Thursday, July 11, 2013

Micro-post Conditioning for Martial Arts

              Micro-post, so I'm going to fly through my thoughts on this. I believe the most important aspect of martial arts conditioning is maximizing your body's anaerobic energy system. Quick biology lesson. The body has three energy systems. The phosphagen system is used for very short bursts of activity, such as a dead lift or sprint that can't be maintained for more than 10-15 seconds. Anaerobic system (no oxygen used) is used for activity that can't be continued past two minutes. Activity that can be continued past two minutes primarily uses the aerobic system.  In competition the body relies primarily on short bursts of anaerobic activity lasting from 30 seconds up to nearly two minutes. In between these sprints, your body uses it's aerobic energy system to replenish some of your spent energy.

               The best way I find to train this is using continuous interval training. One example is using a Tabata clock and a 20 second work, 10 second rest method. I usually use six exercises, doing each exercise seven times. Each exercise is done as fast as possible. I alternate between arm, leg, core and full body exercises. I try to make it sports specific by having practicing double legs, wall walks, working the heavy bag, or doing updowns to name a few examples. For me, this provides the closest approximation to what my body goes through in a martial arts competition. It's a sprint of activity, followed by a short chance to catch my breath, back to a sprint of activity, for a continuous twenty minutes.

               Of course, practicing your actual sport is the most effective ways to get in shape for competition. However, I find that these workouts allow me to learn how to optimize my body's recovery time, how hard I am capable of pushing, what it feels like when I need to ease up, all without having to worry about someone grinding my face into the mat. This allows me to understand cues from my body when I'm sparring or rolling. I know when to push and when to pull back. This is a skill that I feel gives me an edge over many opponents.

Questions or refutations, post a comment.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, I would refer to Joel Jamieson's Ultimate MMA Conditioning for how I am training at this time. The protocol I set forth in this post is overly simplistic.