Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern
After winning the bronze medal in Judo at Beijing in 2008, Ronda Rousey was in the mood for a change. Following the lead of former fighters, she decided to enter the world of women’s MMA – mixed martial arts. Now, nearly two years in the profession, Rousey remains undefeated and graces the 2012 cover of ESPN’s The Body Issue. Craving to know more about the girl inside the ring, we got the inside scoop about her intense training schedule and how she feels about posing nude for the media.
What made you switch from judo to MMA?
After winning bronze at the Olympics, I wasn’t happy with the lifestyle required to be the best. But I didn’t know what to do with myself. I thought about joining the Coast Guard, but I had a bunch of friends who transitioned from Judo to MMA. I thought I’d give it a try. If it didn’t work out, I’d join the Coast Guard. But it’s gone beyond my wildest expectations.
How grueling is training right now?
Overall, I really only rest about two or three weeks throughout the year. The rest of the time I’m working. But the anticipation for the fight can actually be more insane. I love the training and fighting, but waiting for it to happen makes me crazy! When they build up something in the press, it can just be mentally exhausting, waiting for that moment to finally be here.
What is your typical workout?
For MMA, you have to be good at so many different techniques: technical striking, Judo, wrestling, grappling, strength conditioning, Pilates and even training on sand dune hills. The coolest part of my training is that I get to change it around based on how I feel. That’s the difference between MMA and Judo – I’m not on a monotonous training schedule. Every day is cool and interesting, so I never dread going to practice.
Written by Lauren Cardarelli, editorial intern
Keeping a balance between realistic action scenes with “the Hollywood of it all” was one of the obstacles technical adviser and mixed martial arts (MMA) trainer legend, Greg Jackson, had to overcome in the new movie, Warrior. The film, which stars Tom Hardy (who you may recognize from Inception), shares an inspiring story about two brothers fighting for their family.
Jackson grew up in a family of wrestlers and has developed 10 world champions. He was responsible for ensuring the authenticity of the MMA aspects in the film, which was released on DVD last month. Besides the jabs and takedowns in the cage, Jackson found it important to convey the culture (specifically the coach-fighter bond) of the MMA world. “We’re real people and we have normal lives. We’re not these extreme and crazy, as we’re sometimes portrayed,” Jackson said.
Here are five tips from Jackson to train like the stars.
- Shop around. Go online and find a reputable school in your area that provides kickboxing, jiu-jitsu and wrestling classes. Make sure it is an atmosphere that you feel comfortable in before committing.
- Exercise smarter. Explosive training and the work-to-rest ratio is the key to success.
- Keep an eye on your plate. “One word: diet.” According to Jackson, you can exercise all day long but if you really want to lose weight, it’s all about what you put into your body.
- Allow for recovery. Greg refuels with protein like MusclePharm Re-Con. A tall glass of chocolate milk is another great alternative!
- Find a “why.” “Inspiration is our most precious commodity,” Jackson says. “Everyone has their own muse.” Find what moves you and don’t give up.
Now tell us: Which movies or characters inspire you to get active?