Should You Add Supplementary Weight Training to your Martial Arts Training?
There are four things you should consider before you add supplementary weight training into your workout schedule:
Martial arts training will naturally help you improve in all of these areas, but many people wonder if they need to add supplementary weight training to increase these areas. The answer is maybe.
The first determination of whether or not you should do separate weight training is how it will affect your martial arts training. If weight training will take the place of your martial arts training, then I don't recommend it (especially for beginners). Advanced martial arts students can make the determination depending on their personal goals.
When you're making the decision, consider this:
You can add weights if you have your martial arts training regime down cold you don't want your martial arts training to suffer so that you can weight train on the side. If you do choose to weight train, educate yourself or get a trainer so that you get the most out of your training. Make a plan before you begin anything.
To make a plan, you need to figure out where you want to improve. You need a balanced body to be a good martial artist, so if you do decide to add supplemental training, it should be to improve this balance. Is there a part of your body that is not up to par with the rest of your body? Do you have plenty of endurance but lack speed?
Here's an example of what I mean. I had a student at my Bellevue Academy of Kempo Martial Arts school that had perfect form. She was worried that her technique wouldn't work in a real situation. She practiced slow and accurate movements, so the answer for her was to start training for power or speed to make her movements more real-world applicable.
In the "old days" martial artists were not purists if they did strength training along with it. The thing is, even in the Shaolin temples, the Kung Fu practitioners had exercises like moving granite balls and doing hundreds of movements with iron rings on their arms it sounds like a form of weight training to me.
If anyone tells you that weight training will harm your kung fu or martial arts training, they are only right if you stop or reduce your martial arts training to weight train. If you break your training down into sections and focus on the parts of your body or goals that you need to balance your body, then you can train accordingly without affecting your martial arts training. If you're still not sure whether or not you're weight training affectively, just make sure you do an hour and a half of martial arts training for every hour of weight training you do.
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Robert Jones runs 3 successful martial arts schools in Bellevue, Lynnwood, and Federal Way Washington. For over 20 years he has been helping families to improve their lives through the practice of martial arts. To help people choose a good school he has written a comprehensive consumer guide on How to Pick a Martial Arts School. He can be reached at the Academy of Kempo Martial Arts. 800-508-6141. His schools can be found on the web at Bellevue Martial Arts and Kung Fu.
Article date: April 2007.