Archive for the ‘MMA’ Category

More Exercise Variations for Grapplers and MMA fighters : Peaking Focus

by William Wayland ~ posted April 23rd, 2014

Scramblers do you need a little variety in your workout? Got a big competition coming soon? Sick of front squatting every session? (if you are not already you probably should be) When it comes to getting MMA fighters and Grapplers ready for action we employ a few common variations to try and get a little more out of them while keeping technical burden low especially when peaking requires so much from fighters. The key thing about peaking is aiming for higher velocities rather than high force. Give these variations a go. We perform most of this work for 3-4 sets of 6 reps at around 20-55% loading.

Sled/Prowler High Pull, we use this high pull variation for peaking for rapid hip action, no eccentric means its less stressful than snatch grip high pull work we use during out heavier lifting phases. We always try aim for fight-weight or more on this exercise.

Staggered Stance Zercher Good Morning, these kick your ass literally, require a huge degree of bracing which is rough on the core, plus it really targets the hamstring glute complex on the extended leg.

Depth drop clusters, currently a favourtie for peaking just as little as 20% of your 1 rep max is needed for high power outputs.

 Kneeling Jump Clusters, the very springy Craig Powell doesn’t have more than one box at his regular gym so he performs kneeling jumps to box jumps, the kneeling start encourages quickness and the replicates a depth drop effect. More on that here.

Light French Contrast, (original method discussed here)this is a peaking variation we use in the springiest of our athletes. Once you have exhausted the options box jumps, depth drops and other methods offer you, you can look to employ this. Conventional french contrast asks for 80% loading, but for peaking we want very high velocities so we can look at much lighter loads.


This is an ongoing series of articles from guest blogger and Strength & Conditioning coach William Wayland of Powering Through, who works with UFC, Cagewarriors and other high level combat athletes based in Chelmsford, UK.

Kazushi Sakuraba in Scramble gi

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted April 16th, 2014

Check this out! Spotted on the news feed of our friends at Carpe Diem BJJ in Tokyo.

Sakuraba’s recent pro-wrestling storylines involve him fighting in a gi. So he wore the custom Scramble gi we made him at the gym for a photoshoot for a magazine.

How exciting! Such wow! Many fight!

[VIDEO] Shinya Aoki and Imanari rolling, Kikuno crazy karate striking!

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted April 3rd, 2014

I stumbled on this old video from our good friend Dan Herbertson, who helped us to film most of the “Grappling Dummies” series.

It has some pretty good footage of Shinya Aoki training grappling with Masakazu Imanari, followed by Katsunori Kikuno showing off his karate style and destroying a training partner with strict karate punches.

The end has some amusing shenanigans from a couple of TV comedians.

Check it out and share it if you enjoy.

 

Everything you need to know about looking after your Scramble gear – clothing, rash guards, jiu jitsu kimonos

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted March 26th, 2014

We’re writing this post to summarise some questions people have about buying, owning and caring for Scramble merchandise.

This includes looking after your jiu jitsu kimono, looking after your rash wear, and looking after your clothing.

It also covers our general returns / exchanges policy.

Firstly, what to do when you receive your Scramble goods.

1) Check that we have sent out the correct size / colour / model. Sometimes, mistakes happen. We’re often overloaded keeping the unicorns fed and / or training wrestling with Siberian mountain ligers and thus our attention can waver when packing bags. If you find anything immediately wrong, email us.

2) Check that the size you ordered, is right for you. If you take it out of the bag and the size is clearly wrong, email us.

 

Now you have got the right goods in the right size and the right colour. Have a check for loose threads. I’m going to break some important news to you now. If you get a loose thread, you can take a sharp pair of scissors and snip it off. That’s it. We sometimes get emails where people want exchanges because of something as simple as a loose thread. Don’t get me wrong – we bend over backwards to keep our customers happy, it’s part of what gives us job satisfaction (that, and the huge swimming pool filled with gold coins that we spend most of the day diving into). But asking for a return on something so small is counter-productive for all involved. Please take some ownership over the products you buy. C’mon people, you practice jiu jitsu. You can snip a few loose threads off. Don’t be scared, homie.

Of course, if there are faults in the product, stitching is way off, or an arm is stitched where a leg should be, or we printed our logo upside down / inside out, email us straight away. We stand by the quality of our products and it’s never a gamble when you buy from us – you will get the product you wanted, even if we need to replace it for you. If you ask around you should find stories of how we look after our customers. Even if you’ve used it, if it didn’t stand up to expectations, we will help you out.

