Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Perfect Warm-Up

What is in the essence of a perfect warm-up? Essentially, it is important not to over-strain your muscles that will impede your performance during the actual training. Perfect is in striking the right balance in warming up all your various muscle groups. To me, warming up exercises can be divided into 3 parts – running/skipping/bouncing on old tires, shadow boxing and bag work. The idea is to prepare your body for the vigorous exercises that follows. It is not necessary to spend an excessive amount of time during warm up – the bulk of your training time should be spent on the techniques and strength training – an ideal estimate should be approximately 30 minutes.

Running / Skipping / Bouncing on old tires


These exercises are substitutable. Running is essential for the development of leg muscles and stamina and while many say that it is most ideal to run in the morning, do note that the peak time for running is definitely not the first thing in the morning. Due to daily fluctuations in our body temperature, scientists have found that our temperature is the lowest in the morning and peaks in mid afternoon. And wholly from a running perspective, athletes perform better when their body temperature is higher and thus many prefer to run in the late afternoons and evenings. And because our body’s vital functions peak at the same time, it is found that our lungs work best in the evenings too.

I have broken down the pros and cons of running at different times of the day from a survey conducted by Running Times.

Early Morning – The Mental Hurdle

The peak time for running is definitely not first thing in the morning. Virtually all bodily functions are at their worst at this hour. Body temperature is low, which means that muscles will feel stiff, lung function is poor, and not having any substantial food intake for the last ten hours significantly depletes your energy stores. All these means the same level of exertion is likely to feel much harder at this time of day than later on. To top things off, exercising early will leave you more prone to injury or worse. Research has also shown that this is the most common time of day for heart attacks and strokes.

Just because nearly everything physical is against you at this time, however, doesn’t mean the early morning session has no benefit. The very fact that it feels harder means it’s good for building up mental strength.

Mid-Morning – Muscle Booster

Lung performance and body temperature are much improved from the early morning, plus if you’re training at this time you should have had a good protein and carb-filled breakfast, meaning your energy levels will be much higher. However, although most of your physical functions will be improved from the early morning, they are still not as good as later in the day. Furthermore, if you work normal hours, a mid-morning run is likely only to be possible on the weekend anyway. If you do put in a mid-morning run, on a Saturday for example, you might want to make it a speed or hills session in which building up your calf and quad muscles is the aim. The reason is that most scientists agree this is the best time of day to boost muscle. “There’s a strong argument for doing weight training in the morning if you’re interested in building muscle,” said Dr. Stephen Bird, from the School of Human Movement Studies in Australia. “This is because testosterone, the hormone most responsible for muscle-boosting, is at its highest around this time.”

Lunchtime – The Convenient Substitute

The lunch-time run is extremely popular with all those who work normal hours. Getting out of the office and breaking up the day with some running seems like a great idea. And indeed there are positives to training at this time, but mostly they have to do with your work performance rather than your running performance. "Many people choose to exercise at lunch because it doesn’t eat into their free time," said workplace psychologist Mike Clinton. "Plus it perks you up and is likely to make you more productive in the afternoon."

In fact, nearly all bodily functions experience a lull in the middle of the day, particularly those such as lung function and body temperature, which are crucial to running performance. Like the early morning, this doesn’t necessarily make it a bad time of day to train; just make sure you save those time trials, or sessions where you’re looking to run your absolute best, for later.

Afternoon and Evening – Score!

It has been known for some time that most physical activities are best performed in the mid- to late-afternoon, as this is when body temperature peaks, meaning the muscles are at their most supple and running at speeds that feel tough in the early morning will feel much easier. Recently this has been bolstered by a study by Dr. Boris Medarov of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, which found that lung function was more than 6 percent better in the afternoon than at other times during the day. So this is definitely the time of day to run if you’re going for a personal best.

If your gym trains in the evening, you’ll probably want to sweat out your personal best before class starts! A short 10 min run should be sufficient.

Skipping / Bouncing on old tires

Skipping is an intense cardiovascular workout, more tiring than running I would say. Skipping strengthens the muscles in your upper and lower body and also promotes the hand-leg coordination that is much needed in most Muay Thai techniques.

