Whether you are a professional MMA Fighter looking to cut weight or if you train to maintain high fitness levels and are searching for ways to improve your diet then starting a diet log is a really effective first step.
With a plethora of advice out there regarding nutrition, we won’t be covering well trodden ground in this article, but aim to outline some of the benefits of keeping a journal of what you eat as part of an effective diet and nutrition programme. This article is by no means specific to the field of MMA nutrition and could be applied to help you form the building the blocks of any successful diet.
Before taking further advice and building up a detailed programme to suit your needs, your diet log will provide you with an interesting and useful insight in to your current habits and you may even be surprised by what you see! Check out some of the other benefits below;
1 – ACCOUNTABILITY
It’s obvious that by keeping diet log, you will be more aware of what you are eating. The added benefit of this is that you will think twice before putting away that extra doughnut that’s going spare in the office canteen, knowing that you will have to add it to your list.
2 – SPOTTING GAPS IN YOUR DIET
Seeing things down on paper will help you to spot any deficiencies in your current diet with regards to getting the right balance from the major food and nutrition groups. You might find that you’re easily meeting your 5 a day fruit and veg quota, but are lacking in your dairy intake for example.
3 – DISAGREEABLE FOOD DETECTION
This is something that could prove useful if you notice that after eating certain foods, you feel discomfort, bloated etc… This could be down to portion sizes or a natural intolerance to certain foods that you be best to find a suitable alternative for.
4 – DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE FLUIDS!
It’s common knowledge that the majority of us do not drink enough water, so keeping track of your intake can certainly help with this. If you have not been in the habit of monitoring your nutritional intake, it is easy to discount other fluids and their effect on our diet. In terms of their impact on our recommended daily nutritional allowances, you may be shocked at the sugar and calorie counts of certain soft drinks.
5 – LINKS BETWEEN MOOD AND FOOD
Once you are in the full swing of your newly formed diet, you may start to adopt the food is fuel mind set and flavour may take second place. By keeping a food journal, you may also want to make a note of your mindset as you have eaten certain foods. In addition to craving particular flavours, most notably sugar and salt, your journal may reveal some interesting findings about your habits, in relation to your mindset when you eat certain foods.
Are you eating at certain times of the day to fill a boredom gap, procrastinate on doing things that need to be done etc…? Being aware of the mental aspect of dieting will help you prepare to fight the need to give in and cheat during the early stages of your new diet.
WHAT TO RECORD IN THE DIARY
Keeping a record of your habits for two weeks should be sufficient enough time to give you a good background and insight in to your current diet.
We recommend recording;
• What you have eaten
• Where & When
• Portion Size
• Fluid Intake
• Mindset (Optional)
For more detailed advice around building a tailored diet we would advise seeking out professional advice, making sure to avoid ‘tips’ from companies that may being trying to sell you a product at the end of it!
Articles that explain the bare basic facts about why you should eat certain foods and their impact on our bodies, such as this MMA MEAL PLANNING article on the Body Building.com website are good examples of the kind of impartial stats and facts that you should be looking out for.
If you think that you may be addicted to your training regime or a slightly over obsessive fan, then there should be a few things on our list below that you can relate to:
1- Training Withdrawal
We all have those times when unavoidable things get in the way of your training and it’s common for your mind to start playing tricks on you about the effect that the missed sessions are having.
Your ‘training withdrawal’ symptoms may include feeling that your technique is getting rusty, your condition is declining and you don’t feel as strong etc…
These thoughts are usually quite fickle and after few sessions back though you’ll probably feel on top of the world again and wonder what all the fuss was about!
2 – Training Video Overload!
Basically your YouTube search history is an endless list of training, technique and highlight videos and their viewing has all but replaced everything that you used to watch on TV.
Your email inbox will also be clogged full of annoying updates from all of those training video channels that you have subscribed too as well!
3 – Budget Priorities: Biils, Food and Training!
Along side your utility bills and food shopping, your outgoings per month on training sessions takes a pretty high priority as an essential, non negotiable part of your budget.
