Posts Tagged fitness

What is The Barra Fit Boot Camp?

What is The Barra Fit Boot Camp? Barra Fit Boot Camp

Original Article:

The Barra Fit Boot Camp is a four-week program of fitness instruction, nutritional counseling and motivational training. The Boot Camp includes dynamic training and motivation designed to get you the body you want in a safe, fun, and non-intimidating atmosphere. Every workout session is led by an experienced Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu instructor and is designed to be fun, supportive and challenging, while burning maximum calories, in minimum time.

We want you to reach all your goals. That’s why our classes are modified to fit your goals and individual fitness level. Unlike working with a personal trainer, our classes take place in a group setting, which makes them fun, motivating and challenging for everyone. Each participant will receive a goal worksheet for the month to help track your progress so you can work towards reaching your fitness goals.  At the end of the camp if you’ve reached your goal you will receive ONE FREE MONTH of training at our GB Schools!

Our Classes

Each class is packed with fun and energizing activities uniquely designed for women to help reach your fitness goals. Our program works fast!

It’s time to stop hiding your body, it’s time to get serious! Our classes are filled with motivation and positive encouragement, fit tips, and nutritional help. Plus, all your new friends will help keep you accountable.

The Barra Fit Boot Camp will consist of 3 classes per week each class lasting 1 hour. The classes will begin with a warm up followed by 4 rounds of sessions that include: cardio, strength, and combat.

Posted in: Health Tips

Leave a Comment (0) →

Think performance, not weight class

Think performance, not weight class

One big mistake many people make when training for jiu-jitsu is trying to remain in a certain weight class.

One big mistake many people make when training for jiu-jitsu is starving themselves because they want to remain in a certain weight class. However, the most important aspect of competing is your performance, and it’s most important to tailor your diet to ensure that you do well when you compete. Eat a balanced meal of proteins and carbs before and after training so that you replenish any nutrients you’ve lost. You can raise or lower the amount of carbs you’re eating based on whether you’re trying to gain weight or lose it. Just keep your protein intake up, as you need it to support extreme workouts.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is one of the world’s most difficult and demanding martial arts. It’s no surprise that it takes a strict and comprehensive regimen to train for it. Here is the complete list of nutrition tips for your training.
Eat three square meals a day
A famous diet created by jiu-jitsu experts is called the Gracie diet, and it relies on eating three well-balanced meals per day. The meals consist of vegetables, meat or seafood, fats, starches, sweet fruits, raw bananas and milk.
The Gracie diet was developed to help Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters get enough nutrients to replenish spent nutrients and to maintain weight. You can find advice online for adjusting it while you attempt to change weight classes.
Drink water
Drinking water is important for anyone in the world but particularly for Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors who train hard and sweat copiously.
To stay properly hydrated, drink regular water and not sports drinks throughout the day. Try to drink about a gallon of water a day when training (three-and-a-half to four litres), and you’ll be sure to not only replenish what you lose but give your body an ample supply so it can function at its best.
Eat only lean protein
Protein is the key to rebuilding muscles after you train, but you don’t want to eat greasy, fatty protein like burgers or bacon that can slow you down and add pounds on.
Instead, when you go for protein, choose only lean choices like chicken breast, tofu, or fish, so that you resupply your muscles without putting any strain on your heart or body weight.

Posted in: Health Tips

Leave a Comment (0) →

Yoga & Jiu-Jitsu: A Natural Symbiosis

Yoga & Jiu-Jitsu: A Natural Symbiosis

It almost seems as if the arts of yoga & jiu-jitsu were designed to complement each other

Original article courtesy of Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood 

There are so many similarities and mirrored truths between the two of them. It’s not surprising that they both have roots which are entwined with buddhism and ancient india.
Besides having been proven to alleviate depression, high blood-pressure and a host of other physical ailments, yoga will also help your bjj is many specific ways, several of which I have outlined below:

Jiu jitsu often causes poor posture and and skeletomuscular imbalances. The upper back is often rounded as you are holding onto your opponent, the hip flexors and psoas are usually tightened because the knees are tucked up towards the chest, and as for the neck and shoulders.

