Guest post by Evolve MMA, Asia’s premier championship brand for martial arts. It has the most number of World Champions on the planet. Named as the #1 ranked martial arts organization in Asia by CNN, Yahoo! Sports, FOX Sports, Evolve MMA is the top rated BJJ gym in Singapore.
Starting a martial arts program is an effective way to lose extra weight. You’re less likely to get bored with your training compared to conventional workouts like running, swimming, or lifting weights. Martial arts like Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also burn up to 1000 calories for every hour spent training, while you might only burn a few hundred calories after running or lifting weights for an hour.
Unlike conventional workouts that can become repetitive over time, learning a martial art never feels repetitive. You get to learn new things in each class, which gets you looking forward to your next lesson. Your drive to learn more grows stronger as you progress through the rankings, as you start reaping the rewards of your training like an improved physique and cardiovascular endurance.
Losing Weight Through Martial Arts
Ready to become a leaner, stronger version of yourself? Here are five simple things you should do if you’re interested in learning a martial art:
1) Find The Right Martial Art For You
All martial arts are not equal, as they have different styles of training. Some martial arts like Muay Thai have challenging curriculums that include pushing students to their limits. In contrast, others like Tai Chi have comparatively relaxed curriculums that focus more on flowing techniques and the spiritual side of martial arts.
If you’re interested in losing weight with martial arts, find one that gives you a good workout. Some examples of martial arts that burn close to 1000 calories for every hour spent training include Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling, and Judo.
You should also be searching for a martial art that suits your personality. Some in martial arts circles believe everyone is born with a preference for striking or grappling. Some people naturally throw strikes when they find themselves in combat situations, while others instinctively look to grapple their attacker.
Figure out what works for you and commit to becoming great at it. If you’re having a hard time figuring out your natural fighting style, try out a few martial arts and pick the one that feels most comfortable. Martial art training centers like Evolve provide an opportunity to learn various martial arts and offer complimentary introductory classes to try out the different fighting styles.
2) Set Goals
Once you have found a martial art that interests you and suits your style, it’s time to set some fitness goals. Avoid using your body weight as the only measure of fitness since it can be a relatively poor indicator. It’s often better to focus on metrics such as your body fat percentage that paint a clearer picture of how healthy you are.
A good place to start is to write down your body weight, body fat percentage, and how many calories you consume on a typical day. You can use a calorie calculator to estimate how many calories your body needs daily. Once you’ve established a baseline, you can start making modifications to your diet and establish a proper training plan to hit your desired body fat percentage.
3) Craft An Appropriate Diet Plan
There’s a straightforward formula for weight loss: You need to consume fewer calories than your body needs daily. This forces your body to tap into your fat stores for energy. That’s the role most of the fat on your body plays. Think of fat as biological batteries your body uses for energy when its primary energy source is depleted. That’s why we put on fat on our bodies: it’s our body’s way of preparing for days you might not get enough to eat.
A good rule to follow when creating a weight loss diet is to make sure it includes all your favorite dishes. A good diet should never feel like a punishment; it should be enjoyable enough to make it a permanent lifestyle change. The key is moderation. Enjoy the things you like, but don’t overdo it to the point it negatively impacts your weight loss goals.
A low-carb diet works well for weight loss, and so does intermittent fasting. Explore various diet types and make sure they fit your lifestyle. For example, if you typically meet up with family members on Sundays for a feast, you want a diet that gives you cheat days so you can still keep your family tradition alive.
4) Track Your Progress
Many martial arts have a belt-ranking system that tracks your progress as you move through the ranks. You should also track your weight loss journey so that you know all your hard work is paying off. Examples of key metrics you should be tracking include your body fat percentage, total weight, and skeletal muscle mass. You should also be tracking how many calories you consume daily to make sure you’re sticking to your diet. With so many free apps available nowadays, counting calories has never been easier.
Tracking your progress will give you the extra motivation you need to keep pushing through your training sessions. You notice your body evolving into a stronger version of itself, and you can always go over what your key metrics were when you started training to remind you of how far you’ve come.
You can also track your training to help with retaining the techniques you have learned. Many great martial artists have confessed to writing down what they learned in a journal after each class. It helps to remember techniques, and you can always go back to your notes to refresh your memory as needed.
5) Enjoy The Process And Rewards
Learning a martial art often becomes a lifestyle, and that’s the way it should be. Stay focused on your weight loss journey, but don’t forget to enjoy the process.
Training should be something you look forward to, not some additional chore you have to do. Martial arts give you so much more than simply losing weight. You learn how to think under pressure, make new friends, and develop real fighting skills that can come in handy if you ever need to defend yourself.
Martial arts also help to improve a variety of physical attributes like flexibility, balance, and reflexes. It sculpts you into the best version of yourself so enjoy the many rewards that come with training while pursuing your weight loss goals.