Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

Dana White Outraged at TUF Competitor’s Lack of Passion

Already struggling with plummeting TV ratings, UFC boss Dana White has lashed out at thisDana White season’s competitors of the Ultimate Fighter. Even though the season has not even finished he has excoriated the fighters for their lack of commitment and passion.

This is the 19th season of The Ultimate Fighter. One would expect the franchise to have the formula for success down pat at this stage. But it seems quite the reverse is true. In an interview with MMA Junkie Dana White said, ‘You can’t blame the coaches,’ (BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar, UFC Hall of Famers and opposing Head Coaches), ‘you can’t blame this or that,’ White continued, ‘you blame the guys and how bad they really wanted it.

White lamented season 19 as a total failure. He called it the worst season ever.

Any MMA fan with even a passing interest in the TUF brand will point to the Australia versus Canada TUF series as being infinitely worse. The lopsided match-ups between these teams made the fights unwatchable. Even the Canadians were embarrassed with the ease of their victories. There were no fighters or stories about the fighters with which viewers could identify, no displays of determination or passion, no technical fighting brilliance or inspiring demonstrations of skill.

As MMA becomes more professional the fights become increasingly dull. They become more about technique than desire. Everyone can identify with desire. Only some can identify with technique.

Kookaburras Top of the World

Photo www.hockey.org (Daniel Carson)

Photo www.hockey.org (Daniel Carson)

The Dutch may have scored the first goal in their world championship game against the Australians, but it was the Aussies who scored the next six!

In what became the most one-sided World Championship Hockey final in history the Kookaburras systematically demolished the Netherlands; outplaying their opposition all over the field.

Jamie Dyer, five times world player of the year, described this win as better even than the team’s 2010 win, “For me this is better than 2010. To win a World Cup 6 – 1 is incredible. It’s unheard of,” Dwyer said to AAP.

Understated as always, team Coach Rick Charlesworth described the win as, ‘convincing’.

The Kookaburras gave nothing to their Dutch rivals: midfielders Simon Orchard and Liam de Young defused a threatening Dutch counter-attack even though the game was beyond doubt. Sensational attacker Chris Cirello scored a hat-trick, with Keirian Govers, Glen Turner and Jamie Dwyer hammering their own nails into the Dutch World Cup coffin.

The Australians were at the Dutch like a pack of wild dogs – snuffing out any threat before it could build. The tackling was hard, fast and clinical. Australia’s passing game was expansive with the ball rocketing between players like a pinball. ‘I think we played the best hockey in the world,’ Charlesworth again said redundantly.

Kookaburras

Photo: smh.com.au

And who could argue? The Kookaburras conceded 3 goals throughout the entire tournament, while scoring 30 of their own. The team scored 15 goals more than anyone else while conceding 5 less.

Kookaburras Captain, and player of the series, Mark Knowles led from the front. He played with characteristic focus, precision, and tempered ferocity. His powerful defense and gritty determination to chase down everything the Dutch threw at the Aussies set the standard of play.

A standard the proud Kookaburras rose to meet.

Wiggins in Doubt for Tour de France 2014

Bradley Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins

 The cycling word is reeling after 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins announced that ‘as it stands now’ he won’t be making himself available for the Tour squad. Relations between himself and team mate (Tour de France 2013 winner) Chris Froome are continuing to plumb bitter depths.

Tensions have been simmering between the two since the 2012 Tour, when Froome apparently disobeyed team orders by continuing an attack to the detriment of Wiggins.

In his recent autobiography, The Climb, Froome said of Wiggins, “We rode around him and his moods like he was a traffic island.”

Since being left out of the Criterium du Dauphine on Sunday (the main warm-up for the Tour) Wiggins has countered with accusations that Froome is calling shots on team selection.

Team Sky chief David Brailsford rejects this, “We knew from last year that my job was to build a team around Chris Froome because he’s the rider most likely to win this year’s Tour de France … Despite the impression that might have been created, the team is not yet finalised … Riders can offer an opinion but they don’t select the team and they never will.”

