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Nutrition advise needed

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  • Nutrition advise needed

    Here's my post from the Athlete Forum:

    Greetings all,

    I practice a Southern Shaolin style of Kungfu called Hung Fot, which is a combination of hard Hung Gar and softer Fut Gar styles. However, I am also a P90Xer, a recovering obese person of 35 yo, and a very new primalist of 2 weeks...

    Skill-wise I am at an intermediate level, however, despite improving my conditioning and losing 40 lbs from 310 to 269 in the last 4 months, I am struggling with speed and breathing in my form (like kata) practice. And NOW PB tells me to take it easy... AAAAAGH!

    What's a kungfu wannabe to do?

    I have decided to take two weeks to do one week of the P90X schedule, but my kungfu practice is tougher to tone down as my instructors expect a lot from me (or maybe I just think they do...hmmm). Anyway, I have decided to track my carbs and make sure I get between 150 to 200 a day so I can keep up with the cardio involved in my training.

    FYI when I do a 3-4 minute form, my Heart Rate gets up around 165-169, which is high for a guy of 35.

    I will try to slow down for most of my workouts as my body adapts to Primal and clean eating.

    Thoughts/advice out there? Thanks!


    So today I started eating more fruit and vegetable carbs, I don't an exact number, but I'd guess I have had 75 to 100 today based on rough guessing. I plan on having a sweet potato before kungfu practice today... What's worse is I have a slight head cold... But so far I am resisting other carbs.

    I want to lose weight, but I am not in a HUGE rush. In two weeks so far I have lost 8 lbs, so that's a bit much. Just want some advice to make sure I am ok and following PB as an athlete should despite my obesity. This is my lifestyle and it can't change just yet...


  • #2
    You can take it easy and still excel in martial arts. How many times a week do you practice? Not every day, right? Give it your all at practice and then get good rest in the meantime. If you're having problems with speed and breathing, think of it like sprinting training. I don't think a sprinter slows down during practice to get better. But then, I don't know what's involved in a 3-4 minute form in Hung Fot.

    Just to give a different perspective, I do Krav Maga 3 times a week which uses a lot of 1-2 minute drills of all-out intensity, and I do it in a fasted state, while consuming less than 50g of carbs a day, and I have just as much if not more energy than my classmates. I think your body will adapt just fine if you keep training hard, rely on fat for most of your energy, and don't worry about "fueling up" your muscles with carbs.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!


    • #3
      Breathing practice will help you a whole lot! I wish you could get some lessons from my qigong teacher- he's a breathwork coach and it makes such a difference to learn proper breathing mechanics. Just as a quickie, though, make sure you keep your chest relaxed and breath into the belly without popping your ribs out. Imagine pushing your diaphragm down on the in breath and ALSO on the exhale. This allows for much easier emptying of the lungs. It can be hard in the beginning!

      Do you do any cultivation work like tai chi or qigong? These are useful for building better movement through strengthening the tendons and ligaments, which is important for kung fu. You won't rely on muscle as much when your tendons and ligaments are properly conditioned and you'll also have better endurance (and strikes!) because you'll be flowing your movements through your tendons instead of just the muscles (which create more resistance.) You'll also gain more physical energy and feel good, in general:-)


      • #4
        I recognize, Jane, that I do go through phases of doing too much and or getting away from my yoga and taichi practice. I always do feel better when I concentrate on doing less strenuous stuff and go back to the yoga/taichi. I'll work on that.

        As for breathwork, it's very different to take deep breaths when that's all your doing, but when you are trying to do a MA form at full fighting speed, I have trouble... Anyway what you are saying resonates with something my instructor said about take deep breaths. I'll work on it.

        I guess I can slow down after all.

        Thanks for your responses guys.


        • #5
          Sure! I bet it's hard to take deep breaths in the middle of fighting! It really comes down to getting your breathing into an automatic state and being able to balance between sympathetic/parasympathetic response (i.e. the "Zone" where you're focused and relaxed at the same time and your responses are automatic).
          One way my class does this is to practice something called the "1-10 Meditation", which teaches automatic energetic/breathing responses that can then be used during dynamic qigong or even martial arts. It takes awhile (and I'm SO not there yet!) but practice makes perfect:-)

          If you want to learn the "1-10", it's on the special features section of the "Chi Kung: The Healing Workout" dvd, which is a great routine from Jerry Alan Johnson, who's quite accomplished in tai chi, kung fu and baguazhang. He also has a great postural section. Just those two things alone are worth it! Since you already have training, a dvd is probably fine to learn from.


          • #6
            Thanks Jane. I love using DVDs and one that comes so highly recommended sounds really good!