Keeping Your Body and Equipment In Top Working Order
In order to be at your best in your chosen sport, two things need to be maintained. Your body, and the equipment needed for your sport. Check out Kombat Member Igor Osowski’s tips on maintaining both.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
I cannot stress enough that you should not wear the same gi for more than 1 training session. If you are training hard, you are sweating, if you are sweating, then other people are sweating. There is nothing wrong with sweating in and of itself. It’s the signal of hard work. The problem with sweat and dirt is that it creates an environment where bacteria thrive. If your gi is allowed to stay wet and dirty for too long you find that it starts to smell. This smell is a sign that bacteria are forming and releasing an odor. That being said it is unwise to clean your gi with bleach. Repeated use of bleach will weaken the material making it vulnerable to rips every time someone tries to break a grip. Use cool water and non-bleach detergent. If possible hang to dry, as drying on high will cause the weave to shrink. If you are in a time pinch, which you might be if you train multiple times a day, you can pop it in the dryer for a half dry, and let it air dry the rest of the way. Some people like to follow the tradition of not washing the belt. The belt is a symbol of your skill and the reason the belt changes colour in a promotion is because your skill is growing. People see it as bad luck to ‘wash away’ your skill. Personally, while this is a nice metaphor I wash my belt every now and then. It is made of the same material as your gi, if bacteria can form on the gi, it forms on the belt. Belts can carry staph too!!
A neat way to ensure that your gloves dry quickly and get the air they need is to take a plastic water bottle and cut the spout off. Then cut it in half so that you have two tubes. Place the tubes in the opening of the gloves. This keeps the opening from closing in, and by placing your gloves in a well ventilated area you ensure that they dry quickly. Every now and then I recommend getting an anti-bacterial spray and cleaning the inside AND outside of the glove with a towel. One should always ensure that they have clean clothes at the start of every training sessions as well as clean hand wraps. If you find yourself training multiple times a day or perhaps a few days in a row in between wash cycles then it is imperative that you get a few pairs of hand wraps. That way you can always have a rotation. They can we washed regularly in the washing machine. I recommend getting a laundry bag to put your wraps in so that they do not get tangled up in the moving parts. This bag is just a mesh sack that keeps things from getting tangled up. Here is a video from our YouTube Tip of the Week series that can help with glove maintenance.
Perhaps the most important thing to upkeep is your body. To do all this work requires energy. Even if you are trying to lose weight you need to consume a lot of calories. If you do not consume enough calories, or find yourself skipping carbs in an effort to shed some fat, you will quickly find yourself lightheaded and sluggish, actually hurting your progress. If you are spending hours and hours at the gym you need to recharge with proper food including carbs, protein, healthy fats, and nutrients. Rest. The body recharges when it sleeps. If you are not getting enough sleep, (7-8 hours) you will find your training sessions are not as progressive as they could be. This may require you to plan off days where you do not go to the gym giving your muscles time to recover. You will be back hungrier and find your first training session after a rest day is amazing. Stay healthy and take care of yourself and your equipment.
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