As Mixed Martial Arts continues to evolve as a whole so too do its athletes in terms of not only training but other aspects of their well-being like diet and meditation.

In the case of Strikeforce lightweight Pat Healy, who fights Saturday night on Showtime against knockout specialist Maximo Blanco, his latest method of getting ready for a bout has to do with a sensory deprivation tank.

“I just started doing it after hearing Joe Rogan always talking about it,” Healy began in an exclusive interview with MMATraining. “It’s a chamber you go into that’s light-proof, sound-proof with about a foot-and-a-half to two feet of water and 850 pounds of Epson Salt. So there’s a zero gravity effect. You float on top of the water with about half of your body sinking down. It’s incredibly relaxing. It’s like you stop thinking, just relax. It has some pretty wild effects.”

What sort of effects you might ask?

“I went in there and I visualized the fight, had a mantra about the match-up where I went into the ring this weekend with confidence and swagger and knocked out Maximo Blanco in the second round.”

“You get visuals,” he continued. “The only way I can describe it is that you’re caught between dreaming and being awake. It’s kind of unreal and really hard to put into words. It’s like the next step to meditation. It’s the most calming thing.”

Other than the mental effect, Healy also explained the process helped in terms of rest when good sleep isn’t always an option for guys training at a high level six days a week.

“They say that just a handful of minutes in there is a worth an hour or two of sleep. You come out so relaxed. It really helped affect me mentally in terms of confidence going into this fight. The guys at Float On have been really helpful in terms getting prepared for this weekend mentally. I was in there for two and a half hours and it felt like nothing. I got out and was like, ‘Holy smokes!’”

If Healy’s past performances are any indicator of how well he should do with another weapon in his arsenal it should be extremely interesting to see how he performs tomorrow in Cincinnati and beyond. He is 25-16 in his career with wins over Paul Daley, Lyle Beerbohm, Dan Hardy, and Carlos Condit.


MMATraining Take: Sounds fantastic if for no other reason the experience! I wonder how many other fighters will start using a similar strategy? Seems like a lot of them should consider it if going in a sensory deprivation tank has the effects Healy mentions.