MMA Fighter Liz Carmouche Weight Training Under Water

To achieve what others can’t you must be willing to do what other won’t. Not too many people embody this principle like Women’s MMA pioneer Liz Carmouche. Here you see just one of the many ways she seeks to make herself uncomfortable in fight preparation in order to be prepared for the battle. This Friday April 9th Liz will violently welcome Invicta Champion Vanessa Porto to Bellator on Showtime. This fight has title shot implications and will be the next step to gold for Liz. Wish her, Coach Chuck, and Coach Vince good hunting and tune in to watch!

5 Exercises to Help Correct Your Posture

Postural Alignment is an underlying cause of many physical aliments, limits athletic performance, and can contribute to the body being in an unbalanced state resulting in injury. In this video, Strength and Conditioning Coach Jason gives some exercises you can do at home to help correct your posture and get the most out of your workouts.


Jason Salazar:
Hi guys. Jason, here at the Arena. Today, I was going to go over some exercises to help re-correct our posture. Most people have some bad posture because we do a lot of sitting, office jobs or we’re just not paying attention to how we’re standing from day to day. Most of us start to round, look just like this, where really we need to stand up just nice and tall, just like this. What happens is some of our muscles, we stop activating them and other muscles take over which start to fatigue and cause injuries and pain. That’s when you start noticing your lower back hurt a little bit. We need to stop going from here, back to here. I’m just going to run through a couple exercises to show you real quick, you can add to your routine every day.

Okay, so first up, most of the times you’ll notice people have some rounded shoulders. They start falling forward, not the best posture. They should be back. What happens is our front delts get a little too tight. We don’t use our traps anymore, but we’re going to do what we call through a pass through. You can either do this with a pole or a band or even if you have a towel, we can do the same thing. But we’re going to have our arms nice and straight and we’re just going to pull it all the way behind us. As we’re pulling behind us, really pull out on that band or even on that pole. Just pull as much as you can, pass it through, pass it back. Make sure we’re standing nice and tall and nothing else is really moving except for our arms. And like I said, every time it comes past the head, pull that bar apart and keep pulling and then can release a little bit. You want to do these three sets of 10.

This, we’re going to work on our neck right in the front right here and then we’re going to work on our traps right in the back. We’re going to get against the wall nice and flat, put our arms up. As we get ready to lift the arms, we’re going to tuck in our chin as much as we can and press all the way up, trying to keep those arms glued to the wall. Release, tuck it, press back up. Really fill those traps in the back working and you should feel a good strain in the front of that neck. Once again, do about three sets of 10.

All right, guys so next up, we’re going to do our hip flexors right in here. That kind of makes us crunch over a little bit. We want to get back to normal, standing up and straight up and down. We’re going to get into a lunge position. Once we’re in this lunge position, we need to do a posterior tilt of our pelvis. It means we’re going to rotate it forward, tuck it in. From here, we’re going to push those hips forward. You’re going to feel some little burn right across here. We know we’re hitting it just fine. Hang out here for at least 30 seconds, back off of it. Hit the other side, come back to it. Just like everything else, we’re going to do three sets, but keeping it 30 seconds. If you want to go a little bit longer on another side, because maybe we hit the other side and it’s way tighter, which is usually going to happen. Hang out there a little bit longer.


All right guys, next up our hips. Those get really tight. That does cause lower back pain. When you think it’s your back hurting is actually your hips. We’re going to do what’s called a pigeon stretch. An easy way to start off with, this could be even a sofa you’re not in a gym, we don’t have a bench. Put our leg up, then we’re going to press those hips forward, straighten everything out. When we’re here and it feels nice and good, we can start moving around a little bit. Maybe twist a little bit this way, twist that way. Just hang out here for another 30 seconds. And you might find you do one side it feels pretty easy, you get to the other side and you’re like, I can’t even get there. That means we hammer that side a little bit longer. Do a little bit extra stretching on that side. You want to even everything out. Once again, just lean forward. We can even fall down into the pigeon stretch and work as deep as possible. A little twist gets it even deeper. Do about three sets, 30 seconds each.


All right so the next one we got, we’re just going to do a little glute bridge. Basically we’re going to get our feet right out in front of us, kind of like a squat stance. We’re going to engage our core and then push our hips up, squeeze really hard at the top and come back down and go back up and come back down. Remember every time we hit the top, squeeze. We really want to activate those glutes. When we get a little bit better at this, we can do one leg, focusing the same thing at the top we really squeeze. And don’t forget to engage that core as we’re going up and down every time. You can do these three sets of 10 each.


