Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Grip to Win by Rhadi Ferguson and Jimmy Pedro

A month or so ago I did a brief 1 hour seminar on the importance of having your grip and also how vital it is for your opponent NOT to have their grip.
Over the coming weeks I saw many of the beginner and intermediate level Judokas only grip fighting in Randori. They were not trying to throw, they were simply making sure their opponent didn't have their grip.

I then realised that I didn't stress enough that it is during Randori that we allow our opponents to have their best grip, because if we are constantly grip fighting at training we end up losing our ability to throw.
The principle "use it, or lose it" is a saying that isn't too far from the truth. If all you are doing in Randori is grip fighting you will soon lose the 'feeling' of what it is like throw during Randori. Resulting in Randori becoming difficult and less fun.

Over the coming week think about how much grip fighting you are doing at raining. Challenge yourself not to grip fight that often and see how you fair during Randori. You may find another technique to work on while your opponent has their best grip.

there are a lot of great Judo videos, DVD's and books on Tachi waza and Ne Waza but there are virtually no resources (besides Grips by Neil Adams) that talk about grips and competition gripping tactics.
American Judokas Rhadi Ferguson and former World Champion Jimmy Pedro teamed up a few years ago to develop Grip to Win, a product that assists beginner and intermediate Judoka put a system in place regarding the gripping aspect of competition Judo.
If you have any questions regarding grips and gripping strategy and are looking at getting a deeper understanding of grips then I highly recommend you get a copy of Grip to Win by Rhadi and Jimmy Pedro. To learn more about Grip to Win and what Rhadi has to say on the matter Click HERE.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tokyo Grand Slam Judo

Im fighting tomorrow in the Tokyo Grand slam you can follow all the info and fights at
Talk soon

Friday, November 18, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oceania judo world cup results

I thought I would give you an update on my results of the Samoa World cup.

Put simply, I had one of those days where I had the best preparation possible and fought to not my full potential.
My side of the draw looked pretty good with me drawing a Judoka from Hong Kong first round. He was an awkward fighter with a rather wide stance and switch between being a lefty and a righty.

Mid way through the fight he cross gripped me allowing me to attack his leg, as I picked him up in the air he hooked on with a Ko-uchi makikomi and threw me beautifully onto my back for Ippon. He went on to place fifth while I was left to ponder what I could have done differently in order to win the fight.

People say that you learn more from your losses than your wins and as much as that is annoying to hear when you lose against a beatable player I have definitely learnt a lot with this fight.

Final places in my weight division included China placing 1st and 2nd with USA and Aussie team mate Dickins in 3rd place.

In terms of the World ranking list and qualifying for the London games I am still within qualifying distance. I will be competing in both the Japan and China Grand Slams in December and hopefully I can fight to the best of my ability and finish the year on a high.

Once again I would like to thank you all for your support and ill talk to you soon,

Friday, November 11, 2011

Competition day tomorrow

Today I haven't really done too much, had a bit of a jet lagged late night watching blade with my room mate before falling asleep around midnight. I had a great sleep and woke and jumped straight on the bus to watch my team mates compete. 
My club mate duke drew an Argentinian who was rather defensive and ended up throwing duke for two counters for waza ari each.
Aussie -57kg player Carlo renZi beat the legend Isabelle Fernandez in a tight match by two penalties. That is the 2nd time carli has beaten Fernandez and it shows how much of a top level judoka carli is.
 It is at the moment Daniel Kelly and mark anthony are fighting for bronze with jake Andrewartha also fighting for bronze.
I got a bit of a sweat up today training with club mate Debbie hill. I retuned back to the hotel early to read Brock lesnars book (it's actually ok) and the hopefully ill hVe an early night.
Tomorrow in the competition I am the number 2 or 3 seeded player and I drew an unranked judoka from hong kong. You do get slightly excited when you get a player from a weaker nation but you always must humble yourself and remember that everyone is beatable. Therefore fight hard and don't make any mistakes and I should win each and every fight.
I'll let you know how I go on Facebook over the next few days do stay tuned
Have a great day

