As athletes go, you don’t get a more potent muscle-machine than a professional MMA fighter, especially one fighting at the pinnacle of the sport, the UFC. Che Mills is just such an athlete. As a star member of the Sci-MX-sponsored mixed martial arts team, the Trojan Free Fighters, he puts his body through a gruelling training regime designed to give him the muscular size, strength explosive power and endurance needed to stay at the top of his game. Incorporating strength and conditioning work, boxing, muay thai, wrestling and jiu-jitsu, Che and his coaching team know that he can only perform at his best with the help of the very best sports supplements available. We caught up with welterweight Che to discover exactly how Sci-MX supplements help him stay on top of his game.
"I train twice - sometimes three times - most days," explains Che. "Being an MMA athlete I have to train for strength, power, endurance and technique. MMA uses a lot of different fighting styles, so my training needs to cover them all. I train in the morning, doing skill work like wrestling or boxing, with some sparring to finish. These sessions are about 2 hours long. Then in the evening, I'll do more skill work, general cardio or strength training, depending on the day. If I need to drop weight for a fight, I might do more cardio just before bed.
Sci-MX supplements are really important to me. As you can see from my daily routine, I ask a lot from my body and don't give it a lot of time to recover. The level of high intensity training can cause muscle wastage, which in turn decreases muscle size and power. The nature of our sport means I can’t afford to lose any power – I absolutely have to be on top form and retain the quality muscle I work for in the gym. Sci-MX supplements ensure that I can continue training at a high intensity without losing muscle, and I can gain muscle too if I need a bit more beef for a particular fight.
Trojan Free Fighters Head Coach, Paul Sutherland explains the supplements that help Che stay ahead of the competition. “Sci-MX have helped us establish the optimal supplement regime for Che that covers his whole day from waking to sleep because they understand that to be a UFC champion, you have to be committed and dedicated in training and supplementation. You can’t just go at things half-heartedly – you need to work harder and smarter than the guy you’re going to fight.
“It’s vital that Che arrives for every training session ready to give 100%. Che will mix X-PLODE HARDCORE™ with CREA HARDCORE™ about 20 minutes before a session to ensure that he has maximum oxygen and power available to his muscles and to get him mentally focused on what lies ahead. He’ll also take an ULTRAGEN™ WHEY PROTEIN shake half an hour before the session. Our training rapidly depletes Che’s body of nutrients and energy so we have to make sure that he takes on board the optimal electrolyte and carbohydrates to allow him to maintain a high work-rate throughout the sessions – for this we use ENDURO FUEL™ and obviously ensure he remains hydrated with plenty of water. Recovery for Che is key so after a session he’ll take RECOVERY FUEL™ which is fantastic product as it not only replaces the electrolytes lost in training through sweating but also contains the right amount of protein to immediately start to repair the damage his muscles will have experienced during the session. For Che, maintaining lean muscle mass is vital and as a fighter he needs to know that he is controlling his weight to stay within his weight class. So LEAN GROW MRF™ has the perfect 1:1 balance of protein and carbs that allows him to put on the muscle he needs. During the day he’ll also top up his protein intake with PROTEIN DUO BARS&trade that release amino acids gradually. Before bed, he'll take a GRS-5® PROTEIN SYSTEM shake to ensure a slow-release of amino acids throughout the night to help repair and grow muscle tissue and ZMA HARDCORE™ to help boost his natural growth hormone production. The science that goes into Sci-MX’s formulas gives us and Che the confidence that his nutrition is sorted – that leaves us free to focus on his technique and winning the next fight’.
When he wakes up Che starts the day with an ULTIMATE BREAKFAST SHAKE™ because the whey protein it contains will start feeding his muscles straight away in preparation for the upcoming training session and the oats deliver sustained energy.
"I don't have a lot of appetite for eating in the mornings," Che tells us, "but I have to fuel up for the day's training. The Ultimate Breakfast shake, with its combination of protein and carbs, is perfect for me. I get everything I need, just like eating a meal, but without feeling weighed down. I can just drink my shake and I know I'm ready to go.
"All Sci-MX formulas taste great, which is a definite bonus when you rely on them to build and maintain a pro fighter’s physique. I'm training two or three times a day, so that recovery is crucial for me. I like the fact that you can just use water to mix Sci-MX formulas, and they blend well and taste great. That makes them really portable and convenient. And I really appreciate the science and development that's gone into all the products. "
It's not just during training that Che uses a range of Sci-MX products. He also relies on them to keep him going through tournaments without weighing him down. "On fight days, you have a lot of nerves and I tend to lose my appetite," he explains. "I often don't feel like I can eat at all. So I'll have Sci-MX's ULTIMATE BREAKFAST SHAKE™ at least twice on fight day, as well as other supplements like SHRED-X™ HARDCORE to give me extra energy. We might not end up fighting until late in the day, so I have to stay focused and keep pushing through."
Apart from specific skill training and sparring, Che's training covers general cardio, strength and power training and endurance. Here's a glimpse into some typical Che Mills training sessions:
Che's cardio sessions replicate a three-round fight (at five minutes a round).
Try it yourself: The format is more important than the exercises themselves. Use any exercises you feel necessary.
3 x 1 minute rounds of:
1. Sprawls or burpees
2. 20m shuttle runs
3. Box jumps
4. Push ups
5. Resisted punches (weights or resistance band)
Che's endurance sessions will differ depending on what area of fitness he needs to target. For strength endurance, he'll test maximum repetitions using 60% of his one-rep max weight across various strength exercises.
If you're fit enough and injury-free, try these two sessions to test yourself against a champion MMA fighter:
-Cardiovascular endurance: fastest time possible in a 5k run, row or swim
-Muscular endurance: fastest time possible for 100 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 air squats
Che tends to use five sets of five reps. The rep range is kept low and rest time can be from three to five minutes.
Back, front or overhead squat
Deadlift Bench press
Shoulder press Pull ups (weighted)
These are the exercises Che uses to gain more power.
Clean and jerk
Snatch Squat and box jumps
So now you know what it takes to get the muscular, powerful physique of a top MMA pro like Che. You can see the same results too, even if you never want to step into the octagon, with the Sci-MX’s world-beating supplements and some dedication and focus in the gym.