If you find yourself strapped for cash and allocate parts of your budget away from things you no longer see as “essential” then it may be time to put things in perspective.
4 – Instant Gift Ideas
Your standard, stock answer to the question, “what do you want for your birthday this year?” was normally met with “I’m not really bothered, anything really or I don’t really need anything”.
Not anymore. You’ll now have a tidy little list of gear and clothing upgrades that you’ve been putting the pennies away for, and when the birthday or Christmas question comes up. You’ll have it right to hand to mention that there’s an expensive pair of new MMA Gloves that you’ve had your eye on for a little while now… hint, hint.
We don’t need to remind you where to direct that generous person to either do we? 😉 Just in case you do here’s the link; MMA Fightwear!
5 – Walkout Song Wish List
While out on a jog with your playlist on shuffle, one of those songs comes on that gives you a little kick and burst of energy. You start to think that it would make a great walk out song and you make a mental note to add this to your list when you get home.
This habit can kick in at anytime where music is involved, including when you’re driving with the radio on or when you here a particular soundtrack to a film. If you find yourself pulling over with the hazard lights on or put the film on pause to make a note, then you need to accept the fact that you have a problem!
6 – Name Geek
You can pronounce Stipe Miocic and spell Nogueira without checking if it’s correct first.
As Official European Hayabusa Distributor we want to give a big congratulations to the Team Hayabusa sponsored from last weekends UFC Fight Nights in Stockholm and Halifax (Canada).
The event in Sweden saw victories for Jerome-Max “Blessed” Holloway, Dennis Siver and Krzysztof Jotko. The victorious fighters could all be seen battling it out wearing the Hayabusa Metaru Performance Shorts. Check out the Hayabusa Facebook page for some of the highlight pictures from the night
The Halifax event was an even bigger night in terms of Team Hayabusa victories, with five out of eight Hayabusa sponsored fighters winning. Congratulations go out to; Elias Theodorou, Nordine Taleb, Mitch Gagnon, Paul Felder and Olivier Aubin-Mercier.
Fighters proudly represented Hayabusa wearing the Haburi Compression Shorts and Metaru Fight Shorts.
Of course, our support goes out to the Team Hayabusa fighters who were unable to secure wins and we wish them the best of luck for the next time!
At MMA Fightwear, we always like to have a read of other MMA related blogs and news sites to keep ourselves updated with what is being discussed in the sport.
Recently we came across a really interesting article on the yourmma.tv website called Professional Rules, Not Professional Athlete, written by Jay Furness.
The author of the article, a professional MMA fighter himself, discusses his views on the distinction between “pro fighter” and “pro athlete”.
If you are interested in to getting a snap shot insight in to the life of a UK based professional MMA fighter, then we reckon that this article is worth taking a few minutes out to have a read of.
The author goes in to detail about the struggles and balancing act of holding down a full time job as well as fitting in a busy training regime. He also touches on the rarity of being fortunate enough to be fully supported by an income from fighting “full time” with references to those who have broken through and fight in well funded organisations like the UFC and Bellator.
If you’re interested in MMA but do not train yourself, or do not train to compete, then the end of the article where the author lists his weekly training regime will be an eye opener and is sure to give you a new found respect for the hard work and dedication it takes to be a professional mma fighter!
Check out our info graphic below explaining 5 good reasons why you should wear a top quality Rashguard when training!
In no particular order, check out our list of favourite UFC walkout tunes, past and present.
Nick Denis, “Genesis” by Justice
Talk about making a grand entrance! This song definitely states that you have entered the building and are about to start something!
If this one doesn’t get you pumped then you need to wake up.
Forrest Griffin, “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys
Sounding like something that would perfectly accompany a good old fashioned bar room brawl, this testosterone fuelled, folk lyric inspired track comes from the band’s aptly named album; “The Warrior’s Code”.
With no disrespect to the track itself, there is definitely an element of “stop what you are doing right now and lets smash something up” to this one.
