Fighting Fit – Training a Commonwealth Champ
We have a great relationship at T2HQ with fight sports.
The art and majesty of hand-to-hand combat is something we appreciate, marvel at and truly enjoy watching. We are also in the privileged position to be training two different types of fighters.
Every week we host Luke Watkins and Craig Rawlins for sessions in our T2 Elite programme. The guys have a lot of similarities but they also have some dramatic differences.
Today we focus on Luke.
Luke ‘The Duke’ Watkins
Tomorrow night Luke will once again defend his Commonwealth title in the Cruiserweight division in York Hall, one of London’s most prestigious and historic boxing venues.
Luke started his T2 Elite journey around a year ago and the reason for writing this piece is to shed light on what it takes to not only be a professional athlete, but a professional boxer.
It takes a special kind of human to go through the rigors of an intense training camp with full knowledge that they are to pit their combat skills against another man who has done the same thing.
We have a lot of students through our PT courses that want to work with professional athletes and hopefully this will give a little insight into exactly what that means.
‘The Duke’ brought T2 Founder Stu Gatherum into his team to focus on the conditioning aspects of his training. Stu is now part of a team that includes:
Steve York – another strength and conditioning coach who focuses on strength and power development
Kate Cady – a Sports Therapist responsible for delivering Masters’ courses
Paddy Fitzpatrick – a renowned boxing coach and the key figure in coordinating Luke’s career to date.
This team has successfully worked together to deliver the very best Luke Watkins to the ring every time he steps inside the ropes.
The entire group is focused on ensuring no stone is left unturned in preparation for each fight and that we keep our mans’ body in tip-top shape from a strength, power, conditioning and injury-prevention point of view.
But it’s not all down to us.
The structure of the team is something Luke has a massive hand in.
He has selected his ‘inner circle’ carefully and vetted each person’s skills to ensure they are qualified to enhance his career.
The fact that his training sessions take place in at least four different facilities each week allow him the change of scenery he thrives on, making sure he doesn’t get into a bland routine, while becoming a ‘part of the furniture’ at each one.
Luke is a man who likes structure and thrives in challenge. We can speak easily about the conditioning sessions we share together at T2, ones where we progressively increase intensity throughout camp to the point he is easily able to complete 12 rounds of demanding energy system work.
All the while, Luke will impose ever-increasing demands on himself within each session to ensure he has no slippage in intensity.
The premise is that it is easy to get up for the first and last three rounds of a fight, but what about the middle six?
If you train harder than you fight there will be no let-up under the bright lights.
On June 6th, the Commonwealth belt will be the focus of a Watkins fight for the 3rd time. The first time Luke brought it home, the 2nd he defended it in style and the 3rd remains to be seen.
Having spent the past year – and the entire Commonwealth journey close to the man’s side – I know where I think the belt will reside.
If you’re one of the lucky ones to grab a ticket for the fight we will see you there.
If not then get yourself comfy on the couch for the Sky Sports Main Event!
If you're an aspiring athlete and would like more information on our T2 Elite programme, please email email@example.com.
Alternatively, if you dream of becoming a Strength & Conditioning coach for competitive sportsmen and women, check out our Strength & Conditioning course.