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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for Women

My name is Shanie Rusth and I am competitive mixed martial artist with a professional fighting record of 2-0, Franchise Development Associate for UFC GYM, and most importantly, a mother of two spunky and wonderful children. MMA has been an integral part of my life and shaped me into the woman I am today. My first experience on the mats was as a teenager, as a sophomore in highschool. My older neighbors were high school wrestlers and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners and their garage was matted out into a makeshift training room. I used to skateboard past their house every day and watch them grapple and I begged them to teach me and let me train with them. It took a few months of convincing, but finally they let me in. Before I knew it, my dad was paying the boys to teach me private lessons. This training sparked my love for mixed martial arts and I have continued to train in the sport since. In my opinion, every woman should practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at UFC GYM, and here are a few reasons why.

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UFC GYM Podcast Episode 03- BJ Penn

Everyone has a story. Every celebrity, athlete, mother, and first responder! Today we bring you Episode 03 of the UFC GYM Podcast, where UFC GYM President, Adam Sedlack sits with UFC Fighter and UFC GYM Hawaii owner, BJ Penn, to discuss his story. Throughout the podcast, you'll hear about BJ's biggest accomplishments and losses throughout his fighting career, how he fell in love with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and what his kids have taught him about himself. Plus, who does BJ consider to be the best UFC fighter of all time? You'll have to listen to find out! 

Enjoy the entire podcast here

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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for Kids

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a self-defense based martial art that forces the practitioner to work out their entire body and mind. While adults may come first to mind when thinking of this sport, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is also a great practice for children. While the list of reasons you should sign your child up for UFC GYM’s Youth BJJ Program is endless, here are a few of the program’s key benefits:

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Why Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is my go-to Workout

Hello, my name is Michael Vu.  I am 28-year-old human resources professional working in the corporate world.  I have been training in the UFC GYM Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program for almost 2 years…and I love it!  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or BJJ, at UFC GYM has given me an experience like no other.  Since my job requires me to sit at a computer for most of my day, I need to stay as active as possible in my free time to stay healthy.  BJJ allows me to get a great workout, but also learn a lot about myself and the sport. 

BJJ can be practiced as both a martial art and a sport.  Since it was originally developed as a martial art, the principles and techniques teach real life skills that can be used for self-defense.  A fundamental teaching of BJJ is that technique can overcome size and strength.  As a person of smaller stature, I can hold my own against a training partner much bigger than me through leverage. In real life application, the techniques can be used to control and submit an assailant.  The confidence that you can protect yourself that you gain through training is priceless!

Another aspect of BJJ at UFC GYM that keeps me coming back is the camaraderie within the class.  Everyone is welcoming and helpful, from the newest student all the way to the head instructor.  Class is taught in an environment that promotes teamwork and encourages growth throughout.  Everyone’s ego is left outside of the mat and each person is focused on getting better at the sport with each other.  Higher ranked students are never standoffish towards lower ranks and will go out of their way to introduce themselves and help.  If you need to be shown a certain move again, the Coach will be more than glad to show it over and over until you understand it. 

Lastly, BJJ can teach you a lot about yourself.  BJJ is a game of chess that you play with your training partner.  You will be in certain positions that will challenge your mind to think of possible escapes or moves that are available.  From there, there can be a multitude of different options you can take to advance your position.  For myself, I like to be in the bad positions, like being pinned or about to be submitted.  At this moment, I try to challenge myself to keep fighting and look for opportunities to escape.  The hard parts of training are  when you are tired and winded, but your opponent still has energy and is still moving.  Your body will want to stop and take a break, but your mind will push you to keep going!

I wholeheartedly believe everyone should try BJJ at UFC GYM.  Everyone from the students and Coaches will welcome you into the class and encourage you to succeed.  UFC GYM has provided a space where beginners and advanced students can safely advance their skills all while getting a great workout!

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What to Expect in a UFC GYM Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Class


One of UFC GYM’s most unique offerings is our Brazilian Jiu-jitsu program. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or BJJ, is very popular among our members because not only does it provide a full-body workout, but builds character and mind power as well. UFC GYM’s BJJ program allows you take what you learn on the mat and apply it to your everyday life. If you’re looking for a new workout that can improve your overall physical AND mental well-being, UFC GYM’s BJJ is for you. Here are a few things you can expect in a UFC GYM Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class:

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Full Body At-home Workout

Reaching our fitness goals requires consistency in both diet and exercise. But do you ever feel like you just don’t have enough time in the day to get to UFC GYM for a Boxing class or to the beach for a mile run? We all have those days, and that’s why we developed this quick, yet effective 30-minute workout that you can do from home. All you need is a pair of dumbbells & the motivation to make it happen. So, keep your eye on the prize and let’s get to work!

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How to Maximize Athletic Performance

Fueling your body pre and post workout is crucial for performance and recovery. It is not a one size fits all formula, but there are a few basics for everyone to keep in mind.  The truth is, there is no magic fix to working out and dieting- small changes are key for long term results, and you really cannot out exercise a poor diet! Overall, performance comes down to not only diet, but lifestyle factors as well! At UFC GYM, we are committed to offering you classes that will challenge you and help you reach your fitness goals. But it doesn’t stop at the gym, it is important to fuel your body with proper nutrition to maximize your performance and allow you to get the most of your classes. Let’s break it down:

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Keto, Paleo, IIFYM, and Plant Based Diets- Which one is best?

