Saturday, July 31, 2010


Here's a very interesting seminar that was brought to my attention only yesterday. It looks very intriguing, so it's something that I'll most definitely attend. It's the Philippine Bodybuilder's Alliance (PBBA) Inc.'s 7th Bodybuilding and Fitness Seminar titled "Fundamentals Revisited". From their Facebook page:

September 4, 2010
Venue: AVR G/F Elco Bldg. DLS-STI College #202 E. Rodriguez Sr. Blvd
8-12noon - Registration starts at 7am
Seminar Fee: 550 with Certificate of Participation and Snacks

Resource Persons:

1. Dondon Cortuna - Mr. Universe Bodybuilding Champion - Germany
2. Dwan Abantao - Multi-Awarded Athlete
3. Dr. Sharon Rebong - Wellness Expert

Friday, July 30, 2010


Alright, here are my predictions for UFC 117. As before, I'll just make this short and sweet and place the actual details of my predictions in my reviews of the fights.


1. Anderson "The Spider" Silva vs. Chael Sonnen - Silva
2. Jon Fitch vs. Thiago "Pit Bull" Alves - Fitch
3. Clay "The Carpenter" Guida vs. Rafael Dos Anjos - Guida
4. Matt Hughes vs. Ricardo Almedia - Hughes
5. Roy "Big Country Nelson" vs. Junior "Ciganto" Dos Santos - Dos Santos

Monday, July 26, 2010


This is kind of old, I know, but how can I make a fitness blog without mentioning Euro Training? Check the video below for some really funny stuff that pokes fun at working out:

Sunday, July 25, 2010


UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko is only a week away, so I'm offering up my predictions for the main card. I'm going to save my exposition for my actual reviews of the fights, so I'm going to make this short and sweet:

1. Jon Jones vs. Vladimir Matyushenko - Jones
2. Mark Munoz vs. Yushin Okami - Munoz
3. John Howard vs. Jake Ellenberger - Ellenberger
4. Tyson Griffin vs. Takanori Gomi - Gomi

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I created a brand new poll on the sidebar to the right, asking what kind of subject you'd most like to learn about. I'm thinking of creating a very detailed and specific "how to" series in the near future, but I'd first like to find out what you, the reader, are most interested about? There are currently four choices available:


I can currently write about any of the four subjects above extensively, but I'd first like to know which one you're most interested in. I'm going to leave that poll active for a month from this writing, so take your time and think it over if you want to. If you also want to request a topic that's currently not on the list, please let me know by leaving a comment below!

Friday, July 23, 2010


Sylvester Stallone was on David Letterman recently, and talked a bit about working with other Hollywood tough guys such as Steve Austin and Jet Li. There's lots of great stuff in this interview including a rather interesting injury Sly suffered during filming.

Sly also talks about former UFC Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight champion Randy Couture, saying:

"if you put all these tough guys in one room together, and let's see who comes out, and you walked in ten minutes later, you'd see Randy Couture sitting on top of us having a chocolate fudge sundae. And we're all, like, gone."

Interesting stuff. Check out the rest of the interview below:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


In part one, I outlined in detail why I thought I needed to voice out my opinion regarding obese characters in fighting games. In this follow up article, I just want to clarify a few thoughts on characters, persons, and ideas that may run contrary to my thoughts, but actually don’t.


What about E. Honda,though? The famous sumo wrestler that first appeared in the granddaddy of all fighting games, Street Fighter II, way back in 1991? Well, first of all, my specific complaint was about characters who are obese, and not just fat. There are plenty of people all over the world that some may categorize as fat for whatever aesthetic reasons, but when physically examined, they wind up to be perfectly healthy. E. Honda pretty much fits this description. If you actually look at his design, you’ll notice that much of his torso is meant to actually be muscle, and not fat. His character design in the classic, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, is even more evident of this.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


As some of you may have already figured out, I really enjoy fighting games. Heck, I’ve admitted that they’re part of the reason I got so into fitness in the first place. Street Fighter was my favorite, and I idolized the characters there, particularly the main character, Ryu. And this is actually the primary reason I wanted to voice out my opinion about this.


