Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Festivus

Happy Festivus, ya'll. My toe foot is feeling better but I have the most brutal dry cough. Because of my illness, multiple Christmas gatherings with family, and the fact taht my sister and best friend (two different people) are visiting from London this week equals me not going to the gym. The New Year marks the one-third mark of this project and I feel like I only recently figured out where I am headed and what I need to do. I'm stronger, faster, and have more endurance than I did three months ago. Conversely, my body is breaking down and I feel like the more I learn the more I realize I don't know.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Woo-eee! Walkin' sucks! The picture below fails to accurately illustrate the bruising, swelling, and weird grey hue of the skin on my toes, but it's a start. I'm icing my dogs right now and I am calling in broken to my Shok and Throwbacks workouts tomorrow. Today's non-sequiter: I need to work on getting no less than seven hours of sleep each night.

Diet 8 a.m. Strawberries and pineapple. 12:45 p.m. Two slices of cheese pizza, two breadsticks, soda. 7 p.m. Chicken breast over black beans and rice, steamed vegetables, water. Busy at work the last two days, my eating has been less than ideal. Work in progress.

Conditioning Nada.

Skills Nada.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I outweigh Chris Frayer by 100 pounds, but the dude goes hard. We started drilling takedowns and since I A) stopped wrestling after 8th grade, and B) can't finish a takedown for fear of re-breaking my hand, was sticking to single and double-legs. On his first turn, dude flips me with some crazy shit that carried all my weight across my right pinkie toe. I heard all my toes crack and they felt hyperextended. I hobbled home and took this picture, which doesn't look nearly as bad as it feels.

Diet 5:30 a.m. Strawberries and pineapple. 10:30 a.m. Grapes and water. 12:30 p.m. PB&J, chips, carrots, two cookies. 4 p.m. Banana, peanuts and water. 7 p.m. A couple pieces of frozen pizza, steamed vegetables, water. I got really parched during the workout tonight. Need to drink more water.

Conditioning I think we did some shit called the Bearclaw today at Shok? It was a combination clean & jerk, military press, and deep squat, seven sets of seven. It was 16 minutes of extreme discomfort, and it took me a solid 15 minutes afterwards to recover well enough to limp home. I got back in bed for an hour and felt much better. Of course, the Throwbacks workout is physically draining as well.

Skills Got a lot of good work in with the Thai clinch with a guy whose name escapes me. If you watch Franklin vs. Silva II, there is a look of total desperation in Rich's eyes when gets caught in the clinch. There is something totally frustrating and demoralizing about someone controlling your head (and thus your entire body), hitting you at will. It's way more frustrating than anything I have encountered in Jiu Jitsu, but its similar because like BJJ, the Thai clinch can be used effectively by a small guy with good technique on a bigger guy with greater strength.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I am joining the YMCA on Friday. I've been going as Amanda's guest, but that gravy train skidded to a halt. Once I'm bonafied, certified, and fortified over there I'm going to start doing my cardio there on my off days so my schedule will look something like this:

Monday AM Shok - Strength & Conditioning PM Throwbacks - MMA/Muay Thai

Tuesday AM YMCA - Cardio

Wednesday AM Shok - Strength & Conditioning PM Throwbacks - MMA/Muay Thai

Thursday AM YMCA - Cardio

Friday AM Shok - Strength & Conditioning PM Throwbacks - MMA/Muay Thai

Saturday AM Shok - Strength & Conditioning / YMCA - Cardio PM Self Defense Systems - Sparring

Sunday AM or PM YMCA - Cardio

Of course this isn't a hard and fast schedule - work, life, etc, will require adjustments, but if I can maintain 80% of this week in week out I will be in good shape come summer.

Diet 7:30 a.m. Fruit salad, 1/3 of an omelette, water. 11:15 a.m. Chicken sandwich, chips, two cookies, water. 5 p.m. Side salad with peanuts, banana, water.

Conditioning Off day.

Skills See above.