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Samoa judo World Cup

41 of us aussies arrived in Samoa early on Wednesday morning. We had a quick 2 hour snooze, did some shopping and then went to do some judo late Wednesday afternoon. It is really hot and humid here and it rained all day. This meant that when you do any sort of physical activity you seat more than ever.
My weight here is not too bad and unfortunately I will need to sweat a bit in order to make weight- although there is no better place to sweat than here. I made a rookie mistake last night by accidently falling asleep at around 730pm only to wake again at 11pm. My aim was to stay awake till at least 10pm and then sleep throughout the night and catch up my body clock to Samoa time. Buy like I said I woke up at 11pm was awake for about an hour so I listened to a few church podcasts before falling asleep and sleeping right through to 8am.
Today we left for training at 830am so I had a quick breakfast and trained with club member Debbie hill and the session was run by my club and national coach Tom Hill. We did a variety of gymnastic drills to warm up followed by some moving uchikomi. This was followed by speed uchikomi 6 sets of 5 repeats 3 times.  Then we did some shark bait style of training (1 person out the front getting a new partner every 1 minute) before doing our own training for the last 20 minutes. I did some light ne waza and tachi waza randori.
Today we are not doing too much the heavy weight men and light weight women fight tomorrow so they will not be doing too much. My club mate Duke Didier is fighting tomorrow. He is looking big and strong as always and I am keen on seeing how he performs.
I think we are gong to do a quick bit of sightseeing – we are going to a place called cave rock or rock cave or something like that but the key is not to get sunburnt and not to over exert myself. Although this close to competition many people tend to sit in their rooms all day watching movies on the hard drive and doing nothing. This tends to leave you slow, lethargic and plain tired. Doing something distracts you from the stresses and nerves of competition and will allow you to enjoy yourself while still keeping your head in the game as such.

Anyway you guys have a great day,
I am off to call my wife and say hello but you have a wonderful week. Don’t forget to follow the competition at
Talk soon and god bless

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Grip to Win by Rhadi and Jimmy Pedro

In-the-know Judo Players and Grapplers know, understand and accept the fact that gripping and the knowledge of gripfighting can single-handedly take an Average Grappler and launch them into the realm of GREAT in no time at all
Gripfighting is a grappler’s venom. By injecting it into your game you can literally use your hands like fangs to neutralize and paralyze your opponents and render them helpless as you go in for the kill!
When you understand, grasp, learn and uncover the “ins-and-outs” of the secret art of Gripfighting from two of the foremost experts in gripfighting instruction you will feel like an unstoppable machine!! And once you get a taste of this drug, you won’t be able to stop!

This question comes up all the time and here’s the best way that I can explain it to you. Jimmy Pedro is a 4-Time Olympian and a World Judo Champion. He lived for months at a time in Japan , trained all over the world and traveled internationally as young judo player.
Also his father was a top notch coach in the sport of judo and he also was an international judo player. Traveling to all the tournaments, training camps and team competitions easily cost over $30,000.00 a year. Jimmy even ran up a bill one year of $67,349.23
In 1992 Jimmy made his first appearance at the Olympic Games and in 1991 Jimmy Pedro won his first medal at the World Championships by placing third. Which means that Jimmy has been on the top of the judo world for 12 years. If you include the 14 years that he spent to get to that level, then you are looking at 24 years of total high level judo and gripping instruction and experience. If you multiply 22 years by $30000.00 you will quickly see that Jimmy Pedro easily has over $660,000.00 dollars worth of gripfighting information in his head.

Grip to win comes with 3 modules with some really great content. The best part of Grip to win is the question and answer section with both Jimmy pedro and Rhadi Ferguson. Here is where Rhadi and Jimmy answer some common gripping strategies such as attacks against stiff arms and ways to develop better grip strength.

