Targeted Ketogenic Diet for MMA

Thanks mainly to the true guru of MMA – Joe Rogan, ketosis (and psychedelics) has become a hot topic in the changing rooms of every mma gym worth its Himalayan salt.

What is Targeted Ketosis?

Targeted ketosis involves the same low carb, high fat dietary guidelines as standard ketosis.

ketogenic food

With Targeted ketosis however, a fighter will consume 30-50g of high glycemic carbohydrates around 30 minutes before training.

The 50g of carbs will temporarily kick the fighter out of a state of ketosis and the related benefits will be lost over this time…but the athlete will be able to train at a higher intensity than possible in a standard ketogenic diet.

What are the benefits of targeted ketosis?

The athlete can train at a higher intensity thanks to the availability of carbohydrate.

On a typical ketogenic diet athletes report losses in strength, power and strength-endurance.

This reduction in strength is mitigated or completely prevented with targeted ketosis.


How often can you use targeted ketosis?

Everyday in theory – however eating carbs before training will typically mean that an athlete will stop produce ketones for at least an hour post-training.

The anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and other associated ketogenic benefits will also be lost within this timeframe.
Keto & fat adaptation will also be potentially impacted.

Why can’t ketosis maintain high intensity exercise?

Movement is powered by 3 energy systems –

ATP-PC -> a 60m sprint would use this system predominantly. ‘PC’ stands for ‘PhosphoCreatine’ by the way.

The lactic acid system – > A Circuit Training Class would use this system predominantly – depending on the person’s fitness etc.

The Aerobic System -> Requires oxygen, is much slower to generate energy (in the form of ATP) but yields a much larger amount than the other 2.

High intensity exercise is maintained by 2 metabolic energy systems

– the ATP PC system – fuelled by creatine

– the lactic acid system – fuelled by glucose

Fat can only fuel the ‘aerobic energy system’ which in turn maintains and powers ‘long, slow’ bouts of exercise – such as long distance running.

We are naturally endurance athletes, not strength athletes.

In the animal kingdom the human can outrun a horse in terms of endurance and hunters in many countries have  historically run for hours and even days before killing prey. Prey were literally run/stalked to exhaustion.

Our natural-state ketosis, ideal for fuelling endurance exercise and not power/strength related exercise – which has been of limited benefit over the millennia.

In terms of strength and power however, humans are right at the bottom of the league table.

Intelligence, dexterity and endurance have made us superior predators. Ketones are also a more efficient fuel for the brain that glucose…

The below video about the Diaz Brothers and the benefits of ultra-long distance training is worth a watch –





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MMA Strength & Conditioning Infographic

Bit of a work in progress…


mma infographic


I would also recommend doing a lot of single leg work, such as Bulgarian Split Squats, single leg plyometrics (be mindful of injuries with plyometrics) and single leg squats, in addition to traditional squats and/or deadlifts. Most MMA techniques involve standing on 1 leg.

Do what works for you…my recovery is pretty shite, so when I was training for a competition or fight I would arrive 20 minutes early to training, warm up, do 1 or 2 sets of squats, or plyometrics, or barbell row – then go into MMA training.

I found that combining a very short strength session and then treating training like a cardio workout – I could recovery much more quickly, than doing 2, longer, separate sessions.

I’d recommend a coach or a mentor to teach powerlifting exercises and Olympic Lifts. These are the best exercises for building a solid base of strength and power, but also the best way to get injured if done incorrectly.

You can’t build ‘wrestling’ strength with weights, you need to wrestle/grapple and ‘move bodies’ around, not symmetrical weights.

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What is Kundalini Yoga?

wow! Mind blown!

I feel like I’ve isolated myself quite a bit from ‘mainstream’ people already – always talking about Buddhism, Stoicism, Ram Dass, DMT, frontal lobe Vs Limbic sytem etc.
I think it’s fair nice to say that most people don’t get me!

So rather than attempt to talk to people about Kundalini Yoga, I thought I’d write a blog post – as I have to tell someone!

I first heard about Kudalini Yoga from Joe Rogan – like most cool things that I do!

I gave a video a go on youtube – a 35 minute routine, then a 10 minute morning routine, shown below:

Well, I felt pretty strange after doing these 2 video-routines. Strange mixture of relaxation and feeling vulnerable.
Then that night I had a mad dream that I had an ellipse shaped hole in the top of my head – and was looking at it in the mirror. Pretty vivid dream too. I also remember waking up in the middle of the night and feeling too scared to get up and pee!

I did a load of research the following day, got in touch with a Kundalini Yoga teacher too. Watched a few more videos about the history, and the awakening etc.

