To the untrained eye, Olympic lifts look easy, until they try it. They think that lifting the bar over head is as simple as grabbing it and throwing it to the ceiling. I’ve had the chance of training and watching Pierre Roy coach, one of the best Olympic coach on this side of the globe, and although he seems to break it down so simply, it could take up to a few months until you master the basics… of the basics. (more…)
Fat loss tips for BJJ
We’ve seen amazing transformation from people starting out jiujitsu. Regular Joe’s, business man, college kids, people from all walks of life. Many people start, but unfortunately, not so many people make it past the white belt, even less past blue belt.
Most lose weight when they start because they keep the same habits, but they train more than they did. The formula is simple, burn more than you eat and you’ll lose fat, only for a short while. There are a few rules you have to be reminded of when it comes to the basics of body composition and working out (whatever that may be).
In almost any type of sports and everything you have to do to improve performance, there is the law of diminishing return, which states that as an investment in one goal increases, but other variables stay the same, the return on investment will eventually decline.
Most people make the most substantial gains/fat loss during their first year of training. Inevitably, the gains slow as you reach a point your body has adapted to the stress you’ve placed on it, you use less energy, you start feeling like you can’t progress, enter the dreaded plateau. When you reach the dreaded plateau phase, it’s very tempting to increase the volume and just do more, invest more time in training but there are many ways to look at the program and goals as a whole.
All around performance is multifactorial. Performance is a matter of habits, nutrition, strength training, periodization and planning. If one of these elements is not included, short or long term, something is bound to happen. Lady luck has nothing to do with it.
Improving body composition for any given sports is a must. If you are carrying a fair amount of fat, you basically are carrying dead weight, but it doesn’t stop there. The more fat you have, the more estrogen you’ll have because fat tissue increases levels of the aromatase enzyme that turns testosterone to estrogen.
To keep having results coming your way, here are a few tips to help you in the process.
- Meal timing.
For those who skip breakfast and eat whenever they can, this might be what is setting you back. Your body is set up like a clock. Aside from the circadian rhythm, which basically is your built in 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle. This cycle is influenced by light and regular sleep habits as well as the time you eat throughout the day. If you eat sporadically during the day, your body and blood sugar doesn’t know where to stand, having a huge impact on your fat loss and performances in the gym.
Make a schedule of when you have to eat. I always work my way around my eating schedule. I know where I’ll be during the day, so I plan my day around it and my rolling sessions. This way, I have plenty of energy throughout the day for my clients and I am able to have great workouts on top of that.
- Earn your carbs.
Carbs are only the enemy if you abused them for the past few weeks, or depending where you are at body composition wise. You need to lose fat, lose the carbs for a little while. I see it as a ‘’detox’’. Cut them out for a few weeks, 2-3 weeks at most, and then reintroduce them slowly into the picture. Which leads me to my next point.
- More carbs, less fat around your workouts, and off days, low carbs.
Keep in mind, that’s if you need to lose fat. Timing of nutrients can play a key role on performance and fat loss. Eating a meal higher in fat will slow down your digestion, really not a good idea especially if you want to roll in an hour or two. It is also not a good idea to increase fat intake right after a post workout. You need nutrients, and fast, so fast carbs, such as rice, potatoes, beets, and carrots and/fruits are better choices with the required amount of protein after a workout. Off days are low carb, to go dig into those fat reserves.
- ‘’But research said that it’s the best workout to lose fat?’’
I’m far from bashing research and science, however, every research have the average approach. Enter the ‘’bell curve’’.
The “Bell curve” refers to the shape that is created when a line is plotted using the data points for an item that meets the criteria of normal distribution. The center contains the greatest number of a value and, therefore, would be the highest point on the arc of the line. The important thing to note about a normal distribution is the curve is concentrated in the center and decreases on either side.
So let’s take a given protocol for hypertrophy as an example of research. We would have the average results at the top of the curve (let’s say 30 out 50 people) would have had a gain of 4-6 pounds of lean muscle tissue on that given program. At the extremities, we would have those who had far better results (6++ lbs) and those who even lost muscle (-2 lbs).
