3 Things to Avoid as You Seek to Become a Fitter Fighter
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To serve up such results, countless tips and tactics have been and are still being offered. Problem is, some of the “wisdom” reeks of superstition, some of which is rooted in market dynamics (aka turning a buck).
In an effort to shed some light on this, I will now tiptoe through the ϐ ϐ Ǥ what you are about to read are merely my opinions and observations. THE PLANK: Holding the body in a ϐ athletic world by storm. Whether that ϐ ǡ Ȁ Hercules chair or the horse stance, we’re supposed to believe that by staying stock-still, we’re preparing ourselves for an activity that requires movement.
When I listen to advocates of the plank, I’m reminded of the character George Michael in the TV series Arrested Development, who in one episode was proud of his achievement of being able to hang from a bar. (More on bar hanging in a moment.)
Yes, I can see the utility of holding a plank as a training step for those who are unable to do a push-up. Yes, hold " ϐ Ǥ ǡ ǯ " that you can foster mental toughness ǲ " " ǳ plank session. But …
You know what else builds your body like a push-up? A push-up. You know ϐ ǫ Ǧ ment under load that mimics your physical pursuit. You know what else can foster mental toughness? Hardcore functional movement and participating in your martial art.
My guess is that the plank mentality started assuming a role of primacy for three reasons. One, it’s egalitarian. Everyone can hit a plank for a wee bit. Two, no gear is required. Three, it’s an easy way to use up time in a group class.
As martial arts teachers and practitioners, why would we allow such a base-level static position to occupy so much of our time? The plank is not even a sensible active recovery. It’s simply something we’ve adopted for no good reason.
ǡ ǡ Ǧ cises that pass the functional smell test: the dead hang, which is essential training for rock climbers and aspiring ninja, and the neck bridge, a must-do for those who are into wrestling sports that still use a pin. CARDIO SESSIONS FOR FIXED TIMES: I still occasionally run into “You know, for cardio I need to do this activity this long.” My initial reaction is Ȁ person is preparing for. That’s because the human body responds to speciϐ Ǥ ǡ if a pro soccer player, who requires beaucoup running, trains the same way as an NFL defensive lineman. Or if a defensive lineman should skip the sprints, power sled and ballistic lifting @ Ǥ
If you honestly think these types of training are equivalent, put your money where your mouth is and bet on " ϐ Ǥ ǡ ǡ you can’t — because pro sports are a business and they won’t allow such a useless training plan to adversely affect their marketability.
I suspect that much of the “cardio for this long” trend is a ploy to make schedules work. That is, classes in
The plank is not even a sensible active recovery. It’s simply something we’ve adopted for no good reason.
aerobics, Spinning and the like use this training methodology because it’s easier to match a gym’s schedule. If you’re a cardio trainer who gets paid by the hour, you won’t put food on the table if your client gasses after eight minutes of hardcore sprint work.
To those who time their workouts and are vociferous evangelists for “Our ancestors ate and trained like this,” I ask the following: Do you honestly think that Caveman Thag Reynolds and his hunting buddy Crag Sullivan were ever persistence-hunting a gazelle when they checked their sundial and said, “Better knock it off for the day — don’t want to overtrain”? SPOT REDUCTION: We’ve all heard or uttered variations of the following: What do I need to do to get rid of this gut, a bunch of sit-ups? What exercise gets rid of love handles? My butt is a little heavy — will lunges help?
It’s an easy error to make because ϐ Ǧ Ǧ tionship: “Hmm, my gut is getting bigger. I need to focus my activity on my gut to make it smaller.”
When we think this way, we ignore ϐ Ǧ of thought, which is, Can anyone point ϐ ǡ single food that caused a person to pile fat on the gut, hips or butt? Nope. It doesn’t work that way.
If an overall lack of activity is the cause of these specific deposits of fatty tissue, why isn’t the fat distributed evenly? The answer entails a combination of genetics and hormonal profiles, but let’s stay out of the wonky-science weeds and just say that, in general, men tend to deposit fat around the middle and women tend to deposit fat around the hips and thighs. What we need to keep in mind to reverse this is that the fat deposits did not happen because of the lack of a targeted activity. They stemmed from an overall pattern of behavior.
In a nutshell, spot-reducing and targeted-toning simply do not exist in the real world of human physiology. To reduce the size of these trouble areas, you must stop trying to target and aim for overall exercise. The more the body works, the quicker it will reverse course on those trouble spots.
If you want to lose the love handles, skip the twisting sit-ups and opt for multi-joint big-movement exercise that burns calories/fat overall. Don’t assume that just because you’ve performed crunches until your stomach is sore that you’ve burned fat from ϐ Ǥ ǯ merely fatigued a muscle. You’ll do more to burn fat in that area by opting for a series of sprints, barbell thrusters and jump-rope sessions than you will with endless sit-ups.
One more thing: If you believe that exercising a single body part will reduce its size, why don’t you see right-handed professional tennis players with itty-bitty right arms? The human body simply does not work in Ǥ ϐ - ness attack to eventually home in on problem areas and thereby transform yourself into a better martial artist.