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Post Workout Nutrition For MMA

You’ve just expended some serious energy in the gym training to get your body into the best MMA shape it can be…  but what if you are not getting the results you should be getting due to a lack of proper after-workout nutrition?

If you want to maximize your gains from your training sessions, you need to take a little extra consideration afterward to supplying your body with the nutrients it needs.  Just a few little things can provide serious rewards.  Keep reading to get some great MMA post-workout nutrition information

Post-Workout Nutrition

Your body will be using up plenty of fluids, amino acids, and carbohydrates during aerobic and anaerobic workouts.  During intense MMA workouts you might be pushing your body too hard and all of that exercise could actually be harming your body.  This is referred to as putting your body into a Catabolic State.

Catabolic  State: Unfavorable state in the body created by a combination of too much training, lack of good nutrition and lack of rest that leads to muscle loss and fat accumulation.

What you are going to be learning is how to help your body cope with intense workouts by using proper nutrition after your workouts to quickly get your body into an Anabolic State

Anabolic State: Favorable state in the body created by a combination of good training, nutrition and rest that leads to favorable changes in body composition.

By getting your body into an Anabolic State quickly after your workouts, your chance of injury will decrease and it will increase your gains at a higher rate.

Hydration

This should be the easy one, but I find it amazing to see how many people do not properly hydrate their bodies before, during, and after their workouts.

The cells in your body are comprised mostly of water.  As you sweat, that water decreases and needs to be replenished to maintain healthy cells and muscle.

Again, this should be a no-brainer, so keep it in mind.  Be aware that your body needs to replace any water it loses.  The more you sweat, the more you should be drinking.  An easy way to do this is to keep a water bottle with you throughout your workouts and take a quick sip or mouthful in between any excercises.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy used by the body, so you will need to make sure you have enough carbohydrates before you workout, as well as making sure that you are replacing carbohydrates after you workout. Just because you’re taking a break from working out doesn’t mean your body is.  Your body needs those carbohydrates to produce glycogen, so that your body’s energy stores are not depleted.  Be aware that it is NEVER a good idea to eat too many carbohydrates.

For your post-workout carbs, we recommend carbs that have higher glycemic levels, such as carbohydrate bars, drinks, and fruit

There are a number of factors to consider to figure out the optimum types and quantities of carbs before and after a workout, but we can provide a pretty good guideline that will work for most people.

Most of us will have a set amount of carbs we take in on a daily basis, and we should be taking in close to half of those carbs before and after our workouts.  For example, if you take in around 300g of carbohydrates every day, you should be taking in roughly 75g before your workout, and 75g after.  In total, that would be about 150g for your workout, which is half of the 300g total daily intake.

Protein/Fat

Most athletes understand that protein is important in the repair and recuperation of the lean muscle tissue broken down during a workout.  It is no question that protein needs to be replenished quickly after a workout, but this needs to be done carefully with as little fat intake as possible.

Fats will slow down digestion, but post workout we are looking for rapid digestion of nutrients to quickly repair muscle.

To fulfill the protein portion of your post-workout plan you will want to use lean proteins such as fish and seafood, poultry, or egg whites.  A quick, easy, and popular option is a whey protein drink after a workout.

Glutamine

Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid that makes up about half of all amino acids in your muscle tissues.  Glutamine is released from the muscle tissues when training to help support your immune system.

Glutamine supplementation has thus become quite popular after workouts to help replenish glutamine stores in the muscle.

It is important to note that there have been no conclusive studies on the effectiveness of glutamine supplements only a lot of anecdotal evidence.  However glutamine supplements are relatively cheap and many athletes find that they are easily worth the cost, thought some athletes skip glutamine supplements and try to use BCAA’s to help replenish their glutamine stores.

BCAA

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) are three essential amino acids – Isoleucine, Leucine, and Valine.

If your body does not have sufficient levels of BCAA, it will break down your muscle tissue to get the BCAA it requires.

Here’s the kicker, your body can not make these amino acids on their own, thus they must be supplied through food intake or supplements.

Your body uses up a lot of BCAA’s during long and intense workouts, heavy cardiovascular workouts, and when you have reduced caloric intake – such as when you are cutting weight for a fight, or generally getting leaner.