Usually, people look at the big titles, failing to read the small prints, which in this case, would be the elements and details of the study. As we all know, no one is the same, so expecting the same results would be stupid. What it gives us though, is clues that we can apply to our own system, programs, and/or protocols.
This is where experience comes in. When we coach, we aren’t coaching average’s, we coach everyday people, athletes, unique individuals. We bring experience, studies and expertise at once, while judging by the past and present results, ever changing lifestyle of one particular individual.
- Eating less is more
This is where the shit hits the fan. Most people think that you have to hit a caloric deficit to lose fat. There are exceptions to this rule and it could get complicated since no one is the same. I’ve seen people lose weight by eating more and obviously, some by eating less, usually less crap. Yet again, the nutrition plan has to fit with the lifestyle and training plan. If you have never trained before, and ate on average 2 meals a day, starting with a plan that makes you train 6 days a week and makes you eat 6 times a day is beyond stupid. You can’t learn to run before you walk.
Last but not least, You will give up after 8 weeks.
Actually, that’s where the magic happens. Don’t get me wrong, it is far from over. There will be good and bad weeks, probably more bad weeks than good ones. Those good few months (probably years) you just had eating whatever you wanted can’t be reversed in a few weeks. On top of that, you’ll be tapped, and crushed, and hurt more than a few times. It’s unavoidable, but you can do is make sure that you feed the body well to speed up recovery.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Realize that you are not on a journey. Don’t make it look harder than it seems. Neil Armstrong was on a journey. You just started on a freakin diet and training for few weeks. Make them count so you’ll never have to start all over again.
HIIT for BJJ
Improving cardio capacity for Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
Can you improve it specifically for bjj? Following one of my last post “Should you really improve your cardio for BJJ?’’, here are some options on how to up your cardio game when needed with one very effective training method, High intensity Interval training. (more…)
Should you really improve your cardio for BJJ?
In reality, it depends on your level and goals. Your cardio will obviously get better. The law of adaptation dictates that the response to a stimulus decreases as the stimulus is repeated. So yes, rolling will make you better and as you’ll gain experience, it will get easier. A similar law has to do with what is called Sensory Adaptation or Neural Adaptation, whereas Adaptation is defined in terms of changes in the body’s sense receptors. An example is the eye’s adjustment to the dark, or better yet, when you decide to go try another school and a big ass guy comes at you when it’s time to drill cross side. (more…)
3 common injuries in BJJ and how you can avoid them
When you start your journey into Brazilian jiu-jitsu, your body will take a severe beating whether you like it or not. This is one of the main reasons some of the white belts give up. One cracked rib there, a few messed up finger here and there, low back gives out, neck can’t take it, they start having problems sleeping because of all the aches and pains and voilà! Hook up the newly purchased Gi, because it’s not just worth it right? False. (more…)
Use these 5 training tips to improve your BJJ game
Like the fitness industry, there are a lot of myths going around the bjj world. Like gaining mass will make you less flexible, or being strong will slow down your game. Like any myth or principle, they are transported through time by those scared of the extra work or effort, those looking for excuses, or just plain wrong science. Remember, any advice worth it’s gold is only as good as where you find it and how the science was conduct.
It’s not because the pros endorse it that you can. It’s not because a given diet worked on your friends that it would do the same wonders for you. It’s not because Galvao can smash pass or that Garcia excels in the butterfly guard that you can put it in your game. So many details can influence many aspects of our plan that trying to point out what really worked is somewhat impossible for any of us. Trying to mimick what the icons and full time pros of the bjj world is often not our reality. Most people who practice the ‘’arte suave’’ have full time jobs and a family to take care of. (more…)
Le courage vs. la fierté
Par: Andrew Prata
Qu’est-ce que le courage? Le courage n’est pas l’absence de peur, mais plutôt l’acceptation de notre peur et de faire ce qui est nécessaire, peu importe à quel point cela nous effraie ou nous met mal à l’aise. Cacher la peur ne rend pas courageux, fais de vous une personne bidon. La peur fait partie du jeu. Vous tiens debout. Vous garde concentré. Vous garde éveillé. Vous force à grandir. C’est la clé de la croissance. Le vrai courage nous permet de grandir en tant qu’individu.
