Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Martial Artists Cutting Carbohydrates

Many of today’s martial arts movie stars not only have great technique but ripped bodies. Having a ripped body means not only defined visible muscles, but a low body fat level which can be as low as 3% in some cases, enough to clearly see striations in the muscles. Obviously to get into this state of conditioning, one needs to train hard and cut back on there calories. As martial artists though, should we be trying to achieve a ripped look?

It is very easy to believe in today’s day and age that carbohydrates are the reason many people put on weight when the actual reason for this is excessive calorie consumption. These calories can come from protein, carbohydrate or fat. If you have too many of any, you will put on weight. Yes, dropping your carbs and fat a little while keeping your protein high to maintain lean muscle will help in losing body fat but as a martial artist and not a bodybuilder is it very effective.

In order to achieve a ripped body a bodybuilder must adjust there diet by cutting down on there calorie intake, and this means for most, cutting down on carbs and fat. Many bodybuilders who weigh around 200 lbs sometimes can be known to eat at the most 50 grams of carbs a day and often less then this. For a bodybuilder who trains only weights and cardio this may be effective for them.

However, for a martial artist, who trains an average 3-5 times a week and maybe incorporates weight training and cardiovascular training into there regimen, this may not be enough carbs. Apart from the fact that the grappling, striking, self defence or whatever type of training one concentrates on will require one to exert a lot of energy which one will need from carbohydrates, a lack of this nutrient will lead one to think and react slower, be much weaker strength wise and techniques not as fast, which may lead one to wonder why there fighting skills may suffer during sparring, which can also lead to a drop in moral. A martial artist is not a bodybuilder, and although can learn many lessons from them, must keep in mind the fact that there training and diet will differ slightly. A bodybuilder does not have to think clearly when performing an hour on the treadmill. He simply plugs in his iPod and away he goes. A martial artist needs to be extra alert during sparring when fists and feet are flying towards him. A good supply of carbs will provide this.

Carbs are not ones enemy, and it is perfectly easy to develop a well defined physique with a low but not excessively low body fat level by continuing to train martial arts, weights and everything else whilst still cutting back on ones calories. However, the key is to cut calories enough, but not excessively. If you feel tired upon waking, feel your strength disappear, have shaky limbs or feel depressed, then these are signs that you have cut back on your carbs way to much and should consider adding a few more.


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