The Anderson Silva Leg Break and Recovery

Anderson Silva

Any fan of the UFC or MMA will have a hard time forgetting December 28, 2013. During one of the most anticipated fights ever and a very interesting first round of the Middleweight Championship fight, the Anderson Silva leg break happened.

I remember noticing how fast and powerful that kick was. There was a slight motion blur by his foot, then he grimaced and fell to the floor in obvious pain. I immediately thought of what it could be but hoped I was wrong. Unfortunately I was right.

In a blink of an eye, Anderson Silva broke his left tibula and fibula. The cause was a checked leg kick by Chris Weidman. This changed everything. Chris Weidman’s first victory was highly disputed because of Anderson Silva’s “clowning” or joking around. That’s definitely a part of Silva’s game plan which has worked like a charm, until Weidman that is. Now with this injury, Weidman has defeated Silva twice and defended the belt once. Weidman is still unfairly seen by some as not being a true champion but that’s unfortunate due to uncontrollable circumstances.

Where does this leave Silva? Well, he still has a contract with the UFC and Silva says he still wants to fight. Will he go straight for the belt? I highly doubt it. If Silva returns, he will have to work his way back to the top. I would say two or three consecutive wins before a shot at the title. That would be the best approach as he will likely be overcoming the psychological effects of the leg break much more than the actual physical rehabilitation.

Anderson Silva had surgery the same night of the fight and the recovery timeline is approximately 6-9 months. This doesn’t include training to get back to fighting shape. I believe Silva will be able to physically recover from this injury, my biggest concern is whether mentally he will be ready to step back into the octagon.

Below is a video from Anderson’s first interview since the injury.

How to Burn Fat

Burn Fat Vegetables

Everyone wants to burn fat. I believe deep down inside most people already know how to burn fat. In fact, the formula is deceptively easy.

Eat less calories  + Burn more calories = Fat Loss

Sounds easy right? Unfortunately, most people find it nearly impossible to do this for long because it’s difficult to stick to a diet or they think they don’t have time to workout. If you can maintain an effective diet (for example: the slow carb diet) and exercise on a regular basis you will burn fat.

Why worry about the calories and not fat or carbohydrates? I’m not saying ignore fats, carbs, proteins, etc. That’s all important but if you’re reading this post, it’s likely that you want to understand the basics first.

Let’s start at the beginning. To burn fat and have noticeable weight loss you need to understand your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). The BMR is the amount of calories used by the body in a resting state. Without knowing your BMR, you have no point of reference and no idea if you’re eating or exercising too little or too much. The formula used to calculate the BMR varies depending on the age, height, weight and gender. For example, a 30-year-old 6′-0″ tall man weighing 200lbs will have a BMR of 1907 calories/day. If you are a 25-year-old 5′-6″ tall woman weighing 120lbs you will have a BMR of 1308 calories/day.  If you need a simple BMR calculator, try bmrcalculator.org.

Now that you have your BMR, knowing how many calories you need to consume in order to burn fat becomes much easier. It’s important to know that eating correctly is more effective in fat burning than working out and eating poorly. It’s easy to get the calories nowadays as almost all foods, including most restaurants, display the nutritional information for customers to see. Tracking this information is critical in your fat burning journey, as boring as it may be.

Most people focus on the fat or carbs when looking at the nutritional data. That’s important, especially when you’re getting more detailed in your diet plan. But if you’re just starting out, focusing on just the calories will overwhelm you less and keep you focused. Keep in mind that fat, carbs, protein, etc. all contain calories. Fats usually contain 9 calories per gram, carbs contain 4 calories per gram and protein contains 4 calories per gram (this is sometimes called the 4-9-4 rule, the 4-4-9 rule or 9-4-4 rule, depending on who you speak to).

All you have to do is consume less calories than you burn per day and you will burn fat (lose weight, etc.)

You can boost your fat loss by being more active during your day. If you do some light workouts, two or three times a week you can boost your daily calorie use an average of 650 calories a day. The more active you are the more calories you will burn.

Please note that this can be taken too far! If you consume fewer calories than your body requires per day you will lose weight initially but soon your metabolic rate (metabolism) will slow down and it will be even harder to lose weight. In addition, there may be severe health issues when depleting your body of the calories it requires to function.

Always consult a doctor before attempting to do any nutrition or exercise plan mentioned on this site.

