Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Injuries and Sickness

Did you miss me? I had a rough weekend...starting on Thursday.

Injuries are a common part of MMA. When your'e training hard preparing for a fight, there's almost always something, bruised, broken, or hurting for one reason or another, but that just part of the sport-you have to fight through the pain. But me? I get worse injuries at home than I do in practice half the time. Thursday evening, just before I was supposed to leave for practice, I was chopping an apple for the baked oatmeal I was making for breakfast the next day, with our brand new chef's knife, all thrilled with how smoothly it cut...then one quick slip and a chunk of my middle finger was gone! Luckily Joseph had just gotten home because I panicked, and he jumped to action getting a CLEAN towel on it, something that did not even cross my mind. After 20+ minutes of bleeding, not getting into the clinic, and visiting two different emergency rooms, I got a tetanus shot and a band-aid for my finger. And it wasn't even a cool character band-aid. Hmph.

The first couple days trying to work with my finger were horrible, and I woke up the next day with a really bad cold, so the hotel I work at being sold out really sucked. I rested as much as possible when I wasn't working, and by Monday the cold had started to go away and my finger had scabbed over some so it was a little less sensitive.

I returned to boxing at GYAC with Coach Carlos Duncan. I had had to stop going for a weeks because I couldn't afford an extra drive to Galesburg three times a week, and I was anxious to get back, despite still having a good amount of pain in my finger and having a hard time breathing from my lingering cold. I wrapped my finger up tight and went for it.

Boxing class usually goes as follows:
1.7 mile warm up run- I pushed the pace as much as possible even though it was hard to breathe through my nose
6 x 3min rounds of jump rope-this went pretty well
20 minutes of push-ups, crunches, burpees, etc.
6 x 2min rounds of heavy-bag work- since I couldn't put hardly and pressure on my finger, I focused on keeping my punches fast and moving around a lot

Even though I encountered a few obstacles over the last several days, I'm glad they happened now and not closer to my fight. I'll be healed and 100% healthy soon, and ready for war!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I've been thinking about trying Crossfit for a long time. I've seen so many athletes who credit Crossfit for their superior strength and conditioning, many of them MMA fighters. After watching tons of videos on youtube studying some of the exercises I was unfamiliar with, I did my first Crossfit workout on Tuesday. Since I live over an hour from the nearest "Box" I had to go it alone, but luckily the workout was one I didn't need too much help on-just some strength, cardio, and stamina.

The "WOD" (workout of the day) for Tuesday, July 24th:
9 rounds for time of the following-
Squat Clean, 7 reps
Burpee Box Jumps, 8 reps

Since I'd never done squat cleans before (I'd done hang cleans, so the movement wasn't totally unfamiliar) I just used the bar so I could focus on form. It was a little rough, but I felt like I started to get it down after the third set. I had upper body work today and running, sparring, and grappling to do after, so I did seven sets, and was beat! I soaked my whole shirt and definitely felt like I got a cardio workout.

Training later I was a little extra tired, but sparring felt good nonetheless. I'm definitely improving and gaining confidence. My team is awesome and I'm progressing so well, I can't wait to get back in the cage.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lean Dessert

If you're like me, you've tried a bunch of different protein powders, many of which claim to be the "Best Tasting Protein in the Whole World!" but really taste like chemical crap...and you end up with a 3 pound tub of powder you can't think about ingesting without gagging that you wasted 50 dollars on...ugh. I also have an issue with protein that have 100g protein per scoop, or 500% of you daily value of vitamin C...I may be exaggerating a bit but you see my point. Why am I paying this company for all that protein in one serving when I can't even digest that much protein at once!? It's a waste. So I'm constantly looking for a protein that tastes good, is affordable, and has the right amount of calories/nutrients for my fitness goals.

One product I like is BSN's Lean Dessert protein. I've tried two flavors: Chocolate Fudge Pudding and Chocolate Coconut Candy Bar. They also have delicious sounding flavors like Cinnamon Roll and Banana Cream Pudding. YUM!

