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Cieciwa: Week 1 of an MMA training camp

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Jordan Cieciwa, TSN Radio 1290
2/22/2013 11:48:54 AM
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My plan to train like an MMA fighter leading up to UFC on Fuel TV 9 may have been a bad idea.  It feels like it right now anyway. 

My ankle muscles are sore from skipping, my abs are sore from everything, and there is this strange feeling of total exhaustion right to my soul.  This is the end of Day 2.

If I am honest, I started Saturday February 16.  I added a few extra sprints with incline, and picked up my intensity a little bit with the circuits.  It was my usual workout with a little enthusiasm.  I would have been fine, but now I do two workouts a day just like the pros.

Monday and Tuesday were the first days that I followed Tarec's fight plan.

If you recall Tarec Saffiendine does sparring on Monday, so after my morning workout I got back in the groove in the evening. 

Monday night I worked out on my Nexersys. I simulated sparring by being reactive, but absolutely no contact. 

Nexersys is in-home training, and perfect for an MMA fan.  The great thing about home training equipment is you can use it whenever you want.  Normal classes for kickboxing start at 5:30pm or 6:30pm.  I went six rounds (24 minutes) plus 10 minutes of skipping and 10 minutes of core training at exactly 7:10pm.  I was done that session by 7:55pm, giving me time to sit down and watch SportsCentre.

The hardest part was getting into gear after having a morning workout, since I wasn't sure I had fully recovered yet.

I couldn't imagine doing this with a pro fighter waiting to hit me on the other side of this deadline.  I also couldn't imagine doing this without the advice and support of Lew Polley.  My second pro friend to weigh in.

Lew fights pro, and works with a lot of the guys over at Black House.  He and his partners started Zephyr systems to help fighters make weight easier. Their position is to keep guys healthy and doing smart things all the time.  It's amazing where fight camps have come from, and how scientific they are. The process is mapped out start to finish for these athletes. 

The reason the first post is about nutrition, is because it's the most important part of the equation.  I will not lose weight or remain fuelled if I miss this step.  If I want to be 220 pounds for UFC on Fuel  TV 9, down 25 pounds, then I need to be spot on with my diet. If I want to workout twice a day and improve/pick up some new skills, I have to be making sure my energy stores are optimal.

Breakfast is without a doubt the most important thing for me right now. It has to have protein, be nutrient rich, and have high fibre.  If it doesn't, I will not have the building blocks to make it through the day.

In my opinion, if you are looking for weight loss, or if you are a pro athlete your breakfast should look like this Ultimate Morning Smoothie.

Tips straight from Lew – Things I plan to incorporate

Limit your Dairy intake - Lew is not a fan of dairy and finds a lot of his fighters feel lighter and are able to breath better.  Lots of athletes like chocolate milk after an intense workout session, and it's a recommendation I follow.  I have chocolate milk after a high intensity session in the morning, knowing I have something else to fuel for. 

As Lew pointed out, we are the only animal on the planet that drinks a different species mothers milk, and the only species to drink milk into adulthood.  Get calcium from dark green vegetables, and decrease the sugars in your diet by lowering dairy.

Eat as organic as possible - Both Lew and Tarec follow that principle.  Lew also said try not to buy anything from a bag.  Get your produce fresh, and skip any food from a box.  Tarec said the same, and both athletes stay away from freezing their meat.  They cook it within a few days from buying it. 

They also buy antibiotic free, and free range meat only. In my home town we have a great website where you can learn to buy local.  It's the best way to stay healthy and support the economy.

Plan everything -  I know this from living in the same house as Lew for a while.  He is always prepared with meals and healthy choices.  It's the key to staying on track with the diet - their needs to be a plan.  If you are a young fighter, or a fighter looking to change weight classes I would suggest contacting Lew @lewpolley on Twitter, he gets back to his fans.

So this leaves me with my base and my ideas for eating right.  Knowing what to do has never been my issue.  I put on extra weight in the last few months by allowing small treats to be part of my everyday.  Here's my nutrition schedule. I still use Greek Yogurt, but limit dairy to that, and the odd chocolate milk after a workout. Once a plan is in place, you can make sure your day is on schedule.

Being around MMA gyms, I always saw guys with Tupperware full of food.  After a couple days back on the two a day band wagon, I am remembering why. You need fuel, and you need it within 30 minutes to an hour after training.

Don't even get me started on the water and electrolyte replacement.  That's for the next post. 

Until then, know that I am committed to six weeks of this. Manuel Ruiz will be teaching/reviewing some basics of Jujitsu with me this week.  Once this six weeks is over, my friends Kito Poblah and Marcellus Bowman are going to welcome me to their world of football training.  Right now, they are working conditioning with my MMA circuits.  Next step, I join Kito for some of his Finish First Football training. 

The focus is on being 220 pounds and celebrating by watching UFC on Fuel 9 with Buck Pierce at his restaurant in Winnipeg.  I get a big plate of the best ribs in Winnipeg if I succeed.

So here it starts, my trip into the depths of MMA training and what a real camp feels like.  Thank God no one has hit me yet.  

Jordan Cieciwa can be heard on TSN Radio 1290 every Saturday at 11:30am ct with his show The Weigh-In. You can also follow Jordan at www.twitter.com/FitCityJordan and get all your fitness tips at www.onefitcity.com.

UFC (Photo: HENNING KAISER/AFP/Getty Images)

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(Photo: HENNING KAISER/AFP/Getty Images)
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