Plateaus and breaking your Routine

DSC_6847At some point you will get good, it’s going to happen if you put in the time. The problem is once that happens you might find you stop getting better. You might find you’re bored with your training. So what can you do to keep advancing? Avoid some simple mistakes.

Have you been training with the same partner during and after class (yes you should be training outside of class).  I’ve seen a lot of great training partners who get comfortable with each other and they stop pushing each other. They do what they always do and thus they repeat the same mistakes, focus too much on their shared strengths and not enough on their weaknesses. The fact is if you and your training partner never work clinch you will always suck at clinch, if they let you skip your conditioning you will never get as strong. Simple Solution, train with more people…if you’re dedicated and hardworking you will find that people who are better than you will be happy to work with you.

Set new goals and research new drills. You’ve been doing pyramids for two years like a metronome and your conditioning is awesome, but could you be faster? How’s your foot work and head movement? It’s easy to work what you’ve been working, it’s easy to work what your good at. Set new training goals. WRITE THEM DOWN.

Go to a seminar. Believe it or not martial arts masters are real and they have real knowledge to share and you should probably go get some of that sweet, sweet brain nectar. Heck they don’t even have to be a master, just another person with a different skill set who has made different discoveries than you about martial arts might send you in a new direction towards improvement.

Get a new set of eyes. Your training partners are so used to seeing you they will miss the obvious and you see yourself through some pretty screwed up rose colored classes. Ask someone you respect to watch and give you feedback and work on it right away.

Even if you’re a black belt you will fall into routines, you will be limited by your comfort zone, limited by your own knowledge. To break your routines and progress you need to be creative, seek new information and methods, set clear goals, be disciplined and work hard.

Student Spotlight: Jason Gulden

Martial Arts FitnessJason grew up in circle pines and, like many people experienced bullying and street fights. These early experiences help build a desire to learn self-defense. When he joined the Academy, he was searching for real life self-defense and fighting techniques. What he got was not only a working knowledge of self defense but also tremendous health and energy. When he first started training in the foundations program he weighed185 lbs. Now that he has been training in the Combat Athlete program he has lost over 35 lbs! Way to go Jason!

Coaches Corner: Diet & Nutrition


Hey Team! Now that you have the knowledge and tools to set goals and stay accountable to achieving those goals, it’s time to discuss nutrition and weight management. Eating a healthy diet is essential to your training whether your goal is to become a fighter or to simply lose weight and get in shape. Just because you’re training on a regular basis doesn’t mean you can eat pizza every night, more about this is discussed on page 2, so hang tight! Remember, there is no one way to lose weight. It’s easy to get discouraged when it comes to dieting and nutrition. Everyone’s body is different. You have to try multiple strategies to find out what works best for you.

1. Portion control

This is one of the most important tools to be aware of at all times. If you’re consuming large portions of food, but not burning all the calories, your body will store the excess calories as fat. Try to eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day instead of 2-3 large meals, which will cause your energy levels to fluctuate too much. Eating small meals frequently will train your body to not feel hungry, and maintain steady blood sugar levels. Also avoid high calorie drinks like soda, high-sugar juices, and alcohol. Stay away from anything that contains high fructose corn syrup at all costs!

2. Control emotional eating

One common downfall people are met with is overeating when they’re stressed or tired. Instead of reaching for the potato chips at night, have a few baby carrots or an apple. Fruits and veggies contain lots of water and fiber, which help you feel full without adding extra calories. Additionally, fruits and veggies contain important vitamins and minerals that your body needs to repair and nourish itself. Training on a regular basis should help with managing your stress levels but properly refueling your body will help take care of fatigue and low energy.

3. Shop at the outer edges of the grocery store.

By shopping at the outer edges of the grocery store, you will find more fruits and veggies filling your cart. The foods you buy in the aisles typically have a shelf life of a few years, and that’s never a good sign. Because fresh food goes bad sooner, don’t buy in bulk. Buy what you need for a few days, and then head back to the grocery store and restock. If you’re thinking, “I don’t have time to go to the grocery store 3 times a week” then try to buy foods that last for about a week, such as carrots, apples, oranges, single serving yogurts, string cheese, and cottage cheese. If you want more detailed information check out the book Food Rules by Michael Pollen.

4. Start preparing your meals and cutting out pre-packaged, and processed foods.

Microwaveable lunches and dinners like Lean Cuisine are tempting because they’re fast and easy, but they contain lots of preservatives and are usually high in sodium. Try to eat foods that don’t come out of a box or need to be microwaved. Even though it’s more work, get in the habit of preparing your meals with real foods. For example, making a sandwich for lunch with whole grain bread, lettuce, a slice of turkey breast, and some cucumbers, is going to be way more nutritious that an instant, prepackaged meal.
Remember, if you have any questions or want more information about diet and nutrition talk to your coach. Never forget that we are here to help you!