Cyborg’s insane pre-Worlds workout

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Roberto Cyborg and physical conditioning coach Eduardo Ferrino / Photo: Ed Delahunty

In the lead-up to the 2011 Worlds our own Nalty Junior was in Miami and caught up with physical conditioning coach to American football players Eduardo Ferrino, who has also been working with “Cyborg” Abreu in his preparations for the championship in California.

During his conversation with, Ferrino revealed the secrets of Cyborg’s physical prep work at Legacy Fit Fight Sport Miami training center, where he trains a number of wicked sports stars – including ones from the UFC, NFL and the NBA. Check out what he had to say.

Ferrino, how’s Cyborg’s physical fitness work for revving up his Jiu-Jitsu going?

His workouts revolve around three main aspects: First, we identify his objectives – that is, the big tourney’s Cyborg will be at over the year. Starting from there, we perform some physical tests and evaluations and I put together a training program that hinges on proper periodization. The periodization is divided into three stages: pre-base, pre-competitive, and competitive. There are demands specific to each stage (or period): focus, intensity, volume, duration, use of force stimulus, agility, explosiveness, endurance and some other factors.

But he was injured during a seminar a few months back. What’s the news on that?

Yes, we suffered a surprise knee injury while he was conducting a seminar prior to the 2011 Pan back in March. We had to rearrange his training a bit, but he’s already 100% and ready to do battle at the Worlds. At weight and absolute!

As far as exercises go, what’s he been doing?

The foundation of Cyborg’s training is power-lifting. There are, however, secondary functional exercises we put together especially for him, dealing with particular movements and characteristics. Nutritional support, yoga, and massage therapy are all part of the process.

Physically, does Cyborg seem to be at another level as an athlete?

Yes, I guarantee it. He’s 225 pounds (102 kilos) and moves like a lightweight. He’s extremely flexible, and his results in strength-based exercises have exceeded those of professional American football players! And I’m talking about 330-pound (150kg) athletes! Cyborg has the characteristics of a super athlete: explosiveness, strength, flexibility, endurance and – to round things out – plenty of grit!

To wrap things up, who else do you guys train?

There are plenty of athletes from different styles. From Jiu-Jitsu there’s Denis Mitchel, Ricardo Resende, Sofia Amarante, Jake Mackenzie, Moacir “Boca” Oliveira and others. In muay thai there’s world champion Gregory Choplain and Remy Bonnel. From the UFC, Cheick Kongo, Raphael Assunção, Rafaello Trator, Alessio Sakara have all trained with me. And together with Manning Sumner, we developed a physical conditioning plan for eight NFL and NBA players.

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