Monday, January 17, 2011

First Night Back

Just wanted to say tonight was the first night back and it was great. I am a little slow on some of the moves, but that was more out of caution than anything else. There was no pain and I was able to roll fairly well. I know this is a short post, but it was refreshing to finally get back to really working out. The diet and rest has helped speed the healing process and I am glad that it all paid off. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Planning the Daily Workouts

Sorry for the hiatus, I have been putting a lot of effort into reading workout routines and trying to develop one to meet my needs. Since I will also be going to MMA classes at night, I will have to do these routines in the morning. I also want to make sure that I am not killing myself in the morning or using up all my energy, which will leave me sacked for class. I have to be able to train effectively in the gym so that I can improve as a fighter, but also supplement that training to increase my strength, flexibility, and speed. The flexibility part is key as well. I don't want to just lift weights and put on mass and lose my flexibility. It is crucial for me to craft a routine that will give me what I need so that I can not only compete, but win as well.

So given all the requirements I listed above, here are some of the thoughts I came up with. This is sort of rough right now because I am still researching, but feel free to help me improve my ideas before the routine is set in stone.

The Routine should incorporate the following:

-Some sort of Yoga or flexibility increasing exercise. I get very little of this type of workout at all and to add it in any capacity would be a great improvement to my current training.

-Strength training via body weight training such as techniques learned in The Naked Warrior by Pavel Tsatsouline and The Gladiator Conditioning Program by Mark Hatmaker. These two books teach fundamentals for building fighting strength and would be the key to my strength training. They allow me to build up my strength, endurance and range of motion without sacrificing speed and agility.

-Some sort of cardio conditioning that would not take too much time nor dip into my reserves for the rest of the day. I specifically mean long distance running because the trauma on my legs (takes days to fully recover), the time it would take to actually run the distance, and the amount of fatigue I would have later that night.I was thinking sprints and short distance higher speed runs. This would help with the explosive stamina training needed for grappling.

-Skipping rope and plyometrics for foot work. This is simple and obvious. I may just need to find the right plyo mix for me.

-Last but certainly not least, meditation. I need not take some time each morning to clear my mind and focus on the present. I want to be able to get the clear and "in the moment focus" I get when I am in combat outside of the ring as well. I think the only way I can do this is working on it and training myself to block out all the nonsense that clouds my thinking.

So taking all of this into consideration, I should have a program ready for your review by late Sunday. I want to start on this in the morning so that it does not interfere with my other daily obligations. Here to hoping that it works out well. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Added a Countdown!

In an effort to get serious about my goals and make sure that I not only compete but also do the best that I can, I added a countdown clock to the blog. My goal is to compete at my belt level (currently white, but whatever that is when April rolls around) and to be in the 155 weight class. As that stands, I need to lose an additional 20 pounds to make that weight. I have a diet that will allow me to do that and I am developing and exercise routine that will supplement my time in the gym. With all that, plus meditation and practice centering my mind, I believe that this is not only an attainable goal, but I should be successful in the competition.

I want everyone to take notice of the countdown and realize that from this day forward I am putting all my effort toward making the goal a reality. The next 90 or so days will be focused on everything it will take to win.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Preparing For my Return to the Gym

In my down time, I spent some time cleaning out part of my room due to sheer boredom. I came across a book I had purchased a while back, Training for Warriors by Martin Rooney. This is a good introductory book for those new to MMA and helps as a guide to get used to the jargon of the sport as well as training techniques commonly used. I would recommend to the novice in the sport as I was, about a year and a half ago, when I purchased it.

I was thumbing through it and came across the section that deals specifically with injuries. I found it odd that this section would pop out, almost as if it were synchronistic, but it had one important part that really hit home for me. It is a strategy for injury that gets the fighter to not only deal with and learn about his/ her injury, but also requires some introspective examination as to how it happened. Honesty is best when dealing with this portion because without it, you will never understand how to avoid reoccurring injuries as a result of poor form/ technique or improper preparation.