Is UFC Being Run Into the Ground?

After another ratings failure questions are being asked about the pacing of UFC events. For some time it has been argued that the enhanced pacing of the UFC cards and virtual saturation of TV slots has been counterproductive to promoting the sport. ‘Fans are becoming desensitized to the UFC and MMA in general,’ said one commentator.

Dana WhiteThe UFC hosts 13 events throughout the year, a weekly Friday Night Fight Night, and usually two or three seasons of the Ultimate Fighter. This means there is usually some product from Zuffa on TV at least twice a week. This has a number of consequences:

First, it makes promoting fights increasingly difficult. Dana White had promised there would never be women in the UFC, but had to reverse this stance when it became apparent fans were tiring of the relentless barrage of MMA telecasts each week.

Second, it means that more and more fighters must be drafted into the UFC to fill these timeslots. The consequence of this is a lowering of fight quality. The UFC has suffered a slew of almost unwatchable mismatches in recent times. Such fights diminish what was once the paragon of combat sports and the focus of world attention.

Third, by debasing the UFC through over exposure Zuffa are reducing MMA to the status of every other entertainment competing for audience attention. When the UFC first hit the international stage there was nothing else like it. With the small roster of fighters, fans were always left wanting more. And because of the exclusive nature of the events fight cards were always brimming with the best combatants from all kinds of fight backgrounds.

If responses to the last three UFC events are anything to go by, those days are well and truly gone. Fight talk on Twitter has consistently dwindled, ticket sales are down, Pay Per View subscriptions are falling with each fight.

The lesson here is that you can get too much of a good thing. There is a point of diminishing returns in everything, no matter how much we love it.

Pearson Injury Raises Doubts for Glasgow Commonwealth Games

SallyChampion hurdler and sprinter Sally Pearson has been forced to withdraw from this weekend’s Diamond League Athletic Carnival in New York. Another foreboding twitch in her hamstring has forced the veteran runner to take the safe option and rest.

At an event in Rome last week Sally complained of a similar nagging in her hamstring. “It’s  warning that I still have a little work to do.” Pearson wrote in a blog on her website.

The work Pearson is referring to is rehabilitation from twice tearing her hamstring last year. As the saying goes in running, ‘Any runner is only a hamstring injury away from oblivion,’ so for Sally to be running at this level at all is a testimony to her fighting spirit.

However, last year’s injuries were to cost her the opportunites of defending her world title. Rather than competing she was returning to full fitness as the domestic season continued with out her.

Sally returned to top grade in time to recapture her Australian 100m and 100m hurdle titles and she seemed pleased with her progress. Until, after a long cramped flight, the hamstring niggle returned in Rome – and now again in New York.

Doubts are building over Pearson’s ability to be ready for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next month. It would be a cruel blow to the sprinter who has already done so much for her sport and country.

Peason has three smaller races in Belgium, Scotland, and Switzerland in which to prove her fitness before the Games are due to begin.

Stadium Stomp is Coming to the Gabba.

This relatively new endurance sport began at the MCG on June 22 last year. It is described as part obstacle course, part endurance race, and all lung-busting, leg-burning, sweat-pouring fun.

Races have teams of competitors beginning in intervals before traversing a marked course that includes climbing all the stairs around the grounds … at least once. The race at the Gabba will have racers complete two laps of level 4 and one lap of level two before running a final full lap of the oval and collapsing over the finish line. It’s estimated this course will challenge competitors with over 5000 ascending steps.

Marshals are on hand to ensure the rules are strictly adhered to: No passing on the stairs except in designated passing zones; no passing or running down the steps; no skipping over steps (every step must be taken); no ipads or MP3 player during the race.

Stadium StompThe race organisers have made it very clear that sporting stadiums have been built for sport viewing, not sport hosting. That they have been given permission to host an event like this is a privilege, a privilege that comes with very strict guidelines.