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Nutrition with UFC GYM Athlete- Caitlin

Have you ever felt completely lost when it comes to nutrition and how we should be nourishing our bodies? I can 100% relate. Before I made health and fitness not only my number one priority but a lifestyle, I had absolutely no idea what my body needed nutrition wise to not only look its best, but feel and perform its best as well. As someone who used to struggle with disordered eating, food was always the enemy. I used to have body image issues and this led me down a dangerous path when it came to eating patterns. I used to eat the bare minimum in order to stay “tiny” because that’s what I thought being fit was.

Looking back, I wish I had someone to help me and direct me when it came to living a healthy lifestyle. Thankfully I was able to understand that the overall body and lifestyle I wanted to achieve was NOT going to come from under eating. I knew I needed to make a change, but I was scared and honestly just didn’t know what steps I needed to take in order to change my relationship with food. At this point in time I changed my major in college to Health Sciences & Wellness Management. I had started taking classes on nutrition and did my own research at home outside of school to educate myself more so I could not only help myself, but help give knowledge to others as well.

At this point, I finally felt like I was eating properly and giving my body what it needed after neglecting my relationship with food for over a year prior. Its absolutely crazy to see how your body adapts and performs when its being given the fuel it needs to grow and thrive in the gym and outside of the gym.

When it comes to counting calories and macros, as a beginner I 100% understand how difficult and confusing it may seem. I also know how stressful it can get having to worry about counting macros and calories as well. I honestly love to have structure when it comes to my food intake, mainly to make sure I am eating enough to get the most out of training, so counting calories and macros is like second nature to me. I also love the idea of intuitive eating, listening to what our bodies need and when they feel our best is something I definitely pay attention to. Having a baseline of what your calories and macros should be while eating intuitively is absolutely possible.

A full day of eating for me looks something like this: I make sure I am having balanced meals throughout the day. A typical meal for me would be a protein source, a carbohydrate source, and a fat source. For example, for breakfast I will typically have either whole eggs or egg whites as my protein source, a bowl of oatmeal for my carbohydrate source, and half an avocado or a tablespoon of peanut butter as my healthy fat source. I will usually always lay my meals out this way if I am not tracking macros at that point in time to still ensure I am getting a proper intake of each macronutrient source with each meal.

To break up the day a bit, I will normally have a snack 2 hours after each meal. This will also help to keep your metabolism firing and consistently burning throughout the day. Eating every 2-3 hours is great because your body will constantly have something to burn and your metabolism will need to work harder to keep up with the intake of food!

Another factor into our nutrition is WATER. WATER IS HUGE! I believe a lot of people underestimate how important it is to be drinking enough water. Its pretty crazy because we as humans are made up of about 60% of water. Drinking water is vital for almost every function in the body. Water helps flush out toxins, boost our mood, enhance our performance in the gym, prevents headaches and more! The list seriously goes on and on. Depending on your activity level determines how much water you should be drinking. The average person should be drinking half their body weight in ounces of water a day. For me since I train typically 5-6 days a week and am a very active person, I will drink 1 gallon of water throughout the day. At first it seemed pretty hard to drink all this water, but it seriously has improved my performance in the gym and has made me feel all around better mood wise and energy wise.

Here are three simple steps that you guys can make to improve your nutrition and live an overall healthier lifestyle:

1) Prepare food for the week ahead. Cooking your meals in bulk will help you have food ready and on hand when you have a busy day ahead! This way you wont be left with the issue of either skipping meals, or finding yourself hungry with nothing on hand!

2) Always reach for the better option. Let’s say you can either grab a bag of chips or a protein bar, grab the protein bar! It’s a source of protein and you will ultimately feel more full from a protein bar rather than a bag of chips that will most likely still leave you hungry.

 3) At the end of the day, intuitive eating may not be for everyone and not one specific diet will not work for everyone. Being self aware about what works specifically for you and your body is huge. Maybe you are someone who likes structure, this is where I would recommend counting calories and macros in order for you to stay on top of your nutrient and understand what is in the foods you are consuming. If you are someone who feels that kind of structure would stress you out worrying about numbers I would recommend eating intuitively while still being aware of the foods you are eating and portion control.

At the end of the day, we are all striving to find a diet/ eating approach that fits our lifestyle and allows us to still feel like we have freedom when it comes to food. Finding the correct diet/ nutritional plan isn’t always going to be easy and we have to understand that we may have to try multiple approach’s in order for us to find the one that works best! Once we accept that this is a process of trial and error, we then can shift our mindset from trying to find the “quick fix” to forever trusting the process of a life long fitness journey.

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UFC GYM Podcast Episode 05- Kat Barefield

You have been consistent with your workouts at UFC GYM and leave the gym feeling challenged, sweaty, and satisfied after each UFC GYM class, but you aren't seeing the results you want. We are pointing the finger of blame to one main culprit...your diet. The saying is true, you cannot work off a bad diet! In Episode 05 of the UFC GYM Podcast, Registered Dietitian and Sports Nutrition expert Kat Barefield talks all things nutrition and diet. Kat answers some of the questions we all ask ourselves as fitness enthusiasts, like what to eat before your workout and proper supplementation to reach your goals. Kat also finds out what UFC GYM President Adam Sedlack's ultimate "cheat meal" is. We learned so much from Kat during this session, and hope you do too! 

Enjoy the entire podcast here

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