Some of these fighting games are extremely popular, and people idolize the characters associated with them. For whatever personal reason, they think they’re cool. Just like me, they want to emulate them, and be just as strong and physically impressive. Idolizing Ryu was a great thing for me as a child because it geared me towards becoming a strong Asian person. Ryu is a Japanese character, and he’s drawn as a well-muscled fighter, who is, both story and game-wise, one of the strongest competitors in the world. That’s a great inspiration for someone like me!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Medical professionals all over the world have reported that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common injuries being sustained today. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an overuse injury caused by repeatedly flexing the wrist or maintaining the wrist in a flexed position. This means that your wrists are constantly bent in such a way that the palms of your hands are facing you, even slightly, like if you were to bend your wrists to type on the keyboard.

People often bend their wrists to type, but, unfortunately, that’s totally the wrong way to go about it. Again, maintaining or constantly bending your wrists in that position can lead to a very serious injury, which can often lead to surgery, and you don’t want that, do you?


The best way to type on a keyboard is to do it like the expert piano players do, with their wrists in a neutral (not bent) position. Some people might think this contrary, but this is the most natural position for your wrists to be in. After all, you don’t naturally bend your wrists and form your fingers into a claw while walking do you? No, and if you do, you really should read on to see how you can correct that.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Below is a picture of Sylvester Stallone from his upcoming movie, The Expendables. For those who don’t seem to realize, the man is 64 years old. Not bad for an old man. There’s also this extraordinary video I created an article for recently about a man in his 60’s performing gymnastics techniques most people less than half his age (including myself) can’t do.

Living an exceptionally long and healthy life isn’t restricted to a select genetically gifted few people in this world. Sylvester Stallone clearly can’t be classified as one, despite appearances. During his youth, when one would expect him to look his best ever, his physique didn’t nearly resemble what it does today. Just check out the first Rocky movie and compare it to some of his more recent features (barring Cop Land) to see the difference. This is all the result of hard work and consistency, which literally anyone can achieve.

It’s actually as simple as following the most common pieces of advice found in such articles as the requirements to be physically fit and the cost of physical inactivity, but here are the most important rules that you need to know:

Saturday, July 17, 2010



Seth Petruzelli is a serious veteran of the sport. He’s been fighting since 2000, was on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, and is credited for single-handedly shutting down Elite XC after knocking out the then much hyped Kimbo Slice within 14 seconds with one punch in a main event match. Always willing to be a serious crowd pleaser, Petruzelli went into this fight looking to up the spectacle in his usual game, in order to impress the UFC executives, and this time, have a longer stay inside the world’s biggest MMA organization.

His opponent, Ricardo Romero, actually has a pretty opposite history. He’s been involved in the sport for a relatively short time, and isn’t very well known. He has shown some very impressive performances in the past, however, and this is his shot at making it in the UFC.

The first round is pretty action packed with both warriors fighting fairly equally against each other, with Petruzelli predictable looking more the aggressor. In the second round, Petruzelli catches Romero early on with a vicious knee to the head and eventually transitions into an arm bar. Romero, though, shows that he has the heart of the champion and reverses Petruzelli, and eventually wins the whole match with an arm bar of his own; A very impressive victory for such a young fighter. The submission was so effective, that Petruzelli screamed out in pain as his arm seemed to have been broken.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I recently had the chance to watch the movie "Predators".Great action movie, but I personally feel that it kind of pales in comparison to Arnold’s 1987 classic.The writers and director obviously wanted to make it bigger and more exciting than the original, but failed to make the story become totally engaging. The star of the film, Adrien Body, while a great actor, is also no Arnold Schwarzenegger, so that’s something that was probably eating at the back of my mind during the entire film.

