Forrest 101: ProSource Talks Training & Supplementation with the Original Ultimate Fighter
If there is anyone in the UFC today who knows what it takes to be a winner, it's the original Ultimate Fighter, Forrest Griffin. The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion has come a long way since his reality show roots to become one of the faces of his sport and a prime example of the power of hard work, discipline and perseverance. As anyone who knows Forrest can attest, he'll be the first to admit that he's not the best fighter in the world, but he is determined to work harder than anyone out there to be the best. Dedication to constant improvement is what drives Forrest through the days, weeks and months of grueling preparation that lead up to a fight, and it would be hard to find anyone who demands more from their body and their training. Watching the man go to work in the gym often feels like witnessing an exercise in masochism. Simply put, Forrest is a machine.

The foundation for Forrest's undying energy and stamina starts with a grueling strength and conditioning regimen. Ladder drills, jump squats, and all manner of plyometric movements are incorporated into his warm-up circuit, pushing his body to improve his explosiveness, agility, balance and coordination. Cardiovascular efficiency and muscular endurance are crucial to any fighter's success, and progress necessitates pushing oneself to the edge day after day in an effort to extend the body's breaking point.

Resistance training is also a key component of Forrest's routine. Before entering the world of mixed martial arts, Forrest was already an avid weightlifter, hoping to improve his performance on the gridiron. To this day, Forrest still utilizes basic movements to improve overall strength and power. But in addition to the basic training, he has incorporated functional training that has evolved to be specific for the sport of mixed martial arts.

Take a simple bench press for example. Prior to mixed martial arts, Forrest would have used this classic exercise to develop his pectoralis muscles to give him more power to drive an opponent backwards on the field. For mixed martial arts, the movement is modified to assist the muscles involved in striking. Forrest uses dumbbells as opposed to a barbell to help develop his punching power by not solely focusing on the chest, but also the triceps and deltoids, as well as the muscles of the rotator cuff involved in stabilizing such a movement. Each rep is performed one arm at a time, in a punching motion. As the first dumbbell reaches the top of the movement and begins to lower, the next dumbbell is punched to the top, creating a constant barrage of weighted punches. With up to 90-pound dumbbells in each hand, watching him rep out on this movement is quite impressive.

Then, of course, there's combat training. Forrest spends round after round in the ring honing his Muay Thai striking, working himself into a sweaty mess just in time to go to the mat for his jiu-jitsu practice. He will roll for hours at a time while new partners continually jump in to test him with fresh legs, and one after another Forrest puts them away, drawing on some miraculous reservoir of stamina and sheer will that seems beyond a normal human's capability.

This kind of advanced training is not for the faint of heart, and certainly this level of physical prowess cannot be achieved overnight. The life of a mixed martial artist is one of Spartan discipline and dedication to a routine. Training must be exhaustive, and diet and nutrition must also be a priority to ensure the body is properly fueled and prepared to handle the extremes of hand-to-hand combat.

Forrest is a smart fighter, and he takes steps to ensure that his body is maintained at the highest level. A dedicated supplementation regimen built around BSN's FIGHT STACK NT has become a key component of his program, helping to support his elite levels of stamina, power, and muscular endurance. It would be extremely difficult to make it through the gauntlet of Forrest's training routine day after day, especially while dealing with a restricted pre-fight diet, if it weren't for his trusted pre-training igniter, N.O.-XPLODE NT. The blend of methylxanthines, arginine, creatine and Peak ATP provides powerful energy and blood flow support as well as valuable energy substrates to keep working muscles at their peak. Branched-chain amino acids help protect against muscle wasting that can result from intense physical activity, and beta-alanine serves to guard against hydrogen ion proliferation and lactic acid buildup in the muscles. Remember, the greatest enemy of endurance is the accumulation of lactic acid (this is what causes the "burning" sensation when muscles are taxed to their limit). Mixed martial artists must condition their bodies to buffer the hydrogen ions that accumulate and rapidly convert lactic acid back to pyruvate, and beta-alanine plays a crucial role in this process. Not only does beta-alanine supplementation help keep the performance-halting effects of lactic acid at bay, it also helps with energy production over longer periods of time.

Recovery is also obviously essential to any fighter. Forrest breaks his body down every day, and without proper recovery this process would not be able to continue for very long. After every training session, Forrest relies on CELLMASS NT to kick-start his body's recovery process. "I double up on the serving sizes, cause I'm big,"

 Forrest says. "It really works great for me." A blend of multiple creatine analogs, glutamine, beta-alanine, BCAAs and electrolytes, CELLMASS NT works to limit muscle degradation and support the processes of muscle growth and recovery so Forrest can get back in the gym and begin the cycle all over again.

and AXIS-HT are two more supplements included in Forrest's stack. EPOZINE-O2 NT works to promote blood flow and cardiovascular performance through the support of healthy erythropoietin and red blood cell production levels, helping ensure delivery of valuable nutrients and oxygen-rich blood to working muscle tissue so the body can achieve and sustain peak performance even under extreme stress. Meanwhile, AXIS-HT offers natural testosterone support to protect against overtraining and the resulting catabolism while also supporting muscle growth, power and recovery.

The four components of the FIGHT STACK NT work synergistically to power Forrest to achieve maximum output and reap maximum results from the full-on assault of his interdisciplinary training. "Supplementation is important," Forrest explains. "It's a good way to make sure you're getting all that good stuff your body needs."

Speaking of good stuff, another component of Forrest's plan is protein supplementation, and there's only one protein supplement he uses. SYNTHA-6 offers a multi-functional blend of premium protein sources to keep active muscles fed with a healthy supply of the building blocks necessary for muscle growth and recovery. But the real hook is the taste - and in this respect, Forrest needed little convincing that SYNTHA-6 was the protein for him. "Right now either the Caramel Latte or the Chocolate Peanut Butter SYNTHA-6 is my favorite, which is ironic because I don't really like peanut butter," says Forrest. "I was on the Chocolate Mint before. I also really like the Vanilla one."

When you watch Forrest throw himself into his training, or listen to him speak about how he takes care of his body, it becomes clear that there's so much that goes into a successful mixed martial arts career that can go unnoticed when these larger-than-life gladiators step into the spotlight of the Octagon. UFC glory is a hard-won prize, and the physical and mental toll it takes is a heavy one. Preparation in all areas must be a priority of the highest order to ensure the body is ready for the ultimate physical test.

Forrest Griffin is a man who is clearly up to the task.