Explosive Conditioning for Martial Arts
This week, we have another guest post from Chris Smith – Explosive Conditioning for Martial Arts.
DO YOU HAVE EXPLOSIVE POWER???
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Pretty much every sport requires some degree of explosive power. For the martial artist, being explosive is vital. If you are a martial artist and you cannot throw a punch or kick explosively you are not going to get very far.
So you need to train to be explosive, right?
So you incorporate some traditional explosive power training into your program. You grab a lighter weight and lift it explosively for the prescribed 3-5 reps.
Great. You’re developing explosiveness and power.
Being explosive isn’t everything in martial arts though. They say conditioning is king. The ability to throw a good punch doesn’t mean much if you are exhausted after a couple of combinations. So you work on your conditioning. Maybe you do some interval sprints or some circuits. You get your heart racing and learn to fight off the fatigue.
Now you’re on your way to developing the traits of a fighter.
The problem with always training these traits separately is that you do not develop power endurance. Being able to throw a powerful punch doesn’t mean much if after a few combinations all your power is gone.
The way to combat this is to train your body to remain powerful through fatigue. Keep in mind here that there is a difference between training your body to function through fatigue and training your body to remain powerful through fatigue.
Hopefully if you are doing some decent high intensity conditioning work you have already trained your body (and mind) to work through fatigue without quitting. What you want to do, however, is develop power endurance so that your fiftieth punch has as much power behind it as your first punch.
The easy part is over: you’ve identified the trait you want to improve upon with your training. So how do you do it?
Enter explosive conditioning.
Just like training for any sport, you want to try and replicate the specific demands that you will encounter in competition during your training in some way. In martial arts competition, you are constantly moving around, often with little or no break (aside from the designated rest between rounds), heart pounding and you have another guy trying to cave in your head.
So you can see why being able to fight off exhaustion and remain an effective fighter is important. That is exactly what explosive conditioning does.
An explosive conditioning workout consists of a couple of main components: an intense, initial fatigue causing exercise, main explosive exercises and little or no rest periods.
All of the exercises in an explosive conditioning workout need to be done with no rest between them, circuit style. This is important! If you start taking 30 second breaks between exercises you are no longer training your body to build power when it is in a state of exhaustion.
In between sets of the circuit, you are permitted a short break, but keep this break under one minute. Ideally the rest period between sets should be 30 seconds or less but until you become more accustomed to the level of intensity required you can use a full minute and gradually lessen the rest time.
The initial fatigue exercise should be something relatively tough to make sure your body has to learn to be powerful when it’s tired. It’s also a plus to use something that has some kind of explosive component to it as well. For your main exercises, be sure to choose ones that require explosiveness like plyometric pushups, squat jumps and so on. Do this circuit style for 3 to 5 sets. Here is a sample explosive conditioning workout to give you an idea.
• 10 Burpees
• 5 Explosive Pushups (Don’t worry about doing clapping pushups, just focus on exploding off of the ground)
• 5 Explosive Pullups (Explode upwards like you are trying to shoot off of the bar)
• 30 sec. Wall Squat
• 5 Squat Jumps
• 5 Push Presses
Keep the reps low to make sure you are focusing on getting the most power on each rep, and also to make sure your form doesn’t start to fail. This is an intense workout already without the high reps, so there is no need to do higher reps.
The burpees are your initial fatigue exercise. Notice that it is a fairly challenging exercise, and also has an explosive component to it.
The 30 second wall squat exploits the static-dynamic complex to get the most power out of the jump squats.
Due to the nature of the exercises used and the circuit style, this is a fairly intense workout so I wouldn’t recommend using explosive conditioning-style workouts more than a couple of times a week, especially since any other training you are doing is probably already putting a high demand on your system.
Ease into using explosive conditioning and you’ll notice big results.
Chris Smith is the owner and head trainer of Train Better Fitness, a performance training company based in New York City offering training services to people of all fitness backgrounds. He is a certified personal trainer with the American College of Sports Medicine, martial artist and overall fitness fanatic.
Thanks for another excellent guest post, Chris. Diesels, if you have a question for Chris, please leave a comment below. Chris will be checking in and willbe glad to hit you back on anything you ask. All the best in your training, everyone.
P.S. Check out the site Thursday night. Thursday is my birthday, and instead of going out to party, I am going to hit a huge workout in my garage. Don’t miss it – it is going to be intense!
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This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 at 9:25 pm and is filed under athletic strength training lift odd objects, mixed martial arts training, strength training to improve athletic performance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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