Here's my ratings of the product in a few categories overall:
Taste-7.5  It's not the best protein I've ever had, but it's pretty darn good. I can drink it everyday no prob.
Mixability-9  I've mixed this in a blender, blender bottle, and with a spoon and it always comes out great. I usually mix my shakes with unsweetened almond milk, and the creamy milk mixed with the protein almost has a chocolate mousse consistency. MMM...
Nutrition Facts-8 At 130 calories (for the chocolate coconut flavor), it's perfect for a snack on a restricted calorie diet. It also has a reasonable 20g of protein per scoop for repairing muscle after training.

Price-7  I got a 1.39 lb jug for 17.95 on ebay.com, and last I checked it was 19.99 on bodybuilding.com...not bad, but the jug is small and doesn't last long...there's only 18 serving per container and I usually have one and a half servings per day, that's about the only thing I don't like about this product. 

Overall Rating: 8

Have you tried this product? Tell me your thoughts on it!

Four Weeks Out

After a weekend without training, I'm dying to get back in the gym! I was so relieved to have the day off, as work this weekend was stressful and tiring and I need to catch up on sleep a bit. I woke up rested and determined to work my a$$ off tonight, and get back on my meal plan 100%.

I'm especially excited to lift tonight, because for the first time ever, my boyfriend Joseph will be joining me and starting his lifting plan (designed by yours truly). I've been trying to convince him to start lifting and eating properly almost since we started dating. I don't know exactly what made him change his mind, but I think the other guys at the gym helped convince him. Part of the reason he's never wanted to lift is because he has a very physically demanding job, a construction-type job in which the heavy machinery...is Joseph. Combine that with 110 degree heat index most days and you get one exhausted man. Still, I think eating the right foods will help his energy level a lot.

For me, tonight I will be working my shoulders, arms, and abs, one of my favorite groups to train. Really I just adore lifting in general. It makes me feel like a badass when I can push around a heavier weight each week, sometimes surprising myself with my progress. Anyway, here's the plan, although I often get a burst of extra energy and add in more when I get to the gym:

Front Shoulder Press: 3 set of 12 repetitions
superset with
Front Barbell Raise: 3 sets of 12 repetitions

Barbell Curl: 15 reps, 12 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps
superset with
Overhead Tricep Rope Extensions: 15 reps, 12 reps, 12 reps

Hammer Curl: 3 sets of 12 reps
superset with
Reverse Crunch: 3 set of 30-50 reps

Skullcrushers: 3 set of 12 reps
superset with
Close Grip Bench Press: 3 sets of 15 reps

Plank: 3 sets of 30-45 second holds
superset with
Knees to Chest Crunch: 3 set of 30 reps

I prefer to do supersets because it keep my heart rate up and I get done faster. I keep my rest periods super short, under a minute. For those who might not know, a superset is when you do one set of one exercise and follow it immediately with one set of another exercise, then after minimal rest go back to the first exercise and repeat. It's like a mini circuit.

After lifting, we will probably run. I need to work on my speed, so my goal is to let Joseph set the pace (because he's much faster than me) and go as long as I can at that pace. I'm hoping for at least two miles at an eight-minute mile pace. That might not sound fast, but normally my long runs are at least four miles at a ten-minute per mile pace. I need to start pushing that pace and then add mileage.

I also hope to work on some body conditioning, combinations, and takedown technique. It should be a good night :)

Crazy Weekend!

My weekend was exhausting, and not in the same way my normal days are exhausting with working and training. I had to work Friday through Sunday, so there was no training for me this weekend :( It's a good thing I kept busy when I wasn't at work or I would have been verrryyy cranky.

Saturday I was hoping to get off early since Joseph and I had plans to drive to Peoria for a little shopping spree after I got off, but of course we were short on staff at the hotel and i had TWENTY rooms to clean in seven hours. That's the most I've had since I started working there two weeks ago and it was rough. Add on the sore legs and butt from my leg day the day before and not being able to sleep the night before, and I wanted to die. On top of that, I didn't drink enough water with my breakfast, so my thermogenic supplement made me feel yuck! Eventually, though, it was all over and time for some fun...if you call shopping fun, which I'm often not sure I do.

