Pro MMA Now strength and conditioning spotlight: Kelly Tekin’s Team Conditioned

Team Conditioned's Kelly Tekin

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Kelly Tekin is one of New Mexico’s premiere strength and conditioning coaches. She is the trainer for some of the top fighters in the UFC and mixed martial arts.

Rashad Evans, Jon Jones, Clay Guida, Donald Cerrone, and Leonard Garcia are just a few of the many well-known professional MMA fighters that rely on Kelly Tekin to get them and keep them in optimum physical condition to compete at the highest levels.

Tekin not only works with MMA fighters, but athletes from all sports who are looking to reach that next level of accomplishment. Her sport-specific training focuses on the individual needs of each athlete. All of her performance coaches at “Team Conditioned” have or are finishing their B.S. or M.S. in Exercise Science or Kinesiology.‘s Tami Carswell was recently in Albuquerque where she caught up with Kelly Tekin, as well as UFC fighter Kyle Noke, and some of the other fighters that have been training with Tekin.

She spoke with Tekin about working with UFC fighter Carlos Condit, some of her training methods, and what sets her “Team Conditioned” system apart from other strength and conditioning programs. The following video and written interview is taken from that meeting:: Tell me a little about the part you had in Carlos Condit’s training for his last fight.

Kelly Tekin: Carlos Condit started training with me last November for the fight that was going to happen in January. That fight did not happen because he cut his hand. He came back in March and has been training with me since for this fight. He comes twice a week for an hour each time. He comes in very focused and we have concentrated on his strength, power, explosiveness, endurance, and quickness. That is what fighters always want. They do not want to focus on one thing just everything. How has he improved since he has been with you?

Kelly Tekin: His conditioning and endurance improved the most. Most fighters start in decent shape and they really improve while working with me. He dreads the tread sled. Most people do no matter what shape you are in. It is a non motorized treadmill. When clients come in they do a 5 minute warm-up on the treadmill or the bike. One day all the bikes etc. were full and he warmed up by doing sprints on tread sled. Oh yeah he really has improved. He has a lot of heart and the will to really get better. Do you do some research on each fighter before you start working with them?

Kelly Tekin: I look at their fights as see how they fight and what they are like so I know more about them before they come in. It gives me insight on what to focus on. Do you focus more on strength than cardio for some fighters?

Kelly Tekin: Tom Watson came to work with me and said his conditioning was fine. He said he just wanted to get stronger. Sure enough his cardio was really great. He only had two sessions with us before his last fight and now he is coming back to train with us. What makes your sports specific training different than other training programs out there?

Kelly Tekin: We have a reputation for hard work on all kinds of things but we are most famous for our leg training. There was an old saying when I used to work in the gym, “Anyone who trains their upper body and not their lower body has no respect for the gym. I believe that. The leg muscles are the largest muscle groups of the body. If you can get through hard leg training sessions that will just really up your cardio as well. I consider myself a trainer and conditioning coach not so much a business woman. Gym owners in general want to get their memberships real high and pay their trainers whatever. For me, what makes us different is that we are a family of trainers. Without my trainers I would not have this. I want to make sure they can make a living with working with me on this. I have hand picked good trainers and I am doing what it takes to make them happy as well as our athletes. I feel really blessed to be able to do what I do. Every morning I send out a motivational text for everyone here. We are called “Team Conditioned”. ¬†Everyone is on one team here. Getting people to be a part of the team and watching people reach their goals really inspires me. That is why I do this.

If you want to take your strength and conditioning to the next level, check out Kelly Tekin’s website There you can learn more about her philosophy, their training facility, performance coaches, the sport-specific programs they offer, and their online training camps.

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