Monday, Dec. 17

Back at Shok Fitness for the long haul. I needed to take a few weeks off for my mental, physical, and financial health, but now I am back to morning workouts at there. Already a little sore from the Saturday morning workout, this morning just about killed me. We did three sets of a 400 meter row, 25 wall balls, 20 pushups, 15 kettlebell swings, and 10 sumo deadlifts for time. Twenty-six minutes later I felt like all my organs were going to burst. Of course, an hour later I feel like gold. Well, except for the fact that it hurts to turn my next or life my arms above parallel with my shoulders. The pain increased throughout the day so I decided to pass on my Throwbacks workout in favor of R&R.

We had dinner with an old friend of mine and her husband who we hadn't seen since August. She told me it looked like I'd lost weight. Since I've actually gained weight this fall, it's good to know that I'm slowly getting leaner.

Diet 5:30 a.m. Yogurt and strawberries. Water. Noon Two slices of pizza, two breadsticks, water. 5 p.m. Pineapple chunks, two cookies. 9 p.m. Fried ravioli, Italian wedding soup, Chicken Involtine, water. Not even going to describe it but it was delish.

Conditionin Morning workout at Shok.

Skills Nada.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday and Tuesday


I interviewed Duke Roufus today for my next FIGHT! story. We were talking about the growth of MMA compared to other "hot" sports and how splintering in the industry could have serious consequences. "Where's beach volleyball now?," he said.

Diet8 a.m. Big bowl of fruit salad, water, green tea. 10 a.m. Banana, water. Noon Chili, bread, water. 6 p.m. Two Taco Bell burritos, water.

Conditioning I had to work late today so I just went to the YMCA with Amanda and did an hour of cardio.

Skills Nada.


I did round-robin grappling in the cage with Johhny Rees, Dominic, and a guy I just met. After that I went two five-minute rounds with Dom, one with Pat and another with this kid Will. By the end of the first round I was done but I kept pushing as best I could. I learned that you can survive chokes for a long time if they aren't sunk in all the way. I also learned that pain comes in infinite forms in MMA. Like the pain of a guy grining his knee into your thigh or arm while passing your guard, or that guy's shoulder smashing your nose for thirty seconds straight, or falling face first into the cage. I was pretty gassed but I kept working for 20 minutes, which would have been unthinkable two months ago.

Diet 8 a.m. Big bowl of fruit, water. Noon Curried chickpeas, rice, a piece of bread, water. 4 p.m. A cup of yogurt, banana, water. 6:15 p.m. Granola bar, Gatorade. 7:15 p.m. Pizza, steamed vegetables, water.

Conditioning Lots o' rollin'.

Skills Started working on basic submission defense. Other than that I just got my ass kicked, picked myself up, and got my ass kicked again.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I covered an amateur MMA event last weekend for my job and one of the fighters told me, "It makes me feel like I can do something." Now even though a lot of the fights on the card looked like two retards fuckin' a doorknob, I respect the guys for gettting in there and bangin'. I was trying to come up with reasons not to go to the gym tonight as I left work but I knew I'd only be cheating myself. Work is really running me down lately, making me question my ability or value in a professional capacity. But fight training acts as a counterbalance, reminding me that I dictate my value as a human being by the work I put into improving myself and those around me. I knew if I simply showed up at the gym I would get a little bit closer to my goal and feel better in the process. Mission accomplished.

Diet 8 a.m.Super hungry this morning. Two pieces of sausage, two scrambled eggs, a big bowl of fruit. Noon Chicken sandwich, chips, carrots, a couple homemade cookies, water. 4 p.m. Banana, water. 9 p.m. PB&J, some Mac & Cheese, water.

Conditioning Light 60-minute MMA workout.

Skills Worked takedowns and rolled a bit with Chris Lytle. He'd catch me, explain it, catch me, explain it. I need A LOT of mat time just to be able to defend, let alone work submissions.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

First snow of the year

It's beautiful outside, but its possible that I'm more upbeat than usual because I skipped my CrossFit workout this morning. After Monday's CrossFit and MMA workouts Monday and Tuesday, my legs feel like someone beat them with baseball bats. I need recovery time. I would be harder on myself but it wasn't too long ago that I could hardly make it through an hour at Throwbacks. Now I'm trying to do two-a-days. I also want to rest up today so that I can make it through two more morning workouts and two or three more afternoon workouts this week.I didn't go to Throwbacks tonight because I had to interview Din Thomas for a story to be published in FIGHT! Magazine. Super nice guy.