Regular practise of the various asanas and vinyasas is the best remedy I’ve found for this imbalanced state, due to their twofold effect of lengthening and opening the body. As an added bonus, many of your submissions will also improve. Very often your effectiveness with these movements is hampered by the imbalances mentioned previously, and you can see how addressing those with yoga will allow you to generate more power. Regular and consistent practice can also help with back pain.

Although you can get away without being flexible in jiu jitsu, it’s an attribute that’s unquestionably beneficial. The greater the range of motion in your joints, the more options you will have in each position. In fact, some parts of jiu jitsu will be completely inaccessible to you until you develop the required suppleness, the rubber guard being a good example.

My first coach used to say ‘One of the best things a fighter can have is balance’. Over the years I came to understand just how true that was.Yoga is exceptional for developing balance. Many of the standing asanas are done unilaterally (on one leg), which not only improves stability but sport-specific strength as well.I’ve seen professional athletes challenged by the most simple of these postures. Mastering them will massively improve your top game by making you far harder to sweep. It’ll also improve throws and takedowns.

One of the most valuable ways this is achieved is through breath control. Not only will the vinyasas teach you to coordinate your movement and breathing, but yogic techniques such as pranayama will enable you to engage your diaphragm and utilise your lungs to their full capacity. This will greatly improve your stamina during rolling.

Besides all the numerous physical benefits, yoga has extensive, positive mental effects. Some of the more challenging asanas require immense concentration, and sychronizing the movement and breathing during vinyanasa cultivates a certain focus and stillness of the mind which is invaluable during the heat of a a difficult sparring match. I’ve also noticed that memorising the sanskrit names of the various asanas as well as their correct alignments has much overlap with learning bjj techniques.

Posted in: Health Tips

Leave a Comment (0) →

Can Jiu Jitsu Help With Mental Illness?

Can Jiu Jitsu Help With Mental Illness?

According to One Expert, The Answer is a Resounding ‘YES’ – Jiu Jitsu Helps Mental Illness

Original article courtesy of Jiu-Jitsu Times by Averi Clements

When you live with mental illness, your greatest opponent on the mat isn’t the person you’re rolling with. Instead, you find yourself grappling with your own mind… and it’s a fight you won’t always win. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that nearly 19 percent of U.S. adults experience mental illness in a given year. For 1 in 25 adults in the United States, that illness will “substantially interfere” with daily life and activities, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Basically, you’re not alone. Not even close.

Those of us who do jiu-jitsu know just how much this sport can help in the fight against illnesses like depression or anxiety. What might be a bit harder to understand, though, is why it helps so much. Sure, we’ve all heard about how exercise releases endorphins— a.k.a. the “happy hormones”— but let’s be honest: if brief spurts of happiness were all it took to get better, mood disorders wouldn’t be the third most common cause of hospitalization in this country.

As a clinical therapist and a black belt in jiu-jitsu, Durango Martial Arts Academy professor Nick Maez knows a thing or two about mental illness, BJJ, and how the two are connected. Whether on the mats or in therapy, he’s dedicated his life to helping people. He once worked as a case manager, but these days, he focuses on an integrated health model concentrated on how people can make their physical and mental health work with and for each other.

The idea behind integrated health care is that a healthy mind equals a healthy body and vice versa. Maez explains that a common situation seen in mental illnesses is that the patient’s neurons aren’t firing properly, creating a sort of “dead zone” in the brain. But when we get physically active, our brain has no choice but to start firing those neurons. “You see it a lot with people who work in computer-based jobs,” he says. “They’re brilliant. Their brains are great, but because they sit at a desk all day, their bodies suffer from things like inflammation, and as a result, their brains get cloudy. Eventually, they have to get up and move.”

While most experts in the mental health field will tell you that exercise is crucial to a healthy mind, it’s rare to find one who knows just how much the art of jiu-jitsu can do for the brain. But Maez was so curious about it that he did his grad school project at the University of Denver on the link between jiu-jitsu and mental health. Since then, he’s learned quite a bit about how our time on the mats can help us cope with whatever life throws us.

One of the most prominent ways jiu-jitsu assists in helping us stay mentally healthy, says Maez, is in the way it teaches us to survive under pressure. “If someone is smashing you in side control, you learn how to shrimp out and get them back in your guard. Juxtapose that with life situations like financial struggles or marital problems, and it’s the same idea. You’re dealing with both internal and external pressure, and you have to learn how to survive under that,” he explains.

