Intermittent Fasting: what are the benefits?

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If you have been following my blog for the last couple of years than you may have purchased my KB Strength and conditioning program. On this program I was able to lose 20lbs in 2 months and subsequently win my first world championship at black belt! Intermittent fasting is a key factor in my KB strength program and helped reached my fat loss goals. Now I have talked about how great it is to shed unwanted fat. But, there are a lot of other benefits of intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is very common practice in the fitness community and amongst people trying to lose weight. There has been a lot of research on the subject the last few years. So now, there is conclusive scientific evidence to support the numerous benefits of intermittent fasting. Some benefits include: 1. insulin levels drop which speeds up fast loss 2. growth hormone levels increase 3. reduces inflammation in the body which can reduce the risk of some diseases 4. It can help prevent cancer 5. May improve your lifespan.
Those are a few benefits of adding intermittent fasting to your everyday routine. There are a few different methods of intermittent fasting as well. Since everyone is different, I recommend finding the fasting method that works for you. To give you an example of a fasting protocol, we will use my daily routine.
Monday morning, I wake up at 4am and make a double shot of espresso and drink a bottle of water. Coffee is a diuretic and will help you get rid of any waste in your body from the previous day. Plus, coffee has natural occurring caffeine which is proven to help fat loss. I teach and train in my 5:30am KB class, teach 6:30am BJJ class then take a power nap. I wake up then it’s another shot of espresso and I teach another class. By that time, it’s about 11am and I have my first meal after that. I follow that routine every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, I wake up and hit the espresso again. On these days I typically go for a hike with my doggy, or just rest depending on how I feel. My first meal is about 1:30pm or 2pm.
Keep in mind that during my fasting period, I drink a lot of water. That, and the coffee keep me feeling full. If you do not like coffee, try tea. Particularly a tea that has some caffeine in it. Green tea is a great substitute.
So basically, I intermittent fast more or less until lunch. Remember, if you want to lose weight, fasting helps reduce your caloric intake. This is necessary for burning that stubborn belly fat.
I hope this gives you all a better understanding of intermittent fasting. It has numerous benefits such as losing weight, helps fight disease and increases your growth hormone levels. If you want to go more in depth of its benefits, there are tons of articles on it on the internet. I recommend experimenting with different protocols to see which works for you.

Is your Fitness Functional?

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Is Your Fitness Functional?
Functional fitness has got to be the biggest buzz word in the fitness industry today. If you google “functional fitness”, the definition according to Wikipedia is, “functional. training is a classification of exercise which involves training the body for the activities performed in daily life. For me that definition sums it up clearly. Yet, those two words have taken on an entirely different meaning.
The fitness industry is just like any other industry. There is always a trend. Even in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Competitions there are trends. One minute everyone was playing deep half guard, then it was berimbolo etc… So we are now in the era of functional training! The problem is, everyone is tagging functional to marketing campaigns and what not. It has taken on a different meaning.
I feel that people think that if you are doing a compound exercise that it is functional. I don’t agree entirely. I see some people doing the most outlandish stuff ever on Instagram. Then they say how functional it is. I’m thinking, functional for what exactly?? Maybe he thinks because he was working multiple simultaneously that its functional?
Functional for me is mimicking movements you do in everyday life. We walk, squat, lunge, reach, bend over, pic things up, get out of bed, pic up babies, carry babies around etc… But, if you are like me, I train and teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu every day. So, my functional training is a bit different than most people. That is why I developed Kettle-Jitsu.

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Functional for me is also teaching your muscles to work together harmoniously. We achieve that in my boot camps with certain exercises that are staples of my curriculum. In almost every class I teach, I include different variations of dead cleans, squats, lunges, presses, rows and dead lifts. I believe those exercises are amongst the most functional for regular everyday people and combat athletes. Functional exercises for combat athletes are, rocking chair, snake move, deck squats, combat cleans, swings, Turkish Get ups, and high pulls etc…
I believe functional also boils down to the piece of equipment you use. I feel that your body, barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells are the most functional tools you can use. With those tools you can comfortable, clean, squat, press, lunge, and hinge. If you cannot comfortably do that with something, then for me it’s not that functional. But just because it’s not functional doesn’t mean it’s useless.
Let’s use the Macebell for example. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a long metal pole with a ball attached to it. You can perform compound movements with it. But do they actually mimic anything you do in everyday life? We do not even hold things in our hands in everyday life in the same manner necessary to use a Macebell.
So, if you are truly looking for functional workouts, take a deeper look into the movements. Ask yourself, does this mimic anything that I do every day?

