Train Like UFC Fighter John “Doomsday” Howard

It takes a whole lot of balls to step into a ring and fight to be the last man standing. It also takes a ton of training. I recently had the privilege of talking to John “Doomsday” Howard, who has fought for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), about how he trains for his fights.

Given the nature of mixed martial arts, fatigue and exhaustion set in quickly. That’s why Doomsday starts off with a warm up designed to have you in tears… AND THEN starts his real training. Nate Chubay was one of the students that endured Doomsday’s class at Black Diamond MMA gym in RI said the warm up was “intense” and gave him a “glimpse into what it takes physically and mentally to be a pro MMA fighter.”

Doomsday’s warm up is five 5-minute rounds consisting of shadow boxing, sprawls, pushups, high jumps and more. Here’s a clip from the warm up:

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt John "Doomsday" Howard MMA Warm Up

I asked Doomsday about his routine and he said “my thing is core”. He trains mixed martial arts on a daily basis and couldn’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a strong core. Some of the exercises he does for core include V ups, balance work with gymnastic still rings, and various kinds of planks. His work with still rings has given him quite the respect for gymnasts.

Kru John Allen, Doomsday’s instructor from Wai Kru MMA Gym in Boston, makes sure Doomsday hits the weights 2-3 days per week. The main exercises Kru has Doomsday focus on are the same three powerlifters focus on as well: deadlift, bench press, and squat. Kru includes accessory exercises such as flipping tires, hammering with a sledge hammer, and planks.

Doomsday continues to train away with his next fight against Todd “the Hulk” Chattelle right around the corner on April 13th at Twin River Casino in RI.

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    Compete with Yourself – New “Previous Logs” Feature

    If you’ve ever played Temple Run, Fruit Ninja, or Angry Birds then you know how addicting and strangely satisfying seeing that “New High Score” can be. Beating a personal best for a workout is sort of the same… except maybe a million times better.

    We talked to a bunch of Interfit users about what really drives them and competing with themselves was high on the list. That’s why we’ve recently added “Previous logs” smack-dab in front of your face so you can see how you’ve been performing and try to whoop your own butt.

    You’ll notice right away how big of an effect seeing your previous performance will have on your performance today.

    We’d love to hear any feedback, comments, or questions you have here.

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      Valentine’s Day Idea for Men and Women


      Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and maybe you’re still not sure what to do for your partner. Well, I have a poem for you:

      Roses are pricey, chocolate is too. Work out together for that late night…

      Get your head out of the gutter – the last words are  ”I love you”. What I’m trying to say is that dozens of roses and boxes of chocolate aren’t enough to strengthen a relationship.

      Men, maybe your lady-friend enjoys Zumba or yoga or something a little outside your comfort zone? Well, give it a shot anyway. Drop the heavy weights, let your arms hang naturally (you know what I’m talking about), and suck it up for ONE day. She’ll appreciate the laughs she gets from seeing you struggle to keep Tree pose for longer than a second.

      Women, maybe your man-friend never loses sight of the dumbbell rack and his grunts scare you a little? Go grab a weight and grunt with him. He’ll keep saying “good job, one more” while forcing you to get the weight up for those last few reps. It’ll probably drive you crazy but just let him prove his manliness and capacity to take care of you. Chances are you’re giving him the best workout of his life just being there anyway.

      You won’t have any choice but to be happy and enjoy V-day after all those endorphins flood your body from that awesome workout you just did together. You may even want to continue the workout at home (head still in the gutter? Good.).

      So save your money and calories this year and just hit the gym with your loved one. It’s okay you don’t have to say it – you’re welcome.

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        The Importance of Social Fitness

        Partner up if you want to see results at the gym and in front of the mirror. In a previous post Peer Pressure is Realer and Deeper Than You Think we talked about a study that demonstrated a 57% increased likelihood of becoming obese if a friend was obese. In this post we’ll talk more about the positive impact social reinforcement can have on your health.

        Another study demonstrated that group versus individual training resulted in an increased pain threshold in rowers. This implies that you’re more likely to push yourself harder and tolerate a more rigorous workout if you’re sharing this experience with others. More endorphins (the chemicals responsible for the natural “high” achieved from exercise) are released when training with others resulting in less pain and more gain.

        Eli Manning of the New York Giants shares the same belief on social fitness:

        “Anyone—even if they can’t train at your level—can make an activity somewhat competitive and help you push yourself harder”

        That’s why you find celebrities like Kevin James and Adam Sandler going out for a jog together or the beautiful Heidi Klum running alongside a friend.

        Not only does group training help push you past your normal pain threshold but it helps you find new ways to exercise. That’s one of the main reasons why Interfit exists – to help you discover new exercises by finding out what works for others, even if you don’t happen to work out side-by-side. It seems pretty intuitive, right? You share the food, movies, music, clothes, etc. you like with friends so why not share your favorite exercises, too?

        Social fitness really is a no-brainer for those looking to endure more intense workouts, find new exercises, stay accountable, and strengthen their relationships with others. That’s why Interfit’s slogan is “Get your fit together!”

