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  1. DANINJA is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/07/2004 10:49am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    quality not quantity

    Quality Comes First

    by Charles I. Staley, B.Sc., MSS

    Posted 9/17/97

    I have often observed that for many martial artists, post-workout fatigue is regarded as the objective of training. However, if your goal is to simply feel terrible after a workout, you might consider applying for a job as a sparring partner for Mike Tyson! Of course, in the process of training to improve your skills, you will often experience fatigue. You may even come to enjoy fatigue- many martial artists take it as a sign of a "good workout." The problem is that fatigue is a poor environment for improving technical abilities- especially for beginners.

    My friend and colleague Paul Chek (an elite-level exercise and rehab specialist in LaJolla, CA) is fond of telling athletes "Repetition is the mother of skill, provided there is skill in the repetitions."

    Part of the problem is that it's more difficult to measure the quality of training, as compared to the quantity, or volume. For example, you can measure the volume of a sparring session by counting the number of minutes you sparred. But how do you measure quality? This depends on what you're trying to develop. Basically, however, the idea is to find some way to quantify the level of quality. In other words, you're trying to make an intangible element tangible. Here are a few suggestions:

    Technical Training

    If you're trying to improve your accuracy, you could look at the total number of strikes you threw, versus how many you landed. On the other hand, of you're trying to improve your defensive skills, you simply look at how many strikes your opponent throws, and the percentage that land. If you're trying to improve a very subjective skill, such as a kata, assemble a handful of classmates, and have them watch your kata, and then give you feedback (preferably written) on what they consider to be the best and worst aspects of your kata. The more consensus you have, the more accurate it is. For instance, if ten people watch your kata, and eight of them say that your balance needs work, they're probably right.

    Strength Training

    In strength training, quality relates to the amount of resistance you can overcome compared to your maximal ability. Therefore, a set of 2 reps with 185 pounds is of higher quality than a set of 8 reps with 165 pounds, even though the set of 8 reps may feel more difficult.

    Endurance Training

    In endurance training, the quality of effort can be assessed by heart rate. The higher the heartrate, the harder you're working. Another method is to evaluate the erosion of a particular skill or quality over time. For example, you could assess the number of head-level kicks thrown in a 10 round sparring session. Simply count how many successful kicks per round, and then draw a graph to illustrate the reduction of kicks over the course of the session. After a 6-week phase devoted to improving this quality, evaluate again, and compare the pre- and post-phase results to find out how well your training methods worked.

    Don't try to work on too many objectives at once. Have a very clear objective whenever you practice. For instance, you may be practicing a skill, say, kicking a heavy bag. Are you trying to improve speed, height, accuracy, proper distancing, or perhaps the ability to disguise your blows?

    Once you have developed a high level of quality, you can stabilize that level by increasing the volume, or quantity, of work on that particular aspect of your abilities. This will create more time and energy to work on improving other skills.

    On the other hand, once the level of quality is high, and the skill you're working on is well established, you can then gradually increase the volume of training, to create a higher level of skill-endurance.

    Five Tips to Improve Your Skills Training:

    1) Practice skills while you're fresh and your concentration levels are high.

    2) Shorter, but more frequent sessions are preferable to longer sessions.

    3) Make sure you have a method to assess both the quality and quantity of your training- remove all guesswork.

    4) Once a skill is stable, it can be maintained with a lower volume of training.

    5) Fatigue is largely specific- if you are having a hard time practicing a skill that has a large balance element for example, switch and work on a skill that has a different quality, such as a technique which requires a high degree of speed.
  2. Nid is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/07/2004 12:02pm

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     Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I appreciate the spirit of the post, but this forever grates my nerves...

    In endurance training, the quality of effort can be assessed by heart rate. The higher the heartrate, the harder you're working.
    Awesome. All those years of cocaine use benefitted me after all!
  3. Ronin is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2004 10:17am

    Join us... or die
     Style: Shi Ja Quan

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    An excellent post over all.
    As for the heart rate comment, I understand what he was trying to say, that many people workout for an hour with a very low heart rate and THINK they are getting an endurance workout comparable or better than a guy that works out for 20 min at a higher rate.
    This is something I see all the time in the gyms, guys doing a 40 min bag workout and hardly breaking a sweat beacuse their punches lack ANY POWER whatsoever, these same guys thing they are in "better shape" than a guy who can only do 20 min of bag work, even though his intensity is 100 time more than theirs.
    While heart rate is NOT the PERFECT indicator, it is a better one than the infamous "kow long do you work out for".
  4. Nid is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2004 12:21pm

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     Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Now, if people were to stop right there (where you did about it being an imperfect indicator), I'd be cool. It's when people think that heart rate is the goal in and of itself. That a high heart rate actually does something because it's high. No. It's high because the rest of you is doing something. And that "something" better be directly relevant to...well...you know.
  5. virtual_mantis is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/09/2004 12:31pm

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     Style: 7 Star

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Originally posted by keinhaar
    I appreciate the spirit of the post, but this forever grates my nerves...



    Awesome. All those years of cocaine use benefitted me after all!
    This reminds me of a conversation that I had with a friend once. He was doing the whole body for life thing and was talking about how easy it was for him to get his heart rate up. I explained to him that the reason he could get his heart rate up so quickly was because he was a smoker and that his heart had to work twice as hard to move the same amount of oxegen. He didn't get it.
  6. Student is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2004 12:37pm

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     Style: BJJ, MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    if you want funtional strength for fighting - you better do your gym workout with your heart rate increased. Basically what Ronin said - plenty of guys pace them so well they can workout for hours - and they are developing the wrong type of strength for fighting. A good workout doesn't have to last all day - there's no reason that after you are warmed up you will need to work longer than 20 or 30 minutes.

    again - I am only talking about developing funtional strength for fighting. You won't have the heaviest lifts at your gym - but then get the same guys who normally lift more than you - have both of you sprint a 1/4 or 1/2 mile then see who can put up more weight!
  7. FingerorMoon? is offline

    The man they call FoM

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2004 4:54pm

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     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    We all agree.
    Group hug time.
    The Wastrel - So attractive he HAS to be a woman.
    - Pizdoff
  8. PizDoff is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2004 5:51pm

    supporting memberstaff
     Style: Grappling

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Is this thread about sex?
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