On June 25, MMA legend BJ Penn will once again step into the Octagon. This time around, he’ll be taking on Russian-born German Dennis Siver in a compelling featherweight battle.
In advance of this anticipated showdown, Penn has enlisted the help of an old friend who many of his long-time fans will remember: Gary Marinovich. Marinovich, along with his brother Marv, was one half of Marinovich Training Systems, an innovative strength and conditioning program that helped carry Penn to his unforgettable defeats of Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian.
On the most recent episode of The Luke Thomas Show, Marinovich joined host Luke Thomas to discuss his reunion with Penn. Apparently, it all began with a phone call.
“I got a call from BJ about a week ago, and he asked if I would come over and work with him, and I jumped at the chance because BJ is a special athlete and a special person,” he said.
He then explained that he’ll be working with Penn for the duration of his preparations for Siver.
“I’ll be here for the duration [of BJ’s camp]. BJ has put his fate in our hands, or in my hands, and I’m going to make sure the job gets done. So I’ll be here for the duration – close to three months.”
Marinovich also gave his take on why Penn reached out to him, and what his goals are for the former two-division champion:
“I think that BJ realized that typical, traditional training wasn’t getting the job done,” he said. “When we worked with BJ – it’s almost been six years now I think – BJ had great success and so he decided to call us. Marv has since retired, so I’m carrying the banner.”
“What we’re trying to do here is bring back the old greatness that he had.”
On the show, Marinovich also detailed his unique approach to strength and conditioning training, and how it differs from traditional weight training.
“Typical weight training, what it does is it works the maximal movement of muscular movement,” he explained. “What we do is we generate an elastic energy, and with that elastic energy it gives a tremendous boost to what’s call concentric action.”
“We improve muscular speed and explosiveness by using that elastic energy,” he continued.
“We develop muscle that moves the entire body. We’re using all the muscles, rather than just the major muscles. When you use the major muscles only, it’s going to put the body out of equilibrium and it’s not going to perform like it would if you were using the micro-muscles.”
Finally, Marinovich explained that, while Penn is a little older than he was when they first trained together, the approach to training will not be all that different.
“Because BJ Penn is a superior athlete – he hasn’t been demonstrating that of late – I’m going to take things a little slower going into it, but ultimately we’re going to do things with the same intensity, with the same duration and so forth,” he said. “We’re not going to baby him. We’re going to be a little easier with him when we start, but ultimately, we’re going to end up the same way we did last time.”
Do you think BJ Penn can recapture the old magic with Gary Marinovich? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/13/2017.