Conditioning rant

Flatfish

Black Belt
Joined
Nov 12, 2014
Messages
679
Reaction score
296
I am feeling very frustrated about how winded and tired I got during last night's sparring class. I exercise a lot, incorporate HIIT, bag work etc. I don't get why sparring wears me out so much. I am pretty new at it and still pretty tense which probably plays a large part but it's a bit disheartening when you think that your are in at least decent shape and then find out otherwise. Oh well, all part of the journey I suppose.....[/rant off]
 

EddieCyrax

Blue Belt
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
290
Reaction score
77
Location
Kentucky, USA
I think you probably already diagnosed your issue. Tension will wear you out quickly. Your other training methods you are in more control of the environment. Once punches and kicks start flying at your face things change quite a bit. It is very common for beginners and even advanced practitioners depending on who they are working with to tense up.

Key is to remember that you are going to get hit, yet you are in a controlled environment and ideally the person in front of you does not have evil intent. You need and will learn to roll through the punches.

Sounds like you are doing everything you need to, just need more time in the trenches......
 
OP
Flatfish

Flatfish

Black Belt
Joined
Nov 12, 2014
Messages
679
Reaction score
296
You telling me the guy kicking me in the face was not being mean? ;)
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
22,229
Reaction score
6,992
They call it tough love.

sparring is half about fitness and half about managing your energy expenditure.
 

Archtkd

3rd Black Belt
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
974
Reaction score
99
Location
St. Louis, MO
I am feeling very frustrated about how winded and tired I got during last night's sparring class. I exercise a lot, incorporate HIIT, bag work etc. I don't get why sparring wears me out so much. I am pretty new at it and still pretty tense which probably plays a large part but it's a bit disheartening when you think that your are in at least decent shape and then find out otherwise. Oh well, all part of the journey I suppose.....[/rant off]

Breath, breath, breath: Easier said than done, but that's one of the most common causes of getting winded. There'a a good chance you stop breathing properly when under pressure.
 

Kong Soo Do

IKSDA Director
Supporting Member
Joined
May 17, 2011
Messages
2,419
Reaction score
329
Breath, breath, breath: Easier said than done, but that's one of the most common causes of getting winded. There'a a good chance you stop breathing properly when under pressure.

Nailed it on the head! Not uncommon at all and yep...it'll tire you quickly.
 

punisher73

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Messages
3,812
Reaction score
868
As sports fitness has showed over and over. There is no better preparation for an activity than the activity itself.

The more you spar, the more you will learn to relax and conserve energy and will also lower your "emotional tension" as well that expresses itself in muscular tension as well.
 

Shai Hulud

Purple Belt
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
308
Reaction score
131
Location
St. Petersburg
Sparring overloads the sensory and motor nerves with all the stimuli (unexpected, due to the volatile nature of sparring) and corresponding reactions one has to make in such short spans of time. unlike when you're training for conditioning (non-sparring), whether general or sports-specific.

Your nervous system and sensory organs have to cope with all the unknowns and possibilities, unlike when you're training with say, a medicine ball or a barbell where your body has probably already acclimated to the workload. This also adds to the overload demanded of the human body, and by itself can be pretty taxing. Ever seen Judoka trying in their 5-minute rounds? Occasionally they walk off the mats drenched!
 

Earl Weiss

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,282
Reaction score
661
You say you are in decent shape? How far do you run for your roadwork? How long do you jump rope without stopping.? Hated running every step I took, yet never found a better way to build cardio for sparring.
 

Shai Hulud

Purple Belt
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
308
Reaction score
131
Location
St. Petersburg
You say you are in decent shape? How far do you run for your roadwork? How long do you jump rope without stopping.? Hated running every step I took, yet never found a better way to build cardio for sparring.
If your knees start to bother you from the running, you could always try jump-rope and kettlebells to supplement your cardio needs. :) They tend to make less of an impact on your knees and can work up a pretty good sweat in far less time.
 

Danny T

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
4,258
Reaction score
2,292
Location
New Iberia, Louisiana USA
I am feeling very frustrated about how winded and tired I got during last night's sparring class. I exercise a lot, incorporate HIIT, bag work etc. I don't get why sparring wears me out so much. I am pretty new at it and still pretty tense which probably plays a large part but it's a bit disheartening when you think that your are in at least decent shape and then find out otherwise. Oh well, all part of the journey I suppose.....[/rant off]
Yeah, see it often.
There is absolutely nothing that prepares one cardio wise for sparring than...SPARRING.
There are many things one can and should do to help and compliment it like running (roadwork) everyday 2-3 miles however, to get better cardio for fighting the number 1 thing you can do is spar, a lot.
 

