Coaches Kieran and Guy are lucky to have worked with some of the best professional fitness coaches and athlete’s in the city of Montreal. One such athlete is Emerson Turnier, a young and talented coach-athlete. His background as a world-class kickboxer, kettle-bell coach and all-round great guy make him a great addition to our site. We introduce Emerson below, and you can look expect to hear a lot from him on all things MMA, boxing, and kickboxing throughout 2012. 


Emerson Turnier, NASM CPT

2nd Dan Black Belt Karate, Former Amateur Kickboxing world champion

How do you know Kieran from Unchained Fitness?

Kieran and I met over 2 years ago at the Midtown Sporting Club, Le Sanctuaire. I was the cardio kickboxing instructor and slowly making my way to the weight room as a trainer. I quickly made some friends and mentors! Amongst those few individuals was Kieran. He helped me through my training, taught me certain things about anatomy, different training methods and how to integrate fitness principles with my expertise (martial arts).

In your opinion, what are the key qualities needed to become a great MMA, boxing or kickboxing athlete?

I believe that an athlete that performs in one of those three sports should have three predominant qualities: discipline, patience and humility. And these qualities can be developed in any aspiring athletes at any level of their sporting career … it is possible since it is done through a moulding process… “Champions are made, not born”.

What volume/type of training should an athlete in one of these sports perform?

Based on my own experience as an elite kickboxing athlete but using the knowledge I have acquired over two years in the fitness world, I believe fighters should have a designed program to follow. In a competitive amateur level, we are looking at 6-8 hours of solid preparation a week.  About 4-5 hours of sport related training e.g. pad work, sparring, speed agility quickness drills, 2-3 hours of overall fitness conditioning, weightlifting, and core related training like Pilates.

What is the most important physical quality needed to be a great MMA athlete?

I believe a strong core is a stepping-stone to build strength all over the body.  A fighter needs to be grounded, quick on his feet, know how to transfer weight properly even when unstable, and in order to build such abilities, many experts will agree to say that first step is to build a strong abdominal wall! (McGill, 2002) Trainings likes Pilates, gymnastics are definitely something a fighter should integrate in their training.

A perfect example of this is GSP, Welterweight World UFC champion. GSP understood that in order to evolve he needed to gain knowledge, to train his body in all the key ways that would provide him with the necessary tools to become the champion that he is today ( GSP TALKS TRAINING, 2010).

What got you to world champion level: talent or hard work?

To reach world champion status, I believe it takes a little bit of both talent and hard work! Talent alone won’t do it, hard work alone won’t do it either…there a many other factors that shape the path of prizefighter … no matter how talented you may be, you will hit a wall at some point, and unless you work really hard, you’ll never go pass the obstacle and therefore never reach championship level…