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MMA Fighter Ronda Rousey Shares Her Training Tips

Written on August 14, 2012 at 10:24 am , by

Rousey shows off her beautiful bod on the cover of ESPN The Magazine's latest The Body Issue. (Photo courtesy of Peggy Sirota)

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.

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Thank You, Internet, for The Best Olympics Coverage Ever

Written on August 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm , by

For the past couple of weeks, you could say there were two groups of people: Those who watched the Olympics and those who followed the Olympics. Not all watchers were followers, but it’s safe to say most followers were probably watchers as well. And while some of the followers may have been bored (or irate) by the tape delays that aired on NBC prime time, they still had front row seats to some unprecedented online action. Even if you weren’t on nbcolympics.com trying to catch the live streams, it was impossible to miss the amazing shenanigans happening all over the web.

Just a few favorites:



The Gifs! 

McKayla is Not Impressed

And then there was Twitter. If you’re like us and wanted to truly participate in the play-by-plays, it was probably your go-to spot. There were more than 150 million (!) Twitter conversations about the Olympics since the Opening Ceremonies. There were more than 2 million tweets about Gabby Douglas, as well as Ryan Lochte, and it wasn’t uncommon to see celebrities tweeting at Olympians or about them:



So. While it’s lovely that NBC broke their ratings – averaging 31+ million watchers each night — we kinda expected that, especially if you’re getting a ton of free, user-generated promotion around one of the most beloved events in the world. What’s genuinely exciting is that this year’s overall activity by outlets, spectators, and athletes was just a taste of what’s to come. By 2016, there will be even more followers instead of basic watchers, and coverage of the Olympics will be more integrated (rather than trying to straddle both old school TV practices and new media trends). As a digital director at a fitness magazine, I’m pretty pumped for 2016. I’m thinking 2012 was just a warm-up!

But until then: Thank you, Internet, for making these Olympic Games so ridiculously fun.

Music Monday: Your Om-Inducing Playlist

Written on August 13, 2012 at 9:23 am , by

Tune into these songs to help tune out the rest of the world. (Photo by Laura Doss)

Written by Laura Cofsky, editorial intern

With all the excitement over the Olympics, it’s easy to forget to relax. Sure, the Games are fun, but if you’re anything like us, you spent the last two weeks jumping off your couch, cheering and perhaps occasionally screaming at the TV. We may not have competed in the Olympics, but it was definitely a time for constant, on-the-edge-of-your-seat excitement.

Now that we’re done watching the USA teams kick major butt, it’s time for a break. On our list to try: meditation. Whether you’re a pro or want to give it a whirl for the first time, these songs can help you zone out and find inner calm.

Now you tell us: What kind of music do you like to relax to?

5 Olympic Moments with Ryan Hall

Written on August 7, 2012 at 10:42 am , by

Marathoner Ryan Hall (Photo Courtesy of NBC Olympics)

With a less than a week away from the Men’s Marathon in the 2012 London Olympics, Marathoner Ryan Hall took the time to answer our questions about his Olympic moments. Get a glimpse into the life of  the American Half Marathon and Olympic Trials record holder:

1) Tell us about your first “Holy sh*t, I’m an Olympian!” moment, in regards to the 2012 Games.

We were lucky to get our qualify out of the way back in January so I’ve had a long time to soak in the fact that I’ll be returning to the Olympics.  I don’t think it hit me that I was going to qualify for the London Olympics till I came down the final 100 meters to the finish line in Houston.  In the marathon anything can happen so I was just trying not to pass out and to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I think it was the longest last mile of my life.
2) During the Trials or Games, what was your most challenging moment to get through?

I was having some stomach problems in the race because I was taking Aleve to take the edge off some foot problems I had been battling with leading up to the Trials.  As a result of the stomach problems I wasn’t able to take in my usual calories or fluids which  lead to an out of body experience around mile 23.  The last 3 miles of a marathon is always hard but this was like I was outside of my body watching as my body was trying to tell me it was out of energy and strength.  I was in second at the time but I wasn’t sure I was even going to make it to the finish line let alone finish in the top 3 and earn my spot on the Olympic Team.  I prayed for strength and thought of my wife waiting for me at the finish line and somehow, by the grace of God, I made it.

