Thursday, November 26, 2015

SHREDbyCROM™: 10 Week Battle Ready Nutrition Program Blog 1

by Nathan Aripez

This is my first blog entry for what I expect to be a great lifestyle change for myself. For those not familiar with me, my name is Nathan and I run I love Muay Thai and Kickboxing and providing the best information available on the sport. I first started training Muay Thai when I was 20 years old, and now at 31 I am nowhere near the shape I was in back then. As the years go by the distance between myself and training becomes greater and so has my gut, life just gets in the way. I really noticed the change about 3 or 4 years ago when I stopped being active as my day job and website duties made it hard for me to get in the gym. 

Aside from not having time to train, I love to eat food and that has made things worse. I finally decided enough was enough and I reached out to Chris Romulo who had been contributing some great fitness and nutrition articles to Muay Thai Authority. We decided to do this blog with his SHREDbyCROM™: 10 Week Battle Ready Nutrition Program and use me as the subject. I looked at it as the perfect way for me to get back in shape and live a healthier lifestyle. Being that my journey would be documented; having people read my blog weekly would hold me accountable.

Chris and his team, Sarah Romulo and Marycatherine (MC) are great. Being that they are in New York and I am in California we had a phone conference where they explained how the entire program would work. They sent me a detailed guide structured for my first week on what I could eat and what workouts to do.

Week one started out rough, but I was prepared as they explained to me that the first few days would be hard because I was going to be taking in less carbohydrates than I was used to. I was the type of guy that got to the point of basically eating 3 things, burritos, cheeseburgers (with fries), and pizza. I decided I was focusing on sticking to the diet and not what I was eating so I made very basic meals for the week that I prepared in advance. I wasn’t thinking about how good the food tasted just making it past the week. 

I felt really tired the first 3 days from Monday to Wednesday because of this I was only able to work out one day. I tried to go to bed as early as possible so I would not be thinking about food. I was getting plenty of food but not the fatty greasy food that I was used to. It was lean meats and vegetables that I was eating now.

Thursday I started having a bit more energy and by the weekend I was feeling like a champion. I had been planning my earned meal all week. They don’t call it a cheat meal on this program because cheating is something you’re not supposed to be doing, an earn meal you achieve by being dedicated and working hard, and therefore you should not feel guilty. I was feeling so great on Saturday that when I got to the restaurant instead of ordering what I originally intended to order (which was a great huge sandwich at this restaurant called The Mill by my house) I opted for an omelet and some potatoes that were a normal portion size. I felt like I had done so well and I didn’t want one crazy meal to send things out of control. 

I ended the week strong with some exercise and was able to continue to eat well the rest of the weekend. I went shopping for the second weeks supplies after Chris sent me the updated plan for week 2, and I prepped everything at home on Sunday. What made the first week easier was the plan was simple. I am not nutrition expert and the plan laid out how it should work and I just stuck to it. If I had a question I messaged the CROM team and they would tell me if I could do or not do what I was thinking about. I have tried to do things like this before on my own and after a few days it is easy to fall off, but I know it is time for a change and with my mind set and the CROM team behind me I am more than 100% sure I will succeed. Now I am looking forward to the new exercises that the plan calls for and this week upcoming week I am actually trying to get creative with meals.

I started by weighing in at 243.4 LBS on Monday 11-16-2015 and when I weight in Monday 11-23-2015 my weight was at 232.6 LBS. The CROM teamed prepared me by informing me that the first week weight loss would be fast, but as you start getting leaner as the program goes by it will get a little harder as your body starts adapting. I am definitely pumped for week 2 after those week 1 results.

SHREDbyCROM™ Goal Tracker:

FEELING: Great! First few days were tough, but now I am more focused and determined after seeing the results.




You can get the SHREDbyCROM™: 10 Week Battle Ready Nutrition Program at

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Muay Thai - UpperCut K.O. Nong-O Fight Breakdown | Evolve University

Multiple-time Muay Thai Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao from Evolve MMA, breaks down his own Uppercut K.O. on Kiatpetch Suanaharnpeekmai.

You can catch more great breakdowns from Evolve University on the Muay Ties You Tube channel. They have not only some great breakdowns but also some of the best fights from Thailand.

