MA vs Gym....

charyuop

Black Belt
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Messages
659
Reaction score
14
Location
Ponca City, Oklahoma
In the past I went to gym and did for 2-3 years. I would go there everyday for a good intensive training.
It's been one month now that I do Tai Chi (well, almost a year, but only a month with a teacher who stresses about the lowering of my stences) and I can definatly see a good line of definition of the muscles in my legs (LOL under my fat), thing that I couldn't see this clearly when I used to go to gym.
Now I bought a sword and will try to work in parallel the sword form coz that is good for the upper part of the body.

Does that mean that MA even tho the absence of huge and expensive machineries provides a better work out that gym does?
 

terryl965

<center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Messages
41,259
Reaction score
337
Location
Grand Prairie Texas
I would say it would depend on the school and instructor as well, we all know MA can give you so much more than just a physical workout, so I would say yes in some cases
 

samurai69

Blue Belt
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
288
Reaction score
1
Location
Portugal
In the past I went to gym and did for 2-3 years. I would go there everyday for a good intensive training.
It's been one month now that I do Tai Chi (well, almost a year, but only a month with a teacher who stresses about the lowering of my stences) and I can definatly see a good line of definition of the muscles in my legs (LOL under my fat), thing that I couldn't see this clearly when I used to go to gym.
Now I bought a sword and will try to work in parallel the sword form coz that is good for the upper part of the body.

Does that mean that MA even tho the absence of huge and expensive machineries provides a better work out that gym does?


a good gym isnt about machines and equipment....in 3 months i will be opening my gym........yes there will be equipment, but no flash machines

so low deep stances work thelegs well isometric tensions bring out the definition in muscles

train Tai chi, lift some weights stretch well...improve allround


.
 

exile

To him unconquered.
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,665
Reaction score
248
Location
Columbus, Ohio
In the past I went to gym and did for 2-3 years. I would go there everyday for a good intensive training.
It's been one month now that I do Tai Chi (well, almost a year, but only a month with a teacher who stresses about the lowering of my stences) and I can definatly see a good line of definition of the muscles in my legs (LOL under my fat), thing that I couldn't see this clearly when I used to go to gym.
Now I bought a sword and will try to work in parallel the sword form coz that is good for the upper part of the body.

Does that mean that MA even tho the absence of huge and expensive machineries provides a better work out that gym does?

What kind of workout were you doing? If you did big compound exercises, like bench presses (or even better, heavily weighted dips) for pecs, shoulder presses for delts, heavy squats or very heavy leg presses for quads, and assorted other exercises for the smaller muscle groups, and if you did these exercises according to a well-planned high intensity/low frequency schedule, using very heavy weights, you should have seen muscle gains way in excess of anything you could get with `free body' training such as you'd get from MAs. Muscle growth isn't triggered by high reps but by serious overload that mobilizes as close to 100% of the neural groups triggering muscle contraction as possible---something that's not going to happen if you lift your own limbs, but will happen if you work your way up to 365 lb short-range benches, or 30 second held chins with e.g. 60 lbs chained to your waist. High reps with lower weight will not do anything to add muscle growth---they will increase endurance, but that in itself won't translate into muscle size. Low stance, time spent under extra tension---sure, that will strengthen your leg muscles up to a point. But if you want very prominent quads, work your way up to 500--800lbs (or more, if you can) on a leg press machine, and do as many short-range reps as you can using just the front half of your foot to power the lift, with each rep no more than four or five inches.

Something else to consider is that of two people with the same muscle mass, the one with less body fat will naturally appear far more muscular than one carrying excess weight. One thing about MAs is that they can be very intense aerobic exercise, while at the same giving you enough resistance training (e.g. high side kick training) that your body won't start metabolizing muscle tissue. You'll burn a fair amount of fat off over a couple of months, so your muscle definition will increase. But for serious muscle growth (as vs. just visibility), very heavy weights in a high intensity program---where you rep to failure every set, and add around 5% of your previous load every training session---is going to give you the most dramatic results.

