Conditioning your body to be the best it can be is a huge part of succeeding at Krav Maga, and making those gains every time you hit the gym is no walk in the park. But if you know what to focus on, even the most grueling physical fitness program can go a lot smoother and make you that much stronger of a self-defense machine. Read on to learn some of the most important fitness tips for mastering the mechanics of Krav Maga. Even if you already hit the gym regularly, you might just learn something new.

1. Flexibility

Making sure you stretch properly before every workout should be the first thing you do in any physical fitness program. Checking to see that you’re limbered up isn’t one of the more glamorous parts of our regimen, but it’ll definitely make sure you can pull off our moves more easily than you’d be able to otherwise.

2. Cardio

All the Krav Maga prowess on earth isn’t going to make a huge difference if you don’t have the stamina to carry your techniques out when the going gets tough. Learn well from MMA spectacle Bob Sapp, an absolute colossus of a man that nevertheless holds a dismal win-loss record thanks to his inability to fight effectively due to becoming quickly exhausted. It’s paramount that your personal physical fitness program includes a robust amount of aerobic exercise. Cardio builds endurance, and you never know how long a potential confrontation will last or how much it might take out of you.

Mixing up your cardio program with a few different aerobic exercises—say, running one day and swimming the next—will keep your heart and respiratory system on its toes, and that will prove vital in making sure you don’t get winded during an altercation. It’s also an easy and even enjoyable way to keep your routine from growing stale. A physical fitness program without cardio is like a diet without fruits or vegetables: you need at least a little to make sure you have the energy for whatever comes next.

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3. Building Muscle

Having healthy muscles will make it a lot easier and more enjoyable to learn some of the trickier techniques that Krav Maga can throw your way. Whether you’re going for tone, volume, or a combination of the two, muscle mass doesn’t just allow your blows to hit harder, it boosts your metabolism and is incredibly beneficial for your heart as well.

This is why building muscle is the cornerstone of almost every physical fitness program: it has a ripple effect (besides the one it’ll give your pecs, of course) that helps you out with both your cardio training and your diet. By extension, it makes your technique easier to practice as well, and that’s probably why you’re working with Krav Maga Worldwide in the first place. And hey, speaking of your diet...

4. Eating Right

You might be able to bench press a Subaru, but without a good diet, your physical fitness program isn’t going to be giving you all the benefits it could be. Fatty and sugary foods will wreak havoc on your cardiovascular system, and without a good amount of protein, you’re not going to be able to stay strong for those intense encounters that could decide your fate. Stocking up on lean and nutritious meals will give you the energy you need to see your training through to its potential. No two people are going to share the same ideal diet, of course, but we have some advice for what foods will help bolster your physical fitness program right here on our blog.

5. The Techniques Themselves

No surprises here, but Krav Maga itself is a fantastic way to get in shape even apart from the physical conditioning that should go into making you the best warrior you can be. There’s a reason we offer an entire fitness program based around the tenets of Krav Maga! What could be a better workout than learning the timing, countering, grabs and footwork that come with the discipline from a certified instructor in the flesh? Krav Maga as a physical fitness program makes a perfect companion to Krav Maga as the ultimate form of self-defense.

Begin Your Journey Today with Krav Maga Worldwide

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Whether you’re a born fitness freak or you’re just getting used to the idea of putting down the doughnuts and picking up the dumbbells, Krav Maga Worldwide accepts students with all body types and levels of proficiency. Our only requirements are a willingness to learn and a dedication to work hard. If you’re not sure what kind of diet would work best for your physical fitness program, talk to a dietician, or seek the advice of one of our trainers at any of our many locations worldwide.

Are there any fitness tips you have for aspiring Krav Maga masters, or any questions you have about anything we’ve discussed here? Leave a comment below and make your voice heard. For more intensive questions, get in touch with us directly and we’ll be happy to help you out. And for more great columns like the one you just finished reading, make sure to keep up with our blog.

Your ideal physical fitness program is closer at hand than you think, so step into a certified Krav Maga Worldwide training center today and start crafting the body and mind you’ve always wanted.

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