Anton Zafir Successfully Defends Championship Title

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By @whitsundaymartialarts ・・・ Been a long way back after injury but worth every bit. ‪#‎theredrush‬ ‪#‎Belt‬ ‪#‎Nitro‬ ‪#‎Welterweight‬ ‪#‎Title‬ ‪#‎Believe‬ #Believe ‪#‎Teamwork‬ ‪#‎Redrush‬ ‪#‎WMA‬ ‪#‎Family‬ ‪#‎MMA‬ ‪#‎Whitsundays‬

Welterweight MMA Nitro Champion Anton Zafir successfully defended his title over the weekend by defeating Ryan Heketa in Logan City, Australia on Saturday.  This was Zafir’s first fight in a little over a year due to an injury.

Zafir is known for his quick, “pushing-the-pace” fighting style, and he showed no signs of slowing in his comeback bout, taking down Zeketa by TKO in well under five minutes. (4:12).  Zafir’s record now stands at 7-1.

From the Whitsunday Times

“It was a quick, explosive fight. We traded for a little bit then I ended up taking him down and finishing with a ground and pound,” he (Zafir) said.

“It was good to get a fast finish, especially in my first fight back after a year off.”

Zafir says that he plans to defend the title again later this year.  We wish him the best of luck.

Beet Juice Anton Zafir

Anton Zafir is sponsored by AIM/Red Rush through our Australian office.

More on Anton Zafir: 

Anton “The Professor” Zafir Red Rush Athlete 

Anton Zafir: Good Choices in and Outside the Ring 

Athletes, You’re at Risk for These 5 Skin Problems

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On the whole athletes are pretty hearty. I mean, you’ll never see some guy with a smoker’s cough win a marathon, and I’ve yet to see an Olympian covered in bed sores. Part of the reason why athletes are so healthy is because of the exercise they do. Exercise is being hailed as the (preventative) miracle cure for all sorts of ailments. It also causes the body to create nitric oxide, a signaling agent that widens blood vessels and improves blood flow. This is actually great for the general health of the skin because blood is what delivers nutrients and other important things.

However, athletes are also at risk for a number of skin problems due, in part, to their athletic-ness. Here are five common athlete skin ailments. Source: (Medical Xpress/Health Day)

1. Blisters

The most common blisters occur on the feet from running or on the hands from lifting weights or doing  something grip-heavy like pull-ups, but they can be caused by any sort of friction.  Blisters are the body’s way of preventing further damage, but they are both painful and gross.

The Mayo Clinic says that the best way to prevent blisters is to wear shoes that fit and moisture-wicking socks and dusting with talcum powder may help.  Gloves, also, for the hands.

2. Turf Burn

Artificial turf can cause actual pain when an athlete falls down and slides across it. Turf burn is painful and can put a person at risk for infection.

The experts say to clean it, put some petroleum jelly on it to reduce further friction and then wrap it.

3. Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection. It’s terrible. It itches and burns and can spread to the non-feet parts of your body!

They say that if you’re prone to athlete’s foot that you should keep your feet covered in the locker room, wear moisture-wicking socks and get some of that anti-fungal cream.

4. Sun Exposure 

Many sports take place in the out of doors, so athletes need to be careful about getting too much ultraviolet radiation. Sunlight is good for you usually. It helps the body to create both vitamin D and nitric oxide, but an excessive amount can cause burning and skin damage.

As much as I’d love to see athletes running around in those big floppy sunhats, the experts suggest sunscreen. SPF 30 or more.

5. Acne Mechanica 

Friction can cause your pores to clog, gifting an athlete with zits.  If you wear a helmet or any sort of equipment, you’re at risk for getting pimples there.

Experts suggest putting a barrier like a headband between you and your equipment.

How Red Rush Beet Juice Can Help

The nitrate in beet juice is converted into nitric oxide, which can make exercise easier by up to 16%. Athletes should take note. The body also uses nitric oxide as method of fighting infection.

Also, beet-juice-derived nitric oxide improves blood flow which is great for the skin. Furthermore, if you’re afflicted with a blister or taking medicine for athlete’s foot, a nitric oxide boost can help your body shuttle nutrients, platelets and medications to the afflicted areas quickly.  It’s good like that.

Red Rush Athlete James Olmos: An Athlete in Tune

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Red Rush: I saw in an interview that the very first obstacle course race—the Rugged Maniac–that you ran was with your wife and your three sons. What was it like running the race with your family?

