Interview | Bernardo Faria

Interview | Bernardo Faria

Find out how to be a World Champion such as Bernardo Faria off the mats. He is a man of (deep)half-guard and whole nutrition.

Bernardo is a beast, and one of the nicest guys on the planet. How can you not be when you are sharing the mat with and working with Marcelo Garcia on a day to day basis? At only 27 he has already stacked up quiet the impressive tournament resume before and after receiving his black belt in 2009 under Ricardo Marques, a Carlson Gracie Black Belt. (He is currently the 6th ranked Black Belt in the World.) Bernardo then went on to join the Alliance in Sao Paulo under “The General” Fabio Gurgel. Bernardo now lives and teaches at Marcelo Garcia’s Academy in NYC. I am keeping Bernardo’s bio short because you should already know who the hell he is. If you do not, go watch any videos from any Worlds, you’ll see him. Here’s a short list of some of his handy work:

I believe Bernardo can consider the podium his second home
I believe Bernardo can consider the podium his second home
  • IBJJF Pro League Champion (2014)
  • 3x World Champion (2010/2012/2013)
  • 3x Pan-American Champion
  • 3x European Champion
  • 2x South American Champion (2011) (Weight Division and Open Class)
  • Brazilian National Champion (2010)
  • 3x Second Place World Jiu-Jitsu Championship (2011/2012) (2011- Weight Division and Open Class)

Because Mr Faria has been training and competing since the age of 14 he has always taken his nutrition very seriously. Which is a nice way to look at what it takes to be a World Champion off the mats. Bernardo truly lives the lifestyle and embraces sharing that with each and everyone of you. Whether it is by reading this article, dropping in at Marcelo’s and having a roll with him or snagging his Digitsu The Faria Guard DVD that is a game changer. Bernardo has been traveling a lot this year competing and teaching seminars, if you are a gym owner and want to bring a truly amazing experience to your gym, you know who you should be reaching out to, I wont say any names but *cough* Bernardo *cough.* Let’s get into the food talk but first check Bernardo’s favorite highlight reel!

What is your average everyday diet like? Do you follow a certain guideline?

For my diet, I don’t follow a guideline. I don’t have a very strict diet. So basically I can eat whatever I want. What I always try is to eat as healthy as possible. So I eat about everything. I am eating the same thing everyday. Everyday is always almost the same. I don’t have to drop too much weight so I just normally have to just lose 1 or 2 pounds and then I compete. That is why I do super heavy. So I don’t have a straight diet, but I do always try and eat as healthy as possible. I do try and avoid fried things or bad food.

Do you run a cheat day or as other put it, an “earned day?”

Normally I take one day to eat whatever I want. Normally it is Sunday. Sundays I eat anything I want. That’s my cheat day.

It takes more than heart, talent and nutrition to win, having a great team as support works wonders.
It takes more than heart, talent and nutrition to win, having a great team as support works wonders.

Do you partake in Jon Satava’s love for the occasional donut?

Yea I know Jon Satava loves donuts and after the World’s No-Gi we ate together. *laughs* I am not that fanatical about donuts, I do like to eat those kinds of foods sometimes, but I am not a fanatic about it. What I really love, that we don’t have much of around here that is actually really healthy stuff, is Acai. But here in the US the Acai is very different than from Brazil. But that is my problem food, but it’s healthy so that’s even better.

What do you think is the most important food or drink for training as such a high level?

I think the most important food or drink…well I don’t think there is one most important. I think the most important thing is to keep healthy. Eat as healthy as possible. Whatever diet you do, it has to be healthy. It has to be according to your weight, you have to eat enough food or else you’ll lose it all. So I don’t think there is one food or one drink that is the most important, so it all depends.

Preparation pays off huh? No half measures here!
Preparation pays off huh? No half measures here!

What is your pre-training and post-training intake like?

I don’t eat pre or post training. I am not the type of guy that takes supplements, I believe more in food. One of the most important things for me is eating at the right time. So I like to eat something 2 hours before I train and once I am done training I try and have lunch or dinner as fast as possible. I usually eat 5 to 6 times a day. I don’t drink those pre-raining supplements that give you energy or any of that, I believe more in food.

In what ways does your competition diet change from your normal diet?

