Top 5 Cardio Tips from Roy “Little Country” Nelson for Weightloss


We caught up with MMA fighter Roy Nelson recently, which wouldn’t be a very impressive statement a few months ago, but now that Big Country is looking cut and lean, catching up with him is a lot harder to do. We spoke to Roy Nelson about his new trim physique and asked him to give us his top cardio and weight loss advice.

5. Pre and post meals are very important.

pre-mealRoy says that by eating a meal before your main meal, you can warm up your stomach and get it working on digesting foods so less of your meal is stored as fat. The purpose of having a meal after your meal is to keep your stomach working for longer. If you just eat one meal out of the blue, your stomach is going to take a while to get to work, and by the time it’s warmed up and digesting food at full-force, you’ll already be done eating. That’s why you should eat a pre-meal meal to warm up your stomach, and a post-meal meal to keep it working on breaking down that food for a longer period of time.

4. Overcoming Macaroni-Elbow.

macaroniIf you’ve been following Big Country’s career for a long time, you might remember earlier on when he had a bad streak of getting injured in training camp. He’s recently revealed to the press that his injuries were severe cases of macaroni-elbow. Macaroni-elbow is caused by the repetitive use of your arm to stir the cheese mix into a pot of Kraft dinner, and then the secondary motion of shoveling bite after bite into your mouth. Macaroni-Elbow is a very common injury amongst professional gamers, yet not one that we see too often in the Octagon. Roy overcame this problem simply by working through it. By gradually preparing and eating more and more boxes of Kraft Dinner each day, Big Country was able to strengthen his arms up enough to avoid injuries at future camps that would hinder his cardio, and most importantly to be able to deliver the knock-out power that he is known for.

3.When It Comes To The Treadmill, Less Is More.

treadmillRoy takes a very Zen minimalist approach to the treadmills. “What’s the difference if I run 10 steps or if I run 1000? I’m just doing the same thing over and over. It’s overrated. It’s pretty much the same as sitting on the couch, if you think about it. When you’re running, you’re doing the same thing over and over. When you’re sitting on the couch, you’re doing the same thing over and over. Once I realized that, I came to the conclusion that it’s no more beneficial to run on the treadmill than to sit on the couch.” But don’t take Roy Nelson’s word for it, after he had this theory he went to his Doctor just to make sure his idea made sense, and Dr. Nick Riviera said that Roy Nelson’s theory was spot-on.

2.A Pound Of Brick Or A Pound Of Feathers?

weighing-scaleThey both weight the same, obviously, but the brick is going to be easier to carry around. On that same note, a pound of fat occupies more space than a pound of muscle, in other words it’s easier to carry around a pound of muscle than a pound of fat. Now, multiply that by 100. Roy figures that by carrying around an extra 100 pounds or so, he’s forcing his heart to work that much harder just to keep him alive. As such, his heart is under much higher stress than that of an average man, which gives him much better cardio.

1. Best Workout? Growing A Beard.

beardWe asked Roy for his number one piece of advice when it comes to cardio and losing weight, and he said – hands down – it’s to grow out a big nasty beard. When Roy spent some time at Johny Hendricks’ camp, many reporters and commentators just assumed it was for the pair to work on wrestling together, but the truth is that it was to work on beard-growing.
Roy explained to us that the more facial hair you have, the harder your body has to work to hold up your head.This gives you an all-day workout of your upper body, your shoulders, your back, your abs, your things, your legs… basically everything below the neck line! “A beard might not weight much, but when you consider the fact that it’s on you 24/7 – it all really adds up!” concluded Nelson, before kicking us out of the gym.

On The Way out…

All the other athletes and staff members we passed on the way out had a nervous look about them, like they knew what was about to happen and they were dreading it. None of them would make eye contact and they were all acting very meek. None of them would talk to us, they would just nervously walk in the other direction as soon as we looked like we were about to ask them what was going on. The lights went dim in the gym. Finally, we asked the receptionist at the front desk what was going on, and shuddered and said “Its… It’s time for… the feeding.”

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