Don't get me wrong. I can be girly and love treating myself to some nice clothes, shoes (especially shoes!) and other frilly, girly things. I just find it difficult to spend money on something I might only wear once a month, and trying things on can be so damn frustrating! Especially with an athletic build like mine. But I enjoyed getting out of those house with my man, and I did score some nice duds. Even if I did get more sporty stuff than girly :) 

We also bought a few things for around the house and made a stop at Barnes and Noble. We FINALLY bought some new knives that are gloriously easier to chop with than our old, dull, cheap ones we've had since I moved out of my parents house. 

Barnes and Noble is probably one of my favorite places ever, because I can always find a book that fits. I could spend my whole paycheck and hours in that store. This time, I chose a book I've been thinking about checking out for a while, Curly Girl. My curly hair drives me crazy, and I finally decided that if this book could help me embrace my hair, it would make my life that much easier in those times when I do choose to be girly...and because I may have some photo shoots coming up and I want to look my best! I have to say, after reading the book, I'm convinced that it's going to change my hair forever. But I'll leave that for another time.

Note: I don't always choose such girly books. My hair problem just needed addressed. You'll normally find me in the fitness or sports sections. Don't judge. 

All this time we spent shopping, I was super hungry! Not good. It was pretty late when we got back to town, and we hadn't been able to get groceries, so we chose the "least bad" restaurant we could...and ended up at a favorite little diner downtown. Since there wasn't a lot of choices that fit into my meal plan...I did the best I could...and filled up on eggs and salad, with a little rice. Not the best, but could have been worse, sometimes you gotta roll with the punches.

Now it's Monday, we've stocked up on healthy groceries, and I'm ready to get some work done! There's just under four weeks until my fight (and my boyfriend Joseph is fighting on the card too, I'm excited to fight together again!) so it's time to buckle down and become hermits until fight night!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Frugal Fitness: Part 1

How to Make Your Own Medicine Ball (and how not to)

I've wanted a medicine ball for ages. Even on Ebay, the suckers aren't cheap, but they're so valuable when it comes to working out! So when I heard about making them yourself, I kind of thought, "DUH, why didn't I think of that? It's so simple!" Well, I found out that yes, it is pretty simple, but there are still mistakes to make, so I'm going to share my experience with you :)

1 ball- a basketball is recommended, I ended up using a volleyball I had but never used. Cost: FREE (if you already have one) or a cheap basketball is about $6 at WalMart

1 roll duct tape- bonus points if its funky colored. Cost: $3.50

Sand- I got mine from my construction worker boyfriend, so it was also FREE. But I'm sure it's not to costly to buy play sand at WalMart or Menard's.

Exacto knife or razor blade- again, I already had this on hand, so it was FREE. A few dollars at WalMart if you don't have anything sharp that works.

Measuring cup or other cup for pouring sand- had around the house, FREE

Step 1: Cut a v-shaped slit in your ball of choice.

Step 2: Pull back flap, and begin to fill with sand. As you fill, shake the ball a bit and pack sand with your hands so the sand will settle and fill the ball nicely.

Step 2.5: Ball rips in half, get new ball, repeat steps 1 and 2, move on to step 3.

Step 3: Tape slit closed.

Step 4: Cover entire ball with duct tape, making sure the slit is securely closed.

Optional Step 5: If you are going to be sweating when using your medicine ball, which you ought to be, it will get slippery if you just leave it duct taped. To add grip, add strips of the tape that hockey players put on the sticks to make the grip better. I didn't feel like hunting this down so at this point, I'm taking my chances with a slippery ball.

A helpful tip:
DO use a sturdy ball.
DON'T attempt to use a playground ball, it won't hold up to being filled with sand.

My ball ended up weighing 15.2 pounds. I think I will get a basketball soon and make a slightly larger one as well. Overall, this ball cost me about $6.00. I could make probably make at least 5 more for the cost of one at a sporting goods store. WINNING.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Leave a Legacy

"If you stay ready, you never have to get ready"

I want to thank the coaches at Legacy Martial Arts in Quincy, IL, Mr. Robert Bentley and Mr. Dominique Jackson for the awesome shirts they sent me a few weeks ago. (My camera is broken or I would have pics already...hopefully soon.)

