Donnie Yen
Martial arts require diversified training. You can't just train explosive fast movements all the time. For example, jiu-jitsu and karate are not like sprinting. Sprinting is an explosive sport, whereas martial arts uses explosive techniques. Martial arts require you to develop them all, slow and fast-twitch muscle fibers and your aerobic and anaerobic system. Try these training programs to develop all the different muscle fibers and systems.

Fartlek Training

Fartlek combines interval and continuous training. It is a mixture of jogging and sprinting and even walking if you so choose. The great thing about Fartlek is you train every muscle fiber. For example, you can jog for about 3 minutes and then increase the pace for 10 to 20 seconds for many intervals, returning to your pace without stopping. This effectively trains both your anaerobic and aerobic systems.

You can jog, sprint, jog at whatever interval you want. It can be timed or spontaneous. I like to do both. Another way is, while running, speed up slow down every 3-5 seconds to work on explosiveness. What this does is develop the synchronization between your slow and fast-twitch fibers.

Fartlek can also be used in martial arts, not just running. For example, go hard for 5 seconds. And after 5 seconds, continue moving around at a lower intensity using your martial arts movement patterns for a few minutes. Finally, you can shadow train or train with a partner.

Fartlek Recovery

Firstly, timed intervals allow you to get proper recovery. And secondly, random intervals prepare you for the unpredictable, where recovery is not timed or regular. Try not to lock yourself into specific, predictable recovery times because recovery is not predictable in martial arts. Only when the match is over.

HIIT

HIIT is High-Intensity Interval Training that sustains an intensity of about 85% for 15 seconds and has a rest period.

Alternating between high-intensity exercises and rest periods spikes and relaxes your heart rate. As your heart rate goes up and down, you train your heart and strengthen the blood flow through your body.

The short, intense bursts from HIIT are great to maximize athletic performance or for general fitness.

HIIT is a great workout routine to build speed, muscle strength, and endurance and is excellent for losing weight.

How Does it Work?

There are many ways to structure HIIT and your exercise to rest ratio. Some people prefer 1:1 who are more trained. However, if you are new to HIIT, try a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio. The rest time depends on your current fitness level. So, matching your martial arts training and rest is best.

Sample Routine- 10-15 seconds at 85% - rest 10- 30 seconds

Kettlebell Swings- Rest

Plyo Push-ups - Rest

Squat Jumps with dumbbells - Rest

Squat Press- Rest

You can do three to four exercises and rest 2 minutes after as well.

HIIT doesn't have to be done every day. All you need is two or three sessions every week, and you're good to go. However, rest days are a must and every two days is perfect for allowing your body time to recover. Skipping the rest day can lead to overuse injuries and burnout, as well as doing too much HIIT.

Tabata’s Training

Tabata training requires you to train as fast as you can for 20 seconds. It is explosive. It can be 15 seconds too. Don't get stuck in parameters because each individual is different. If you can't do 20 seconds, do less time, or else it works against you. Do what works for you. The same goes with recovery starting at 10 seconds or more. Try to complete 3-4 minutes, working twenty seconds, and resting for 10 seconds. This is one set. You'll complete eight sets of each exercise. And the same as HIIT, just a few days a week is good.

You can do pretty much any exercise you wish. Again, you can do explosive martial arts techniques for 15-20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. You can do squats, push-ups, burpees, or other exercises that work for your large muscle groups. Kettlebell exercises work great.

Sample Routine -10-20 seconds as fast as you can- rest 10-20 seconds

Squat Jumps-Rest

Push-ups- Rest

Alternate Split Lunge- Rest

Pullups- Rest

Tabata's are great to access the higher muscular fast-twitch fibers. After you fatigue in 10 seconds, you will proceed to the fast-twitch intermediates.

These threes workouts are great to do once a week. For example, do HIIT on Monday, Fartlek Wednesday, and Tabata on Friday.

Training anaerobically will improve aerobically. However, strength training is a different animal that I will address in the following article. Stay tuned.

For more info on strength training check out my books.

THE BALANCED BODY

https://www.amazon.com/Balanced-Body-Train-Better-Injury/dp/1530569915

Or visit my Youtube channel, The Balance, for more techniques and information based on strength, nutrition, and health.

Introducing Martial Arts School Listings on Black Belt Mag!
Sign Up Now To Be One Of The First School Listed In Our Database.
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the worlds largest magazine of martial arts.
Executioners From Shaolin
Executioners From Shaolin / Lau Kar-leung

Dr. Craig’s Martial Arts Movie Lounge

In Part I, I covered the following films from 1970-1976 in order of the years the films came out: Brothers Five; The Avenger; Fist of Fury; Black Tavern; Chinese Iron Man; Defensive Power of Aikido; Fists of Vengeance; The Gallant;Pacific Connection; and The Tongfather. The last 10 films are presented in a similar fashion.
Keep Reading Show less
Epic Grudge Match to Headline UFC 272
UFC
After three long years, It's finally here. Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington have agreed to let their Mixed Martial arts skills do the talking on March 5 at UFC 272.
Keep Reading Show less
Bruce Lee’s “10,000 Kicks” Challenge – Complete 10,000 Kicks in 10 Days

2021 Update!

The Power of the Martial Spirit = Master Yourself so You Can Be of Service to the World.
For millions of Americans, hungry kids are their reality. Not enough money to buy groceries. Not enough food to last until the next paycheck.

Black Belt Magazine, The Bruce Lee Foundation, and Sifu Harinder Singh are calling all Martial Artists and School Owners to come together to Kick Off the New Year and unite to Kick Hunger Away. Let’s make #10000KICKS go viral.

Keep Reading Show less