James Olmos: My family and I shared some amazing moments during the Rugged Maniac mud run. These mud runs combine modern-day amusement park excitement with physically enduring obstacles. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into since it was our first mud run. We all wore cotton clothes, the wrong type of shoes and we were unprepared for the types of obstacles on the course. But we had a blast! We encouraged each other, pushed each other over 8 foot wooden walls and screamed as we slide down steep mud slides; all while taking selfies!

James Olmos Selfies

RR: Do your sons and wife often accompany you on races?

JO: My youngest son and my wife ran their first Spartan Sprint with me this year in 2015; and they did amazing! I’m so proud of them as they endured a 4 mile course with over 20 obstacles. They finished in just over 2 hours. My two older sons either live away from home or had previous commitments. My wife signed up for a second Spartan Sprint and we’ll both race this September, right around her birthday.

RR: In the last few years, you’ve went from a Spartan Race newbie to someone who has earned a trifecta. What sort of training and nutrition regimen have you undertaken to get in shape for these things?

JO: Mud runs have taken my exercising routines to a whole new level in the past 16 months. As mentioned, I’ve always enjoyed working out but I’ve never challenged myself as much since engaging in mud runs. From the Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, World Famous Mud Run, Pendleton and Rugged Maniac – these races have encouraged me to be a stronger, more defined and determined human and a healthier father.

James Olmos Mud

Training and diet are two important aspects of any race preparation. I typically perform 3 types of training during the week: weight resistance, running and lots of plyometric exercises.

I schedule and calendar all my training. It’s a must since I travel for business over 60% of the year. I have to calendar each run, including distance; calendar each specific weight training routine; and I typically get all my plyometric exercising through my UFC Gym classes. But I recently purchased a TRX type system that I’ll be incorporating into my training regime.

Cross training is critical for the more aggressive mud runs. You’ll be challenged if you just stick with one type of exercise over another exercise.

As far as nutrition, I’ve always enjoyed healthful foods. I have not consumed pork or beef in over 20 years but I do enjoy fowl and fish. Each morning, just upon waking up, I drink a full glass of filtered water with two teaspoons of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar and RediBeets. Then I make a shake that includes: ProPeas protein, CoCoa LeafGreens, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, cinnamon, peanut butter, a choice of fruit, and almond milk.

Then I’ll eat healthful food choices throughout the day for snacks, lunch and dinner.

I’ve recently been blogging about my workouts, diet and race events. You’re welcome to following my blog at www.theindieartist.com

Participating in and training for these mud runs has led me to running my first half marathon in 2015. I finished in under 2 hours. Now, I’m considering running a full marathon and possibly a 50K in 2016. So stay tuned to see what this 47-year-old, father of 3 can turn-out!

RR: How important is the actual nut-and-bolts running portion of the Spartan Race?

JO: With regards to the running portion of the Spartan Races or any mud run for that matter, that would depend on what your personal goal is for when you cross the finish line. If you want to cross with a PR then you’re going to need to step-up your running abilities and learn to push through each obstacle; dominate the obstacle then hit-the-ground running again. You’ll have seconds to recover, cardiovascularly, after negotiating an obstacle and running through the next obstacle; then repeat 20 to 30 more times. This is where Red Rush comes in to play.

If your goal is to aggressively enjoy your time on the muddy course with friends and family and maybe discover your physical limits, then running may not be as important. And actually, you may want to train more on upper body and core strength. Though, I would recommend the balance of cardio with strength training; in addition to consuming nutrient dense foods.

If you’re challenged with the proper training accessories or challenged with time, do burpees. Perform burpees each day and do a lot of them. If you don’t know what a burpee is then research this simple, grueling exercise.

RR: Not counting the spear throw, which obstacles do you absolutely hate?

JO: I absolutely hate the Bucket Brigade! During the Bucket Brigade you must fill a 5 gallon bucket with gravel. (Maybe it weighs over 50 pounds, full?) There is a marked line inside the bucket where the gravel must fill to or surpass. Once you fill your bucket you then carry it about a quarter-mile, up and down hills until you come full circle. You then dump the gravel back where you filled it. Upon return, if you failed to “significantly” fill the bucket to the line, then you simply top it off and carry it full circle AGAIN. If the gravel is slightly below the line upon return, then you’ve “failed” the obstacle and you simply perform 30 burpees.

