Losing my way a bit

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Losing my way a bit

Postby Jimbo » Apr 19, 2009 07:06

Been working out quite intensely recently (based on CSta's workout routine, which I thought was rather good)

Its currently, in order ..

22 each leg of Forward Lunges, Back Lunges then Side Lunges
55 each leg ham curls with 4.5kg on ankle
Heal raises, 3 sets of 11
Heal raises to big toe, 1 set of 12
Heal raises to outer toes, 1 set of 12
Situps, either one set of 80 or 3 sets of about 40
Back extensions on bench 3 sets of 24
Crunches, a set of 200, or 3 sets of 70
Hindu squats, a set of between 130 - 150

I am trying to follow Article 19, but I only recently started the sit-ups so it may be a while before I reach 500. Therefore, I feel I may be treading water with the back extensions and the ham curls. I cannot progress to weighted back extensions or weighted squats & good mornings (what I really need to sort out short hamstrings) until I reach 500 sit-ups.

I feel I need direction so I don't lose my way, or waste time...

1/ I can feel my hamstrings getting stronger... should I continue adding weight and working up to a rep of 70 or so, then add more and continue in this fashion ? Or...is there another hamstring exercise I could progress to. I need to condition the hams so they are ready for the weighted squats, gmornings and isometric stretches, and stretch them by using the full ROM as I lift weights.

2/ With the Lunges, when should I add weights ? I've only recently moved into the numbers required for muscluar endurance (over 20), should I build up to 2 or 3 sets of 20 or start adding weights ? I need lunges to assist with appalling hip flexor and ankle flexibilty.

3/ Will start working on knuckle push-ups soon, needed for Karate gradings, adding weights when required. Noticed not many arm exercises on the Conditioning for Martial Arts articles - bench press is apparently not a good idea. Can anyone point me in the direction of appropriate upper body & arm exercises for martial arts ? After all, more muscle means you hit harder, and as I do knockdown karate, wouldn't there be an advantage to arm strength ?

I'm relatively new to strength training, and although I've leant a lot from this site, I feel I may lose my way soon. Anyone assist ?

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Re: Losing my way a bit

Postby Thomas Kurz » Apr 20, 2009 17:31

So many issues . . . .

About the 500 sit-ups--use this rule: “The abdomen is strong enough if it does not bother you and its fatigue does not interfere with completing your lower back or hip flexor exercises.”


Having great muscular endurance in hamstrings, just like in other thigh muscles, will lessen the damage from low kicks to those muscles. This works for arms and abdomen too (that's why sets hundreds of push-ups and sit-ups). People who don't do knock-down fighting don't need it so much. BTW, military push-ups, if done right, are a good trunk exercise, strengthening both abdomen and back.

In your case, progress any way you want (more weight at lower reps, or the other way around) as long as you don't feel any discomfort in your thighs, hips or back. Back extensions on the bench and good mornings are great hamstring exercises.


Again, progress any way you want as long as your hip flexors, thighs, knees, and lower back take it well. If you feel that one side is more difficult that the other, or that with time the exercise gets more difficult, even without changing reps or weights, then see someone who can evaluate and improve function of your muscles. I recommend specialists who use manual Muscle Testing, such as those certified in Muscle Activation Techniques (www.muscleactivation.com), Active Release Techniques (www.activerelease.com), Applied Kinesiology (www.icak.com), or are Sports Chiropractors (www.acbsp.com).


At your stage, you can greatly improve with all kinds of push-ups (military, Hindu, dive bomber, Tiger, in the back bridge) and pull-ups. To that you can add elements of the Turkish Get-up, as well as kettlebell or dumbbell exercises such as Renegade Row, swing, clean and press, and snatch.
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