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Cieciwa: Week 4 of an MMA training camp

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Jordan Cieciwa, TSN Radio 1290
3/18/2013 7:14:45 PM
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The number on the scale read 234.5. It's a great number that I am proud of from a fitness stand point, but for the purposes of my training regime and trying to get "Fight Ready" for UFC on Fuel 8, I am behind schedule.

This is why pro fighters have teams.  I have my own team for this training and when the scale only moved 1.5 pounds I had to ask Lew Polley, "Why?" 

This coming week I will be doing something more people need to do, weigh my food exactly.  Yes folks, it's come to that.  I have to be exact on getting 1800 calories, and making sure it's all quality. 

I have never cut weight before and my admiration to fighters has increased even more. As a strength coach and healthy guy, I have never set a date to be a certain weight and ensured I hit it.  My plan for life has always been to be a healthy BMI, and never become one of the stats.

My hope with "Fight Ready"  is to get more people to realize the state of health in our nation and get back to adding fun into a workout routine. If you love MMA, you have to try some of the training.  If you have ever "boo'd"  a fighter for running out of gas, then you definitely have to workout and diet like this. There is no feeling like the exhaustion I feel on my Saturday workouts.

That leads me to Sunday: The day of rest.

Every athlete I have ever met in this sport will tell you the most important day is the rest day. For many, Tarec Saffiedine included, the rest period starts as soon as Saturday's wrestling session is over.  It gives a full 48 hours to recover.  That recovery means the ability to get back to training on Monday with energy and focus.  At this point in the training and preparation there are no more new skills being learned, just a constant reinforcement of the game plan and use of techniques already mastered.

My weekend recovery will include extra focus on nutrition and sticking to the diet.  As I am not dropping weight at the speed we had intended, my focus needs to be on this part of the fight plan.  There is nothing worse than a fighter who has to cut extra weight 7-10 days from the fight.  It's a stress on the mind that is not needed.  The fear of missing weight shouldn't be an issue at any point for an athlete, yet it is an all too real mishap for many. 

So this weekend, my diet will continue to look the same, which is fine, it's not too boring yet.  It is still just clean eating, with smaller sizes than I may think I want.  It mirrors what most pros are doing right now.  Low carb, and old school body building diets are mostly a thing of the past.  Fighters burn so many calories that they get away with a lot of food, the food choices are just smart.  My focus, keeping my energy up with quality foods, not the quantity.

This week saw the introduction of the Training Mask version 2.0.  This isn't the first time I have used a training mask in my workouts. It has replaced the old snorkel training of Wanderlei Silva. It's a little more scientific, and it encourages fighters to breathe through the nose, not the open mouth. An open mouth is the best way to get your jaw broken.  It's all about breathing with a closed mouth.

So the fun will really begin next week.  Training mask, low calories, and a major push to get my weight to under 230 pounds. It's going to be fun, and we plan to have a few training videos to add to the story.  It's my challenge to all of you reading this, push yourself to get in the best shape of your life and do it with the sport you love. 

Jordan Cieciwa can be heard on TSN Radio 1290 every Saturday at 11:30am ct with his show The Weigh-In. You can also follow Jordan at www.twitter.com/FitCityJordan and get all your fitness tips at www.onefitcity.com.

UFC (Photo: HENNING KAISER/AFP/Getty Images)

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(Photo: HENNING KAISER/AFP/Getty Images)
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