The Rise To Greatness...Sergio " Maravilla" Martinez

Maravilla.....Sergio Martinez Rise To Greatness.
Middleweight champion of the world Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez returns to action this coming Saturday night September15th in Las Vegas to recapture what was rightfully his. The WBC Middleweight belt that was stripped from him and hand delivered to Chavez Jr. This is a remarkable story of a man's rise to boxing greatness and to the second best pound for pound fighter in the world. From poor and humble beginnings...a gentleman with a soft spoken unassuming demeanor, who in the ring transforms into a relentless knockout artist........ 

The more one thinks about it, the more remarkable Martinez's rise in the last few years seems. Let's take a look back at the emergence of Sergio Martinez.

  A closer Look!

Martinez, 37, turned pro in 1997, and toiled in relative obscurity for years. In 2000, still a welterweight, he was beaten down by Antonio Margarito, after which he went on a tear, winning 27 straight fights before he finally got a shot on HBO in October 2008, facing Alex Bunema.

To say he hit HBO with a splash would be an understatement. Bunema was no top contender, but a quality fighter, and the slick southpaw Martinez made mincemeat of him. Here's what I said at the time:

I've seen Martinez fight a fair amount of times before last night, and he never impressed me. I thought Bunema had a great shot at beating him, because Martinez seemed to be a creation -- a guy with a great-looking record in black-and-white terms, but without much in the way of good wins.

... Martinez was sensational in a one-sided beatdown of Bunema. At age 33, he looks like he's peaking. ... Martinez had Bunema totally off-balance all night, beating him to the punch with ease, popping his jab out at will, and essentially doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. He was exceptionally loose in the ring, confident and even cocky at times, holding his hands low, and Bunema could do nothing about it.

It was a star-making performance. Martinez isn't about to headline his own big card or anything, and nobody likes fighting a slick southpaw, but they'll be looking for the biggest possible fights. And with this performance, Martinez deserves it. I've gone from doubter to fan in one fight.

The honeymoon was over just one fight after, when Martinez met former welterweight titlist Kermit Cintron on the Nate Campbell-Ali Fuenka undercard in Florida:

Sergio Martinez and Kermit Cintron went to a majority draw in a fight I thought Martinez clearly won. The fight was plagued by a strange seventh round incident. Cintron went down from a left hand he genuinely believed he was a headbutt, and referee Frank Santore counted him out, and appeared to have called the fight off. Replays showed that Cintron had made it to his feet before the count of ten, and he was incensed that it was (1) called a knockdown, and he was wrong there, and (2) that he appeared to have been counted out, which he was right about.

The fight, which had been an ugly clash of styles before the incident, picked up after it was surprisingly restarted. The draw, I feel, robs Martinez of a win, but neither man exactly made an entertaining fight. Bad Left Hook scored it 117-109 for Martinez. The official judges' scores were 113-113 twice and 116-110 for Martinez.

Though Martinez deserved a win (two, actually), the star quality wasn't there from him on that night. But that was a blip.

Eight months later, Martinez was in his first HBO main event, substituting for middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik, who fell out of a handful of dates with Paul Williams, leaving Williams with no choice but to find a late replacement opponent. It was a marvelous fight, with Martinez going up to 160 for the first time and immediately engaging in a war with "The Punisher":

On paper, it would be a tactical, lefty-versus-lefty affair, probably not very explosive, but a good substitute fight for sure.

It took less than a round for this to turn into a stunningly savage bout. Williams clipped Martinez for a knockdown in the opening round, but just before the end of the frame, Martinez drilled Williams and put him on the canvas. Williams was hurt.

And Williams seemed to fight much of the rest of the bout hurt, too. By the end of it (a decision win for Tall Paul), he seemed to be going purely on instinct. Martinez was able to neutralize Williams with a right hook early that landed at will, and later a straight left hand that kept getting through. But Williams was there, and at some points, he dominated the fight, making exceptional mid-fight changes in his gameplan and going toe-to-toe with Martinez.

