Lifestyle: Michelle Nicolini shares her secrets to success and beauty in Jiu-Jitsu

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Black Belt World Champion Michelle Nicolini. Photo: Personal archive

Black Belt World Champion Michelle Nicolini. Photo by Milena Fioravanti

IBJJF Hall of famer Michelle Nicolini has many reasons to celebrate the year of 2014. The black belt has accumulated so far her 8th World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, a promising career in MMA and several booked seminars around the globe.

Here on the fighter shares some of her lifestyle secrets to success in training, dieting and how to be a girl in a big men’s world.

How do you adjust your diet to your training routine?

Usually, I lift weights or do my cross fit session before BJJ class. So, I like to get up early to have breakfast; but it does not mean I like to train early in the morning (laughs!) No, I need some more time to start training; I usually get up around 7am thereby I have enough time to eat a good meal. I normally eat 1 “tapioca” with white eggs, half papaya with yogurt and muesli, and black coffee. I start my work out at 9am, which typically lasts for 1 hour, and then I have a snack, like 1 small fruit or half of a protein bar, and immediately after that I go train Jiu-Jitsu. For me, its essential to drink a recovery shake afterwards. This first BJJ class is our competition training so I need to rehydrate and recover to be ready for the next training session. Then, in about 40 min I eat lunch; I like to have salads, lots of veggies and one kind of fish or chicken. If I need to drink something I choose a hot or iced tea.

Do you take any supplements?

Yes, I do take some. I believe that because I train a lot, I need extra care and help from supplements. For example, before I go to bed at night I take 1 scoop of whey protein – Lean Body or ProV60- Labrada mixed with water. Also, I take multivitamins, Vitamin D, Glucosamin, Glutamin (Glutalen-Labrada), BCAA, Elastijoint (Labrada), Endurox R4, and not often but some times if I feel tired, I take one scoop of Super Charge (pre training-Labrada).

Do you think your eating habits affect your performance?

I believe the way I eat affects the way I train. If I eat too much sugar for example, I will get very tired during my workouts, with a very bad cardio. So, it’s extremely important to eat healthy. I avoid sweets and fried foods on a daily basis, and I do not miss it. If I’m not training for competition then I give myself the pleasure of having ice cream or açai!

03_STAMP_Graciemag_BlackFDay_2014The girls that like you also love training Jiu-Jitsu would like to know: what are your beauty secrets for before and after practice?

BJJ is in its majority a male sport. So, I like to show I’m a girl even when I’m on the mats. I like to have my gi and rash guards always clean; its basic but some people just are not used to do it. I like to braid my hair to prevent other people from pulling it; its good for me and for the people I’m training with. I like to do my nails every week, and I love pink nails polish (laughs!). Like a girl I do put make up on, but not too much though because I’m going to training and not to a party. However, I remove it before working out and every night before I go to bed. I take extra care of my face and skin: cleaning and hydrating and things like showering before and after training to prevent mycoses and bacteria. Having a fresh breath is important too. Besides that, I don’t like rolling with people when they have dirty feet and it touches my gi, face, and hands; it is disgusting when someone is stinking. I’m not telling you we need to be tremendously clean but there has to be a minimum of hygiene.

Tell us, what it takes to keep your gratefulness on the mat?

I’have found what I like to do in my life so far. It’s not a sacrifice to go train. If I have any problem outside the mat, as soon as I start training it all disappears. There is no stress on the mat…BJJ is a mind therapy. So I m happy like this and that’s the most important thing.

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