One thing is true: MAs will develop muscles in certain places that typical resistance training exercises won't---it's very hard to train the muscle groups that you use in a very slow rear-leg side kick using ordinary compound exercises. And I don't really think you need to be especially massive to do good MA, though strength is definitely important in a lot of the arts. But you seem to be asking about the most efficient way to increase muscle visibility (i.e., `definition').

Just out of curiosity, I'd be really interested in getting an idea of what gym routine you were doing...
 

Shirt Ripper

Black Belt
Joined
Feb 15, 2005
Messages
583
Reaction score
6
Location
Minnesota
Does that mean that MA even tho the absence of huge and expensive machineries provides a better work out that gym does?
That's a bit of a leap. Too many variables. The "gym" does not, however, require expensive equipment.
 
OP
charyuop

charyuop

Black Belt
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Messages
659
Reaction score
14
Location
Ponca City, Oklahoma
It passed quite sometime and I don't recall exactly everything and above all the weights (which were pretty heavy for me). My trainer wanted me to do every lift or press or squat, I mean every exercise very slowly.
I had alternate days: Mon, Wen and Fri top part of body, Tue Thu and Sat lower part of body with some more high part. Sunday only aerobic.
Every session started with 30 minutes (later on it became 1 hour) of aerobic that could be trademill, rowing, steps or cyclette followed by Abs done on the floor (no equipment). Every sessione ended with a cool down which usually was a 15-30 minutes cyclette.
As I said I don't recall all the work out exercises, I was given a piece of paper with the complete list, repetitions and resting time so I wouldn't forget them. When I worked the upper part of body it was like 12-14 exercises altogether, when I worked the lower part maybe a couple less.

I didn't say I didn't gain muscle back then coz I would lie, but even tho I had strength in my legs back then I didn't have the same definition lines that I can see now (and I was less fat back then).
 

exile

To him unconquered.
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,665
Reaction score
248
Location
Columbus, Ohio
It passed quite sometime and I don't recall exactly everything and above all the weights (which were pretty heavy for me). My trainer wanted me to do every lift or press or squat, I mean every exercise very slowly.
I had alternate days: Mon, Wen and Fri top part of body, Tue Thu and Sat lower part of body with some more high part. Sunday only aerobic.
Every session started with 30 minutes (later on it became 1 hour) of aerobic that could be trademill, rowing, steps or cyclette followed by Abs done on the floor (no equipment). Every sessione ended with a cool down which usually was a 15-30 minutes cyclette.
As I said I don't recall all the work out exercises, I was given a piece of paper with the complete list, repetitions and resting time so I wouldn't forget them. When I worked the upper part of body it was like 12-14 exercises altogether, when I worked the lower part maybe a couple less.

Hi Charyuop---

I can't tell from what you're saying just what you were doing, because what's critical is not the time involved, nor even the weights involved, but the relation between the time and the weights. If the amount of weight you moved over an essentially constant distance, divided by the time, went consistently up, and if you spent roughly the same amount of time per workout, then you should have seen---over the course of say twelve weeks---a very noticeable improvement in your muscularity.

As a martial artist, your main interest is in functional strength---stuff you can use to improve your MA performance; I understand this. What I was suggesting wasn't intended to turn you into a musclebound pro-bodybuilder type, believe me---you can't do that without a combination of superior genetics and really, really dangerous anabolic chemicals, including steroids, growth hormones and diuretics (some of them imported, for heaven's sake, from veterinary medicine... It was much simpler: very heavy weights, lifted in your strongest range (by means of a power rack with the pins set high) will materially increase your muscularity in the shortest possible time if you lift them in a well-thought-out high intensigy program.