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Kettlebell Get Ups for BJJ and MMA! Part 1

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Kettlebell Get Ups for MMA and BJJ
Years before I even trained with kettlebells I heard many people professing how good they were for martial arts. But never quite heard any one explaining exactly why they are good for combat sports.
Flash forward to the first time I was taught the Turkish Get Up! First thing that came to my mind was, “Oh wow!” it’s almost identical to what’s called the Technical lift in BJJ! About the only difference is, with the technical lift, on the get up part, instead of putting the knee on the ground, we bypass that and stand straight to our feet.
The Technical lift (aka: standing up in base or the technical stand up) is a mandatory movement that any Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Practitioner or MMA fighter should master. It is the proper way to stand up when someone knocks you down in a street fight or MMA fight. Also, it has a ton of direct applications in BJJ sweeps and transitions.
Other than martial arts applications, the Turkish Get Up has numerous benefits. I honestly feel that it is one of the best full body exercises you can do. I personally prefer to add a press and drive thru my elbow which targets your chest and back. When you do this, it makes the TGU more challenging because you are utilizing more muscles.
Also, I do not favor doing max reps of a TGU with a ton of weight. In the course of a BJJ match, I personally utilize the TGU or Technical lift movement numerous times. So, I make my get up training closer to that. I prefer to train an alternating Turkish get up for 2-minute rounds to get a full body workout. This also makes it highly anaerobic the same as combat sports. You can get a deeper look into my Turkish Get Up training methods in my one-month Ultimate program.
Check out the attached video in which I demonstrate a Turkish get up and a Brazilian get up. The video also demonstrates a few direct applications to BJJ and MMA. Enjoy!

H2H Intermediate Kettlebell Flow

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H2H Intermediate Kettlebell Flow
This is part 2 of my 3 articles on kettlebell training for combat sports exclusively for my sponsors the Kettlebell kings. In this article, we are covering what I call an H2H or hand to hand kettlebell flow. This particular flow is for intermediate level KB practitioners for 2 reasons. 1. It involves the overhead squat and high pull which require a bit of practice. 2. H2H means we will be passing the kettlebell from our left hand to right hand for the duration of this flow. This requires focus, timing and coordination.
This kettlebell flow contains one of my favorite kettlebell exercises, the high pull. When I was first taught this exercise, I immediately thought to myself “this is like throwing a punch.” I immediately attributed it to a punch we call a overhand right in MMA or Boxing. But to my dismay, we only worked it a few times. Most traditional kettlebell trainers teach the high pull as a precursor to the snatch. Which for a lot of people, is the be all and end all of kettlebell training. Although I do enjoy snatches, I feel the high pull is equally important. Maybe even more so. Reason being, if you work the high pull the way I do, then your hinging, pushing and pulling all in one explosive movement. That means your working your core, chest, back, shoulders biceps, triceps and forearm at once. I am including a video tutorial of how I do a high pull. So check it out to see what im talking about. High pulls are also help with hand speed and punching power. Its like throwing punches with a kettlebell! Try shadow boxing after a few sets of high pulls and see how fast your hands are!
In the previous article I talked about the many attributes needed in combat sports and how kettlebell flows help. One I didn’t touch on is focus. Your mind has to be razor sharp in the ring or cage. Even when you are in the later rounds and you are exhausted you have to have the ability to keep your composure and focus. One mental lapse and it can cause you the fight. Kettlebell flows address this issue. After a few rounds of this flow you will tire and it will increasingly get difficult to keep the flow consistent. It forces you to focus.
Here is the workout. We will keep the protocol the same as the workout in the previous article. In all of my workouts protocol is as follows:
1. mobility and core warm up
2. Ab pyramid (abdominal work)
3. B.I.T. Body weight interval training
4. C.I.T. Compound body weight training.
5. K.I.T. Kettlebell interval training
6. Kettlebell circuit
The kettlebell circuit is as follows: 2-minute round. 1 minute kettlebell flow, 30 seconds of rows and 30 seconds of burpees. I would suggest practicing each exercise that makes up the flow individually. This is what I call K.I.T. or kettlebell interval training. I usually do 30 seconds of work with a 10 second break between each set. Example: 30 seconds of overhead squats on the left 30 seconds of overhead squats on the right, 30 seconds high pulls on the left and so forth. Then try the flow using a lighter bell until you get used to the sequence. You can upgrade the weight of your bell for however you see fit.
There you have it! Intermediate H2H Kettlebell flow for combat sports and fitness! Stay tuned for part 3 of this series!

Double Kettlebell Workout for BJJ!

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Double Kettlebell workout for BJJ!

Double kettlebell training is the equivalent of doing barbell work. But, with kettlebells it allows for more natural movement and they offer a lot more variety than traditional barbell work. For instance this workout. I flow seamlessly from the ground to my feel with the exercises. Just cant be done with a barbell! Double kettlebells are great for building strength and power. In this circuit we work our pushing, pulling, squatting and core all with one simple circuit. Keep in mind that this is our pyramid finisher in this video. Before the workout in this video, we worked mobility, abs, body weight training and our kb interval training. We wrapped it up with this pyramid in this video! Remember 5 reps of each exercise, 10 and then back down to five. If your feeling your oats, go all the way up to 15 and back down. Just make sure you warm up first! If you follow the format in my downloads, you should be good to go! Enjoy!

