A Rare Set of Circumstances?
I've been reading the forum posts and articles here for a long while now, and finally decided to post a topic of my own, since I have some rather specific questions.
Before I get to asking them, though, let me say that I have tried to find the answers myself through the search function on this forum, as well as the much broader (and vaguer) internet searches I have conducted.
First off, I guess I'll start with who I am and move in from there. I live in downtown Montreal, Canada, I'm 22 years old, and I'm a full-time student at McGill University. I've had a deep interest in Martial Arts for many years now, and I first starting training in them when I was 14 at the now infamous Fang Shen Do (in my hometown of Gatineau). I trained there for a couple years (2-3 roughly) but due to the cost I couldn't continue.
So about 5 or 6 years go by, and now I'm a university student, and a friend of mine tells me the Athletic Center at McGill University offers Martial Arts courses. My friend and I decide we'd like to take Karate, since he's never taken a martial art before, period, and I like the stand-up fighting approach rather than grappling or ground-fighting. It's not very expensive (only about $80 per semester, which is about 4 months) and sounds pretty solid. My friend did a semester of it this past school year and said it was a blast and had only good things to say about it, but since he doesn't have any previous experience with MAs, I can't help but feel sceptical somewhat. We're both going to go for it, so the actual MA in question will certainly be Karate.
So there's a bit of background on who I am and what I'm looking to do. My questions, however, are more specific to my situation. I've come to think that I'm maybe somewhat of an oddity in terms of my build. I'm 5'6", and I weigh 120 lbs. I had my basic information figured out by a doctor which concluded that my Body Fat % is only 4%. So, needless to say, I'm quite thin.
I want to gain a good amount of weight (obviously preferably muscle) to be somewhere in the 140-160 lbs range if I can. I'm looking at doing Strength Training at the gym in addition to the Karate classes to help me bulk up a fair bit and make better use of the techniques I'm taught. I'm planning on using the Stronglifts 5x5 program as my Strength Training basis, and move into more sport-specific weight training once I get a solid base of strength together.
So my actual questions are thus;
1. Is it feasible to have my Karate classes on the same days as my Strength Training? (Monday, Wednesday, Friday; ST in the morning, MA in the evening -- ST = 3hrs/week, MA = 6hrs/week(
2. Is my build sufficient as it is to be good in Karate, or will I have trouble with a lot of it to begin with until I build up a ways?
3. I am aware that nutrition will be VITAL throughout this time, so any help on what to do for meals and whether or not to use supplements or which ones and all that would be wonderful.
4. Any advice on how to build up some muscle, train best, make the best use of my time in the gym and the dojo, or any other small pieces of advice?
Thank you for reading all of this, and for any replies and help you can provide.
P.S. Being 120lbs, I know it might be difficult for me to gain much muscle very quickly, and I am prepared to give whatever I have to in order to succeed.
I'm not a trainer, but it sounds to me like you're going to have to eat a LOT maybe take protein shakes with each meal.
I think you can train your MA on the same day you do strength training.
I don't think your build matters for karate any more than it would for any other martial art. You'll learn to fight in a way that works toward your strengths if you spar a lot.
McGill is a great University, sounds like you're going to get badass education.
Yeah, I worked it out to be around 2500-2800 calories a day. Nice to hear someone say I can do both on the same day. I figured doing the Strength Training in the mornings would give me more time to recover for the Karate classes in the evenings.
Also, I'm pretty dead-set on two more things; 1) Training on my own time, outside the dojo, to make sure I learn and really get a handle on what is taught, and 2) Being as prepared (physically and mentally) as possible for when September arrives, which is when I'll be starting the entire thing.
To that end, is there some ways I can build my flexibility and/or help my strength levels at home so I can progress more steadily, or at least avoid some of the shock to my system by throwing myself right into it?
If you're going to work on something to make MA training easier on you, I would say focus on building up your cardio if it's not great.
Definitely good to know. Long duration cardio, or short sprints intervals? Maybe a bit of both to build both systems?
Any other pointers?
If anyone else wants to weigh in on the topic, the more the merrier.
Intervals for sure. Assuming it's a good strenuous karate class, you'll want to be able to go hard for 3min rounds in addition to long and slow cardio.
In terms of weight training, its not a bad idea to start with pushups, pullups, situps, squats even if it's just with body weight. Gets the motor neurons ready for those sorts of motions (so they say). Also, start eating more Mr. Slim.
Again, very helpful advice.
How would you advise I structure my diet? For instance, I know the buzzword for it is to eat "clean", but as a student with not a great deal of money for food, that seems difficult. I have only $200 per month for food and supplements combined, so one way or another it's gonna be tight budget-wise.
What would you (or anyone else on here, for that matter) say is the best way -- or foods -- to eat? I don't mind article links or links to other threads or anything like that, since the knowledge is something I need for this, and I know it.
If anyone could, for instance, break down a 2500 calorie diet for a 120 lb male taking the training needs into account, and maybe show what a day might look like in terms of meals, that would be absolutely amazing.
I'm not a nutritionist, but if you want to start simple just increase calories and focus on protein (e.g. fish chicken protein powder). When I used to lift I just ate a LOT and took protein shakes with 1 or 2 meals per day.
Alternatively, you could just buy $200 dollars worth of steroids and HGH.
So basically be smart about what I eat, but also eat a ton of (healthy) food. Drink a shake with 2 of my meals sound like a simple way to add calories and protein. I don't suppose you could post a recipe for one?
Also, something to note; milk is not cheap here in Canada. A gallon (4 litres) is about $7 here, so it tends to add up fast to buy a lot of milk.
I mix my protein powder with water, but protein powder isn't super cheap either. I don't make my own shakes from real food, I just buy the powder.