Ask Joe and Chewy : Cheat Meals and Favorite Workout Music

Ask Joe and Chewy : Cheat Meals and Favorite Workout Music


In the first edition of Ask Joe and Chewy we answer a series of questions left for us by our members. While we did have a few serious fitness and exercise related questions. Most were just ridiculous questions. Some of the questions we received this time were about our favorite cheat meals and favorite workout songs and music.

If you have any questions related to fitness, nutrition, martial arts or anything, shoot them over to us via email, Facebook or inside the gym and we will include them in a video.

Also, if you live in the Louisville area and are looking for a fantastic gym built on community and achieving results. Check out our website and set up your free trial today.


Louisville Brazilian Jiu jitsu Community



This past Sunday was an awesome example of the Louisville Brazilian Jiu jitsu community and what it can do.

I hosted an Open Mat and Toy Drive this past Sunday and the turn out was amazing. People involved with the Louisville Brazilian Jiu jitsu scene came out to train and donate for a good cause.

I decided on a toy drive because of a personal experience I had as a kid. When I was a young kid my mother was getting over her addiction to alcohol and we had a few rough years as she struggled to get her life straightened out. One incident during this time period really stands out in my memory.

I remember it was the day before Christmas Eve and myself, mom and sisters were sitting in the living room watching t.v. I was sitting over by the christmas tree which was lit up by multi colored lights and garnished with too many fake ice cycles, compliments of my baby sister.

While watching a movie we got a knock at the door. When she opened the door I saw that it was one of the members of our church. They had known my mother’s struggle and were an integral part of helping her get everything together. The church was already involved with giving back to the community. Because they knew the situation we were in they had gathered up some of the items they planned to donate and gave them to us.

At first I saw food items which was cool, but it’s not really what you think about as a kid. Then. . .then I saw toys exchanging hands. As a kid who’s entire toy collection could fit into small white bucket, this was big stuff.

The member of our church came in, wished us a merry Christmas and then was on his way.

That memory of generosity will forever be burned into my memory.

With that, I wanted to help create some meaningful difference, like the one I had experienced, in some local child’s life. So I spoke to one of members of our Brazilian Jiu-jitsu program who’s involved in a number of charities and helpful organizations and asked if he knew one worth getting involved with. After speaking with him we settled on the Family Scholar House organization. You can read more about it at www.familyscholarhouse.com . It’s a very cool organization and their mission is a powerful one.

During the Open Mat yesterday we had over 75 people make contributions and we came away with 100+ toys and gifts that we can give away to kids who are not in the most fortunate circumstances. It was awesome and I hope that these gifts make a positive impact this year.

I’m posting this because Brazilian Jiu jitsu is an amazing martial art in itself. But more amazing than just the art, and I say this all the time, is the community. Louisville Brazilian Jiu-jitsu has a great community and this kind of generous get together is just one example.

Thanks again, to everyone who came out to support the toy drive!


1 Effective Way To Get In Shape And Enjoy It!


1 Effective Way To Get In Shape And Enjoy It! 

I’m writing this blog because of something that happened last weekend, and I want to share an incredibly helpful piece of advice about how to get in shape and becoming healthier. It’s not an instant solution, but it works, and has worked for countless people.

I was at a Halloween party and an acquaintance of mine informed me that a mutual friend passed away. I used to work with her when I was a teenager and I was shocked to hear this because she wasn’t even 30.

She passed away due to complications following a lap band surgery. She was becoming increasingly overweight and it was getting to the point where she was unhealthy. To combat this obesity issue she decided to have surgery. She experienced complications and never made it back home from the surgery. Instead she died in the hospital about a week after surgery. She left behind a young child.

The sad part about the story above is that it was completely preventable with diet and exercise.

I don’t say this to scare people. Well maybe I sort of do, because most of us, as I’m sure you’re aware, rarely change our ways preemptively. Instead we wait till things get really bad. Finally when something rattles us we start looking for a solution. But you’re health isn’t something you should wait on improving.

