exercise

Weekend Workout – Get your kicks with this bodyweight workout

Even though it’s important to get a little R&R on the weekend, you don’t want to TOTALLY neglect your workout routine. With that in mind, here is a workout that combines a pair of common bodyweight exercises with two basic striking techniques.

Head to the ETT YouTube channel (link) if you need further instruction on the jab + cross and/or front kick exercises. I recommend performing the workout in interval format (30 sec work/30 sec rest) for 12-16 minutes. Don’t forget to warmup and modify the workout to match your fitness level.

Let us know in the comment section below if you completed this or any weekend workout. ENJOY!

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Try It This Weekend: The Burpee

Weekends are usually reserved for relaxing and recovering from a hectic workweek. UNLESS one of the biggest holidays of the year falls on the weekend, which is the predicament those celebrating Christmas are faced with this year. A large percentage of us will be driving, flying, eating, drinking, wrapping, unwrapping and hopefully spending time with the ones you love this weekend. It’s important to experience all that goes with the holiday because it only comes around once a year, but it is also important to incorporate a workout into your schedule. Trust me, conversations with relatives go a lot smoother if you get a workout in. However, since your schedule is chock full of social engagements, you have to make smart use of the little free time you do have. That’s where this week’s “try it” exercise comes in.

The modified burpee is a compound movement that will provide you with a total body workout without the need of any equipment. The burpee I’m describing may be a little different than ones you’re used to seeing and I’ll explain why in the following step by step explanation.

  1. Stand with your feet square and a little wider than shoulder width apart.
  2. Squat (eyes forward, chest up) down till your hands touch the floor. Your arms should be inside your legs at the bottom of your squat.
  3. STEP one foot back
  4. STEP the other foot back till you’re in the up push-up position. *** I suggest this technique opposed to thrusting your feet back to prevent any lower back pain or discomfort ***
  5. You should be in a flat back plank position
  6. Perform 1 push-up
  7. STEP one foot up
  8. STEP the other foot up till you’re back in the lowered squat position.
  9. Perform a vertical jump as you rise out of your lowered squat position. *** Land softly ***

– Repeat for desired number of reps

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I recommend performing 5 sets of 10 modified burpees with 30-60 seconds of rest in between sets. Make sure to adjust the exercise and/or workout to match your fitness level. I imagine this workout will take approximately 10-15 minutes, leaving you plenty of time to do some last second wrapping.

If you try out the modified burpee, let us know what you think. Also, we’d love to see pics of you performing the exercise so feel free to share them with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (@ettampa). Happy holidays peeps!

What’s on the Menu

Taking a little different approach to this week’s look at what’s on my menu. Instead of highlighting a healthy food item, I’m going to tell you about a healthy endeavor that Elemental Training Tampa (ETT) will be offering this week. On Saturday, November 19th, ETT will be bringing our free monthly group workouts to the Seminole Heights neighborhood. Shannon and I are residents of Seminole Heights and we thought what better way to give back to the community we love so much than helping people improve their fitness.  The workout will incorporate basic punching & kicking techniques with complimentary strength building exercises to help you start your weekend off right. No experience is required and exercise modifications will be provided for all fitness levels. As if the workout wasn’t enticing enough, each participant will receive a 15% discount at one of Seminole Heights best coffee “shops” Spaddy’s Coffee Co. We will also be collecting non-perishable food items for ETT’s annual food drive for Metropolitan Ministries. All the details about the workout can be found on our Facebook event page. If you live in and around Seminole Heights, please come out and see what ETT has to offer. You won’t be disappointed.

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Going Heavy

A heavy bag may be the most versatile piece of exercise equipment out there today. With the right routine you can increase cardio, tone muscle, improve on your striking technique and relieve some of that unwanted stress. I adapted the workout below from an old bodyrock routine I saw my fiancé do years ago. If you’re interested in trying this workout, the round by round breakdown is as follows:

  • Round 1: 6 Jab+Cross Combos (12 total punches) followed by 2 burpees (pushups optional)
  • Round 2: 6 Lead Hook+Power Hook combos followed by 2 burpees
  • Round 3: 3 Jab, Cross, Lead Hook, Power Hook Combos followed by 2 burpees
  • Round 4: Sit-ups with 2 Punches

I did timed rounds (40 seconds of work/20 seconds of rest) and repeated the format 3 times for a 12 minute workout. Modify the format of the workout to meet your fitness level and make sure to wrap those hands before going to work on the bag. If you do the workout, please let me know what you thought of it. I always appreciate feedback!

 

First Step In A Long Journey

I had every intention of posting this back in September, shortly after my first jiu-jitsu tournament in years. However, due to a small roadblock brought on by the tournament, and my tendency to procrastinate when it comes to writing, it took about two and half months longer to complete this post than I originally intended. I know, I know, shame on me. Anyways, the rest of this post will be a match by match summary of the learning experience that was the in-house jiu-jitsu tournament held at Gracie Tampa South this past September. ENJOY!

Match Making

Brackets were created based on experience/belt level, which placed me in the adult white belt (beginners) division. There were no weight classes and after looking around at my competition I knew the likelihood of me grappling someone bigger than me was highly likely. My assumption soon came true when I was matched up against my first opponent, who was approximately 30 lbs heavier.

