The weight cut

One of the toughest parts about being a fighter is cutting weight. Three of my friends will be fighting on the 29th, in Calgary on the Hard Knocks show, and are currently winding down their training and two of them are preparing to make weight. 

Being strict with your diet, and what you put into your body from now till weighins is of the upmost importance. Cheating now, even once, can add an extra hour to your time in a sauna or hot tub. Trust me, when you are down to the last pound and the weight has stopped coming off, you will hate yourself for giving in to that cheeseburger.  

This is one toughest parts of being a fighter. Few people will understand just how awful cutting weight can be: why you're always grumpy, and can't go out for supper just this one time. Good news though, with proper guidance from a good coach and sticking to the plan, your weight cut can go easily and you can recover quick, and feel energized and strong for your bout. 

Good luck to Jenn, Lee, and Dylan in their upcoming bouts. 

Making weight wasn't always easy for me, being very tall for welterweight. I always made weight, but was never happy about it. 

Making weight wasn't always easy for me, being very tall for welterweight. I always made weight, but was never happy about it. 

Rumble 51

I'm excited for tomorrow's card. I always love our hometown shows, which makes sense since I started fighting on them twelve years ago. I'm currently retired and enjoying coaching and helping the fighters at CMC train and improve.  

This show has some great fighters on it, like Brandt Dewsberry for the main event, and his girlfriend Ali Toly making her debut which I think is pretty awesome. Dylan, Miguel, Elvis, all looking to fight their hearts out. 

Jenn Wolstenholme is making her rumble debut tomorrow too, this will be her second amateur fight. She asked a few months ago if I could help her nutritionally for her fight. She was in a very different situation than the last fighter I helped, Jenn needed to keep her weight up.  

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We wanted to have an easy weight cut for Jenn so our goal was to stay about five pounds above weight leading up to fight week, then to bring her down a bit and only have to cut a few pounds in the tub by sweating.  

Our plan worked out great, she actually made weight the night before weighins, was able to have breakfast and coast till weighins. 

I'm very excited for Jenn, she has trained so hard for this fight, and win or lose we will all be very proud of her.

Good luck Jenn! 

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Rumble in the cage 51 will be at the Servus soccer centre October 2nd. Which is a Friday! Fights start at 7pm sharp. Hope to see you there.  

Progress not perfection

We all strive for perfection. Perfection seems like a great goal, but perfection doesn't truly exist with respect to anything worth doing. When something is truly worth doing, be it martial arts, body building, or any sport or activity requiring skill and dedication, perfection doesn't truly exist. People spend their entire lives trying to perfect their art, always working towards perfection, tuning and tweaking to be better than someone or simply to be better than themselves. What we are doing is making progress. Progress is the ultimate goal, whether it's a little progress or making leaps and bounds. Progress is what moves us forward on our path to perfection. My goal with martial arts is not perfection, it is progress. To be better than I was yesterday; knowing ultimately there is no perfection, there will always be room for improvement. The greatest athletes in the world never stop training, never stop improving on what looks like perfection to us, but to them they can always be faster, crisper, stronger. 

Don't worry too much about perfection, don't always just focus on the end result, but focus on progress. Remember, progress can be the smallest of things, like cutting out pop and drinking more water, or small goals like losing five pounds, running three times a week regularly; it's the little things that count and will lead towards perfection.  This doesn't mean perfection is unattainable, just that it's not the most important aspect to be focusing on. 

One goal down and onto the next. Always learning always improving! 

One goal down and onto the next. Always learning always improving! 

Deep Thoughts- by Neil Berry

I think we all get cob webs in our brain from time to time, whether it's from not training for a while or training too often. I have found, as I am sure most have, that training hard and often tends to shake these webs loose. Problem is, every so often, these webs clog up the brain drain and it's basically the same effect as before, but more frustrating. Taking a step back from training and letting the drain clear will give clarity to our endeavours. Letting us progress and move forward once again in our training.

Recently I had to step back and take a week away from rolling and sparring, let the cob webs fogging up my brain wash away. This has been the case on more than one occasion, and often it leads to a spike in progress. 

Moral of the story, sometimes you need a break from training to help refocus. Take a step back, clear your mind, and return reinvigorated.  

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Fad Dieting

Everyone knows of a diet. We have all heard about the latest and greatest diet. But why is there always a new one to follow? How come they don't stick around? 

People can get great results from following the latest diets. Losing weight quickly is great; plus having more energy and an increase in confidence. However, what happens when we stop the diet and go back to our regular life? Most of us lose our gains or gain back the weight we lost and more. Why is this? It happens because we don't learn good habits and most diets are too hard to maintain. Most people do these diets to lose excess fat; by extreme measures, creating unhealthy calorie deficits, and following strict regimes. Most of these diets are meant for a quick solution, promising quick results. What we are doing is shocking our system and damaging our metabolism, and creating a hormone imbalance; which in the long run does more harm than good. Once we stop the diet, and go back to regular living and eating, we will have more trouble with fat than before because our system is in disarray. This becomes discouraging, we keep trying these diets and are having a difficult time maintaining our progress we have made and it becomes harder and harder over time. 

I believe in sustainability. Healthy choices, smart choices, and enjoying what we eat. Eating whole, natural healthy foods. No GMO's, or processed foods. 

Now there are going to come times when you can't eat healthy, whether it's at a restaurant or on the road, that's ok as long as 95 percent of the time we are eating healthy. Once a week give yourself the pleasure of a treat or guilty meal, but too regularly and you might be holding your self back.  Eventually, after time your cravings for sweets and unhealthy foods will disappear since your body is feeling healthier and is getting the required nutrients from whole foods. Our goal is to create a healthy relationship with food, not to fear what we eat. Food is not the enemy. 

