Glycemic Index, Glycemic Load and Energy Metabolism
You always hear people talking about “good carbs” and “bad carbs”. It can be confusing to eat the right foods with so many catch 22’s and conflicting information. Glycemic Index refers to the number a particular carbohydrate is assigned based on how fast your body converts it to glucose. The higher the number the faster your body breaks it down. When you eat high glycemic carbohydrates it spikes your insulin level and your body converts the carbs to body fat. Low glycemic carbohydrates (55 and below) break down slowly and help keep blood sugar and insulin level from spiking. These carbohydrates are stored as glycogen that you need for energy. Glycemic load refers to the effect of a “meal” on your blood sugar and insulin levels vs. a particular carbohydrate. When you eat protein and carbohydrates together the protein slows down the effect the carbohydrates have on insulin levels. During anaerobic exercise your body is using ATP (adenosine triphosphate) as a fuel source. Every 5-10 seconds your body must create more ATP. The first source that your body creates ATP from is creatine phosphate. This is why people supplement with creatine for strength and endurance. Creatine is produced naturally in your body and you can find it in foods such as red meat. Creatine is made up of three amino acids - Arginine, Glycine and Methionine. Our liver has the ability to combine these three amino acids and make creatine. The next step in ATP production is glycogen that is stored in the muscle. When you are grappling, sparring, weight training or engaging in activity where short burst of energy are used this is the energy system your body is using. When you engage in long duration low impact exercise such as running, swimming, cycling etc. your body is in the aerobic pathway. Aerobic exercise needs oxygen for fuel and burns body fat. Understanding your body’s energy systems allows you to train specifically for your goals and adjust your nutrition properly to increase performance. Mixed Martial Artist should train specifically for the demands they will face. The S.A.I.D. Principle (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands) is very important to follow for athletes. Running 10 miles does not translate well to intense 3-5 minute rounds. MMA Fighters should perform plyometrics, sprints, and intense circuits with short rest in between. Flipping tires, slamming Kamagon Balls, running sprints, and performing plyometrics improves your anaerobic system and transfers over to your specific goals. Nutrient timing for performance is equally important. Eating the right types of carbohydrates at the right times will fuel your body while allowing you to stay lean and near the weight that you fight or compete at. In my next article I’ll go into detail about nutrient timing. I’m starting to see cross eyed because I’m so tired. With all the media that Kamagon Fitness has seen lately between the Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, Jake Shields, New Group X Classes and our Certification Program I’m staying busy. Add to that kids and some personal training clients in the evenings and you’ve got my 2a.m. rants about nutrition, exercise and Emil’s sexy new pink cast :) Stay Classy
Training for Performance vs. Appearance
Training for performance is much different than simply training for appearance. I started competing in bodybuilding a couple of years after high school. After a few years of training for bodybuilding I was competing at the national level winning state and regional shows and walking around at 220 lbs at five foot five. I could bench press over 400 lbs. deadlift and squat over 500 for reps and then I walked into North Dallas Mixed Martial Arts one day.
I had trained a little bit in Kali and Muay Thai but not very seriously. J.D. Shelly was my first grappling or MMA coach. I remember my first day looking around thinking look at these little guys I'm going to throw them around. Then I woke up in the bathroom next to a toilet! I was sold. I just had my ass handed to me by a bunch of guys half my size and I wanted to know what they knew and train like they trained!
There's a reason the lion is the king of the jungle and not the elephant. Training for purely bodybuilding had served it's purpose. I learned a lot about nutrition and the human body. I built a lot of strength that would transfer over, but I had no endurance and was in no condition to fight in mixed martial arts.
When you train for appearance you are not concerned with performance. Bodybuilders are commonly seen backstage with oxygen mask or curled up in the fetal position because they are so dehydrated.You can't really fight an elite athlete that happens to be an extremely skilled fighter in that condition! Bodybuilding requires a lot of mental toughness and you learn how to deal with a very regimented lifestyle. Lots of discipline and dedication are required. I was drawn to bodybuilding because I am competitive and the fact that that it requires you to put in the work yourself.
With MMA you are definitely the only man that steps into the cage across from your opponent. You might walk out with your corner but once you step in that cage it's up to you to win. Training to fight completely changed the way that I train. It was no longer about pushing some heavy weights or eating 400g of protein a day. You now have an All American wrestler that just happens to be a Golden Gloves boxer and oh yeah solid purple belt in BJJ coming at you. It's the third round of shark tank drills and this guy is well rested coming at you. Even better it's the fifth round of a championship bout that is even 2 rounds a piece with a minute left.
You can see where agility, endurance, strength, balance, neuromuscular coordination, proprioceptive awareness, nutrient timing, performance nutrition and more "functional" types of training come into play. If you're not familiar with all of these topics you will be if you read my column on Emil's page. I'm going to cover everything from performance nutrition to strength and conditioning.
I started training with J.D. in Dallas and then soon moved to Florida where I discovered Sambo under the beatings of Carlos Cummings: www.cummingcombatsambo.com I Had to give Carlos a shout in my first column since I vomited more in my life between Carlos and G in the first couple months I walked through the doors of CCS. Flipping tires, swinging sledge hammers, doing plyometrics, running sprints, shark tank drills etc.
I prefer to train with things now like a Kamagon Ball which can be used like a hybrid kettle bell, medicine ball, tornado ball and more. www.kamagonball.com I like to use TRX Trainers, BOSU Balls, Weighted Vest and I do a lot of plyometrics. My nutrition is more complete focusing on micronutrients and macronutrients. I eat to stay lean and strong but not bulky or depleted. Over the past decade exercise and nutrition have been my life from personal training and running gyms to fitness equipment and training methods.
I'll be updating this about once a week with new training techniques, nutrition tips, keys to cutting or making weight the right way as well as gossip about Emil's secret life as a ninja that you won't catch on TMZ!