But to be effective, it's important not to overtrain, and to keep it simple. I would recommend something like the following:

Two sets of very heavy benches, done in a power rack, with no more than three inches or so of movement in each rep;

One set of very heavy leg presses---aim high; my maximum load was in excess of half a ton and my current
program will get me back there by this Christmas, if all goes well;

Two or three sets of seated shoulder presses (use a bench with a seat and back at right angles, so you have something to lean agains to give you support, and a lifting belt if your abs aren't really strong), aiming for something in the low 200s or so after about four months;

Three sets of weighted chins, palms in for biceps and palms out for lats, aiming to get to sixty pounds of added weight after about four months or so;

Three sets of weighted dips, aim to rep out to failure with around 300lbs in toto (= your body weight plus what you chain to yourself).

I'd divide these into two groups---I do the chest, leg and biceps exercises in one group and the shoulder and lat exercises in the second group, and do weighted crunches---crunches where you grip 30-40lb dumbells behind your head---pretty much every weight workout. And count on three weeks separating workouts between the two different exercise groups. That means you work the same muscle group every six weeks. After you've been doing this kind of program for a year or so, believe me, that will be as frequent as you can handle!

I didn't say I didn't gain muscle back then coz I would lie, but even tho I had strength in my legs back then I didn't have the same definition lines that I can see now (and I was less fat back then).

Definition, as I say, is partly increase in muscle mass and partly reduction in the fat layer covering the muscles. You need to work on both. But don't do a huge number of different exercises for the former; it's not efficient and sometimes not even effective. Go for very heavy weights (but not all at once, lead up to them) and high intensity---it's the fastes way to increase functional strength, from all accounts.

Above all, experiment, yes? You won't do any workout program that you find boring. Just find one that challenges you to the point where you get fired up to show the iron who's in charge, and bang, you'll be there. It never fails! :)
 

MJS

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
30,187
Reaction score
428
Location
Cromwell,CT
That's a bit of a leap. Too many variables. The "gym" does not, however, require expensive equipment.

I agree! My last gym that I worked out at had decent equipment, but it wasn't as new and flashy as the one before. It still gave me a great workout. Another difference between the two was when you walked into the last one, it was apparent the people were there to work out, compared to the other where it seemed almost like a social hour/fashion show.

Mike
 

MJS

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
30,187
Reaction score
428
Location
Cromwell,CT
In the past I went to gym and did for 2-3 years. I would go there everyday for a good intensive training.
It's been one month now that I do Tai Chi (well, almost a year, but only a month with a teacher who stresses about the lowering of my stences) and I can definatly see a good line of definition of the muscles in my legs (LOL under my fat), thing that I couldn't see this clearly when I used to go to gym.
Now I bought a sword and will try to work in parallel the sword form coz that is good for the upper part of the body.

Does that mean that MA even tho the absence of huge and expensive machineries provides a better work out that gym does?

You'll get some good results with the body weight exerciese that you'll find in the arts. Of course, working out at the gym or at home with weights will also be helpful. As it was said, the weights do not have to be fancy. A simple set of dumbells and a bench will give you a wide assortment of exercises.

Mike
 

davemitchel

Yellow Belt
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
40
Reaction score
0
Location
South Africa
I do not really enjoy the Gym that much .... not an equipment person ... but I have been going there cause I was not practicing MA and I love training.

In terms of muscle definition, to me - MA delivered better results than the Gym has. And it is a hell of a lot more fun :)

Dave
 

Drac

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jul 16, 2004
Messages
22,738
Reaction score
143
Location
Ohio
compared to the other where it seemed almost like a social hour/fashion show

That's the Balleys up here...The ladies spend as much time doing their hair and make up for the workout area as they do for a date...Forgive this departure from the topic...
 

searcher

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
Messages
3,317
Reaction score
58
Location
Kansas
With the added definition in your legs I would speculate that you are just "leaning" out some. This can happen with the change in workouts. Did anything else change in your daily activities other than the change in workout? Most of the time people change their dietary and this is where they get more muscular definition. How long had you been doing the previous workout? Your muscles will eventually get a high elvel of muscular efficiency and slow your results if you don't change it up.
 

zDom

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 21, 2006
Messages
3,081
Reaction score
106
With the added definition in your legs I would speculate that you are just "leaning" out some. This can happen with the change in workouts.

I share this speculation.
 
Top