Raising the bar
This is what I’m doing, both literally and figuratively. Since I have decided to work on my mental game and let go of my negative attitudes toward BJJ, I feel like I have elevated my game to a new level. I am enjoying rolling again, I feel like I am making progress and BJJ is just fun again!
In addition to changes in my BJJ focus, I am also trying to work toward some fitness goals. I was doing strength and conditioning training at my weekend gym for a couple of months and I could tell what a huge difference it was making in my game. I was able to move faster and several of my training partners commented on how much stronger they felt I was getting.
I loved it and the changes I saw in both my physical appearance and my BJJ game but sadly the class ended in December due to lack of interest. The instructor intended it to be a women’s only fitness class and as I was one of two women training BJJ at the time, I was the only person in class most of the time. I guess he wasn’t getting much return of investment in just training me.
I wanted to keep doing the exercises he went over with us but I am surprisingly lazy when left to my own devices. I long ago realized that workouts go better for me in a group or a trainer setting. I need to be held accountable or I make up excuses not to do things. Without a class I stopped doing strength and conditioning. In part I think this was mourning over the class. He designed the class for people training BJJ so all of the exercises targeted areas and movements you need for BJJ. How was I going to find that again?
Lately I have tried to be really focused on diet and conditioning again. I did a 30 day paleo challenge that my coach encouraged us to try and I really liked the diet. I also have been going to the gym early on Mondays and Wednesdays so I can do some cardio before class. It’s been going well but I knew I needed to add some strength training in there as well.
Well conveniently for me my friend and training partner has been dating a guy who not only also trains BJJ but who is a bodybuilder. She mentioned that he had put together a diet program for her and was going to help her with strength training. The first thing that occurred to me was that I was not going to make it through rolls with her if she got any stronger (she is freakishly strong already). Immediately afterwards I decided to be opportunistic and think about me and asked her if he would be interested in doing the same for me. She asked and he said yes!
Over the weekend we met up to discuss a diet plan and what and when I should be eating if I’m going to be training. He said if I stuck to the program it would lean me out, which I am much looking forward to. Yesterday we met up at a gym so he could go over some strength exercises I should be working that will specifically target muscles needed for BJJ. We will probably meet once more next week to go over some more and then I will be incorporating the strength routines into my other training.
This will mean more time in the gym and probably less sleep but these are the sacrifices we have to make if we want to be the best! I am very optimistic about my new training regime and diet even as I feel the pain slowly seeping into my muscles (probably by lunch I won’t be able to walk). I am pushing hard for a good showing at the NY Open in April. If I am on top of the podium then all of the pain will be worth it. Even if I am not, I will at least know I gave it my all and can walk away happy, I would really prefer to win though 🙂