Randy Couture is an American mixed martial artist. Known as "the Natural" or "Captain America," he is one of the most well-known MMA fighters, and is universally respected for his achievements and his professional approach to the sport. His dedication is legendary. He starred in a Hollywood movie, "The Expendables," and is one of the best conditioned athletes in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) at the age of 47.
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Randy Couture wrestled and boxed in the Army and was a U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman alternate in 1988, 1992 and 1996. He went on to win the heavyweight title in the UFC three times, as well as winning the light heavyweight title twice. He is one of only two fighters to have won UFC titles in two weight classes, and he won the last one at the age of 43. He remains competitive in the UFC's heavyweight Division at the age of 47. His coach, Ron Frazier, describes him as "not the most athletic," but says there is no way you could outwork him, putting him as a "15" on a scale of one to 10 in terms of effort.
When fighting as a heavyweight. Couture does not need to restrict his calorie intake to make weight. However, he is well known for looking after his body, regardless of the weight he is fighting at. Eating well is definitely a part of this. On "UFC All Access," prior to his successful title defense against Gabriel Gonzaga, he notes that he avoids dairy, sugars, alcohol and caffeine to minimize body acidity and reduce muscle soreness. For the same reason, he eats a lot of green vegetables. As a heavyweight, he can eat as much as he likes, with large amounts of meat and vegetables forming the basis of his diet.
In the run-up to the Gonzaga fight, Couture trained five or six days a week, with an equal number of striking and grappling sessions. Three times a week he would perform a strength and conditioning circuit consisting of five rounds of five minutes, with as little as 25 seconds of rest between rounds. Each circuit would contain a mix of cardiovascular work, with weights, muscular endurance work and plyometrics added together to simulate the demands of a fight. He has also performed a barbell complex using a relatively light weight, performing seven exercises eight times each, back to back without rest.
Couture is known for his incredible mental strength and intelligent game plans. For example, before his fight with legendary boxer James Toney, Couture emphasized training the ankle pick takedown to avoid Toney's superior striking. In the fight, Couture landed the exact same takedown early on, winning without taking a single blow. Training and fighting intelligently has allowed him to avoid excessive damage and continue his career longer. In "UFC All Access," he shows his training at Sky Zone, a trampolining facility that allows him to work out at great intensity with minimal impact on his joints.
Couture has undoubtedly been blessed with good genes and also has been training for most of his life. He lives an active lifestyle, considering a two and a half hour run in the hills of Nevada as a rest. It will be hard for others to emulate even a fraction of his enormous success, although learning from his example can certainly help you stay fit. His dedication comes from decades of pushing himself hard, as well as being smart.