(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You might think that Wanderlei Silva, who came up in the old school Vale Tudo circuit in Brazil, would have some outdated training methods.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.