It’s a good idea, too, to wash the product before you first use it. This can help get out any dust or dirt that may have settled on the garment during production or transport, and can also make sure there is not any ink or anything like that that may not have set or dried perfectly into the garment. (Sublimation printing is a tricky business.) Always wash on a low temperature and with similar colours.

We also recommend that you contact us before you take extreme close up photographs and write a blog about a fault. Nine (sometimes ten) times out of ten, if you have a fault and email us, we will simply replace the product for you. If you find a fault, buy the domain www.scramblestuffsucks.com, publish eleventy hundred megabyte photographs (with annotations) of the fault, and then share the link on Sherdog, the Underground, and facebook, but don’t contact us, then we won’t be able to help you.

 

Looking after your rash guard / spats / vale tudo shorts / “Lycra” stuff. 

Our rash wear is made from a blend of polyester and elasthene. Some brands say they have Lycra in, but I bet they don’t. Lycra is a registered trade mark for a type of spandex / elasthene.  Not to give away too many trade secrets, but over the years, we have refined the material into what we feel is the best balance of weight, strength, and receptiveness to ink. To put things very basically, polyester (as we understand it) is made of short fibres. Those short fibres are liable to “pilling”. This is when small white bobbles of fabric work themselves out of the main panel of fabric. This happens during training. You can lessen the likelihood of it happening by using higher quality polyester with special treatments applied (like we do.) But, it will happen eventually. There is no way around it. Ways to avoid this pilling include:

1) Avoid velcro. Velcro just loves pulling out the little polyester fibres and can completely ruin a pair of spats or a rash guard. Do not wash your spats or rash guard next to a pair of MMA shorts with velcro strips.

2) Wash inside a delicates net. Just throw your rash wear into one of those nets and it will stop the threads and the polyester from getting torn up in the washing machine.

3) Don’t train, simply put the spats or rash guard in a frame and hang on your wall. This will keep them looking brand new for hundreds of years! Bonus: you’ll also be called a weirdo by your friends.

4) Watch our for loose threads. When we train, our training wear takes serious punishment. Snipping off a loose thread can stop damage from multiplying.

 

Looking after your Scramble jiu jitsu gi.

There are many, many articles out there talking about how to wash and look after gis. Have a google. Here are a couple of extra tips that I have picked up over the years.

1) Should I put vinegar on my gi to set the colour / kill the demons living on it?

I occasionally use vinegar. I use it to banish the evil spirits that can start to lurk on a gi that is getting on in age. I do not believe that it is possible to damage your gi with vinegar, so I don’t mind recommending it. Sometimes I will wash the gi once and let it dry. Then, soak it overnight in a bathtub filled with water and approximately a shit load of white vinegar thrown in. Drain the next day and wash again, your gi should have a new lease of life. Some people also use vinegar to set colours – I am not sure if this works or not. But never in my experience has vinegar damaged a gi. And once you wash it, the smell is gone.

2) Should I put it in on hot then tumble dry it, then have a steamroller drive over it and throw it out of a moving plane?

No. I have never washed a gi on hot or tumble dried it. Except once when I was staying in Tokyo and my gi came out looking like a Miyao brothers gi (sleeves by my elbows, trouser cuffs by my knees) and with bobbles on it. I do not recommend washing your gi in hot water or tumble drying it, except if you want to shrink it, and even then, it’s at your own risk.

I can also recommend you washing your gi inside out occasionally. You sweat on the inside, so that’s the part that needs washing.

The best way to dry a gi is to hang it up in the sunshine. If, like me, you live in the UK and never see the sun, then hanging it up outside in the cold, cold wind is also acceptable. The weak sun rays may just penetrate the cloud cover for a split second and provide some drying power.

A quick note about shrinkage:

Gold weave shrinks more than twill/drill, which shrinks more than pearl weave, which shrinks more than ripstop. Ripstop won’t shrink much due to the density of the weave (I think.) Conversely gold weave is often quite loosely woven and so will experience shrinking more.

We’ve also had people in the past who find the gi fits perfectly but the trousers are an inch too long. (quick aside: remember, the gi that fits you horribly, might fit the next customer perfectly. Please remember that next time you update your blog on www.scramblestuffsucks.com and tell everyone that we have the worst fitting gis of all time.) All you need to do, is find a tailor (in the UK, most dry cleaners also offer alterations) and get them to take up the trousers. Explain to them that it’s martial arts so they need to double or triple stitch them. Et voila, your gi now fits you perfectly, and you get the sense of satisfaction from having fixed it yourself (instead of sending the gi back to us and being miserable.)

Caring for your Scramble apparel

Most of our garments come with a care label, but as a general rule of thumb:

1) Wash low. This reduces the risk of shrinkage and colour leakage.