As anyone who has ever rolled can tell you, jiu-jitsu also has a special way of helping us learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. According to Maez, such an important lesson is crucial for people who live with disorders such as social anxiety. “Jiu-jitsu also teaches a lot of communication skills. People [with social anxiety] don’t want to go there, but jiu-jitsu teaches you how to flow. You learn new positions, you learn that sometimes you have to go to places you don’t want to go. It teaches you to be a flexible thinker.”

“With diagnoses like depression, anxiety, or PTSD—the ones that rule the mental health world— you’re going to find that your mind isn’t in the present. It’s often in the past or in the future,” he continues. “You’re re-living or anticipating some kind of event that takes you out of the now. But in jiu-jitsu, you can’t be ‘somewhere else,’ or you’re going to get choked or armbarred. You have to be fully in the present.” By training our minds to concentrate on the right now, jiu-jitsu can help us stay focused on what’s happening in our lives today rather than last year or next year.

That doesn’t mean that we should only think about the present, though. Whether you attend jiu-jitsu, traditional therapy, or both, you’ll notice that goal-setting is an important part of getting better. Unfortunately, our own doubts are often the things holding us back from achieving what we want. “I think of exercise like therapy,” says Maez. “If you’re 40 pounds overweight and you walk into a gym and judge yourself or get scared, you won’t succeed.”

The key to ensuring that your mental health is getting the most out of your gym routine, he says, is to create an internal dialogue with yourself and stop worrying about critics. “You need to say to yourself, ‘I’m here for my goals. This is my journey. However I need to get there is personal.’ In jiu-jitsu, in therapy, in whatever, don’t be afraid to ask for support. Ask for private lessons at the gym. Ask for more homework in therapy. You have to be as open as you can to the experience. There’s so much growth in vulnerability.”

Although team sports are great for the social aspects of mental health, Maez — who has also played football and baseball— insists that part of the reason jiu-jitsu is so good for our minds has to do with its individual nature. “The mats don’t lie,” he says, explaining that it’s easy to point the finger in team sports and blame others on things that went wrong. Jiu-jitsu, however, creates introspection. “If you mess up in a competition, you can’t blame your teammates; you have only yourself to blame. But that’s good, because it makes you look inside and be honest with yourself if you want to get better.”

Maez connects this with the roadblocks that many people experience in therapy. “A lot of people look back on past experiences and blame their parents or their spouse for their problems when they should be learning from them and asking themselves, ‘How can I change this now to be a better person tomorrow?’” When we’re forced to constructively criticize ourselves on the mats, we learn to do the same throughout other aspects of our lives. And oftentimes, recognizing our own shortcomings instead of blaming others is an important step in breaking away from the mental illnesses that hold us back.

All of this sounds just fine, but it doesn’t do us any good if our mental illnesses are holding us back from getting to jiu-jitsu class in the first place. How are we supposed to reap these benefits if our depression won’t allow us to get out of bed or our anxiety is keeping us from live rolling in front of our teammates?

“I’m a big advocate of there being two truths. For example, in this case, the truths are, ‘I want to go to class’ and ‘I don’t want to go to class.’ So you have to think, ‘How do I walk that middle path? How do I find that balance?’” Maez encourages those of us who battle with our minds to “act opposite” of what our illness is telling us to do. “If you have depression, you can probably tell what thoughts are coming from you and what thoughts are coming from your depression. So if you feel like your depression is telling you to stay home, but you have the tiniest desire to go to class, get up and go.”

Not only will going to BJJ help you get all the benefits that it offers, but getting in the habit of doing the opposite of what your mental illness is encouraging you to do can help you reclaim your life. When your illness has you stuck in an emotional pit, being able to stand up to it in such a way can act as the first step up onto the ladder that will lead you out of the darkness.

Your jiu-jitsu obsession can be a great sidekick in your fight towards better mental health if you allow it to be. I’m a staunch advocate for adding traditional therapy to your self-care plan as well, but if you can’t, it’s important to be aware of all the ways your time wearing your gi or rashguard can help you stay healthy inside and out.

