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  1. MMAMickey is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/08/2011 7:10pm

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     Style: Boxing.MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Why you, as a Combat Athlete, need to be STRONG.

    I'm writing this for a combination of reasons. The first is because of the insane amount of guys who love to ask the age old 'How do workout?' questions, for which there already exists a huge amount of available information on this site.

    The second reason is because of the persistent misconception I see everywhere about how weights are bad for fighters. I mean seriously, WTF?





    First things first, here is a collection of links you may already know of, but all contain something useful on this subject.
    When we come to the issue of martial artists lifting weights, there is a considerable amount of controversy. Common misconceptions include 'weights will make you slow' and 'weightlifting will make you all big and stuff', not forgetting my personal favourite 'weights will make your punches weaker'. The problem is, everybody seems to be aware of these false facts but far fewer are aware of the real ones..
    1. A correctly constructed strength program can make you helluvalot stronger with little or no increase in bodyweight. (providing calorie intake is controlled)
    2. A correctly constructed strength program can increase your speed and power.
    3. A correctly constructed strength program will NOT make you 'too big'.
    4. A correctly constructed strength program will give you a competitive edge.
    The reason for this is that strength training, more than about muscle mass, is about how efficient your nervous system is at recruiting muscle fibres in a motion. If you add resistance to a movement, your body will respond by recruiting more muscle fibres to fight the resistance.. Simple.

    Studies show that sport specific training is the way to go when it comes to strength. A cool study on the subject can be viewed here: http://www.castonline.ilstu.edu/laga...Josh_jim09.pdf They didn't find anything particularly groundbreaking, but it confirms the necessity for you to structure your training plan towards your goals. For examples of athletes who are living proof of the success of sport specific strength/power training look at these guys - and just like you, they need to fit into weight categories.
    YouTube - Athens 2004 Under 85 kg Men Weightlifting

    A good strength routine will contain low volume, high weight compound lifts, this is the beginning of you meeting your sport specific needs as these lifts teach your body to move more efficiently in motions similar to what you will be doing in combat sports.




    Reccomended exercises include:
    • Squats
    • Deadlifts
    • (overhead) Press
    • Bench Press
    • Dips (bodyweight, or weighted if you can manage it)
    • Pullups (hands facing forward)
    • Chinups (hands facing you)
    These exercises are where you'll get your strength, and with it some natural increase in power. However, if power is your focus you'll need to add in explosive movements such as:
    • Olympic Lifts: Clean and Jerk/ Snatch
    • Unilateral Dumbell Clean and Press
    • Medicine Ball Slams
    • Plyometrics
    • 'Wood Choppers' with a cable machine/resistance band.
    • Bagwork (striking)
    • Other sport specific drills (Uchikomi, Wrestling drills etc)
    *At this point I would recommend the text 'Combat Core'.

    Notice how bicep curls are not included? Well that's because they suck for building useful strength in combat sports.




    A good strength program for a combat athlete will usually consist of the following elements:
    • 3-5 primary exercises (the compound lifts)
    • 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps.. with 3-5 minutes rest between (are you starting to see a theme here?)
    • Some secondary exercises (abdominal training etc)
    • Training 2-3 times a week
    There are various strength training programs available online and in text, the ones I would recommend are:
    • Starting Strength - Mark Rippetoe
    • Stronglifts 5x5
    • Infinite Intensity - Ross Enamait (this is a full Strength and Conditioning program)
    • Wendler 5/3/1 - Jim Wendler
    However, there are many available, and if they conform to the basic elements set out here, they will probably allow you to progress.

    Any questions, insults and flaming welcome.. although remember this is the PT forum and you'll probably get in trouble.

    *Just so you guys know, I'm not qualified in this area so if you know I've missed something/got something wrong and have citations to prove it, do everyone a favour and post it up here.. I won't get butthurt I promise.
    "The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero projects his fear onto his opponent while the coward runs. 'Fear'. It's the same thing, but it's what you do with it that matters". - Cus D'Amato
    Spoiler:

  2. Burnsey is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/08/2011 10:10pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hey man, nice post. This post is directed not too you personally as I've seen you around the boards quite a lot and I'm sure you know/have seen all this stuff before.