Here are the 10 points as presented by Rooney in his "Strategy for Dealing with Injuries" (pg. 282) and the response I gave to each point about my particular injury. (Bold portion taken verbatim from the book and italics is my response)

  1. Accept that the injury has occurred, and move forward. Believe it or not, this part is somewhat difficult for me for 2 reasons: A) I was making some real progress and this set back seems like a real barrier to my  improvement. B) Self doubt about my abilities and aggravation over my habits that lead me to this predicament are rather hard to get rid of. 
  2. Examine how the injury happened so that it never happens again.  In my case this was the result of poor stretching and warm ups. The gym was exceptionally cold that night and required more of a warm up that usual. Considering that I barely did any warm up, I feel that I deserve this. I also need to address my addiction to coffee. Yes, I said coffee. Big whoop you may say, but it is a tough habit for me to kick and it seems to be holding me back. Even though I drink almost a gallon of water a day, it seems as though coffee leaves me dehydrated and causes other nagging muscle aches, particularly in my shoulders and back. I managed to get a shoulder and back injury this weekend while playing with my daughter after my morning coffee. These are minor "pull" types of tweeks, but cause pain none the less.
  3.  Find out all you can about the injury and its rehabilitation. P.R.I.C.E- Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This has really helped to speed up the recovery from this muscle injury, which had me on crutches three days ago and I am now walking with a minor limp to avoid re-injuring it.
  4. Use every method of rehabilitation that you can get your hands on. I am really focused on PRICE, but am using Advil for pain relief as well as anti-inflammatory.
  5. Be consistent and thorough in your rehab. This is a little tough because when I feel improvement, I tend to treat the injury a little different and take it a little easier.
  6. Find the outlets and determine what training you can do around the injury. I have been doing chin ups, push ups, and core strengthening work.
  7. Focus on areas that you needed to improve pre-injury. (nutrition, mental training, certain body regions, etc.) Hmm. I need to focus on so much. Mental, yes. (I actually got another book for this, but that will be another post) Body, everywhere, but that is just because I am still at the beginning of this journey. But nutrition is the biggest. I am stuck between 175-180 and want to compete at 155 in April. (I am 5'10" for anyone who is wondering) My diet is good, but nowhere near where it needs to be. I take in too many carbohydrates, via fruits and grains, and not nearly enough vegetables. I need to reduce my coffee/caffeine intake, and by reduce I mean get rid of. It stinks that I feel I need a boost of energy and I want to free myself of that.
  8. Don't test the injury while healing and re-irritate it.  OK, that is really hard as well, especially since I am itching to get back in there.
  9. Develop a list of the things that injury is trying to tell you. A) I need to improve my warm up routine. B) I need to train twice a day. (more for reasons of strength and preparation for competition) C) I need better nutrition. D) I need better technique.
  10. Don't forget what you learned from the injury for the future. 10-4, Mr. Rooney. Hopefully this blog serves that purpose.
I am developing an improved training plan to help me breakthrough this plateau and propel me further toward my stated goals, but that will be another post. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Planning the Garden means Planning Nutrition

Since I am a little laid up here, I decided to start planning my garden that I will use to supply most of my food for my diet in the coming months. I will get into the ins and outs of the plan and the steps I take through this process in later posts, but I figured I would let you know what book I picked up and began reading about this.

The book is Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. The link on the right looks like it is a newer version compared to the one I am reading, but that is fine. If you want to purchase it, you will have new and more up to date info than I do, so you'll have to share a little info with me. My father in law was the one who gave me the book and it seems like a great way to get into gardening with less work and less waste in the way of harvest. I am not too far in, but as I read, I will let people know about my plan. I am looking forward to getting started.

As far as the injury is concerned, it is only day one and I already have cabin fever. Oh well, more time to read. Thanks for reading.

Set back to training

I just got back from the doctor's office with some bad news. He diagnosed an injury I sustained in training last night as a calf muscle tear and a an Achilles tendon sprain. I felt it pop as I went to do a left switch kick and the pain was immediate. I was told to stay off of it for 2 weeks and not to do any kicking or leg type training for 2 MONTHS!!!! Not sure if that is going to be possible, but I understand his caution. The pain and stiffness have both decreased since last night, which seems like a good sign to me, but my mobility is less as the pain is evident on even the slightest contraction of the muscle.

I spoke with my trainer, who I personally think is the best, and he wanted me to stay engaged with the classes and training even if I am only able to sit and watch. It is his feeling that there is a lot for me to gain as a fighter by just observing and being around my teammates. This made my day because it made me realize that there are so many aspects to this sport that one could work on outside of the sheer physical training. I need to be mentally into what I am doing and this is a way to keep my focus where it should be. There is also a lot I could learn from observing others, which is not something you normally do when you are participating in the drills.

Right now, my plan is to focus on working on my abs and chin ups. I will continue to do this for the next two weeks to keep active. I also want to add a few more core drills in there, but I need to find moves that do not require my legs in the short term. As far as the gym goes, I will be going in and taking notes and possibly some videos. I may even post them on this site, but mostly these are for me to study so I do not fall behind. I am also looking for info and maybe even some books that refer to foods and remedies that help muscle and tendon injuries. I will post anything I find.

As for right now, I am going to get back to the resting and elevation part of my rehab. I will post more tomorrow. Thanks for reading.