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DanD
06-20-2003, 12:10 AM
Did you ever had this feeling that you're not in good shape while training? That you could have done with some more muscles and breath (legs, belly etc.)? Sure you did! (I would guess ;) )

So fellow aikidoka - any good advise (i mean fitness exercises) for some training off the mat?

Thanks

PeterR
06-20-2003, 01:28 AM
Hi Dan;

Do more Aikido ;)

However, some of us can't train every day or want a bit of variety in our diet.

I tried weight lifting - found it boring.

I tried running - boring.

I tried Judo - still doing it.

The only real advice I can give you besides from Do more Aikido is find something you enjoy doing that might have fitness spin-off. That way you will probably keep at it.

Kyri Honigh
06-20-2003, 02:07 AM
train in suwaru waza!!!if u can move like that real smooth and at reasonable speed, then standing will be peace a cake

deepsoup
06-20-2003, 04:36 AM
Did you ever had this feeling that you're not in good shape while training? That you could have done with some more muscles and breath (legs, belly etc.)? Sure you did! (I would guess ;) )
I get that feeling all the time, Dan. I never really feel the need for more muscle, but running out of wind is a big problem for me, especially in randori.
So fellow aikidoka - any good advise (i mean fitness exercises) for some training off the mat?
I'm not the best person to dispense advice about fitness, thats for sure. There have been some good threads in the past, so you could do worse than to check out the search facility.

For what its worth though, I agree with Peter (I usually do) - whatever you do, make sure its something you enjoy. :)

Sean

x

SeiserL
06-20-2003, 06:10 AM
IMHO, training is very skill specific, so yes, training more in Aikido will increase your cardio. You may have to training harder and faster to get the heart rate up which may go against the slow relaxed flow than many people train at.

As a supplement, running, swimming, biking, and jumping rope are very good. Keep good form and alignment, stay relaxed, breath, and move from your center.

The discipline from doing a reptitive act may be boring to some, but it builds mental toughness to do it anyway. Good training.

paw
06-20-2003, 06:36 AM
So fellow aikidoka - any good advise (i mean fitness exercises) for some training off the mat?

What is your current ability and what are your goals?

There's no sense in giving you an Olympic level workout if you cannot handle that volume and intensity of work. There's no sense in focusing on running if you want to be able to swim.

What do you see as your weaknesses?

This varies between individuals, and also varies over time with the same individual. The point is a workout routine's greatest value is that it may be changed --- and should be changed over time as you progress and evolve athletically.

One last rant.....

Fitness is "The state or condition of being fit" it's properly measured by performance. The vast majority of the "fitness industry" is geared towards appearance. I'd encourage you to keep that in mind.

Regards,

Paul

DanD
06-20-2003, 11:13 AM
What is your current ability and what are your goals?

"
Average ability.

Better cardio/aerobics will be great.
One last rant.....

Fitness is "The state or condition of being fit" it's properly measured by performance. The vast majority of the "fitness industry" is geared towards appearance. I'd encourage you to keep that in mind. ?"
Thatnks god, none of that. Appearance is not on my list. Performance is :)

Thank you all for your input.

paw
06-20-2003, 12:33 PM
Average ability. Better cardio/aerobics will be great.
Check out:

Working Class Fitness (http://www.workingclassfitness.com/)

Scrapper's Fitness Page (http://www.trainforstrength.com/)

Both offer performance orientated, free fitness routines that don't take a huge time committment, don't require a great deal of equipment and get results.

Regards,

Paul

Thor's Hammer
06-20-2003, 11:23 PM
Bokken and Jo kata at home (I don't have a white oak copy of either so I use a flag pole and a piece of hickory I cut to look like a bokken.

Breathing exercises...

I don't think running will help you much as I run competitively, (more than 80 miles/week of training volume some weeks) and I still get out of breath! You are working explosively in aikido, not aerobically.

At home ukemi also helps.

Do a search for "Sledgehammer GPP" on google, it gets you the same kind of tired.

Kevin Wilbanks
06-21-2003, 01:34 PM
Dan,

The most efficient type of workout to address your primary concern is high intensity anaerobic interval training (HIIT). As little as two 15 minute workouts per week, pursued avidly, will probably give you more "breath" than anyone in your dojo in a few months. I have posted about it extensively here. Try searching using keywords from the first sentence above, or looking at old fitness-related threads.