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London 2012 Olympics: Chatting With Beach Volleyball Babe Kerri Walsh

Written on August 7, 2012 at 10:05 am , by

Among all the amazing wins going on in London, the USA still has a handful of exciting events to go! And even though we’re trailing China by one medal to be the “winner of winners”, the games and races coming up may change all that. The US ladies soccer team scored the final goal to beat Canada (congratulations Alex Morgan!) and are on their way to redemption in the finals against Japan. Serena Williams won her first singles gold medal (we loved that happy dance!)—while she and Venus took home the gold in doubles too! Teen swimming sensation and newcomer to the pool, Missy Franklin, nabbed four medals, three of them gold; perhaps on the heels of becoming the female version of Phelps? And who can forget the Fab Five winning the team gold— and Gabby Douglas being named the top honor of all-around champion?

Kerri Walsh spending quality time with her son at the Oakley Safehouse (Photo credit: Russ Hennings/Oakley)

But gold medals aren’t just what we’re after; simply making an Olympic team is the biggest honor of all. McKayla Maroney on the vault is walking away with a silver medal, as is the speedy Carmelita Jeter in the women’s 100 meter. The list goes on and on, but coming up is the must anticipated Lolo Jones in 100 meter hurdles (semi and finals airs tonight!) and our favorite beach babes, Kerri Walsh and Misty May Treanor going up against China in the semi-finals today.

We got to chat with one of our favorite cover girls, Kerri Walsh, when she stopped by the Oakley Safehouse in London. The Safehouse is just that, a safe haven for Oakley athletes at the Olympics to rest, relax and find some private space away from any distractions the games are sure to throw at them.

What’s it like playing such late games? It looks cold out there!

My favorite Olympian of all-time, Natalie Cook, our coach has done a great job of preparing us. We train every night at 10:00pm and get home at 12 in the morning. We’re trying to figure out our process. We’re in a really good rhythm with it now.

Read on to find out how the Olympian balances mom time and game time! Read more

London 2012 Olympics: Loving Nike’s Liberty of London Track Shoe

Written on August 3, 2012 at 5:02 pm , by

With the start of the 2012 London track and field events today, Nike has unveiled its latest addition to their already awesome array of Olympic gear to hit London. The Liberty x Nike Zoom Victory Elite is a sweet track spike decked out in a floral motif, combining the iconic silhouette first introduced in 1960 and the new FlyWire technology of today’s innovation. If you’re wondering what that is, FlyWire technology looks like strategically placed filaments that function like cables and offer support exactly where it’s needed on the upper of your shoe. And the threaded outsole will help minimize weight and maximize support, everything you want when you’re hitting the pavement. (The Nike FlyKnit Trainer+ are the bright yellow kicks you’ve been seeing all over the podium on Team USA!)

What's not to love about a shoe with such a feminine touch? (Photo courtesy of Nike)

Whether you’re a track star or just want to feel like one, these spikes—and the Liberty x Nike Zoom JA Fly designed for sprinters—are being sold exclusively at Liberty’s shop on Regent Street. If you’re lucky enough to be in London catching the games live, check out the coveted shoes created solely for the elite Olympic athletes, like Nike’s Allyson Felix (racing in the 100m, 200m–her signature event—and the 4x100m relay).

The Liberty x Nike Zoom Victory Elite (left) & the Liberty x Nike Zoom JA Fly (right). Look for these on the London loop! (Photo courtesy of Nike)



Can shoes like this make me faster? Actually, probably a bit. Even if they aren’t made with magical powers, they could make me feel like an Olympian and what’s better than that? Go USA!

Continue catching all the latest Olympic news this weekend when track and field events finally ramp up! You know I’ll be watching. Follow me on Twitter at @FITNESSjenna to catch updates and times on all the big events.


Fit Links: Olympic Controversies and Eat-Right Tips

Written on August 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm , by

Good news for women's health! (Photo courtesy of iStockphoto)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Written by Laura Cofsky, editorial intern

Body Confidence Tips from Olympic Weight Lifter Sarah Robles

Written on August 1, 2012 at 10:27 am , by

Sarah Robles Olympic Weightlifter

Photo by Mitchell Haaseth / NBC Olympics.

“Faster, Higher, Stronger.” “Faster, Higher, Sarah Robles.” Because if you want a synonym for “stronger,” look no farther than the 23 year-old U.S. weightlifter.

