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Fight Strong

By Matthew Pearlman | for Knuckle Junkies

Most people in whatever sport or discipline they are practicing strive to be stronger at what they do. But what does strong really mean? Does it mean the ability to lift a car at any given moment? Or use the largest dumbbell for any exercise in whatever gym you are in?

Not necessarily.

While things like this are sure indicators of some form of power, they are not necessarily what are meant by strength in competitive athletics, namely combat sports such as mixed martial arts. My name is Ryan Sutton and I have been obsessed with the pursuit of strength for close to 15 years now.

My pursuit began when I started the sport that I would ultimately fall in love with and spend the rest of my life associated with; the sport of wrestling.

I found at a very early age that being stronger than an opponent could pay great dividends and I used this knowledge along with countless hours doing grueling self experimentation of strength training to accomplish some pretty substantial achievements.

I, among other things and only starting with my college career, was a NJCAA All-American, a NCAA Div I. starter, a NAIA All-American, and a three-time FILA University Greco Roman All-American which qualified me to be an Olympic Training Center resident for three years. Now while these accolades cannot all be credited to sheer strength but a culmination of hard work, discipline of lifestyle, and great coaching, they were surely made more attainable through intensive strength and conditioning training.

I am currently training at Finneys MMA in St.Louis, where not only am I pursuing further achievements as a professional mixed martial artist, but also hold a position as a personal trainer. My aforementioned pursuit of greater strength gains has led me to research, earn varying certifications, and not only experience firsthand applications of training but passing on training principles to fellow athletes and clients.

I have been involved in personal training since 2006 and revel in the science of sweat!

Through my postings on this fantastic site, I hope to not only answer questions from others on how to advance themselves and help their training, but to give some workouts that will hopefully translate to what we are all striving for: strength for improved performance!!

Ryan Sutton is a professional mixed martial artist and trainer at Finney's MMA. You can contact Ryan at

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