CROM’s Corner: Finding Your “CORE 8”

by Chris Romulo

The history of the kettle bell dates back to the 1700’s, primarily used by Russian farmers to weigh crops.  Those same farmers eventually evolved in to using them to show off their strength at local festivals.  Today, kettle bells are the ultimate tool for any combat/martial athlete, if used efficiently. 

I believe there are 8 key athletic attributes that every fighter has to some degree: agility, balance, endurance, flexibility, power, speed, stability and strength.  Every individual has different capacities with each attribute.  As fighters, our goal is to exploit as many weaknesses in as many of those attributes in our opposition as possible in hopes of dominating in a convincing fashion.  At the same time, we want to enhance our own “CORE 8” to increase our physical abilities. 

The kettle bell is one of the best ways to change the game in your training.

As I started my amateur Muay Thai journey in the mid 90’s I was only versed in minimal strength & conditioning methods that I picked up on my own as a kid.  Pull ups, pushups, benching, and biceps curls were my staples.  They were sufficient enough at the time I suppose, but as always “you don’t know what you don’t know”.

After years of dead end jobs after high school, at 27 years old, I ventured in to the world of personal training.  This opened up a whole new world of training and well being for me.  It wasn’t until 2006 when I turned PRO as a Muay Thai fighter that I understood the importance of having a complete team around to help prepare me for battle.  I sought out a strength & conditioning coach who specialized in athletic performance and as it turns out, was responsible for my love of this ancient tool.  I will never forget my “ah ha” moment when I realized that this was the way EVERY fighter should train.  It was after a 5 round scrap with an ultra tough dude from Nebraska.  I hit him with everything but the kitchen sink for 5 rounds.  I dropped him a couple of times for a standing 8 count and carefully placed a shin to the side of his head, but he still kept coming!  I stayed composed and won the fight, but after those 5 rounds I felt something I’d never felt in my previous 20+ fights…..swollen and aching fists for days. 

I believe through working with the kettle bell in a dynamic and ballistic manner, it kept my arsenal of weapons a huge threat in that fight.  I felt my opposition was off balance and kept at bay due to the quality of my attacks and counters.  Alongside power development, I was in better shape to deliver a heavier assault.

A great kettle bell complex that you can add in to your training regimen is a combination of 4 basic movements:

    Dead Snatch
    Hang Snatch
    Front Squat

Check out this instructional video of 4 movements and follow along at the end to enhance your “CORE 8”.

 *****Be sure to comment on what movements you would like to see in next week’s article!

Visit Shred by CROM on YouTube to receive a complete breakdown of each movement along with the full length work out to follow along with.

Chris Romulo is a retired Muay Thai champion, Muay Thai & Strength & Conditioning Coach, owner of CROM Physical Culture and Creator of SHREDbyCROM™. After a total of 32 years of trial and error through fitness, conditioning, martial arts, sports, and “play” Chris has taken what works, sculpted away what doesn’t and painted a different way to engage in Physical Culture.

Visit for more info.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lion Fight 26 title bout between Tetsuya Yamato and Greg Wootton off

Lion Fight 26 is three days away, and unfortunately for fight fans the night's main event title bout between Tetsuya Yamato and Greg Wootton is off. Wootton was not cleared to fight after failing his pre-fight physical. Our source informed us that Lion Fight secured two solid fighters that were willing to step in and replace Wootton on short notice, but Yamato refused both offers.

Lion Fight has now bumped the co-main event bout between Nick Chasteen and Turan Hasanov to the main event slot. Victor Saravia vs. John Nofer has now been moved to the co-main event slot.

Lion Fight 26 takes place this Friday, November 20 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. The event will air live on AXS TV.

Lion Fight 26 Fight Card:
Nick Chasteen vs. Turan Hasanov
Victor Saravia vs. John Nofer
Josh Shepard vs. Ben Peak
Julio Pena vs. Tim Amorim
Perdro Gonzalez vs. Sean Fagan

Monday, November 16, 2015

Julio Pena talks upcoming Lion Fight 26 bout with Tim Amorim

Julio Pena is set to fight Tim Amorim at this week's Lion Fight 26 event. Pena, who works as a Sheriff's Deputy will be looking to earn another big win under Lion Fight. We were able to catch up with Julio and talk about the upcoming bout against Amorim and discuss his how he manages his day job and his professional fight career, his training and more.