    Seeing as you mentioned Ross Enamait (I'm a big fan too) and strength training I thought this might be worth linking too - http://www.rosstraining.com/articles...htraining.html. Here Enamait also covers some of the myths surrounding strength training.

    I would also possibly point out the area of debate surrounding olympic lifts - namely whether they are worth doing. They're undoubtedly useful lifts but a number of coaches think that unless you're doing weightlifting as a sport then they are too complex and require too much time and effort to get the technique right (which could be spent on other stuff). This excellent article by Joe Defranco outlines his view http://www.defrancostraining.com/ask...extension.html.

    The subject of Power cleans is also discussed here http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...t=power+cleans.

    Finally it's worth mentioning that for the stronger and more advanced combat athlete bicep work can be pretty useful as an accessory lift (especially grapplers) - still I understand that the original post is probably directed towards guys that aren't at the level to be doing that much accessory work anyway.
  3. TaeBo_Master is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/08/2011 10:22pm

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     Style: Judo, Jujitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I agree with 99% of this post. The only part I disagree with is bicep curls. Personally, for functional strength I don't like isolation exercises of any kind. But for a grappler, bicep curls have a specific benefit. There are many cases in grappling where strong elbow flexion is a benefit. Namely, pulling people toward you and into position for a submission and the ability to help resist elbow-extending submissions like armbars.

    "All other factors being equal, a stronger athlete is a better athlete." I don't necessarily know who said this originally, but it's a very true cliche in the sports training world.

    On the subject of weight lifting ruining technique or hindering range of motion, that would only occur if you neglect the other forms of training for the sake of weight training. Generally, strength training will enhance the ability of the muscles and the efficiency of the nervous system. This will be nothing but a benefit provided you continue to practice your art as you otherwise would.

    Finally, I also believe that enhancing strength can also improve your endurance. The greater the overall strength capacity, the less work has to be expended at any given moment to achieve a task. Think of it like this: Let's say you can Bench Press 230 lbs. max. How many times could you Bench 200 lbs. before your muscles fatigued? Only a few. Now let's say your Bench Press max was 430 lbs. How many times could you Bench that same 200 lbs.? Vastly more. It's a much smaller proportion of your available capacity, and therefore is less taxing on the overall system.
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  4. Lindz is online now

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    Posted On:
    1/08/2011 10:36pm

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     Style: Judo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Weightlifting (snatch, clean&jerk), great fun and will build tons of power, but should only be attempted with competent supervision.
  5. TaeBo_Master is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/08/2011 10:40pm

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     Style: Judo, Jujitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Without a doubt. Another one of my favorite strength coaching cliches: "Strength is a skill." When attempting the more complicated lifts, it is absolutely to one's benefit to learn the proper technique and execution. What's more, one should research the proper training methods for each type of lifting. The application of Olympic Lifts is different than that of basic Powerlifting lifts, which is different still from other methods.

    Learning these things is not only for safety, but for efficacy. For example, with the OLs, the joint movements, the timing, and the trajectories are very complex and happen very quickly. Not only does bad technique greatly increase risk of injury (thereby loss of training time), it reduces how well you can perform the exercise. And performing the exercise well is the key to making gains.

    That being said, most people would be surprised how much strength can be gained even with just the most basic of the basics.
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  6. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/09/2011 3:15am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by MMAMickey View Post
    • Squats
    • Deadlifts
    • (overhead) Press
    • Bench Press
    • Dips (bodyweight, or weighted if you can manage it)
    • Pullups (hands facing forward)
    • Chinups (hands facing you)
    Thanks, MMAMickey. I can't vouch for the accuracy of your post, but it sounds reasonable to me. And at the very least, it's a thoughtful, well-planned post, targeted to a specific problem.

    In other words, it's already better than 80% of the internet.

    Now, back to the show: can you spell out the combat-specific benefits of the exercises listed above?
    Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness
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  7. MMAMickey is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/09/2011 5:06am

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     Style: Boxing.MMA

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAYoung View Post
    Thanks, MMAMickey. I can't vouch for the accuracy of your post, but it sounds reasonable to me. And at the very least, it's a thoughtful, well-planned post, targeted to a specific problem.

    In other words, it's already better than 80% of the internet.

