Mixed Martial Arts

Week 4 - A trainer can help keep your program on track

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Jordan Cieciwa
3/1/2014 8:50:29 PM
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This week had a major upside to it. A phone call interview with Chael Sonnen. You can hear it as part of our podcast for TSN 1290's The Weigh In. Before the interview we talked about this project, encouraging fight fans to try aspects of the training.

We talked briefly about his hilarious commercials for Nexersys (more on that later) and getting people fit. During the podcast interview we talked his picks for UFC Fight Night, and about his ability to always be ready for any fight any time.

His answer was simple.

It goes back to his wrestling days, and you never know who's going to be your opponent. You simply have to be ready and be your best. Chael isn't as big on strength training, and in fact sees it the same as some of the "old school" guys do. It's more to break up training than to add to it. It's a mental break, something new.

It got me thinking about my week of training. I spend a lot of my time doing the work I have my pro's do in the strength room. I also make time for kickboxing. Unfortunately, finding time to get to a jujitsu or wrestling class never matches my schedule, but I can always hit a heavy bag.  Which led me to take a look around the internet, my hope was to find a few things MMA fans could try that could match their schedule if they wanted to try striking.

The fitness you need for 20-30 minutes of striking is actually incredible. It truly is one of the top cardiovascular workouts. If you want your body to lose fat, cardio burns it off. Especially if that cardio is done in intervals, and high intensity training (HIT).

I checked out a brand new franchise to the market, it's called 9 Round Fitness.

Basically a new class starts every 30 minutes. You are involved in a circuit of 9 x 3 minute rounds of activity. So if you are a fan of MMA or Kickboxing, but are not quite ready to enter a full fight gym, this is the perfect start. Trust me when I say, fight gyms can be intimidating. Go at the wrong time and you can see blood on the mats, and sweat flying everywhere.

It's not the best starting point for a lot of people. Something with the basics of kickboxing, and people there simply to get a workout and try the sport they love is perfect.

If you don't want to leave your home, you need to try a Nexersys. It's a stand-alone piece of workout equipment. It comes with software to ensure you are progressing, learning and increasing your fitness. The targets have accelerometers to insure your safety when striking.

For a beginner in kickboxing it's great, and it can advance you as you get better at your striking game. Again, anytime you can work in high intensity intervals into your training, it's a great thing.

I would love to see fight fans try something like this, just to get introduced to the sport they love. Building an understanding of what goes into training, builds more passion for the sport. It also builds sponsorship opportunities for athletes. Meaning, they get paid to train and the fans see more complete fighters. 

My week was capped off by a meeting with my trainer; it's time to buckle down. I'm looking to be able to hit 205 by the end of this 10 weeks. Currently my weight is sitting at 221 pounds. That means it's time to tighten up on diet. This is the worst part of training. It's also why fighters hire trainers. I'm using Jeff Fisher at Elite Performance in Winnipeg; he's helped athletes in all sports cut weight to be their best.

I'm using a trainer because I would not do what it takes if it was up to me. You need someone to reinforce the necessity of being strict on the diet. If a pro misses weight, it ruins his reputation and costs him a portion of his winnings.

So to test how I can do with training and cutting calories my diet this week has a lot more focus. No sugar at all, increasing my good fats, using select supplements to ensure my vitamins and minerals are up even though my calories are being cut. I will eat 5 times in a day, 3 meals and two smaller snacks. 

I'm also taking care to remove carbohydrates that have gluten, and extra dairy products. A lot of pro fighters are avoiding dairy as their fights approach. Dairy can in some people increase the production mucus, which affects breathing through the nose. Last week I started running with my SISU Mouth guard. Even though it has significant improvements in how well it fits, you still shouldn't be breathing with an open mouth.

So dairy is reduced.

I'm on track, it feels good and I can't wait to hear from fans of the sport of MMA as they turn their health around, and develop some healthy habits thanks to their passion for MMA. Lots to learn and a lot of fun to be had while getting active.

The Gym (Photo: Marty Melville/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Marty Melville/Getty Images)
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