        Click here to try out Interfit’s social workout tracker, it’s free.

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          Amazing Tightrope Performance During Madonna Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show

          The highlight of Super Bowl XLVI could have very well occurred during the Madonna halftime show with this amazing tightrope performance.

          Madonna Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show Tightrope Act

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            Patriots Lead Giants at Halftime During Super Bowl XLVI

            The tides have changed for the Patriots after starting off on the wrong foot with an unfortunate safety. Brady ended the first half of Super Bowl XLVI with a touchdown pass to Danny Woodhead, completing the Patriots’ epic 96-yard drive. The extra point was good giving the Patriots a 10-9 lead over the Giants. This has turned out to be a real game after all!

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              Fitness Reimbursements – Money for Working Out

              So you spent 2011 busting your hide at the gym, right? Well, make sure your health insurance company knows since more than 50% will reimburse you – some up to $600! Below are just a few of these companies:

              Insurance Company Reimbursement Amount per year
              Oxford Up to $600
              United Healthcare Up  to $240
              Blue Cross Blue Shield (Anthem) Up  to $200
              CIGNA Discounted fitness membership fees
              Aetna Discounted fitness membership fees
              Kaiser Permanente Discounted fitness membership fees
              Tufts Up to $150
              Harvard Pilgrim Up to $150

              How to Get Paid:

              1. Contact your health insurance company and see if they offer a Fitness Reimbursement Program.
              2. Find out if your health club qualifies
              3. Fill out the necessary paperwork (usually just dates of your membership and health club costs)
              4. Get paid $$$

              Companies like Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, and CIGNA may not offer a dollar amount for a reimbursement, but they may still offer up to a 50% discount on your health club membership fees. With the average gym membership costing between $40-50 per month, that could be an extra $300 in your pocket!

              Don’t forget to use Interfit’s easy Workout Tracker at home or on the go to keep a record of the days you’ve been breaking a sweat – it could help you get that extra $600.

              We hope you had a great 2011 and will have an even better 2012! As always, keep your fit together – it pays!

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                The F Word You Should Always Use, Fiber!

                As a pharmacist, I have people talking to me on a daily basis about a number of things – one of which is toilet troubles. Now before you get all red in the face and panic that maybe someone is going to catch you reading about your time on the thinking chair, consider this: ~95% of Americans fall short of their recommended daily fiber intake. Think maybe you’re one of them? Well then, read on…

                Ok, so fiber is a wonderful addition for a fantastic subtraction if you catch my drift. What else can fiber do for you? First off, let’s break down fiber into its types: soluble and insoluble.

                Soluble fiber can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It dissolves in liquid, hence being called “soluble” fiber, to form a gel in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This gel slows the passing of food through your body to help you feel more full, decrease the rate at which sugars are absorbed, and interfere with the absorption of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Amazing stuff, huh? You can find soluble fiber in oat bran, nuts, barley, seeds, apples, oranges, and as an over-the-counter supplement called psyllium husk (aka Metamucil).

                Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, does not dissolve in liquid and can actually speed up movement of food through the GI tract. This type of fiber helps prevent constipation and also regulates the pH balance of the gut protecting against colon cancer. Good sources of insoluble fiber include: dark leafy veggies, whole-wheat foods, seeds, nuts, and green beans.

                Here’s a nice graphic from the National Institute of Health:

                The recommended daily intake of fiber is 20-35 grams. Make sure you drink a lot of water when you take in fiber to avoid becoming  flatulent (beans, beans the magical fruit?). Also, it’s not a bad idea to slowly rather than suddenly increase your fiber intake so as to not upset your stomach.

                Still want more motivation to add fiber to your diet? Since fiber isn’t technically absorbed by the body, you can go ahead and subtract it from your total carb intake. Pretty sweet. For example, let’s say you just had a delicious Red Delicious apple… 22 grams of carbohydrates, 5 of which are dietary fiber. To calculate your net carbs in this example, simply subtract your dietary fiber from your total carbohydrates. So in this case that’d be: 22 – 5 = 17g net carbs. You’ve saved yourself 5 grams of carbs which ends up being 20 calories. Meet your recommended daily intake and that’s an 80-140 calorie buffer for you. Not bad.

                Looks like Grammy was right about eating those fruits and veggies after all…

                Oh and here’s a funny picture of a baby who clearly gets enough fiber :D

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                  Warhawk Matt Scott in Nike ‘No Excuses’ Commercial

                  I know this video is a few years old but the message is timeless. Think again next time one of these excuses (or another) comes to mind.

                  Warhawk Matt Scott in Nike ‘No Excuses’ Commercial

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                    Eat Mustard and Get Jacked

                    Here’s an interesting article on a study conducted on rats which showed an increase in muscle mass due to brassinosteroids – a pant steroid found in mustard. Granted this finding is still in its earliest phases of research but who knows? Maybe downing bottles of mustard will be the next big thing (just kidding – please don’t try this… yet).


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