The message that I would like to drive home to you today is that your health and fitness is important. It matters! Your life, and the quality of that life, absolutely depends on your health. You can get by with unhealthy habits but eventually it’s going to catch up to you. When this happens you’ll spend all your energy, money and time trying to get some measure of health back.

So understand that your health and your fitness is a big deal. It’s not just for exercise fanatics.

If you are one of those people who is at a loss for what to do to get healthier and and in shape. I’m going to share one piece of advice. Something that I think would be the most helpful in regards to getting in shape and staying in shape. In fact, I feel confident saying that it could help you get in shape and change your life. Because it absolutely changed mine.


Find Something That You Enjoy

In order to achieve better health and fitness. To look better and to feel better. Start by finding some form of fitness that you enjoy. I believe it really is that simple. When you find some form of exercise that you enjoy. Getting in shape and becoming healthier ,while it’s not easy, is much easier.


Here’s why

If You Enjoy It, It’s Not Work

When you enjoy your exercise. You look forward to it, and you’re excited about what you’re doing. Working out becomes easy to continue and easy to be consistent. Consistency is the most important thing.

People get weight lifting gym memberships all the time and they’re miserable. They don’t really look forward to it, and once they’re there they count down the minutes till they can leave. This is just not going to be a sustainable habit.


The Toughest Part Of Health And Fitness

For most people the dieting and eating the correct foods is the toughest part. I mean if everyone was drinking lots of water, eating vegetables and lean meat. The rate of people becoming obese would probably be very low. But every day we are bombarded with sugary treats, baked goods, salty snacks and all sorts of different things that require willpower and motivation to avoid.

When you find a form of exercise that you really enjoy. Something you really invest yourself. It has a sort of synergistic effect with your diet. You’ll discover that your diet has a direct correlation with your performance and the way you feel. So the motivation will come from the fact that when you eat better, you perform better. Performing better in the sport/exercise you do, feels good. Feeling good at something you enjoy is a heck of a motivator and positive association. This makes it so much easier to get in shape.


Results Are A Boost

If you found a form of fitness that you like and you’ve begun to eat a better diet. You’ll most likely see some results fairly quickly. This again is a huge motivator. I know from experience that nothing feels better than stepping on the scale and watching the numbers pop up a few pounds less than what they were last week, or putting on a pair jeans that used to be tight and now fit loose around the waist. Little wins like this provide a big morale booster and will help keep you on track.


Eventually The Motivation Comes From You

If you stick with training long enough and continue to  eat well. Eventually the motivation will no longer be external. Instead it will become intrinsic. Eventually the motivation and the willpower that you seek to do the right things will come from within.

If you’ve heard someone say, “It’s a lifestyle.” This is what they are getting at whether they know it or not. It definitely takes a while, just like it took a while to form unhealthy lifestyle habits. But eventually exercising, eating well and being in shape will just be what you do. The key is consistency and persistence. You gotta stick with it and you can’t give up, and the linchpin for all this is being a part of some activity or training that you enjoy.


Which Activities To Try

My last piece of advice. Sorry I know this blog is a little long. What I’ve noticed is that people stick with training when they feel a part of a group or community. This is why a lot of people come to try Boxing, BJJ or CrossFit at our gym. They’re getting in shape and becoming a part of a group.

Also, if you’ve never been in shape before. Finding a place where you’re coached is huge. Again, this takes away more of the thinking and willpower needed to get going for your workouts. If you have a coach, you just follow whatever they say.

Coming into a place where you’re surrounded by people doing the same thing and are being led by coaches, is a much different experience than just going to a gym solo or working out from your home. Seeking out a exercise experience that is community driven and led by coaches may be the way to go for you as well.

Most places that are led by coaches (BJJ, Boxing, Yoga, CrossFit, Etc) offer a free class. Take advantage of this.



Go Find It

So good luck to you.  Go find something you’d like to try and check out a class. See how you like it. If you like it, start training and enjoy the results that will come.

I hope this information was helpful to you. If it was, please share the blog with someone who you think it may help as well.

Thanks for reading!