That night I had some pretty cool ‘visuals’. Shapes, moving and in light colours, but when I was trying to sleep I felt a kind of ‘oneness’ and lightness. I’ve been listening to Ram Dass* for a few years – I often put his lectures on when I got to bed. So I’ve already kind of programmed into myself the idea of us ‘all being one’ and that we are not are thoughts etc. These kind of ideas were going through my head –
“we are all one”
“so what is experiencing this then, if I am not my thoughts”
“we are the universe experiencing itself”
“We are all one, it’s just part of my brain that wants to separate us”

Kinda cool, kinda wanted to sleep too though!

Today I’ve felt alert, but still a bit anxious. I’m not going to do another yoga routine until I’ve gone to see the local teacher that I’ve found.

Anyway – I definitely believe in Chakras now!

*Ram Dass is the author of the cult book – Be Here Now. A Harvard professor in Psychology for years, he said that he learnt more in 20 minutes after taking ‘magic mushrooms/flesh of the Gods mushrooms’ than he did in all his years studying. He eventually travelled across India and found his guru.


I’m not going to do it justice, as I don’t know enough about it (yet) but Kundalini yoga involves a number of stages – including postures and meditation, to release the energy from your chakras.

The energy from your chakras flows up your spine, to the top of your head. During a Kundalini awakening, people report feeling the energy flow up to the top of their head. Others also report feeling confused and even anger & depression. This is a symptom of your ego clinging on to your psyche.

I highly recommend seeking out a good teacher if you want to give it a try.


Peace x


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How to Stick to a Diet

1. Have a Specific Plan & Goal

If you say ‘I’m just going to eat healthy’, you’re less likely to succeed than if you have a specific diet or somekind of specific guidelines.

Nail down what you can’t eat e.g. sugar

Have a shopping list. You need to start your diet when you’re doing the food shopping. So don’t shop whilst you’re hungry!

sweet potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are one of the most nutritious sources of carbs

2. Take Ownership

More than likely, whilst your on your diet:

  • Work colleagues will bring in unhealthy food & pressurise you to eat it
  • People will question your motives for being on a diet
  • People will .be quite critical of you – you’ll make them feel insecure if you start to see success
  • Your family will still eat what they want

You can’t blame colleagues or family or people/bellends for any diet failure. Prepare some go-to responses if you have to.

Like “I’m on a diet because I have problems with my self esteem, it would mean a lot of you were supportive”

The opposite of taking ownership is helplessness, or ‘learned helplessness’ AKA playing the victim. Don’t blame other people for anything, unless someone is pointing a gun to your head – you made the decision, not anybody else.

Watch this video on Extreme Ownership, it’ll chance your life:

3. Surround yourself with people on the same mission

You don’t have to share lion memes, this is all about ‘feeling normal’ in what you are doing and being around a supportive community. If you are constantly in the company of people who like to eat junk food, they’ll probably make you feel bad about eating good food and being on diet.

This is why Crossfit has been such a success, people love being part of a tribe/community. I certainly wouldn’t be on an alkaline-keto diet if it wasn’t for my mates at the gym who do lots of unconventional things and don’t care what others think.


nom noms alkaline goodness

3. The Happiness Quadrant

Finally, consider the “Happiness Quadrant”

All great philosphers, Stoic ones at least, will tell you that behaviour on the bottom-right – Hedonist activities, should only be engaged in only occasionally.

Hedonists seek pleasure without much regard for the future or for self development. Snorting coke, drinking, gambling, eating junk food, would fall under this quarter. Don’t seek pleasure if it causes future-detriment and has no meaning.

Focus on your journey, focus on why you are on your diet/path and stick to it.

Avoid the Instant Gratification Monkey. He is a right little bastard & he will knock you off track.

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Cherry Juice for Joint Pain & Recovery

cherry juice review

Selfie Wanker – with Cherry Juice Concentrate

If you live in the UK, there’s an excellent programme on Channel 4 (first 3 series are on the 4player app-thing) called ‘Superfoods the Real Story‘.

One episode looked at cherry juice and did a (non-scientific) experiment on American Football players and showed that those who drank cherry juice daily, showed a remarkable increased rate in recovery compared to those who did not.

Cherry Juice Research

Delving into Google.Scholar I found quite a few studies which outlined cherry juice’s remarkable anti-inflammatory properties

Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial

Ingesting tart cherry juice for 7 days prior to and during a strenuous running event can minimize post-run muscle pain.

Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running.

The cherry juice appears to provide a viable means to aid recovery following strenuous exercise by increasing total antioxidative capacity, reducing inflammation, lipid peroxidation and so aiding in the recovery of muscle function.



There’s also this press release from Eureka Alert, an authoritative science website:

Researchers say tart cherries have ‘the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food’



Cherry juice is also great for inducing sleep and reducing pain. With inflammation linked to everything from depression to cancer, it certainly shouldn’t do you any harm drinking it.