To learn more about Grip to win simply click the image below of Inoue and Riner having a gripping battle. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Paleo Recipes FREE PDF'S

I have a good friend who has written a few books on the Paleo diet. A lot of the recipes in the Paleo diet are really nutrient dense and give me enough vitamins and minerals to get what i need while i diet to make weight for the -60kg weight division. i highly recommend you look into these cookbooks even if you are not into the 'Paleo diet'. all of the recipes are healthy and due to the essential fatty acids in them they are great for combat athletes as essential fatty acids are proven to reduce inflammation.

To find out more about Nikkis Paleo Cookbooks simply Click HERE

Or download some Paleo (Nutrient dense) recipes below FREE'

Pumpkin Chicken Curry (FREE PDF)
Meatballs with sweet potato chips (FREE PDF)
Roast Pumpkin and Red Onion (FREE PDF)
Egg and Capsicum Salad (FREE PDF)
Broccolli and Pinenut soup (FREE PDF)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Competition in 4 weeks time

I have been so busy recently that i haven't had time to do a blog post in a while. I have been doing a lot of study, training and work as usual. I have a few different jobs at the moment (due to the fact that i travel so much it is hard to get a permanent shift anywhere.) Already this year i have traveled to japan, tahiti, america, Venezuela, el Salvador  France, I am off to Samoa in 4 weeks time and then hopefully Japan and China in December. Obviously i don't get paid to travel and compete, the national judo federation fund some trips but obviously i am working to pay for trips myself.
On the Judo front I am training pretty well. We have a good group of Judoka at the Hill Sports academy and I am on a really god strength program from the ACT Academy of sport. My weight is going ok as well and with 4 weeks to go until i compete I am starting to really cut down on portion sizes and really watch what i am eating.

We have an National training camp starting at the beginning of next week. It is actually quite a busy week as I am Mcing our main church on Sunday morning, then the national training camp starts for 1 week and on the last day of that I have my 10 year high school reunion. High school reunions aren't that big these days because you can find out what every one has been doing on Facebook.
Have a great week everyone
Talk soon

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Submission of the Week - Miguel Torres

Welcome to (my new web address)

My name is Matthew D'Aquino. I am 26 years old and am passionate about all forms of grappling. I have been studying Judo for 20 years and have represented Australia at 8 Continental Championships, 4 World Championships and competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
I have also competed in various World Cups, Grand Slams and Grand Prixs all over the world. I have trained in some of the hardest dojos in the world, including Yong Inn University in Korea, Tokai University in Japan, INCEP in France, Pollymunka in the Czech Republic and Sankaku Club in Slovenia.
My best results include being the first and only Australian Male to win the Pac Rim Championships in 2009, Multiple Australian & Oceania champion, World Cup Champion and 17th 2010 World Championships in Tokyo.
I also compete in Freestyle Wrestling and Brazilian Jujitsu competitions in and around Australia. My best results include: 1st No-Gi Purple-belt Submission Grappling National championship -67kg, 1st Royler Gracie Cup Purple belt 2009 -74kg and 2nd at the National Freestyle Wrestling Championships in the -60kg division.
My Philosophy: I am passionate about teaching and passing on my knowledge and experience to others. My philosophy is simply "If I haven't done it, I won't teach it." I believe this is a crucial element to my teaching. It means that in everything I teach, I am familiar with and have a deep understanding of how to complete each exercise, workout or grappling technique.
The reason why I have been so successful in my Judo career is due to the fact that I have significantly better fitness and conditioning than my opponents. I put this down to the demanding workouts I put myself through week in, week out. I train using a variety of bodyweight exercises as well as barbells, kettlebells, tyres, rowers, dumbbells, ropes, bands and medicine balls in order to be as physically prepared for each competition that I can be.
Make sure you save and bookmark my new web address

