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Diet, Fitness, and the Martial Arts: How Much Should I Eat?

Here’s the deal.  Martial arts is a great physical activity that can help you get in shape.  However, it takes more than physical activity to be healthy. 

Martial arts programs vary in the intensity and types of physical exertion.  Depending on the martial arts school, usually a “baseline” fitness level concept is stressed.  This level of fitness ensures you can perform techniques, are in generally good physical health, and can handle physically demanding situations.  Whereas other programs may run a person into the ground, demanding the highest levels of performance the body can endure.  In the middle area, you have the programs (like ours at Hood’s Martial Arts Academy) that offer different classes based on a student’s martial and fitness focus, whether it’s baseline or athlete.  Our basic self-defense classes follow the “baseline” method.  Our advanced classes are a step up from “baseline” and require additional strength and  endurance, respective to each student, to maximize your likelihood of outlasting an opponent if a self-defense situation requires it.  In addition, we offer an extra-curricular fitness class geared for those that want a higher level of fitness in a martial training framework.  Whatever the level of fitness a martial artist is shooting for, a proper diet is the over-arching requirement. You can’t out-train a poor diet.  So, even if you’re working out three times per day for an hour, if you’re eating garbage, you won’t get the results you’re after. 

Everyone has heard this pitch before.  It’s nothing new.  Eat healthy, clean, minimally to non-processed foods.  Well, that’s great, but how many calories should I be eating?  How much protein do I need?  What about the ever-negatively publicized carb and fat?  To answer those questions about “Macronutrients”, we’re looking to Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, and all-around nice guy, Mike Walsh, from Northwest Forge.  Below is a link to an article Mike wrote on how to calculate exactly what you need for your respective activity level.  The information is gold because all martial artists are different and train differently.  The method Mike provides takes the unevenness into account.  Give the calculations a try.  You may find that you get to eat more delicious food than you expected, in addition to seeing and feeling the positive results!

Click here to calculate your macronutrients!


Sifu Caleb Hood is a martial arts instructor at Hood's Martial Arts Academy in Salem, Oregon. He currently offers classes in Kajukenbo Tum Pai and Yang style Tai Chi. He has experience training people from all age groups and ability levels. He is always eager to share the arts he practices with anyone that has a good attitude and a willingness to work hard. In addition to teaching self-defense through martial arts, Sifu Hood also promotes a healthy lifestyle, emphasizing healthy physical habits, as well as healthy mental habits. To learn more about the classes offered by Sifu Hood, or about the art of Kajukenbo Tum Pai or Tai Chi, visit the Hood's Martial Arts Academy website here