Manny

Senior Master
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Messages
2,563
Reaction score
125
Location
Veracruz,Mexico
Justo relax, enjoy the game and cover tour face. Dont tense you too much and fight smart.
 
OP
Flatfish

Flatfish

Black Belt
Joined
Nov 12, 2014
Messages
679
Reaction score
296
Justo relax, enjoy the game and cover tour face. Dont tense you too much and fight smart.


Now see, there's a whole other can of worms........the being smart thing....:(
 

Shai Hulud

Purple Belt
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
308
Reaction score
131
Location
St. Petersburg
Now see, there's a whole other can of worms........the being smart thing....:(
By smart he probably means trust in your training and not too much on reflexive instinct, because even that can be misleading in a fight. :)

Conditioned reflex through training/practice > Unconditioned reflex, at least in martial arts.
 

granfire

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
15,717
Reaction score
1,391
Location
In Pain
It's the need to think on your feet that wears you out. The mental strain. Being new to it, you probably over think it as well, you probably still have to sort out limbs to form a coordinated response or attack.
I have heard that before, from a friend who had done aerobics, back in the day. And if you look that up, an intermediate to advanced class is pretty much nonstop motion for however long the class is. She said it didn't wear her out as much as sparring.
You can't turn off your brain and go with the set choreography, you have to stick with it.
it's like me, being completely drained after a large social function. I have no problem doing it, but once the plug is pulled I am done.

As above mentioned: the only way to get better at it is to get better at it.
Check your breathing, etc. Eventually you'll get it.
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
22,229
Reaction score
6,992
And don't stand still when you are tired because you will get into more exchanges which will tire you out more. Same with clinching. It will become more work for you.
 
OP
Flatfish

Flatfish

Black Belt
Joined
Nov 12, 2014
Messages
679
Reaction score
296
Good comments everyone. I can totally relate to the mental strain and stress plays into it as well, as I can tell a difference depending on who I am sparring. With some folks it's easier even though they are much better than me but they are not, let's say, intimidating. Then are are two in particular who are quick, have long reach and hit pretty hard. This intimidation and the mental struggle with planning on how to get around their defenses has a big impact on the getting winded side of things.
 
OP
Flatfish

Flatfish

Black Belt
Joined
Nov 12, 2014
Messages
679
Reaction score
296
Well, we seem to be getting somewhere. things went a lot better this week. More relaxed, more breathing, less getting winded even though I pulled one of my calves in an earlier class the same day. Plus a compliment from one of the guys I mentioned above.

Hope it wasn't just a fluke.
 
OP
Flatfish

Flatfish

Black Belt
Joined
Nov 12, 2014
Messages
679
Reaction score
296
You say you are in decent shape? How far do you run for your roadwork? How long do you jump rope without stopping.? Hated running every step I took, yet never found a better way to build cardio for sparring.

Not sure how I missed this post. Anyways, my usual workout schedule is:

A. strength training 3x week followed by some cardio. This could be anything from sprints, HIIT on the rower, 5 sets of 200 rope skips with burpies in between, or bike with intervals, usually 15 min tacked onto the strength training.

B. 2 cardio sessions on the days between the strength sessions. That used to be 3 miles running or 35-45 min on the bike or 30 min on the rower. Had to stop running to let my Achilles tendons heal up but am starting again to get ready for a 5K obstacle run in May.

C. TKD: 2-3 classes per week

Between not being the youngest anymore and job and family with two small kids that's about all I can do.
 

Gwai Lo Dan

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
864
Reaction score
118
I am feeling very frustrated about how winded and tired I got during last night's sparring class. [/rant off]
When sparring, I try to keep in mind a truism that Tour de France cyclists say, "Every attack has to have a purpose. You have a limited amount of energy - you can't to waste it". With the Tour de France being 3 weeks long, the cyclists know that if you go all out one day on an attack that has no chance of paying off (through a win, or even just exposure for yourself as your contract is coming up), you will end up weaker overall in the coming days with no gain. So they say that if you attack, you better have some potential pay-off.
 
Top