Recently I was invited to Bulldog Strength and Conditioning in Freehold, New Jersey. As a personal trainer myself, this excited me. The first thing I noticed after walking in were owners, Maria Corso and Keith Weiss, working hard with their clients.
Mixed martial arts competitors, Sidney Outlaw and Marvin Munson were outside being put through a tough conditioning circuit by manager and coach, Peter Sarni.
As I continued walking around I spoke to gym member Greg Quarantello, a former boxer and MMA fighter. Greg spoke about the gym and his time training there for his fights a couple years ago. He went on to explain the fight team training that Keith, Maria, and Pete have been doing with their fighters.
As we talked, Marvin and Sidney moved from the heat outside to the “cooler” inside gym to begin their next circuit of exercises. While Greg and I were talking, the regular clients moved onto some dynamic stretching led by coach Peter. They were then joined by some members of the fight team. After that, Keith and Peter took the regulars and the fight team outside to go over their big circuit for the 10 am hour.
The circuit consisted of 5 exercises:
- Weighted Sled Pull 80 yards down and back
- Yoke Carry or Yoke Push 80 yards down and back
- Kettlebell Farmers Carry 80 yards down and back
- Overhead Bamboo Walk 80 yards down and back
- Sledge Hammers to The Big Tire 10 Each Side and repeated each exercise 4x
Bulldog Strength and Conditioning
The regular clients and fight team trained together pushing each other through the hard circuit.
While Peter took the clients and fight team through that circuit, I sat down with Keith and Maria. The dynamic duo explained how their business started. Keith told me they just celebrated their 5-year gym anniversary on August 13.
The current location has been part of the family for 3-years. Their original name was Bulldog Boot Camp and Nutrition located just up the road. Keith, who had a great boot camp class following and strong programming with Maria’s nutrition background, decided to open their own gym together.
After multiple certifications, they decided to set up a specific program that would take clients to the next level. Greg took his training to the next level and it showed. One of Gregs coaches, former UFC fighter Dante Rivera, noticed the improvement in Greg’s strength and conditioning. This brought on the question “what have you been doing differently?”
Greg told Dante about Bulldog Strength and Conditioning, and that’s when Dante started to work with Keith and Maria as well. Dante came aboard, then fellow two division champ for Ring Of Combat, Sidney Outlaw started coming along with some others who trained at Dante’s spot, Dante Rivera’s BJJ Academy in Freehold, NJ.
Keith and Maria started working with them, forming a strong team of fighters, working on improving their strength and conditioning. Then earlier this year, Keith and Maria got together with former fighter James Meals at his gym, Driven Gym in Woodbridge, NJ.
While at Driven Gym, Maria and Keith did a strength, conditioning and nutrition seminar that spiked interest from local fighters in attendance. Since the seminar, they told me that a good amount of their fighters on the Bulldog fight team were from that seminar at Driven Gym.
Bulldog Fight Team
The Bulldog fight team is currently at 33 fighters fighting in all different organizations including the UFC, Ring Of Combat, PA Cage Fight, XCC, Maverick MMA, and Dead Serious MMA. The fighters that are on the fight team train at Ricardo Almeida BJJ, Dante Rivera BJJ Academy, Kurt Pellegrino’s MMA Academy, Tom DeBlass’ Ocean County BJJ, Strategic MMA Academy, and Nick Catone’s MMA.
I asked Keith and Maria “What’s next?”
They were both quick to answer. The duo wants to create a one stop shop. Having a place where fighters can do their strength and conditioning, their sparing, wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu and even some type of physical therapy and/or massage would be a dream come true Keith said. While Maria would like to franchise and capitalize on what they are doing here. Maria said after 5-years there is now a great brand and model to go off of. The sky is the limit!
The two just got back from Vegas where Sidney Outlaw won his fight by rear naked choke on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. While there, Keith and Maria got to train Eddie Alvarez’s team for the Ultimate Fighter. Doors are opening all over the place for Bulldog Strength and Conditioning.
Before I made my way out, I spoke to three members of the Bulldog fight team to see when their next fights are. First I spoke with Ryan Rizco who is fighting at PA Cage Fight 29 at The Woodlands Inn & Resort in Wilkes-Barre, PA on September 22. Next I spoke with Michael DeLouisa who is the current Maverick MMA 170 lb. champion. He is fighting at Maverick 3 at The Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, PA on September 30. He will be going for the 155 lb. belt that night. The final member of the fight team I spoke with was Billy Markle. Markle is a former boxer who has recently crossed over to MMA and should hear soon about his next fight for Dead Serious MMA.
I headed out the door of their 5,000 square-foot facility as some of the regular clients who were not athletes or on the fight team were beginning their workout with Peter.
If you are ever in the area and want a great place to train, stop by Bulldog Strength and Conditioning located at 1731 Ginesi Drive, Freehold, New Jersey. You just may get to take a class with the next UFC champion.