View Full Version : Weight lifting and Aikido

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Duval Culpepper
05-26-2004, 01:34 PM

I'm 17 and I workout twice a week on alternating muscles (bi's and tri's, legs and shoulders, chest and back..) and it's a solid workout. So the day after I'm pretty sore, but I also need to fit Aikido around this schedule.

So, is it alright to go to aikido even if you feel a significant amount of soreness and try to stretch the muscles out? Or is it better if I wait until I'm no longer sore from the gym?

Tuesday and Thursday are gym days...Can monday and wednesday work in terms of whats the best exercise routine I can have? Or would the wednesday be better on a saturday...a few days after the gym?

05-26-2004, 01:42 PM
IMHO, and I lift, working out in Aikido is okay. Warm up. Don't over due. Stay relaxed and focus on form so your are actually using the minimal amount of muscle as possible.

05-26-2004, 01:59 PM
You might do well to do your Aikido training directly after weight lifting. Of course, you would have to be very careful. My point is this:

Training at the dojo that I attend is a two hour event. The last twenty to thirty minutes are brutal. It is during this time that my body starts to fail me and I finally have no choice but to summon ki to the best of my ability. This last portion of the evening's training often proves to be the most fruitful. If you are already weak when you train you might get the same benefits.

Conversely, I have gone to the dojo very sore and found that the aerobic exercise helps to loosen up my muscles and help me relax. It's possible that you could find the same benefits going the day after weight lifting. However my soreness is due to my intimacy with the mat. I'm just beat up. If you are a hardcore weight lifter then you are actually tearing your muscle fibers and maybe my suggestion about Aikido training directly after lifting is ridiculously stupid. However, I'm sure someone with more knowledge on the matter will have a comment in regard to all this.

Duval Culpepper
05-26-2004, 02:18 PM
Well that's what weight lifting is though, tearing the muscles to make them bigger...So wouldn't aikido augment my physical training?

05-26-2004, 02:19 PM
I'm 17 and I workout twice a week on alternating muscles (bi's and tri's, legs and shoulders, chest and back..) and it's a solid workout.

Honest suggestions:

You're 17. You should have a LOT higher work capacity than training twice a week. Workout more days a week using full body movements at a higher intensity.

Scrapper's bodyweight workouts (http://www.trainforstrength.com/workouts.shtml)
Crossfit's Workout of the Day (http://www.crossfit.com/)

Those sites should give you an idea of what I'm suggesting.

Your program smells of bodybuilding. Stop it. Train for function not form. Read crossfit's definition of "fitness" (http://www.crossfit.com/cf-download/CFJ-trial.pdf)
If your school has a gymnastic team/wrestling team/weightlifting team....join it.

You're sore because you are experiencing DOMS (http://www.physsportsmed.com/issues/1999/01_99/muscle.htm)



Jordan Steele
05-26-2004, 03:16 PM
I'm in the gym five times a week and train about four times per week. Feeling sore is good and your body is not as vulnerable as you think. Lifting weights tends to stiffen the muscles so stretch often, especially the legs and keep your rotary range of motion in the torso. Strength training does nothing but good for any type of martial arts. Also, ten minutes on a treadmill after a workout will loosen the muscles pretty good, just stretch after the run. If you have the time to take a 45 minute nap at some point during the day, rest does wonders for tired muscles.

Chris Birke
05-26-2004, 03:37 PM
Paul put it down.

Duval Culpepper
05-26-2004, 05:02 PM
Well, the workout I do twice a week (two hours rougly) is under the supervision of a trainer who stresses a variety of movements and intensities. Speed, strength, muscle mass etc...But coming back from my Aikido class right now, I feel pretty done.

But the stretching counteracts the stiffness I'd feel otherwise.

05-26-2004, 08:35 PM
Well, the workout I do twice a week (two hours rougly) is under the supervision of a trainer who stresses a variety of movements and intensities.

Ok, I'll bite. Trainer for what?!?

The only people who workout for 2 hours in a gym are bodybuilders. Any other sport that trains that long at one sitting combines physical attribute development WITH skill training (ie wrestling, gymnastics, dance, weightlifting).

If you like what you're doing...knock yourself out. But unless I've missed something, the way you're training is messing with your aikido.



Duval Culpepper
05-26-2004, 08:38 PM
Messing with it in what way though? The soreness isn't a problem for me in terms of doing Aikido, I'm just curious if it'll augment or diminish my muscle building.

05-27-2004, 05:56 AM
Messing with it in what way though?

Like I said, I might have misunderstood, but it seems like:
you are regularly so sore after the gym that you are wondering if going to aikido is a good idea.

If something is making you wonder if you should go to aikido, it's "messing up" your aikido.



05-27-2004, 07:55 AM
During the first five years of my training I was also an avid weight lifter, runner and anything else physical that amused me. I don't feel like it hindered my training at all, and helped my stamina durning long seminars. If you are balancing your weight training with flexibility and aerobic conditioning you should be just fine.

The strengthening of tendons and ligaments associated with weight training (when it's done safely and correctly) will help prevent some joint injuries on the mat.

On a personal note, I have switched to a bodyweight exercise program and lift weights 2-3x a month now, just for a change.

05-28-2004, 05:28 PM
Try Pavel Tsatsoline's book "Power to the People" (PTP hereafter). Check it out at Amazon or Alibris. It's pricey so find a used copy. I've been training for awhile using his full body workouts. Done properly you will never experience muscle soreness again, yet you'll be weight training five days a week with the heaviest weights you can handle. Two hours in the gym is WAAAAY too much work. Use power-lifting movements for ten minutes a day and you'll get plenty strong for any activity.

