At 34 years old and already 82 fights into his MMA career, Bellator fighter Travis Wiuff still has some goals be wants to achieve. Staying relevant in the fight game as long as Wiuff has requires discipline. The Minnesota native has won 67 fights in his time and rarely lets himself slip out of shape. He carries the same mindset into the gym, where he uses a variety of training styles to reach peak conditioning.
Besides combat training, Wiuff prefers regular conditioning to structured training camps. Because of that, he gets most of his core strength and conditioning work done with a variety of CrossFit workouts. When Wiuff steps into the octagon on July 20 to face Tim Carpenter in the championship of Bellator’s light-heavyweight tournament, he’ll have do so after following a disciplined training and eating regimen.
What’s your typical day like?
Travis Wiuff: I usually work out about three to four times a day. Usually two of them are cardio based and others are meant for just cutting weight. I’ll get my sparring in and I do a lot of CrossFit and I go to a CrossFit-specific gym here in Minnesota.
You’ve moved around in weight classes during your career, how do you reach the proper weight most effectively?
For me, it’s mostly running. For getting the weight down, I do some long distance stuff and when I say “long-distance” I mean about four miles. I do a lot of intervals on the treadmill, I like to run up a lot of hills. For me it’s just about changing it up when it comes to running. That’s what works for me. I’ve always been used to it, I’ve been doing that stuff since I started wrestling at five-years-old.
Has cutting the weight gotten harder?
Yeah, actually for this last fight in Bellator against Chris Davis was the hardest it has ever been to get down to weight. I did a few things different and miscalculated. I’ll put plastics on and a couple of layers of sweat pants and some sweat shirts and once I get a sweat going I can loose about one pound every ten minutes. When I woke up, I was ten pounds over and thought ninety minutes would be pretty close with all that stuff on once I got the sweat going and we just miscalculated. I put everything on and I was on the treadmill for about an hour an a half, I like to stay out of the sauna and steam room as much as possible. I’ve done that kind of formula in the past and it’s usually been really accurate and for some reason, this time, it was the worst cut I’ve ever had. I was still three pounds over. I did the last three pounds in the sauna and had no energy. We had to pull off some extreme measures.
You can appreciate those people who want to lose weight but don’t get paid to train, like you do.
I can totally relate, people always ask me how to do it and it’s a lot of hard work and dedication to the diet. A lot of people think there is some secret out there or some magic, but it’s about following a really strict diet that isn’t always fun, but it does the trick.
It’s tough, I enjoy eating bad things. I wish there was a secret I could tell people but sticking to a diet requires some mental toughness. I know I can’t eat certain things and that I can’t eat other thing after a certain time of night. For me, it’s staying away from the carbs late at night. At a certain time of the night I just cut it off and after that its just water.
Sometimes college wrestlers use credit cards to scrape sweat off their backs in an effort to drop weight fast.
I didn’t see that until I got into MMA, but yeah, we do that all the time. We actually use the key cards from the hotel room to do it when we have to. If you use a towel, the sweat goes right back on your body, so, you have to scrape it off. You do the arms, legs, chest and it’s actually kind of refreshing.
Doesn’t that mess up your tattoos?
What challenges you the most in training? What do you feel like you get the most out of?
I watch a lot of video of fighters in training and see guys lifting giant tires and swinging huge sledge hammers and all kinds of crazy things that I’d never even imagine or thought of. The best thing you can do is actually sparr, if I want to be a good baseball player, you’ve got to go out and play baseball, football the same thing. There are a bunch of drills I could do and that is part of it, but to be a good fighter I’ve actually got to go out and fight. I think we get caught up sometimes with new training techniques and philosophies, but the best thing you can do is go spar.
What about CrossFit?
I was pretty hesitant to try CrossFit. I thought I knew what I was doing in the gym. I worked on a five-week progress at a gym called CrossFit Progression owned by Matt Arnold. It’s been huge. I’m really surprised that I am really happy with the results. My last fight, I felt the best I ever had. My cardio was the best it ever was. I’ll stick with it now, it’s an excellent workout. I still felt strong even when I got my weight down there. I felt strong in sparring and in the later rounds. I didn’t think I needed a trainer like that, but it was a huge step for me to try it and I’ll continue to do it. Every time I go in there Matt has me doing something totally new.
You haven’t lost a fight since 2010, what do you credit that to?
It’s been going well. I was kind of bouncing around from organization to organization and I could Bellator. They picked me up and they’re a great place to work for the past few years. I like the tournament style. I like to stay busy and it’s good for me financially. I got right back in the gym after my last fight. As long as you stay healthy, that’s the key to being successful in the tournament. I had no layoff otherwise. Typically after a fight I might get pretty lazy, waiting six or eight weeks until my next fight is made. But with a tournament you’re right back in the gym. Moving to Spike helped them do a lot of great things.