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Training Confidential: ‘Rampage’ Jackson

The UFC star explains why you’re better off spending less time in the gym…

Training Confidential: ‘Rampage’ Jackson

Despite earning plaudits for his recent performance as BA in The A-Team, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson is a UFC fighter by trade. As he continues his attempt to regain the light heavyweight championship belt, he revealed all about his unorthodox training methods…

How intense are your sparring sessions?

They get quite vicious, so we rarely do more than 10 minutes. My sparring partners will try to knock me out. There’s one guy who doesn’t wear a mouthpiece and if I make his lip bleed he’ll send flying knees to my face. Another does spinning elbows and becomes extremely aggressive. We were even thinking of filming sparring sessions and selling them.

Does that intensity help you mentally prepare for a fight?

A lot of times it helps. We spar hard. And the harder I train in the gym, the easier the fight can go.

How do you schedule your training?

The best way to train effectively is to spend less time in the gym but exercise more while you’re there. If something takes you two hours, try consolidating it into one hour. I’ll wake up in the morning to run three to five miles, and go directly to the gym where I’ll spend an hour training intensely. Then I take a couple of hours off and come back to the gym again for another non-stop one-hour session, have a two-hour break and keep going like that all day.

How is the intense gym time spent?

We’ll do jiujitsu for an hour, Muay Thai for an hour, wrestling for an hour or lift weights for an hour.

What do you do on your breaks?

I eat, hydrate, play video games and sometimes I’ll have sex in between. Not with my team-mates, though [laughs].

Do you ever abstain from sex before a fight?

I once gave it up for six weeks and I was like an animal, but I once went without it for two weeks and I was really relaxed. I fought well both times, so the amount of time doesn’t matter to me. But yeah, I try not to have sex before a big fight.

Your trademark move is the body slam. Do you have a special dummy for practising this?

Oh, hell no. I just slam my team-mates. One time I even slammed one of my guys on to concrete. We’re the toughest team out there, I guarantee you that.

What’s the best way to improve your punching?

If you want to become a harder puncher, perform a lot of jump squats, because a lot of hitting power comes from the back of your legs. About 50-100 of those a day will do the trick. One common goal all top UFC fighters have, no matter what their style, is quick feet. The secret is to stay nimble.

And how do you quicken your feet?

My friend owns these crazy dogs, Ronnie and Reggie, and he’ll put a little baking grease on my behind and set the dogs on me for a short distance down an alleyway. You’ve got to be quick on your toes, because if that dog catches you, he bites a hole in your ass. I cheat by putting padding down my pants.

You made your name fighting in Japan. Did you become a fan of Asian food?

Nah, I’m a very picky eater and they have a lot of weird stuff. Chicken, turkey, vegetables and lots of eggs is all I eat — which sucks, as I have to eat it over and over. I really miss pizza and fried chicken.

What’s the toughest training regime you’ve experienced?

My British trainers Anthony McGann and Lee Gwynn push me hard. They don’t play. They make me sprint up a hill, over and over again.

Do you use any hi-tech training equipment?

Yeah, now and again we train at the MusclePharm Sports Science Gym in Denver, and everything there is state of-the-art, including a full-body scanner which tells you your body fat and muscle percentage.

What were the results?

My scans last told me that I’m 215lb of tissue and bone. I’m a ball of muscle, baby.

UFC: Sweden is live on ESPN at 8pm on 14 April

(Image: PA)