BCAA’s are most effectively replenished through BCAA supplements.  As a bonus, glutamine replenishment is helped by BCAA

Nutrition Timeline

To help break this all down and summarize, below is a rough timeline of when you should be taking in nutrients during and following a workout.

1Hr before – Intake of Carbs/Water
During – Intake of Water
Immediately After – Glutamine/BCAA’s/Water
15 min after – Protein (Fat to a minimum!!!) /Water
Approx 30min to 1Hr After – Intake of Carbs  (Fat to a minimum!!!) /Water

Summary

We hope this helped to provide a rough guideline of how you can maximize your gains

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How To Choose a Rashguard for MMA

What is a rashguard?

A rashguard is an athletic shirt commonly used in MMA training for its various benefits.  They are made to wick away sweat and keep you dry during training.  Rashguards are generally stretchy and form fitting and made to stand up against the rigors of training better thn a common t-shirt.

What are the benefits of a rashguard?

Rashguards are great for MMA training for a number of reasons.  Because they are form fitting, the shirt will not get easily caught and stretched.  They tend to ‘wick’ away any moisture, so your shirt wont get full of sweat and uncomfortable. Rashguards can also protect your skin from coming in contact with gym mats (and other sources of bacterial infections).

How To Purchase an MMA Rashguard.

Before you go out and purchase the first rashguard you can find, there are a few factors to consider first.

There are rashguards out there that are used in outdoor sports, extremely common in surfing, that are designed to keep you warm.  You want a rashguard that is designed to keep you cool.  Consider purchasing a rashguard from an MMA store or MMA company to ensure that you get a rashguard that is appropriate for mixed martial arts.

Consider whether or not you would like a short sleeve or long sleeve rashguard.  Short sleeves can keep you cooler, but a long sleeve rashguard will provide more protection against skin infections and abrasions.

Consider also whether you would prefer a tight fitting rashguard, or a rashgaurd that is a little loose.  Most rashguards are form fitting, but there are a few out there that fit a little more like a t-shirt.

Additional considerations.

Outside of short or long sleeves, and tight or loose fit, there is not much to consider for performance reasons, however there is still the most important consideration yet…  Style!

There is no shortage of different styles of rashguards available to choose.  From solid colours to all-over camo print, from plain text  to all over prints, there should be a design to fit your taste and budget.

Should you get an MMA Rashguard?

This is a personal choice, but once you or your training partners get their hands stuck enough times while performing pummel drills you will find yourself leaning towards the purchase of an MMA rashguard.

How To Choose An MMA Glove Size

If you’re looking at purchasing a pair of MMA gloves online, you should first find out what size glove you will need.

The first thing you will need to do is measure all the way around the knuckle area of your hand.  Then compare your measurement with our chart below to get proper sizing.

If you don’t have measuring tape, cut a piece of string, wrap it around your hand at the knuckles, mark where the strings meet, and measure the length.

Also, if you plan on wearing handwraps or tape (and we stress that you should always wrap your hands when training or fighting!!!), go up one size, or if you are borderline between 2 sizes, just pick the larger of the 2 sizes.

Size Knuckle Size
S 7″ – 7.5″
M 7.5″ – 8″
L 8″ – 8.5″
XL 8.5″ and UP

Note:  There is some variance in sizing depending on the manufacturer, or even the line of glove.  The variance usually isn’t too bad, however if you’re going to be purchasing them online, make sure you find a place that has a decent return policy in case you do need to go a size up or down.
If you need help choosing a glove, then please read our article “How To Choose An MMA Glove”

How To Choose an MMA Gym


For those entering Mixed Martial Arts, just finding the right MMA gym for you can be a difficult task.  MMA gyms are not a one size fits all solution and there are plenty of factors you should consider before making your decision. Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or just starting out in MMA, choosing the right MMA gym can go a long way in maximizing your experience and helping to achieve your goals.

CageFighterInTraining.com hopes that the guide below on How To Choose an MMA Gym can help you on making your decision.

Finding a gym

Some gyms are easy to find while others may take a bit of searching.  There are a number of places you can check however to find MMA gyms close to you.

Phone Book

Some bigger gyms will have the advertising budget to advertise in the Yellow Pages.  Common terms to look under would be ‘Martial Arts’, ‘Sport’, or ‘Health and Fitness’.