But if those guidelines are followed, and if previous events in other locations are anything to go by, then the Gabba Stadium Stomp is likely to attract huge numbers of participants with all sorts of fitness levels. Many will be there only to see the stadium from new vantage. Most will be there to simply have fun. All of them will be there to challenge themselves.

Sport supplements – do we need them?

supplement

In the sporting world, supplement products are everywhere, and so is the controversy. Which ones are good for you, which ones are absolute rubbish, and what are the benefits of taking them? When it comes to working out, competing in sport events, or bettering your personal training efforts, the question remains if we actually need to take supplements. Everything from pills, powders and protein shakes are on the market, and it’s up to the individual to decide if it’s for them or not.

Pros

The issue with dietary supplements is knowing when and how to use them so that they actually help with nutrition goals. When used in the right way, with the right amount, at the right time, they can help an athlete train and compete at their best. Athletes with a busy schedule don’t always have time to get the nutrition they need, so sport supplements can be a good way to keep diets balanced and healthy. There’s also a huge convenient factor – it’s a lot easier to grab a gel or bar for a long cycle or run, than it is to squash a sandwich in your pocket!

In many cases sport supplements can be shown to directly enhance the performance of an athlete. There are a range of studies that have shown that sports drinks improve performance in prolonged exercise sessions, and more recently, in high-intensity events of about an hour. This is proof that some supplements are beneficial for both elite athletes and those training regularly.

Cons

supplementWhile most people think that if a product promises something, it has to be true, the same doesn’t always occur with sport supplements. In Australia, supplements that belong to the pill, potion and powder category fall under the control of the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and are only required to prove that they don’t contain ingredients banned by custom laws. There is no requirement for these products to actually prove any benefits of the supplement. Sports foods, including bars and drinks, fall under the control of Food Standards Australia New Zealand. It’s these guys who provide regulations about the ingredients and labelling of sports foods. What most people don’t realise is that they also permit a limited number of claims to be made on the product package.

The brand names

There are plenty of names out there that fall under the category of sport supplements – Gatorade, Powerbar, Maxim – and most are considered acceptable forms of nutritional assistance. For athletes and regular exercise-fanatics, these supplements offer a range of benefits, if used at the right times for the right reasons. If you’re looking for somewhere to find more supplements – and where to buy them – Supplement Mania is a good place to start.

If you have the knowledge, and know how to apply it, sport supplements can be a useful tool for athletes in training. Because whether you’re an athlete or keen fitness fanatic, sometimes, we just need that extra boost in a workout, and all the sleep and food in the world can’t always provide it.

Post-Exercise Routine

routine-stretching

After exercising, many people feel a strange mix of relaxation and stress. Endorphins are flowing after a span of time spent on a rewarding, comforting activity – depending on the intensity of the exercise that’s been undertaken, of course. However, time pressures (‘I’ve got to be on a train in forty minutes!’) can cut the post-exercise afterglow short. It can seem like there are a million things to do, without the span required to do any of them.

To avoid post-exercise panic, it’s important to develop some sort of routine. There are certain tasks that, despite being time-consuming, absolutely must be ticked off if your exercise is going to be beneficial.

Stretch

This might seem obvious, but you need to cool down after exercising. A surprising number of people forego post-exercise stretches in the rush to get on with things. This approach, though, sees exercisers bypass what might be the most important injury prevention tactic that they have at their disposal.

Stretching allows individuals to catch their breath – literally and figuratively. From a psychological and emotional point of view, taking a few minutes to cool down will establish a sense of calm. Stretching also helps to reduce muscle fatigue, and improve circulation. It can even help exercisers to pick up on any niggling aches or pains that they might otherwise miss.

Re-hydrate

These days, entire supermarket shelves stacked with pre-, during- and post-exercise drinks are a common sight. The sheer amount of choice available to shoppers can be perplexing. The best option largely hinges on the duration and intensity of the exercise being undertaken, plus the fitness of the individual.