All right guys, so this was just a few exercises we can do to correct our posture. There are many more out there. I suggest you do start to use some of these. You can do them every single day. If you do work at a desk, it’s a good idea to get up every hour and try to do one of these. We don’t want to turn into this and get worse and worse because all that does is add pain. We want to get back to standing upright the way we’re supposed to stand. Hope you enjoyed this, see you next time.

Add This Barbell Complex to Your Training

Here’s a quick Barbell Complex with Strength and Conditioning Coach Jason Salazar to push your metabolic and strength rate. There are many different ways to improve your strength and work capacity. Enjoy!


Coach Jason Salazar:
Hey guys. Jason here at The Arena. Today, I’m going to run through a barbell complex with you. If you don’t know what a barbell complex is, it’s going to involve a barbell and about five movements. It could be less movements than that if you want it to be, but we’re going to chain them all together starting from the floor all the way up. The goal is to never drop the barbell down, at least until you’ve finished your round. And we can set a timer for as many rounds as we want, or an AMRAP for as many times as we want, just to push the metabolic and strength rate through the roof. This is a good form if you don’t want to do strength training just lifting weights, or if you just don’t want it to go run for a long period of time. Combine this together, give yourself about 15 minutes, it’ll give you a really good workout.



I’ll do my five deadlifts. Of course the bar is going to touch the ground, but I’m not going to release the bar. After my five deadlifts, I’m going to do five bent over rows. Now I’m going to do five snatches. I’ll do five push presses. And finish it off with five back squats.


Guys, so I got done with one round. Now there’s many different variations of barbell complexes you can do. We can either do it for time, or we can do it as rounds. You can also split up the rounds, maybe go for a jog in between rounds, do a hundred rope skips. But my advice to you though, is if we’re starting off, we keep it really light. Even a barbell by itself gets really heavy real quick. We want to make sure we’re maintaining good form so we don’t hurt our back or anything else when we’re doing these. Remember, you can set it up really light or really heavy. It’s your choice. You can do anything you want as long as it’s off the ground with the barbell and you’re not dropping it. That includes curls, guys, if you want to get those arms up a little bit.

Firefighter/Outrigger Athlete Utilizes Strength and Conditioning Program at The Arena

Long time Arena member Scott Harris discusses his journey with our strength & conditioning program and how it has helped him with his career as a firefighter and as an outrigger athlete. Our well rounded strength and conditioning program will not only help you improve in combat sports but every day life!


Scott Harris:

I’m a member of the San Diego Outrigger Canoe Club. I got into it in my first Fire Academy. I had one of my academy members talk about a team sport that was all about going out, training hard, doing something fun on the ocean. I thought I’d really like it. So I went to the first practice and was instantly hooked.


Races include a six man and a nine man, and there’re various miles. Also, we have a one person canoe. That’s basically you and the sea and the paddle, just as hard as you can, as fast as you can the whole time. Just got to give it your all.


So I started here back in November of 2012. They said that they had a strength and conditioning class. Basically, became hooked on the class. It transitions very well into my job. I am a firefighter here in the county of San Diego.

I started off as a paramedic, went through a 12 week academy. Monday through Friday, 5:00 AM till 5:00 PM. PT in the morning, manipulative drills all day, just being mentally tough, physically tough as well, getting through those shifts. Firefighters are very prone to back, knee, shoulder injuries. A lot of the stuff we do with the kettlebells and the conditioning we do here prevents that from happening by strengthening those little muscles we don’t use every day.


Also translates to outrigging because when you’re out in the outrigger, you are using all your core, all those little muscles. And it’s endurance, you’re keeping it cadence the whole time. People come in here from anywhere off the street, to ex-Navy Seals, professional fighters, anywhere in between. I like to try to keep up with everybody. It’s a new challenge every day.


2 Round Cross Training Workout

This workout is only two rounds but don’t let that fool you. It’s an intense one so get after it and see how quick you can get it done. Our Fight Built class will get you in shape if you’re willing to put in the work.


Coach Jason Salazar:
Hey guys, Jason, here at The Arena. Got a work out for you today. Today, we’re just going to do two rounds for time. But, in the beginning of each round, we’re going to run a mile to start off with, or whatever’s close to a mile that you can do. Then we’ll come back in and do our five exercises, and run another mile, do our five exercises, that we’ll be done.

All right, so we came back in from that mile run. I got 40 kettlebell swings to start off with. Remember, pop those hips, guys. Stand nice and tall. At the top, bell only needs to come chest high. And if you can’t do 40 in a row, take a little break and then start swinging again.

So, after my 40 swings, I got 40 sit-ups. Just make sure we’re getting good range of motion, guys. All the way down. All the way up. Just 40 nice sit-ups.