MTA: Big fight against Tim Amorim coming up at Lion Fight 26, how familiar are you with Tim?

Julio Pena: Yea, I fought Tim as an amateur about 6 years ago! I saw his fight against Tom and Pedro. I know he's very technical. It'll be a fun and exciting fight to watch.

MTA: Can you tell us about your training camp, what it consists of?

Julio Pena: Training has been great. Pad work, running, the usual. Was able to get some work in with Justin Greskiewicz from Stay Fly Muay Thai and Ben Peak whose on the same card!

MTA: How important is it for you to study tape on your opponents and is it something you use to set your game plan?

Julio Pena: I just watch a little bit of tape. I focus on what I can control and that's my training and my physical preparation. The reason for that is that my opponent on tape appears to be a certain way and then he's different once we are in the ring. 

MTA: For fight fans that might not be familiar with you how did you get started in Muay Thai and how long have you been training?

Julio Pena: I started back in 2007 after I saw my close friend and corner in his 1st fight. After that night I said I want to do that, and that was it! Been training and fighting for 8 years now.

MTA: Where do you feel you will hold advantages over Tim in this fight?

Julio Pena: My aggression and ability to adjust round to round! My power could also be an advantage.

MTA: Is fighting your full time profession or like most fighters is it something you do on the side to your every day job?

Julio Pena: I actually have a full time job. I work for the Suffolk County Sheriff's Dept. +40 hrs a week. Not easy, takes a lot of time management skills.

MTA: Time management between your job and preparing adequately for a fight has to be difficult. How do manage both a professional fighting career and your job for the Sheriff's department? 

Julio Pena: Ha ha, its not easy to say the least! Its constant schedule manipulation. I can't control my job or my work schedule so I usually make changes to my training schedule. So far its worked out awesome, because I have a great team that helps me out!!

MTA: Working for the Sheriff's department seems it can definitely help you in the ring and being a fighter seems like it might help you in your day job. Have you noticed any intertwining advantages?

Julio Pena: Absolutely! It works both ways, they compliment each other! At work you have that never give up attitude because if you give up you may not go home after your shift, and I bring that same mentality into the ring. When I'm at work my discipline and training helps me de-escalate situations that can escalate!
MTA: Muay Thai is clearly going very well for you. Why Muay Thai over any other combat sports, MMA, BJJ, Boxing etc?

Julio Pena: I subconsciously made Muay Thai the priority. Not sure why, kind of just happened. I'm glad it did! 

MTA: Not looking past Tim, but do you already have you eyes set on anyone else in the division you would like to fight next?

Julio Pena: No, I never look past my next fight. I always keep my focus on my upcoming opponent. If i think about anything past my next fight it is how I'm gonna spend time with my wife and family! My R&R!

MTA: Who are some of the favorite fighters in Muay Thai?

Julio Pena: John Wayne Parr, he's an amazing, multi-talented, multi-skilled fighter. He's fought the best in the world. I admire his attitude, he's happy to share the ring with his competitors. He has fun, enjoys what he does, and respects the art. I try to be the same.

MTA: Where do you see yourself in the next few years as far as Muay Thai goes?

Julio Pena: I never try to look past my next fight. I take it one fight at a time. Where I'll be in a few years I have no clue, I leave all that up to my (coach) Kru Bill Newcomb & my (management team) Prime Elite Management; all I know is that I'm feeling great and I'm having fun!!

MTA: Any words for your supporters? 

Julio Pena: I want to thank my wife, I seriously would not be able to do this without Aimee's unconditional love and support. My Kru and best friend thanks for always pushing and believing in me. To my team, trainers/training partners/students for helping me prepare and keeping me ready. All the gyms that welcome me to cross train there. To Prime Elite Management (a division of Prime Athletics Corporation) thank you for making life easier and all the work that you put in. Thank you to Prime Athletics partners: Northeast Financial Strategies and The Patino Diet. Thank you to my sponsors, The Fairmount Grille (81 Fairmount Ave, Hyde Park 02136), The Fill-a-Buster Restaurant (142 Bowdoin St. Boston, MA 02108), X-ion-X ( and Clean Eats ( for believing and supporting me. To my friends and family, and fans thank you for the support!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Muay Thai - Armtrap Left Elbow K.O. Fight Breakdown | Evolve University

3x Lumpinee Champion Orono Wor. Petchpun from Evolve MMA, breaks down a Left Elbow K.O. by Krobsud Fairtex on Rakchart Sor. Tubtim.