In general, short bouts of exercise should be accompanied by water. However, those exercising for an hour or more at a time should consider sports drinks like Gatorade. This is because they hydrate the body, and also provide much-needed sodium and carbohydrates that will keep up energy levels and can also help to avoid cramping.

After exercise, some form of drink is certainly needed. Water is, in many cases, your best bet; it will help to cool the body and offers the most natural form of hydration. However, water won’t top up your carbohydrate levels – something you’ll need to consider when deciding what to eat (see below). Alternatively, ‘recovery drinks’ allow exercisers to bounce back and perform well when they next exercise – the downside is that they’re clearly much more expensive.

Shower and moisturise

Having sweated out toxins from the body, all exercisers should be vigilant in making sure that they clean their skin properly. Failure to take a shower or bath could result in a build-up of these toxins being worse than before, potentially leading to acne break-outs. Plus, you’re bound to be rather smelly.

routine-foodIn addition to bodily toxins, other things like sunscreen and chlorine should be washed off. Mere soap may not be enough; botanical bath products & body scrub in Australia could be required to ensure that the body is fully clean.

After this, the exerciser should follow their normal skincare routine. In many cases, this will involve facial & body skincare products in Australia, aiming to protect the skin from sun damage and ageing.

Eat

Between 20-60 minutes after exercising, food should be consumed. This bracket of time allows the ingestion of foods without making the exerciser feel bloated or lethargic. Nutrient-dense foods containing good doses of cabohydrates and proteins are recommended to bolster energy levels. Foods like eggs, vegetables and fish are ideal.

Eating within the 20-60 minute bracket should be feasible, assuming you don’t spend too long in the shower and you haven’t taken too long enjoying your Crabtree & Evelyn bath products. If you’re exercising at the gym, you should try and bring your food with you inn a Tupperware container – this will ensure that you’re within the desired time-frame.

Enjoy the endorphins

If you’ve undertaken the correct process, you should spend the rest of the day (or at the least the morning) on a white, fluffy cloud of endorphins. Enjoy it – you’ve earned it.

A Sporting Body

body-muscles

We’ve all seen them: the toned bodies of professional sportspeople, glistening in the summer sun, their muscles rippling under the glorious scrutiny of a televised super slo-mo…

After you re-surface from a reverie involving the enviable figure of your favourite tennis star, you might start to ponder how you could go about whipping your body into similarly flawless shape. The god(dess)-like forms of professional sportspeople are a thing of wonderment, and can often inspire us – particularly during the summer months – to improve our own lot. In cases such as these though, aesthetics might take priority over actual health benefits, even though the two ultimately go hand in hand.

Crafting a body on par of that of a professional sportsperson is much more easily said than done. Those of us whose working hours are dedicated to anything other than regular, intensive exercise – the vast majority of the population, then – might need to review a few different options to develop a sporting body.

Dietary changes

Depending on your body inspiration, you might be looking to slim down – or bulk up. If the latter is your objective, then lean proteins (fish, red meat, dairy products) and carbohydrates (fruits, paste, legumes) should make up a decent majority of your diet. It’s important to remember that this diet will only be of benefit if you’re undertaking the right sort of exercise to go with it. Of course, protein shakes will also help, but sacrificing your tastebuds for the sake of your muscles mightn’t necessarily be worth the trade-off.

Those looking to slim down should probably try to minimise their intakes of the proteins and carbs favoured by their bulking counterparts, and consider enlisting the help of tried and tested dieting aids like Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers.

body-boujardShortcuts

Professional sportspeople have so many resources at their disposal: coaches, dieticians, physios, sponsors, exercise equipment – the works. Both time and money can impede the access us mere civilians have to these sorts of leg-ups. To compensate for the head start full-time athletes have in the body stakes, some might consider options like body sculpting in Melbourne, for instance.

The ability to skip the months of blood, sweat, and tears that define any long-term body transformation is always tempting. Services like the Me Clinic help customers to achieve their aesthetic goals in a short amount of time. Procedures like breast augmentation surgery even offer up possibilities that no sportsperson could achieve with mere exercise.