    Now, back to the show: can you spell out the combat-specific benefits of the exercises listed above?
    Well, according to the text 'Combat Core', the main benefits of squats and deadlifts include hip extension, which is present in all committed power movements, as well as strengthening the core to the purpose of 'bracing' and protecting the spine.

    In terms of the pushing and pulling motions, compound pushing motions (bench press/OHP) are useful for both grappling and striking in terms of all round strength, but for striking the strength of the shoulder can be useful for injury prevention and balance.

    The pulling motions, although having obvious uses for grappling, have an underrated use in striking for decelleration of punches and injury prevention. The lat recruitment in these movements also supports the spine and aids a strong core.

    Emevas raised the point that weighted Dips may be better for martial artists than bench presing because of the different distribution of force (Dips put less on the chest and more on the shoulders/triceps) - After having trained that way for about 6months now I am inclined to agree.
    "The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero projects his fear onto his opponent while the coward runs. 'Fear'. It's the same thing, but it's what you do with it that matters". - Cus D'Amato
    Spoiler:

  8. TaeBo_Master is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/09/2011 5:17am

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    Dips are tricky, and an exercise that one should take particular care to learn well. When performed properly, it can be a great strength builder. But it is one of the most frequently fucked up exercises around. When performed improperly, it can easily overstretch the shoulder capsule. That can lead to training injuries, of course, but it can also lead to a decrease in shoulder stability which will have a detrimental effect on performance. Such as sub-optimal punching power, and making yourself easier to submit with arm manipulations.
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  9. MMAMickey is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/09/2011 5:24am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnsey View Post
    I would also possibly point out the area of debate surrounding olympic lifts - namely whether they are worth doing. They're undoubtedly useful lifts but a number of coaches think that unless you're doing weightlifting as a sport then they are too complex and require too much time and effort to get the technique right (which could be spent on other stuff). This excellent article by Joe Defranco outlines his view http://www.defrancostraining.com/ask...extension.html.

    The subject of Power cleans is also discussed here http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...t=power+cleans.

    Finally it's worth mentioning that for the stronger and more advanced combat athlete bicep work can be pretty useful as an accessory lift (especially grapplers) - still I understand that the original post is probably directed towards guys that aren't at the level to be doing that much accessory work anyway.
    Yeah, the bicep thing was aimed more at guys who just plain don't need it, and don't appreciate the benefits of compound lifts. Isolation training involving elbow flexion undoubtedly has its uses, but I wouldn't suggest it is necessary for beginning lifters unless there is a lingering injury issue.

    As for the Olympic lifts, personally I don't use them. I do exercises such as wood choppers, bag work and unilateral DB clean and press, but without alot of time to commit to learning these techniques, or access to a coach, I doubt that I would make alot of progress with them. - I also prefer to work my punching power on a bag for the most part, as it is more sport specific.

    This is why I mentioned grappling drills as also being good for power development. Provided you have the requisite strength, what would help your power for suplexing guys more? Clean and Jerks or repititions of suplexing someone onto a crashmat?
    "The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero projects his fear onto his opponent while the coward runs. 'Fear'. It's the same thing, but it's what you do with it that matters". - Cus D'Amato
    Spoiler:

  10. MMAMickey is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/09/2011 5:28am

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     Style: Boxing.MMA

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    Quote Originally Posted by TaeBo_Master View Post
    Dips are tricky, and an exercise that one should take particular care to learn well. When performed properly, it can be a great strength builder. But it is one of the most frequently fucked up exercises around. When performed improperly, it can easily overstretch the shoulder capsule. That can lead to training injuries, of course, but it can also lead to a decrease in shoulder stability which will have a detrimental effect on performance. Such as sub-optimal punching power, and making yourself easier to submit with arm manipulations.
    Of course, I believe the shoulder issues associated with dips is contributory to their removal from the stronglifts 5x5 program.

    However, improper benching also causes wear and tear on the shoulder joints which can be just as detrimental. In fact, pretty much every freeweight compound lift has potential for injury I would imagine, which of course is an incentive to make sure you start off light and learn the movemnt.
    "The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero projects his fear onto his opponent while the coward runs. 'Fear'. It's the same thing, but it's what you do with it that matters". - Cus D'Amato
    Spoiler:

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