Kettlebell Sets and What to Look for

Kettlebell Sets

Training with kettlebells is a great way to workout. By design they build muscle mass while providing an intense cardio workout. It’s the best of both worlds you could say. Fantastic! Now, where do you start? Well, it starts with getting yourself one of the many kettlebell sets available and by reading my other article on kettlebell training basics

You need a kettlebell set because just one kettlebell limits your exercise options. You can still have a killer workout with just one but it gets more fun and diverse with multiple options.

Does it matter which of the kettlebell sets you buy? Yes! Though it’s not as complicated as you may think. You don’t have to buy a kit per se, just buy one at a time until you create your perfect set.

Personally, I prefer a one-piece solid cast iron kettlebell. Cap, Troy and Onnit make some good ones. Other materials just don’t feel the same for me. I want my workouts to be gritty and hard, and it’s hard to go wrong with solid cast iron for that.

Next is choosing the weight. Trust me, you will underestimate the weight of these suckers. When I went to pick up my first 35lbs kettlebell I thought it was 50 or 60 pounds. The weight is so densely packed that I couldn’t believe how heavy it was! Keep this in mind when selecting your kettlebells. Go to your nearest sports retail store and try these out first if you’re thinking of buying online.

So what kettlebell sets should you get? That varies from person to person. It was tough for me to start with a 35lbs kettlebell, especially when following the Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout DVD. For me, the best bet was starting with a 15lbs, 25lbs and 35lbs kettlebell. With these three you can work your way up to heavier weights, do super sets and drop sets. Another option is to double up and get two of the same weights so you can do certain exercises, such as the double kettlebell swing.

The truth is, there aren’t any one-size fits all kettlebell sets. You need to pick the bells you are most comfortable with and that will give you the best challenge. If you’re curious where I bought my kettlebells, I bought my kettlebells from Amazon.

UFC Fight Schedule for iCal

UFC Fight Schedule

I’ve looked all over and can’t find a recent version of the UFC event schedule in iCal format. I’ve seen several Google Calendar versions and some other online calendars but nothing you can add to iCal on the iPhone, iPad or other Apple devices.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten a UFC event was scheduled on a Wednesday or that UFC events were scheduled back-to-back. To prevent you from missing any more fights, I proudly present the latest 2014 UFC fights schedule for iCal.

Download the latest 2014 UFC Fight Schedule for iCal here. Last updated on February 11, 2014.

I call it the 2014 UFC Calendar for iCal, though that name can be improved. I will do my best to keep this calendar updated as soon as new events are announced. Now you won’t miss the next ufc fight or any upcoming ufc fights! Please contact us or post a comment if you find mistakes, errors or want to provide feedback.

Back Pain Exercises

Back Pain Exercises There are few things worse than having to live with back pain. Even normal activities such as sleeping, cooking, walking and long trips can be painful and frustrating. Luckily, there are back pain exercises which can help reduce or even eliminate back pain and help you live a more normal life again. As always, please consult your doctor before attempting any back pain exercises or suggestions described on this page. The back pain exercises below will help strengthen your core. A large portion of back pain and back injuries are caused by having a weak core, wikipedia defines the core as your “body minus your legs and arms”. There are plenty of muscle groups that belong in the core, some of them are the abdominals, obliques, latissimus dorsi (referred to as “lats”), glutes and trapezius. By strengthening these muscles you lower the probability of injuries, especially back injuries. These back pain exercises can also help with injuries caused by car accidents or sports and will help you age gracefully. Here are some back pain exercises which will strengthen your core.