Internet

You should be able to find most gyms in your area with a quick web search.  Try searching first for “MMA Gym [Your City]“, and follow it up by switching out MMA Gym for other related terms such as Muay Thai, BJJ, etc…

A handy website is findmmagym.com. If you live in the United States, findmmagym.com can not only find gyms close to you, but they also have user submitted reviews on MMA gyms throughout the country.

Friends

If you have friends who are involved in martial arts, even in disciplines not common in MMA, ask them if they might know of any gyms that could be conducive to your goals.

Decide What Disciplines You Want To Learn

There are quite a few disciplines that are very popular in mixed martial arts today with the most popular ones being Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Wrestling.  You should first try to identify which martial arts you want to study and find a gym that teaches them.  Ideally you will be able to find a gym that not only teaches each of these disciplines, but that also has MMA specific classes as well.

Depending on the availability of gyms around you, you may not be able to study everything you want to learn in one place.  Try to find more than one gym to train at if it is within your budget and schedule.

Other MMA disciplines to consider could include Boxing, Judo, Sambo

Identify The Gyms Focus

Some MMA Gyms might be geared towards recreational training, while others may be heavily geared to competition.  Ideally you will find that a lot of gyms offer a number of classes tailored for different levels so that you can improve your MMA abilities.

If your goal is to fight, you should make sure that the gym is committed to their fighters and provides cornermen to fight events.

Are the class sizes large and impersonal, or are they smaller with a lot of one on one training?

Location and Size

Unless you are completely sure that you will be dedicated to making long commutes to train, we recommend that you try to use a gym that is relatively close to where you live or work.  If you’re having a day with a lack of motivation, it can be far too easy to skip out on training sessions at your MMA gym if you have to spend a fair amount of time just getting there.

A good MMA gym will have a large main floor space that is clean and matted – this is where you will do most of your training. MMA gyms that feature a ring or cage area are also highly desirable and can help you in sparring or preparing for a fight.   If there is not a lot of floor space, you will find that your gym can get crowded during training sessions quite quickly.

Find Out Who The Trainers Are

If your goal in MMA is to enter competition, you will want to be sure that you are learning from instructors who know their stuff.  You should be looking for trainers who have fighting experience either in MMA or within the individual disciplines they teach.  You should also make sure the gym is supporting and putting out fighters.

Most gyms will be more than happy to provide you with their instructors accomplishments and levels of ability.  You can also use the internet to verify any claims made.  Do your research on online forums, check out Sherdog.com if they claim to have had professional MMA fights.

Look At The Equipment

A good gym should have enough equipment to accommodate all of their students, and should have enough variety in the equipment to provide a well rounded training experience (Heavy Bags, Mitts, Pads, Gloves, Weights, Etc…).

You should also take a look at the condition and quality of the equipment.  If the equipment is run down or poorly made, you could easily get injured.

Summary

Most MMA Gyms will offer complimentary training sessions to potential members.  This would be the perfect opportunity to evaluate the gym before making a decision.  If there is more than one MMA gym in your area we would recommend visiting as many as you can to get a better idea of what gyms might be the best fit for you.

Before signing any long term contract, you should train at the gym first for between 1-3 months to truly get an idea if the gym, or even mma training, is for you.

We hope that you find a gym that matches your schedule, your needs, and your budget.

Skipping Rope for MMA Fitness Part Two

In Skipping Rope for MMA Fitness Part One, we covered the benefits of skipping rope, how to purchase one, and how to get started.

In part two of Skipping Rope for MMA Fitness we will look at different skipping rope techniques and workouts that can done with a skipping rope.

Skipping Rope Techniques

Some of the techniques that can be used when jumping rope are:

Basic jump
This is where both feet are slightly apart and jump at the same time over the rope. Beginners should master this technique first before moving onto more advanced techniques.
Alternate foot jump (speed step)
This style consists of using alternate feet to jump off the ground. This technique can be used to effectively double the number of skips per minute as compared to the above technique.
Criss-cross
This method is similar to the basic jump with the only difference being that while jumping, the left hand goes to the right part of the body and vice versa for the right hand.
Double under
To perform a double under, the participant needs to jump up a bit higher than usual while swinging the rope twice under his feet. It is possible to have the rope swing three times under the feet (triple under). In fact, in competitive jump rope, triples, quadruples (“quads”), and quintuples (“quins”) are not uncommon.
Combination jumps
There are many more difficult jump roping tricks that combine two or more of these techniques to make a single trick. These combinations can also be used in Chinese Wheel, Double Dutch, Egg Beater, triangle and Long Rope.
Toad
The toad is a complicated trick where the jumper performs the “Cross” manoeuvre with their leg intersecting the arms.
Other
Many other variations are possible, including: “skier”, a side-to-side jump keeping the feet together; “bell”, a front-and-back jump keeping the feet together; “scissors”, a jump putting one foot forward and the other back, then switching back-and-forth; “jumping jack”, a jump putting the feet apart and then together; and “can-can” a jump with one leg up and bent, followed by a jump with both feet on ground, followed by a jump kicking the foot out.

