"Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments"
Nutrition is a huge part of your success regardless of your goal. I'll give some guidelines you can use to make adjustments to your diet for better performance, improved body composition and cut down recovery time.
Eat your vegetables...
Vegetables not only help reduce appetite, but they increase metabolism. It takes the body more calories to digest them than the caloric value of the vegetables. Vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals and contain a compound that increases absorption of your meal. I reccomend 2-3 servings a day.
Get plenty of protein...
No matter what your goal is, your diet needs to contain lots of low fat protein sources. They should consist of foods like skinless boneless chicken, tuna in water, turkey, egg whites and fish. With my athletes I like to aim for a minimum of 1g per pound of bodyweight and a high of 1.5-2g per pound.
Drink plenty of water...
Water is the most abundant compound in the human body and accounts for approximately 73% of lean body mass. Staying well-hydrated is necessary for optimal health, mental function and performance. There are so many health benefits to drinking enough water. Most need to aim for 8-10 glasses while some of the more active trainees aim for a gallon per day.
Choose a healthy lifestyle...
Building and creating your desired physique is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Proper nutrition is very important to build and strengthen your muscles. Only with a proper balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats can a diet provide you with the best results.
Low fat not "no fat"...
Many get caught up in diets avoiding fat all together. That is a huge mistake. There are healthy fats that are essential to our health. We just need to learn which ones are the better choice. By eating more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats you can improve your health greatly. Make an effort to cut back on saturated fats and try to avoid trans-fats. Some examples of healty fats would be olive oil, fish oil, almonds, salmon, cod, hering and walnuts.
Learn to read labels..
Nutrition information will appear in the labeling of almost all foods . Learning to see the hidden sugars and other ingreidients can help when choosing your healthy meals.
Learn how to eat when dining out...
Use some of my guidlines to help when dining out:
- Make sure your entrée is broiled, baked, grilled, steamed or poached instead of fried.
Ask the server to make substitutions, like having steamed vegetables instead of fries.
Ask for baked, boiled, or roasted potatoes instead of fried.
Order lots of vegetable side dishes and ask that any sauces or butter be left off.
Ask for low-calorie salad dressing or a lemon to squeeze on your salad instead of dressing.
- Keep your fruits in the morning and vegetables at night.
- Choose leaner meats such as poultry (without skin, not fried) and lean beef (trim visible fat, not fried).
- Use olive oil or canola spray on a nonstick pan for cooking instead of using butter or margarine.
There is a difference between an athlete’s nutritional needs and goals vs an average person. There is a level of exactness and discipline that needs to happen when you train 3-4 hours a day 4-7 days a week. Put the same attention into your diet as you do your training. Don't cheat yourself!!
Cardio...Which is best and how much?
If you've never exercised (or it's been awhile) a stationary bike is a nice choice. Because bikes offer resistance for you to work against (rather than your own body weight), you can allow your body time to get used to exercise without impact. I also like for people to start out with a brisk walk for 20-30 min 3 times per week. Be sure to progress each week by adding time and/or increasing intensity. Once your body gets used to this I like to then start with a slow jog, but once again 20 min 3 times per week. You always want to leave room for improvement. Start slow and build your way up.
For the more advanced I like to take advantage of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)cardio. In research, HIIT has been shown to burn adipose tissue more effectively than low-intensity exercise—up to 50% more efficiently! In other words, HIIT speeds up your metabolism and keeps it revved up for some time after your workout. HIIT training burns a greater number of total calories than low-intensity training and more calories burned equals more fat lost. HIIT can be done outside on a track or in the gym on any cardio equipment.
Example Treadmill HIIT :
Warm up: 3 minutes flat slow jog (i.e. 5 mph)
Climb: 1 minute 3% incline, same speed
Climb: 1 minute 6% incline, same speed
Climb: 1 minute 9% incline, same speed
Climb: 1 minute 12% incline, same speed
Work 1: 1 minute 15% incline, same speed
Rest: 2 minutes flat, walking (i.e. 2.5 mph)
Work 2: 1 minute 15% incline, slow jog (i.e. 5 mph)
Rest: 1 minutes flat, walking (i.e. 2.5 mph)
Work + Rest (repeat for a total of 5-8 work intervals). You can change the work intervals to accomodate your level.
Cool Down: Flat walk for 3-5 minutes
When I set up a periodized program for my competitive athletes I take them through small cycles that change in intensity. I always start with a strong cardio base from which we build from. I then go through mini cycles peaking them for their event/contest. We rotate through football field sprints, tower climbs, stair sprints and many types of high impact intervals runs on an inclined treadmill.
