Working out outside of the dojo

Discussion in 'Health Tips for the Martial Artist' started by Orion Nebula, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Orion Nebula

    Orion Nebula Orange Belt

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    If you haven't seen my other posts, I have returned to karate after about 15 years. I'm super overweight, but I'm keeping up in class, although not always gracefully. However, tonight's class definitely showed me that I have a long ways to go! Our sensei worked us pretty hard and at one point I felt like I was just flinging my limbs out in front of me trying to get through it. Although I did take some solace in another student stepping off the floor because she needed a breather.

    I'm training 3 nights per week at the dojo (about 1 hour and 15 minutes each), and last week I started going to a 50 minute college class 2 nights per week - although the college class is pretty slow paced and is really more about working on technique for me than fitness. While my fitness level is certainly improving through this alone, I feel like I need to 1) do more cardio so I stop getting wiped out during kihon, and 2) get stronger legs.

    What do you all recommend I do? I have access to a good gym at my university and it basically has everything. I was thinking I might want to do some swimming on non-dojo days. Would it be a good idea to do some additional workouts on dojo days? Maybe some cycling or something? I'm afraid of over doing it and having no energy for karate, though.
     
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  2. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    that's a real possibility, getting a good level of fitness takes time and you have to give your body time to adjust and time to recover which is difficult if your training 5 nights a week. maybe more rest is the answer?

    but focus one what you feel is your weak points, so if your struggling for short burst cardio, do some short burst cardio, on a bike, in the pool or hill sprints or half miles flat out runs, if your legs are weak, put some weight on a bar and do some squats that will only take 10 mins of your time and should leave you enough energy to do your class, particularly if you do this on your low intensity days
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  3. Bruce7

    Bruce7 Brown Belt

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    30 minutes of walking first thing in the morning gives you energy for the rest of the day and is easy on the body.
     
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  4. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    hows that going to help his short burst cardio or leg strength?
     
  5. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Purple Belt

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    I can certainly understand how you feel and have been there myself when I first started to train again. As you are just getting back into training in general, I would recommend you give yourself and your body the opportunity to get used to the new training before adding more training on top of it so that you can keep up. It is altogether possible to do both but depending on your age, the body recovers slower as we get older and if you do not give the body sufficient time to rest in between activities, the risk of injury increases. If you get injured you cannot train and then you are back to square one.

    You can do low impact training on your off days to help with your general fitness and weight loss but it may not necessarily help you catch your breath in class immediately. As in all cases, listen to your body (except when it is whining for a break, try to push through the discomfort) if you are dragging in class there is more work to be done and more time on the floor is needed. In other words, be patient and let training and time change you as opposed to being impatient by cramming all available time into training ;) . You may eventually want to do that but in the beginning, imho, it is better lengthen the horizon of our expectations on how we should be performing in class.
     
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  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like your Karate workouts are pretty intense for your current fitness level. If you want to add something, consider moderate exercise - something like going for a walk at a pace that doesn't put you out of breath. This will give some real benefit, without adding significantly to the stress your body is experiencing (and will probably help muscles not be as sore). I'd also consider some light strength training, specifically to fill gaps around your Karate training. So, maybe some squats, push-ups, etc., but nothing insane. Keep it from getting intense until the Karate classes get easier for your body to handle.
     
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  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a supplement for now, to help the body get in overall shape, and avoids any real risk of over-training.
     
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  8. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    It can help him lose weight. Once he loses weight the rest of the stuff will be easier.
    And it'll put a specific time in his routine for walking, which he can later turn to swimming, squats or suicide once he's ready. I wouldn't add those in yet, because, as you said, more rest might be the answer here.
     
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  9. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    Walking for 30 mins will burn at most 150 cals, ( and that includes the 50 cal he would have burn it he just sat there) whilst that will indeed HELP him loose weight if and only if he is other wise control his cal intake, which he makes no mention of, its actual effect on weight loss will be close to neglable and he asked about cardio not weight loss ,,
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  10. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    It's been a few years out for me since I've learned this, so someone more educated can correct me, but I'm pretty sure walking that amount can actually help with weightloss, if it's done in the morning. Moving around in the morning increases your metabolism for the rest of the day, which can cause you to burn more calories as the day goes on.
     
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  11. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    Yes but jumping up and down for 3 mins will have the same effect and save you 27 mins a day ( its probably more effective if its intense enough to count as hiit)

    Walking is good for you in all sorts of ways, but not really for weight loss, unless you actual start walking some time/ distance , owning a dog and no car I walk every where that not more than 5 miles away, so I get through at least 60 miles a week at a good pace, at that sort of time/ intensity I'm probably burning through at least 5000 cals a week, that keeps me super slim, so much so I've had to up my cal intake to keep my weight up by a thousand cals a day, if he walking a tenth of that then its 500 cals a week or one chocolate bar other wise known as not worth the time and effort
     
  12. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    It still has that built in time of half an hour a day though in the mornings. That can be changed to something else when he's ready. And if he can use that time being slightly productive, it's better than nothing at all.
     
