3 Things to Avoid as You Seek to Be­come a Fit­ter Fighter

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Black Belt - - FIT TO FIGHT - by Mark Hat­maker

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.

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