Louisville BJJ Team Wins At A.G.C In Ohio


Louisville BJJ Team Wins At A.G.C In Ohio

Last weekend ( September, 12th, 2015) our Brazilian Jiu-jitsu team went to Ohio to compete in the American Grappling Challenge. For many of them this was their first BJJ tournament, and they performed amazingly.

Unfortunately we didn’t get all the matches on camera but here are some of the matches from the tournament.

As a coach, my favorite part about this competition was watching so many of these guys get out there for their first BJJ tournament. Many of them were not star athletes but when they were out there competing they looked like monsters. It’s motivating and very satisfying to watch this transformation in the students.

I can’t say enough how cool it is to watch people come into BJJ and develop confidence and abilities that they never thought possible. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu ends up being a catalyst for all sorts of physical and mental development. Anyone who has trained BJJ will attest to this.

If you’re interested in training BJJ or competing. Come check us out. We have the largest BJJ team around and a great group of people. Also, again from a coaching point of view. I love having new people in the gym that I can work with and build into skilled BJJ practitioners. No previous training is required.



Below are some of the matches from the tournament.


7 Easy Diet Tips : Being Healthy Doesn’t Have To Be Confusing

7 Easy Diet Tips : Eating Healthier Doesn’t Have To Be Confusing


Recently we’ve been doing cooking videos for the gym. Giving basic diet tips and showing how to do basic recipes to make good tasting and healthy food. We did this to help out the members who are adjusting to a healthier lifestyle. This lead to questions about which foods to pair together, which are the worst, what are healthy foods, etc.

We all know the benefits of eating the right way. We feel look better, feel better and have less issues with out health. But eating healthy has been made into something complicated and a bit confusing. Hopefully I can make it a bit simpler for you.

Below are 7 beginner diet tips for anyone who is attempting to adjust their lifestyle and is a bit overwhelmed with where to start. If you take to heart the suggestions listed below you’ll have a solid foundation for the dietary portion of this healthier lifestyle you want to lead. These are meant as a simple starting point to help you with your initial adjustment.

1. Trash The “Health Food”

First off, eliminate the idea of “healthy foods.” Most packaged foods that are labeled health foods often aren’t as healthy as they appear. You’ll see things like fat free which probably means there is probably a butt load of sugar. Sometimes they’re sugar free which means you’re most likely replacing the sugar with chemicals. With food there is always a yin and yang. To take away from something is to add to another.

Instead of looking for packaged “health foods.” Make it a goal to have most of your diet be from whole foods. Granted we are all going to eat processed stuff sometimes. It’s alright. But the bulk of your diet needs to come from real food that you buy and prepare.

2. It’s A Lifestyle Change

Next, if you’re new to fitness and/or dieting. Don’t think of the food changes as a diet or a temporary change. Instead you need to consider it a lifestyle change. Changing how you eat permanently. Again you should be eating better not just for your waistline but also your overall health. If you just go back and forth between diets you won’t make any headway on the way you look and feel.

3. Eliminate Sodas

I’ve literally met hundreds of people who have come into the gym overweight and out of shape. One of the common factors is that they drink sodas on a regular basis. While sodas may not seem that bad to you. Give me a second and let me change your mind.

Go to a coffeeshop and you’ll see packets of sugar to use in your coffee. Each one of those packets contains 4 grams of sugar. What if you saw someone dump 17 packets of sugar into their coffee? You’d probably look at them in disgust. What the hell is wrong with this guy, right?

Now consider that your average 20 oz bottle of soda contains 69 grams of sugar. Just a little over 17 packets of sugar. Crazy right.

Here is why this is significant. Without the attachment of fiber which is common in nature (think sweet fruits which have fiber) the sugar from the soda dumps into your body. When you’re body is presented with a load of carbohydrates that it’s unable to process it coverts them to stored energy. Stored energy is fat.

We know beer belly, now think soda belly.

Oh and sugary fruit juices from the store aren’t any better. It’s still a big ole dump of sugar.