The quote above is on the back of one of the shirts, and I loved it in particular, because it hit me like a brick. I want to be the fighter who is always ready. I've been hard on my body since I was in Jr. High. Gaining and losing weight, starving myself, binge eating...I've had issues to say the least, but when I started fighting I wanted to change all that. Fighting gave me a goal to always be working towards. I always want to be getting better, looking ahead at the next fight, getting my body in better shape and working more efficiently all the time.

Dieting is hard. Cutting weight is hard. Training is hard (but is actually the easy part for me). But I've found that it is so much easier to diet and train hard all the time, especially when it comes down to cutting time, than it is to try to sweat out a bad diet, or starve off those last couple pounds because I didn't run when I should have. It's almost a science, and it requires some trial and error to figure out what works for you, but when you get it right it feels so good. 

I've been on a journey the past six months...getting back into shape, eating right, fighting again...and I've come along way. This time, I'm going to stay ready for good...because getting ready is way more work.

Get ready, stay ready...you never know what might come your way.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Jenna Fox vs. Brittany O'Day 6/30/12

For those of you who haven't seen it yet, here's the video of my last fight. That's me in the blue camo shorts. I wasn't entirely thrilled with my performance, but it was my first submission win and my first fight in over a year, so I considered it a fight to shake the ring rust and learn what I most need to work on. My training is a little more tailored to what I need to work on now, and I expect an even better performance at my next fight, August 18th at Hooters in East Peoria, Illinois.

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast: 1/3 c PLAIN OLD FASHIONED oatmeal (measured dry) (did I mention plain?)
                 4 egg whites, scrambled (I actually "scramble" them in the micowave...its faster and makes for fewer dishes later)
                 1/2 apple
                 20 grams nuts (I had pecans)

If you had suggested a few months ago that I eat PLAIN oats with NO SUGAR or artificial sweetness or any of the fun stuff, I probably would have chosen to starve instead. Plain oats just grossed me out. But then, some time after hitting my highest weight ever of 181, something snapped inside me and I got this "f*** you excuses" attitude and I decided nothing was going to stop me from reaching my goals...not even oatmeal.

Several months later, now down to 153.4 pounds and dropping, I look forward to my morning oats. GASP! How did I do it? I learned to experiment, and somewhere along the way, I got this crazy idea that maybe if I ate a bite of egg whites with a bite of oatmeal, it might not be that horrific. And what do you know? I find the combo delicious! I win!

My point here is (a) anything is possible, and (b) don't knock it til you try it.

Recently, I saw a picture posted online of a woman before and after cutting out splenda, and thats it. She looked good before, but after, she had so much more definition, and I thought, what would happen if I cut out the artificial sweeteners in my life? 

I don't drink diet soda or anything like that (except maybe a diet 7 up when my stomach's upset) but I would drink Crystal Light and Powerade Zero, or a sugar-free energy drink when I'm feeling drowsy. I love them, but I also don't know how they might be hampering my progress, so it's time for them to go. Instead, I plan on drinking even more water, and trying to get used to unsweetened green tea, or flavor it with some lemon and orange slices. If I can do it with oatmeal, I can do it with tea.

I hope you all challenge yourselves today! Stay positive :)

Hi! Welcome to my brand spankin' new blog! If you're already a fan, you're awesome, and I hope you'll keep visiting, because I have all kinds of plans for this page. If you've never heard of me before, I hope this blog with put me on your radar and keep you wanting more. I plan on updating this blog with videos of my daily life and training, progress pics and photo shoots, recipes, workouts, and more! I want to let you in on my life...and show you all how hard I'm working to put on a show.

For those of you who don't know me already, here's a short intro:

My name is Jenna Fox. I'm 20 years young, an amateur mixed martial artist (currently 5-0) and I've got BIG dreams. Living in this small town in Illinois, sometimes they seem impossible, but I'm a believer, and I hope you will be too!

I'm currently working as a housekeeper at a hotel in town, studying to become a personal trainer, keeping my ears open for a second part time job, and training at least six days a week, between an hour and three hours most day, sometimes more if I have time. I've been training for about two years now, although I took about a year break from fighting for personal reasons. But now I've found a gym I love and have an even better support system than before, and I'm back!

So tell me, what would you like to see most of on this blog? I want your input!