“Research shows that a healthy mind and a healthy body go hand-in-hand,” says Maez. “When you do jiu-jitsu, you’re working towards both at the same time.”

Posted in: Health Tips

Leave a Comment (0) →

7 mindset tips to improve your Jiu-Jitsu from white belt to black belt

7 mindset tips to improve your Jiu-Jitsu from white belt to black belt

Use These Tips to Improve Your Jiu-Jitsu

Original article courtesy of GracieMag by Graciemag Newsroom serves up seven lessons for practitioners of any age or level. Stick to the seven and to improve your Jiu-Jitsu right away.

1. Consistency means not making haste: Use your mind, not your body’s strength. After all, it’s better to practice Jiu-Jitsu three times a week for an entire lifetime than seven days a week for three years and then quit. Balance is an important ally in your evolution as a practitioner. Don’t overuse your muscles and ligaments and you’ll go far!

2. The most important muscle: The most important muscle for anyone who does Jiu-Jitsu is the heart, the endless desire to tap out but be back the next day to learn some more. Another vital part of our body is the ear. Keep your ears well trained to listen for and respect the pointers from all your companions at the academy, especially those older and higher ranked than you but also rookies and white belts.

3. There’s always a way out: If your game has reached a plateau at the academy, that doesn’t mean it’s time to make a stink about it or think the gentle art’s not for you. All black belts have been through that and persevered until they reached a solution.

4. The path to fighting on automatic pilot: repetitions: It’s the greatest Jiu-Jitsu lesson, cultivated as much by your instructor as by the superstar Rodrigo Minotauro: you only get the finish on automatic pilot if you repeat the position ten, 50 times. Invest time in creating a solid foundation by repeating basic moves during warm-up. With the basics firmly entrenched, you’ll be able to build solid Jiu-Jitsu with no openings.

5. Believe in yourself until it transforms you: To improve, you need to be the first person who believes you can do it. Trust in the art, believe in your efforts, turn Jiu-Jitsu into your conviction, and the changes will occur quicker than you’d ever thought possible. Don’t think before going to training, just stick your gi in your backpack and head to the academy.

6. Flood your body with health: You can never have too much fruit, fresh water and pure air. Cut the stuff you KNOW is bad for you. Take good care of the instrument that is your body. Only thus will you be able to age and still do the same activities you enjoyed in your youth.

7. Nourish your hobby with good reading!: Want to find out more about the gentle art and have fun with some intelligent, interesting and at the same time laid-back reading? GRACIEMAG’s the magazine for you, the Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Subscribe to GRACIEMAG for a special price by clicking here.

Posted in: Health Tips

Leave a Comment (0) →

5 Ways Jiu Jitsu Will Help You Live a Longer and Happier Life

5 Ways Jiu Jitsu Will Help You Live a Longer and Happier Life

Incorporate These to Live a Longer and Happier Life

Original article courtesy of GracieMag by Ivan Trindade

We all know how powerful Jiu-Jitsu is for changing anyone’s life. The gentle art is an awesome tool to help one abandon unhealthy habits and work on a cleaner lifestyle. On GRACIEMAG #151, we dove into the actual ways BJJ can help you live a longer and happier life.

Here’s what we came up with after we searched the wisdom of Master Carlos Gracie Jr.

1. Philosophy: We all age (if we are lucky). There’s no pointing in fighting the passage of time. What we have to do is adapt our lifestyle to each stage of life. Our body will tell us what we are capable of doing and what we are not capable. once we do that, we can achieve a state of mind where we search for pleasure without incurring in hedonism. What you have to seek is satisfaction.

2. Sleep: Sleeping is rebooting your vitality. The more active you are, the greater is your need for rest. Master Carlos Gracie Jr. is know for not allowing himself to sleep less than 8 hours a night. The lack of sleep is the entry way for illness, bad performance and a shorter life.

3. Breathing: Anxious, tense, jumpy people breath like they are constantly drowning. On the other hand, people who project confidence breath in a calm and constant rhythm. Master Carlos Gracie Jr. performs a breathing warmup prior to every roll. It consists of a series of perfectly paced breaths that compress the diaphragm followed by a long intake of air to fill up the lungs.