2) Wash with like colours.

3) Do not iron over prints or decorations

4) Read passages from hard-hitting biographies or beatnik literature at least twice a day to your Scramble garments. Ensure that the garment is in front of the computer for at least an hour a day checking YouTube for BJJ instructionals.

 

I think that about covers it.

Scramble working with Eddie Bravo

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted March 20th, 2014

We’re very proud to be working alongside fellow UK brand Tatami Fightwear to sponsor the legendary Eddie Bravo for his fight at Metamoris.

All of us at the office have been fans of Eddie since the very beginning, and we’ve all definitely tried our fair share of rubber guard techniques on the mat.

To have Eddie wearing our clothing and talking about us is truly a great honour.

We can’t wait to see him fight Royler Gracie at Metamoris 3!

 

Eddie is wearing the Scramble x Reversal shirt that you can find here (UK) or here (USA)

Eddie reps Scramble on his podcast, starts at 1:35 approx:

 

 

 

[VIDEO] Sakuraba vs. Tamura trilogy – History!

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted February 12th, 2014

While googling for Sakuraba images from his recent wrestling bout, I came across these old videos of Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Kiyoshi Tamura.

Tamura is one of the most underrated Japanese fighters out there, in my opinion. He was incredibly strong and a very mean grappler. I don’t believe he ever had any interest in pursuing a career outside of Japan which is why he doesn’t have much international recognition, but you can see from these fights (and others on YouTube) that he is a legitimate “hard man”.

These are professional wrestling bouts from the nineties but give them a watch – to me, they look unscripted. The level of grappling on display is just incredible.

Sakuraba vs. Tamura Part 1

Sakuraba vs. Tamura Part 2

Sakuraba vs. Tamura Part 3

Mike Dolce London Seminar

by William Wayland ~ posted February 10th, 2014

On Sunday the 9th of February I attended the first Mike Dolce “Dolce Diet Seminar” at Westminster University. Mike Dolce’s name is ubiquitous with weight cutting and the ‘Dolce Diet’ which he has created and proliferated throughout the MMA universe. He boasts a dizzying collection of the worlds best fighters, Chael Sonnen, Daniel Cormier, Vitor Belfort, Rhonda Rousey, Michael Bisping and one of the athletes I work with Luke Barnatt.

After being introduced by Luke the man himself discussed his beginnings and his switch from a job from which he could see himself being miserable in the long term, risking everything to work a stint at team quest pulling odd jobs such as cleaning the gym in addition to organising their S&C and nutrition. This was back in the days when even top MMA talent struggled for money let alone their coaching staff. His point was if you want anything, you must work for it and its this work ethic and accountability that underpins the Dolce Diet and his approach.

Dolce went over the key points of his diet in his seminar.

1. Water Intake is crucial. 1 Gallon a day at least for us UK folk that’s roughly 4.5 litres.
2. Consume earth grown nutritients. This includes plenty of carbs also, he was disparaging of the ‘Paleo Diet’ claiming that it was not “sustainable” in the long term. A key idea that permeates the diet.
3. Eat every 2-4 hours with fluctuations in calorific needs.
4. Eat until Satisfied not until full
5. Accountability and Personal responsibility are crucial, be honest with yourself, you know when you are messing up!
6. Sleep at least 6-9 hours, this has some individual variance find what works for you.
7.Stress Management is crucial, take time to yourself, learn to breathe effectively. This ties into the holistic of idea of organising yourself to keep stressors minimised.

He then went on to discuss goal setting. You must learn to overcome short termism set yourself specific goals and apply what Dolce calls action steps. How, When and What. How will you achieve it, when will you achieve, what are you going to do to get there. Dolce suggested setting goals every morning and acting on them rapidly. He described that achieving goals is like climbing rungs on a ladder, once you get to the top, look towards climbing your next figurative ladder.

There was a Q&A at the end that covered some interesting points.

Calorie counting is out, on the Dolce Diet alot of emphasis is placed on apperance (if that’s what matters) and how the diet makes you feel. He argues that calorific expenditure varies from day to day so establishing what you need should be a more holistic process rather than playing a numbers game.

Dolce Suggests to make the most of carbohydrates in the morning and post workout.

Dolce was fairly disparaging of Paleo and Crossfit, claiming that they are not sustainable long term training or dietary methods.

Supplements should be just that, when everything else is dialled in then consider supplementation do not supplement poor dietary habits.

Supplement companies are inherently after money rather than having your well being at heart.

