At Ascendant Martial Arts, we offer a variety of wrestling and martial arts training programs that provide a great physical workout. And in order to get better and train at a high level, our instructors create and carefully lay out training plans and sessions for all of our athletes.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the training itself plays only one role in your physical performance. The other key player is nutrition.
According to John Berardi, founder of Precision Nutrition, nutrition plays a huge role in your training:
Of the modifiable factors that can contribute to optimal training and competition performance, nutritional intake can be improved quickly, and the results of this improvement can be seen almost immediately. Training adaptations, technique modifications, and mental preparatory techniques take weeks, months, and years to master and yield results. However, nutritional intake can be changed today; and the results seen tomorrow. (from The Grapplers Guide to Sports Nutrition, Dr. John Berardi and Michael Fry)
Here are few small, but impactful, nutritional changes recommended by John Berardi and Michael Fry:
1. Eat every 2-3 hours.
Rather than eating three meals a day, take the time that you’re awake each day and divide that by three. This is the number of “feeding opportunities” you should aim for in one day.
2. Eat both lean protein and vegetables during each feeding opportunity.
Every time you eat, make sure you’re getting a lean protein and some vegetables into the mix.
3. Eliminate drinks that contain calories.
Drinks with calories tend to be fruit juices, soda, and other sugary beverages. (Exceptions to this nutrition tip included specific drinks taken before a workout.)
4. Eat real foods instead of supplements.
Try to get the nutrients you need from real, whole foods (like fruits and vegetables), rather than in a multivitamin.
In order to be successful with these tips, you’ll need to take some time to prepare what you’ll eat in advance. Also, recognize that no one is perfect. You won’t be able to stick to your plan and execute it 100% of the time.
(To read more information about these and other nutrition tips, check out The Grappler’s Guide to Sports Nutrition for Body Composition and Performance Enhancement by John Berardi and Michael Fry.)