I’m only on day 2 of drinking cherry juice, so hard to report back on any amazing anti-inflammatory effects, but my DOMs does seem greatly reduced after yesterday’s workout.

This stuff, if it does work as expected, sounds perfect for MMA and grappling recovery. I’m currently using the concentrate & tablets from Amazon.



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Infographic – Beginner’s Guide to Photography

I was learning about photography and got a bit carried away and made an infographic:



So if you’re looking to do photography for an MMA or martial arts event you will probably want

  • A fast shutter speed to freeze movement
  • You’ll need a wide aperture to capture enough light in the indoors
  • A High ISO to make the most of the light & the aperture

Really good video for beginners here:



I’d probably forget about the setting for your first few goes of a new camera though, and just use the ‘auto’ settings.

What you should probably be mindful of however is:

The Rule of thirds

Fill Your Frame


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Ketogenic Diet Diary – Weeks 3 – 4

Kind of a mixed bag this week but definitely feeling a lot more energetic and 10 times better than I did during weeks 1 and 2.

I felt full of energy all day Monday and Tuesday morning. Kinda hit a proverbial wall on Tuesday afternoon, went home and had 2 nettle tables (for allergies, I have loads of bloody allergies) and put 4g of pink salt on my dinner – you needs loads of pink salt whilst on a ketogenic diet.

Not sure which did the trick but I felt great afterwards and the next day. Had a few dips in energy Thursday & Friday afternoons, but generally feeling much better.

Strength is actually slightly up from week 1. Pretty tricky to measure as I mainly do bodyweight exercises but my lat pull down has gone from 5 reps with 107kg to 8 reps.

I’ve been doing ‘targeted ketosis’ on Mondays, which is my main day in the gym/longest & hardest session. I drink 50g of maltodextrain & 5g of creatine about 30 minutes before training. This kicks me out of ketosis for a couple of hours but allows me to train at a higher intensity.

During this session I do 4 rounds on the punch bag, 2 sets of 1 arm row, 2 sets of chin ups and 2 sets of box jumps. I had to bin-off deadlifts as my back went into spasm last time I attempted them 2 weeks ago.

I've link my Instagram to my fitness blog, so I'm going to start sharing annoying fitness stuff…sorry

A post shared by Drew Griffiths (@fitnessdaduk) on


I’ve lost loads of weight from around my face, although I’m not sure how much actual bodyweight I’ve lost (too tight to buy some scales).


I need about 3,000 calories per day, this is a bit of a challenge without eating any carbs or junk food. I tried adding a tin of coconut milk to my evening smoothie ( a tin of 60% coconut milk/40% water is about 600 calories) but this made me feel like shite for some reason – I think it must be mucous producing as it was making me wheeze and would bung my nose up. So I tried necking 500 calories worth of olive oil – this gave me terrible acid reflux; so finally I tried avocados for extra calories – this is working well so far!

As well as ketogenic, I’m trying to keep my diet alkaline. I’m making up a drink each morning with 500ml of filtered water, 5g baking soda, a 1/2g of pink salt and some lemon juice. I am peeing like a race horse though.


nom noms alkaline goodness

I’ve tried MCT Oil in coffee a couple of times too, but so far it’s given me energy but also stomach cramps.

I’ve also had some issues with dry eyes – apparently you need carbs to make tears! This seems to have improved this week though

Ketogenic Diet & Mental Health

I started the ketogenic diet because I felt shite and tired and pretty depressed all the time. In fact I’ve gone down to 4 days a week at work mainly for this reason.

Like every good middle class office worker, I’ve had mental health issues since I was a child. I don’t resonate too well with the people that I work with and I think that this was starting to affect me quite a bit. I’d built up quite a bit of confidence in my last job – it was relatively stressful with an immense workload & more responsibility that I’ve been used to, but I think I handled it well and progressed lots & learnt a hell of a lot. My confidence was high but I wasn’t managing to get to the gym and I found it hard to shut off when I got home. So I left.

This new job is easier but for various reasons I lost a lot of confidence. Instead of having a pity party, I’ve rebuilt my confidence by learning a new skill – graphic design with Adobe Illustrator and I’ve spent time with ‘my tribe’ at the MMA gym, at least once a week.

So I’ve changed a few variables – learnt a new skill, spent more time with the family, spent more time with like-minded friends and moved onto the ketogenic diet. I can’t therefore pinpoint what’s had the most influence over my mindset, but I do definitely feel better, less anxious and depressed. Hope this continues!

Weirdly on the ketogenic diet, time seems to go faster! Maybe I’m just being nuts though…quite possible.

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