Dolce Suggests using 3 weeks as a marker for success in training, as a means to change stimulus and a means to measure if what you doing is working or not.

Closing thoughts.

Mike Dolce is a really engaging speaker with plenty of insight into MMA at the highest level, his story about sitting in the bathroom while Vitor Belfort was baptised in the bath tub and his sudden awareness of going from where he was to where his now was touching. Mike’s approach is one of common sense and self awareness. Too many people push through their personal and dietary habits on auto pilot. Mikes passion for trying to snap people out their apathy and poor self efficacy is evident. The crucial point being he is in the business of helping people do better. I found my self nodding in agreement.

That is not to say we agree on everything, Mike isn’t fond of squatting for fighters where as I am, arguing that its rough on shoulder girdle and prefers bodyweight and dumbbell based squatting. He prefers deadlifts as a main movement where as I don’t for advanced athletes. But thats part of being an expert, we cannot always agree on everything.

Mike was in the UK to launch UFCfit, so this seminar was largely an opportunistic one being in the right place at the right time, he does plan to do more in the future in the UK so I would suggest keeping your attention to https://twitter.com/TheDolceDiet and https://twitter.com/LukeBarnatt for future information.

This is an ongoing series of articles from guest blogger and Strength & Conditioning coach William Wayland of Powering Through, who offers online training planning for tournament peaking for MMA, Nogi and BJJ

Triphasic Training For MMA

by William Wayland ~ posted February 4th, 2014

Happy February Scramblers I thought I would give you an insight into the method I use with the pro athletes I work with. The principles of this method helped me take a number of training methods and apply them subsequently and coherently. And the results my athletes have had are pretty impressive. This is not a program for beginners I’ll be honest. Joe Bonyai does a better job of explaining how you might apply it to untrained athletes. Any questions head over to my facebook or twitter. Keep on Scramblin! – William

This is an ongoing series of articles from guest blogger and Strength & Conditioning coach William Wayland of Powering Through, who offers online training planning for tournament peaking for MMA, Nogi and BJJ

Define your year

by William Wayland ~ posted January 15th, 2014

Almost every day I see the year ahead, not for myself but for the athletes I work with, I’m forever pulling up their year planners to see where on schedule we are. When you realise that there are only 52 weeks in a year myself, calender makers and other time lords tut and stroke our chins. Mainly because we see that 52 weeks is hardly any time at all. How does anyone get anything done! Looking at it from an athletic preparation perspective it is a markedly short time. The peak athletic age for most sports is between 25-35 that’s 520 weeks within which to get the most out of your self. That’s 12480 hours or roughly double the amount of time Matthew Benyon has spent playing Day Z.

Too often its a case of ‘Jumping Helio’s only 4 weeks until the Llanfairpwllgwyngyll BJJ open guess I better do some strength and conditioning’ – Joey Blue belt. So Joey does a few circuits a couple of deadlifts and prays on the day he doesn’t gas or get drawn against the hulk. MMA fighters on the other hand on the amateur level have a habit throwing 6-8 weeks  out as a common preparation metric, with these types I still use the fast and frugal peaking tree. The key is this formulate a plan that either has the specific dates or the dates you expect/looking for competition on. Most BJJ events have fixed dates planned well in advance, the UFC and Cage warriors for instance have a 3-6 month lag time that allow for preparation. When BJJ or MMA fighters come to me with specific dates for a year or me that makes the job of planning much easier. I always try and have a rough year planner (Macro) so I know what the athletes are doing that week. I’ll plan their blocks a few weeks or a month or more in advance, so that the individual workouts (micro) can be adapted to changing circumstances. Sometimes even on the fly on the day if someone took too many leg kicks the night before.

BJJ purple belt and gratuitious surfing selfie photographer Cristiano Del Giacco had a busy year last year including 3 weeks at ATOS lucky devil.

Designing a strength and conditioning program can be a complex process, but there are plenty of resources (possibly too many) telling you just how to do that. An awful lot needs to be considered, energy systems, muscles, injury risk, athlete individuality, peaking, specificity and ton of cool acronyms they teach on sports science courses. But this is all for nought if you do not know when you will be competing and how much preparation to take, have a structure simply makes things easier in terms of managing the amount of stress you apply to yourself. Many often worry about planning but do not actually plan anything. This may seem like a simple appeal but you would be surprised the amount of people that enter into many an enterprise with no prior planning. Sit down (possibly with your coach) google ‘year planner’ pick out those competition dates and get to work.

