The Best Way to Supplement Martial Arts Training to Achieve Fitness Goals?

Discussion in 'Health Tips for the Martial Artist' started by Rusty B, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Rusty B

    Rusty B Green Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2019
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    33
    I just recently started my journey. I'm about to turn 40 in less than two weeks, and just started martial arts training.

    As of today, I weigh 272 pounds (down from 277 last Friday) with a goal weight of 175.

    Our training at the dojo begins with callisthenic and aerobic exercises (to my understanding, this is standard in martial arts), and then the training - which is a workout in of itself.

    However... I think I'd be making a mistake if I relied solely on sessions at the dojo to get me where I want to be.

    I have no interest in looking like a body builder, nor will I be content with merely looking "healthy." I want to look exceptionally fit.

    What are some of the ways that you supplement martial arts training to achieve fitness goals or maintain your physique?
     
  2. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    7,079
    Likes Received:
    1,044
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    Exercising weight off is difficult, and normal dojo work outs will not burn enough calories to make much of a dent in a 100 lbs of fat, so diet and an exercise program away from the dojo is the way to go

    Why do you want to LOOK exceptionally fit, rather than BE exceptionally fit. ?

    That rather requires you to select what attributes you think makes you look extremely fit, bigger muscles, super low body fat etc and them
    N pick a program that builds those qualities.

    Where as being extremely fit requires you to pick some things you think an extremely fit person can achieve
    And then strive to achieve them

    If you are extremely fit, that should be reflected in your physic, , with in reason, middle distance runners look like middle distance runners, not power lifters. If you want to look like a power lifter, do power lifting,,,however there are lots of people who look extremely fit that are not
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  3. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    12,425
    Likes Received:
    2,322
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    How often are your classes at the dojo? For starters, I practice at home on days when I am not in class. Keeping a steady and consistent routine of exercise will help a lot more than just being in class for an hour or two once or twice a week.
     
  4. Rusty B

    Rusty B Green Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2019
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    33
    There are seven available adult classes per week - two of which are during the middle of most people's workday - which means I can train up to five days per week. That's what I'm doing, as my personal schedule permits.
     
  5. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    12,425
    Likes Received:
    2,322
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    How long are the classes, and how intense would you say are the sessions?
     
  6. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,587
    Likes Received:
    2,589
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Michigan
    Skip rope.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    268
    Trophy Points:
    218
    Exercise alone will not be enough to shed all the weigh unfortunately. As you exercise more, you sweat off the fat but you will also gain muscle which is heavier than fat. What you eat (or don't eat) is as much of the solution (if not more) as getting enough exercise. A visit to a nutritionist to discuss your goals and to get a meal program that will help you shed the unwanted weight.

    Once your body is comfortable with the work outs at the dojo, you can supplement your training with weights or by adding a fitness regimen that will help you build on the areas of your body that the martial arts training are not focusing on. Good luck and keep us posted.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. MetalBoar

    MetalBoar Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2018
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    119
    Trophy Points:
    198
    If you want to add to your physical training I'd say you should do some form of high quality resistance training, which generally means lifting weights though there are some other options. It is by far the most efficient and safest way to get stronger and look fitter. Calisthenics, aerobics, and most martial arts classes aren't going to improve your strength much by comparison. You'll also find that you really benefit from the extra strength. Most everything you do in your MA training will be easier and building muscle will help protect your joints and the rest of your body from injury. This can be particularly valuable while you are carrying a lot of extra weight if you are engaged in a martial art that involves a lot of jumping or other activities that create a lot of impact on your knees. If your goal is just to look fit, putting on some muscle is still one of the fastest ways to achieve that.

    I know you said you don't want to look like a body builder and so you may be put off by the idea of lifting weights. The question to ask yourself is, were you too muscular looking when you were 18? If not then it's extremely unlikely you've got the genetics to suddenly look like Brandon Curry if you add in a couple of strength training sessions a week at the age of 40. To get body builder kind of big, or even sort of close to it, takes some combination of genetics, dedication and in the case of many (all?) of the pro's a willingness to use controlled substances. It's not something you have to worry about happening by accident.

    As many others have said, fat loss is going to be most impacted by changes in eating habits. Exercise will help but is very unlikely to be sufficient to reach the goals you're talking about alone. The only thing I'd add on this point is that weight by itself is a very poor metric to use to measure progress. If you put on 10 lbs. of muscle and lose 5 lbs. of fat you are making great strides towards you goals but it will look like you're failing miserably and moving backwards if you only look at the scale. Body composition is what matters, not weight.

    If you're serious about making big changes in your appearance I recommend choosing one of two approaches to measure your progress; 1) using a soft set of metrics, asking yourself questions like, "are my shirts starting to be looser around the belly and tighter in the shoulders? Is my belt a notch looser or a notch tighter than it was last month?" and ignore the scale, or 2) If you want to have a more detailed picture of your progress go full data geek and make sure you've got good information to work with. Get a DEXA scan or do hydrostatic testing at regular intervals and take measurements and maybe use calipers along with the scale in between. Either can work, just pick the one that you find motivating rather than demotivating and skip the scale altogether unless you combine it with other measurements.
     
