Lifting Weights

Discussion in 'Health Tips for the Martial Artist' started by benj13bowlin, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. benj13bowlin

    benj13bowlin Yellow Belt

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    Just curious, I know this is a big source of debate among martial artists, but do any of you lift light, heavy, or a mix of weights? Also how much (if any) stretching do you do before and after lifting? Do you feel like it slows you down?

    I have lifted off and on since Jr. High, and I just started lifting modereate to heavy weights in May after taking nearly a year off. I plan to start JKD or Muay Thai as soon as the semester is over and I don't want to do anything that will slow me down or cause me to loose too much mobility.

    Have any of you done MA for a while and then started lifting and saw an improvement or decline in ability, speed, mobility, ect?
     
  2. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    I lifted heavy for about five years before I started doing MAs about five years ago. I use a Sisco/Little `Power Factor' routine: very short reps, very high weights (>350 for benches, ~200 for seated shoulder presses, weighted dips with 80–100 pounds extra on a weight chain belt, ~900 leg press; hanging chins, pronated and supinated, with ~50 lbs on the weight chain belt, 30 seconds minimum in strongest position). I'm a hard-gaining ectomorph (is there any other type, I wonder?) and so pretty obviously, I do the presses in a power rack.

    I am far faster than I've ever been since I started the routine that has led me to these weights. The idea that a stronger muscle is a slower muscle is utter mythology; the only source for it I can imagine is the the really massive steroid-sucking monsters have way more muscle than their body structure would in the normal course of things allow, so their connective tissue just can't keep up with the need to move quads that are thicker than a normal grownup's waist. But the larger your honestly earned muscles, the more vascular development, so there's no loss of nutrients; and the neural units that send the signals to the muscles have no clue how big those muscles are. You develop the synaptic connections you need as the muscles get bigger... why would you slow down? On the contrary: part of gaining strength at the outset is in effect training those neural units to fire in tandem, right? So resistance training entails sychronization of the motor units feeding the muscle you're training, which means you're going to elicit a faster response from a weight-trained muscle than from one you've not trained.

    Just a personal note: I was 60 this past March, and I'm both stronger and faster than I ever have been before in my life—almost entirely, I think, as the result of weight training. So if I'm anything to go by, you've nothing to fear about losing speed or mobility from doing heavy weights! :)
     
  3. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Having weight training in your fitness regimen is a must in my opinion. You need to address strength issues, cardiovascular both aerobic and anaerobic. Weight training is just one way to do this plus it helps strengthen your bones which is also very important as we age. [​IMG]
     
  4. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    Absolutely, Brian! Bones increase in density as your muscle volume increases—this has been known for a long time (although again, things aren't quite so neatly connected when steroids or other anabolic biochemicals are involved...)

    I should have mentioned also that I do very short range reps—only in my strongest leverage range—at a rapid pace, and also, very important for any kind of high intensity training, I allow a very long recovery period between workouts for the same muscle group. I also do serious stretching before I hit the weights. All of this just comes under the heading of routine safety, I think—your muscles need to be both warmed up and limber when you lift, and you can seriously retard your progress if you lift too soon before working the same muscle groups again.
     
  5. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    I like to do a light warm up before lifting. This can consist of: Some jumping jacks, jogging in place, or a brisk walk. Basically, anything to break a little sweat and get the heart rate up. Some basics stretches for the body parts that I'll be working.

    I work out at home now, so I don't have access to all the different gym equipment, but I feel that its important to have some variety in your workout as well. Some weeks I'll use a lighter weight with more reps and others I'll do les reps with a heavy weight. Alternate what you do as well. Switch between a flat bench press one workout and use dumbells the next. You can also use the machines instead of the free weights.

    I havent noticed too much decline if any at all, in speed, mobility, flexability, etc.

    Mike
     
  6. LawDog

    LawDog Master Black Belt

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    I believe very strongly that a long term martial artist should lift weights. There are many different lifting programs out there and one should choose the one that will work best for him / her.
    Lifting works well within any given martial art but there are times when one has to resort to using a non - technique, bull force. Many who mix it up outside of the dojo atmosphere will tell you that there are times when a person might have to resort to using pure physical strenght to get out of a situation. An example, you are not aware that someone is going to jump you, your attacker then blind sides you taking you to the ground. You might have to use your sheer strenght in order to get into position so that you could use a good ground technique.
    I have been lifting since I was fifteen, works well for me.
     
  7. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Warming up is always a very good and sound plan. It is essential to the way I lift.

    I tailor my lifting and other strength building exercises to explosiveness. In that I mean I lift etc. with the idea that I must push through the motion quickly and this in turn has not only helped me with strength but also with keeping my ability to explode or move fast through a motion. (martial or otherwise)
     
  8. Blotan Hunka

    Blotan Hunka Master Black Belt

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    Ive been doing CrossFit. Its a combination of what they term "metabolic conditioning", which is high repetition sequences of multiple joint movement exercises. And max effort lifts in the powerlifting range (deads, cleans, jerks, overhead squats etc). Getting within 20lbs of my goal of a 2X bodyweight dead. It also involves plyo, gymnastic rings and kettlebells. Yesterday I did a timed sequence of 800m run/21 kettlebell swings/12 pullups for 3 cycles. 15:57. Still working on that but Im down from 16:58 the first time I did it. Another workout is a sequence of deadlift (1 1/2 bodyweight)/bench (bodyweight)/cleans (3/4 bodyweight) for 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 reps, again for time.

