Archive | November, 2012

Dips and shoulder pain

29 Nov

I love dips! I’m not talking about the kind you dunk your food in (although their awesome too), I’m talking about tricep dips.

When I first started doing them over 10 years ago, I used to hate them, although now a workout doesn’t feel the same without cranking out a few.  So you’ll understand why I panicked when I got shoulder pain from dips for the first time about three weeks ago and realised I needed to do something to fix this. Continue reading


A ‘hunter’s’ shopping trolley

18 Nov

My recent post talked about how to choose what you eat based on whether you can pick it, grow it or hunt it. A simple an effective way to get good nutrition. Now to go one step further and help out those people that are first starting out on their nutritional journey, I wanted to list out what I get in a typical weekly shop. This is by no means a perfect shopping trolley and there some things in there that do not fit truly with the ethos (remember the 80-90% rule), although should be a good starting point for most people. I’m calling it, the ‘hunter’s’ shopping trolley: Continue reading

It’s not about the music

14 Nov

I was chatting to a friend about my latest post ‘Music to Motivate‘ and he said he wasn’t too sure about the choice of music on my playlist, ‘not really my thing’ is what he said. Anyway, I wanted to follow up and say, it’s not about the music. Continue reading

Music to motivate

11 Nov

Music is a great tool to motivate you. No great surprises there! Although the way I use music in my training really changed when I listened to Brandon Mullins (BJJ Black Belt and No-Gi world champion) being interviewed by Stephen Kesting (also a BJJ Black Belt).

 Brandon was talking about strategies for BJJ competitions and he talked about listening to the same music before every training session and then using the same music on the day of a competition. The idea being, when you listen to the familiar music on competition day, your mind just thinks it’s just another day at the office. Simple classical conditioning.

I jumped on this straight away. It was about 6 weeks out from the IBJJF 2012 London Open, so I put together my own playlist of songs that would help me focus and get motivated for BJJ training, working out and visualising my BJJ.This is how the list ended up:

1. I Giorni (Ludovico Einaudi)

2. Fuori Dal Mondo (as above)

3. Witness Dub (Roots Manuva)

4. Quills (The Roots)

5. Shinobi Vs Dragon Ninja (Lostprophets)

6. Their Law (The Prodigy)

7. The Darkness (Sensai)

8. Duality (Slipknot)

9. Dirty Knails (Les Savy Fav)

10. That Golden Rule (Biffy Clyro)

11. Romeo & Juliet (Prokofiev)

12. Son Et Lumiere / Intertiatic Esp (The Mars Volta)

 Quite a mix, although these songs do it for me. They either help me relax and get in the moment, slowly build up my energy levels or give me a rush of adrenalin and really want to go for it. Did it work for the competition? Well I won my weight class in the adult purple belt division. Did the music make the difference between winning and losing? Probably not, although it did three things for me:

1. Made me really focused before every BJJ session, time and time again

2. Helped me push through tough workouts when I started to get tired

3. Helped me mentally switch on very quickly when I was warming up to fight

 I’d certainly recommended building your own list not just for competitions, also for exercise in general or everyday life. Those couple of songs that will give you the kick you sometimes needs. In fact, while writing this post I have accidentally deleted my work twice, so I’m listening to the above playlist right now as I needed to just get on with it, rather than quitting and writing this another time.