Skipping Rope Workouts

There are many ways that a mixed martial artist can work a skipping rope into their workout routine

Summary

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Skipping Rope for MMA Fitness Part One

Enter any MMA, Muay Thai, or Boxing gym across the world and you’re sure to hear the familiar rhythmic sounds of a skipping rope.  Most likely quite a few skipping ropes.

Benefits

The use of a skipping rope is a staple in many fighters conditioning routines as it not only helps with your aerobic fitness, but can improve your footwork, coordination, speed, and agility.

While not a replacement for roadwork (running) for fitness, skipping rope can be a wonderful complement to your cardio training.  With skipping rope you can create more variety than running.  Not only can you increase/decrease the pace (Interval Training!), but you can switch up your footwork, techniques, etc…  A great reason for skipping rope is that it is very unlikely to be the cause of knee problems as the impact of each jump or step is absorbed by the balls of both feet rather than the heels.  This decreases the ground reaction forces through the patella-femoral joint.

Oh, we forgot to mention the best part.  This effective and versatile piece of equipment is cheap (often under $10), can easily fit in any bag, and can be done almost anywhere.

Buying A Rope

The length of most skipping rope sold are between 8 and 10 feet long.   If you’re 6 feet tall or over we recommend getting a 10 foot rope.  If you’re under 6 feet, we recommend a 9 foot rope.

You may find that you need to shorten your rope to find a comfortable length, but 95% of the ropes out there are designed to allow you to shorten them as you find necessary. The rope has to be the right length for you. Measure your jump rope by standing on the middle of the rope. Bring both ends up until the ends reach your arm pits. This is a good length for you. You can tie a knot at each end until you get it the right length for you to get started, or you could cut your rope until it’s the right length.

Warning:  Be careful when cutting your skipping rope not to over do it.  We recommend starting off by cutting 1inch segments first, testing the rope, and cutting again as necessary.  While you can always cut shorter, you might find it difficult to cut it longer ;)

Starting

There is a downside to skipping rope, and that is if you haven’t skipped rope since you were about ten, you’re going to look (and likely feel) funny when you get started, especially if you’re in the company of others who are skipping rope.  Trust me.

Try not to get frustrated that you can’t do it quickly, or properly, from the beginning – most people cant.  Start slowly, and try to work on your first attempts at skipping rope as more of a skill building excersise than a fitness one.  I can’t stress this point enough.  If you don’t work on learning how to skip rope, you’re going to become frustrated and give up on it – which would be a shame as skipping rope is a fantastic tool for fitness and actually is easy to learn once you get the hang of it.

You will need to find a good jumping surface, something that is firm yet impact absorbent.  At the gym you will want to look for gym mats or wooden flooring.  If your gym has a cage or ring, those surfaces would be perfect.  Outside you might want to look at running tracks or tennis courts.  If an adequate surface is not available, you can purchase those interlocking foam mats.

Try to avoid skipping rope on hard surfaces such as concrete.  Such surfaces will create more impact causing your muscles to tire faster, decreasing the cardio effectiveness of skipping rope.

I recommend a decent pair of gym shoes with good cushioning for your feet.  Try for a pair with a smoother bottom, to decrease the chance of the rope catching the sole of your shoe.  Some people will use their boxing or wrestling shoes, or even bare feet, but we recommend against it as none of those will provide much cushioning for your feet (and a plastic rope hitting your toes can feel like someone is whipping you).

Lastly, do some stretching exercises first(side bends, shoulder rolls, head/neck circles, rotating wrists, stretching up, knee pulls), some people can forget that skipping rope is working out and forget their stretching.

Continue on to Skipping Rope for MMA Fitness Part Two where we will cover different skipping rope techniques and workouts >>