Skip in sets, usually 3 sets of 3 mins each should be sufficient but if you feel that it is not warming up your body enough, bring it up to 3 sets of 5 mins or 2 sets of 10 mins. Do not skip with both your feet bouncing off the ground at the same time. Alternate between legs, for example, tap 3 times on your right leg and then switch to your left. It might not seem easy at first but you’ll get used to it.

The same goes for bouncing on tires.

Here’s a good video on jump rope:

I’ll update a bit more on shadow boxing and bag work for warm up in the later part of the day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Germaine de Randamie versus Lucy Bertaud

Germaine de Randamie versus Angela Rivera Parr

As promised, videos of Germaine Randamie. Angela Parr's fighting out of Boonchu Gym in Australia, hometown California, married to John Wayne Parr. Good fighter in her own stride.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The undefeatable Iron Lady - Germain de Randamie

Germaine de Randamie

The Iron Lady


Fight Weight:
61kg and below

Fighting out of:
Team Germaine, Netherlands

Fight Record:
32-0, 14 by K.O


WIKBA Muay Thai Champion
1 time Netherlands Champion
3 times European Champion
3 times World Champion in two different weight classes (63kg and 59kg)

Enough checking out her abs. This girl is an awesome fighter. Her fighting career began at the age of 16 and she never lost a match. I'm going to be posting some videos of her. She has a very aggressive style of fighting, always dominating her matches. Watch out for her powerful high kicks and knees as well. Germaine's gotta be the idol of all female nakmuays.

She's gonna be fighting at this year's SLAMM event, Netherlands versus Holland. Keep your eyes glued here for updates! Here's an interview with Germaine.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Slamm IV - Nederlands versus Thailand

2nd March, Holland
Pierre de Coubertinlaan 7
1362LA Almere
Nederland (Flevoland)

K-1 rules: For more details on K-1 rules, please visit

Watch out for two female fighters:
Germaine de Randamie vs Maria Verheye

taken from

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Prized Pinay Fighter - More about FilAm Christine Toledo

By Joseph Pimentel
SHE was set to fight in the undercard of the World Muay Thai Championships at the Las Vegas Hilton last January 12. However, an eye injury prevented FilAm Christine Toledo from avenging one of her two losses in her career, this one against Maiko Katsuyama.

Toledo is disappointed at the Nevada Athletic Commission. "They never had a problem with me before," she said. "I fought with contacts all the time but I guess, they are stricter now."

To be able to fight in Nevada and California again, Toledo needs to undergo refractive eye surgery, a procedure for military personnel.

Killer looks

Looking at Toledo, one would think she's a typical regular gal. Wearing blue jeans, a black leather jacket and sporting glasses, she looks like the Pinay version of singer Lisa Loeb. But don't let her looks fools you.

Toledo may look meek on the outside but deep down, she is a Muay Thai Champion ready to kick butt.

"My co-workers get surprised when they find out that I'm a Muay Thai expert," she said in an interview with the Asian Journal inside the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas. "They joke with me all the time. They say, 'If I ever get in trouble, you'll be my bodyguard. I'm taking you with me to the parking lot."

"I like that," she admits. "I like seeing people's reaction when they find out [I'm a fighter]."

Toledo works as a marketing manager at an energy company in Las Vegas during the day. She moonlights as a Muay Thai fighter sporting a professional record of 11 wins, 2 losses and 4 KO's at night.

The 30-year-old Pinay enjoys her anonymity. But get her inside the ring, and she's a completely different person. Her opponents call her the "blade."

Muay Thai is a combination of kickboxing and boxing which includes the use of the elbows and knees.

"I'm known for my elbows," she said.

Toledo has fought professionally for the past eight years in the US and around the world. She has fought in Thailand, Great Britain and hopes to one day compete in front of her kababayans in the Philippines. She trains everyday after work for three to four a hours a day.

The World International Kickboxing Association (WIKBA) ranks her anywhere between the No. 1 and No. 3 female in her weight division in the world. She holds the World Kickboxing Association (WKA) US Title and another world title. She has also been featured in a documentary and reality television series about Muay Thai.

Despite all of her accomplishments, Toledo said there is still more to be done.

"The titles are great but I want to be recognized by the larger governing bodies," she said.

It's this goal that drives her.


Toledo said her greatest source of inspiration is her mother. Born in Norfolk, Virginia and raised in San Diego, Toledo said that she grew up in a typical Filipino household.

"My brothers and I were Navy, military brats," she said. "My dad was in the Navy and my mom was a nurse."

