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April 22, 2014

PERRY'S POINTS--False Conditioning

Pictographic Courtesy of

Article written by Micheal Perry, owner of Skill of Strength

I hear this all the time and see it all over the interwebz. 

“My cardio is great! I never gas out! Sparring felt easy!”

What I’m thinking…great, grand, super, fantastic! (are you catching my sarcasm?)
 Guess what? You aren’t in that great of shape! Before you get yourself in a tizzy, let me explain.

When we develop a skill in a given area, drill, and/or exercise, we eventually get more efficient at it. This is a good thing! Do you want to get better at BJJ? Start rolling!

This is essentially the SAID principle. The SAID principle states that the human body adapts specifically to imposed demands. In other words, when the body is placed under some form of stress, it starts to make adaptations that will allow the body to get better at withstanding that specific form of stress in the future. Simply put, we get better at the things we do.

This is great for skill development, but can sometimes provide a false sense of reality when it comes to being in “fight shape.”

Here is an example.

You hit mitts and do some light sparring 2-4 times a week. You feel great training this way. You are comfortable with the pace and feel like you can go all night. You train with the same guys most of the time and you know their tendencies, strengths, weaknesses, and overall conditioning.

So what’s the problem?

For the most part, you are comfortable. You haven’t been truly tested. You have never performed any drills at maximum speed and/or exertion. You aren’t putting yourself in scenarios where you are inefficient and are forced to expend more energy than you are accustomed to.  

You’ve probably heard the term “punching yourself out.” What does this mean?

Lets say a fighter empties his tank for :20 to :30 trying to finish his/her opponent via ground and pound, but the fight isn’t stopped. Perhaps, his opponent was able to escape or maybe the round was over. I have witnessed this several times and this specific scenario can change the outcome of a fight! The aggressor gasses out and never recovers from it.

Why does this happen?

Often times, it happens because the fighter is not accustomed to expending energy at that rate of speed, force and exertion. Whether it’s practicing ground and pound, sprinting, or pushing a heavy sled, going “all out” for :20+ is exhausting , but also very necessary for fighters!

This is where energy system development (ESD) comes into play, specifically, lactic power and capacity work. When we train this system with appropriate work to rest ratios, it will eventually allow us to go “all out” for :30 and recover from it.

I won’t get into the nitty-gritty details of energy system development in this post, but I think you get the idea.  If you want to improve your ability to “dump your gas tank” and recover from it, you need to train specifically to be able to do just that!

If you have any questions, please comment below or feel free to email me at Check out my blog at or my gym, located in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, at