In all other sports, conditioning is about injury prevention. As a strength coach, the amount of players you keep off the injured list is how you get paid.
In MMA more fighters are hurt during training camp than they are during the fight. They even state their training camps are way tougher than the fight itself. I've watched conditioning for athletes in other sports, usually it's boring. In MMA its like, they have to keep the conditioning exciting or something.
Something's gotta change.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
|How to prepare your body to compete with the big boys.|
I often get asked about what I eat and what I take and what I use.
So here they are with explanations and links to where you can get them:
Wholefoods, Trader Joe's, or Farmer's Market
Pasture raised organic eggs - I either buy Vital Farms from Wholefoods or I buy them from the farmer's market. Since eggs are something I eat daily, it is that much more important that they are of the highest quality.
Paleo bread - We make our own paleo bread at home but sometimes we buy the ones from Julian's Bakery, which are also available at Wholefoods.
Grassfed Butter - I either buy Kerry Gold's Unsalted Butter from Trader Joes or Kalona SuperNatural Grassfed Butter from Wholefoods. Or I pick up butter from a stand at the farmer's market. I also add butter to my coffee using the Bulletproof protocol.
Grassfed Ghee - I order it from Pure Indian Foods on Amazon. It's nice because you can use it on high heats. I also use organic coconut oil often, which is available everywhere, along with grassfed butter, and occasionally I will use olive oil (it has a very low smoke point so it's hard to cook with, without it going rancid. Then it will just do your body more harm than good), duck fat and tallow from Fatworks, or MCT oil. I use no other cooking oils for many health reasons.
MCT Oil - I use the NOW Foods brand. I use it occasionally for cooking, I add it to my coffee per the Bulletproof protocol, and I sometimes just drink it straight up. It's a good thermogenic, and like fish oils, almonds, and other good fats, it's brain food.
I buy a few products from this store and I find them to be of the highest quality.
Coffee - It's great tasting, low mycotoxin, single origin, and organic. I drink coffee every day, if it's something I am constantly in contact with, then it better do my body no harm. So this is why I go here for my coffee. You can read more about it here: For Coffee Drinkers.
- If you want to try to make this, you will need a coffee grinder, a percolator, and a hand blender.
Protein - I buy both the grassfed collagen and whey protein from this site. Compared to the prices of grassfed proteins elsewhere, it's not only the best but also the most affordable. Collagen is helpful for joint repair, which is something grapplers need.
As many of you know, I feel most people don't need to be on many supplements other than fish oils and possibly Vitamin D. Diet should be able to take care of the rest. But for high performance athletes, you may benefit from a few others.
Fish oils - This is the only one I feel nearly everyone should be on (unless they have a medical reason they shouldn't be). The two I recommend: Nordic Naturals and Nutrigold, both of which are in the triglyceride form. You can read more about it in my fish oils article.
Vitamin D3 - This is especially important for those people who don't get consistent sunshine daily. Basically anyone indoors during the day. It affects nearly everything from mood, memory, recovery, muscle growth, testosterone, etc. Nutrigold is the brand I like.
BCAA - It helps with recovery, for me it's especially good after a hard session of BJJ sparring, especially at my age. It's also good for weight maintenance, and muscle growth, and testosterone. I use the Muscle Pharm BCAA 3:1:2. It works best though if you take it before and after.
Shroom Tech - I found this to be especially helpful before a tournament, or a really hard sparring session. It's good for intense work outs where you will be using a lot of ATP. I get the ones made by Onnit Labs. It's popular among BJJ'ers and MMA fighters right now, and is often mentioned by Dave Asprey from Bulletproof Exec and Joe Rogan.
Posture Shirt - Not only to protect the skin but I use posture shirts to align my shoulders, neck, and back for maximum strength production while training, but also to prevent injury. Especially when doing any combative arts, your shoulders and neck are always getting banged up. A lot of injuries are caused my joint misalignment. Training with these on and training without them underneath my gi is like night and day. The best by far are by Intelliskin. You will never be able to go back to rash guards again.
Acidophilus - Among fighters, one of the tricks to prevent ring worm is by taking acidophilus. I take it before every class and also shower afterwards with tea tree oil soap. The brand I trust is from NOW. I have not gotten ring worm since. Most of all it's a probiotic and helps with not only digestion but immunity. Especially good if you had to go on a round of antibiotics.
Tea Tree Oil - I buy a giant thing from Dr. Bronner. Everything from them is organic, non-GMO, and fair-trade. Tea tree oil is the most natural sanitizing soap, and it's also good for the skin. I recommend getting shampoos, hand sanitizers, and disinfectants that rely on tea tree oil.
Standing Desk - Probably nothing has helped me get over all the dings and aches of training like a standing desk has. Just not sitting or slouching or leaning forward when I use my computer finally gave my body an opportunity to heal. My neck and shoulders have never felt better. This is a lifehack that will give you the most bang for your dollar.