It was a fight we just didn't expect to see, and a reminder that a great, great fight can happen when nobody sees one coming. Both of them upped their stock greatly with this outstanding brawl, a must-see fight that turned very good boxers into pure warriors, at least for one night.

Staying at middleweight for his next fight, Martinez was called upon by Pavlik, still the middleweight champ, to be his next challenger. Martinez had physical disadvantages going in -- name, Pavlik was taller and just plain bigger than him, a proven middleweight, even with his then-recent troubles. We know now that Pavlik had done his first rehab stint just before facing Martinez, but both fought well, and Sergio was simply the better fighter.

It was a terrific tactical fight, with some great back-and-forth momentum. Martinez dominated the early portion of the fight, but Pavlik (36-2, 32 KO) charged back in the middle rounds, knocking down Martinez and taking a lead on our card through eight rounds.

But then, it was the Sergio Martinez show. Martinez cut Pavlik up, had him bleeding profusely, and took the fight for the rest of the time left, winning what I felt was a clear and solid decision.

... The times changed tonight, folks. New middleweight champion of the world: Sergio Martinez.

Seven months later, Martinez repaid the favor that Paul Williams did for him the year before, giving him a shot at the middleweight championship. The rematch was highly anticipated. And though it lasted all of four minutes and 10 seconds, no one was disappointed.

This raises Martinez's stock even more. He said that Williams left himself open enough, and that the fight went how he expected it would. Both fighters were throwing punches again, coming out aggressively, though there was more holding in this one than last year.

If only there was much more to say about this one, but there really isn't. After all, not much to report. But it's a can't-miss knockout, and Sergio Martinez is legit as the middleweight champ.

That ended the rise, though: In 2011, Martinez fought Serhiy Dzinziruk and Darren Barker, winning handily both times out as well as destroying #1 contender Mathew Macklin in 11 rounds. Now Sergio at last will get the main stream recognition he so rightly has both earned and deserves. A win over the son of a boxing icon Julio Cesar Chaves Jr and reclaiming his Middleweight Championship that was stripped from him, will have the boxing world on notice. This Saturday in Las Vegas at the Thomas and Mack center live on HBO PPV.

The More You Know The More You Grow. Let's Look At The Science Behind Creatine Pre Workout.

Creatine Timing

Despite a relatively long and prosperous existence, there's still considerable debate about when to take creatine. In fact, as time goes by, the subject of timing seems to get even more complicated. Some people take it only after workouts, some before workouts, while others say it doesn't matter. Let's have a quick look at the reasoning behind these ideas and hopefully put this baby to bed.

Taking creatine before a workout initially makes sense, because that way we'll have the creatine readily available during training. Of course, this novice thinking doesn't hold water because it takes a while for creatine to enter the muscle cell where it can enhance performance. In fact, it's been shown that pre-workout creatine consumption has no effect over placebo (19). What's more, we know that the anticatabolic effects of creatine are more long lived and don't suddenly take effect during a workout.

More recently, the pre-workout creatine theory got a big boost from the scientific literature. Tipton and buddies (27) showed that consuming a pre-workout meal enhanced muscle protein synthesis twice as much as the same meal consumed after a workout. This enhanced nutrient delivery and subsequent uptake could, some believe, apply to pre-workout creatine as well.

Unfortunately, we're comparing apples and oranges here. Carbohydrates stimulate blood flow and amino acids stimulate protein synthesis, but creatine does neither. We've also established that the effects of creatine occur long after the workout has occurred, while those of protein and sugars are far more acute. Sadly, the theory of a pre-workout creatine advantage doesn't seem to hold water any way you look at it.

As much as we love complicated scientific theories behind our practices, the post-workout creatine logic is quite simple: workouts deplete creatine, so post-workout we fill it back up. We can also take advantage of our post-workout insulin spike to drive the creatine into our muscles.

