Chuck Liddell fight, then got his butt kicked. Rachelle Leah hosted a UFC program before the fight that showed Wanderlei's training methods, including the snorkel and him hopping into a large trash can full of ice water (which supposedly slows the buildup of lactic acid and allows for a faster recovery).
Bdizzle- May 1, 2008 at 6:02 pm
Why do fighters come out usually sweaty before a fight? Because the body works best when warmed up. Most importantly the lungs. If you can't breathe you can't fight long. Why you always see them practicing in the back or jumping rope. Maybe that was Lutters problem when he gassed... Who knows.
howcouldthisbee- May 1, 2008 at 5:59 pm
but no effect on his sexual endurance....
BIG CHRIS- May 1, 2008 at 5:57 pm
skidding....I think I hear your mother calling you to go clean the kitchen....so do us all a favor and open a vein and bleed out all over your bedroom.....
moo- May 1, 2008 at 5:31 pm
LMAO @ the photo caption.
skidding- May 1, 2008 at 5:31 pm
This really isn't anything new you guys. Two years back I knew a guy who employed this same technique to the next level by training underwater without any oxygen. Had he survived the training, I'm pretty sure he would of had enough cardio to knock out both Wandy and Chuck Liddell on the same night.
grant- May 1, 2008 at 5:22 pm
i dont see why everyone here makes fun of oxygen deprivation training, every single olympic runner you've ever seen has spent quite a bit of time using that method... and you know... they're pretty in-shape. It's the same idea behind wind-sprints, or any anaerobic excercize, really.
Magicmatt- May 1, 2008 at 5:02 pm
.....Hard training with low demand of oxygen.
Huh? How does someone even come up with an idea like that? Not once in my life have i ever thought to myself: "Gee that was a hard workout... now if only i was deprived of air, brilliant!"
A bit too hardcore for me.
Joe Son- May 1, 2008 at 5:00 pm
If Franklin moves up, they might miss each other. But I'd pay to see a Wanderlei-Hendo rematch. Then again, I'd love to see another Wanderlei-Rampage match, if the UFC could find a way to justify it.

And while I agree that Anderson Silva would put a beat down on him, I'd still love to see it.
C-Bus Allstar- May 1, 2008 at 4:53 pm
The only thing waiting for Wanderlei Silva in the Middleweight division is an ass-kicking named Anderson Silva.

That and a possible huge payout with Rich Franklin...

Wanderlei Silva vs. Rich Franklin

*drool*
eric garcia- May 1, 2008 at 4:50 pm
he did all that shit when he was trainin for chuck. i watched it on the bullshit they have on spike to amp up the fights. shit ass cunt
Kim Couture is a cunt- May 1, 2008 at 4:46 pm
Wanderlei " Scuba Steve " Silvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Joe Son- May 1, 2008 at 4:41 pm
I gotta say I'm intrigued by this whole training with less oxygen by breathing through a snorkle thing. I wonder though, is it basically just like high altitude training in that regard? Or is it different?

I think Jardine could cause some problems for Wanderlei. He'd be much better off at middleweight.
Anonymous- May 1, 2008 at 4:40 pm
Maybe someone should clue him in that high altitude training or "low oxygen" training doesn't work. Your body readapts within days of stopping the training.
Bdizzle- May 1, 2008 at 4:32 pm
Wieghted Vest, Head gear, Snorkle... looks like training to me.

Wandererlei spends most his time at XC in Vegas, so I am sure his is sparring more.

Would be sparring with the snorkle be a bad thing?
Douchebaggery- May 1, 2008 at 4:21 pm
I guess you have to do all this shit when you can't juice up at your leisure. I hope he's sparring more than he did before the Chuck fight. Jardine got screwed over with this fight
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