This is an ongoing series of articles from guest blogger and Strength & Conditioning coach William Wayland of Powering Through, who offers online training planning for tournament peaking for MMA, Nogi and BJJ

Coffee and Chokes

by William Wayland ~ posted December 6th, 2013

Ah Coffee, apparently 75% of Americans drink the stuff, we Brits are still very much addicted to tea, but coffee culture has taken hold here is not going to let go anytime soon! Both tea and coffee share a commonality: the substance caffeine. A white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that is a psychoactive stimulant, caffeine, found in varying quantities in the beans, leaves, and fruit of some plants. And humans for the longest time have been using it as convenient ‘boost’ for millennia. It’s been studied extensively,  alertness, cognitive and cancer fighting properties are all benefits.

To celebrate the release of Scramble’s Coffee and Chokes rashguard we have put together a caffeine themed post for you guys!

The International Olympic Committee for sometime listed caffeine as a restricted drug. However it the banned amount you would need to drink 8-10 regular cups of coffee. In 2004 WADA took it off the banned list, it is simply unfeasible to consume so much caffeine and not have crippling side effects. A study performed testing 3,6,9 mg/kg of bodyweight showed that doses about 6mg/kg of bodyweight are just not worth the side effects! So for you coffee consumers anything over 300mg would be a waste. So how much is in your cup?

Whats in my cup?

Cup of coffee ranges from 80-220mg depending on size

Large americano from a typical coffee chain 360mg

Cup of Tea 40-60mg

Cola 34mg

Red Bovine flight enabling drink 80mg

Caffine tablet proplus etc 100mg

Once in the brain, the principal mode of action is as a non-selective antagonist of adenosine receptors. Caffeine activates noradrenaline neurons and serotonin neurons. Caffeine also is a diuretic, this means it makes a person make more urine (the waste liquid a person makes). Caffeine is absorbed by the stomach and small intestine within 30-45 minutes. In healthy adults, caffeine’s half-life is approximately 4.9 hours. Consuming 1000-1500mg a day (I’m looking at you Scramble head honchos) constitutes caffeinism. Effectively caffeine addiction, those of you who are serious mud jockey’s will know all too well the monkey on your back when you miss your morning cup! Which brings me on to side effects.

The Sides
As with any ergogenic aid often, excess or dependence is always amounts to a bad experience. I’ve worked with athletes in the past who on top of their training, consume 6-8 cups of coffee a day resulting on adrenal glands that I’m sure probably resembled raisins. Many of you have probably experienced jitters, sleeplessness. But more serious side effects involved GI problems, dizziness, high blood pressure, nausea, cramping. And in total excess, zig zagging lights and ringing in the ears. Extreme overdose can result in death dose needed would be 14000mg. Or around 39 large americano’s.

What can it do for me?

Things to know for the athlete

Consumption of caffeine does not eliminate the need for sleep; it only temporarily reduces the sensation of being tired

Studies have shown improvement in endurance sports ranging from 7-50% with doses as high as 630mg

Has been shown to increase glycogen storage post exercise up to 60%

Has been shown to improve memory tasks

The ingestion of caffeine will increase the level of circulating fatty acids in the bloodstream, which permits these fat stores to be oxidized, or burned, as fuel

Ingestion of 400mg of caffeine can prevent delayed onset of muscle soreness in resistance trained men

Pallarés JG, Fernández-Elías VE, Ortega JF, Muñoz G, Muñoz-Guerra J, Mora-Rodríguez R. (2013) Neuromuscular Responses to Incremental Caffeine Doses: Performance and Side Effects. Med Sci Sports Exerc.
Hurley CF, Hatfield DL, Riebe DA. (2013) The effect of caffeine ingestion on delayed onset muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res.

Practical usage

Caffeine usage can be benefical to an athlete or anyone looking for a boost when they feel like they are flagging. My personal recommendations are, do not consume any after 3pm, do not use caffeine to make up for poor nutritional habits. Anything greater than 300mgs is a waste of time. It can be useful all a weight cutting aid two fold, 1 because it is an diuretic and 2 because of the energy boost and fat burning qualities. However be aware of the negative effects on blood pressure and hydration. If used sparingly you can get more out of caffeine supplementation.

One way I recommend using it for tired athletes is drinking it prior to a 20 minute nap, set an alarm and then get up, the nap should make you feel restful by which point the caffeine should start kicking in. Selective usage for those of you that have to resistance train very early in the morning maybe useful, as it has been shown to make morning strength levels comparable to afternoon levels (mainly due to hormonal and structural changes that take place during the day. So go on and get your coffee and choke (lift) on.

Pro Fighter Sean Carter knows the value of a power nap!
This is an ongoing series of articles from guest blogger and Strength & Conditioning coach William Wayland of Powering Through.