I also like to incorporate tire flips, sled drags, log flips and some sport specific d/b complexes. Sleds can be used by those who have traditionally had problems with squatting, lunging, deep knee bending, or back issues. Many of the very fundamental pulling movements don’t aggravate such conditions and allow the client to become fitter, stronger, and improve to the ability where you can start implementing other movements.
Weight training should be the core of any exercise program. It strengthens your muscles and bones and is essential to maintaining fitness. Cardiovascular exercise, although also necessary, is simply not enough. You NEED to incorporate lifting weights into your fitness program if you want to have true overall fitness.
Core training is essential to sports performance and injury prevention. The body's core muscles are the foundation for all other movement. Core training not only focuses on the abdominals, it also includes upper and lower back. Some simple exercises that can be done at home are :
Upper: Crunches, lateral crunches, full sit-up.
Lower: Leg raises, single, "pedaling," double legs.
Side: Bridging on your side, double leg raises.
Upper: Bridging, hyperextension.
Lower: Bridging, hyperextension.
I like to keep it at around 3 sets of 15 reps per exercise for beginners and 3-4 sets of 20-25 for the more advanced.
Cardio-boxing is a great way to condition the whole body because it builds muscle strength, endurance, balance, agility and coordination all at the same time.
Strength Training for Jiu-Jitsu
When designing a training routine for jiu-jitsu, include strength exercises alongside flexibility, endurance and cardiovascular training. Among the strength exercises, the squat and bench press are useful options for working your core, vital to success in jiu-jitsu. In addition, the squat improves lower body strength and overall stability, while the deadlift develop...s upper body strength. Besides these three exercises practiced in powerlifting, it's advisable to supplement your strength-training workout with more specialized movements, such as hip flexion and extension, adduction and abduction, calf raises and the shoulder press. For the most complete training for jiu-jitsu, develop a routine that works all your major muscle groups in a balanced way.
The three major moves of powerlifting have specific cross-over applications in jiu-jitsu. The squat, which improves lower body strength, core strength and balance, is particularly useful for throwing and grappling moves, when jiu-jitsu requires exceptional stability. The bench press, which develops upper body strength and endurance, is particularly useful for punching or pushing movements and for assuming a dominant position during grappling on the ground. The deadlift is particularly useful for take-downs, when one competitor knocks the opponent from a standing position onto the ground. Deadlifts also improve overall strength for throwing, grappling and gripping the opponent.
In powerlifting, the aim is to develop muscular strength by steadily increasing the amount of resistance for each exercise. However, since jiu-jitsu relies on endurance as much as strength, you may wish to alter the usual strategy of powerlifting.
Alongside your powerlifting schedule, regularly practice grappling under the instruction of a qualified jiu-jitsu instructor. Reduce body fat and improve your cardiovascular fitness by practicing aerobic activities such as running or cycling. For the best results, schedule between three and five training sessions per week. When you train two days, back to back, focus on different skill sets or muscle groups on each day to avoid fatigue.
Stretching is considered an important component in most human performance routines. Research has not confirmed its exact benefits, but improved range of motion, recovery from exercise and relaxation may be a few. However, stretching is often the lowest priority in the list of tasks to be completed during your workout. As a result, it is often left undone! Here a few tips for squeezing in a few stretches so that you can experience the benefits in the least amount of time.
1. A Stretch Between: Between strength training sets, stretch the muscles that you just worked or any other muscles. Like a super set (see my tip Super Setting), this method allows you to recover, but accomplish the task of stretching as well.
2. Commercial Stretch: If you enjoy vegging out in front of the tube as a part of your relaxation routine, include a few stretches during the commercials of your shows.
3. Pick a day: If you take a day or two off during the week and forgo strength training or cardiovascular exercise, go to the gym and stretch! A 30-minute visit is all you need!
4. Take a class: Yoga or flexibility training classes are often offered at gyms and studios. Take advantage of the opportunity as well as the benefits.
5. Morning stretch: Commit to doing your stretches before you hit the shower. Before the day has started, you've accomplished a physical task and can go into your day feeling loose and flexible.
Two common methods of stretching are often practiced. The first is the hold and relax method. Hold the stretch for 6-10 seconds, relax and repeat. The second is the hold method. Much like yoga, a position is held for up to a minute and then another stretch is performed.