All right, after those sit-ups, we’ve got Persian press. It’s going to be 20 on each side. So, we get that bell up, going to bridge my hips and keep them bridged the entire time and just press that bell. I have 20 on each side. Just make sure we’re pressing all the way to the top. Let the elbow hit the ground, all the way back up and revisit those hips. They’ll start to sag and remember you drive through the heels. Keep that butt nice and squeezed. Keep those hips up. 20 on one side, 20 on the other.

All right, after that Persian press, we’re going to row. Row that belt 20 times on one side, 20 times on the other side. Shoulder all the way down, all the way up. Same speed down as the same speed up, guys. Fight the descent.

After those one-arm rows to finish off this round, we have 40 goblet squats. So maybe this one can’t do 40 in a row. I’m going to have to take a little break in between here. Just make sure we keep that bell to our chest. We get down to depth every time, stand tall on those squats. See if you can get 40 in a row.

So, just keep in mind guys, it’s only two rounds. Once you finish that one round, you only got one more to go. If the mile run is too long for you, make it a half mile, make it a quarter mile, whatever you can do. See how fast you can get this done. Stay tuned for some more workouts guys.

Boxing Coach Joe Vargas’ Incredible Weight Loss Transformation

Boxing Coach Joe Vargas discusses his love of running out in nature and how it contributed to his huge weight loss and transformation in this past year. Don’t wait, start today. Every journey begins with one step!


Coach Joe Vargas:
There’s something about running in the mountains, it just feels so natural. Just challenging yourself in the terrain, and it just feels like something we’re supposed to do, we just forget about it. Running and seeing the sun come up over the mountains, it’s just a beautiful feeling I really enjoy.


As I got older and I see pictures of myself, I didn’t realize how much weight I had gained. I didn’t see the same resemblance in a mirror. And that’s when I weighed myself and I weighed 245. I just challenge myself every day to run more and more. I started at half a mile, and right now I’m running about an average of 10 miles a day. Ever since I started running in February, I lost over 75 pounds. 


When New Year comes, we all have goals, and within 15, 20 days, we forget about our goals. It took me four months to feel good. So just get at it, and you guys can do it. Whatever you guys set your goals to do, you guys can handle it. Just keep, keep, keep chopping at it.

What is Your Motivation for Training?

We’re all walking different paths. Coach Charles Martinez discusses how everyone we interact with on this martial arts journey has different goals and motivations. We should help build each other up instead of letting our egos and greed dictate how we treat each other. Leading into the new year we will all grow and get stronger together.


Coach Charles Martinez:
Hello. My name is Coach Charles Martinez from The Arena and today I wanted to discuss a motivation. I want to take this from a slightly different perspective, often in sport especially in these combat sports that we all train in, the motivation is always to be the best and to smash everyone. And I think we forget sometimes that that’s not what most people’s motivation was when they came into the gym. A lot of people are training to address fears or to feel more powerful and I think a lot of times we, especially if you’ve been training a long time or you’re a fighter, or you’re a competitor, you have the tendency of looking down on people that aren’t as good as you. And just because they’re not as good as you at this sport that you’ve chosen to be good at it doesn’t make them lesser. It just means that either their athletic ability isn’t as high, but really their motivation could be different than yours.

Just because your motivation is to go out and be the best in the world, maybe that’s not theirs. Maybe their motivation is to feel stronger, to just be more comfortable in their skin every day and maybe that’s what they’re getting. So sometimes we have the tendency of getting frustrated with our training partners and kind of forgetting that we were new once also. Maybe they’re new, maybe one day they’re going to be your best training partner, they don’t have to be a world beater to give you good work.

So I think sometimes we stray away from that and we forget that we’re all walking a different path but we all ended up in the same place. So if you take that and you treat everyone as if, hey, this could have been me on one of my first days and if someone was kind of crappy to me, maybe I would have never come back. So I think once you switch your perspective, if you could look from outside of yourself and see that maybe this person’s not like you, maybe they’re scared, maybe they’re terrified and they don’t want to get screamed at. Maybe they’ve never been an athlete, maybe they’ve never played a sport. They came here to feel better and to feel empowered and how you treat them, even if something trivial, something like, hey, good job. Even if it wasn’t a good job, just that little bit of motivation might be the reason they come back the next day. And maybe one day they turn into a valuable training partner, but either way, even if they’re only here for six months and it improves their life somehow, and it was worth it, that was their motivation, not yours.

So sometimes I think we forget, we think everyone is looking at the world through our same perspective, it doesn’t have to be that way. Maybe their motivation is different than yours. You should still respect it because ultimately that’s what we’re all here for.

4 Round Bodyweight/Kettlebell Circuit Workout

Fight Built Coach Jason Salazar is back with another workout you can do at home with minimal equipment. All you’ll need is a kettlebell or dumbbell, and your own bodyweight to get this 4 round circuit done.