The difference between my diet in season and out of competition season is that when I am out of season I eat whatever I want. I don’t worry about eating healthy. When I am in tournament season I try and eat as healthy as possible, I do not have any bad foods. I will only do 1 cheat day per week and I will feel much much better. When I am eating whatever I want, like pizza, I feel myself like, slow down and get kind of tired. It is kind of funny because I keep myself in the tournament season mode all year round. Normally I compete and then after the tournaments for one or two weeks I eat whatever I want, then I feel bad. Even if I don’t have tournaments coming up, I restart my diet again. If there a not a tournament close I just try not to be that strict. I kind of keep a diet but, not too serious. When I do have a tournament, like two months before, I am very serious about eating healthy.

The week after a competition how do you eat?

The week after the tournaments I like to eat all of the things I have had the desire to eat, even if it wasn’t because of the tournament.  I like to drink ice cream, you know milk shakes, eating burgers, pizza, all that stuff.

Excited for the win or because now its Pizza week?
Excited for the win or because now its Pizza week?

What do you eat the night before, day of and post competition?

I always try and eat the night before, and the day of the tournament the same thing I ate on my training days. I believe that you cannot treat it different. The competition day has to be like one more training day for you. So you cannot change your routine because of the tournament and you have to imagine it as just one more day of training. So I don’t like, for example, someone that never uses some supplement, then day of the tournament he is now going to use it. Yea I don’t like that. You have to follow the same routine you have, at least in my opinion that is the best idea.

Do you have any pre-competition eating rituals, good luck foods or anything along those lines?

No, I do not have any rituals. I just try not to eat anything that is heavy. Usually because day of the tournament I get kind of nervous and have adrenaline so if you eat something heavy, you will feel heavy during the fights. That is why I try and eat the same things that I ate during my routine and only foods that are as light as possible. So maybe during the day of the tournament I’m either going to eat like four egg whites, but that can sometimes feel heavy, or I eat some turkey to replace it.

Overall what do you think is the most common meal you find yourself eating?

Sometimes the best foods are the ones you grew up with. No one can make it better than the memories associated with it can.
Sometimes the best foods are the ones you grew up with. No one can make it better than the memories associated with it can.

Man, the most common meal I usually eat is something that looks like Brazilian food. You know, rice beans and chicken. That is what I used to eat a lot in Brazil so that is my most common meal.

Do you take any supplements? If so what does your plan look like?

I don’t usually take supplements. When I do it’s more just like protein, right after training. Or for example; when I have two training sessions straight like wrestling then Jiu Jitsu, in-between I’ll use protein. But I don’t use supplements, if I do its only protein.

What are your top 5 favorite ingredients/foods?

Ahh I don’t know, it all depends. It could be top 5 healthy foods, or top 5 not healthy foods. But I will probably only say rice and beans. I love rice and beans. Im Brazilian, this is probably the most common food in Brazil.

If there was a skill or cooking technique that you would like to learn to improve your arsenal what would it be? Or is there a food you wish you knew how to make?

Normally I do not have much time to cook. So *laugh* I don’t cook. I usually go to restaurants or Whole Foods, and places like that.

Braulio, Marcelo, Bernardo and Phil walk into a Whole Foods...
Braulio, Marcelo, Bernardo and Phil walk into a Whole Foods…

If today was your last day, what would your last meal be and what song would be playing?

*laughs* Oh I don’t know, probably I would eat something not healthy, I would drink soda and eat something not healthy, maybe some cake. About the song, I don’t think Id like to be just listening to something if today was my last day.

Get it.
Get it.

I would like to thank Bernardo for taking the time out of his busy schedule to sit down and do this interview with me. If you haven’t had a chance yet, go pick up his DVD, you will not be disappointed! If only the DVD is not enough, swing over to MGinAction for more videos. Bernardo has shown a unique way of eating that is supportive of the BJJ lifestyle. As a World Champion, it works for him. I feel his diet is much like his jiu jitsu, focus on what works best for you, and stick to it.

If you have a need for more than just Jiu Jitsu DVD’s swing over to Inverted Gear and use grapplergourmet for 10% OFF  or GOURMET10 at Q5 for 10% OFF. Keep an eye out every Thursday for new posts of better yet, sign up for Grappler Gourmet Weekly below, get a free ebook, updates and special offers sent directly to you. It really does not get any easier than that! Eat well, train hard. OSSMRGUY

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