What’s Your ‘Sacrifice’?

“The only question to ask yourself is, how much are you you willing to sacrifice to achieve this success?

– Larry Flynt, Creator of Hustler Magazine”

Yeah, I know that Larry Flynt may not be the most inspiring of sources for a quote, but his quote is relevant to what I want to talk about and it was one of the first that came up when I searched “success sacrifice quote” in Google.

I’m writing this post after meeting with Joe, a mixed martial artist who wants to have his first MMA fight in April 2010.

We’ve been talking for a few weeks now and I cornered him last week in a kickboxing event.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, when he first expressed interest in training with me, I asked him to describe his current schedule and lifestyle.

One of the things he mentioned was that he was working security on weekends at a club, on top of a new (well paying) full-time Monday to Friday day job.

I told him that if he wanted to get in the best shape possible, that would require optimal recovery, and sleeping at 3am until 9am every Friday and Saturday night just wouldn’t cut it.

[LESSON – irregular sleeping patterns and lack of sleep cause increased cortisol levels in the body, resulting in increased fat storage, poor muscular and nervous system recovery, and decreased energy.

Eventually, it could lead to adrenal fatigue, since the adrenal glands get burned out from cranking out so much cortisol all the time.

Early to bed, early to rise, helps fighters earn their prize.]

This was a couple of weeks ago that I told this to him.

When we met today – he told me that he quit his job at the club.


He just sacrificed an extra $600 a month that he got used to for his goal of being a successful fighter.

He’s working his schedule out to meet with me to train.

I love working with guys like this, because this type of attitude permeates into every aspect of their lives – they’re willing to do what it takes to succeed.

And maybe you’ve got the motivation and drive inside you too, but you need a little extra push from a coach who can help you make it ot the next level.

I may not be able to be there in person with you, but I can definitely help you if you’re coachable right here and now. So what do you need to do to achieve your goals?

Are you eating a lot of junk food, but you want to be training at the highest level?

Are you pissing hours away on Facebook and forums when you could be recovering your strength and power by getting good sleep?

Do you waste time in the gym talking to your buddies when you should be bearing down and putting in 100% effort?

But before answering any of these questions – you’ve gotta know what your goal is.

And if your goal fires you up and energizes you – then whatever it is that’s in your way isn’t a sacrifice to give up, it’s just a step closer towards achieving your goal.

Whatever it is – I want to hear what your goals are and what you’re going to do or stop doing to achieve your goals, whether you want to have a few fights and know that you gave it your all or whether your goal is to make it to the big show and be a champ.

Be an action taker – leave a comment below and take the first step to committing to this new goal:

Leave a Reply

9 Comment threads
8 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
anubis24AKwils3446JeffMichael Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Hey Eric, just started your Strength and Conditioning program and have a few questions: I had major surgery approx 1 year ago and am just getting back into things. I had a strength and conditioning trainer prior to surgery, but can’t afford one right now. I’ve also decided to put off MMA training for now until I get back in shape. My biggest challenge to date has been my current work schedule. I work 3rd shift, 11pm -7am. I have a beautiful wife, and 4 kids. This makes it a bit hard to get a full 7 hours consistent sleep, and especially hard to figure out when to eat as my schedule is a bit reversed from the normal. Do you have any ideas on the most optimum time for my meals and workout? My weekly schedule is approx as follows Mon – Fri 7:20am: Leave work 8:00am: Get home,… Read more »


Hey man,

Night shift is a killer!

Looks like you can’t get 7 hours uninterrupted sleep there eh? That’s tough.

One thing you might already know is to make sure your room is completely dark when you sleep – blackout shades are key as whenever sunlight hits the skin, it activates hormones that cause you to get out of deep sleep and wake up.

In terms of food, you’re doing very well with the schedule you have outlined. There’s not much in terms of timing that you could do better, based on your lifestyle.

In terms of working out, the best time to do it will be when you feel you’ve got the most energy – if it’s at 9:30 am, then stick with that.


Also- i’m sorry for the two posts- but i also want to gain about 10-15 pounds of dry muscle but i havent been able to do so given my wrestling background and habit of “cutting” weight rather than gaining. I currently weigh 150 pounds. about 5% body fat. 5’9” tall. i want to gain the weight in a healthy, natural food- no suppliment way- without giving up explosiveness and without gaining too much body fat. and since i want to do it healthy i am ok with it taking even 6 months to gain the weight. can you suggest an eating plan or something that will help reverse my years of weight cutting?
Thank you again!


Hi Eric,

I’m a first year college student right now. 18 years old. My goal is to be able to train fulltime and make a living off of MMA by the end of my 4 yrs in college. And soon after that be champion level and eventually THE champion. Right now I’m trying to juggle training, school, studies, work, family, and religious studies all at the same time. My biggest obstacle is waking up in the morning for my 6:30 workout that i do myself. And also- i want to do this and im motivated, but i feel like i performed better and was truer to my word when i had my highschool wrestling coach and team mates on my ass about everything. how would i replicate that? Any help or advice would be appreciated.


