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Top Ten Pre-Training Tips

Top Ten Pre-Training Tips

Looking for some great pre-training tips before class? Follow these top ten tips to get the most out of your work out or training session!

1. Make sure to HYDRATE!

Did you know that losing only 2% of your body fluid, can decrease performance by up to 25%? 

In a study done by Amanda Carlson, director of performance nutrition for Athletes’ Performance, she found 98% of college football players preparing for an NFL scouting event, underperformed because they were dehydrated. So how much water should you drink prior to a workout in order to perform at your best?

WebMD suggests drinking 15 to 20 ounces of water an hour to two prior, 8 to 10 ounces fifteen minutes before and 8 to 15 ounces during.

2. Show up to class CLEAN and NEAT!

This not only shows you respect your place of training but, your master, coach or sensei, as well as your training partners! By taking care of your body, you display the discipline, self-control, and awareness needed as a martial artist. Bringing in dirt from the playground or a day’s worth of sweat, displays the opposite. Not only is being clean a symbolic and respectful gesture towards your martial arts but it affects your health too!

Bumps, bruises and scratches are expected in a contact sport. However, infections and issues with skin care caused by bad hygiene can easily be avoided with regular personal care. Washing yourself regularly after class goes a long way.

3. Always make sure to have ALL of your equipment!

You don’t want to show up to kumite or sparring and not have your protective gear because it’s still in your closet. Make sure you pay attention to your class schedule and have everything you need prepared the night before and ready to go when it’s time for class. This creates a mindset of self-discipline and self-control and will avoid the unnecessary stress or embarrassment of missing your things!

4. Never OVER EAT before training!

Jim White, R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said in an online article for Men’s Health, “Putting the wrong things in your tank before you exercise can leave you lethargic, crash your system, or cause wicked cramps and going on empty can do the same.”

Sweets and refined carbs, like a donut, will spike your blood sugar and cause you to crash, while things high in fat, like fast food, can take up to four hours to digest slowing you down. There’s also a downside to not eating as well. An empty stomach forces your stomach to starve your muscles of glycogen and you’ll end up getting tired much quicker.

5. What SHOULD you EAT before training?

Things like fruit are a great choice, especially oranges, which will give you quick energy, as well as simple carbohydrates, along with vitamin C and electrolytes. If oranges aren’t to your liking, bananas are also a great substitute. Other options are a moderate protein shake that can have berries, oats or oatmeal added to it, even yogurt, veggie omelets, sweet potatoes or broccoli work as well.

When eating before a workout or training session, make sure it’s low in fat and moderate in carbs and protein. While also being low in fiber and can include fluids, that are made up of familiar foods that you tolerate well.The general rule of thumb is to eat one of the suggested foods, two to three hours prior to training.

6. Always make sure to WARM UP!

However, some warm ups are better to do than others.  Doing cardio to warm up may end up tiring you out prior to your session, while using static stretching has shown to weaken muscles and is best left to afterwards.

Dynamic stretching is a more efficient way of warming up because your body is continuously moving, even while stretching and is preparing your muscles for the impending workout, as well as expanding the range of motion in your joints.

7. Make sure to get plenty of SLEEP AND REST the night before!

Sleep controls everything from energy levels to muscle recovery and even your diet.

Lack of sleep and hard training also does a number on your immune system, opening up your body to viruses and colds. Plus, when your body is sleep deprived, it cannot regulate insulin as efficiently and causes “metabolic grogginess,” leading to excess storing of fat in your cells.

About eight hours of sleep per night is required for optimum performance!

8. Enter class with the proper MINDSET before beginning!

Training distracted or upset could cause a variety of different negative results, from injuring a partner to even getting yourself hurt.  Make sure to leave the negative thoughts at the door and enter your school with a positive mindset!

9. LISTEN to your body!

There’s a difference between missing training because you’re simply being lazy and missing class because you’re injured. It’s ok to take a break sometimes; your body needs to recover. Whether it’s simply nagging pains or something more serious, be aware of your body and it’s limits and know when it’s time to take a break.


Finally, come in ready to learn and absorb all you can! Ask questions, learn more about the technique and get as much out of your class as you can!

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