Strength is a more complex matter, however. I have also posted some relatively simple example workouts here, but getting results and avoiding injury beyond an initial 'honeymoon' period with a strength program requires a certain amount of knowledge, experience, record-keeping, etc... or at least some guidance from someone else who has these. I advise not accepting guidance from bodybuilding magazines, anyone who reads them, anyone who mostly uses weight machines, or anyone who fails to keep a basic workout log.

DanD
06-21-2003, 03:40 PM
Kevin,

You're "right on the money" :) Cheers

I'll check the database.

Thanks

DanD
06-21-2003, 08:52 PM
Kevin,

I've seen 2 files that you have attached from your "aborted" book, but could not open them. Any other format somewhere else ?

Thanks

Kevin Wilbanks
06-22-2003, 09:11 PM
The vast majority of the "fitness industry" is geared towards appearance. I'd encourage you to keep that in mind.
Sadly, most of the equipment, programs, and advice I see out there seem to be of little use even for appearance purposes. The results most people get are mainly fat loss, which is easy to get with practically any amount of increased activity combined with calorie restriction. When it comes to muscle building, most people I see on Weider-style bodybuilding routines do an elaborate, quasi-random workout without even keeping a log, and hence don't even realize that they aren't making any progress.

Kevin Wilbanks
06-22-2003, 09:21 PM
I don't think running will help you much as I run competitively, (more than 80 miles/week of training volume some weeks) and I still get out of breath! You are working explosively in aikido, not aerobically.
I actually find this a bit surprising. I would think that with that much aerobic fitness, you would be at least way ahead of most Aikidoka in terms of 'breath'. Do you run intervals at all? Either disciplined intervals designed to increase specific aerobic markers, or more random 'fartlek' workouts?

If not, I recommend giving intervals a try, even on a periodized/sometimes basis. It will improve your Aikido wind and your racing times, no matter what distance you race. Incidentally, more and more evidence is coming out that suggests training to increase maximal strength and anaerobic endurance improves race times at all distances as well. The best book on the subject I've seen is called "Road Racing For Serious Runners" by Pete Pfitzinger (sp?).

For a while, I fancied I'd try my hand at racing 5K's. It didn't take long to discover that my genetics were crap. The other thing I discovered was that running a 5K at race pace is one of the most painful, grueling things a human being can do for "fun". Ouch!

YEME
06-23-2003, 12:40 AM
STAIRS.

none of that coma inducing gym garbage either. real stairs and lots of them.

after tackling 230 of them 12 times in succession twice weekly over a month i found i didn't get as breathless doing Aikido.

JJF
06-23-2003, 01:35 AM
The muscles we use in aikido are some much different from what we use in most other types of sports activity - so just do more Aikido, and try to push yourself a little bit further each time you are about to get short of wind.

Learning how to relax and remembering to breathe while doing the technique is also a very important means to avoid loosing your breath.

paw
06-23-2003, 04:47 AM
Jorgen,
The muscles we use in aikido are some much different from what we use in most other types of sports activity

The only thing I can think of is that you mean to type "movements" instead of "muscles". In other words:

The movements we use in aikido are different from what is done in most other sports

Given the rest of your post, I presume that is what you meant. If not, could you clarify your position?

Regards,

Paul

JJF
06-23-2003, 04:57 AM
Hi Paul!

Your'e right in the sense that I did mean what I wrote, but it makes more sense the way you put it :D

To put it in a (hopefully) more precise way: when doing most type of 'traditional' sports like running, football etc, we use some muscles more than others due to the way we move. In Aikido we use muscles, that are not usually needed for a long row of sports. The conclusion is, that no matter how much you exercise your larger muscle groups by for example running, you will never be able to avoid muscle fatigue in other muscle groups when you do aikido. My sensei is practicing for a marathon, but still he can experience pain, fatigue and even loss of wind, when doing aikido, based to the completely different mode of movements. It has to do with the way power is released (explosive or more steadily) but in the end every form of exercise activates and thereby exercises specific groups of muscles.

The only really good way to prepare your body to do aikido is - well - to do aikido ;)

Does it make more sense now ? or should I just give up and avoid further misunderstandings ?

paw
06-23-2003, 06:42 AM
Jorgen,
To put it in a (hopefully) more precise way: when doing most type of 'traditional' sports like running, football etc, we use some muscles more than others due to the way we move.