Alan Belcher, “The Hurricane” by Bob Dylan
More of a mini bio than a song, this Dylan classic recites the story of the turbulent life of Ruben Carter, a fighter and man famous for battling and winning against the odds.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones
Find a cooler song to make your entrance to and we’ll bow down to you.
Going down a different road to the adrenaline pumping style noise fest, there’s a reason why this Rolling Stones classic has been used repeatedly by the equally cool Martin Scorcese in not one, not two, but three of his films!
Evan Tanner and Razak Al-Hassan—”All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix
Another favourite with Hollywood directors, having a similar “cool” quality to it has Nogueira’s choice, this cover of a Dylan classic by Jimi Hendrix makes you feel that it’s time to brace yourself for a moments moment of reckoning that is about to happen!
Despite what you might think, we are not talking about developing brute strength to overcome your opponents at the expense of good technique here. The benefits of Strength Training for Martial Arts focuses on improving your technique and getting stronger without unnecessarily bulking up. Check out the list of good reasons below to include this kind of training in to your regular routine.
Better Protect Yourself Agains Injuries
You are in the midst of your final training session leading up to a fight and you slip or execute something you have been working on with poor technique.
In that split second all your hard work and build up could amount to nothing.
This is a chance all athletes take when pushing themselves to the limit, after all, we are all only human and mistakes can happen.
Athletes at all levels will take measures to reduce injuries and other negative impacts on performance, Strength Training can be just one of those measures.
By increasing the strength of your muscles around your joints , this can help to give them extra support and stability when something goes wrong. This extra support could make the difference between injury prevention or being sidelined for weeks or even months.
Maintaing Overall Physical Health
Whilst many have tried, it is impossible to fight the ageing process, although you can be pro-active in helping your body to maintain it’s optimal physical condition as you get older.
A regular resistance training programme is an excellent way to maintain and improve the things that sadly decline as your body ages, including your strength, bone density, joint function amongst many other health benefits.
In addition to the above, some of the wider benefits of developing a well supported, strong joint and muscular system include helping to reduce the chances of diabetes, various back pains and arthritis to name but a few.
Gain A Better Understanding Of Bio Mechanics
It goes without saying that to get the benefits of any exercise regime, it is important to make sure your technique is correct. This is especially true with regards to Strength Training. Poor technique could do you some serious harm and fly directly in the face of the benefits of undertaking this kind of training in the first place.
Having the correct awareness of how your muscles, joints and posture all work together when performing various resistance exercises will enable you to get the most effective results and benefits.
Gaining an awareness of bio mechanics in relation to resistance exercises can positively translate to improvements in technique in the Martial Arts. With Martial Arts techniques also heavily relying on an understanding of the physics of how the body pivots, transfers weight effectively, deflects and applies force etc…
Train Harder For Longer
Strength Training can increase the level of work load that your muscles can partake in over a period of time. Combined with a good aerobic exercise regime, you will obviously find yourself being able to perform at a higher level for longer.
A high level of endurance can benefit you by reducing the effects of fatigue and the various results of lapses in concentration that can follow this.
Anyone who has recently taken up a resistance training regime will understand that to make those incremental gains takes a positive mindset as well as physical strength. As you churn out that final rep after you’ve increased the resistance weight, you might start to hear that little voice saying “you can’t do this” or “it’s too heavy” etc… A strong positive mindset along with the help of a trusted spotter, can really help you to push through that mental / physical pain barrier.
There’ll be times when you can’t beat the weight, but you’ll stick to your plan and you will progress and move forward over time. This regular repeated cycle of pushing yourself to the point of failure, moving up a level and seeing physical improvements can have massive benefits on how your philosophy as a Martial Artist.
Progressing as a Martial Artists can be a long road with difficulties and set backs, but employing an approach that focuses on improvement through steady and consistent goals as well as regrouping when you come to a stumbling block is certainly something that can go hand in hand and backed up with a good Strength Training programme.
What Kind Of Strength Training Should I Do?
As a Martial Artist, you will want to make sure that your programme increases your strength without bulking you up too much. Gaining too much size is unlikely to benefit you and will even restrict your movement and slow you down. We advise that you consult with a Strength and Conditioning Coach and clearly set out your goals and why you want to develop your programme.