It’s not just that she’s technically the strongest woman in our country—Robles will compete for her place on the international podium on August 5th—but it’s the other challenges that have shown the world just how mentally tough this girl is. In the weeks leading up the Games, many of us learned about her financial struggles…and were thrilled to see the online community cheer her on.

But no amount of money, medals, or media attention changes the fact that the 5’10”, 275-pound, 23 year-old has had to overcome a few body issues. On behalf of every woman in America, I’m just gonna go ahead and say that’s where I think her most enduring, admirable strength truly lies. Here, a few questions and answers with the Olympian.

FITNESS: How did your life change when you began accepting your shape and body type?

SARAH ROBLES: My life changed for the better when I decided to be okay with who I am. I knew I wasn’t going to change, nor really could do much about it anyway. I cared more about being the best athlete. It didn’t matter what my body looked like, it mattered more to me how it performed.

FITNESS: What are your best confidence-boosting tips for other women?

SARAH ROBLES: First, stop caring about what other people think. They probably aren’t thinking what you think they are, and most likely, you’ll never see them again.

Next, surround yourself with positive people. Negativity is sticky. It sticks to you and is hard to get rid of. Once you do (find those positive people), you will feel clean, happy, and free!

Lastly, do things you really love or try new things. You never know what you can be good at unless you try. When you learn new skills or further develop the ones you have, you will be more confident.

FITNESS: Which athletes or celebrities do you relate to the most? On a related note, who are your role models? Read more

London 2012 Olympics: World Champion Jordyn Wieber’s Elimination

Written on July 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm , by

If you’re a fitness fanatic like myself, I’m sure you’re glued to your TV (or two computers streaming live and one delayed TV broadcast!) for all things happening in London. For the first time ever, I’m proud to say that I rarely got up from my couch this weekend because I was so tuned in to the Olympic events—go Team USA! The “Fab 5″ US gymnastics team this year are absolutely phenomenal (not to mention so damn cute!). I’m in awe every time they run, flip, jump, twist and land on their two feet so beautifully. While the USA is edging forward toward a team gold, one of the biggest upsets in what’s sure to be gymnastics history happened yesterday too.

Jordyn discovers her unlikely fate. (Photo courtesy of Associated Press)

Jordyn Wieber, the reigning World Champion in the all-around division, was pushed out of the all-around finals, after placing third behind her two teammates, main rival 16-year-old Gabby Douglas and best friend and Olympic-village roommate, 18-year-old Aly Raisman. Leading up to the London Games, not much was said about team captain Aly, as the attention was mainly focused on Jordyn and Gabby, the teammates openly vying for the coveted All-Around Champion Title (an Olympic win in this category—in which gymnasts’ scores for all four events, vault, uneven bars, beam and floor routine are combined—is considered the mother of all titles to win). As the media coverage on Jordyn and Gabby picked up speed, finally coming to a head during Sunday’s preliminary events, no one predicted this outcome would happen.

Some might say that Jordyn simply had a bad day, making a few uncharacteristic mistakes on beam and the floor routine, or you could say that Aly truly shined under pressure, but one thing’s for sure, poor Jordyn Wieber was knocked out of USA’s top two spots and excluded from the all-around finals competition. Due to a rule that says each country can only send two gymnasts from their team into this competition, she will not be able to advance, even though Jordyn is ranked 4th overall (only two-tenths of a point behind teammate Gabby). As I watched this play out on TV, I was in awe and heartbroken to see Jordyn’s dreams collapse in front of billions of people. I just wanted to jump through my screen and give the girl a hug! This athlete handled herself with such grace and maturity, finally speaking to the media after her tears slowed down.

Is it fair that she should be locked out of this competition, when other gymnasts scoring much lower than her will be able to move ahead? If it’s truly a competition on the all-around champion (the best of the best!), then how can these ladies be judged fairly when they will not be going against one of the best?

Since I’m not a pro on all things gymnastics, I got on the phone with Olympian Shannon Miller, who is the most decorated gymnast in U.S. history and one part of the ’96 Atlanta Games  “Magnificent 7″.  Shannon, who is an expert analyst for Yahoo Sports, is in London and was there for this exhilarating day.  Read more

Fit Links: Olympics Mania!

Written on July 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm , by

Hey there, Ryan Lochte. (Photo by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC Olympics)

This week’s fit links from around the web, 2012 Olympics edition:



Now tell us: Which Olympic event are you looking forward to the most?