4. Meal Prep Is A NecessityIMG_7278

Meal prepping is a necessity when it comes to changing your diet and lifestyle around. Taking time to cook every meal during the day isn’t a possibility for most of us. Instead, preparing your meals in advance is the way to go. It may seem like a lot of work but it’s not as much as you think.

Having your meals prepared and giving your body a constant supply of good food will help stop you from giving into the urges when you’re bombarded by unhealthy options. Also, knowing that you have a meal ready for you after a long day helps kill the need for some fast food.

5. The Meal Prep TrifectaIMG_6781

When I am helping people with diet tips who are new to meal prepping and eating healthier. They often ask how to combine their foods. Like which ones to put together. I give them the template of the 3 section meal prep.

Basically give your body what it needs with a protein source, carb source and veggies.

Protein (Beef, chicken, fish, eggs etc)
Veggies (Go crazy with veggies. Eat as much green and colorful veggies as you like)
Carbohydrates (quinoa, sweet potatoes, squash, brown rice, whole wheat bread)

Prepare yourself enough meals to last a whole week. Keep in mind that if you’re not very active to lower your carbohydrates. Oh and portion control is important. You’re eating to fuel your body and remove hunger not to be stuffed.

6. A Reward Meal

Give yourself a reward for sticking to your diet and give yourself a chance to live a little. Some people call this a cheat meal. Whatever you decide to call it is fine, but give yourself a chance to eat some stuff that isn’t good for you from time to time. My personal goto foods are pizza, ice cream and pastries.
To limit myself I don’t keep this stuff around the house. Instead I go out and make a thing out of the experience. I’ll have ice cream with my girlfriend, go out with the guys for pizza and I really enjoy getting up early on a Friday morning and enjoying a cup of coffee and a pastry (and time to myself to think). This ensures I don’t eat too much of the bad stuff.

Some people ask about a cheat weekend vs a cheat meal. In my opinion a couple of cheat meals a week is better than a whole weekend of unadulterated bad eating. At that point your just murdering any positive progress you’ve made during the week.

7. Learn More And Research

Make it a point to continue to learn more about the food you’re eating and how you can tweak your diet. Think of eating healthy as a skill. Like any skill, the more you practice and learn, the better you’ll become. The steps above are mere starting points.

I know this stuff sounds too simple to be true but often times the right things in life are rather simple. They just take consistent and continued discipline. That’s the tough part. Anyone can start a diet, post on Facebook about the food they are eating. But actually maintaining that diet when people aren’t watching, or while you’re being bombarded by lit up fast food signs, sweets brought in by coworkers or the candy bar aisle at the checkout lane that seems to act as the final attempt to mess up your otherwise healthy groceries.

This my friends, is the tough part.


I’ll leave you with this. We spend tons of time with our stuff. We cherish our stuff. Our cars, computers, phones, clothes, etc. We pay close attention to our stuff. We pay lots of money for our stuff. If we can pay so much attention to silly objects, then we can surely pay attention to the vehicle that enjoys this stuff, yourself.

You can have all the cool stuff you want, but it won’t save you from chronic illness like heart disease or diabetes. It also won’t help you hit the gym hard and reach new goals either.

So pay attention to yourself and what you put into your body.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

As always, thanks for reading,



P.S If you’re currently not a member and you’re interested in more weight loss and fitness tips. Check out the free report below.



New MMA Strength And Conditioning Program At Derby City MMA


Joe Clark and I recently created an MMA strength and conditioning program for Derby City MMA. It came as a result of a conversation we’ve had many times about how many fighters and amateur athletes lack solid overall conditioning. They may be good at their sport but they often lack that extra push during their training and competitions that proper strength and conditioning can bring.

Think of it this way. If we took 2 athletes and placed them against one another. Both are identical in every way down to their skill and abilities. The only difference is that one is stronger, more explosive and has greater endurance as a result of strength and conditioning training. Who wins?

From my personal experience, being in better physical conditioning than my opponents has been helpful. Over the years I’ve had several matches where I was down but was able to outwork my opponent later in the match for the win.

It’s also important to add that with increased overall fitness you increase you’re ability to work harder on the mats. Also a stronger overall body will help you prevent injuries.