Perhaps the most important determinant of when to take creatine is the overwhelming mass of data available from the scientific literature. We have numerous studies showing that post-workout creatine consumption is effective, while the only study for pre-workout intake showed no acute effect.

Bottom Line: We have no scientific data to support pre-workout creatine use, but also none to suggest it's harmful. I'd stick with the tried and true method until evidence to the contrary arrives.

Rich Fit / Nutrition 101

 You probably know the basic principles of building muscle and losing fat. Lift heavy, eat right and get plenty of rest if you want to succeed in this game called fitness. Sometimes, however, people tend to forget basic things that can make them successful athletes and stand out from the crowd. They say that bodybuilding is 70 percent nutrition, so here is a list of useful nutrition reminders to help you build the body of your dreams.

  1. Protein is the base. Your muscles are made of protein and this makes protein the essential macro nutrient you have to consume in order to build muscle mass. You need to consume at least 1.5 - 2.0 grams of protein per pound of your weight every day. This is a must if you plan to actually build muscle instead maintaining it. Good sources of protein include meats like chicken and turkey, eggs, fish - tuna, salmon, talapia and cottage cheese.

  3. Complex carbohydrates throughout the day - oatmeal, brown , potatoes,  pasta etc. and fast carbs right after the workout. Complex carbs will ensure stable insulin levels during the day, they will give you more energy for intensive weight training sessions, while fast carbs will reload the depleted glycogen faster after training.

  4. Eat essential fatty acids. Healthy fats are crucial for numerous body functions such as proper brain and heart activity, hormone regulation and control of energy levels. Great sources of EFAs are nuts and seeds, fish, fish oil, some fruits like avocado and papaya.

  5. Eat your vegetables. Vegetables are a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Fiber provides bulk to foods, therefore making you feel fuller longer. It also keeps the the insulin levels and blood sugar levels steady by making the food digest longer.

   6. Don't overeat. If you want to build muscle it's necessary to eat more calories than you burn daily. This, however doesn't mean that you are free to eat tons of calories. Eat only 400-500 calories more than you need to maintain your muscle mass. It's always better to gain slowly but and stay lean, than to gain high percentage of body fat and then cut it down. Calculate your protein needs per meal and try to fulfill your protein needs first. Complete your calorie needs with carbs and then add some fiber.

  7. Don't drop your calories too low. This one applies when you are trying to drop weight. A 400-500 calorie decrease is all that is needed for your body to start burning fat for fuel. Lowering your calories too low for longer periods can cause muscle breakdown for energy. I'm talking about fasting for days here, not hours.

  8. Protein for breakfast. There are studies that say the best breakfast for athletes is a pure protein one. Research has shown that starting your day with a protein food will normalize blood sugar, increase the metabolism and increase the production of anabolic hormones like the growth hormone.

  9. BCAAs pre workout. BCAA will spare your muscles during and help you recover after an intense workout. Try taking a larger amount (10-20 grams) of branched chain amino acids before the workout.

 10. Large amount of carbs after training. Try to eat around 70-80% of your total carbs after the workout. Simple sugars will enter the muscle cells at a quick rate and will react with certain hormones to start the rebuilding process. Try to eat about 50 grams of fast carbs immediately after the workout together with a 30-50 gram whey protein shake. The rest of the carbs should be complex and you should eat them 1 to 2 hours later along with another 50-70 grams of protein.

  11. Rotate the carbs (and calories): The body is a well tuned machine and soon it will adapt to the constant amount of calories. This is why carb cycling will keep the body guessing and help you continue your progress. Try to eat the maintenance amount of calories for a couple of days, followed by a high calorie day and then a low calorie day.

  12. Have a cheat day once per week. Pick a day of the week when you can enjoy your favorite food. After you fulfill your protein needs you can eat whatever you want. This will increase levels  of leptin and help you burn fat and build muscle. Just remember to go back to your diet the next day.