Issue 178

May 2019

English light heavyweight Liam McGeary, on giving it all and his love/hate relationship with a brutal piece of kit.

You have spent some time recently at HB Ultimate Training Center. How did that work out for you?

It massively changed my game. Paul Herrera is an absolute genius when it comes to wrestling. Tiki is an absolute genius when it comes to putting together things with striking. Those two as a team are truly amazing. I can’t speak highly enough of them. When I turned up there they did know what they were getting. And I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. It was getting out of my comfort zone on a whole new level. I wanted to turn up there and show them that I was more than capable of getting through a training session, no matter what they threw at me, I was always going to get out. I was going to be the first one at the gym and the last one to leave. With my high rate of work and their high rate of coaching it worked together as a good team. I think that’s why we worked so well together. They are good at giving orders and I am good at following them.

What was that first training session like with Paul and Tiki?

My first session was a strength and conditioning session. It was this leg workout. It was a massive leg workout. Then I jumped on the bike and did one of the climbs on the bike. My legs were like jelly. I was almost ready to pass out. My head was spinning in circles. I pushed as much as I could. They were surprised I pushed that far. They said that would be the hardest session I would have. They wanted to see where I was and what they could push me to and how far I could go without breaking. I love working. I love hard work. I worked as a steel fixer most of my life. I am used to doing hard graft, so when I find a gym that can push me to where I know my abilities are going, I am happy to go balls out. 

What was the hardest moment from your training there? 

I dreaded the bike. The bike was the worst workout I had out of the lot of them. I would be training in the morning and I would go back later in the day and do the bike workout. I did the bike on a Saturday morning. I grew to love the bike but early on I f***ing hated it. Even driving from my house up there to the gym I would think about that f***ing bike. I had to get myself into a mindset to do the bike. Then the last session I beat the bike. So I started on the bike and I ended on the bike and I won. It was like a little internal victory for myself. Nobody else will know what I am talking about but anybody who has been on that bike and done that workout will understand where I am coming from. It sucks!

Is it the Airdyne bike?

Yes, the Airdyne bike! It’s brutal! 

You said in order to take things to the next level there were serious sacrifices that had to be made. Clearly, you are making those sacrifices. Will you be putting down roots at HB Ultimate Training Center? 

Oh, I am definitely going back to the Ultimate Training Center. We formed a very good relationship. I love the workouts. I’m also laying down some roots here in Hawaii. I’m going to be here, too. It’s only a five-hour flight back and forth so that’s not too bad. I train over here with Rodrigo Gracie at Relson Gracie’s gym when I’m here. I have some quality training partners such as a few black belts and strong wrestlers, so the training is very good then I just go over there to California for camps.

What has kept you focused and on point to get through these sessions and camp?

I have my son and my daughter so I have a reason to fight. I have a reason to do all of this. I had them in the back of my mind the whole time. There wasn’t a great deal I wasn’t able to do. There was nothing I couldn’t accomplish. It definitely helps having a good focus.