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80% Food

A friend of mine who lives on the mainland was a serious power lifter. He is almost 70 and was working to set records in his age category before having a health setback. But the point is that he was a serious weight lifter.

He said that experts he dealt with often said that for serious weight lifters, 80% depended on the food they ate -- 80%. Serious weight lifters do not think of food -- they think of fuel.

I do not know if this exact percentage is true (I am not a weight lifter) but it makes sense to me that diet would be extremely important. All serious weight lifters will train regularly and hard. That is a given. But given two athletes training equally hard, the one with the better diet should do better. This is particularly true in weight lifting since it takes a special diet to build strong muscle.

If diet is so important to weight lifters, is it also important to martial artists? Does what we eat (and how often) affect our performance? Should we think of food as fuel (rather then just as things that taste good)?

As martial artists, even martial arts hobbiests, we are athletes. We have to be in good shape to perform at a peak level. What does a Karate instructor say when he is in terrible shape? Unless he has a medical problem, he is setting a pretty bad example.

As martial artists, we should be mindful of what we eat. We should watch our weight and health generally. We need to stay in good health in order to be able to practice martial arts. And at a high level, we need to put the proper fuel in our body to enable us to move in an "extraordinary" manner.

As a side note, I try to make sure that I don't eat things that will make me burp before I teach. No spicy foods on training days.


Charles C. Goodin