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Match #1

My first opponent was someone I had grappled with in class. I knew he wasn’t terribly aggressive but since he was bigger than me, I knew using what strength I had was probably not the best idea. I attempted a few unsuccessful arm drags and trips until my opponent finally took me down, and landed inside my guard. I worked off my back for the majority of the match until I was finally able to escape and take his back. I finished the match holding onto a half-hearted submission attempt that was more “prevent defense” than “attacking offense.” I ended up winning the match on points.

Match #2

My next opponent outweighed me but he had just finished a full length match, which meant I most likely had the cardio advantage. He didn’t waste anytime taking me down, but he fell into my guard. He had a low posture which allowed me to get my legs up and slap on a leg triangle. I adjusted my posture to really tighten up the choke and forced him to tap. I think my technique was a little sloppy but coupled with my opponent’s fatigue, I was able to get the win by submission.

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Match #3 (Semi-finals)

I had a chance to guarantee myself a 1st or 2nd place finish, but I had to get past the biggest competitor in my bracket. I grappled with him before and I knew he was EXTREMELY aggressive. However, much like my previous opponent he had spent a lot of his available energy in his prior matches. Even though he outweighed me by about 50 pounds, I foolishly tried to setup a takedown for the first minute of our match. He finally scored a takedown and I was once again working off my back. I made repeated attempts to sweep him, but his weight and posture prevented all my attempts. I attempted a guillotine and arm bar late in the match but to no avail. I lost the match on points.

Match #4 (3rd Place match)

I went into the 3rd place match excited by the opportunity to get on the podium. As excited as I was, the fatigue of three matches was starting to catch up with me. My opponent and I were pretty evenly matched weight wise, but as soon as the match started I knew he had more in the gas tank. He quickly took me down, passed my guard and attempted an arm bar from the mount. I was able to escape the arm bar and almost locked up a guillotine in a wild scramble, but we had to restart after going out of bounds. Once we restarted, it was essentially a replay of how the match began: takedown, passes my guard, mounts and throws on the arm bar. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the energy to escape this attempt, and I was forced to tap. I lost due to a submission, and ended up 4th in my bracket with a 2-2 record.

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Match #1 in the gi (Ultimately the end of my day)

Four competitors stuck around after the no-gi tournament to compete in the gi. Even though I’m still a novice at jiu-jitsu, I can say with confidence that competing in the gi is WAY different than competing without the gi. It takes a different skill set that unfortunately I’m not quite skilled at yet. Regardless, I threw on the gi and went up against a frequent training partner of mine who I knew was better than me. The match was going pretty much as I expected with my opponent controlling the action until I finally pulled an escape and took his back. My good fortune didn’t last long because as I tried to prevent my opponent from escaping, I suffered a non-contact injury and was forced to verbally tap out. I lost via verbal submission due to injury.

Wrap-up

“I did a jiu-jitsu tournament and all I have to show for it is this stinking cast.” I say that in jest because even though I sustained a broken metacarpal in my last match, I am extremely happy that I participated in the tournament. I learned a tremendous amount AND realized I still have a tremendous amount to learn. I finally returned to the gym last week after 10 weeks of recovery, eager to continue working toward my goal of earning my blue belt.

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Last Week’s Highlight Reel

I know we’re a few days into the week, but I wanted to share a highlight video from last week’s ETT training. We started off the week with a great ETT Group workout followed it up with several ETT personal training sessions and finished off the week with a great run & stair climb on the Tampa Riverwalk. ETT would like to thank all of its members for their participation & dedication to building the ETT community. ETT would not be what it is today without their help

If you’re interested in joining the ETT community, reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or simply send us an email at elementaltampa@gmail.com.

Fitness for the Masses

Personal trainers are a luxury that not everyone can take advantage of. Whether it be an issue of time, money or existing commitments, some individuals cannot justify investing in a personal trainer. That is why I wanted to make sure that a portion of the fitness resources offered by ETT can be accessed by anyone, at anytime, for free. One of the free services offered by ETT is the monthly group training sessions. We started offering these workouts in October of last year and they’ve been going strong ever since. Services like these help people realize that being fit is not some daunting task that cost a lot of money to achieve. I know some personal trainers may think I’m foolish for offering services for free, but when I read comments like the one below, it demonstrates to me that these services can be the spark plug people need for a healthier more active lifestyle.FullSizeRender-4

As rewarding as offering free fitness services may be, I encourage ETT community members and non-members who want to bump up the intensity of their training or have specific fitness goals to invest in ETT’s 1-on-1 personal training. If you are interested in personal training with ETT, but need more insight into our training system, you can email me at elementaltampa@gmail.com OR you can attend the next ETT group training session this Sunday, June 29th near Downtown Tampa. Check out the event page on Facebook for more details.

ETT Exercise of the Week Ep.6

Summer is in full swing here in Tampa, which means the heat can be stifling at times. Weather conditions can have a negative effect on a person’s activity level regardless of where they live. You have to adapt your training in order to stay dedicated to your exercise regime. If you’re like me and love exercising outdoors, but are faced with less than ideal weather conditions, modify your workout so you get more done in a shorter period(s) of time. You can perform a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout (20 mins or less) or perform 2 short workouts (10 mins or less) throughout the day. A good way to maximize your workout is to perform total body exercises like this week’s ETT exercise of the week. The hook-uppercut punch combination followed by 2 cross knee strikes provides a great strength, cardio, and core workout all at the same time. Remember, modify the exercise to match your fitness level & let us know how you stick to your workout regime when the weather conditions are less than ideal.