June 15, 2024

The Fight Dietitian breaks down why Valentina Shevchenko’s unusual training rule is ‘outdated’


Jordan Sullivan better known as The Fight Dietitian in the combat sports world has provided a detailed breakdown of why former UFC champion, Valentina Shevchenko’s no water rule during training is ‘outdated’.

Season 32 of The Ultimate Fighter premiered this past Tuesday, as former women’s flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko and current champion, Alexa Grasso face off as coaches.

The two are rumored to be settling their rivalry on September 14 at UFC 306, however, the date for their trilogy is yet to be announced by the promotion.

Alexa Grasso of Mexico and Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan react after fighting to a majority draw in the UFC flyweight championship fight durin...
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Valentina’s unusual no-water rule during training

In the opening episode of TUF, ‘Bullet’ Shevchenko revealed an unusual rule to her fighters, stating that they are not allowed to drink water during their training sessions, in an attempt to build a ‘champion mindset’.

“In training, we don’t drink water. Nothing. When you’re drinking water you are kind of like focussing on (the fact) that you’re tired. This is a way to develop your championship mindset. Water only before, or after, during training, nothing, we don’t drink.” Shevchenko explained.

Of course, the 36-year-old’s revelation caused a stir in the MMA community, with the large majority of fans questioning the positive benefit of deliberately dehydrating yourself during training.

Despite that, Shevchenko is widely regarded as one of the greatest female fighters of all time and she reigned over the flyweight division for five years applying her no-water policy.

The Fight Dietitian pours cold water over Shevchenko’s ‘outdated’ training rule

Jordan Sullivan, well-known in the MMA world as The Fight Dietitian, has detailed why the Kyrgzstani’s no-water rule is ‘outdated’ and largely serves no benefit.

Sullivan works with the likes of Israel Adesanya, Alexander Volkanovski, and Leon Edwards, helping them prepare their nutrition for optimal performance during and outside of their fight camps.

The Fight Dietitian blasted Shevchenko’s ‘stupid’ no-water policy, questioning how it allows for the fighter to train consistently.

“This is Valentina’s rationale for why this is useful, the exercise is harder and if the exercise is harder, you get better which is kind of stupid logic,” The Fight Dietitian explained in a video on his Instagram.

“The thing about becoming a better athlete is that you need to do two things, train and train consistently. This is where the science of performance comes into play because then it becomes a game of how do we keep this athlete training at the standard we need, as much as possible?” Sullivan added.

Sullivan went on to demonstrate why Shevchenko’s rule is outdated and serves next to no benefit.

“Say you give me two Valentina’s and I dehydrated the f*** out of one of them and kept one properly hydrated and made them both train for a year, who is better in a year’s time?

“Physically, the non-dehydrated (one), because they will get more quality training time than the dehydrated one. Mentally they’re probably way tougher as well because despite what most people think, you don’t develop mental toughness by unnecessary suffering but by doing the thing (training).” Sullivan explained.

The Fight Dietitian finished by claiming that although he understands Shevchenko’s position on this, her training method is ultimately ‘outdated’ and doesn’t boost performance.

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