by Thomas Kurz
Study this typical question on training carefully. It may contain elements that relate to questions of yours.
This is a continuation of my answer on the order of workouts and exercises in a workout from the previous article.
I have listed the exercises in the order I do them. What do you think?
Day 1 & 6: Technique/Speed
1. Dynamic Stretching A.M. & P.M.
2. Techniques & kicking drills
Day 2 & 5: Strength
1. Dynamic Stretching A.M.
3. Bench Press/Dynamic leg stretches
4. Chest Flys/Hamstring curls
5. Military Press/Leg extensions
6. Bicep Curls/Squats
8. Chin ups/Adductor flys
10. Back extensions (machine)
11. Isometric stretches (arms, side split, front split)
12. Relaxed stretches
Day 3: Aerobics
1. Jump rope
4. Relaxed stretching
Day 4: OFF
From my answer in the previous article, you know that the order of your workouts in the week may keep you from reaching your potential or even lead to overtraining. Doing strength exercises (Day 5) before your speed or technical workout (Day 6) worsens the quality of your work on speed or technique because you are still fatigued after strength work.
You also now know that doing deadlifts before adductor flies makes it harder to stabilize your body when doing the flies and can cause an injury. Similarly, abdomen crunches, which fatigue the abdomen muscles that stabilize your trunk during back exercises, should not precede back extensions.
Your choice of exercises is strange for a martial artist. Instead of using functional strength exercises that improve both your strength and performance you use isolated body-building exercises (bench press, chest flies, curls, dips, leg extensions).
Use natural movements for your strength exercises—do not isolate muscle groups with artificial, bodybuilding-like exercises. There is no isolation in any natural movement, be it lifting, jumping, pushing, or pulling and there is no isolation in any of your martial arts techniques. Isolation is a concept suited to bodybuilding (which is looks-oriented) and has no application in strength training for action-oriented sports.
There are three types of strength exercises: general, directed, and sport-specific.
General strength exercises strengthen all major groups of muscles around each joint in a balanced way so no muscle group is more developed than others, which would pull your joint out of its normal alignment. These exercises prepare your muscles, ligaments, and bones to withstand the more intensive directed and specialized strength exercises. Usually, doing general strength exercises, you move slower than when doing your sports or martial arts technique, and with a resistance that develops a different type of strength than that most often used in the actual techniques.
Some of the typical general strength exercises with weights: squats and lunges, deadlifts and other forms of back extensions, forms of pull-and-jerk and snatch, bench press, abdomen exercises.
Directed strength exercises involve all or some of the muscle groups that are the main participants in the actual sports technique. Their speed and rhythm are similar to the actual sports technique, so they use the same energy source as the technique. They differ from the technique in their range of movement and trajectory. Various throws with medicine balls light enough to be moved at sport-specific velocities are the directed exercises for boxers, for example.
Sport-specific strength exercises are those that have very similar spatial form (trajectory, angle, and range of motion) to the actual competitive technique or its part; they have similar speed and rhythm as the actual technique; and the maximal force in those exercises is developed in the same spot and instance as in the actual technique.
How to select exercises and plan training is explained in books listed on the Athlete’s Bookshelf.
Resources for Further Study
Flexibility Express: Flexibility and Functional Strength in No Time
This easy-to-follow DVD offers a proven method of increasing your range of motion while increasing your strength—whatever your age or flexibility level.
You will learn innovative functional exercise progressions from weighted squats to splits and back bridges. Each exercise will build your muscles while increasing your flexibility, saving both your time and energy. The saved time and energy then can be used for more and better practice of your skills.
This comprehensive text delves deeply into topics such as speeding up recovery, using time- and energy-efficient training methods, avoiding overtraining and injuries, applying proven methods of training to specific sports, and maintaining a high level of condition and skills for years. You will learn ways to plan and control training for each workout, over a span of years.
This DVD features an introduction to general conditioning and follows that with four exercise routines—one for beginners, one for intermediate, and two for advanced athletes. Viewers will learn plenty of how-tos. The focus is on flexibility and strength training.
If you have any questions on training you can post them at Stadion’s Sports and Martial Arts Training Discussion Forum