  • Crunches: I like the crunch better than the sit-up because it’s less strain on the lower back. Get in the usual sit-up position, place your hands behind your head and curl your upper body toward your legs. Don’t pull your head forward when crunching, that’s cheating. Make sure your abdominals do the work. Do 5 sets of 15 repetitions.
  • Cobra Stretch: My favorite stretch (especially after crunches)! Lie face down and place your palms near your chest as if you were going to do a pushup. Now raise your head and chest and extend as far as you can. Use your arms for support. Once you reach your peak you should resemble a cobra. Remember to keep your hips and legs touching the floor. Hold this stretch for 5-10 seconds.
  • Leg Lifts: Lay flat on the floor facing up. Put your hands under your glutes and raise your legs about 2 to 3 feet off the ground and lower them to about 6 inches off the ground. Do 3 sets of 10. Remember to keep your legs extended and close together the entire time.
  • Supermans: One of my favorite workouts! Lay flat, face down with your arms and legs fully extended (imagine Superman flying). While in the same position, raise your arms and legs as high as you comfortably can. Do 3 sets of 10.
  • Pull-ups: The ultimate back workout. Very difficult for beginners, you might need some help if you’re just starting. Grabbing a pull-up bar shoulder width apart (palms in or out, palms in is usually easier), lift yourself up until your chin is above the bar and until your collar bone is parallel to the bar. Pause for a moment and return back to your original position (careful with lowering to fast and hitting your chin on the bar).
  • Bent-over rows: There are multiple ways to do this, either with a barbell or dumbbells or even your own bodyweight. The basic movement is to keep your knees bent slightly and while keeping your back straight, lower yourself to pick up the weight and rise again. Still keeping your back straight angle yourself forward a little to where you can comfortably hold the weight (your arms should be perpendicular to the floor). Raise the weight to the bottom of your chest (should be a straight up movement), pause for a moment, and lower the weight to the original position. If performing this exercise at home, find a stable surface where you can hang on from and pull yourself up. Imagine a push up if you were facing the ceiling while holding on to a firm table, fence or other safe object. Do 3 sets of 10 reps and light weight.
  • Deadlifts: Similar to the above bent-over row. There are also multiple ways to do this exercise. The most common is while the weight is on the floor (barbell or dumbbells), squat down and get a good shoulder-width apart grip. Straighten your back and push through your heels straightening your legs. Once your legs are straight continue the lift by extending your back as far as possible (slightly further back from a standing position). Pause for a moment and return back to the original position in a controlled manner. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

The above back pain exercises are a good start to getting your core in shape and improving your lifestyle. Remember to implement a lot of stretching, yoga is excellent for this. Start off easy and move up in weight only when you feel comfortable. If you have any existing injuries, have had surgery or have any other medical conditions, do not attempt any of these back pain exercises without first consulting your physician.

Slow Carb Diet and Why It Works

Slow Carb Diet Chorizo Burger

I first read about the Slow Carb Diet in The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss while in an airplane on my first trip to San Francisco. As soon as I returned from my trip, I immediately followed the diet and was on it for about 3 months. It worked! I went from 230lbs to 199lbs with barely any working out.

I should have known it would work, it’s a low carb diet. In fact, the slow carb diet is nearly identical to the paleo diet (also known as the caveman diet) which is also a low carb diet.

So why do low carb diets work? Because by reducing your simple carbohydrate intake, you also reduce your insulin production in your body. This forces your body to use it’s own fat deposits as the energy store. I knew this was a great way to burn fat before I even read the book. I’ve actually done low-carb diets a few times before but I’ve never been able to stick to it.

Why did the slow carb diet work for me? Three reasons…

  • The cheat day. This simple mind trick is all it took for me to stick with it for longer than a week and the main reason most people will love the slow carb diet. The idea that you could stuff yourself with anything you want in that 24-hour period was worth the work for me. Not the healthiest way to go about a cheat day, but as a fat kid at heart I took advantage of it. This cheat day is actually necessary because it gives you something to look forward to but also because it avoids your body from going into starvation mode which actually stunts your fat loss progress.
  • Simple rules, such as “Rule #1: Avoid ‘white’ starchy carbohydrates”. All you have to avoid is the “white stuff”, except veggies (ex. cauliflower). Anything fried, pasta, rice, etc. is outlawed. That one rule alone is easy to remember and follow. There are only a few rules and they’re all idiot-proof.
  • A basic list of foods to eat. Nothing fancy but nothing too limiting. A great way to know what to eat right off the bat. This has stumped many people that I know because they just want a simple list of what’s “okay” to eat.

Having trouble thinking of slow carb diet and low carb diet recipes? Have a look at these sites:

Hemp Protein and Why It’s Good for You

Hemp Protein

Want a controversial subject? Talk about marijuana, Cannabis or hemp and watch heads turn. That’s why hemp protein is such an interesting subject.

Hemp and marijuana are names for the different varieties of the plant species Cannabis (of which there are three types).