4. Nourishment: It is simply impossible to be healthy if you don’t mind what you put inside your body. Master Carlos is a fine example of how the wholesome attitude promoted by the gentle art can influence our entire lives. he likes to choose and prepare everything he will intake. Also, he learned how to read the signs his body is sending. You need to know when your organism is telling you it is satisfied, full, hungry, thirsty, etc.

5. Exercise: Looking good is great, but not enough to stimulate you to have a continuous routine of physical activities. The true incentive, according to Master Carlos, needs to come from how you feel on the inside and not how you look in the mirror. As you get older, you will fell more and more the results of your choices. So, if you haven’t started to live a healthy lifestyle yet, do it asap.

Posted in: Health Tips

Leave a Comment (0) →

Never Give Up: 10 Ways to Keep Your Gas Tank Full for Jiu-Jitsu

Never Give Up: 10 Ways to Keep Your Gas Tank Full for Jiu-Jitsu

Never Give Up: 10 Ways to Keep Your Gas Tank Full for Jiu-Jitsu

Original article courtesy of GracieMag by Ivan Trindade

Let’s just hope Marcelo Garcia doesn’t hear us, but here are ten awesome off-the-mat activities to keep your gas tank full.

We went after some of the best in the business and they shared with us how they complement their routine of training.

Here is the list:

1. Swimming: Put that bathing suit on and jump in. Swimming is great to increase your cardio and also one of the best all-body activities. Another great feature is the virtual no impact environment provided by the water.

2. Jumping: Exercises that include jumping are great for the cardio aspect of your training and also increases the muscular strength of your legs and you know there’s no guard without strong legs.

3. Gi bars: What about strengthening your upper body and also making your grips stronger at the same time? That’s the package offered by the gi bars. Use different grips to the gi and practice actual fight situations.

4. Rope climbing: Again, work your grip strength, but also your cardio and core. If you keep your legs perpendicular to your upper body, you will also work your abdomen muscles.

5. Running on the sand: The soft and irregular surface increases the effort of each step, which is great for the cardio. Also, the reduced impact puts less stress on your joints and muscles. Mix short and fast runs with resistance exercises where a partner holds you back as you move forward.

6. Stairs: A classic among Jiu-Jitsu competitors, climbing stairs is one of the best cardio efforts you can add to your routine. Breath right, find your rhythm and rest properly between climbs to have an even better performance.

7. Leg press: Making your legs stronger is vital for a strong guard game. When you are able to mix great technique with the strength of your legs, you’ll be able to create a lot more problems for the passer. So, don’t skip leg day.

8. Boxing pads: The classic boxing training method will increase your speed and improve your reflex, while also working on a better cardio. Remember that if you react faster, you’ll be able to use less energy to defend and attack.

9. Rubber bands: A simple tool with multiple uses. The rubber band is ideal for resistance exercises even when you are not in the gym.

10. Chains: As you lift a chain from the ground it gets heavier. This increase in effort will help you deal with those moments in a fight when there’s no rest in sight and giving up is not an option.

Posted in: Health Tips

Leave a Comment (0) →

July Health Tips: 5 Tips for BJJ Nutrition Basics

July Health Tips: 5 Tips for BJJ Nutrition Basics

No fads or extreme diets here…just sound nutrition principles that help our athletes stay healthy, make weight and perform at their best.

By: Corey Beasley

“Coach, I need to make weight…what should I eat?”

This seems to be a common question among wrestlers, jiu jitsu players and mma fighters these days.  People scrambling last minute to make weight and hoping that their plan pays off.

I’ve heard it all…low carb, no carb, high protein, low fat, fasting, starving, paleo and more.

With all of the options and opinions, its no wonder why so many coaches and athletes are confused.

When our athletes are preparing for competition, we prefer to keep things simple. 

No fads or extreme diets here…just sound nutrition principles that help our athletes stay healthy, make weight and perform at their best.

Need to make weight? Here are 5 Basic Principles to Follow:

1.  Drink Water

Our bodies are roughly 70% water.  These days, things like coffee, energy drinks, juice, alcohol, soda, etc is the majority of what we consume.  Not only is this adding tons of sugar and chemicals into our body, but it is also leaving us dehydrated.  Dehydrations can affect our energy levels, performance and leave us vulnerable to injury. 