James Olmos Carry

RR: Which obstacles do you excel at now?

JO: Most of the obstacles are challenging and few are easy, but I certainly got better at climbing the 20 foot rope and negotiating and soloing the higher, 10 foot wood walls. You just need to learn the techniques of each obstacle; the tricks and techniques come with experience unless someone teaches you.

RR: What is your greatest or favorite athletic accomplishment to date?

The Spartan Beast in Temecula, CA is clearly my favorite athletic accomplishment for 2014. I endured 106 degree temperatures while running/climbing to elevations around 1800 feet as I raced this 13 mile course. There were over 30 obstacles and it was extremely dusty. The race event coordinator canceled the remainder of this race just after I completed the course. People were getting extremely dehydrated and ambulances were taking injured and exhausted racers to the hospital all throughout the day.

I love extremes. I’d race this course again under the same conditions.

I filmed my race using a Sony Action Cam and you can see the video here: https://youtu.be/ecgbROdE518?list=PLlUqAhEoK7R6J8xZW-e84iLrqKU-lVJ99

RR: How does Red Rush help you?

JO:Most athletes are in-tune with their bodies. They’re mentally, physically and spiritually aware of changes in their body. They’re aware of how slightly tweaking any aspect of their diet, movement or thought can positively or negatively affect their performance. I noticed the positive effects of Red Rush from day one.

The effects of using Red Rush during my workouts are specific. I’ve performed the same type of workouts while using Red Rush and without using Red Rush and I notice a physical and mental difference. I run a particular trail in Whiting Ranch, CA and it has a steep graded hill. My running apps show the grade as 30%. As I push through this hill I notice almost zero lactic acid build up in my legs. Additionally, I feel I have better lung capacity; I can take deeper breaths.

I noticed the benefits again this year while running the San Diego Half Marathon. I hit this hill at mile 10; the “hill” that everyone nervously spoke of before the race and during the race. Well, I powered up the hill, passing many runners as I made my way over the crest. And I felt great at the top!

I went on to bring my pace from a 9:30 minute mile to around an 8:30 minute mile for around the last two miles of the race. And I’m not a “competitive” runner; meaning, I don’t run half marathons or 5K’s. So it’s not like I have this special training or running experience to get me through it all. Though, I do train and compete in the Spartan Races but that’s an entirely different type of sporting event.

James Olmos Red Rush

More on Obstacle Course Racing: 

The Red Rush Mother-Daughter Obstacle Course Racing Team

Niko Toschi: Obstacle Course Racer 

Jessica Vespertino: Destroy All Obstacles

5 Reasons to Work Out With a Group

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First off, I’m not trying dissuade anyone from working out on their own. Lone wolfs–and the tricky pluralization problem they pose–with their archetypal Fonzie jackets and mirrored sunglasses often seen riding off into the night on a motorized cycle of some sort, do their own things for better or for worse and are defined by their singlenesses.

But humans are social creatures. There is no way that we cannot be. Think of babies. The human baby cannot care for itself. It needs parents for providence and protection. A lot of animals are ready-to-go a few hours after being born, but humans take about twenty years to mature. And this elongated neophyte stage is actually an advantage because scientists believe that it gives our brains the time to grow and develop, allowing us to tackle complex ideas like chemistry and astrophysics. And to make use of complex ideas, we need civilization, society, groups.

That could be why there are so many advantages to working out with your fellow humans. Here are five of those benefits.

1. Shared Pain Increases Bonding and Social Cooperation

They did this study where they split people up into teams and had one team do painful wall squats while the other team stood on one leg and could switch legs if they got tired. Then they did a little psychological experiment. They asked everyone to pick a number between one and seven. If everyone picked seven, the group would win more money. However, if not everyone picked seven then the people who chose the lowest numbers would win more money. Those who shared pain chose higher numbers than those who shared no pain. This displayed less willingness to betray their team for personal gain.

Exercise can get pretty painful. That’s why people often say things like “feel the burn” although they aren’t actually burning. Doing exercise with other people may increase social cooperation and bonding. This might be why everyone at CrossFit gyms seem so nice. Because CrossFit can get very painful.

2. More Likely to Meet Goals

If you’re not a fan of bonding through shared pain, I have good news. A study done on walking groups found that people who joined a group for a simple, painless, daily walk were more likely to meet their exercise goals: weight loss, improved fitness, etc.

