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 Combat sports require strength, power, speed and conditioning, as well they place a large physical demand on our bodies. 


We essentially are willingly putting ourselves into positions in which our bodies are at great risk. Because of this it is important that we address our strength & conditioning in a smart manor to prepare our bodies for the physical tasks we ask of them.

If you want to be successful in your particular combat sport you need to have a specific plan laid out to address your needs. With Smythe Fitness' combat athletes program design that is exactly what we do.

"The program has exceeded my expectations. Initially I was concerned about  how things would work with my schedule and access to equipment but this has been great. Dennis was able to work with my schedule and form my program around the equipment I had available to me.

My goals were to gain functional strength and fix my mobility issues. My mobility issues are solved and continuing to improve, my strength in the hex bar deadlift has went from 220lb to 370lb with only a 4 lb total body
weight increase. ( I compete at 135lb so this number is important). My hip strength has dramatically increased, which has improved my grappling and kicks, my core strength has improved which has improved my overall game, lastly my overall strength has improved, which helps me control my opponents.

I am glad I started this program, it is an excellent way for me to get high quality strength and conditioning training with where I live
that fits my busy schedule."

-Zach Gehl

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​My philosophy for strength and conditioning program design is based on 3 principles:

1. Use the gym as a lab to improve performance, not hinder it. (don't be an idiot)

2. Prevent injuries whenever possible (bulletproofing)

3. Train efficiently (don't waste time or energy)

1. Use the gym as a lab to improve performance, not hinder it. (don't be an idiot)

The gym is not a place to take risks. We face enough risks in our regular training, we don't need to add to that. You are not a strength athlete or crossfit athlete YOU are a COMBAT athlete, you need to train like one.


Sometimes the exercises that look bad ass are not the best choices. This does not mean they are not effective, but if you can achieve the same results using much safer options, why not do that?

For example, everyone wants to do the Olympic lifts because they look cool and they see other fighters doing them in their training. So what is so wrong with performing Olympic lifts? While it is true, Olympic lifting does improve your overall strength and power, and it is pretty bad ass the learning curve is very steep and takes a LONG time to develop the proper mechanics. Because of this 90% of the people doing them are doing them incorrectly and putting themselves at an unnecessary risk of injury. Instead of performing these lifts we can break them down into safer, individual parts and even use different implements to give us the same results we are looking for. So unless you are looking to compete in Olympic Lifting or even crossfit there is no reason for you to perform these movements, we can get results in a better way.


2. Prevent injuries whenever possible (bulletproofing)

Simply by improving strength we help strengthen our bones, tendons, and ligaments making us more resilient. The more resilient we are the more time we can spend on the mats which allows us to work more on sport/skills training and get better at our sport.

A  movement screen can help identify injured areas and/or poor movement quality that could lead to injuries. Once a screening is done a program can be developed specifically to address each athletes needs. By following this process a program is developed using exercises and movements that will decrease the likelihood of injuries. This can also limit the likelihood of the re-occurrence of previous injuries. A previous injury is the main predictor of future injury.

Another important factor to consider is fatigue management. This is managing your strength and conditioning workload (managing volume and intensity), so that excess fatigue from the weight room will not result in higher injury risk in your sport.


3. Train efficiently (don't waste time or energy)

When training combat athletes (especially mma athletes), I like to use a sand jar analogy. I like to think of your total training volume like a large glass of sand, and each individual part of your training is like a smaller jar.  All of your training resources (energy) is in that large jar which is represented by the sand inside. You then need to decide how you will divide that sand into each individual smaller jar. The smaller jars can consist of wrestling, boxing, jiu jitsu, mauy thai, strength training, conditioning, etc..

It doesn't matter who you are, the sand is limited and you cannot fill each individual jar to the brim, you need to divide it accordingly. There will be some who say, "okay, then why not just put all my sand into my sport and forget strength training?" But remember what we discussed in the bulletproof section, strength training can help make us more resilient which in turn allows us to train more. So, we need to look at the big picture and poor our sand accordingly.


Another factor to consider is time. Most combat athletes don't have large sponsors and have other life obligations which means they don't have all day to train. So you also need to be smart with your time and a well developed strength and conditioning program can help you make the most of the time you are in the gym.



How is the program delivered?

We will be using an online app that will allow you to take your training plan wherever you go. The mobile app offers numerous tools that help you keep track of workouts, nutrition, and stats as well as links to video demonstrations all right on your mobile device.

We communicate through video, an in-app messenger, email, and other forms of message, as well as through the private group within the training app. The group is a private group with athletes just like you to help encourage you and hold you accountable. Being a part of a community and like-mind individuals is a great way to influence positive behavior and breed success.


To begin you will first be taken through a virtual movement assessment and identify any movement issues that need to be addressed for optimal performance and movement quality. We will then discuss your goals and and your sport specific requirements. From there I will design a personalized program based around your goals, needs, and any movement issues identified. We will have regular feedback and make any adjustments needed along the way to help you achieve long term success.

In-App Experience

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