Best Kettlebell Exercise for BJJ!

jiu jitsu magazine articletgu sale $17Get the Ultimate TGU on sale now for only $17! as seen in the latest issue of Jiu JItsu magazine! Click the above banner or this link!Ultimate Turkish Get Up Program download Or, get Save $$$$ and purchase the Kettle-Jitsu Revolution 8 week program and Ultimate TGU together for only $47!!! Click the below banner or this link to save! Kj revolution/Ultimate TGU combo!New web banner package dealTurkish Get Ups are one of the initial exercises that I knew had a direct connection to MMA and Bjj. The mechanics of the TGU are almost identical to a movement in BJJ called, Standing up in base or the Technical lift. The TGU is the best kettlebell exercise for BJJ for 3 reasons. 1. You work your pushing, pulling, squatting/lunging movements all in one exercise. 2. it has numerous applications in actual BJJ techniques. 3. It works motor skills we are not accustomed to doing in every day life. Therefor it enhances your coordination. Most traditional Bjj dojos practice this via body weight on a daily basis. Standing up in base has many applications in jiu jitsu. It has also evolved into a movement necessary for the “scrambling aspect” of Mixed Martial Arts. Scrambling is the art of regaining the standing position in an MMA fight. If you are not good at scrambling, then you will have a shot career in MMA. So, drilling the mechanics of Standing up in base is a must. In the enclosed video, I have several variations of the TGU and Brazilian get up and some applications with a partner. Implement these into your mma and kb training and you will experience tremendous gains! Be sure to check out Joey Alvarado’s article on the Turkish Get Up in the latest issue of Jiu Jitsu Magazine!

Thai Knee Kettlebell flow

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The Thai Knee Kettlebell Flow

This is a really basic kettlebell flow with a twist. To be able to perform this flow, you must first know how to do a T-Rex squat, 2 hand overhead press and 2 handed swings. If you are proficient at the 2 handed swings, you can add the Thai knees to it. Adding the knee really challenges your balances and hits your core more so than regular swings. I suggest trying this combo with a lighter weight first. Also, please make sure you are thoroughly warm before trying any kettlebell exercise. If you are not sure on how to warm up properly, purchase the Kettle-Jitsu revolution 8 week kettlebell and body weight course to get you on the right track. Enjoy!

Basic Flying Arm Bar Variation

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BASIC FLYING ARM BAR TUTORIAL
ONNE QUESTION I GET FREQUENTLY BY BEGINNING BJJ STUDENTS IS HOW TO DO A FLYING ARM BAR. SO IF THEY ASK, I LIKE TO SHOW THIS BASIC VARIATION FIRST. ONE OF THE MAIN CONCERNS PEOPLE SHOULD BE AWARE OF IS SAFETY. IF YOU TEACH AN ADVANCE RISKIER MOVE TO A STUDENT WHO MAY NOT BE READY, IT COULD RESULT IN INJURY. THE FLYING ARM BAR IS ONE OF THOSE TECHNIQUES.
IF YOUR STUDENT DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO DO A BASIC ARM BAR FROM THE GUARD. THEN THEY ARENT READY FOR THE FLYING VARIATION. aLSO, MAKE SURE YOU ARE ON A MATTED SURFACE BEFORE ATTEMTING THIS ARM BAR. I HAVE TO CREDIT MY MASTER ROGER MACHADO FOR TEACHING ME THIS ONE WHEN I WAS A BLUE BELT. TIPS: MAKE SURE YOUR LEFT HAND IS GRIPPING YOUR PARTNER RIGHT BEHIND THEIR ELBOW. THE OTHER HAND SHOULD BE ON HIS LEFT LAPEL. RIGH FOOT SHOULD BE ON THEIR HIP. THIS FORCES THEM TO BEND OVER AS YOU SIT DOWN TO SPIN INTO THE ARM BAR.

Check out Legacy BJJ student Fernando Adriano lll hitting this move live at the Irvine open this past weeken!  Instagram arm bar

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The Kettlebell Clean and Rip Flow: Free workout sample!

Flow type workouts are unique to kettlebell and body weight alone. There is simple no other workout device that allows you to do it. In the Kettle-Jitsu system, flows are a combination of several exercises or movements combined into one seamless compound exercise. When performed correctly, flows challenge your conditioning, focus, timing, coordination and rhythm. The clean and rip kettlebell flow is one of the flows found on my Kettle-Jitsu revolution digital download. Keep in mind that the enclosed video is just a brief sample of the workout. For the workout in its entirety, order your copy of the Kettle-Jitsu Revolution 8 week digital down load.
The workout is as follows,
1 minute clean and rip flow
30 seconds alternating rows
30 seconds alternating high pulls