Low Set Volume and High Speed and Explosive Reps are just a couple of pointers to take in to account when drawing up your programme, good luck!
Don’t forget, that having the right equipment and apparel for the job will be a factor in the effectiveness of your programme too. Give yourself the best chance to train to your maximum with performance enhancing Fight Shorts, Rashguards and Compression that helps to aid freedom of movement and reduce injury.
As with the majority of combat sports, Muay Thai places great emphasis on fitness and conditioning.
Training exercises include those familiar to a boxers regime, but there are naturally some notable exceptions. One such exception is the conditioning of the shin bone to harden it, as Thai Boxers rely a lot on kicks using the shin bone.
To toughen up this area of their legs, Thai Boxers will repeatedly strike a densely filled heavy bag, which is highly advisable over the dangerous practice of striking tree trunks or other solid objects which can obviously damage your shins. By conditioning the shin correctly, fighters harden the bone via a process called cortical remodeling.
As far as training equipment goes, the Thai Pad is an essential piece of equipment that allows fighters to practice their kicking, punches, knees and elbow strikes with considerable force due to the densely padded nature of this kind of pad. It is also common for the trainer to wear a Body Protector to allow the fighter to practice their straight kicks and knees to the body.
As with boxing, Focus Mitt pad work sessions are effective ways for a Muay Thai fighter to develop their striking speed and accuracy, as well introducing some Heavy Bag work for developing power. There are gloves available that are more suitable and specific for more Muay Thai also. Such gloves tend to have padded palms and are more flexible than boxing gloves, allowing fighters to hold and clinch their opponents more easily.
Due to the relatively busy schedule of professional Thai Boxers, their sparring sessions are often light in terms of contact to avoid the risk of injury between fights. During sparring sessions, more emphasis is placed on perfecting timing, techniques, range and honing pre fight strategies.
So there you have it, a very brief breakdown in to the training regime and the kind of equipment used for a discipline that is amongst the most physically demanding of any of the martial arts.
Everyone loves a good quote, including us! Check out six our favourite combat sport quotes from notable names from MMA, Boxing, Jiu Jitsu and other disciplines.
If you’ve ever seen the “Last Emperor” fight then you’ll probably recognise that he was pretty damn good at putting this philosophy in to practice. This quote is straight to the point and reveals something of the motivation behind one of the greatest Mixed Martial Artists of our time.
“Most fighters are the most humble people in the world because they’ve gotten their ass kicked before.”
In his prime, it’s hard to believe that Mike Tyson would have had much experience of getting his ”ass kicked”, but there’s definitely some truth in what he says, taking a beating in the ring by a better opponent certainly keeps you grounded!
Carlos Gracie Jr.
“There is no losing in Jiu-Jitsu. You either win or you learn.”
Taking the positives even in defeat is something that we can all learn from and apply to any sport, this short quote epitomises this philosophy.
“Mental strength is really important because you either win or lose in your mind. And I’m not solely talking about sporting matches, boxing events – anything you do, you do it first with your mental strength. And you can actually train and develop it, and I am responsible for what I’m saying because I have experience with that.”
“Dr. Steelhammer” shares his wisdom about the power and importance of mental strength and how this can be improved through training.
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
Bruce Lee reveals his fear of those who dedicate their training and specialise in a particular technique. We wonder if he would have felt the same facing the might LHK of Mirko Cro Cop in his prime?!
“The best fighter is never angry”
Short and sweet from the ancient Chinese philosopher. As with many of these kinds of quotes they are open to interpretation and require you to look in to them a little deeper to grasp their meaning. We like this one because it sums up the need to contain your aggression, remain focused and keep a cool head during a fight.
We’ve covered a few different disciplines with our favourite quotes above, but don’t forget that we also cover a range of disciplines when it comes to supplying you with top quality apparel and equipment to help you get kitted out and apply some of your new found wisdom that you’ve acquired from reading this post 😉