Who Is This Program Designed For?

  • If you are currently training in BJJ, Boxing, MMA (or any combat sport). This program will help you develop explosive power, useable strength and a deeper gas tank to rely on during training or competitions.


  • If you’re someone who is out of shape and wants to do one of the combat sports we offer. This program will help you get into shape faster so that you can get the most out of your training.


  • Do you want to get into shape but have no desire to compete or even do a combat sport? That’s fine too. You can take advantage of the exciting style of training this program has to offer. Even if you just want to look a little better with your shirt off.



I’ll stress to you that while we do have a Crossfit gym, this isn’t Crossfit style training. This program is a combined effort between Joe and I. Joe brings a wealth of knowledge when it comes to weight training in various forms and coaching. In turn, I bring the experience of over a decade of combat sports and competition preparation experience. This program is designed to improve overall conditioning to boost performance on the mats and in the ring.

Some of the exercises will be familiar like the strength training staples while many of the exercises will be new to your body. Either way, it’s gonna be fun.

So if you are currently at Derby City MMA, talk to Joe or Chewy about the new program. If you are not a member at Derby City MMA but would like to take advantage of this new program. Give us a call at 502-937-8797 and we will get you into the gym for your first training session!

As of right now classes are three days a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday!




Derby City MMA is different than your normal gym

Derby City MMA in Louisville, KY is a unique experience.

I can say from personal experience and those of my students that Derby City MMA is different than any traditional fitness gym that you’ve ever been to in the past.

In the video below I talk about the top 2 reasons I believe Derby City MMA is different than a traditional fitness gym. These differences will help you personally reach your goals whether it’s just get in shape or competition goals.

If you have any questions about our gym, please feel free to give us a call at 502-937-8797. Myself or one of the other coaches are more than happy to help answer your questions.

Hopefully I’ll see  you in the gym soon!


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Results from our last MMA fights in Louisville

2 weekends ago we had 3 of our MMA fighters take to the cage here in Louisville. Each one of the fights was significant for it’s own reason. This was one of our fighters first MMA fight. Another it was his first MMA fight in 4 years and another was rebounding from a loss.


Here is the first fight of the night. It was also voted MMA fight of the night. This was Morgan’s very first fight at he did a heck of job. His opponent was super tough and we are proud of him for winning such a tough first fight.



The next MMA fight of the night was with one of our coaches Robert Neats. He did a great job using his stand up to set up the ground attack initially. After that he did a great job transitioning from attack to attack on the ground with his Brazilian Jiu-jitsu skills. His opponent was gritty and toughed out many of the submission attempts.

In the end the fight was stopped due to an accidental elbow to the face. Elbows are not allowed in amateur divisions in the state of Kentucky. Robert was winning both rounds and was given the win.


The last MMA fight of the night for us was with our long time fighter Kevan Avery. Kevan had been preparing incredibly hard for this fight. It was his first MMA fight in 4 years. His opponent was a last minute replacement. We were really glad his opponent stepped up to fight.

The fight is super quick and Kevan wins with a tko. It was a great start back.



Again, great job to our fighters and we are looking forward to getting more of our athletes into the ring.

If you are personally interested in getting into the cage, ring or competition mat yourself. Give us a call, 502-937-8797

Training in Louisville: The Top 10 Questions We Get From Beginners


Everyday we have new people that come into the gym for the very first time or we talk to people who are interested over the phone.

These same people almost always have the exact same questions. So I’ve been keeping track of the most popular questions so that I could share them with anyone who is a beginner and interested in training.

Being brand new and starting your training in Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Kickboxing, MMA or CrossFit can be super intimidating. Take that back, being brand new in ANYTHING can be intimidating. I remember looking up dancing lessons once and I definitely over analyzed the situation because I was intimated and nervous at first.

So I get it.

Hopefully after reading through some of these, I’ll answer questions you might have. If I don’t answer any questions you have, just give us a call 502-937-8797 and I’ll be more than happy to help you with any additional information you need.




1. Do I need experience? Are beginners welcome?

A:I’m not even sure why this is a question. Of course beginners are welcome.