But while Brody is no Austrian Oak, he nonetheless still worked tremendously hard to build a very impressive physique for this film. has a great article about his transformation:

“When asked about how he prepared for this action hero role, Brody noted that he was doing a "challenging" six days a week of training and diet. He was also shooting for the movie 12 hours per day. Brody said during preparation he wasn't drinking alcohol, wasn't consuming any refined sugars and was having no sex. He said he did all that he could to harness a "ferocious" mentality and persona for this character"

Monday, July 12, 2010


The original Karate Kid movie is a genuine classic, with a story that pulls you in and characters that are genuinely human. The sequel, on the other hand, is a pretty disappointing follow up, as the villains become more cartoony than ever, and the story devolves into a mostly uninteresting piece of fluff. The last time I had seen “The Karate Kid part 2” was most probably more than 20 years ago, when I was still very little. I had very fond memories of the movie, primarily because I found the Japanese landscape that was presented to be so fascinating. While this aspect of the film is still true, sadly, the rest of it just doesn’t hold up. I find the opening sequence to be utterly fantastic, though, but after the words “six months later” appear on screen, things quickly go downhill.


Alright, but what about the martial arts, the physical conditioning and so on? Is there anything concerning physical fitness and activity that is worth talking about? Yes, there is, and I don’t mean the secret to Miyagi-do Karate, either. Seriously, fighting skills that are patterned after a child’s toy drum are pretty much conditioned in us at, what, the age of 3? Ever see kids in a playground try to honestly fight with their fists? It’ll look something like that, yeah. So, needless to say, it’s pretty useless in real life and isn’t what this article is about.


This is the third in a series of articles I've made concerning the Karate Kid franchise. These articles attempt to dissect the fitness and martial arts concepts utilized in these movies and see if they are actually useful in real life or just empty Hollywood baloney. I highly recommend you read the first (where I tackle motor learning) and second (where I take a look at conditioning) articles before diving into this one!


Another piece of awesomeness I saw in the original Karate Kid was Mr. Miyagi’s bonsai habit. Bonsai is used as a sort of meditative practice all over the world these days and is able to instil peace within one’s by quieting it, allowing it to focus on a single, simple task, and shutting out the noise that often clouds our thoughts. Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel this and is something, I believe, that should be taught to everyone.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


After reading my article, Motor Learning and the Karate Kid, someone asked me if I had the same thoughts on Mr. Miyagi’s training methods as I did Mr. Han’s. As a quick review, my first Karate Kid article discussed the two primary training methods used in sports and other physical activities: Blocked Practice and Random Practice. Blocked Practice is the more traditional form training, where the athlete repeats a single movement an endless amount of times to commit it to muscle memory. Random Practice, on the other hand, has the athlete training all the movements he or she has learned and performs them randomly, and as close to competition circumstances as possible.


In the 2010 version, Mr. Han, played by the legendary Jackie Chan, utilizes both types of training methods, to very different effects. Some of his methods are good, since they are actual techniques used by true martial arts practitioners to sharpen their game, including bodyweight and flexibility exercises, and target practice using such implements as tennis balls and wooden poles. However, as a nod to the original Karate Kid, the very first training method Mr. Han utilizes makes use of an everyday action and attempts to relate it to martial arts. This is the “jacket on, jacket off” training method. In my first Karate Kid article, I basically say that this training is completely useless, as the movements it employs are much too different from the actual motions the “Karate Kid”, Dre performs.


Now, pretty much everybody knows or at least has heard of “wax on, wax off”, Mr. Miyagi famous line from the original Karate Kid. It’s the technique that “jacket on, jacket off” was ultimately derived from, but is it equally as ineffective?

Saturday, July 10, 2010


UFC 116 was an extremely action packed mixed martial arts event. Dana White has said that he was incredibly surprised at how well almost all the fighters did. It seemed like each fighter wanted to top the match before and kick everything to another level, and that’s exactly what happened.


Sotiropoulos was a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter Season 6, but he never really stood out for me. I’ve recently changed my views of him after he recently defeated Joe “Daddy” Stevenson at UFC 110. Joe Stevenson is one of the top lightweight fighters in the UFC, and for Sotiropoulos to have such a decisive win over him is totally incredible. His BJJ seemed incredibly sharp, and he had an answer for everything Stevenson did on the ground.