When her parent divorced, her mother raised them by herself.

"It was tough for her," she said. "It was hard for me to adjust to that."

Growing up, Toledo's mother did not allow her to participate in rigorous sports activity.

"She wanted me to be the girl that she wanted me to be. I did tap dancing, played the piano and hula but I wanted to do gymnastics and karate. I was a real active kid. My mom wanted me to grow up a certain way."


It wasn't until college at San Francisco State University and an old boyfriend that she pursued training in the martial arts.

She began Muay Thai training with instructor Kru Sam from Team USA in the Bay Area. Her trainers said that she had a natural talent so she began to train harder.

"This is something that I've always wanted to do," she said. "Muay Thai became a passion."

In 2002, she scored her first win against Jennifer Kelly by unanimous decision at the Hollywood Park Race and Casino in Los Angeles.

Her mother, who had disapproved of her martial arts venture, attended the event.

"She wasn't happy with the idea but she came to my first fight," said Toledo. "She became more comfortable once she saw how I handled myself in the ring."

"It's a rush," Toledo said. She added there's nothing like being inside the ring.

Toledo racked up eight wins in a row before a knee injury led to her first defeat. She tore her ACL on her left knee when training for a match against Katsuyama. The knee eventually gave out on her during the fight and the referee stopped the match.

Toledo is now getting back into gear since suffering that knee injury in 2005.

After losing a tough match in Thailand, Toledo is on a three consecutive victories streak.

She carries with her, life lessons that her mother taught her.

"Looking back, I get my drive from my mom," she said. "Everything that I've been doing not just fighting is from my mom. I just look back at how hard working she was taking care of me and my brothers growing up."

Toledo plans to have a busy fight schedule this year. She knows that she's getting older but she wants to finish her career off strong. She added that once she has corrective eye surgery, she'll have fights lined up in February and May.

She hopes to encourage more Filipino women to join Muay Thai.

"Filipino women don't have to be typical housewives who just sit around and take care of their home," she said. "Women can do [martial arts] too." (AJ)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Female Muay Thai Legend - Christine Toledo

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Toledo has been raised in San Diego, California since the age of three. She began her training in Muay Thai in San Francisco, California in her last year of college. What began as just a hobby for keeping herself fit, Toledo gradually fell in love with the sport. She began to excel in her passion and under the instruction of Kru Sam Phimsoutham and Anthony Badua at Team USA in San Francisco, Toledo began competing in Muay Thai.

Her passion in the sport became the driving force for her success. In 2003, she relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada and began training under Master Toddy. This gave her the opportunity to compete against top ranked opponents in her weight category, travelled across the globe and appear in various film productions.

Today, Christine continues training Muay Thai under Master Chan and Anthony Badua in Las Vegas and plans to continue fighting at a professional level.

Toledo is scheduled to fight Maiko Katsuyama (rematch) in Las Vegas, Nevada (USA), Hilton Hotel on 12th January.

Fight Weight:
112 - 118lbs

Fight Record:
11wins - 2losses

June 2002, Los Angeles, California (USA)
Christine Toledo vs. Jennifer Kelly
Win by UD

October 2002, Casper, Wyoming (USA)
Christine Toledo vs. Dear Kanthawong
Win by TKO

February 2003, Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)
Christine Toledo vs. Alisanne Casey
Win by Split Decision

June 2003, Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)
Christine Toledo vs. Jill Izzo
Win by TKO

March 2004, Manchester, England (UK)
Christine Toledo vs. Janine Carlson
Win by UD

May 2004, Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)
Christine Toledo vs. Alisanne Casey (Rematch)
Win by TKO

October 2004, Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)
Christine Toledo vs. Brenda Lopez
Win by UD

November 2004, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Christine Toledo vs. Aeng Nua
Win by KO

March 2005, Las Vegas, NV (USA)
Christine Toledo vs. Maiko Katsuyama

March 2006, Phuket, Thailand
Christine Toledo vs. Saep Wor Por Sukhothai

June 2006, New York, NY (USA)
Christine Toledo vs. Rima Sidhu
Win by UD

August 2006, Las Vegas, NV (USA)
Christine Toledo vs. Jennifer Nguyen
Win by UD

December 2006, Las Vegas, NV (USA)
Christine Toledo vs. Rima Sidhu (Rematch)
Win by UD