Josh Thomson Explains The Secret To His Longevity In The Sport
We’ve seen it countless times, on countless UFC programs – Fighter A, training from sunup to sundown. Or Fighter B, going to three different gyms in the space of one day, logging countless hours in an attempt to reach the pinnacle of his fighting ability.
This level of dedication can be borderline masochistic. And – contrary to what you might think - it can actually be detrimental to the fighter’s health.
Josh Thomson used to subscribe to this “go hard or go home” mentality. But in his more recent years, he’s learned to “dial it back” in his training; something that he feels has contributed heavily to his longevity in one of the most physically demanding sports of our time.
“I’ve dialed it back and learned different ways to train now,” Thomson recently told Majority Draw Radio. “Every day I’m learning something new, and that’s what I think has kept me in this sport so long.
“As you get older, your body always changes. You have to keep learning it and learning and relearning it. I have to figure out exactly what I can do. I adapt to different ways of training now: different styles of training, less impact on my body. There’s a lot of things that I used to do back in the day that I can’t do now and I just have to work around it.”
Thomson explained that, at one time, he had four different training routines in his daily schedule. And although he kept up with it at first, it proved to be far too taxing for his body to maintain.
“That’s a lot of workouts,” he reflected. “I’d run in the morning for an hour and then I’d do the fighter training from 12 to 2. At 3:30, I’d do like a full plyometric workout and then I’d come back and hit mitts at night with [Javier Vasquez] for like an hour, and then I’d do the bike workout, which is all just cardio and push. That’s four hard workouts in one day, and I’d do that like three or four days a week easily.
“Sometimes you have to just not go as hard, work more on the technique of it all. I knew something had to give.”
Thomson’s new outlook on training has paid dividends as of late, as he will meet division standout and former champion Ben Henderson this Saturday on UFC on FOX 10. Henderson will no doubt have a tough fight on his hands, as he faces a man in Thomson who has been in the top 10 of his division for over a decade.
“Ten years later I’m still one of the No.1 fighters in the world,” Thomson proclaimed. “That to me says a lot. It’s been 10, 11, 12 years of me fighting in the best organizations in the world, and I’m still one of the best lightweights in the world.”