Shape Up the MMA Way

By Nick Wagner
Contributing Writer

In less than six weeks Crowbar’s Fall Brawl is bringing Mixed Martial Arts back to the Fargo area. Soon a handful of fighters, including me, will be stepping into a cage ready to throw fists. This means that my diet and training will become even more important as September 11 draws nearer.

I usually eat what I want until I’m satisfied on top of a moderate training routine, but as the date of my fight approaches I’m forced to curb my diet and the training intensifies. No more desserts, sugary drinks, or carbohydrate-laden meals. A strict diet for me doesn’t happen overnight, but is slowly modified so that my body has time to adapt. My portions become smaller, I eat more salads and I snack regularly between meals.

Eating out is always a challenge when trying to keep my weight in check. Chicken sandwiches are substituted for burgers, and the salad menu always gets the most attention. It’s been hard for me to make healthy choices in restaurant environments, but I force myself to overcome cravings and settle for something healthy. I’m able to do this because I have goals. I monitor my progress and make sure that with the right diet and training routine I’ll be able to make weight the day of weigh-ins.

For me, the right diet can shed pounds, but I need to increase my strength while leaning up, so that I’ll be in peak physical condition when it comes to fight time. Not only do I train technique in the evenings at the Academy of Combat Arts, but I force myself out of bed early in the morning to drive across the river into Moorhead to be yelled at by L.T., my personal trainer at Max Training.

At Max Training I’m given the star treatment. Dom Noonan has devised a MMA routine specifically for my goals as a fighter, revolving around Cormax equipment. Cormax (based in Moorhead, MN) isn’t regular gym equipment. The machines are pressurized and controlled, allowing someone to do a plethora of workouts that would otherwise be impossible in a traditional gym.

The workouts are not only fast and intense, but safe and practical. The equipment allows me to focus on my explosiveness without having to worry about dropping a weight, or failing without a spotter.

A big perk is the staff, like my trainer L.T. They work with people so that goals are met and workouts are completed. This isn’t the YMCA, this is an all-around team atmosphere. Max Training can tailor a workout for somebody who’s never set foot in a gym as well as an MMA fighter like me. The trainers don’t just hand out workout plans and walk away—they dole out the star treatment, give advice, answer questions, and are always on hand. Check out Max Training at

Gaining and losing weight is a big part of a Mixed Martial Artist’s lifestyle. I long for the discipline to stay away from unhealthy foods, but food is the problem. I love it. I’ve never been terribly unhealthy, but fighting has forced me to adopt a strict diet. Overall, since I stated training, I’ve lost and kept off around thirty pounds. When a fight approaches, I’ll diet and work out harder, shedding even more weight.

To be successful in MMA, being healthy can only help. MMA has changed my lifestyle, it has given me an excuse to spend more time running and less time watching T.V., and it keeps me out of bars and in bed early. MMA is a great sport for anyone of any age to get into, especially if the only goal is to improve one’s health.

People don’t need to be MMA fighters to be healthy, but it doesn’t hurt. Avoid fast food, save that money and support the local community by heading over to the farmers market. Healthy doesn’t mean bland, it may mean less grease and cheese, for me it means substituting a bad choice for a good choice. People need to find what works for them as individuals. Head over to Kobe’s and grab some sushi, or put some time in and prepare something fresh right at home.

Not only will a good diet propel a body into fight shape, but so will a bit of exercise. Lace up
those trainers and go for a walk. Enjoy the summer before the snow starts to fall. Get into shape like an MMA fighter.

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If You Go

What: Crowbar MMA: Fall Brawl
Where: Urban Plains Center
When: Sat, Sept 11
Info: 701.356.7656

Posted 4 years, 1 month ago by Nick Wagner | Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | View Nick Wagner's profile.

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