© Marc Wickert
It's early Tuesday morning in London, and Alex Reid is at home – busily getting ready for a private lesson with a new student he has just taken on.
'The Reidernater' is a very sought-after personal trainer in the UK. And when he's not submitting opponents with his renowned triangle chokes, this Cage Rage star helps pay the bills by kicking customers into shape outside the ring.
However, it was more fantasy than business that first lured Alex into a fighting art at the tender age of 14: "I grew up on superheroes. knights, wizards and things. I got into lots of fights as a kid – the price of wanting to be a superhero. And I guess I never really grew up. All of a sudden, when kids started getting stronger, I needed an advantage and turned to martial arts," says Reid.
"Also, I got beaten up a few times and I didn't like it. The shoe being on the other foot, I decided I wanted to defend myself. It really changed my whole life: I mean it is my whole life, now."
With an inborn tendency to be competitive and the determination to seek out the ultimate fighting system, Alex turned to MMA. "It was just a natural progression. I started off doing kung fu/karate-style tournaments before moving on to boxing, kickboxing, a little bit of judo, jiu jitsu. MMA was a natural progression for a young lad wanting to find the latest and best style. It's just the most efficient and effective blend of martial arts really."
Training twice a day, between five and six days a week, Alex somehow juggles his private tuition with his own hectic training sessions – a task that just gets tougher leading up to tournaments. "If I'm feeling tired, I try to take a day off. I always try to take one day a week off, but sometimes it doesn't happen.
"But if I'm having a busy schedule. The life of a fighter isn't set in concrete, schedule-wise. Fighting isn't the most lucrative sport, so I have to pick up pieces here and there, and that of course affects my training program. If something comes in, I think: What should I do – go down the gym or put food on the table?"
Fortunately Reid can afford to ease off with his own training when he's not preparing for a specific fight. But when he does have an appointment with Cage Rage, sleep can be a luxury. "I don't go mad all the time. But sometimes it gets a bit more intense. Yesterday, I trained four times. But I'm feeling it today. I want to have a good break for the rest of the day, although I'm sparring later this evening. So I'll just take it easy until tonight, and then I'll step it up."
The scales can be another worthy opponent leading up to competition. And for Alex, cutting down to middleweight is often somewhat of a challenge. "Normally, I need to cut weight. I'm quite heavy at the moment, so I need to do a lot of running and training. I fight as a middleweight, but presently I'm heavier than a light-heavy, which is crazy. When I lose that poundage I'll be so powerful. I feel powerful at the moment. And what I do – the Americans especially are great at it – I cut weight, because we weigh-in the day before."
Read the full article on Knucklepit.com.