I know the idea of an MMA / CrossFit gym is intimidating but I promise you, our goal is to build people up.

I remember what it was like to be on the mats for the first time and because of that, nothing brings me more satisfaction as a coach then building someone up to a level of skill they never thought possible.



2. What do I need for my 1st class?

A:Just workout clothes. Nothing special. Be sure to come hydrated though, we’re going to make you sweat!


3. Will I get beat up? I don’t want to get punched.

A:Again, I think this question comes from people’s perceptions about MMA gyms. But trust me, we are not going to beat you up.

Whether you’re doing Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Crossfit or whatever. I promise, we won’t feed you to the wolves.


4. Do I need to pay for my 1st class?

A:No the first class is free. It’s a chance for you to check out the gym with no obligation.


5. Do you offer beginner classes?

A:Yes. We have dedicated beginner classes for all of the different training styles we offer. The classes are designed to ease you into training at your own pace and build you one step at a time.


6. What if I’m really out of shape? Can I still train or should I wait till I’m in better shape?

A:In every class, everything we do is scalable. Meaning that you can adjust the level of training to whatever you can do personally. If you can’t do something when you first start, it’s alright. We will help you work around it.

I’ll also say this, if you’re out of shape and want to improve it’s even more important that you come in the gym. Because what you’re doing right now isn’t working and we will help you get on track with your health, fitness and lifestyle goals.

All you need to do is show up.

Just a side story about this. One of the guys in our gym first started off overweight and out of shape. He would wheeze during the warmups. In just a matter of months he lost a tremendous amount of weight and won several BJJ competitions and even fought MMA about 2 years later.

Not bad for a overweight out of shape guy right?



7.Is there an age limit or preferred age?

A:Nope. Any and all ages are welcome. We have kids class and adults who are into their 60s training.

You’re not too old to get into great shape, improve your health and learn how to fight.


8.Do you have to compete?

A:While our gym has a rich tradition of competition in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Boxing, MMA and Crossfit. You don’t have to compete if you don’t want. We will encourage you because we like making people into champions but our competitors only make up around 10% of our members.



9. You guys have a full weight lifting facility and offer Crossfit?

A:Just the other day I had a couple of people checking out the gym and they were surprised to see that we offered a Crossfit facility. They knew we offered mixed martial arts training but were completely unaware that we have a Crossfit facility.

We definitely do and we’re doing a lot of cool things with it. If you’re interested in Crossfit and live in Louisville you can get more info at http://www.grindhousecrossfit.com


10. Do I need an appointment?

A:You don’t need one necessarily. We like to give the coaches a heads up about who is coming to their class but appointments aren’t required.




So, I hope these questions and answers help you personally answer any of the questions you had about the gym. If not, just contact us and let us know.

As always, if you’re a beginner and interested in the gym. Don’t put it off. Just give us a call and check out the gym for the first time, for free. There’s no obligation whatsoever and it’s a great chance to expose yourself to something new and exciting.

As always, thanks for reading.




Easy Meal Prep For Weight Loss



Meal Prep is one of the most important habits to add into your lifestyle in order to achieve the best fitness and performance possible. You’re body is a machine, and just like a machine. If you put good fuel into the machine, it will run very well. Likewise, if you put bad fuel into the tank, don’t expect too much.

After working out or during a busy day if you don’t have food handy, you’re just going to revert to eating bad food. It just happens, we’ve all been there, we’ve all done it.

The best way to avoid the temptation of bad food is to have healthy delicious food readily available. The best way to do this is to meal prep! Meal prep is a staple for most athletes. Basically you prepare your food for the week in advance and you then have all the good stuff you need for the week.

In the video below I show a really really easy way to cook 3lbs of chicken that can be use for the week. The recipe is healthy and delicious which will make it easy to stick with it. Remember just because you’re eating healthy doesn’t mean the food can’t taste good. Also if you dread eating the food then you’re unlikely to stick with it and reach your weight loss or fitness goals.

Enjoy the video below and if you have any questions or comments, let me know!