If you don’t already include these in your training, you’re in for a world of change! Here are four aspects of fitness that make up the schedule of any champion fighter, whether it’s Muhammad Ali, Georges St. Pierre or Sugar Ray Leonard!
Calisthenics means body resistance exercise (push ups, pull ups, sit ups, squats, lunges and so on) and is crucial to any martial artist! Don’t forget calisthenics is convenient and easy to apply any time of the day, so there’s no excuse! Try to get in the habit of incorporating some of these exercises into your daily routine!
Fact: If you’re wondering how strong the human body can become when breaking limits here’s little insight… the record for the most consecutive push-ups goes to Minoro Yoshida for completing an impressive 10,507 reps in 1965! The mind really is the limit!
Calisthenics shouldn’t be strenuous to begin with although the exertion level depends on the individual; and you certainly don’t need to beat 10,507 push ups. Just keep it simple with the focus being on turning calisthenics into habit.
Running benefits both anaerobic and aerobic exercise, it’s all about the intensity and pace you set. Although debatable, long continuous running has always played a part in the routine of a boxing champion, and is easily a benchmark to develop an adequate level of stamina for sparring!
If you’re new, or haven’t run since highschool, be sure to give this routine a go:
1) 3-5 minutes brisk walk
2) 3-5 minutes jogging
3) Stop to stretch the quads, calves, hamstrings and Achilles from a standing position! (You’re not warm enough yet to lay down and stretch)
4) 7-8 minutes run while progressing to a tapering off period. Gradually slow the pace to a walk (cool down period) over 3 minutes
The longest distance appropriate for professional martial artists would be about 10-12 miles, once a week. However a good distance to maintain stamina would be 2-3 miles at a time, 3 times a week.
Tip: this a great way to learn how to breath under pressure! Sounds strange, but it’s important to exhale through the mouth and inhale through the nose. This improves blood circulation and therefore focus!
Interval training, often used by professional boxers is an excellent way to build stamina and explosive movement for sparring. It’s important to be able to work to a high level of exertion and interval training delivers!
Tip: use lamp posts or street lights to accelerate and decelerate between a high pace and a casual pace.
If you have access to a skipping rope, it’ll drastically improve your workout routine! Essential for building coordination between the upper and lower body, footwork, toning muscle and (depending on your exertion level) gives you both an aerobic and anaerobic workout. If the target is to spar for 3 minute rounds, then it makes sense to skip in 3 minutes bursts with short rest times! Just beware of “whiplash” when skipping with a speed rope!
Give these a go. The hardest part is starting, however once the initiative is taken to make the first step such habits will make a big impact on your life! They may seem like complex problems in nature, but in terms of practicality they’re simple! It’s no surprise Nike chose “Just do it” as their slogan!