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Definitely recommended for anyone wishing to step up their martial arts, this is also a good book for someone looking for ideas on how to add some spice to their everyday training, or wanting a practical guide to sports nutrition.

Authors Christensen and Demeere have clearly been round the block a time or two, once or twice on their knees, and they share with their readers their experiences, good and bad, of different training regimes and nutritional mixes. There's nothing cranky or foody about the content - no shamen or charlatans, no Atkins or F-plans here. There's lots of very practical advice on how and how not to train and eat, when you can afford to rest or transgress, and what's downright dangerous.

There are sections dealing with how to train and eat in order to lose, hold or gain weight, how to build strength, stamina and speed, and a particularly welcome introduction to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The only criticism I have of the section on HIIT, as with many of the sections, is its concentration on striking techniques (punching and kicking, bagwork and so on) at the expense of throwing or grappling techniques. As a judoka who has also studied karate, aikido and t'ai chi, I'm reasonably familiar and comfortable with the whole range of techniques, and still incorporate bagwork in my training regime (even more now), but for those who really specialise in judo or want to do some serious cross-training it might have been useful to show how, say, uchi komi could be used in an HIIT context.

The authors also seem to have a somewhat idealised view of the level of control most of us have over our working day - the ability to eat your pre-training snack at 4 pm in readiness for your 6 pm training session is nothing but a fleeting dream for most of us, I would suppose, as is eight hours' sleep a night.

But that's just to cavil about a book which has, in a short while, had a definite impact on the way I train. Most useful for me, I guess, has been the information on exactly what it is the protein, carbs, fats, vits and other supplements are doing and can do. It's some credit to the authors that even a non-foodie like me has actually recently been seen reading the nutritional information on labels!
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on 9 July 2006
I bought this book not through genuine interest, but because I recognised that my knowledge was severely lacking in this area. As a Senior Sensei, I really should be able to advise my students in nutrition, as part of the whole subject of Martial Arts. And I could really do with sorting my own nutrition out. The reason I bought this book in particular was it just seemed like the most appropriate for what I was looking for when I searched amazon. I can't say it jumped of the book shelf at me, screaming "buy me, I'm a fantastic, fun, enthralling read". To be completely honest, the subject matter is, in my view, boring. Unfortunately, I think its also essential.

Which leads to the first major positive about this book: the authors have done their best to make a boring subject interesting. They've injected humour (OK, hardly roll on the floor in fits of uncontrollable laughter - but humour nonetheless) into what they have also put over as being a very serious, important subject. There is a constant enthusiasm in the writing style.

They've put nutrition into context of Martial Arts, generally, though their enthusiasm does make it seem at times like nutrition is the single most important element of training and preparation. I should add that the book isn't just about nutrition - they also cover exercise and schedules, though eating does take up the majority of the book. The authors do seem to assume that the reader isn't new to the Martial Arts, but that they are new to the subject of diet and exercise. This is me. And I imagine most readers of this book. Information starts basic and often gets very advanced, but also often with warnings that this is about to happen for those that just want to know what to eat, not why.

The book is well organised and has a bullet-list of simple points at the start of each chapter. One minor problem - its not obvious whether the overview page pertains to the previous or next chapter.

The downsides - well the subject matter is boring. Plain and simple. Not the fault of the book or the authors, but still true. This is book about diet and exercise for the fighter, not the average Martial Artist and this has to be remembered. Much of it is dedicated toward "optimum nutrition for the next big fight" or "how to be the most nutritionally balanced fighter ever". This said, there is much to be gained for those of us that are very amateur fighters.

In conclusion, this book took me ages to read due to it being completely non-absorbing. This said, it was a very useful read, and I read it for information, not entertainment. Recommended, but only for the serious Martial Artist.
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on 16 June 2007
I don't always write reviews for the books that I buy, but I decided to write one for this book because I liked it so much. I really liked how the information was presented with the martial artist in mind.

I train in Shotokan Karate and it was an nice change to read a book on diet and nutrition that didn't assume that I was trying to build 22 inch arms or that I was a desk job jockey that could live on 1000 calories.

For the first time, I understand what my needs are as far as calories, Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats. I liked the fact that the book looks at your fitness level and body-fat % and takes those into account.

This REALLY is a good book and I am glad I bought it.
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on 18 July 2006
Ever wish you came with an owner's manual like your car does? Wouldn't it be nice if you knew what, when, and how to keep yourself running at peak performance? Well guess what, the answers to all these questions are right here!

Christensen and Demeere cut through the fads and hype to provide solid, practical, and most importantly factual advice for martial artists and athletes of all kinds. Those of us who train regularly find customized, easy to read and understand support to keep us at the top of our game. This is a great book. Buy it, read it, and take to heart. You will not be disappointed.

Lawrence Kane

Author of Surviving Armed Assaults, The Way of Kata, and Martial Arts Instruction
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on 29 October 2013
With my black belt test only weeks away, I need more information on the right food and any tips of preparing for my test. Got this book and its perfect for people who do martial arts. I've read other Nutrition books for active people but this book feels more closer to home.
So If you do any type of Martial Arts or any type of combat sports and need help with dieting and nutrition then this is the one for you.
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on 11 October 2011
If your a fitness fanatic and into your martial arts and want to know about nutrition and what the body needs then get this book.

Gives good advise on how to fuel your body and gives sound background to how your body works.

This is definitely worth the price and will no doubt help to improve your training and help you to get the results you want.
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on 26 August 2011
I've read a lot of workout/diet books and this is definitely one of the best. Full of great information, and even if you don't do martial arts this is still worth reading.
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on 21 January 2015
Provides a lot of essential information regarding nutrition and training, it is a bit dull but it's to be expected with the content that is being wrote about.
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on 13 May 2016
Excellent book has change the way i see food for me and my kids that train in Taekwon Do
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on 18 August 2015
seems to be a very informative book
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