Friday, September 30, 2011

Top Ten Reasons to Eat Breakfast

Top Ten Reasons to Eat Breakfast

The reasons for eating breakfast far outweigh the time saved walking out the door on an empty stomach. My recent  after adding this simple habit got me curious about the benefits of eating breakfast.
Breakfast is simply ‘breaking the fast’. We have not eaten since evening and expect our body to be fueled and blood sugar to be replenished for the day without food is unrealistic. Think of your stomach like the gas tank of your car. You put gas in the tank of you car so that it runs, why wouldn’t you do this for your body? Think of it as a ‘jump start’.
In Canada alone, forty per cent of Canadians do not eat breakfast and an alarming one half of them are women. The inconvenience and minutes it takes to make breakfast is outweighing its benefits!

Top Ten Reasons to Eat Breakfast

eat breakfast
1A better attention span, focus and better productivity at work, school or at home. More strength and endurance. Studies on those who work at labor type jobs have shown that those who do not eat breakfast are unable to work as hard until lunchtime and studies on children reveal that they are unable to complete school work.
2Maintaining a healthy weight. People who skip breakfast are shown to choose less nutritious and convenience foods to curb their ravenous appetite. Poor eating habits lead to eating throughout the evening and calories are stored the evening hours as the metabolism slows down. Calories stored equals fat.

3Setting an example for your children and helping them develop healthy eating habits at an early age that they can carry on throughout their lifetime. If they see you eat breakfast, they are more likely to as well.
4Essential nutrients. Many of us do not meet the essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals needed daily. i.e., calcium, iron, fiber and Vitamin B1. Skipping breakfast guarantees we will not get these essential nutrients.
5Eating breakfast can reverse the effects of fasting: irritability and fatigue. That tone can last up to 16 hours. We’ve all had our crabby moments. I know I have! Why not enjoy your meal and focus on what’s important instead of using that energy to rip into someone?
6Lower cholesterol, which reduces the risk of heart disease. Research has shown that people who eat breakfast consume less dietary cholesterol then do people who don’t eat breakfast.
7Eating a healthy breakfast has been linked to better learning ability and memory functions.
8Increase your metabolic rate. People who skip breakfast have a metabolic rate four to five percent below normal, which may lead to an expected weight gain of eight pounds per year (one pound every seven weeks).
9Eating breakfast can have long term effects and prevent Obesity, High Blood Pressure and Diabetes.
10Breakfast foods are delicious! Avoid the processed, fatty foods. Skip the breakfast sandwiches and you will prevent yourself from consuming 560 calories and a whopping 32 grams of fat! Folks, that’s not even including a coffee and a hash brown that teams up with the heart stopper. Ultimately, you will be able to restrict the calories you are consuming so why not eat something healthy and nutritious? Bob’s Hot Cereal, Fruit, Eggs or a Smoothie?
Believe me, you’ll taste the difference and your body will thank you! Make the right choice.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

24 Hours to go -

Every workout in this Workouts for Judo can be completed at home or at any fitness facility in the world. These workouts do not contain expensive equipment such as rubber bands, tyres or ab rollers. These workouts use minimal equipment so you can do them just about anywhere there is room.
I have used these workouts in hotels all over the world to prepare for tournaments and get the best possible training in before I fought.
Workouts for Judo will give you the ability to:
·         - Increase Overall Fitness
·         - Fight harder for longer
·         - Increase Strength and Power
·         - Improve your Balance and Co-ordination
·         - Increase your level of Agility
·         - Increase Foot and Hand Speed
For only $27 you will have your very own fitness and conditioning manual written exclusively by an International Judo Olympian.
You will also receive Advanced Workouts for Judo as well as Video Demonstrations of each and every workout to make sure you do them 100% correctly.
Get your hands on a copy today by heading to Workouts for Judo today.
If you have any questions please do not forget to ask.
Talk soon,

Screenshots of Workouts for Judo 2 Days to go

Here are some screen shots of Workouts for Judo. Each exercise has photos and in depth descriptions to make sure you perform them properly.

Every workout in this Workouts for Judo can be completed at home or at any fitness facility in the world. These workouts do not contain expensive equipment such as rubber bands, tyres or ab rollers. These workouts use minimal equipment so you can do them just about anywhere there is room.
I have used these workouts in hotels all over the world to prepare for tournaments and get the best possible training in before I fought.
Workouts for Judo will give you the ability to:
·         - Increase Overall Fitness
·         - Fight harder for longer
·         - Increase Strength and Power
·         - Improve your Balance and Co-ordination
·         - Increase your level of Agility
·         - Increase Foot and Hand Speed
For only $27 you will have your very own fitness and conditioning manual written exclusively by an International Judo Olympian.
You will also receive Advanced Workouts for Judo as well as Video Demonstrations of each and every workout to make sure you do them 100% correctly.
Get your hands on a copy today by heading to Workouts for Judo today.
If you have any questions please do not forget to ask.
Talk soon,

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2 days to go on the Special price on Workouts for Judo

I have just re-released Workouts for Judo for $27 but only for the next 2 days. That is a saving of $10 USD.
The reason why I have done this is because I have included 2 exciting bonuses:

Advanced Workouts for Judo:
Similar to Workouts for Judo but harder exercises and harder Workouts. Seriously these workouts will have the toughest Judoka almost crying in exhaustion.

Video demonstrations: 
I have filmed each and every exercise in both Workouts for Judo and Advanced workouts for Judo and put them into an Mp4 format.
This way everyone know exactly how to do each and every exercise.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sneak Peek into Workouts for Judo

For a SNEAK PEEK INTO Workouts for Judo Click HERE
It is very important that the workouts you are completing in the gym are beneficial to improving your overall Judo game. If you are completing workouts that aren't written for Judo you will find that your success on the mat will be somewhat limited!
Put simply, if you want to gain success on the mat you MUST train like a Judoka.
Not a body builder and not a power lifter; But a JUDO player.

In all my years as an international competitor I have looked at what a Judoka needs in terms of fitness and conditioning, and have programmed my workouts according to what elements are needed.
above elements then I believe you should re-program your workouts accordingly or talk to your coach and ask them to look over your current gym program.

If you have any questions about Workouts for Judo or anything to do with fitness and conditioning make sure you let me know by pressing the reply button today.

For a sneak peek into Workouts for Judo download the first few pages HERE

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Art of Sports Nutrition

Sports nutrition is a well researched fine art, a complex science of carbohydrates, proteins and fats that often leads the majority plain confused. So are we the one's over complicating it?
Although new science emerges on a daily basis with regards to health and nutrition, this doesn't often simplify matters, yet often complicates the situation. Many that follow a program designed by a sports nutritionist will have a breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins to eat, at a certain time, from a certain source, containing a certain amount of calories all calculated against their energy expenditure on top of a list of supplements to take. Sounds like a lot right?
For the athlete this might be necessary in many cases, especially in weight class sports. But sports nutrition doesn't have to be this complicated. Of course we should be eating certain types of foods as some are more beneficial than others, and of course serve a purpose. But the emphasis on calories and its breakdown is often over emphasized and can cause a pattern of obsession.
What I suggest is a radically simple approach. An approach that I use with 95% of people. I use this for one reason only, I've noticed over the years that calorie counting for many people is a chore, complicated and time consuming. So I rarely use it.
Instead I urge anyone, whether your using a sports based nutrition program or not, to use your appetite, satiety, needs and meal timing to gauge what and how much should be eaten at a meal. This is the simplest way for someone to manage their diet. Tune in to what your body is saying and really you should be able to self-identify how much food you need to eat to maintain yourself at a steady weight (this also helps when you are eating the right foods, eating the wrong foods makes this more complicated). Once this is established you then know what you need to eat to lose or gain weight. Then simply make an effort to eat a bit more or a bit less.
Once this principal is nailed, alongside knowing your baseline macro-nutrient needs, then that is when key and effective principals of sports nutrition can really excel and be focused on. Such as strategies for carbohydrate cycling, supplementation during exercise, immune system boosting, re-feeding and the like. Such strategies are of course essential, but wasted if the basics are not already in place.
Again once specific protocols are in place that provide for your health, your training, and thus your recovery, only then can we pick our way in and around the science and fine tune some of the little things. Many read scientific journals and reviews and try to implement the odd nuggets of information straight away when really their basic principals and nutritional needs are still not being met. Like building a house without the foundations, it's just not done.
So a strategy for an effective sports nutrition plan:
1. Know the amount of carbohydrates, fat and protein your body needs
2. Know the amount of food you need to eat to maintain your weight
3. Identify proportions you need of carbohydrates in and around exercise
4. Crete a basic supplement regime
5. Fine tune an advanced supplement regime
6. Build in specific protocols for immune health, performance, super foods, and recovery
Ben Coomber consults with MMA, rowing, rugby and physique athletes at various levels. Consults for UK tennis and boxing, and owns and runs Body Type Nutrition. He is an Internationally Certified Sports Nutritionist.
Author website:
Article Source:

For me personally I have a good friend who has written a few books on the Paleo diet. A lot of the recipes in the Paleo diet are really nutrient dense and give me enough vitamins and minerals to get what i need while i diet to make weight for the -60kg weight division.
To find out more about Nikkis Simple Paleo recipes simply Click HERE

Or download some Paleo (Nutrient dense) recipes below FREE'

Pumpkin Chicken Curry (FREE PDF)
Meatballs with sweet potato chips (FREE PDF)
Roast Pumpkin and Red Onion (FREE PDF)
Egg and Capsicum Salad (FREE PDF)
Broccolli and Pinenut soup (FREE PDF)

Workouts for Judo special $10 off for 7 days only

I have been competing internationally for eleven years now and I have seen so many Judo players lose matches purely because their fitness and conditioning wasn't up to scratch. People tend to forget that when you are too tired to stand up it doesn't matter how good your technique is, you are still probably going to lose. Luckily for Judokas being tired only means getting thrown, strangled or arm-locked opposed to boxing or other striking sports where you can get knocked out. 
Therefore if you want to succeed in Judo you must have a certain level of physical fitness. Unfortunately the physical fitness needed for Judo isn't as easy as saying you must be able to run 15 on the beep test and bench press three times your body-weight. Each Judoka has a different technical level and different attributes needed to succeed in the sport.
Workouts for Judo is designed to get you to that base level of fitness needed to be able to utilize your technique on an opponent who is fighting back.
Having a fitness and conditioning program designed specifically for Judo will instantly increase your fitness, strength, balance and agility which are all needed on the mat. Having these physical attributes will result in increasing your attack rate and help you become a fitter more pro-active Judoka.
I wrote Workouts for Judo because I love educating people. I have a YouTube channel and a blog where I have helped thousands of Judokas in all aspects of their Judo game, whether it is technical, physical or mental skills.
I have seen so many Judo players in the gym performing body building strength programs or programs designed for power lifting and although they have aspects that can benefit Judo it is not as beneficial as doing a Judo specific fitness and conditioning program.

I have a passion for teaching people how I train, what I do and the workouts I have implemented in order to achieve maximum results for my own training and Judo competition. As a result I have represented my country at the Beijing Olympic Games as well as competed in four world championships, nine continental championships and multiple world cups around the globe. I know how annoying it is to go to training and gas out and not get the most out of yourself. I know how important it is to be fit enough to keep on fighting, evading your opponent's attacks as well as getting in your own attacks and combinations.
I have found that many Judokas' don't know how to train for Judo. I saw many Judo players completing bodybuilding programs for strength or running long distances as part of their cardio training.
I was constantly telling people that:
"In order to attain the best results you must train specifically for your sport."
Therefore we must train like Judo players.
In workouts for Judo I have workouts designed specifically for Judo and if you implement these workouts into your weekly schedule you will be fitter, faster and stronger for Judo.
Even better is the fact that for $27 you also receive video demonstrations of each and every exercises as well as Advanced Workouts for Judo -  for those who really want to push themselves to the limit.
If you want to learn more simply visit theWorkouts for Judo website and get your discounted copy today,  (only 6 days left of this amazing offer)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Finger and forearm injury prevention for Judokas

