Coach Leo Frincu with his star pupil UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
Coach Leo Frincu with his star pupil UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.

I’m a former world wrestling champion and have been working as a professional trainer/strength and conditioning coach for more than a decade.

I have trained people with various goals. From getting into a wedding gown or losing the baby weight to winning the UFC world championship belt or jiu jitsu/boxing world title, there’s not much difference in the type of exercises one’s performing.

It’s the strength and intensity that separates a professional athlete from a regular person.

Believe it or not, whether you are an athlete or not, a lot of people don’t know how to get the most out of their training session. To my continued surprise, most people are still doing the wrong thing in their effort to improve their performance in and out of the gym.

We hear all the time people bragging about their “bad-ass” training regiments or “intense” workouts. However, while witnessing some of these people/athletes performing these so called “intense” workouts, most of them look sloppy, out of control emotional wrecks with a “look-at-me” attitude.

Most people associate “intense” training with bad form, while trading rational for emotional and compromising self-control. Guys, let’s get serious for a second here…”intense” training is quite the contrary; intense training is maintaining all these elements of self-control when every cell in your body is telling you to do the opposite.

Intense training isn’t acting for your ego, is performing like no one’s watching.

Intense training is not how many times you get out of breath or/and fail to finish an exercise; intense training is actually the reverse. Your goal with every exercise is to look as good, if not even better at the end of your exercise than when you started.

While most athletes are too busy going all out beast-mode rather than paying attention to their form during training, they’re actually compromising their form which also translates in lack of self-control and/or lack of self-awareness. That’s not intense training, that’s detrimental to one’s performance

Intense training is being able to maintain your composure and make rational decisions under pressure rather than letting your emotions run wild and getting frustrated when something doesn’t go your way.

Intense training is making a commitment to yourself to successfully complete a task, whether you like it or not, or whether you excel at it or not. Intense training equals with your ability to make hard look easy and new look old… quickly.

So next time you catch yourself saying “I had an intense training session,” check your premises to make sure you’re doing the right thing. Have a great training day. Thank you.

leo-frincuLeo Frincu came to the United States from Communist Romania with $10, a back pack and four words of English. Now, he’s a businessman, renowned trainer and mentor for UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Among his many athletic accomplishments, Leo is a six-time Romanian wrestling champion, four-time European champion and was also trainer and coach for the 2003 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team. Leo is the author of a new book, “Choosing Freedom,” which details the steps he took to leave the oppressive Romanian society through wrestling and how his experiences have helped him in the United States – going from a bus boy to successful entrepreneur. You can learn more about Leo Frincu on his website Also, follow Leo on Twitter @leofrincu and “LIKE” his page on Facebook.

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