Hi Eric, I’m brand new to mma, I’m 27 years old and serve in the british military as a physical training instructor. I’ve dabbled in a few martial arts and at the moment I’m hooked on Muay Thai but i’ve got a desire to compete in at least one cage fight! Based on the fighters you have worked with bearing in mind my shallow technical experience, do you come across many 27 year olds that are just starting out or do you think I’m too old???


Because MMA is such a new sport, you can start later in life and still be successful… That window is closing rapidly, but if you’re dedicated, you’re in TOP SHAPE, you find good coaches, and you actually use your brain to think about what you need to work on to complete your game as opposed to just showing up to classes and doing whatever the instructor tells you, you can improve rapidly.

Do I think you can be a UFC Champ?

Anything’s possible. I can’t guarantee it. But dedicate yourself and give it a shot.

Because if you do this, maybe you win a couple of fights in local organizations and have some fun, unique experiences, and stories along the way.

Or maybe you do become champ. Who knows?

But if you don’t try I can guarantee one thing – you won’t achieve anything.


Read the book “Think & Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. It’s probably the greatest thing you’ll ever read about goal-setting and reaching your dreams. It was written right after the Great Depression and is mainly focused on financial riches- but if you substitute your own goals and achievements in place of money (like winning your next fight, getting into the best shape of your life, becoming a pro MMA fighter) all the techniques still apply. Check it out.


Eric all I have to say is your program is amazing I am making good progress right now, you are an inspiration to people like me you give true hope. I would love to be a great fighter some day but for now I am focusing on getting in good shape getting my stamina built up because I dont wanna be one of those fighters that is leaning on the fence in the second round and your program helps me with that. Thanks sincerely Michael.



I am currently an amateur mma fighter with an 0-2 record. I have a good workout program, but I feel like I need something else to take me to the next level so I can dominate in my fights, get some wins, and make it to the pros. My wife bought me your program for Christmas. I can’t wait to use it to take me where I need to go in my fighting career. I’ll let you know how I’m doing once I start and make sure to tell you how awesome you and your program are!


AWESOME! Can’t wait to hear your results and help you get your first W!


Hi Eric,

I have been training bjj and mma for about a year now. I find myself with lack of motivation and energy. What can you suggest?


Perhaps you’re overtraining?

I can’t tell for sure without knowing everything about your lifestyle/schedule, but if you’re used to training 5-6 x/week, on top of a stressful lifestyle and poor eating habits, you might be burned out a bit…

Take a week off, eat well, sleep well, relax, do something fun, and see how you feel when you come back…


I am new to mma and want to get into the best shape possible. The problem is that I have a hard time getting rid of fat. I currently run 3-5 miles a day, and hit the weights every other day. I live a pretty active lifestyle, and am on my feet a lot with my job. I still don’t see the results that I would like. Any suggestions?


Jesse, i’m no expert but if your running and hitting the weights every other day, then it sounds like your on the right track. May I suggest to take an inventory of what you are eating and what time your eating. Do this for about a week so that you can get a clear picture of your diet. Maybe seeing it on paper may help you find a missing ingredient. If I may also suggests, when you train, try performing a circuit. I have my MMA fighters perform between 5 or 6 stations and each station is between 3 to 5 minutes long. An example would be stations such as Jump rope, Sprawl and jumps, stairs with weights, heavy bag punch and kicks and ground and pound on a dummy. This is just an example. Several of the heavier guys have lost weight plus inches off their waist. Like I… Read more »


Even if you’re not training most effectively, with the volume you’re doing, nutrition is the most important factor.

Eliminate: sugars, junk food, chips, candy, chocolate bars, pop, juices – these are all the biggest culprits to excess calories…

Eat: fruits/veg with every meal, minimizing sugary ones like bananas and tropical fruits…

Eat: eggs, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, real meats, not deli/sandwich meats

Drink: water

Train consistently, add variety (throw intervals in/bodyweight circuits instead of 3 mi runs all the time) and push yourself when you can… get stronger.

Do these things I guarantee you’ll lose fat. Keep doing what you’re doing now and you won’t go anywhere.

Make 1 change a week! Start slow and keep at it.


Thanks Eric, I will surely use that trick to weed out the empty calories. I have always knew about proper dieting, but its a lot harder to implement it than it is to know it. thanks again for the advice.


For sure man, that’s why I say to go for 1 change a week…

And really think about WHY you want to do it… Answer this question:

“What will achieving this goal mean to me now? To my life in the future? To those around me?”

And every little change that you make, know that it is getting you to these answers.

Best of luck!!!