  • Marijuana varieties of Cannabis are psychoactive and contain high THC content. These marijuana varieties usually come from either Cannabis sativa L. or Cannabis indica.
  • Hemp varieties of Cannabis contain a low THC content (usually 1% to 0.3% or even lower) and are mainly used for their fiber, oil, and seeds. Hemp normally comes from Cannabis ruderalis.

Why even bother with hemp protein when whey protein and others are widely available and time tested? Well, studies have shown there are clear benefits to using hemp. Here are just some of them.

  • Hemp protein does not contain dairy. Vegans and lactose intolerants can rejoice!
  • Hemp has no known allergens. Most proteins are derived from either dairy, soy or tree-nuts – all of which have been identified in the list of top 8 major food allergens by the FDA and FALCPA.
  • Hemp contains an optimal ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids.
  • Hemp also contains all the essential amino acids required by the human body.
  • Hemp has plenty of fiber.
  • Hemp is easily absorbed and digested by the body, no more bloating!
  • And if it seemed impossible to get any better, hemp is a renewable resource.

Most of the hemp protein products available today contain an average of 13.5 grams of protein per 3 tablespoons. Specific hemp products contain a higher amount of protein per serving which would be equivalent to popular whey protein products on the market.

There has to be a catch, right? Well, you could say there are some cons.

  • Taste: Since hemp has so much fiber, it isn’t particularly known for it’s great taste. It’s probably best to mix it to improve the flavor.
  • Price: There is currently a premium for hemp when comparing to other proteins (protein per serving). This will eventually drop as demand increases and laws improve, allowing larger farming of hemp.

That’s some food for thought but as it stands, hemp is an excellent alternative to whey and one worth the price difference if you can afford it.

Kettlebell Training Basics

Kettlebells

Kettlebells were first created in Russia in the 1700s, apparently farmers used to throw them around for fun. In the mid 1900s, kettlebells started being used for physical training and conditioning in Europe and the United States, but they really became popular around the year 2000. Since then really took off, especially with the CrossFit community.

Kettlebell training offers a fantastic combination of strength and cardiovascular training. The exercises that can be performed with them can help increase flexibility and explosiveness. Kettlebell training also makes it much easier to workout at home since you can have a great workout with just one pood (the unit of weight commonly used for kettlebells which is equivalent to 35lbs).

The principle exercise is the kettlebell swing. There are many variations of this exercise, but the most commonly performed swing is with both hands on the kettlebell handle. It begins from a slight squatting position with the kettlebell between the glutes and the floor and with one smooth swing, raising the kettlebell above the head. The swing then returns to the starting position in a controlled form. Both arms are extended through the entire swing and the back is straight. It’s best to start with very light weight until you are comfortable with the movement and increase the weight once you perfect your form.

The great thing about kettlebell training is that it’s a whole body workout. Most, if not all, muscles are triggered when performing kettlebells. Even the tiny little muscles and fibers that are rarely used when lifting with machines and barbells come into play helping to stabilize the weight. You may notice some shaking when holding certain positions initially. Dumbells are similar to kettlebells in this manner.

Kettlebell training offers many benefits and can be easily incorporated into any exercise routine. With a little creativity and imagination you can add a lot of interesting ways to burn calories and build lean body mass. If you run out of ideas, The Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout DVD is a great investment.

We’re back!

Confetti

I’ve owned this domain for over a decade. I was nineteen then, I just looked it up and honestly I can’t believe it.

A lot has happened in that time. I’ve had a few jobs, worked on some great projects, had plenty of fun, moved out of my parents house, met who I now call my fiancé, traveled to some of my favorite cities in the U.S., purchased a home, rescued the best dog in the world, and more.

I have few, if any regrets. The one thing I wish I could have kept the same was my love of health and fitness. Sure I’ve worked out and ate well for brief stints, but nothing close to the commitment I had in my teens. It was my passion and the only real outlet for the (albeit small) problems and frustrations of that time in my life. I stopped working out when I simply got tired of it one day and decided to take a day off. One day turned into two, then a week and the rest was history.

It’s been hard to get that passion, the “gym bug” as it’s affectionately referred to back, but I’m starting to feel it. PowerWeight will be a chronicle of not only my progress back into shape but also a resource for others to learn and  grow from.

I invite you to keep visiting the site and see how it develops. It won’t be easy, but just like with working out, results take time and nothing worth having ever comes easy. Let’s fight for it!