Diet7:30 a.m. Big bowl of fruit: apple, pineapple, strawberry, grapes. 10:30 a.m. Banana, water. 1 p.m. Jambalaya, greens, water.6 p.m. PB&J, chips, carrots, chicken noodle soup, water.
Conditioning Didn't even condition my hair today.
Skills Nada.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

My ass hurts...

My ass hurts. It's a strange thought to have while driving down the road. My legs were so sore I almost bailed on the workout tonight but decided to push through it. Gotta get tough sometime. I worked on takedowns with Jake O'Brien for a while before doing three rounds of MMA sparring with Pat, Dominic, and Jake. After simply trying to stay aggressive for nine minutes I have even more respect for guys who can do this for 15, 20, 25 minutes and still stand up under their own power. One hundred pushups later I was completely thrashed.

I weighed in at 259 tonight. Weight loss isn't my primary goal right now. I am eating to keep up a workload that is a great deal larger than what I am used to and trying to do so healthfully, breaking old bad habits along the way. I have a long way to go and approximately nine months to do it in. The funny thing about the human body is that my weight and composition haven't changed much at all yet my strength and endurance are vastly improved.

Diet Noon Pizza, breadsticks, water. 4 p.m. Chicken sandwich, chips, water. 7:30 p.m. Amanda's dad and brother wanted us to meet them for dinner. Pizza again, water again. Ugh. Tomorrow I eat right, no excuses.

Conditioning Light rolling, three rounds of three minute MMA sparring in the cage.

Skills It's hard to tell what you're learning when you don't know anything.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Watch the haaaaaaaaaaand....

Amanda shook me awake at 6 a.m. and told me to get my ass to the gym. Yes, ma'am. I was in the middle of a bizarre dream that involved old school chums, Montreal, Donkey Kong-style elevators and escalators, and a tub of protein powder that was labeled "Anabolic Steroids." I told my mom it was to help with recovery time. Weird.

So I get to the gym and it's just me and Jeff. I warm up and he asks me how hard I want to work. There is no right answer to that question so I just shrug. It was a real doozy, see below for details. Work sucked, bitched about it to my dad over lunch, and left at 4 p.m. to head to Throwbacks.

It's fucking COLD at the gym. 52 degrees to be precise. I walk out onto the mat in a thermal long sleeve and knit hat. Pat asks me if I am going fishing, and I decide that I am going to market thermal shirts as a rash guard for guys who don't want to spend $30 on Underarmor or Sprawl or some shit. "Lumberjack rash guards." Anyway, I think I am done fifteen minutes into the session. My legs are gone, but I push through it only to encounter Trying-to-Impress-Us Guy.

Shirtless, weak tats, whack attitude, knee spars with his hands down because he's Billy Fuckin' Badass. Well buddy, I am fat and slow and I don't want to be here right now but I am not going to eat a bunch of too-hard knees from your stupid ass, so here's a bunch of sharp elbows in your thighs. Oh, lookee that, not throwing your knees so hard now, are you. Douche.

I spent the last twenty minutes rolling and felling bad about it until the last three minute round, except for the two times I reversed my partner and landed on my right hand. My legs are tooooooooast.

Diet 8 a.m. Two sausage patties, two scrambled eggs, water. Noon Bacon cheeseburger, chips, soda. 7 p.m. Jambalaya, water. Needs to be better.
Conditioning Wall balls at Shok Fitness. 800 meter row, 20 wall balls (deep squat before throwing a 20# ball over your head), 600 meter row, 40 wall balls, 400 meter row, 60 wall balls, 200 meter row, 80 wall balls. It was 25 minutes of hell. I felt like my heart was going to explode.
Skills Grappling is still a mystery to me. I can learn techniques, but my mind goes blank when I grapple. It'll take time.

Pictures tomorrow.