JuJitsu Brésilien conseils essentiels pour un cou solide, une poigne d’enfer et des abdos puissant.
On m’a demandé d’entraîner de nombreux sports tout au long de ma carrière. Le patinage artistique, le football, le baseball et les arts martiaux. Ils ont tous des caractéristiques et des exigences uniques. Ajoutez au mélange les besoins individuels et les limites uniques aux athlètes, les aspects psychologiques des compétitions et le travail d’équipe, vous pouvez rapidement vous sentir dépassé par la quantité d’informations susceptibles d’influencer la conception du programme.
Got a lot of questions about my first Brazilian JiuJitsu competition, but since I couldn’t answer them all, here is how it went with my point of view as a coach and athlete. I went in for me, but also to support my athletes and see them live, under pressure.
In the field, they say that a coach cannot be a good athlete and vice versa. Let’s prove them wrong.
The physical preparation worked very well with our training more and more intense until 2 days before the competition. Some injuries were added, but nothing compromising. For myself, one wrist was f**ked, but besides that, I was more than ready.
As I announced, for Team Bodhifit, 3 medals on the wall. I won 3 of my 4 fights and won the Bronze Medal 185lbs and less Masters (30+) White Belt, Andrew Prata Purple Belt Silver Medal in the 185 Masters and less, and Hugo Harland, blue belt silver medal in super absolute 215lbs and under. We had other fighters fighting in the adult category Anthony Spinello (1-4) and John Groulx (2-2).
No one on our team had to cut weight like crazy before competition since I don’t believe in it. I want all the guys to be confortable fighting at that weight a few weeks before, especially in these types of competitions where we have to fight 4 to 6 fights (GI only) depending on how packed the categories are.
We knew our fights were going to be in the afternoon, the Super Absolutes (split with belts, but no weight category) in the morning (hugo) and purple masters as well (Andrew).
The thing is that mine was late (about 1 hour) and was hungry as hell, but adrenalin was the bigger issue.
All white belts on our team mostly remember one thing, our first fight. We went in to break the ice (as they say) and the hell we did. My first fight was horrendous; I lost in less than one minute by choke. I still have trouble swallowing the pill, not because of the choke 😉 but my ego took a hit but hey, great learning experience. Nothing prepares you for this shit I guess but came back and won all my other fights.
The guys used to competitions prepared me well but they also warned me, the first fight is (supposedly) the worst. Stress is way high and you have a hard time grasping what you need to do, or at least, realizing that it’s do or die. There is two different scenarios, you go all out and dead a minute into the fight, or you go like I did, too slow, trying to focus on not gasing out. I went too slow, thought I wasn’t in trouble, but it went from all fine, to lights out very quickly…
I thought I was prepared for that, but ohhh when the shit hit the fan…
Fights were 5 minutes for all categories. Even though you prepare for it, nothing can prepare you for the all or nothing that all the white belts tend to do in their matches, throwing all they know (me included) out the window. Making crazy mistakes or just not moving at all to preserve points. That’s the game. You could be rolling and moving for 2 minutes throwing your opponent around like a madman, or he could pull guard in the first few seconds and spend 4 minutes and 50 seconds trying to get of his damn guard if he is a strong SOB. You just never know how it goes, mainly in the first fights. As you watch some of them go, you can figure out their game and prepare for it if you fight them later on.
We learned a lot from this experience. We were going in to break the ice, and I got out with a bronze medal. Can’t wait to see what the next one will bring. I will change how I train energy systems to get the most out of the adrenalin rush. As for the strength and conditioning, I’m pretty satisfied with what we have accomplished.
We already have set 2 dates, January 27th in lake George for Grappling industries and march 3rd with the North American Grappling Association, which have different rules. Already in prep mode, drilling, rolling, shark tanks and 10 by 10’s waiting for us. Might write a few updates along the way.
Thanks for taking the time to read.