Bottom line:  Drink more water.  Carry a gallon jug or keep it available, so you can sip a little water all day long.

2.  Eat MORE Vegetables

Grandma was right!  We need to eat our vegetables.  They provide valuable antioxidants, phytochemicals, enzymes, fiber and other things that help our body recover, fight off disease, get rid of waste, digest our foods and more. 

Bottomline:  Veggies fill us up, help us recover and don’t add a lot of calories.  They are the perfect filler food when you a cutting weight.  Add a bag of spinach to your day and I bet you’ll be happy with the results.

3. Quality Protein at Every Meal

When we train, our bodies get broken down. Eating quality proteins like organic/free range eggs, chicken, grass fed beef, wild fish and other wild game, gives our body the building blocks it needs to repair damaged muscle fibers and recover between workouts. 

Bottom line:  Eat a bit of protein at every meal.

4. Don’t Forget the FAT

For years, FAT was the enemy.  Food companies fooled us all and the whole “No Fat” plan led us down the wrong path.  The truth is, that naturally naturally occurring fats are actually really good for us.  Avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, coconuts and the oils from these plants help our bodies in many ways.  They can help hormone production, keep us feeling full and provide a natural anti-inflammatory response in our bodies.

Bottom line:  Naturally occurring fats are good for us, but processed fats that occur is most packaged foods are the enemy.  Add a little healthy fat to each meal and you will thank me later.

5. Carbs are NOT Always the Enemy

No carb diets are the enemy of most athletes.  Carbohydrates allow our brains and muscles to function.  Without carbs, our thoughts can get foggy, reaction time reduces and our muscles do not have the fuel to perform.  The mistake most people make is that they ingest WAY too many carbohydrates, from poor sources, at the wrong times.

Fruits, grains and root vegetables are nature’s way of providing us with carbohydrates.  Cookies, pastries, breads, juices, crackers, chips and other carb filled treats are the enemy. 

Bottom line:  Eat the majority of your ‘good’ carbohydrates after your workouts and avoid carbohydrates from low quality sources.

For the majority of athletes that have implemented to principles above, they leaned out, felt great and performed at their best. Sure, people are individual and might need to tweak certain aspects of their nutrition, but these basics are a great foundation.

Ideally, these would become daily habits and you would walk around, within a few lbs of your competition weight. The big problem is that most guys bloat up, binge and gain too much weight after a fight or competition. 

A Few More Helpful Tips:

  • If it’s in the house, you will eat it – Throw away the distractions. 
  • Shop and Prepare foods ahead of time
  • Carry a cooler, so you have healthy options with you
  • Keep a simple log of what you eat and when
  • Track your progress – weigh in once per week and/or get your body fat checked regularly.

We’ve all heard of guys starving themselves, cutting water weight and making themselves miserable.  Worse yet, some miss weight and even end up in the hospital. This can be avoided by implementing some basic nutritional principles, sticking to them and giving your body the fuel it needs to perform. 

While, it’s not always easy, improving your eating habits will have a dramatic affect on your body composition, energy levels and performance on the mat or in the cage.  If it’s important to you, you will get started and slowly improve over time. 

Posted in: Health Tips

Leave a Comment (0) →

March Health Tips

March Health Tips

March Health Tips:

8 Stretches to Energize Your Morning

Here are a few tips you can easily incorporate into your lifestyle. Every small positive change makes a difference!

With the arrival of March we can see a few signs of spring – including the March Health Tips! Longer days and maybe (cross your fingers) warmer temperatures. Still, you may need inspiration to help get you out of bed in the morning.

Stretching is a fantastic way to get the blood flowing and begin your day. Try these 9 stretches from SparkPeople:


february health tips


Posted in: Health Tips

Leave a Comment (0) →

February Health Tips

February Health Tips:

9 Green Monster Ways to Detox

So it’s suddenly February and maybe you are sticking to your healthy resolutions – or maybe not. If you need a kick in the butt to get going, why not try our February Health Tips, 9 Green Monster Ways to Detox. You’ll feel better and jump start your healthy lifestyle:


february health tips


Posted in: Health Tips

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 3 123