05-29-2004, 12:44 PM
Okay, I'll jump on this one. I'm a personal trainer certified by the Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research, Dallas, TX and I teach Aikido and submissions for Law Enforcement. First, you need to identify your goals in both programs. I recommend you discuss this with your Aikido instructor as well as the Trainer you're working with. Once you identify your goals, tailor your program to fit your needs. If your desire is to increase muscle mass and strength, you need to lower your repetitions and increase weight (6-8 reps at 75-85% of max weight) should provide the resistance you need to improve. Regardless, you should NEVER compromise form for additional weight. You need to utilize strict form as well as full range of motion (so you don't limit flexibility-which helps prevent injury). Ensure you have ample rest between workouts. If you tax the muscle correctly, you shouldn't be lifting it again for 48-96 hours depending on the intensity of the workout. Each individual is different and some muscles recover faster than others, but use this as a guide. Your body actually grows while you rest. Also ensure your diet supports the increased demands on your muscles with additional protien. A rough guide for a heavy lifter is 1 to 1.5 grams of protien per pound of body weight. Of this protein, no more the 30% from supplements (protein shakes, powder, etc), the rest from healthy food sources (meat, chicken, eggs, fish, etc).

As for Aikido, again you have to look at your goals. If your focus is Aikido, then you have to focus on your martial training and have your trainer help develop a weight lifting program that will complement your Aikido. Such a program should focus on muscular endurance and "fast-twitch" muscle fibers. You should look at lighter weights, more reps, body weight exercises (pull-ups, dips, etc), abdominal exercises, etc. Again flexibility is important, continue to stretch.

Regardless of your goals, your lifting can complement your Aikido or vice versa. Realize, you can't do everything, so if you want to focus on lifting, then do that and go to Aikido as a way to develop your center, develop fluid movements, and all the other benefits of Aikido as often as you can. Aikido will not hinder your muscular development so long as you are not doing exercises (such as push ups, etc) that will tax a muscle that may be resting. If you want to complement your Aikido with some strength training, that is also fine.

Finally, I often encourage correction officers in my submission classes to come after a good hard work-out. These are VERY strong men who have always been able to muscle their way through techniques, so I like them to come to class with their muscles spent, so they have to focus on the technique and not strength. Strength can be an asset (especially when my wife makes me rearrange the living room over and over again), but you have to learn to do the techniques without it because there is always someone stronger out there.

Hope this helps.

Greg Makuch
Abu Ghuraib Prison, Iraq

Duval Culpepper
05-30-2004, 04:38 PM
Thanks Gregory, just out of curiosity, what does higher reps and lower weights accomplish for the muscles?

05-30-2004, 05:46 PM

When you add repetitions and lower weight (10-15 reps with 65% of max), you are increasing muscular endurance. Now some strength increase will also occur, but it will not happen nearly as quickly as with lower reps higher weight. As for muscular endurance, that is the ability for a muscle to perform a set action numerous times. An example is the push up and the max bench press. When evaluating fitness, I test the number of correct push-ups an individual can do in 1 minute and also what percentage of an individual's body weight they can bench press one time. The push up measures muscular endurance (how many times your body can repeat the same motion) and the bench press test measures muscular strength. As a young man in the military, I wanted muscular size and strength. As I've aged (I'm 32), I'm not interested in bench pressing a buick, so I focus on muscular endurance and flexibility. I feel it is a better combination for sports, to help prevent injury, and for martial arts. The other advantage is muscles will recover faster in a muscular endurance workout because there is less trauma to the muscle (when you lift heavy you are traumatizing the muscle over and over until the body adapts but growing more muscle).

Greg Makuch
Abu Ghuraib Prison, Iraq

Duval Culpepper
05-31-2004, 10:30 AM
Well let me ask you this, does doing leg exercises increase or stunt growth? Is it better to run up 24 flights, or do a weight routine, or both?

05-31-2004, 06:03 PM
Doing leg exercises for mass (muscular strength) will help increase overall muscular development. However, I would balance a mass building routine with a muscular endurance routine. If you run or bike a lot, weight lifting can complement that and make you better. But if you lift heavy for mass, you must not tax the muscle following the work out for 48 hours (at a minimum). So after your heavy leg days, no running, biking, stairs, etc for two days. On the third day you can run, do stairs, etc. So if you're focus is mass, then limit cardio following a leg workout and lift heavy. If your goal is muscular endurance for sports, martial arts, etc, use lighter weights or body weight exercises and continue to work hard on cardio exercises (running, biking, etc)

Abu Ghuraib Prison, Iraq

off the page
09-27-2004, 12:35 AM
I'm 17 and I workout ........................That says a lot just in that statement there. I work out 3x a week, run 2x a week and on the mat 2-3x a week. It will take much longer to understand Aikido then it will to get ripped in the gym. I believe in having a much of an edge when it matters.

Training is one thing, but in the heat of matter, your endurance and stamina is going to help you Aikido. Look at Randori as an example of a fight. Of course you do not want to muscle your way through it. Keep in mind, most fights go to the ground. Unless you have ground training, hitting the weights will help in that arena.

If you are sore as much as I get from your inquiry, maybe a trainer would be a good idea. I have yet to have a problem hitting the mat right after the gym. Sometimes training when you are tired, from lifting, can help. Your muscles are too tired to apply force and have no choice but to go without resistance. Find what works for you. Good luck, there is some good advice in front of ya.