    The true believers tout the system as ideal for military, martial arts/combat and general physical conditioning. Im cycling it in as a warm weather workout, and will spend the winter back to basic heavy lifts (bench/dead/squat/clean). Many MMA stylists are jumping on board. I have found that while I have been out running less while doing this workout, the times I do get out and run feel stronger and faster.
     
  9. benj13bowlin

    benj13bowlin Yellow Belt

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    Thanks for the responses guys. I feel better now. I really didn’t want to have to choose between MA and lifting.
     
  10. Shirt Ripper

    Shirt Ripper Black Belt

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    Any activity, athletic or otherwise, can be only enriched by improving the overall state of the body. It's general, but true.

    And there is most certainly body types other than ecto's, I assure you of that. However, lifestyle trumps nature here...
     
  11. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    I just started lifting again after a long absence (partly due to a back injury).

    I have REALLY missed it. I've only been back in the routine for about a week but already I feel a difference.

    I usually start with about few minutes of light exercise (cardio, lighter weights, etc) to warm up, then I do about 3-5 minutes of stretching before lifting.
     
  12. bookworm_cn317

    bookworm_cn317 2nd Black Belt

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    I only re-started weight-lifting in August (after doing it for a few months in 10th grade), but here are my answers:
    1. Light for now, but as soon as I get a job(and the weights I DO have get too light), I'll get heavier weights.
    2. Basic warm-up/stretching. I either do jumping jacks or dance around like a crazy person while I listen to music. And, I stretch before and after I lift.
    3. No, it hasn't slowed me down. Actually, it's made me faster and more powerful.
    4. It's helped me a lot! I'm faster, have more power.
     
  13. Blotan Hunka

    Blotan Hunka Master Black Belt

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    Just did "Linda" today. Crossfit routines are each assigned names.

    "Linda"

    10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of the triplet:

    Deadlift: 1 1/2 body weight
    Bench press: body weight
    Clean: 3/4 body weight

    Set up three bars and storm through for time.

    Im "scaled down" to DL:225lbs BP:175 Clean:105 and Im still shaking.....
     
  14. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I have tried to incorporate serious weight lifting into my routine at various times over the years. Problem is, I just find it really boring and I never stick with it over the long run. I find that if I am going to spend time training, i'd rather be training in my martial arts, altho I do like to swim sometimes.

    So I do a modest amount of pushups and stomach crunches of various types, but that's it. !0 minutes or less, that's about all the patience I have for it.
     
  15. Phoenix44

    Phoenix44 Master of Arts

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    I have the same problem as Flying Crane: the boredom factor. I use resistance bands, using the Ultimate Body Shaping Course routines. Takes me 35-45 minutes. I can do it while I watch Law & Order so I'm not bored to tears.
     
  16. cfr

    cfr Black Belt

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    Does anyone know of a good alternative to Crossfit? Particularly something without as many days. It looks awesome, but realistically I can only dedicate 3 x per week to this type of training.
     
  17. Blotan Hunka

    Blotan Hunka Master Black Belt

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    You dont have to stick to the posted schedule. I try to do 2 MetCon workouts and 1 max effort lift a week. I upplement with kettlebell workouts and runs. Someday, when I get the right equipment and training for some of those olympic lifts, I will adhere more strictly to the perscribed workout. Do get the rings and build/buy a plyo box though.
     
  18. cfr

    cfr Black Belt

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    How do you decide which workouts to do and which to skip? Two or three workouts may go by in the time I would do one, how would I know which to go with?
     
  19. Blotan Hunka

    Blotan Hunka Master Black Belt

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    Just try to do a 2 to 1 ratio of MetCon workouts to max effort lifts to start. My first cycle was 5 chins/10 pushups/15 BW squats in cycle for 20 min, 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 rep cycles of deadlifts/bench/cleans and for max effort overhead push press.

    Get a notebook, write out a ton of crossfit workouts from the archives, categorize them by what you can do and by type and just do some.
     
  20. Kwan Jang

    Kwan Jang Purple Belt

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    I have used weight training to enhance my physical capacity regularly for the past 25 years. It has helped to increase my performance as a martial artist with no real drawbacks. Working on technique makes the most of what you have, physical conditioning increases what you have to work with. Due to my fear of the myth of becoming "muscle bound", I stayed away from weight training for a few years and did just bodyweight exercises and tons of cardio. After I started actually doing the research, I found that there was a better way.

    As Exile stated, weight training (done properly) should actually increase your speed and flexibility, as well as your strength and power. I will make one correction, though. While I DO NOT condone the use of steroids, growth hormone, ect.(just for the record, I quit competition in bodybuilding when they dropped the drug testing), even those with the most extreme muscular development (which I would assume includes chemical enhancement) still can have extreme flexibility. Case in point, Tom Platz, who had the greatest leg development in bodybuilding was able to preform all versions of the splits cold. As well as the combination of strength and muscular endurance to perform rock bottom full squats with 600 lbs for FORTY REPETITIONS. The best I ever did was 500 lbs for 20 reps and my single rep max was above 800 lbs.

    Just because I am an ego maniac, I'll mention that if you look on youtube under the heading KJN David Hughes, you'll see some video that shows that a big, muscular guy can have really good flexibility, speed, jumping ability, and explosive power. Well, in truth, it's only in part due to ego, since I've been championing nad preaching the benefits of weight training for martial artists for decades now.123
     

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