Anti-Fatigue Mat - If you do get the standing desk, or you build your own, get one of these mats and stand on it barefoot or in socks. May take a week to get used to but you will be thanking me.
Foam Rollers - I mostly use The Grid, and The Rumble Roller. With all the injuries from sparring and intense training, its something I use daily and rely on more and more as I get older.
Massagers - I use two kinds. The Gurin Massage Roller, and The Massage Cane for hard to reach places. Trust me, for places on your calves and back, it will be worth it.
Massage Balls - I also use Jill Miller's Alpha Ball, or you can put high bouncy balls in a sock and use that to roll out knots. You can also buy giant rubber tennis balls for dogs and use it against a wall or the floor. I use the ones from Zanies. Not that great for dogs but good for massages. Kelly Starrett from Mobility Wod/Supple Leopard uses similar devices, you can also use lacrosse balls.
Kettlebells - There are many good ones but for convenience at home, I use adjustable ones. It's cheaper than buying a whole set and takes up less space. I'm interested in the conditioning and not the sport of kettlebell.
Shoes - I own some Converse, some wrestling shoes, sambo shoes, some 5-fingers from Vibrams, some minimalist shoes from Merril, but the ones I use most often are The New Balance Minimus. They also have Minimus for women. That also means you have to change the way you run.
High Tech Nerd Stuff
These are things I do to make sure I am optimal in every way. Part of my attempt to quantify myself.
The Fibit - It tracks how much I've moved, and how well I've slept. Very important if you need to track your progress before an event or a tournament.
Omron Body Composition Scale - To check your weight, your muscle, your body fat, your biological age, this is the one I trust. Leading up to weigh ins before a tournament, I want to check if the weight I dropped also happened to be muscle weight or just fat.
Wake Up Light - I use this to reprogram my sleep, and wake up without spiking my stress hormones with a loud alarm. It wakes you naturally, as if it was the sun itself rising. You feel more rested and it was crucial when I wanted to reprogram myself to wake up earlier.
Insidetracker - This company is used by many professional athletes, their trainers, and many sports teams as well. It's to analyze the inner you, to see how optimized you (from stress levels, metabolism, to testosterone) are and it will also analyze ways to help you get there. You can read more here: Value Of Biomarkers.
- If you use promo code: ALLOUT20, you will get 10% off.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Big Risks Pay Off
This is a scene from an obscure movie called Gattaca. A movie about perfectly engineered humans and the normally conceived humans who work as laborers.
This past UFC reminded me of that movie. Ethan Hawke, a normal human always beats his brother (an engineered ultra human) in an open water swim because Hawke doesn't save anything for the swim back. It's all or nothing, whereas his brother always has to calculate and be conservative with risks.
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Intuitively most BJJ practitioners can sense this but the most often attacked joints; the elbows and knees are the most vulnerable because they have a very limited range of motion. Being hinge joints, they can really only move in 2 directions.
Many will claim it's due to a lack of knowledge or practice that wrist locks, ankle locks, hip locks, neck locks, or locks on any other joint area are not as successful. But all the other joints allow not only for hinging, but roll, pitch, and yaw. With practice you will get better at them but will most likely never get the success ratios of elbows and knees locks (kneebar, heel hook). They also require more speed and power as your opponents will try to roll out of them, which makes it harder to train live without hurting your training partner.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
This school seems "good," it will be "good" for me, I'm "good" here so I'll join.
Good and bad are moral questions, what they really mean by good is that they are comfortable there. What they saw and felt made them comfortable.
Instead they should ask themselves, is this school the most optimal way to get better at BJJ? Their answers may then change.
Is this school "good?" Yes. Is it the most optimal way to get better? Maybe not.
Monday, October 14, 2013
When is it time?
So I've been noticing none of my kimonos (gi) are fitting me right anymore.
I actually have quite a few that I've collected over the years. All A2. And it's literally like I am a puppet when I roll with some of these Cobrinha mutants. They rag doll me and my gi doesn't help!
Then I realized something. When I started BJJ, I was a middle weight, and so A2 was just what you bought. Last time I competed, I was a light-feather, and it's the best division for me. I'm staying here.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
I disagree! I am no contrarian!A contrarian - is a person who takes up a contrary position, especially a position that is opposed to that of the majority, regardless of how unpopular it may be.
A BJJ contrarian - someone who takes up a contrary learning path, especially one that is opposed to that of the majority, in attempts to be unique, better, or learn quicker than the majority.
Machine learning - A core objective of a learner is to generalize from its experience. Generalization in this context is the ability of a learning machine to perform accurately on new, unseen examples/tasks after having experienced a learning data set.
BJJ learning - A core objective of a student is to generalize from its experience. Generalization in this context is the ability of a student to perform accurately on new, unseen examples/tasks after having experienced a learning data set.
BJJ contrarian learning - A core objective of a student is to generalize from the inexperiences of the majority. Generalization in this context is the ability of a student to perform accurately on known and previously seen examples/tasks.
Instead of adding more moves to your game, try removing some moves and simplifying it. Go lean.
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