Coach Jason Salazar:
Hey guys, Jason here at The Arena. Got another for workout for you today. Today we got another four rounder with five different exercises and you need a kettlebell or a dumbbell for this one.

All right, guys, we’re going to start up with 12 jumps squats. Make sure we get the depth with a nice, good jump. Soft landing. Keep those knees out. Keep that chest up. 12 good jump squats.

All right guys. Next step we’ll have one-arm kettlebell rows or dumbbell, either or. Make sure you got a nice flat back. And when we pull that bell up, we’re going to pull up as high as we can and keep the elbow nice and tight. Remember same speed down as the speed up, guys. Fight the descent on this one. We’ll do 12 on one side and then we’ll do 12 on the other side. Nice and controlled.

All right guys, next up we got 15 dead bugs. We’re just going to hold that bell or dumbbell, whatever we have over our chest, raise those legs and shoot those hips up as high as we can. We got 15 of these. You should be on your shoulder blades at the very end and try to keep those legs nice and straight all the way up.

So we got 20 quad presses. Remember we’ll turn those hands in, arms right under your shoulders, knees under your hips. We’re going to go up on our toes. Just nice even down to the floor until the knees touches, right back up. So you got 20 of these guys.

And for our last one, we have 15 kettlebell or dumbbell thrusters. We’ll hold that bell right here. Do a nice squat as I come up, up overhead and back down. Use the momentum of that squat pushing up to carry that bell up, don’t pause at the top then press. You got 15 of these guys.

All right. So at the end of each round, we’re going to do another quarter mile run, should be around your block or the best you can do for a quarter mile. If you need to make the run shorter, make it shorter. Try to get this done, post your times and stay tuned for some more workouts.

Climb the Ladder Bodyweight Workout

Here’s a great conditioning workout you can do at home with all bodyweight exercises. It’s a ladder climbing workout, so each set you’ll do one more rep than the last set. Try to work up to 10 reps before 30 minutes goes by.


Coach Jason Salazar:
Hey, guys. Jason here at The Arena. Got another workout for you today. Today, we’re going to climb a ladder. There is a 30-minute time cap on this. So, if 30 minutes is hit, and you’re not done with this, we’re just going to stop wherever we’re at. We have six different exercises. We’ll start each of them with just doing one repetition of each. As we get through all six, then we’ll come back to the top, and we’ll do two repetitions of each. As we get through all six again, we’ll go to the three repetitions. I think you see where this is going. Every time, you go up one more number. And so, we try to get to number 10. All right. I’m just going to start off with one hand-release push-up. All the way down onto that chest. Don’t let those hips touch the ground, release the hands, and back up we go.

After that, I’m just going to get up, hands behind my head, prison squat. Get down, keep that chest up, come right back up. After that, I’m just putting my feet together, knees out, and do one sit-up. Roll on over, get into a plank, and we’ll do a plank jack, out and back in. That’ll be one. After my plant jacks, I got jumping lunges. We’ll start one leg down one, one, and one. After that, I’m going to do one inch worm. We’ll walk it on out, push-up, and walk those back feet in as far as you can. Try to keep those legs straight, and that’ll be one.


After you get done with that, I go back to the top of the pushups. But now, everything is two. Get through the whole round, get back to the top, everything is three. So, it’ll constantly add some repetitions. Try to get up high up the ladder as high as you can. Remember, after 30 minutes, we’re going to cut it. Hope you enjoy this workout. Stay tuned for some more.

20 Minute AMRAP All Bodyweight Workout

This is a great strength and conditioning workout you can do at home in just 20 minutes with no equipment. It’s all bodyweight exercises and the goal is to complete as many repetitions as possible in that 20 minutes.


Coach Jason Salazar:
Hey guys, Jason, here at The Arena. I’ve got another workout for you today. Today we have a 20 minute AMRAP to do. AMRAP means as many rounds as possible. We have eight different exercises we have to complete over and over, and see how many rounds we can get in that 20 minutes.

All right, guys, I’m just going to run through the whole round for you. I’m going to start off with 10 pike presses. It’s basically getting into a push-up, but walking those feet in, getting that butt up high in the air, and taking the head, put it right between those hands, and press right back out of there. We’ll start off with 10.


Then right after that I got two Burpees to do. After the two Burpees I’m going to drop down, and just do 10 flutter kicks. Then guess what? Two more Burpees.


Then back down for 10 V-ups. And two Burpees. Then I’ll do 10 Prison Squats. Hands behind your head, make sure you get the depth, and try to keep that chest up. And then two Burpees.


That’s one whole round. We’re doing that for 20 minutes. See how many rounds you guys can get. Stay tuned for some more workouts.

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