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  13. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    ?...... he is doing 6 hours a week at class, how is that nothing at all, he wants EXTRA fitness to make his class easier, a gentle stroll wont do anything for that goal, NOT ONE BIT, so that no 3xtra fitness and no weight loss, so what benefit are you saying he will get, an 3xtra half hour in bed sounds more benifical
     
  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    The direct benefit might be minimal, but it's not nonexistent. The extra time spent moving around will (minimally) improve overall fitness. If he walks at a moderate pace (just below where it makes him out of breath), then there's a mild cardio benefit. Plus he's moving those muscles around to help loosen them up from the harder workouts at class.

    You're once again taking an absolutist stance that obscures any point you might actually make.
     
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  15. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    not no existant just negligble and not in any way helping him meet his goals, which seem to be cardio bursts and leg strengh, the most immediate way of achieving these is surprise surprise, doing cardio burst and leg strength ening exercise ,
     
  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    So, overtraining be damned, eh?
     
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  17. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Purple Belt

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    An hour and half per week of low impact walking will not help you tip the scales compared to 3 regular classes a week. Neither will an hour and half of extra sleep per week. I can understand building in the extra time to exercise is better than doing nothing. I can also understand that using the extra time to recover from the previous night's workout can also be beneficial.

    Based on what I have read about the OP, they are returning to MA from a 15 year hiatus and carrying around some extra weight. Taking an MA class 3 times a week is a good start. Examining eating habits would probably be more beneficial for weight loss than extra exercise at this point. Finally, examining sleep habits is the third step to making lifestyle changes for a healthier you. Under all circumstances, staying injury free while becoming more active is the way to go so walk or rest for the extra hour and half per week. I don't think it will matter so much in the beginning.
     
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  18. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    well probably not, a 20 second cardio burst x3 3 times a week and 5 minets doing squats once a week will make significant improvements to his cardio burst and leg strengh, whilst not in anyway making him in danger of over training, if he's not all ready, even it will make next to no difference
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  19. Orion Nebula

    Orion Nebula Orange Belt

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    Thanks for your responses!

    @jobo - Since you brought it up, I am dieting as well and have lost some weight, although not a significant amount yet. Because I'm so big, I think it will be a while before I lose enough weight to make my life easier.

    Hmmm, I'm not sure short burst cardio is exactly my problem, although this probably depends on your definition of short. I don't have issues with doing a set of drills or doing sets of drills for 10 minutes. However, after 15 to 20 minutes of it without stopping for a break beyond turning around at at the wall, I get very worn down, particularly if there's lots of kicking involved. So if I could build up to doing intense (for me) cardio for 30 minutes straight, whether it be swimming, cycling, fast walking, whatever, I feel like that would help keep me going in class.

    Squats sound like a good idea - my legs are weaker than I'd like and I'm not doing deep enough stances. However, holding deep stances while might be more beneficial.

    Thanks for your input - I definitely want whatever I do extra to be low impact, which is why my mind immediately went to swimming laps. I'm already putting stress on my joints. I don't need more! However, low impact can still be intense cardio-wise, which I do think would be helpful. However, you do make a good point that I should be more patient with myself, especially since injury will hit the reset button! Perhaps I should limit anything extra to the days without training at the dojo. I'm also thinking there may be some value to doing this on the weekend - Saturdays and Sundays have been true off days, and Mondays have been a bit rougher than the rest of the week, which I assume is because I've been going into couch potato mode on the weekend. Sunday might be a good day for some swimming!

    I actually do like this suggestion that you and @Bruce7 made. One of my sensei also suggested walking more. However, I do have a finite amount of time that I can devote to exercise and I hate treadmills. Walking outside is an option, but it's winter here in western Oregon, which means rain, rain, and more rain. When the weather improves, weekend hiking will become an option, too.
     
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  20. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Those hikes would be a good addition, assuming there's some hills and uneven terrain. The hills will help develop leg strength, and the uneven terrain is good for balance and stability muscles.

    But yeah, if time and weather make that less useful, find an analog of some sort. The idea is to add some light cardio work (about as intense as a brisk walk) first. When that's easy (which might be immediately, or a few weeks into it), step it up. The shorter the time you can commit, the more intensity you want to bring, but don't go insane on it right away (obviously). You're already getting an intense (for you) workout 3 times a week (I think I got that right).

    Here are some other options, which might also not take as much time (and I won't suggest treadmills - I'd personally rather be dragged behind a slow-moving truck). Rowing machines combine strength and cardio, to some extent. If you can do the stationary bikes, perhaps some moderate hill work on those. Or just put together a strength-oriented routine you can do without stopping, or with very short rest intervals. My favorite for the latter is kettlebell workouts - you can work with two kettlebells and do a whole-body workout in under 20 minutes. If you do it with only brief (10-20 second) breaks between exercises, it serves a bit as cardio, too.
     

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