Work Bitch

You want a hot body? This is a tried and tested formula, if you’re willing to put in the hard yards. Develop an exercise plan that takes your day-to-day schedule into account, and stick to it. Make like Michelle Bridges, and remember that in any given workout, the mind is sure to reach breaking point well before the body.

If you can select the choice that will works best for you, and put in the effort – monetary, physical, emotional – that is required, then next summer you could be the envy of Roger, Maria, Novak and Eugenie.

Ballet – Almost An Outrageous Sport

ballet

Yes, I know this is outrageous sports, and that ballet, or dancing for that matter, isn’t considered a sport, but there are a lot of signs that point to this particular discipline being one of the hardest talents to master. Being good at ballet is something that takes years of practice and self control, and only the best make it in the big leagues. Dancers need to be strong, fit, and have the body aesthetics to suit the job. Unfortunately, it is such a competitive industry that in order to achieve your goals of being a professional ballerina, your entire focus needs to be ballet. But if you can master that, your dreams could be closer than you think. As a ballerina, you use every aspect of your body to stay lean and fit. Your legs are long and slender, as are your arms, with a killer core for strength and balance. Being a ballerina is a seriously tough gig too. You’re worked to the point of exhaustion and get tossed around a stage by other ballerinas, and that’s in the off-season of performances! Whether it’s considered a sport or not is irrelevant, what makes a difference is how hard you work to achieve certain physical goals. In a lot of opinions, ballet is pretty darn outrageous, and pretty much a sport…

The Big Ballet Workout

Think back to Black Swan, and that svelte body that Natalie Portman rocked. If you’re dying to know the training program she followed in the year before filming, well, let’s just say it wasn’t easy. Her trainer Mary Helen Bowers had her working 5 hours a day, 6 days a week, combining mat work, cardio, and ballet in order to tone and lengthen her limbs. You need every exercise to serve a dual purpose. Looking like a professional ballet dancer is one thing, but moving and dancing like one is a different story. For that reasons, Natalie Portman did training exercises such as working on her inner thighs to change how her leg was shaped but also to get a tighter fifth position. Other exercises targeted her abs to give her greater definition, but also build her centre of balance.

Cross-training exercises are a major part of training to be a ballet dancer, as it complements the other training as well as preventing injuries common in ballet. Ballet can be hard on your joints, so to break it up a bit, try swimming around 1km each day to work on endurance and elongating the muscles with zero impact.

Cosmo Magazine has some top tips for basic ballet exercises to start getting your body in shape. They work everything from your hips and butt to thighs and core.

ballet

How To Be A Ballerina

Along with physical strength and endurance, comes a particular look that ballet dancers are known for. The long, lean muscles, slender figures and fluid movements all contribute to what a dancer will appear and act like. Often, ballet dancers are forced to alter their bodies in order to fit the mould of a particular body shape. This is primarily done with hard work and training, however some facets of the body can’t be changed naturally. One of the biggest concerns for ballet dancers is large ears, that extend quite far out from the face. When dancing as a professional ballerina, hair is always pulled back into a tight bun, and if you have big ears, this becomes all the more noticeable. As a completely valid area of self-consciousness, it isn’t uncommon for dancers to fix this problem through a cosmetic surgery procedure such as cosmetic ear surgery to pin back protruding ears. That’s where the Me Clinic comes in. They offer a wide range of cosmetic procedures, everything from liposuction in Australia, to body hair removal and breast surgery. With this simple procedure, a ballet dancer can resolve the problem of protruding ears, and feel comfortable reaching for their goals as a professional ballet dancer.

Being a ballerina is a difficult, intense and rewarding ‘sport’. The discipline required to achieve goals of professional ballet are both impressive and hard to achieve, however just like every other sport, if you love it, you’ll work hard to get there. Ballet is a technical, beautiful form of art, and with all the passion and dedication that accompanies the sport, it’s hard not to find it inspiring.