As far as supplements go, I believe athletes and people training rigorously will need to supplement their food intake, and there are proven legal powders and pills to help in this area. These are meant to supplement our nutrition, not replace it though. A protein shake after training is a great way to start refuelling your body, but it must be followed by a balanced meal once we are at home and can eat. There are other legal supplements we can take to help with our training needs, as long as we remember that 90-95 percent of our nutrition should come from whole, natural foods. 

These are my opinions, along with other fitness and nutrition experts, but make sure to do your own research on whatever diet peaks your interest, and don't just blindly follow any fitness trend that comes your way. There's always going to be a new diet, but remember there's a reason why there's always a new one popping up. 

 

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Fuel Proper

Feeling drained? Can't keep up to your training partners? Don't have the energy to train? Don't feel like you're making progress? These are common complaints. Issues that may be resolved by a proper nutrition plan. 

I have been talking with many people over the last month or so while begining this new adventure, and I've been trying to think of a topic for a blog. It seems to me that most people are a little confused about carbs. How much to eat, which carbs should we eat? For most of the people I have talked to the answer is pretty simple, eat more carbs. I spend most of my gym time with fighters, most of which aren't eating enough. The sport of MMA creates the mind set of weight watching. Fighters have to be alert to their weight; especially fighters trying to make a name for themselves because opportunities to fight can come up on less than one weeks notice. I've done it, taken more than a couple short notice fights; 24 hours to make weight. Luckily, I was always training and prepared to take a fight on short notice. But this environment makes us obsess over our weight and it can keep us from eating the amount that we need to train at our best and to perform without fear of gaining weight. Not eating enough can have the opposite effect on our bodies which we might not expect. When our body is under nourished it can actually hold onto our fat instead of burning it, plus it will break down our muscles for fuel. When our body runs out of glycogen, which is our bodies main source of energy, our muscles are actually easier to break down for fuel than our fat. Carbs, especially starchy carbs, are the preferred source to fill up and keep our glycogen stores full. Therefore, if we're not eating enough carbs, and taking in enough calories, we're doing more harm than good. Yes we need a calorie deficit to lose weight, but if we create too much of a deficit we will do more harm and won't get the results we want. When we train we burn our glycogen first for energy, then when it runs out we're cutting into our muscles. Obviously, we don't want this for many reasons. One reason, being the more muscle our bodies have, the more calories we burn; the more calories we burn, the more fat we lose. In other words, eat more to lose weight efficiently and keep up our strength and energy to continue training and make the progress we deserve. 

I hope I've shed a little light on the topic of fuel. There is so much information out there and so many points of view on the topic of nutrition. Make sure you do your own research, and try to see what fits your lifestyle and thoughts.  If you are interested in learning more feel free to contact me through my webiste or Facebook page.

Cheers! 

White rice should be a staple in every athletes diet. Using a rice cooker makes life much easier when prepping meals as well as the nutritional excellence we get from white rice.  

White rice should be a staple in every athletes diet. Using a rice cooker makes life much easier when prepping meals as well as the nutritional excellence we get from white rice.  


 

Making Weight

One of my clients and good friends, Josh Heinz is a professional MMA fighter. He came to me a month before his fight and hired me to help him with his nutrition and training. The challenge was making weight for his fight. We started the camp at 245 pounds, and needed to weigh in at 205 pounds. Not ideal, but with a little guidance and a lot of hard work on his part, he got down to 220 for fight week, and was able to cut the remainder in the last 24 hours before weigh-ins. Our goal was to still eat enough to be able to train hard twice a day, while still dropping a large amount of weight. By cutting out certain 'non-super foods' and watching his macros, we were able to bring him down in a healthy manner, while training sometimes twice a day (based on scheduling), five to six days a week. I am very proud of Josh, it would have been very easy to under fuel himself in fear of not losing the weight, resulting in a lowered state of strength and energy for training, and probably would not have made weight. When we create too large of a calorie deficit, our bodies tend to slow down, and start holding onto fat. This slows down your metabolism and can stress you out. Josh trained very hard for this fight, and although it did not go his way this time, he fought like a true warrior. It was a great learning experience for him and now its back to the drawing board and preparing for the next battle. 

Beggining weight of 245 pounds. Weight at weighins 24 hours before his MMA fight was 205. After weigh-ins and refueling / rehydrating he weighed in just under 220 pounds.  

Beggining weight of 245 pounds. Weight at weighins 24 hours before his MMA fight was 205. After weigh-ins and refueling / rehydrating he weighed in just under 220 pounds.  

Thanks for reading. I love working with fighters, but I do love working with athletes from all sports, and those who are just looking to become more active and live a healthier lifestyle.  

 

Cheers,  

Neil Berry. 

Moments before his fight.  

Moments before his fight.  

Seven inch height difference.  

Seven inch height difference.  

Hi guys!

My name is Neil Berry. I am a certified personal trainer, and I want to work with people from all over, and help people achieve their goals. One thing I have noticed is that there is a big gap between people going to the gym, doing personal training, or group classes and even team sports, to going home and not continuing or fueling their training. I want to help fill the gap, so that they are getting the most out of their training and can make the most progress possible. 

Through my years of experience in professional MMA, years of personal training and coaching athletes in the gym, to preparing myself for my gruelling 3 hour long black belt test, I believe I can help anyone from a beginner looking to get more active, to a professional athlete looking to perform at 100 percent.

Please feel free to message me, this is a new and exciting path I am embarking on and would love any feedback, comments or questions.