The "ins and outs" of Starting at Dragon Gym
Since you are just starting out here, we would like to make your experience as positive as possible. You have made an investment in yourself, your health, and your future. We want to do everything we can to guide you to success on your journey. When you are beginning, there are a few things that will immediately get you moving in the right direction. We will outline these for you and at the same time help you understand the benefits of participating in martial arts in general.
First things first: now that you have taken a step in the right direction, make one, single, simple commitment: SHOW UP. Make a promise to your self to come to class. Classes meet six times per week, commit to attending class at least 9 times during the next 6 weeks. This is the most important single element in predicting your future success. Just show up. At the beginning, 75% attendance is an excellent target as you integrate martial arts into your life. Consistency is an element of discipline, and discipline is a quality you will find dramatically improved by martial arts and / or fitness training.
Second: drink water. I know that this sounds overly simple but you are adding physical activity to your life and your body requires more water to sustain your ability to train and recover. A good general rule of thumb is to bring a bottle of water to class and finish it before you are done training or immediately afterwards. Aside from this being a basic and important component of nutrition, sticking to this rule again contributes to the development of basic discipline. Increasing your intake of clean water is the very first part of a healthy sports diet that will support performance, fat loss, and muscle gain.
Third, honestly evaluate your fitness level. If your fitness or body composition are what brought you here, then get specific—find out your exact weight and body fat percentage. If you are interested in re-shaping your body; have an instructor show you some common ways of testing basic strength such as pull-ups. Knowing where you are is going to be vital when you start to set goals. We will go over goal setting and avoiding plateaus.
Finally, be sociable. You will find your instructors and fellow students to be polite, friendly, and ready to help. The atmosphere at Dragon Gym is one of the factors experienced students will cite when asked about the benefits of training here. One of the most common questions asked will be about the different classes and it is best to ask those who have trained in them. Interact with as many students as you can, your goals brought you to Dragon Gym, but the friendships you develop will keep you here.
I believe that the few concepts outlined here will ensure that you start out headed in the right direction and experience the benefits of martial arts training. The Dragon Gym has a special atmosphere we want you to enjoy—so come to class regularly, drink your water, make a few friends, and find the class that will help you make positive changes in your mind and body!
Wishing you strength and health,
President, Dragon Gym Martial Arts & Fitness
A CONVERSATION ABOUT DIET
You’ve decided to make the commitment to your physical fitness, mental discipline and the ability to defend yourself; however, a mismanaged diet can sabotage your progress.
While food journals seem like “eating with homework,” there is actually a lot more to it. What you put in your body should act as nourishment, medicine and fuel. By writing down what you are consuming, you can track a realistic picture of what to expect from your body.
Years ago people ate whole foods, animal proteins, colorful fruits and veggies and plenty of fiber all from natural food sources. They ate like this because they had to do manual labor during the day and lived off their land to survive. Before you remind me that this is not 100 years ago, let me make my point. Just because our society does not function like it did 100 years ago, does not mean that your mentality on food should change.
Eat when you are hungry. Don’t starve yourself; just eat better foods.
Now before you throw this packet on the floor and decide you are not eating “tree bark” just because your started martial arts lessons, let me clarify a few things.
- You have to choose that eating healthy is much more important than eating foods that fulfill a guilty pleasure. You are not denying yourself; you are choosing something else is more important, YOUR HEALTH!
- Tracking your food intake allows for you to see what works and what does not. Be faithful to documenting every day.
- Everyone has a “cheat meal”. Do not beat yourself up about it or let yourself get off track. Just course correct and get back to the plan. Try to follow less healthy meals with lots of water, green tea and a walk to limit the effects it has.
- Stay positive. This is all about you...your health...your success...and creating a sustainable lifestyle. I promise you, when you clean up your diet you will feel fantastic and accelerate your progress.
Keep scrolling, we’ve laid out an ingredient list and a food-tracking sheet. These are suggestions and guidelines for you to start a healthier approach to eating. Over the next two weeks I want you to use the tracking sheet and write down every thing, every single thing, that you consume. If you can make major changes right away, that’s great. If not, that is also good, it will give us a good baseline from which to make changes.
Remember, write down everything you eat over the next two weeks. Make copies of the tracking sheet or just use a notebook.
"WHAT SHOULD I EAT?"
Here's a basic list of ingredients and guidelines for you to follow.
Elimination / Reduction of the following:
• Alcohol • Grains
What you should eat:
Vegetables - 2 or more servings per meal
Alfalfa sprouts • Artichokes • Arugula • Asparagus • Bean sprouts • Beets • Bell peppers • Bok choy • Broccoli • Brussels sprouts • Cabbage (red or white) • Carrots • Cauliflower • Celery • Chard • Collard greens • Cucumber • Dandelion greens • Eggplant • Endive • Ginger • Green beans • Green peas • Greens (beet, collard, dandelion, kale, mustard, turnip) • Hot peppers • Jerusalem artichokes • Jicama • Kale • Kohlrabi • Leeks • Lettuce (any) • Malanga • Mushrooms • Okra • Olives • Onions • Parsley • Pimientos • Radicchio • Radishes • Rhubarb • Rustabaga • Salsa • Sauerkraut • Scallions • Snow peas (no sugar) • Spinach • Squash leaves • Stir-fry vegetables (no sauce) • Taro root, 1/4 cup • Tomatoes (fresh) • Tomato paste, 2 tbsp. • Water chestnuts • Watercress • Zucchini
Fruit - No More than 2 servings per day
• Apple • Apricots, 4 medium • Banana • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries, blackberries), 3/4 cup • Cantaloupe • Casaba melon • Cherries, 12 large • Currants, 3 tbsp. • Dates (fresh), 2 • Figs (fresh), 2 • Gooseberries, 3/4 cup • Grapefruit • Grapes • Guava • Honeydew melon • Jackfruit • Kiwifruit • Kumquats, 4 medium • Lemon • Lime • Loganberries, 3/4 cup • Loquats • Lychees, 7 • Mandarin orange • Melon balls • Mulberries, 3/4 cup • Nectarine • Orange • Papaya, 1/2 medium • Passion fruit • Peach • Pear • Pineapple, 1/2 cup • Plum • Pomegranate, 1/2 small • Raisins, 2 tbsp. • Sharon fruit • Starfruit •Tangelo • Tangerine
Protein - 6-8 Oz per meal for men and 4-6 Oz per meal for women
• Canned tuna, salmon or sardines (packed in water) • Chicken or turkey (without skin) • Eggs (1-2) • Egg whites (3-4) • Lean veal • To f u • Fresh fish (salmon, sardines, tuna, flounder, snapper, trout, etc.) • Seafood (shrimp, scallops, clams, lobster, calamari, squid, octopus, mussels, etc.) • Veggie or garden burger (grain-free)* •Whey Powder Protein Shake
Let us know if you have any questions about constructing meal plans with this ingredient list!
DAILY FOOD INTAKE TRACKING SHEET
Today’s Date: ____________________________ Total Sleep from previous night: ____________
MID MORNING SNACK
Morning Stimulants/Supplements/Vitamins: _____________________________________________________________________
MID DAY SNACK
Afternoon Stimulants/Supplements/Vitamins: ___________________________________________________________________
LATE NIGHT SNACK
Evening Stimulants/Supplements/Vitamins: _____________________ Total Water Intake for the day: ______________
Comments / Daily Reflection: