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The Art of Cooling Down After Workouts

14 Dec

Why should I cool down? I’m gonna go home and rest anyways….That’s exactly why you should cool down after a workout. We all understand that we should warm up  before workouts, but may not understand what a sufficient warm up is, which was talked about in “The Importance of Warming Up.” A lesser percentage understand the importance of cooling your body down after training. If you already have this as a part of your training regimen, then you’re ahead of the curve. Hopefully this will help anyone else still suffering from injuries, regardless of warming up.


During training sessions at 10th Planet Van Nuys, muscle fiber, tendons, and ligaments undergo a lot of stress, causing waste product such as lactic acid to build up around each of these. So, you know when the soreness hits you a day later than you originally expected? If you perform a correct cool down, you can significantly reduce muscle soreness! Once all the blood and waste product has built up around your muscles, it begins to stiffen the muscle, causing swelling and pain. With a proper cool down, it helps in returning blood back to the heart in sufficient quantity to relieve the muscles of lactic acid. Again, the cool down may take just as long as the warm up, but it is very important and very much worth it once you begin to experience the results of it yourselves. Every cool down should consist of:

10 minutes of jogging – this will slowly lower your heart rate

10 – 15 minutes of static stretching (holding deep stretches) – focus on major muscle groups or muscles used the most during workout

and believe it or not, the final stage in the cool down process, is your post workout meal! All 3 of these factors work together to ensure muscle growth and recovery. Don’t sell your workouts short! You’re not training everyday to NOT see results, are you? Take the proper steps to keep your body going and feeling great! Stay healthy and keep training!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       


The Importance of Warming Up

13 Dec

Are you tired of being injured all the time? Especially when competitions are coming, always seem to be the opportune time for a jiu jitsu player to get injured. Are you taking the right precautions to prevent injuries? Everyone is always so eager to jump on the mat and get straight into the sparring, or the “fun” part of jiu jitsu. ALL of jiu jitsu is fun, but what’s not fun, is sitting on the sideline for 8 weeks because of something you didn’t do. This quick read is to ensure that everyone in the martial arts community, whether it be a hobby, or you’re a full blown fighter, take the proper steps that will keep them injury free and more importantly, on the mat!

Most people believe that warming up is just a simple procedure to avoid injuries alone, but there is a lot more that you can benefit from that we don’t realize. The time spent warming up or cooling down will actually help improve an athletes overall performance, and on top of that, help speed up the recovery process of any already existing minor injuries. Now the question is, does simple stretching prove to be a sufficient warm up? The answer is yes and no. We often times confuse the difference between static stretching and dynamic stretching, along with when each one should be used. For warming up, an athlete should use a dynamic stretch, as this will help reduce muscle stiffness (static stretching does not do this). Injuries often times are connected to muscle stiffness, so we want to minimize this as much as possible. Every warm up should consist of the following:

10 minute jog – this will begin to raise your body temperature                                                   15 minutes of dynamic stretching – as we discussed, to reduce muscle stiffness                   10 minutes of sport specific drills – preparing yourself for the workout session

I know what you’re thinking….35 minute warm up?! Am I crazy?! That’s how important warming up actually is, and why it is overlooked many times because of how tedious it is. Those 35 minutes of warming up could mean the difference between a successful training session, or a 2-3 month hiatus. If you love jiu jitsu as much as I do, or any sport for that matter, don’t risk it! Take the time your body deserves and keep it healthy. Here is an awesome video on lower back injury prevention with Rener Gracie. Especially in jiu jitsu, we use a lot of core in almost all movements, but without strengthening our lower back first our core is useless. If you notice the amazing lower back and core conditioning of Rener, he sits on the stability ball, having a conversation for over 3 MINUTES! Check back for another article on cooling down! Very important as well. Enjoy this video and keep training!                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Super Fruits For Jiu Jitsu

19 Jan

We are always told daily to eat our fruits and vegetables for a healthy lifestyle. But there are so many different kinds, which do I eat? Which ones have the best of what I need for the amount of energy I put out daily. Especially in the sport of Jiu Jitsu, energy and recovery are very important elements when training and stressing your body daily. Without either, you can’t properly train to develop the skills needed to be a successful grappler. So which fruits are the best for me? and where can I get them?


Mangosteen: A rather uncommon fruit that you won’t find in your everyday super market, Mangosteen is sought out for its anti-oxidants, as are most fruits. The difference being all the wonderful benefits that us as jiu jitsu players seek to have. The first of which is building a stronger immune system. Constantly being in an enclosed area with people sweating, coughing, sneezing, etc.. and then grappling them, you’re bound to catch something. Maintaining this fruit in your diet can ensure a lower risk of sickness. Along with that, comes mental support and improved joint flexibility, a huge asset to ones jiu jitsu game.

Noni: As we all know, a huge reason why a lot of students who start jiu jitsu don’t continue past 6 months, is due to injuries. For a combat athlete noni juice can help the recovery process. For many years noni has been praised for its ability to relieve pain. Combined with pain relief, noni juice also utilizes a very unique anti inflammatory effect that reduces the swelling of damaged tissues.

Acai: Acai, probably the most well known and popular fruit made famous by the Gracie Family, has no different health benefits than most. It is very high in anti oxidants, even more so than cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, or blueberry. I myself have included this in my diet, but only PURE acai from my friends at Genesis Today. What I personally enjoy is the high energy levels it gives me at the beginning of my day before rigorous training. There are a lot of great recipes for smoothies using the acai, which Rener Gracie shows one called The Amazon Apple.

GCAL Jiu Jitsu

10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt, Head MMA Instructor @ 10th Planet Van Nuys, Strength & Conditioning Coach, and Lover of Martial Arts

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Thoughts and ramblings of a Tenth Planet Van Nuys Brown Belt and Instructor

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