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Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s Conditioning Coach Says Perfecting Ahtletes Undermined His Methods

Joanna Jedrzejczyk's strength and conditioning coach Phil Daru says Perfecting Athletes undermined his methods.

“Make weight and feel great” is Perfecting Athlete’s motto, but according to Joanna Jedrzejczyk, she was feeling anything but great just 24-hours before her showdown with Rose Namajunas at UFC 217.

Earlier this weekend, Jedrzejczyk explained in an interview in the Polish media that she was very unhappy with her fight week preparation and that she felt that there had been “negligence in here camp.” Earlier in the year, the Pole spoke out in defence of Perfecting Athletes when fellow UFC fighter Ray Borg spoke out about his displeasure at the way they’d helped him prepare for his UFC flyweight title fight with Demetrious Johnson. With Jedrzejczyk now speaking out about her own bad experience, other parts of her teams are also coming out and starting to raise their concern and one of these men is her American Top Team strength and conditioning coach, Phil Daru.

Speaking on his Fight Strength Podcast today with co-host Jason Burgos and fellow strength and conditioning coach Tony Ricci, Daru gave his own views on Perfecting Athletes and began by talking about his experiences with them.

“Let me start off by saying that this is no bash on them personally or how they are as individuals or as human beings,” Daru said. “As an organization standpoint, or what they do as a profession, I don’t feel like they’re accurate with their approaches. Let me just put it like that.”

“I knew Joanna was working with them primarily and that they were actually taking care of everything. Even just like, washing her clothes, making her meals and writing on water bottles and things like that. The case and matter though is that I was left in the dark with their protocols which was weird to me because a lot of the time, with all of my fighters, we have a full conversation about what they’re actually putting in their body on a daily basis so we can enhance the performance aspects of what we’re trying to do.

“Also, I didn’t hear directly from them, but I heard for other people that they didn’t necessarily agree with what I was doing and that they were trying to put into her head that I was doing something wrong as far as trying to make her into like a body builder or something along the lines of that.”

Ricci shared Daru’s experiences and similarly described Perfecting Athletes as “uncooperative.” Daru went onto explain that he’d spoken to them for more than two minutes and that it was unusual for him not to consult with his fighter’s dieticians.

“They don’t know anything about my program or what my periodization stands from,” Daru said. “They didn’t look into any of my modalities or any of my methodologies or what I do for these fighters. From that point, I was just like these people really don’t care or they don’t understand anything.

“From that point of view, I never got to talk to them for more than like two minutes to be honest. We never had a full conversation.”

Daru then went on to explain a situation where Perfecting Athlete’s overstepped the mark. The incident occurred during the lead up to Jedrzejczyk’s fight with Namajunas last month and it left Daru in a very awkward position.

“She was pushing a prowler and we were basically doing some strength and conditioning work,” Daru said. “Now, those of you that don’t know, this is no eccentric loading, so you aren’t going to build a massive amount of hypertrophy, you aren’t going to build a lot of muscle with this. This is more of a conditioning tool and a strength and endurance tool. You can build absolute strength depending on how much [weight] you put on the prowler, [but] what I was trying to accomplish in this certain timeframe was were doing anaerobic conditioning. basically, we were sprinting with the prowler using light loads to enhance the ability to have anaerobic conditioning abilities.

“After she was doing this, we were doing like our second or third set and she started to feel like, there was obviously a lot of blood pumping to her legs.

“Anyway, I see a change in her demeanour that I’d never seen her with and she basically, look, if you know Joanna, she’s a monster man. She comes in, she’s ready to train, she’s focused and nothing really bothers her.”

Something was bothering her when she was pushing this prowler and the guys were with her and I thought she was just getting frustrated because the guys were obviously going to push it faster. So she was getting frustrated with that and then she finishes her push and the she looks at me and goes ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’ I’ve never [during] the whole year I’ve been training her, hear her say this to me. So I go ‘why?’ and she goes ‘well, they [Perfecting Athletes] told me that my legs were getting too big and that I got to stop training my legs’. We’re like six weeks out. We have plenty of time for this. First of all, she [Paulina] doesn’t know what we’re trying to accomplish with this certain exercise, but they told her to tell me not to do certain things. Now you’re taking away my ability as a coach by putting negative things in my fighter’s brain to say that what I’m doing is incorrect.”

Listen to the full episode here:

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