Archive for March, 2010

Tiger Balms, March 2010

March 31, 2010

Finally found some time in between daydreaming (aka obsessing) about training and competing to edit the video from the Tiger Balms this weekend. It was my first foray in to fighting……and I absolutley LOVED, loved, loved it! Who knew that hitting other girls could be so much fun!?!

I’d love to know your thoughts on the fight against the girl in the green shorts. ROBBED is all I’m going to say!

Click here to view the video

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Tales of Thailand Part 1

March 26, 2010

Wow, there’s so much to tell you! I’m so sorry for not updating my site while in Thailand.

Just to recap: The preparation for this trip started nine months ago over a glass of white wine in a small Vancouver bar. Fueled by inebriation, Emma Lynds (36-year-old mother of two, black belt and owner of Elements Academy of Martial Arts) and I (martial arts rookie) decided to set ourselves the ambitious challenge of taking part in our first Muay Thai fight in Thailand. Neither one of us had fought before, but somehow after a glass or two of Pinot Grigio, it sounded like an inspired idea and entirely rational.

We arrived in Phuket and plunged straight in to training 4-5hrs per day in 34 degree heat. Sweat didn’t just drip off us; it flowed like rivers out of every part of our body. We would run, skip, do push ups, shadow box and finally hit the pats in the ring or the heavy bags (or, more often than not, both)….twice a day.

Despite rounding off the training with a thorough stretching session, we were still left clutching what bits of our body still moved as we scooter’d our way back to the hotel, positioning our sporty short shorts over the scorching seat as best we could.

During those first two days, head trainer, Sing, watched both Emma and I to determine our fighting fate. Would we meet the standard he required of his fighters or would we need more time? On Wednesday, he announced that Emma would fight on Friday but I would need more time. Something I didn’t have on this short trip.

I faced this decision with mixed emotions but thanks to support and positive encouragement from friends and family, I relaxed in to enjoying the rest of my training.

How did Emma do? I’ll post a copy of her fight video shortly.

In the meantime we’re back and, rather than giving myself time to fall of the wagon as I’d promised myself, it’s straight back in to training ready for the Tiger Balm Internationals this Sunday (more on this shortly).

I just want to say a huge thank you to friends and family who all supported this crazy idea and to those who pushed me physically and mentally way beyond what I thought I could possibly do (Cliff and Wilf: I’m talking about you!!). I have every intention of being the last one standing this weekend.

24hrs

March 5, 2010

Aeroplane to ThailandIn 24hrs we’ll be boarding  the plane to Thailand.

I can’t believe it’s here. We started counting down our time in months, which soon became weeks, then days….and now only hours remain. And I’ve still not packed! I’ve started the washing, which I guess is the first step of packing, and I have my currency and passport. So no matter what happens I’ll have clean clothes and money in my pocket, which isn’t such a bad place to start. You can do a lot in 24hrs though. I’m sure there’s still time…!?!

Tonight is my last session in the gym. I can’t tell you how much I’ve been looking forward to saying those words. The gym and I have a love / hate relationship: I never regret going but dragging myself down there is such a battle sometimes, especially early mornings on the weekend when the roads are quiet and everyone else is sensibly enjoying a lie-in, followed by what I jealously imagine while pounding the treadmill are sleepy breakfasts in bed and leisurely loafing around.

But will I be able to stop going when I get back? I’m not sure. You get to a point where you’re so proud of your progress so far that you’re not quite ready to put the brakes on and slip back a couple of steps. Guess I’ll revisit that question when I return.

So it’s goodbye for a short while. I’ll try and update the site while I’m away but I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to process anything sensible after 5hrs of training a day!

Women and martial arts

March 4, 2010

Martial arts for womenI came across this post today by a female martial artist and was amazed at how well she’d articulated the reasons why martial arts and, in particular MMA, can be such a rewarding sport. For both men and women.

There are no right or wrong reasons for getting in to martial arts. Maybe you do it just to get fit, perhaps it’s to fight or maybe one day to be the proud owner of a black belt. Whatever your motivation, I’ve learned first-hand that it’s a journey and a learning experience that can change you in so many ways: Confidence, fitness, ability, flexibility and mind-set, to name just a few. And despite what you might think, age and experience are not barriers.

So if you’re open to tranforming your body, skills and confidence in a way you could never imagine I highly recommend martial arts.  Plus, there are so many different types out there there that there really is something to suit everyone.

Are you a martial artist or perhaps someone who’s thinking of taking it up? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

The science of pre- and post-workout nutrition

March 3, 2010

The science of a post- and pre-nutrition workoutIt seems that optimal nutrient gain is as much about timing as it is about composition.

According to a recent study, when you eat is just as important as what you eat.

To optimize gains in lean muscle mass and strength it’s vital to consume a combination of fast-acting carbs (those that cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly rather than slowly and steadily) and protein during your metabolic workout ‘window’.

Dr Paul Cribb from Victoria University recommends the following: mix 30-50g of high quality whey with 75-100g of high GI carbs (such as glucose, maltodextrin, etc.,) and 3-5g of creatine monohydrate. Drink half immediately before you hit the gym and the other half immediately following your workout.

Don’t think that a drink will produce results on it’s own though. You need good training and nutrition throughout the rest of the day to really make this work.

If you’re looking for an amazing nutritionist and strength coach in the Vancouver area I highly recommend you check out Cliff Harvey at Human Motion. Through his guidance I’m leaving for Thailand (on Saturday!) in the best shape I’ve ever been in.

Do you have any nutritional advice picked up during training?

Want to make your own sports drink?

March 2, 2010

Protein SourcesSometimes it’s hard to strike a balance between convenience and $. You pay more for something that saves you time…and sometimes things are just so crazy that it feels like you’ve very little choice other than to shell out.

With less than one week until Thailand life is spent dashing between work and training. So when I do finally arrive home, I’ve just about enough time to switch on the blender and gulp back a protein shake made from the bulk-buy, whey protein powder bought from the slightly intimidating body-buliding store.

But sometimes, just sometimes, I have time to make one from scratch. WOW. You can really taste the difference.

I’ve been using a book called Gourmet Nutrition  for most of my recipes and I can absolutely guarantee there’s a shake in there that you’ll love. Don’t be put off by the cottage cheese or cold herbal tea going in to the blender. Be brave; you’ll love what comes out. Just knowing that everything in your glass is natural will make you feel fabulously wholesome.

I also discovered a site this morning with a recipe for making your own sports drinks. I haven’t tried this one yet but, if you do, I’d love to know what you think of it.