Weight Training is a hotly debated topic. You have various methods to choose from, bodybuilding, power lifting etc….
But what really is good for you as a Martial Artist?
What do you need? Explosive power, endurance, Strength Endurance, maximum strength, speed, agility, strong joints and core.
So your gym work has to reflect all this. Not easy! Plus your martial arts training may leave you with imbalances that need to be addressed.
First things first, what kit do I need? If you don’t want to join a gym you will need a Bar and plates, maybe a pair of adjustable dumbells, possibly a power rack and pull up bar.
Is that it? What about all the fancy kit at my gym? Forget about it, you really don’t need it.
The exercises I believe to be most suitable for a martial artist are the ones most commonly used by Power/Olympic lifters and strongmen. We’re looking for function, not the pumped up look of a bodybuilder. Plus a full bodybuliding programme will often leave you too drained to put in quality martial arts work.
The Lifts: Deadlift: The king of exercises, will work almost everything you have, and you don’t need a Rack or spotter, just a bar and some balls. Ensure you get your technique checked! Clean & Press: A full body work out, a big pull to get the bar to your clavicles followed by a big push to overhead. Name me a muscle that doesn’t get worked, go on I dare you. Can be done with the bar, 1 or 2 dumbells/Kettle Bells Bent Over Row: Essential if your a grappler and will help balance out those shoulders if your a striker.
Also: Squat/front Squat: Works the legs more than the deadlift. If you’ve no rack to squat from, clean the bar and do the front squat for low reps with the elbows high. Higher reps will hurt your wrist, you just can’t hold th bar that long. Pull Ups: The Daddy of all back exercises, if you have something solid to hang off, add weight to yourself. Bench/Floor press: If you don’t have a bench, don’t sweat, lie on the floor and use 1 or a pair of dumbells/kettlebells.
And thats about it. But what about tricap kickback and bicep curls? My triceps are pretty sore after a heavy set of presses, and my biceps were never bigger than when I doing weighted pull ups. Don’t sweat the smal stuff, your a fighter not a model. All the listed exercises will provide functional strength for the whole body, including the core and “beach” muscles.
Keep the reps low and try to stop 1 rep short of failure.
For programmes and training advice give us a call or visit Mike Mahlers home page and get his Aggressive Strength E-Book, it’s a compendium of some of the most effective programmes and methods out there today.
Wild Geese Martial Arts any cause but our own