Ok....
In Aikido we use muscles, that are not usually needed for a long row of sports.

I strongly disagree. Technically, is aikido so vastly different from judo that completely different muscles would be used? I would have a very hard time believing that without evidence. I would further have a hard time believing that twisting, turning and rolling on a mat in aikido uses different muscles than a gymnast would when they twist, turn and roll.
My sensei is practicing for a marathon, but still he can experience pain, fatigue and even loss of wind, when doing aikido, based to the completely different mode of movements.

My wife is preparing for a marathon in Novemeber. She's never had loss of wind or fatigue when training aikido, but has noticed that I recover much more quickly from sprinting than she does. This is energy pathway example, not a muscular one.

My anerobic capacity is much higher than her's because of the way I've trained, whereas her aerobic capacity far exceeds mine, again due the way she trains. I don't think muscular contraction plays that big of a role in this example.
It has to do with the way power is released (explosive or more steadily) but in the end every form of exercise activates and thereby exercises specific groups of muscles.
"Power" is work over time, I think the word you want to use is either "energy" or "work".

Muscles either contract or they do not. It's interesting that despite a wide difference in movements, numerous athletes squat. Of course, all these professional athletes coached by top-notched professional coaches who have huge financial incentive to use every advantage they can do improve their athletes performance, could be wrong....but honestly, do you really think so?

I imagine Kevin will be along shortly with more details....

Regards,

Paul

Dave Miller
06-23-2003, 07:50 AM
I think that Jørgen makes a good point. If you take someone who is training for a marathon and throw them into a pool for laps, they are liable to get winded fairly quickly. Why? Because they're using muscles that they don't use when running. The same is true in Aikido. The shoulder-trunk and abdominal muscles are much more active in Aikido (or Judo) than they would be in running. True, running will get you into good aerobic shape, allowing you to recover more quickly. However, you can still be winded from using muscles that aren't as aerobically well developed. There is simply no analagous movement in running that develops the muscles used in taking ukemi, for example.

Kevin Wilbanks
06-23-2003, 08:28 AM
Paul is right. The phenomena you guys are trying to describe has very little to do with which muscles are being used. This common notion about muscles seems to be fallout from bodybuilding programs with "isolation" moves, or just a misunderstanding about how muscles and movements work. In every activity described, virutally all of the body's muscles are being used all the time. The patterns of which ones get more or less stress changes from activity to activity, but this has little to do with becoming "winded".

Inapplicability of conditioning from one activity to another can take many forms.

The "wind" or "breath" in question is all about systemic conditioning elements like cardiovascular conditioning and which energy pathways are developed. Differences in muscular activation patterns have less to do with the actual muscles than with neurological patterns - it has to do with development of specific patterns of firing in which muscles coordinate with one another, and the firing patterns within the muscle itself coordinate.

If muscles are uncoordinated for a given activity or the muscle tissue itself is physically adapted to optimize a completely different energy pathway, problems of this sort would be expressed by symptoms like burning in the muscle, tremors, or just plain localized weakness, NOT a systemic symptom like being out of breath.

Kevin Wilbanks
06-23-2003, 09:05 AM
Muscles either contract or they do not. It's interesting that despite a wide difference in movements, numerous athletes squat.
This is an interesting question. Why is the squat taken as a nearly universal core to lower body strength training?

I think the muscles issue is one: one exercise, heavy squatting, works most of the muscles below the rib cage hard. For purposes of building muscle mass it is an efficient use of training time.

Another idea I've heard is that squats stimulate so many muscles at once that the intensity of the systemic stress stimulates more growth-oriented hormone production than multiple, smaller movements.

However, I think the main reason is probably about neurology, motor programming and movement pattern. This can get really thorny, as there are different theories. I'm not clear at all on which makes more sense or how it works. I just have general ideas about specificity, similarity, etc... The bottom line, I think, is that the movement pattern of the squat is similar enough to most of what we do with our legs in important ways to make the development of squatting patterns nearly universally useful.

On the other hand, in some cases, like swimming for instance, maybe squatting isn't all that useful, except for mass-building purposes.

Attached is a summary of motor pattern theory descriptions with links copied from another board, for the interested.

Thor's Hammer
06-23-2003, 12:43 PM
I actually find this a bit surprising. I would think that with that much aerobic fitness, you would be at least way ahead of most Aikidoka in terms of 'breath'. Do you run intervals at all? Either disciplined intervals designed to increase specific aerobic markers, or more random 'fartlek' workouts?
It all depends who I am training with. With some people I can train with them for a long period of time with no appreciable loss of breath. With others, after a few hard throws I'm breathing hard.

I run intervals in the competitive season (8X1200m @ 110% V02 Max) etc. During the base training season (now) the highest intensity runs are 50 minute 'tempo runs'

A 5k is a lot of pain for a lot of fun, it's true :)

I find that thinking of a word when I hit the mat or throw and perhaps silently vocalizing it helps cut the effect of getting winded down considerably, any thoughts?

Ukemi makes you a lot more tired than waza. I wonder why this is? Is there a lot of muscular action when you breakfall?

Kevin Wilbanks
06-23-2003, 01:18 PM
B,

I would think that if you run intervals like that, you'd have more than enough wind for Aikido. The addition of some pure speed/anaerobic work would definitely make a difference for Aikido, but there may not be room for it (energy/recovery) in your program.

That word thing makes me think you are holding your breath when you fall. Maybe by saying the word it helps you to exhale. Alternatively, maybe you tense up too much when you fall, and the mind trick tones it down some. Beats me.

I'm interested in the whole breathing thing with Aikido. Most traditionalists advise never holding the breath, but I think it may be necessary and in fact involuntary at particular moments - particularly during hard falls - to stabilize the torso (i.e., the valsalva manouver). However, I would think any prolonged breath holding would rob your body of potential oxygen and cause heavier breathing to 'catch up'.

Ukemi is more tiring because it's simply a lot more work. When done well, nage waza isn't much more effort than walking around and moving one's arms a bit, whereas ukemi involves picking some or all of your weight up off the ground every time, not to mention various muscular actions involved in absorbing falls and redirecting the body's falling weight.

Dave Miller
06-23-2003, 02:27 PM
I'm interested in the whole breathing thing with Aikido. Most traditionalists advise never holding the breath, but I think it may be necessary and in fact involuntary at particular moments - particularly during hard falls - to stabilize the torso (i.e., the valsalva manouver).As a SCUBA diver, I'm interested in what the "valsalva maneuver" has to do with ukemi. ;)

Kevin Wilbanks
06-23-2003, 06:47 PM
The valsalva maneuver is something the body does reflexively in many circumstances to stabilize the spine. The exact physics of it are beyond my capacity to fully explain, but the increase in intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) increases the stiffness of the lower torso. Try deadlifting something heavy and you should find that you do it automatically. In fact, the body seems to do it automatically during the hardest moments of virutally all heavy, major, multi-joint lifts. I supect that holding the breath at the moment of impact in hard falls is also somewhat automatic - as are a whole bunch of other intense, momentary muscle actions - and that doing so is possibly important for protecting the spine, but it's just a hunch.

Dave Miller
06-24-2003, 09:27 AM
The valsalva maneuver (http://www.learnscuba.com/myths.html) (point #8 on the linked page) is also a technique for equalising the pressure in the middle ear while diving, hence my confusion.

Kevin Wilbanks
06-24-2003, 12:08 PM
Hmm... according to that link, the diving technique isn't really the valsalva maneuver, though. I guess it's one of those things that gets repeated so many times that the 'incorrect' reference just becomes an alternate one.

Dave Miller
06-24-2003, 12:46 PM
I was suprised to learn that it had possibly been misattributed. Of course, it could be that the author of the article simply didn't do their homework correctly, also. At any rate, in the world of SCUBA and skin diving, it is still universally called the valsalva maneuver.

Kevin Wilbanks
06-24-2003, 01:36 PM
I guess if you think about it, they are both the same type of thing - just in one you are stopping the air at the throat and in the other at the nose. Also, if you tried to clear your ear pressure with anywhere near the force you use in a squat or deadlift, you'd probably end up deaf.

Dave Miller
06-24-2003, 01:45 PM
Also, if you tried to clear your ear pressure with anywhere near the force you use in a squat or deadlift, you'd probably end up deaf.You got that right. :eek: :freaky:

The first time I ever went diving, I waited too long to start clearing my ears and used too much pressure to do so. I had a headache for 2 or 3 days afterwards. :blush: