Tuesday, 20 December 2011

iMMACULATE Style - An interview with Miad Najafi

I haven't reviewed a brand in a while however I was so impressed with new brand iMMACULATE that I thought I would share it with you.

iMMACULATE is one of the growing number of clothing brands inspired by mixed martial arts to hit the scene.
However to look at some of the designs you perhaps wouldn't pick it out as being your typical MMA inspired apparel.
There are currently 4 t-shirt designs available featuring stylish and artistic prints that are comparable in terms of quality to brands like All Saints and Diesel.
Here to tell us more about the idea process and thoughts behind the brand is iMMACULATE's founder Miad Najafi.

You have a diverse background in martial arts, what inspiration did you draw from this to create the iMMACULATE brand?
I have been really fortunate to have trained with some phenomenal instructors and fighters.
What is nearly always the case with high level guys, is that they are often intelligent, articulate, technical, athletic and humble individuals.
I didn’t really feel that most of the present MMA and combat sports inspired brands really captured that.
In fact I always felt that many of the market leaders relayed the more negative stereotypes of what a fighter really is. That really was the spark that has led me to create iMMACULATE.

What would you say separates your brand from some of the others currently available of the market?
The main difference is the overall brand message and identity with a strong focus on creating high quality and beautiful garments.
I wanted to portray the fighting athlete in a positive light; that fighters are in constant pursuit of perfection on their journey to excellence.
But that isn’t just because I say so, that message needs to run deep into the designs, branding, artwork, fabrics and colours choices for each and every garment.
I wanted everyone who buys an iMMACULATE piece to immediately be able to tell that this is something truly unique.

What is your favourite design out of the current t-shirts and why?

That’s a really difficult one for me to answer, as I love them all for very different reasons. Mastery (Graceful Mastery) was the first piece I commissioned by an amazing fine artist Dale Grimshaw, its based on what I felt was the DNA of iMMACULATE, so I have a personal connection with that particular piece of art but as I said, I love them all.

You have already got great reviews in popular magazines Men's Fitness and Jiujitsu Style, how would you like to see the brand develop and grow?
Obviously I want iMMACULATE to have a strong presence on the worldwide MMA and combat sports scene, but at present I am really focusing on creating garments that the athlete and fan will want to wear and to allow the iMMACULATE brand to grow organically. I am really pleased to say that the initial response has been amazing, but the feedback is even better when people see the pieces in hand as only then can the true quality and attention to detail be appreciated.

Have you got any plans to tap into the growing market of female martial artist and MMA enthusiasts?
At present we are looking at men's hoodies, sweatshirts, rashguards and fight shorts for 2012. We will however be looking at doing some women’s wear. In fact I already have some really lovely women’s vest designs in the pipeline, so watch this space!

Who out of the MMA or BJJ community would you most like to see wearing iMMACULATE?
For me it's vital that anyone who represents the brand should be someone who really holds the same general values as iMMACULATE. There are too many fighters out there who are sponsored by brands that don’t really fit the fighters character, for example Demian Maia is a really technical fighter, not to mention a really polite and humble guy, so for me it doesn’t make sense that he is representing a brand called Bad Boy, the same goes for a lot of the top level fighters!

Within MMA, I would love to see fighters like Jose Aldo, Machida, Frank Edgar, GSP, Jon Jones, Demian Maia, JDS, and Anderson Silva wearing iMMACULATE. Within BJJ I would shortlist Cobrinha, Marcelo Garcia, Braulio Estima, Lucas Lepri, Roger Gracie, Bruno Malfacine and Michael Langhi as my ideal brand ambassadors. They are all are really humble and articulate while still being phenomenal athletes, for me that’s what it's all about. Being a boxing fan, there are some fighters who I would love to represent iMMACULATE, but at present I am focused on the sports of MMA and BJJ.

Thanks to Miad for taking the time to chat with me, and I am looking forward to seeing the collection grow as I think Miad had created something really interesting.
Miad is an Alliance BJJ coach and his designs have already got the nod from the General, Fabio Gurgel
"I had the pleasure to see how the Immaculate was created; the brain storm behind the brand says why it is so cool!
Jiu jitsu and martial arts in general have from now on something that really represents what the real fighters feel"

Make sure you check out the designs on the iMMACULATE website you can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter: @immaculate88

Monday, 19 December 2011

Cage Warriors 125lb Women's Tournament

I was excited to read that Cage Warriors are promoting a 4 woman tournament to crown a 125lb Champion.
This will be some really exciting MMA to watch out for and is an example of the growing acceptance and popularity of women's MMA.

The first part of the tournament will take place in Amman, Jordan on the 15th of April and will feature German fighter Shiela Gaff (9-4-1), her opponent is still being matched.

Representing the best of UK talent is Rosi Sexton (12-2-0)and Aisling Daly (13-2-0).
Rosi and Aisling will face off on Aisling's home turf fighting in Dublin on May 5th.
The winners will finally face off in Turkey in September 1st.

I can't wait to find out who the fourth opponent will be, Rosi tweeted that she would like to see Tara La Rosa get the fourth spot.
WMMA fans may know that Gaff and Daly have already faced off with Gaff showing a much more aggressive style that finished Daly in the first round. It would be interesting to see how Daly adapts her game if she ends up facing Gaff again.
A match between Sexton and Daly has probably been on the cards for a while as they are probably the two most know fighters out of the UK. It should be a tough fight as both are very good grappler's so its a hard one to call.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Thursday Sparring - Footwork

In today session Paul was there to help us, as after watching my most recent fight with footwork still being an issue this is what we decided to work on.
We started off with some skipping followed by 9 minutes of agility drills to get warmed up. After this we worked on cutting the angle off a jab and a few other boxing combinations to get us thinking about using footwork to set up shots.
As usual the session was finished up with some sparring and then I helped the girls work their take downs and defense against the cage.
After I did some squats and lunges with Sharlotte as I have been slacking with strength work and have a bit more time to work on my conditioning with no fights or competitions for at least 4 weeks.

I have already started planning our next big session on January 22nd which will be an afternoon of boxing and submission wrestling drills for MMA followed by some sparring in the cage or ring, so if anyone would like to come along add yourself to the facebook group, send me a message or call up First Gen on 01323 724831

Monday, 12 December 2011

Kayo MMA and Female only Sparing in January

Its the day after my fourth fight and fourth win of the year.
As you may have read I had just fought a couple of weeks back on the Battle Arena show. This isn't something I would recommend or make a habit of doing as it is tough going having two fights so close together but I felt it was a good opportunity seeing as I had missed out on the contenders show and was feeling fight ready.
My opponent was Laura Clarke who was coming off a good win via TKO through a body shot.
As such I worked lots on my wrestling and movement around the cage.
The fight went how I wanted it to (despite a point taken off from an accidental illegal knee) and my take downs felt strong. I won in the first round via G&P, which was similar to my last fight but this time I felt a lot stronger with my shots.

Female training, classes and Open mats

I won't be fighting again until Feburary on either the Contenders or Battle Arena show, which gives me lots of time to work on my BJJ and grappling.

I was thinking about my plans for January and that's when I realised that there are quite a few female only events that might be of interest so here's a run down of some of them.

On the 7th January my friend caz is organising an event called "sticks kicks and jits" Which is a taster session of BJJ grappling and stick fighting, check out the event on facebook or send me an email for more info.

There is also competition sparring for BJJ at Gracie Barra in Derby the following day,,, these sessions are organised by Christine and are a great chance to get in some quality training before the Europeans.

Make sure you keep your ears open for news of the next London BJJ womens open mat session organised by Meg and taking place at various different gyms. The sessions are a great way to learn some BJJ and get some extra training in. Check out a review of the day by Meg at Megjitsu

If you live in London then why not check out purple belt Pippa Grangers female only BJJ class at diesel gym 1 on Mondays at 8pm or Sarah Merriners class on Saturdays 11am at Carlson Gracie Hammersmith.

Thursdays at First Generation gym Eastbourne from 11-2 is ladies only training, there is a good group of us now that have been meeting up to drill some technique and do a bit of hard sparring in the cage, I know not everyone is free to train in the day but if you are then feel free to come down for it, we might start a weekend class if there is enough interest.

So there you have it, lots going on in January to look forward to! Check out my next post on BJJ seminars and competitions in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Strikeforce WMMA Riled up by Rousey

I sometimes read the stats to see who has been checking out my blog, and its always interesting to see the range of countries that it has been viewed in.
I got an email out of the blue from an old friend that I had lost contact with who said that one of his friends was telling him about my blog from all the way in Australia.
I can sometimes be a bit crappy about keeping in contact but its nice to know I'm not rambelling to cyber space unheard, and it was good to catch up with someone from the past.

Has anyone else been following the twitter wars in the woman's MMA scene over the last few weeks?
Ronda Rousey, an Olympic judo medalist who has recently crossed over into MMA has been causing controversy and in her own words "getting the woman riled up"
Interest in her was sparked after she won all 4 of her pro fights in under a minute into the first round via armbar submission.
Her success didn't come without controversy as Sarah D'Alelio claimed to not have tapped from the armbar. These allegations made sure Ronda would not be letting go of a submission unless as the old saying goes her opponent tapped or snapped.
Unfortunately for Julia Budd, Rouseys latest opponent, this is exactly what went down, in an attempt to roll out of the armbar Buds arm was painfuly broken at the elbow.
After another impressive victory Rousey announced her intentions to drop to the 135lb weight class, calling out the current champ Miesha Tate for a shot at the title. Some would say this was a bold request to make after only 4 fights, especially as giving her a shot at Tate would mean Rousey skipping past fighters who had already worked their way through the 135lb division, claims were made over twitter that she should "wait her turn".
The call out had female fighters up in arms as to weather it was fair that Rousey be able to get a title shot in a category she had yet to prove herself in. The publicity and interest in the conflict lead to a double interview between Tate and Rousey on MMA hour with Ariel Helwani. Rousey took a direct approach stating that a fight between her and Tate would make the most sense from a marketing point of view.

Rousey's comments were probably more thought out that they seemed, I think it was her intention to act the cocky new comer and tempt Tate into a fight that her common sense probably wouldn't agree to. Interestingly the conflict has sparked even more of a dispute between not only Tate and Rousey but also the fighters such as Sarah Kaufman who would miss out a chance at a rematch against Tate if Rousey got her way.
I know my coaches wouldn't let me take a fight like that, Tate worked hard to get the title, it would make more sense for her to see how Rousey copes against some good fighters in the 135lbs category first.
I can see why Rousey is pushing it as she has nothing to lose 4 fights in, and remaining in the 145lb category where the cream of the crop includes the likes of Chris Cyborg, mean it makes sense for Rousey to go for gold in the 135lb category while she has a buzz surrounding her.

It may not be fair what Ronda is trying to do and as a Brit I'm inclined to get ticked off when someone tries to queue jump, however whatever fights happen next in WMMA are going to be a lot more interesting now that there is more of a story behind the match ups.

Monday, 28 November 2011

I.S.K.A MMA title

After watching all my friends kill it on UCMMA contenders in Brighton I was feeling some what sulky that I didn't get to fight.
Despite contenders not happening I had been keeping up my training, even though it wasn't looking likely I would have anyone to fight on our next fight night either.

My new found love of twitter (I know took me long enough) meant I was even more restless and psyched up to fight after following the uproar that Ronda Rousey caused by calling out Miesha Tate for a shot at the 135lb title.
"Sigh" it seems life isn't as interesting when you don't have a fight or competition to focus training around.

Randomly my friend Tanya who I fought way back in March asked me if I wanted to step in last minute for a title fight at Battle arena in Northampton.
I was in London doing my exercise to music training day and in the middle of making a "just because we can" chocolate cake with my cousins.

I text my coaches to see what they had to say and both Paul and Tolly seemed up for it if I put in the hard work.
I would like to say that I didn't scoff a huge slice of chocolate cake inducing a sugar high of excitement that was followed by a series of rocky style pose downs in mirror but yeah that totally happened.

We killed it in training for 5 days working everything, Tolly is particularly ruthless when it comes to being fight ready.
Sunday came around really quickly, I weighed in at 3pm at around 60.5kg my opponent was around 2kg heavier but we had been expecting that. Had the standard pre-fight meal of nando's quarter chicken medium, chips and garlic bread, coconut water, then a smoothie and some fruit and a couple lucozade sports.

As it was a title my fight was 19th so there was a long wait in the changing rooms, I had my book "the night watch" to keep me distracted, but overall I was feeling pretty good about the fight.
It was three 4 minute rounds, and my first time doing head shots on the ground. I think from the crowds reactions that they enjoyed the fight, and it was stopped in the third round via ground and pound.

All the excitement has meant I am now back on nocturnal time, as we got back really late and then I pretty much slept all day got up had an espresso and went to training hence writing this at 4am. Sleep is an important part of recovery so its back to a caffeine ban again from tomorrow, well today!

Thanks to my coaches Paul and Tolly and all the guys at 1st gen that helped me get ready especially joe, mikey and lee, and the crossface guys for nurturing some extra aggression in my game. Cheers to my sponsors Punchtown who hooked me up with some really nice sparing gear that made me feel extra bad ass in training.
Last fight of the year will be 11th December on KAYO MMA show in Watford then its time to focus on Jiujitsu again to be ready to rock the Euro's at the end of January.
Saying that I can't believe this year has gone so quickly but I'll save those thoughts for another post and leave you with some pictures of my new bling.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Nogi British Open

Its good to start doing competitions again especially as my time as a blue belt was spent mostly overseas or busy and broke in London, which meant I could only enter a select few comps.
It was also the first time I have entered a nogi competition.
Before I started training to fight in MMA I really used to hate nogi but I have since started to enjoy it and felt a lot more comfortable with the standing or wrestling element.
I recently got my purple belt and as I have been training for about 3 years now I entered the intermediate category.
There were 3 other girls in my group but I only got one fight against Aisling Daly which ended in a RNC.
I was pretty gutted but it was a good fight and I will feel a bit better about competing at a higher level.
I didn't really post about getting my purple belt with the same enthusiasm that surrounded getting my blue belt, as my training had felt quite hit and miss the last year.
But now I'm thinking of it more as a positive as it will push me to get better and compete at a higher level.
Time to start extra gi training for the English open at the end of November, hopefully will get a team from 1st gen to go compete.
Its looking unlikely I will have someone to fight in 2 weeks at contenders so my next MMA fight will be in December.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

SFC Fight Night "The Grappling match"

I am happy to announce that I won my third MMA fight on Friday night against Kirsty Davis with both rounds scored 10,9.
The fight went exactly how I had planned, and I was able to get the take down from the clinch and against the cage and remain in a dominant position. I worked for the submissions for both rounds, which essentially prevented my opponent from using any of their "stand up" technique.
This resulted in my opponent commenting that they were disappointed they had not got to fight properly, they didn't realize they had signed up for a grappling match and also that it was the easiest fight they had ever had. They also threw in that as I was a blue belt I should have been able to submit a white belt.

Lets look at this from a different perspective, say my opponent had spent the 2 rounds hammering me with punches and kicks and I had just moved around and covered up, essentially avoiding them from knocking me out.
I couldn't say this would be something I would be particularly proud of or use as bragging rights to help soften the blow of defeat.I also wouldn't make claims like, "I didn't know this was a kickboxing match" If it was my lack of ability to keep the match where I wanted that resulted in me not getting to show off any of my grappling skills.

I was also surprised that the fight was mainly fought on grappling terms, as I expected my opponent to perhaps try to punch or kick me throw a knee in the clinch?
Oh well you live and learn and I took away lots of positive things from the fight.
As I have always said grappling with girls is a lot different as they have a much better range of motion and are good at escaping as they are often on the receiving end when training with bigger stronger guys.I will keep travelling to train with other girls to work on that aspect of my game but I am happy with how I am progressing.

I am sorry if this seems like a bitchy post and I hate getting drawn into petty arguments but I think as a fighter its important to be able accent and learn as much from defeat as from victory.
I have respect for anyone that gets into the cage to fight as its no laughing matter and takes lots of guts but don't do it if your not prepared for what another fighter is going to bring to the table!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Helen Currie Seminar


I recently read Sam Sheridans books 'A fighters heart' and 'A fighters mind' and really enjoyed them both.
A common theme that arose with regards to progressing in jiu jitsu and fighting in general was ego.
More specifically that as you progress through the belt ranks it is important to keep an open mind and be able to learn from everyone.
I think female jiu jitsu practitioners are at particular risk of being affected by ego and its something I've always felt but never been able to place my finger on or explain very coherently.
I am sure other females often get comments like 'I didn't expect you to be so strong' or 'you would kill other girls.' from their male training partners, who are often impressed enough that we are there training let alone pulling off submissions and holding our own against all the big tough guys.
I think our egos are nicely protected as we often don't have to put ourselves on the line or in a position of fighting someone of a similar size, strength or ability.
It is too easy to make excuses when fighting men who are bigger or stronger and play a safe game based purely on escapes and avoiding submissions.
Its similar to an observation one of my coaches once made when he noticed that sometimes before sparing people would ask how much their opponent weighed or how long they have been training so as to have an excuse to provide if they got into bad situations.
Can this type of thinking or excuse making hinder us from progressing?
One of the reasons I enjoy situations such as female open mat sessions and seminars and competitions is that they allow me to test my skills against other girls. I usually approach these situations with a different mindset, I'm more sharp and focused and move in for the kill more than I ever would when training with the bigger guys in terms of ego there is a lot more at stake losing to another girl than a bigger stronger guy.
Maybe it was just a personal problem I had as opposed to something that bugs all female grapples, I have come across girls that are a lot more aggressive than me and better at imposing their game on anyone regardless.
They are the ones that inspire me to make less excuses and impose my game on people of all sizes or abilities even if it means risking being put in less favorable positions if my attempts are unsuccessful, and I'm hoping this will help to improve my BJJ and general mindset to training.

Helen Currie Seminar

In other news last weekend I attended a female only no-go seminar featuring Helen Currie at Leicester MMA academy.
It was a detailed technical session that started with a quick warm up that involved lots of different squats (that I really need to do more of to improve my mobility).
We drilled breaking our opponents posture from guard and trying to stay out of closed guard which was challenging and surprisingly tiring. Helen stated the importance of avoiding being put in someone’s closed guard at all costs.

The bulk of the seminar was based around the 3 ways to pass guard- over under or around - Working off the sitting guard pass where you position your knee to open your opponents guard.
Helen went over the importance of posture in the guard position as a way to keep your self safe from attack and to pass guard when the opportunity arose
I'm thinking about me, I'm keeping myself safe

It was a great day and despite the fact that I was a bit tired from training all week and getting up so early I still managed to get a bit of rolling in at the end with Caz Teedy, who organised the event and is a great no-gi grappler.
She also runs a monthly female MMA class and circuit training class which I will try to attend in the future.

Sunday, 13 March 2011


I have an interesting experience to write about today, last night I had an amateur MMA fight at the ZT fight night in Eastbourne.
Amazingly I won by decision after two 4 minute rounds, I can honestly say it was the most intense feeling I have ever experienced.
The girl I was fighting was amazing at stand up but I managed to stick to my game plan and take it to the ground.
I would have loved to win by submission but I still need to get used to the different dynamics of mma its a lot different from bjj or even no gi.
All in all it was a great night Sophie and Laura both won their fights and lots of partying was done after perhaps too much ;) I have a sore head inside and out today.
Back to training BJJ hard for the next few competitions coming up, I think fighting mma will help me to be more confident and aggressive with my bjj.
I fought in my tatami fight shorts and rashguard so I will post a review of them soon as its hard to find good quality female mma fight ware in the UK the girls both had fightergirl shorts which looked really good gotta get me some of those :)

Sunday, 23 January 2011

First generation at ZT fight school Eastbourne

Its a great thing to see hard work and dedication result in something as amazing as the new ZT Fight school where my bjj coach Tolly is now located.
Those of you who have followed my blog for a while can track how much bjj in Eastbourne has progressed in such a short space of time.

Tolly started teaching BJJ at canton martial arts when I returned from a months training at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, it was there I got bitten by the grappling bug and had made up my mind that I had to master BJJ.
I didn’t realise at the time what a bold statement that was or how many hours of intense training were ahead of me, it was just a feeling I had at that moment in time and I felt driven to achieve it.

I kind of think of it as fate looking back as low and behold our school had managed to acquire a bjj coach, I wondered where they had spirited him from as Eastbourne is a small place. The class attracted a range of students, some who had a basic knowledge of grappling but for the majority a pack of uncoordinated and unconditioned novices who Tolly had the challenge of teaching the complicated art of bjj to.

Class was only 3 times a week but it developed a cult following with Tolly's friendly and expert coaching style and personality proving the key behind the groups quick progression. It was not too long before some of us became regulars on the competition scene going up against some of the bigger longer established clubs and often bringing back medals for our efforts.

I had a great introduction to BJJ and I can attribute all my initial success to having this great group of people to train with, we didn't have the best facilities or training available on tap like some of the bigger gyms but it just shows that quality of training can often prove more effective than quantity and having a good coach can make all the difference to your experience and confidence when learning a new skill.

After about a year of training every ones efforts were rewarded when we had our first grading with many students that had been there from day one receiving their blue belts. It was at this point that I left the UK and went to stay with my dad for a year in Bahrain

While I was away efforts continued back in Eastbourne with Tolly always having the ultimate goal of having a permanent location that would be a solid base for everyone and allow more regular training.
He continued to train hard in BJJ and developed an interest in MMA training at Zt fight school in Brighton and his profile was raised after a number of victories at well established ZT fight nights.
Not only focusing on his success he continued to help his students to achieve their goals with many having had victories in MMA.

This success helped to push things to the next level and saw Tolly move to a part time location at fitness first where the second grading was hosted with a huge turn out of students and continued support from Brazilian top team Black belt Ze Marcello.
His hard work was also rewarded when he received his brown belt from Ze Marcello and became afficliated with Icon BJJ. All the while the final pieces were being put into place. First generation BJJ was born and ZT fightschool opened their doors in Eastbourne.

When I saw the new club for the first time I was blown away not only by the amazing facilities but by what Tolly had actually managed to achieve in terms of taking a sleepy town like Eastbourne and putting it on the map as a hotspot for up and coming talent in all areas of combat. There are so many good fighters at the school but it also attracts people who just want to improve their fitness and enjoy martial arts. Due to the positive attitudes and the way in which the club developed this is something that can coexist with everyone feeling they are part of the club regardless of age gender or ability and its an atmosphere that is often missing from some clubs.

T thanks Sol Gilbert and all the guys at Zt, Ze, students friends and sponsers that have made everything a possibility

So if you are ever down south check it out
84 hammonds drive

Facilites include cage, boxing ring, large matted area and strength and condidioning equiptemnt
Classes in BJJ MMA submission wrestling Kick boxing, taekwondo, boxing with more to be being added all the time. Ladies only and kids/youth and gym membership also available.
For more information about classes and membership you can call Tolly on 07707541535

Or if you want to check of some of the talent at the next fight night you can grab tickets on the ZT website

Thursday, 6 January 2011

VO2 max and Metabolism

Wow my brain in super charged with exercise physiology today after another fun day of training. I did 2 sub maximal VO2 max tests today. A sub maximal exercise test is useful to find out how fit you are and make sure your body has a normal response to exercise i.e the heart, lungs and metabolism are functioning as they should.

My VO2max is 31.9 ml/kg/min, When you exercise the body requires more oxygen in order to turn ATP into energy which allows muscles to contract and work to continue. VO2 max is the maximum volume of oxygen that can be utilized by the body during whole body exercise.
My VO2 max value is moderate for my age around the 50th percentile, this is after a few months of being despicably inactive, I wonder how much VO2 would improve after a few months of getting back to training bjj regularly.

How important is VO2 max to those of us training BJJ?
As I mentioned VO2 is a good estimate of how fit you are, I went back to class for the first time in ages and it kicked my ass big time. Physiologically speaking I had lost a lot of muscle mass and my heart wasn't as efficient at getting oxygen to my working muscles. My body's ability to oxidise fat as an energy source was therefore reduced and could explain why I was felt so drained by the end of class.

When training at such an intense level my body had to start using up all my blood sugar and then all the stored muscle glycogen too. Based on my metabolism anything that causes my heart rate to beat at 165bpm (85% of my estimated HRmax) and my body favours carbohydrates as a fuel.
The efficiency of my heart at delivering oxygen to the muscles was pretty bad too which means I need to get my lazy butt to the gym for some cardio!