Your fingers and forearms are so important for determining how much Judo you can do week in, week out. If you sustain an overuse or acute injury within the forearms muscles or fingers you can off the mat for quite sometime. It is very important that you include a few finger and forearm injury prevention strategies into you weekly schedule. These include:

Elastic Band open/shuts
Judokas are constantly clenching the gi and therefore utilizing the flexor muscles in the forearm a great deal more than the ones used to open the fist. Elastic bands open/shuts will strengthen the opening muscles and tendons thus creating a balance between the two muscles. To perform open shuts simply place an elastic band over your fingers and begin opening and shutting your fingers. At the beginning start with one elastic band and perform around 50 repetitions and slowly build up to 100 repetitions with 2 or 3 elastic bands.

Stretch your forearms
Make sure you stretch your forearm muscles, especially after an intense training session. So many Judo players finish Randori, bow off and head home without stretching. Stretching will help loosen the muscles in the forearms and prevent any future injuries.

Tape your fingers
There are a few things you can do that will prevent finger injuries when doing Judo. Care for your fingers by:
- Warming them up before practice
- Keep your nails cut short
- don't entwine your fingers within your opponents Gi
- Do finger strengthening exercise
- Tape them every session.
I tape my fingers every session, whether it is with one my clients, a technical session or a Randori session. For me personally I 'feel' stronger when I'm taped up, and if something as simple as taped fingers makes me feel stronger when fighting, then I'm going to do it.

Avoid 'locking out' in the gym
Locking out is a lifting term which describes straightening a knee or elbow joint as far as it can go when performing exercises such as bench press or squats. 'Locking out' results in your joint bearing the load opposed to the muscles. It is important to protect your joints by not locking out when strength training. Always keep a slight bend in your joints at all times. This will also mean that your muscles are constantly under tension opposed to your joints giving them a quick break every now and then.
Locking out is mostly seen during a bench press but exercises such as shoulder press, dips and other lifts where the elbow is extending. It is important when performing these exercises to keep a slight bend in the elbow joint.
If you implement these strategies into your day-to-day training and lifestyle you will find that you will not suffer from any forearm or finger problems.

Article Source:

The Tabata Method

The Tabata Method
Fat Loss in Four Minutes

Enter the Tabata Method
Tabata is the name of a Japanese researcher who discovered an interesting way to increase both anaerobic and aerobic pathways at the same time. It's one of those strange training programs that seems to fit across disciplines: it's excellent for bicyclists, speed skaters, Olympic lifters, or the person looking to lose fat quickly.
This training method is so simple, yet so incredibly difficult, that athletes tend to try it once, acknowledge its greatness, and then vow to never speak its name again. What is it? It's simple: take one exercise and perform it in the following manner:
That's it! You're done in four minutes! Oh, and that thing you're trying to brush off your face? That would be the floor.
Eight sets of "as many reps as you can get done," followed with a brief ten second rest— simple and effective. The two best exercise options for the Tabata method are the front squats and the "thruster," which I'll describe in a bit.
It helps to have someone record the reps of each set for you because, well, you won't remember after you pass out. I use the "lowest rep number" of any of the eight sets as my measurement to compare workout to workout. If you go too heavy, that number might be two. If you go too light, you might find yourself getting around 15 reps or more.
Before we talk about the exercises, let's take a moment to be perfectly clear about what we're doing. This isn't "eight sets of eight," although the goal of doing eight reps in each of the twenty second clusters is about right. Instead it's "as many reps as I can get in" during the twenty seconds, followed by ten seconds rest.
And by the way, ten seconds is not racking the bar, getting a drink, talking to the cute girl on the bike, looking at the clock, walking back to the bar, chalking up, adjusting the belt, talking to a friend, then doing the next set. Ten second is ten seconds! No cheating!