You can catch more great breakdowns from Evolve University on the Muay Ties You Tube channel. They have not only some great breakdowns but also some of the best fights from Thailand.

CROM’s Corner: Inside the Mind of a Nak Muay

by Chris Romulo

Do you have the right mindset to excel in Muay Thai?

Do you understand or even have a “why” for training?

Do you have a vision in your mind of where you want to go in your journey?

My motto, which is written on the wall of my gym, and has been a concrete thought for me since 2003 is “All it takes is heart”.  I do my best to pass this on to anyone and everyone I come across in a conscious or subconscious way.  Not just for fighting or training but in a lifestyle sense.  Not only for living with courage but also for living with love, passion, and spirit.  As Nak Muays I believe that we can all relate on this level.  None of us got involved in this sport/art to become millionaires.  What helped us find Muay Thai was a deep seeded desire for something different in our lives, to feed the unknown craving for a real sense of being, your “why”.  Without your “why” you will be lost, similarly to not having a GPS in this day and age.  Whether you rely on a GPS, map, or your own instincts, along your Muay Thai journey you will come across setbacks, challenges, stumbles or flat out failures.  Are you equipped with the right mindset to keep you moving forward when you are under a relentless attack from all angles?  Do you acknowledge your lessons learned as a true warrior or do you result to placing blame on people who have no control over your own thoughts and emotions?  Are you a “keyboard killa” with experiences of watching fights and not actually earning your battle scars in the arena while telling other people how it should be done?  If you have time to talk it’s because you have time to talk, put in your work and let your actions speak! 

A key mindset that I attempt to live by that might apply to you as well is “my actions speak so loud you can’t hear what I’m saying”.  Believe, accept and understand as a fighter, enthusiast or coach that disappointment will be a part of the process.  To think otherwise will only make getting through difficulty a much harder process.  This mindset will be a major tool in your Muay Thai path.  Through all of my injuries, losses, and life’s unexpected surprises, I took the time to go back to my “why”.  I believe my version of physical culture has been the number one factor in getting me through all of the major obstacles in my life.  In turn, my “why” is to help others understand that whatever interpretation of physical culture that you choose, it can and will be your main weapon in this fight of life.
**My version of Physical Culture is a lifestyle of dynamic thinking, eating and moving.

What I see for myself is being a practitioner of Muay Thai until the very end.  I fell in love with this art 20+ years ago and it has given me the life I never could have dreamed of.  I met my wife, who helped me raise my 1st son at the height of my fight career.  We started a Muay Thai gym together in an old school little town where some people still mistake us as the karate people 7 years later ;-).  We added to our family with another son who has been growing up in our gym since 6 weeks old, starting his physical culture early.  Outside the gym I have faced many challenges such as being homeless with my family for 6 months after Hurricane Sandy destroyed our home and gym here in Rockaway Beach in 2012.  What kept me on the path was again, my fighting spirit that I honed through my career in the ring.  There are many things to be learned through the trials and tribulations through combat sports that will directly make life seem like a stroll in the park.

3 years post Sandy, having taken some solid shots to the chin, backed up in a corner, fighting off of the ropes, and taking a few standing 8 counts we have been blessed to be able to recover in the championship 5th round with a facility triple the size of what we lost in the storm, a membership which has quadrupled, and a community inspired to change their lives.  I am not writing any of this to impress you, my goal is to impress upon you in hopes you will take the time to answer the 3 questions we started with….

Do you have the right mindset to excel in Muay Thai?

Do you understand or even a have a “why” for training?

Do you have a vision in your mind of where you want to go in your journey?

Chris Romulo is a retired Muay Thai champion, Muay Thai & Strength & Conditioning Coach, owner of CROM Physical Culture and Creator of SHREDbyCROM™. After a total of 32 years of trial and error through fitness, conditioning, martial arts, sports, and “play” Chris has taken what works, sculpted away what doesn’t and painted a different way to engage in Physical Culture. Visit Shred by CROM on YouTube for free workouts and instructionals! 

Visit for more info