Knowing your VO2 max can help you if you are going to do additional sessions in the gym in an effort to increase fitness and can provide some interesting information regarding your metabolic function. Increasing metabolism can help to maintain or lose weight which seems to be an eternal battle for some of us.

It is important to remember that a good nutritional plan is even more important when you start training after a period of inactivity. As failing to get a good intake of carbohydrate post training can mean recovery is slow.
Often people will not eat a good meal after training (this can be due to appetite suppression that can occur up to 1h post exercise and training finishing late at night) and if you are trying to lose weight this can be ok as long as you are getting a good intake of carbohydrate through out the day, or don't have another training session in the next 24h.

Certain foods can actually slightly increase your metabolism and include spicy foods like chilli, and green teas. 60% of the calories you burn each day are a result of your basal metabolic rate which is the calories required to maintain normal body function. On top of that you will require differing amount of calories to provide the energy for daily tasks and exercise. You can use rmr or bmr calculators online to get an estimate of this value. Make sure you are sensitive to your body's needs as the equations used by these calculators assume that metabolism is the same for everyone of a certain age.

If you have been out of training and want to improve your fitness quickly the best thing to do is 15-30 minutes high intensity interval training daily and some light or body weight exercises and stretches to help reduce risk of injury. HIIT has been shown to improve VO2 max in as little as 2 weeks and also maybe more effective at fat burning particularly around the abdomen. To make it more bjj specific mix cardio and weights together and do 5-7 minute intervals with a 1-5 minute rest in between to mimic sparing.
Here are a couple videos for some exercise ideas both videos are a bit random but the exercises seemed well balanced and specific to bjj

When ever I have to take a break from training I really dread coming back when I know my fitness will not be so good it was interesting to have it scientifically confirmed but it will be useful to test my VO2 max again after a few months of training to see if it improves any.
So if your coming back to training after time off here are some recommendations.

1) Make sure you eat well increased carbohydrate/calorie intake after training might be necessary at first to replenish depleted muscle glycogen stores until fitness picks up and the body becomes more efficient. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water
2) Do regular stretching and solo drills
3) Do some interval training using a mix of cardio and weights
4) Don't push your self too hard in sparing get back into things slowly avoid sparing with overly competitive people or anyone who's likely to take advantage of your less than peak physical condition (sounds bad but it happens)
5) Tape fingers (this might just be me playing too much guard but protect any areas you know are prone to injury)
6) Drill all the basics particularly escapes to get your mind focused again

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

I started a New years resolution!

I managed to snag not one but 2 really good deals for capoiera classes on groupon!!!
One is ten classes at capaoeira ceara in Bethnal green and the other is 5 classes at Tribo capoeira in Puteny. I've missed training capoiera since I left Bahrain so it will be nice to varey training up and makes sure I'm compleating at least on of my new years resolutions. If you arn't a member of groupon sign up they always have loads of good deals on exercise classes, keeping fit doesnt have to cost a bomb!

Its been an interesting start back at work as I have training this week so I can start doing the advanced health screens. These involve performing a submaximal VO2max test on the patients, a more detailed lung function test and also a grip strength and flexibility assessment.
Whats good is that I have more opportunity to interact and help people make some life style changes. We spent the day reviewing exercise physiology which was interesting. I'm going to start keeping a monthly record of my training and fitness as doing a VO2max will give me a good baseline of where I'm at seeing as I have been so lazy the last month.
In other news my cholesterol and blood glucose results were all normal and I got my flu job done. I have been sneezing like crazy and today I realised my coat is full of feathers and thats probably what was making me feel like crap haha.

As for the Europeans I guess I will see how I feel at training and go from there, I hate doing anything when I'm unprepared but again it would be a good chance to see what my goals should be and help gear me up for entering some bigger competitions this year.

I was in a pretty grumpy mood but cheered myself up reading a couple blogs by some other bjj girlies, its nice to know more and more girls are getting into bjj and it means as much to them as it does to me, it just gave me a good vibe! Trusty old blog patrol lets me see how people stumble upon my blog and doubles as a tool for catching up on other blogs I might have otherwise missed, anyways I will add them to my blog roll so you can enjoy them too so check it out.