3. Competition Pushes You to Work Harder 

Even if you’ve never heard of the Kohler Effect, you’ve probably experienced it. Nobody wants to be the weakest link, even the weakest link. The Kohler Effect motivates people to work harder in order to keep up with the group. Competing against someone fitter is a great way to push yourself.

4. Increased Endorphins

Pushing yourself to keep up with a group also seems to increase endorphin production. Endorphins diminish our perception of pain, giving the body a good overall feeling.

5. Positive Influence 

2011 study on sports psychology found that the exercise habits of other people influence your own exercise habits. So if you have poor habits, find some good habit-havers and let them influence you to build better ones.

Drink Red Rush Beet Juice!

This post was brought to you by Red Rush, a beet juice shot with 500 mg of dietary nitrate with the ability to make exercise and recovery easier. One twelve pack is more than enough to share with the entire group.

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A Guide to the Athletic Benefits of Beet Juice

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Beet juice can increase your stamina. It can decrease the oxygen cost of exercise. It can speed up your reaction time and hasten recovery all while lowering your blood pressure.  And there is science to back to these claims up. A lot of science. Tons.

What’s so surprising about beet juice is that it has always provided these benefits. There wasn’t any great breakthrough in chemistry or combination of ingredients unknown to man. It was just scientists discovering what had always been. Beet juice could always increase your time to exhaustion. We just didn’t know it. But now we do. And now we have Red Rush. We took beets, cherries and lemons mixed them up and packaged them in a way to provide an optimum amount of dietary nitrate with a great taste.

For those who don’t know, dietary nitrate is converted intro nitric oxide, a signaling agent that widens blood vessels and increases blood flow.  Also, new research indicates that dietary nitrate may help to regulate red blood cell production in the liver, making the blood thinner without compromising oxygen delivery.

And what happens when you take Red Rush two hours before a workout? Well according to the studies, this happens.

Increases Stamina by up to 16%

Multiple studies on athletes of all stripes have found that beet juice increases stamina by 10 to 16 percent. You can row, run, cycle, lunge and cross-country ski farther and longer. That’s a huge benefit, and to get that, all you have to do is drink vegetable juice.  If you do twenty sit-ups, you basically get three free.

Improved Blood Flow to the Brain has Been Linked to Improved Reaction Times

If you play any ball sports, race a motorized vehicle or lift weights, then timing is everything.  And with wider blood vessels, your brain will get the blood and oxygen needed to process information faster.

Reduces the Oxygen Cost of Exercise by 12%, Enhancing the Aerobic System. 

As far as I know, there is nothing else on earth that can reduce the oxygen cost of exercise. Dietary nitrate is alone in this. Why is this important?

A strong aerobic system also fuels the other two energy systems. So if someone asks, “Hey is this only good for endurance athletes?” You can honestly say it can help just about anyone, except for maybe a sprinter doing one short sprint once or a lifter lifting one heavy thing once. Once they begin to recover from said feat to tackle the next feat, the beet juice should help them recover faster and stronger.

The reason why muscles get sore is because lactate begins to build up. Lactate is produced by the body in response to a lack of oxygen. So if your oxygen demands are decreased, it stands to reason that your lactate demands will also be decreased.

Improves Recovery Time 

Continuing on: Improved blood flow also helps remove lactic acid aka lactate and an enhanced aerobic system gives your body less call to make lactate in the first place. It attacks muscle fatigue on two fronts.

Improves Blood Flow to Where You Need It Most

According to research, beet juice improves blood flow to the skeletal muscles with preferential delivery to fast twitch muscle fibers, the kind used for explosive running.

Climbing Mountains and Swimming

You know that weird thing beet juice does with oxygen? That can be used for easier adaption to high altitudes and may even help you hold your breath longer. Weird, right?

20% of Your Daily Potassium Needs 

A lot athletes eat bananas (13%) for potassium in order to stave off cramping and to improve recovery. Potassium is an electrolyte and plays a key role in hydration as well.

Improved Contractile Muscle Force

Of all the studies that I’ve mentioned, this one is probably the most unproven.  Two studies, one on mice and one on people, found that dietary nitrate can improve contractile muscle force. Whether or not this has any effect on how much one can lift is still debatable, but the one on humans did find endurance benefits. So, there is that.