JBLM: UFC fighters reveal best way to get in shape

By Gail Wood on May 5, 2014

So, you've gained weight and you want to get in better shape.

Well, Mike Dolce and Rich Franklin, two famous names in the Ultimate Fighting Championship world, will tell you the remedy for getting in shape, for cutting weight and gaining muscle, isn't found in just going to the gym and working out. It's also about eating right.

Dolce, a MMA coach for over a decade with the UFC, and Franklin, a former three-time UFC world champ, talked Saturday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, sharing insights to becoming a better you.

"It's not just about what you do in the gym," Franklin said. "But it's also about the food you put into your body."

Extra sweat at the gym doesn't mean extra portions at dinner. Getting into shape and sustaining good health is a lifestyle choice, not just a 45-minute workout in the gym.

"People honestly think that getting into the gym is what really gets you into shape," Franklin said. "It's also about healthy living."

That means eating the right food, getting enough rest and getting a good workout.

"It's about living a lifestyle," Franklin said. "It's more than getting to the gym 45 minutes each day."

Dolce, who once went from a 280-pound power lifter to a fit 175-pound MMA fighter, said working out in the gym is only part of the puzzle.

"Nutrition is more important than exercise," Dolce said. "A person who eats perfectly and never works out will have a longer life expectation than the person who works out every day. Food is king. What are you putting in your body?"

In addition to calorie burning and eating right, their message was reaching the potential in life, whether it's as a soldier, a dad, a son or as a businessman.

"How many people start their day with setting specific goals for the day?" Dolce said as he began his 20-minute talk to about 60 MMA fans at Wilson Fitness Center.

Setting goals, a daily to-do list, is a way of staying on task and getting jobs done, Dolce said. But in addition to setting daily goals, Dolce said it's important to set career goals. Where do you want to be in 10 years?

"We don't want to be a burden on others based on our decisions today," Dolce said.

To be lazy, not motivated, that is a choice. Resist that decision, Dolce said.

"Focus on how to be more successful," Dolce said. "If you don't like your job, that's okay. What job do you want? What do you need to get there?"

More education? More training? Then take those steps to achieving that goal.

Their cure to can't is do.

Dolce listed four things to do to "bullet proof your life" nutritionally. He said you need to: eat real food (not processed); eat every two to four hours; eat until you're satisfied and not until you're full. He also said never eat anything out of a box.

"We're here for a short time," Dolce said. "While you're here, make the most of it."

The daylong fitness workshop event with Dolce and Franklin was hosted by the Air Force Reserve Recruiting and was part of the 2014 UFC Fit tour.

"The Air Force is trying to place more emphasis on fitness," said master sergeant James Joval, a recruiter for the Air Force Reserve. "This is a way to motivate people to go to the next level or to maintain a decent enough level to pass PT tests. It's an educational tool and a motivator."