Here’s a little intro to me and my sport.
I am a HMBIA female fighter. HMBIA stands for ‘Historical Medieval Battle In Armour’ for those of you who haven’t heard of it . It’s a FULL CONTACT SPORT. The best way of describing it is MMA in armour with weapons ranging from swords, axes, a variety of other polearms and falchions. Real weapons, real fights, and real fun. No role-playing, no holding back, just 100% full contact force in the face, all day, everyday if it was up to me.
Unfortunately, I sustained an injury to my knee during my first year of fighting. Due to a lack of knowledge when it comes to training and fitness I exacerbated my injury. So much so I’ve had to take a year out. Now with a better understanding of how to look after my body and improve my fitness, I have started physio and training on the road to recovery. Here are a few top tips I’ve learnt along the way.
Let’s get training ladies!
STEP 1. Find Motivation.
Whether this is your favourite playlist on repeat, being able to fit into that sexy little dress from years ago; or simply to build that strength back to what it once was so you can smash peoples faces in with a shield… (That’s the bohurt-love in me coming out). Art and creativity is a big motivator for me. Here’s an image I saw at an exhibition I went to recently by a student called Samantha Carre. It’s inspired me to get some flexibilty back in my injured leg.
STEP 2. Get comfortable.
When I say ‘let’s get training’ don’t worry, this doesn’t mean get your arse to the gym. For some the gym is the most comfortable and practical place to train, for others it’s the front lounge or the back garden. Feeling comfortable where you train is key to looking forward to that 6Am workoutand actually ‘wanting’ to exercise your body to the point of that aching burn which feels so good!
STEP 3. Warm up!
Once you’re comfortable it is crucial you don’t forget to warm up. Stretch out any stiffness (yes I giggle when people say that too) in your body before starting to train. If you don’t there’s a high risk that you could injure yourself like I did. This is due to the fact that you’re body isn’t prepared for the abuse you’re about to put it through. It is like if you go through a stressful situation mentally unprepared; in extreme cases people have a mental breakdown. This is precisely what your body does if you don’t ‘prepare’ or warm up properly for a workout or any form of physical stress. It will shut off, in the sense you’ll injure yourself, have to stop training, and have to start from scratch very slowly. I learnt this the hard way.
STEP 4. Let’s do this!
Now’s the time to find a program which suits you! Everyone’s bodies are different so different exercises will be more appropriate for you than me. For example, I have a weak knee so one-legged squats and various gentle balancing poses are more appropriate for me. Whereas deadlifts might suit you better. Don’t forget to push yourself that extra mile and enjoy the burn!
STEP 5. Cool down.
Making sure you cool down and stretch properly after an intense workout is just as important as warming up. If you don’t - your muscles will seize up and you’ll lose flexibility very quickly. During a cool down you want to gradually decrease your heart rate and body temperature. In extreme cases if you don’t cool down slowly your body can go into shock, or you’ll just get ill e.g. catch a cold. So, make sure you’re in sweat free, clean, dry clothes as soon as you’ve stretched off. It’s important to keep moving and not immediately collapse into a comfy chair and fall asleep, only because after an intense training session your body needs to get used to acclimatise to the pace of every day movements again.
Everyday life training tips to conclude…
Your workout still isn’t over though! It continues in your day to day life. If you forget to eat appropriately or think you’ll lose weight by starving yourself and exercising every day without a rest, you’re wrong. You’ll burn out and end up making yourself feel tired, malnourished and ill for little reward. Exercising should have the opposite effect. When you exercise your body it releases endorphins which should make you feel happy, refreshed and healthy. If you’re overworking yourself this is not the case.
This is the reason why rest days and making sure your muscles have time to recover is an essential part of an effective workout program. Don’t expect results overnight, it takes time, and dedication. Recording your results is an effective way to see your progress. Finding a balance between a healthy diet, training and rest is key.
When it comes to your day-to-day diet whether you’re trying to simply lose weight or just eat clean, I can’t emphasise enough how everyone’s bodies are different! We all have unique needs and different people are better designed for certain diets than others. For example, when I exercise to lose weight and get fit I eat more to stay healthy. If you imagine the human population’s bodies were cars when you’re low on fuel your ‘car’ will stop working. If you put the wrong ‘fuel’ into your car it won’t work. If you keep your tank full and your car well serviced everything will run smoothly and you won’t have any breakdowns! Your body is the same.
These top tips I have learnt over the past 2 and a half years of HMB fighting, and recovery.
My final words of advice to you are, you don’t have to look like a chiselled, Greek god to be fit, healthy and beautiful! Beauty comes in many forms whether that is plump, thin and elegant or chiselled. Being beautiful and attractive comes from how you carry yourself when you’re happy and comfortable in your own skin and the way you smile and laugh when engaging with others. Don’t compare yourself to others, EVERYONES DIFFERENT and beautiful in their own way. Don’t get depressed when you see that girl with the ‘perfect’ body walking past you in the street. Be inspired!