Tabata Exercises
You need to choose an exercise that uses a large number of muscles. I suggest the front squat. Now, you may argue, why not the back squat? Well, it's hard to dump the bar quickly into the rack with back squats, while with front squats, you can simply fall into it and start your ten second rest.
With something like a military press, you won't be using enough muscles to allow you to survive in the last minute; you might only get one or two reps with your shoulders on fire. Deadlifts have been tried, but most people get a little worried about injuries doing them Tabata-style.
The front squat might be the single best Tabata lift. Having said that, if you don't know how to front squat correctly, the Tabata method might teach you to lift better than a thousand coaches. In the four minutes, it's easy to get 64 to 70 reps, which teaches the nervous system better than a PowerPoint presentation.
The bar will be held in the "front" of the body, with the fingers relaxed and the bar resting on the clavicles with the elbows high. Sit down "between the legs." This actually gets easier in the third and fourth minute as you just start to "drop" back through. As you rise back up, you don't need to lock out the knees; in fact, don't even think about it. Just get up and go back down.
Weight on the bar? Let's just say this: a guy with a 465 pound front squat puked with only 95 pounds on the Tabata front squat. Generally, I urge people to go "light," like 65 to 95 pounds the first time. There are those in this world who've gone up to 155 pounds and still got "eights" in the last twenty seconds, but those are very rare people!
The other great Tabata exercise is the "thruster." The thruster is one of the greatest lifts no one has ever heard of in the gym. Take two dumbbells and hold them at shoulder height. Squat down, keeping the dumbbells on the shoulders. As you rise up, press the bells to the overhead lockout position. You can either press as you rise or use the momentum to help "kick" the bells overhead. I find that I do a little bit of both in the four minutes.
Thrusters do things to your heart rate and breathing that I honestly can't describe. Go light! A 35 pound dumbbell in each hand is a very difficult thruster workout! Check your ego at the door for the first two minutes.

Tabata Tips
You need to be able to see a wall clock with a second hand during your four minutes of fun. Stop at twenty seconds, rack the bar (if you choose the front squat), rest ten seconds, grab the bar and go again. Watching the clock seems to help with the focus.
And remember this: you really shouldn't consider doing much after the Tabata workout. Your lungs will be going like a locomotive engine. Go ahead and plan anything you like, but don't be surprised if it just doesn't happen. I keep the family dog nearby to chase the carrion birds away while I rest on the sidewalk.
The hardest thing about this workout is staying focused for four minutes. Don't let your hands leave the bar or dumbbells, if you can help it. After you put the bar in the rack during the front squat, stay right there, an inch or two back from the bar, and stare at the second hand of the clock.
If you do thrusters, put the dumbbells on a bench and watch the clock with your hands ready. This little trick of staying with the weight seems to help make those ten seconds seem like, well, not much, really! But at least you don't have to move much to get the weights again.
I do either Tabata front squats or Tabata thrusters about twice a month. I'm sure someone will comment, "If it's so good, why don't you do it every day?" Go ahead, try it and report back after the second day.

240 Seconds of Pain
Why should you do this workout? The Tabata program might be the single best "fat burning workout" that I know. It might only be four minutes, but you seem to keep sweating and breathing hard for a long, long time afterwards. Moreover, it seems to teach the body the proper method of squatting far easier than all the instruction in the world.
One other thing: Tabata truly teaches a person the mental focus needed to push past pain and reach his body comp or athletic goals. It'll save you 12,000 bucks, too!

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