Kurt Pellegrino has an incredible ground game himself, but he’s known mostly for his striking. Pellegrino managed to get in and hurt Sotiropoulos several times during the fight, and even seemed very close to finishing him just before the bell rang, but Sotiropoulos’ ever improving stand up and ground games proved more dominating as he wins via unanimous decision.

Friday, July 9, 2010


“The Ultimate Finale 11: Road to the Finale” is a recap episode for the entire season. It contains a few extended and additional scenes cut out from the rest of the episodes. None of these scenes are really very significant, however, and aren’t really very impressive by themselves. They’re just some added bits of drama that possibly only absolute completionists of “The Ultimate Fighter” will want to see.

It’s a very effective transition to the live finale if you’ve missed most of the episodes, however. It summarizes the entire season pretty clearly so that you get pretty much all the important details.


Thursday, July 8, 2010


As a follow up to one of my earlier articles, the simple, but effective, home workout, I was asked to create a dumbbell version. To start off, the program that I will recommend here is primarily for those who are beginner weight trainers, meaning those that have been training consistently for less than one year, those that have been lifting weights for quite a while now, but are usually on and off and were never really consistent in their past routines, or those that are absolute beginners.


There are two sets of workouts that I will recommend, Set A and Set B. You should perform the Set A workouts twice a week, and the Set B workouts once a week. Ideally, the schedule would Set A performed every Mondays and Fridays, and Set B every Wednesdays. If you can’t do the workouts with exactly that schedule, then feel free to adjust it to your needs, with hopefully the same spacing in between workout days. As much as possible, don’t try to do the workout for three days straight during a single week, as your body won’t be able to rest properly. You’ll tire and stress yourself out more than you’ll be making yourself fit.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I was extremely excited for this fight when it was first announced as Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama. Wanderlei’s getting on in the years, and he’s lost more than he’s won recently, but he’s still an exciting fighter to watch.

I was very disappointed when Wanderlei had to pull out of this fight due to training injuries. My disappointment quickly turned to surprise and mounting curiosity, though, when I found out that Chris “The Crippler” Leben, the original bad boy of The Ultimate Fighter series, had agreed to take Wanderlei’s place.

Why was I so surprised and curious? Well, because Leben only had a fight two weeks prior to this one, against Aaron Simpson in The Ultimate Fighter 11 finale. Leben had won that fight and looked to be in spectacular form, but it’s still very odd for a mixed martial artist to fight so soon in this day and age. I think the last time something like that was done in the US was during the 90’s, when the UFC was still extremely notorious for being “no holds barred” and everything was way more hardcore and uncontrolled than it is now.


Two of the largest heavyweight mixed martial artists in the world collide in this conflict of titans at the main event of UFC 116. Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin is a much hyped and heavily anticipated fight, and for good reason.

Very similar to the recent UFC 114 main event, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. “Sugar” Rashad Evans, the bout features two warriors of very similar size, strength, and skill at the very top of their weight class battling it out. Only this time, there’s a title belt on the line.

Another similarity to the Rampage vs. Rashad fight is that one of the fighters has been gone from the Octagon for over a year. Shortly after he avenged his only loss against Frank Mir at UFC 100, Brock Lesnar suffered from what is called diverticulitis, a complication in his digestive which, as he revealed inn one of his interviews, created a large hole in his stomach. At one point, doctors even told him that he did not have long to live.

Lesnar magically recovered, though, as the minor treatments the hospitals had given him for a few weeks were apparently enough to allow his body to begin healing itself. Lesnar recovered soon after, and was back in the gym, more than prepared to defend his title again.

His opponent, top contender Shane Carwin, on the other hand, has been very busy in the meantime. He has since knocked out two of the top heavyweights, Gabriel Gonzaga and Frank Mir, and has now been acknowledged as Lesnar’s equal. All of his fights have been won by way of knockout in the first round, and, before this fight, his professional MMA record was 12-0; very impressive indeed.

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Hello, I'm Noel Blanco and I write Fitness Philippines. I have been involved in physical fitness for more than 10 years now and am currently taking up graduate studies on Exercise and Sports Science at the University of the Philippines. You can contact me at
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