  9. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2016
    Messages:
    4,390
    Likes Received:
    1,509
    Trophy Points:
    303
    Just train what your capable of training. Watch what you eat and you'll be fine. Don't turn it into a chore and start killing yourself daily. Because then you'll get exhausted and burnout and end up giving it up. Just do what you can do and you'll slowly improve. As for food imo eat what you want just in moderation. E.g have some chocolate but have say 1 bar a week as opposed to say 5 a week (just throwing out numbers here)

    These diets where you eat barely anything they're no good. You can't live a healthy life without eating a decent amount of food.

    As for training just do something. Doesn't have to be a 10 mile run or 100 press ups or an hour non stop on a bag. Just do a 3 Mile run if you can do 10 press ups a day or whatever your capable of. Yes it's not a huge amount but what it is is sustainable you can do it without getting majorly exhausted.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Messages:
    4,425
    Likes Received:
    1,323
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Southeast U.S.
    Man, I miss being able to skip rope. I agree, it is one of the best and easiest exercises for a person to do.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    7,079
    Likes Received:
    1,044
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    i know your an iron lifter, BUT calisthenics, can be extremely effective for building strength, dependent i suppose on what your definitions is, but there are calisthenic movements/ holds that take breath taking strength to achieve .

    When ive had the conversation with iron pumpers, that they are stronger than me due to the intrinsic superiority of lifting weights as opposed to your own body, i simply invite them to do a one handed pull up, as non thus far have managed it and i can, that makes me stronger than them, usually settles the debate

    i keep the planche push up in reserve. just in case
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  12. MetalBoar

    MetalBoar Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2018
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    119
    Trophy Points:
    198
    You make a fine point and I admit I was speaking too broadly. There are indeed body weight exercises that can make you very strong and I was thinking of some of them when I said, "which generally means lifting weights though there are some other options". I've only seen those "other options" included in one martial arts training program that I've done so I guess I just assume when someone says, "begins with callisthenic and aerobic exercises" it's just warm up or basic conditioning level stuff. You are entirely correct that it can be a lot more than that.

    You also bring up an interesting point, which is how does one define strength? or maybe more clearly, what expressions of strength are important to you? On a related note, I don't think that all body types are going to perform equally well to the same metric. For example, in my gym I've got one gentleman who's about 5'6" and 140lbs. He can move a tremendous amount of weight relative to his size. With some practice I have no doubt he could do a 1 armed pull up or planche push ups. On the other end of the spectrum I trained a guy who was 7' tall and ~ 400 lbs. Now, he was carrying more fat than was ideal but even if he got down to 6% body fat and didn't lose a gram of muscle in the process I doubt he'd ever be able to do those things, no matter how much practice he put in. On the other hand, he could lift the 140 fellow and the 140 lb. fellow's max lift at the same time. Which of the two is stronger? It depends on what metric you choose to apply. I do know which one I'd rather have on my side in a serious fight...

    None of this means that I disagree with you. I think that someone who can do one armed pull ups and planche push ups is very strong and that for many people calisthenics are an effective way to get there. No one gets to change whether they were born to be 7' tall or 5'2" and you've got to train for the genes you've got, not the ones you might want. I personally prefer weight training for my own workouts but I think other people should do what works for them. I have also found that if you've got a fully equipped weight room it's a much easier way to work with people who are either large (even if that doesn't mean particularly over fat) or who are starting out very weak and that the risks of injury are lower. The usual reaction I get when I start a new martial arts class is, "Holy ****! You're strong!" I expect you frequently get a similar reaction. I don't think it matters so much which approach they take, I believe that most MA people would really benefit from doing some focused, quality strength training.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    8,566
    Likes Received:
    2,155
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    Here is one exercise that I can suggest. All you need is just a Karate belt.



     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
  14. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    7,079
    Likes Received:
    1,044
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    I think we are very much in agreement, a fully equipped weight room is indeed the best, in fact when I win the lottery I'm having one installed in my mansion, right next to the snooker room.

    I'm point is that 5hose who dont, cant, wont. then very much the same benifits can be derived using calisthenics and some handy fixtures fitting trees or what have you.

    my issue is really with tma, that dont include strengh training, when it could easily be included, or the people who say they cant do strengh training when they haven't got easy access to a weight room or ththe time inclination to go when they could quite easily do so, if they just said I dont want to be strong rather than I cant get to the gym, then fair enough
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. spidersam

    spidersam Orange Belt

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    58
    My 2 cents:

    Try to get into a simple routine for a month to build a habit. Eat right during the week (salads, grilled chicken, egg whites), and exercise once a day (martial arts and gym on days in between). Give yourself a break on the weekend and treat yourself on cheat day (don’t overdo it though) so you aren’t miserable and don’t quit. When you’re first building habit, anything at the gym is great (some leg days, upper body, core, back, vary it). I would just make sure you’re happy with your routine because consistency is more important than anything.

    Once you’re happy with your routine, see a nutritionist to see how things are going, pick specific exercises geared to exactly what your goals are (running, jump rope, weights, etc). Check in with a weight lifting forum or trainer if you’re into getting shredded.123
     
    • Agree Agree x 1

Share This Page