In yesterday’s post I mentioned something Mick Coup said about his supplemental gym training.
He said “Train like you’re in a hurry”
What does this mean and how is it beneficial?
Lets look at what Mick does, and what most of my clients do. They train to fight. Some in a professional sense (Doorman, Military, Police) others in a sporting sense (Judo, Kickboxing, BJJ & MMA). These guys need a body and mind that has the strength and endurance to keep on pushing, never give up, to still be hitting hard 10 or 20 minutes after they started. There is a boxing term for those that can’t go the distance, “Minute men” You don’t want to be a minute man.
So your training must build not only strength and power, but also endurance, tenacity and improve recovery time.
There are several ways to achieve this, the best known being circuit training, but also Density Training, Super Sets and my own favourite the Power Circuits.
Super Sets are a combination of two or more exercises performed in an alternating fashion. Usually they are put together in Upper Body / Lower Body combinations or as Push / Pull combinations, but more possibilities do exist. The beauty of these is that they still offer the opportunity to develop size and strength.
Why they work is simple. To build Size and Strength we must rest and recuperate between sets. Usually around 90sec for size, up to 5 minutes for power/strength. So why not use this time? For example, I may do 3 sets of Military Press for 5 reps with 90sec rest. Each set may take 20 seconds to complete with a further 90 second rest, lets round it out to an even 2 minute in total. For 5 sets, that 10 minutes with less than 2 minutes total work, the rest is, well, rest. If instead we alternate between Chin Ups and Presses, only taking 45 seconds rest. It looks like this: Press ( approx 20 sec) Rest 45 sec Pull (approx 20 sec) Rest 45 sec
Each super set now takes around 2min 10sec, or for 5 sets or a little over 10 minutes. You’ve done two exercises in roughly the same time frame and still managed to get close to two minutes rest between sets of presses. Not only is this a more efficient use of time, but you’re stressing the Cardio Vascular system more and developing your work capacity.
Circuit Training is as old as the hills, there are more styles of circuit than you
Dave and I in full flow
can list, from Mini Circuits, Power Circuits, Complexes, Cardio Based Circuits it goes on. The reason circuits have been around so long and never gone out of fashion? Because they work. With my guys I like to use shorter, intense circuits, I feel they better represent the demands of combat. I use kettlebells, sandbags and bodyweight drills to work the entire body, usually using one of the following formats: Push/Legs/Pull/Legs… Push/Pull/Legs/Core… Strength/Power/Strength/Power
I also like to vary the times, gradually reducing rest as the athletes become more able. There’s to much to say about circuits than I’m going to go into here, I’ve a whole chapter on them in the WMD manual, which is nearing completion.
Density training then is our other option, and it keeps proving itself to be incredibly effective at building strength and work capacity. Again we have various formats to choose from but all of them revolve around the same concept. Doing gradually more work in the same time frame. Either you set a rep total and try to reach it in incrementally fewer sets or you set a time limit and gradually build the total number of reps completed in that time. Both methods work. With the time method it is easier to incorporate a variety of lifts, usually a pair. With the number method it is easier to use a single lift or rounds of a complex (combination lift)
Whatever method you choose, it is a good idea to take a stopwatch into the gym with you or have a predetermined finish time. This will help eliminate the dilly dallying you see in almost every gym universally and will help up the intensity of your work. Just never forget that there is a big difference between working quickly and rushing. Never sacrifice good form for speed.
So while the text books tell you rest 3-5 minutes for power, 60-90 seconds for size etc, our reality as a combat athlete or professional is very different. Train like you’re in a hurry, develop the ability to be strong under fatigue, build the tenacity to never quit.