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giriasis 02-25-2004 09:29 AM

How many of your weight train...
 
...to supplement your aikido?

I'm not talking about body building as in professional body building, but as in typical healthful exercise such as using free weights, dumbbells and aerobics. I've been doing aerobic weight training a la The FIRM And it has been very effective for me in regards to weight loss, strength trianing, improving my stamina and flexibility. This practice has definitely improve my ability to practice aikido. (Of course this is supplement with healthful eating and no-fad diets.)

I'm definently talking the physical side of aikido, here. But how do you all feel about it, because I believe it's a myth that we shouldn't weight train.

vanstretch 02-25-2004 12:35 PM

Hi Anne, and yes, its agreed that moderate resistance(wts)can be beneficial in the ways you have described. I want to ask also to anyone, why O'sensei didn't like push-ups? I have heard this somewhere and wonder if he viewed the push-up as anti-aikido because it is a "resistant" exercize? curious and thanks.

cbrf4zr2 02-25-2004 12:49 PM

I have a weight bench at home that I utilize. I also do a solid 2+ hours of aerobic training from April until September on the weekends. I also play in sports rec leagues. So I supplement my aikido with quite a bit of other activity.

And yes, it is a myth that you shouldn't weight train. Better to be a healthy, happy aikidoka than just a happy one.

giriasis 02-25-2004 12:50 PM

Daniel,

I wonder if he didn't like because it tightens up the shoulders? I have to actively keep my shoulders stretched out to keep them flexible. But sometimes their stiff because I'm all stressed out from work and my traps are really tight.

How does everyone else feel? Does any body avoid any sort of resistance training because they feel/ discovered it hurt their aikido?

wendyrowe 02-25-2004 01:25 PM

I train with free weights and dumbells and my bench, doing lots of reps rather than lots of weight -- but I have been able to increase the weight over the months I've been working at it. I was a 125-pound weakling two years ago, but the intense exercise in karate class got me in good enough shape so I don't fall apart in aikido.

In aikido, I find it's hard to do some moves because I lack arm and hand strength -- no, I'm not trying to muscle my techniques, but I can't even turn some of the big guys' wrists in kotegaeshi and my arm gives too much in irimi nage. So I've been concentrating on strengthening my hands and arms. Still doing the intense aerobic karate exercise and jujitsu classes to improve my speed, stamina and overall strength, and doing assorted other exercises to make my back stronger so my ribs stay put during ukemi.

I haven't yet discovered any exercise that hurts my aikido; but then again, I'm so far from "musclebound" that maybe it just can't be an issue for me yet.

BKimpel 02-25-2004 01:47 PM

I have trained with free weights for over 10 years now. Both my upper body and my lower body strength have increased dramatically. I do not experience any lack of flexibility or movement because of weight training, but I do get stiffness if I do not regularly stretch (regardless of whether or not I weight-train).

There is one negative though. Although my grip and arm strength certainly assists my Aikido -- I find I rely on strength to ‘muscle' through a technique sometimes instead of improving my form (because the strength is there and it's naturally easier).

That's a training issue though -- something that can certainly be overcome.

paw 02-25-2004 02:06 PM

Anne,

Congrats on your progress! Keep at it.
Quote:

But how do you all feel about it, because I believe it's a myth that we shouldn't weight train.
I would agree 100%.



Hey, for kicks and giggles check out:

This list to see how you measure up

Regards,

Paul

Ted Marr 02-25-2004 02:26 PM

I don't do much weight training, just due to time constraings... if I do get to the gym, I'm more likely to practice running away... er, I mean, doing something aerobic, just 'cause that's more of a strictly "health" thing. But a while back, I used to keep one of those grip strengthener things that they make for rock climbers in my back pocket, and use that for a few minutes whenever I was bored and didn't have anything better to do. I had to stop because I was starting to hurt people accidentally when I grabbed their wrists. Still happens sometimes when I don't think to moderate myself.

giriasis 02-25-2004 02:34 PM

Thanks Paul,

I could easily be one of the success stories over at The FIRM website. (Those are real people and not fitness models or people hired to do a "study".) I could really pitch it but I'll save you all from my informerial-esq pitch.



But, here's a breif synopsis of my story. In December 2001 I got up 195 pounds after maintaining at 180 for about two and half years, getting close to passing 200 pounds ... again. I'm 5'5" and yes, that was clinically obese. I couldn't even finish my 4th kyu test, 3rd kyu was pretty difficult, too, stamina wise. I'm 160 now and working on getting to a healthy weight and applying a healthy eating lifestyle. My 2nd kyu test was a breeze as far my stamina was concerned.

I have no clue what any of that means in the link you provided? I do mostly light weights with high reps. My heaviest weight is 16 pounds (two 8 pound dumbells) doing high steps (leg presses on the 14" step). I use 12 pounders for french press. The FIRM uses a lot of circuit intervals implementing P.H.A.T. (Peripherial Heart Action Training) and supersetting. Not to mention the aerobic parts includes typical step and aerobic moves (toe touches and mambas mixed in with plyos and jumping jacks). There's a great stretch at the end of each video using Yoga-type moves.

ChristianBoddum 02-25-2004 02:35 PM

Hi !

I do some exercise at home with some barbells

and a curlbar,I have done Bodybuilding prior to Aikido,so I have a variety of exercises.

I'm very aware of how I stress the muscles

in order not to become tense and insensitive.

Keeping my back strong is kind of necessary

having a back problem and after advancing to

2.kyu I want to be able to take kind ukemi

that will be coming my way.

Aikido requires a special sensitivity that

heavy weightlifting will be counterproductive to ,so it's a delicate matter.

yours - Chr.B.

Fred Calef III 02-25-2004 03:13 PM

I would just mix an equal amount of stretching into your workout to keep/increase your flexibility as you weight train.

When I trained karate for a year, the practice alone was enough to strengthen my body. I find the same thing with aikido too. Maybe more importantly, the techniques appear to build up the 'appropriate' muscles that need building for each technique.

paw 02-25-2004 03:22 PM

Anne,

I've heard of The Firm, but I'm not familiar with their material. From what you've described, it seems quite sensible.
Quote:

I have no clue what any of that means in the link you provided?
Well, it's common for people to wonder how "fit" they are. The link was a listing of various activities. You can then see what category the author of the list would place that in.

For example, running an 8 minute mile is "nuthin' to be ashamed of", while running a 4.5 minute mile (or less) would get the "holy S***" rating.

The lifts are indicated by percentage of bodyweight. So, for me, a 165 pound male, a "nuthin' to be ashamed of" deadlift would be 1.5 (number in the table) * 165 (my weight) = 247.5 pounds. The "holy s***" rating would be 3.5 (table factor) * 165 = 577.5 pounds

It's all for motivational purposes, not something to beat yourself up over.... And it's based on the assumption of a 220 pound (or less) male athlete and on absolute strength. Thought it might be fun to check out, but YMMV.

Christian,
Quote:

Aikido requires a special sensitivity that heavy weightlifting will be counterproductive to ,so it's a delicate matter.
Nonsense.

First off "heavy" is subjective. What is "heavy" now, should not be heavy a year from now given a proper training routine. In short, a beneficial exercise program improves fitness.

Secondly, anyone thinking that developing world class weightlifting (by which I presume you mean Olympic lifting) doesn't require sensitivity is seriously mistaken.

Regards,

Paul

Amassus 02-25-2004 04:15 PM

I go to the gym on alternate days to my aikido, three days of each in a week with one day of relaxation. This works for me. It gives my body rest and at the same time provides the muscular protection for the pounding one can take on the mats.

When I stop weight training I found my body is more likely to get injured during training. I'm not talking about severe injuries, just the typical aches and pains one might get from twisting limbs and falling heavily.

ChristianBoddum 02-25-2004 06:25 PM

Well !

From my experience the best Aikidoka are strong some very strong - but !

They have a very developed sensitivity,

some are very strong but have no sensitivity

and they scare the s... out of me because I can not give them my body without worrying about serious injury and thats not a recipe for good Aikido.

Strong technique is not forceful,it is simply strong by being relaxed and having all the elements of maai,timing,focus,breath and all that takes time to develop.

Relaxed shoulders are very important for correct technique,so too much lifting can affect this.

Nonsense - you be the judge.

paw 02-25-2004 08:31 PM

Christian,
Quote:

Relaxed shoulders are very important for correct technique,so too much lifting can affect this.
You might be able to produce anecdotal evidence that a specific routine result in someone who has difficulty in relaxing their shoulders, but I doubt that.

But even if that were true, it would not support your earlier assertion that heavy weightlifting is counter productive to aikido sensitivity. (And you still have not defined "heavy" nor "sensitivity"...I mean, is it safe for us to shovel snow or are we risking our aikido skills in doing so? How about helping push a car out of a ditch? Carrying groceries? Carrying a small child? Is it safe for me to pick up my mail?)
Quote:

and they scare the s... out of me because I can not give them my body without worrying about serious injury and thats not a recipe for good Aikido.
Sounds like a trust issue, not a strength one. You might want to consider training elsewhere if trust is so lacking in your dojo or at the very least avoiding such partners. But again, that's anecdotal evidence that doesn't support your earlier statement.

Regards,

Paul

PeterR 02-25-2004 08:48 PM

Hi Paul;

I started weight training and then stopped because I found my self having difficulty brushing my teeth, doing Aikido, and fending off babes. ;)

Actually I stopped because of two reasons. Work is tough and and non-Budo nights by the time I finish I want to get home to supper rather than do something so totally boring as a weight routine. But all things considered I really should get back to it. Last time I had a whole routine worked out but it took too long. Maybe this time I will choose something that will take no more than 20 minutes.

One of my Aikido students is into weight training - one of my best Aikido students I might add - and perhaps he will help me out.

One thing I did notice is an Aikidoist putting down weight training yet doing bokken swings ad nauseum. Same function really.

jk 02-25-2004 09:04 PM

Quote:

paul watt (paw) wrote:
Hey, for kicks and giggles check out:

This list to see how you measure up

Damn you, Paul...just when I thought I was getting too old to care about measuring up. :)

Now I'm going to have to kill myself trying to reach 1000+ squats.

Regards,

Erik 02-26-2004 12:58 AM

Quote:

Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
One thing I did notice is an Aikidoist putting down weight training yet doing bokken swings ad nauseum. Same function really.

Actually, not. Swinging a bokken really isn't going to improve strength although I suppose with the right bokken it might. What it really does is help you to be able to swing a bokken, a whole bunch of times. The purpose of weight training is to increase your strength which can bring a host of ancilliary benefits which the bokken swinger will for the most part never see. I know I'm being picky but they really aren't the same thing in practice although the mindset behind doing them may technically be the same.

By the way, it does my heart good to read this thread.

Bronson 02-26-2004 01:16 AM

I was lifting weights for a while but quit because those things are frickin' heavy! ;)

Bronson

PeterR 02-26-2004 01:23 AM

Quote:

Erik Haselhofer (Erik) wrote:
What it really does is help you to be able to swing a bokken, a whole bunch of times.

:D
Quote:

The purpose of weight training is to increase your strength which can bring a host of ancilliary benefits which the bokken swinger will for the most part never see.
There are some really really heavy bokken floating around here. I'm waiting for Jesse to chime in since a) he is the weight lifting student I mentioned and b) has one of the aforementioned monsters.

I have heard a number of people here insist that bokken swinging increases muscular strength of shoulders and forearms especially. I've been mumbling about doing more of this so at the moment opinions are welcome.

cavedave 02-26-2004 04:12 AM

From

http://www.wadoworld.com/articles/iwasaki/iwasaki.html
Quote:

As well as this, I practice Kendo and Jo techniques using a big builder's shovel. One time a few years ago, a construction company was doing some work in the garden and they left behind a shovel. I was trying to practice with a heavy Bokken but it was not heavy enough after a while so I switched to the shovel. Its very good. I do Shomen-Uchi (overhead straight cut) lots of times each day. At least a hundred strikes. Its good for the internal power.
I know one Sensei who has had the core of a Bokken drilled out and replaced with lead to give it extra weight.

ChristianBoddum 02-26-2004 04:39 AM

OK !

sensitivity -

by that I mean the ability to feel your uke,

and they way you let ukes intention be the

guide for your application of technique.

Trust is not what I´m talking about here,

it is very real issues of power versus good technique.

Heavy - in regards to training to the level of pump.

Weight training raises your level of testosterone and that can affect how much physical power is in your application,no matter how ýou feel you are doing technique,

let alone your you attitude - I´m not kidding.

My Sensei is watching me because I told him

that I started weight training,if any thing gets obvious I´m sure he´ll let me know.

Aside from that weighting has a very positive effect on my wellbeing and mood,

so that is also reason why I do it.

I hope this clears things up for you.

yours - Chr.B.

paw 02-26-2004 05:39 AM

Christian,
Quote:

sensitivity - by that I mean the ability to feel your uke, and they way you let ukes intention be the guide for your application of technique.
That's an attribute aquired by training aikido and getting experience on the mat. It is not related to weight lifting. (That is to say that a beginner is going to have poor sensitivity regardless if they have been a "heavy" weight lifter or not).
Quote:

Heavy - in regards to training to the level of pump.
Bodybuilders..... Defining "heavy" as it relates to "pump" is silly. 506 pounds (230 kg)is heavy for a 165 pound (75 kg) person to deadlift. Period. (Few trained people are capable of such a lift) If you can or cannot lift it once, you will not have a "pump" --- which is a function of volume over time. This is why Olympic Weightlifters are smaller and less muscular than bodybuilders, but significantly stronger and far more athletic.
Quote:

Weight training raises your level of testosterone and that can affect how much physical power is in your application,no matter how ýou feel you are doing technique
The increase in t-levels is not that great and varies on an individual basis, hence the difficulty in gaining large amounts of muscle in a short period of time without the use of anabolic steroids. Also, t-levels naturally fluctuate over time, peaking in fall/winter for men regardless of weight training or not. (Are you suggesting men should train aikido in the fall/winter when their t-levels are naturally higher?) Finally, only time I've ever seen t-levels to be a problem is with the use of anabolic steroids (the so-called "roid-rage"), which frankly, doesn't happen that often.

Regards,

Paul

giriasis 02-26-2004 07:48 AM

Chris, I agree with Paul in regarding the sensitivity that's a matter of proper aikido training not really a result of being physically strong. Someone can be very weak or very flexible and still not be sensitive to their partner. But, Paul, I do have to say that someone very strong and who does not have proper aikido technique is more prone to injuring a partner more so that some one who is not strong because they can more easily muscle through their techniques. But that, again, goes to someones aikido skills rather than the fact that they work out.

In regards to the testosterone, many women don't work out with weights for a similar reason thinking they will bulk up like a man. Well, what they don't realize is that women don't have nearly the amount of testosterone as a man so we just don't bulk up like that, UNLESS, steroids are invovled. I guess the same is true with men on a different relative scale.

Erik 02-26-2004 02:07 PM

Quote:

Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
:D

There are some really really heavy bokken floating around here. I'm waiting for Jesse to chime in since a) he is the weight lifting student I mentioned and b) has one of the aforementioned monsters.

I did somewhat mention that with the right bokken it may be but the defining difference to me is that weight training is progressive. Unless you have several monster bokken it's not the same. I'm not saying that it won't condition the body, and it surely conditions the mind doing 1,000 cuts, I'm just saying that it's not the same thing as weight training.

Maybe I should say progressive resistance training rather than weight training?

Erik 02-26-2004 02:21 PM

Quote:

Anne Marie Giri (giriasis) wrote:
I guess the same is true with men on a different relative scale.

One of the great hidden secrets in the muscle game is just how hard it is for almost anyone to add muscle. It's not just women but most men will never get large without help or good genetics. It's one of my gripes about the fitness industry in that almost everyone you see is chemically and/or surgically enhanced and/or blessed with supreme genetics and usually all three. I think people see these individuals and think that if they touch a weight they will balloon into a mass of muscle. What it really does is create unrealistic expectations as to what is 'easily' possible.

Interestingly, one of the benefits of weight training is that with a good program it's a powerful tool for fat loss and one of the best anti-aging tools around. Very good stuff but apparently not exciting enough for the masses.

BKimpel 02-26-2004 02:27 PM

That site was pretty interesting Paul. Of course depending on each body type the different exercises will vary. For instance because I am a short guy (5'7, 180 lbs) I can squat and leg press an enormous amount (in the Animal and close to the Holy S**t range), where as my bench presses and curls are only in the Fit Guy range.

Chin ups ‘At all' is pretty funny. Of course that's guaranteed to be my fate forever ;)

Now as for running…that's why I started martial arts in the first place -- so I wouldn't have to run, heh heh.

Christian, as for this ‘pump' theory I agree with Paul that it's nonsense.

Weight training (and it's affect on the human muscle) is very simple:

Heavy weights for a low number of reps will result in bigger muscles (and thus more strength).

Lighter weights for a high number of reps will result in denser muscles (and thus more endurance).

It doesn't affect ‘sensitivity' in anyway.

Anne Marie,

That's true that someone with more strength can ‘muscle' through a technique (as I said I do from time to time), but injuring someone is different. In Aikido it is very easy to injure someone by being careless and it doesn't require any strength at all to do it. I have never injured any one ever, yet I have seen others injured by average-strengthed individuals. All Aikidoka need to be ‘sensitive' to their partner to prevent injury since Aikido injuries almost always happen because of lack of awareness (throwing someone into someone else or an object) or lack of skill (not turning towards them during shiho-nage, not letting go, etc.).

P.S. Congrats on shedding the pounds! It makes life easier and more enjoyable to be sure. Keep training with light weight-high reps to increase your muscular endurance (and strength as well) without any worry of becoming ‘muscle-bound'. Denser muscle also helps to prevent common muscular injuries as well.

giriasis 02-26-2004 03:55 PM

Bruce, thanks for the compliment. I was one of those people over a year and half a ago who said it really wasn't necessary, but I was always having to sit out in class watch others train harder and for longer. I just sick of it. I would never have tackled the task of getting my health in order if I didn't want to do better at my aikido.

Also, I think my point about muscling through with technique was to say that it really was related to body building or weight training but rather skill and carelessess. Heck, I even "muscle" the smaller women and men. I'm very conscious to find my sensitivity with them. But I also agree that strong people are not the only people who can cause injury.

jk 02-26-2004 09:07 PM

Quote:

Dean Suter (Amassus) wrote:
When I stop weight training I found my body is more likely to get injured during training. I'm not talking about severe injuries, just the typical aches and pains one might get from twisting limbs and falling heavily.

I'll second that. Maintaining your muscular strength and endurance seems to help prevent injuries. I lifted weights throughout the time I practiced hapkido, and the severest injury I remember was a big contusion (from a kick to the thigh). Other dings and sprains were quite minor.

I stopped supplemental strength training for a while when practicing aikido, and was rewarded with a very annoying shoulder sprain. I refuse to attribute that to getting older, and am being more diligent now about hitting the weight room as a means of self-preservation.

Anne, let me add my congratulations for developing the necessary discipline to shed those pounds. I was in a similar situation a long time ago; the hardest part for me was getting, and staying, off the couch.

drDalek 02-27-2004 02:01 AM

Unless you can quantify someone's level of sensitivity you cannot say that this and that practice would reduce it.

Its relatively (compared to sensitivity) easy to measure things like speed of movement and flexibility and with the correct weight program these factors are not degraded, infact they can probably be enhanced if you work out a weight program around them.

Just because everyone has this mental image of two WWE "wrestlers" moving like tranquilised slugs and turning like battleships does not mean that weight training would do that to you.

Bronson 02-27-2004 02:33 AM

Quote:

Wynand van Dyk (drDalek) wrote:
Just because everyone has this mental image of two WWE "wrestlers" moving like tranquilised slugs and turning like battleships...

I'm no fan of BIG TIME RASSLIN' but c'mon, have you seen some of those big guys move?!? Especially the Luciadores...they flip and fly around that ring like lemurs on crack ;)

Bronson

James Giles 02-27-2004 02:42 AM

To some of you that work out with weights as a supplement to your Aikido training, what specific exercises do you focus on? Squats? Bench press? Curls?

Also, is it better to work out with lighter weights and more repetitions are heavier weights and less repetitions?

I used to be a heavy cigarette smoker and I worked construction. I was slim, but I was flexible and fairly strong. When I quit smoking, I started lifting weights. I chose heavier weights and less repetitions in my workouts. Within a year I bulked up like a gorilla and became a lot stronger, but lost a lot of flexibility.

When I started taking Aikido about six months ago, I tried to rely on my strength for the techniques I was learning. Since then, I have quit lifting weights and I have trimmed down a little bit. I have also regained my flexibility and my techniques have improved with my reduced size.

I know that this may just be a result of more practice, and I am still interested in being strong, I just don't want to be bulky and stiff.

So will working out with light weights and more reps give me strength without bulking up? And if so, can some of you out there give me some suggestions for the types of exercises to do during weight training that will help with Aikido? Thanks, James

Bronson 02-27-2004 03:02 AM

So what do some of the exercisey folks here think about getting a weight vest (near bottom of page) and doing aikido while wearing it?

Bronson

p.s. Let's avoid discussions about mat safety and keep to whether it would make for good exercise or not.

darin 02-27-2004 03:08 AM

Re: How many of your weight train...
 
Quote:

Anne Marie Giri (giriasis) wrote:
...to supplement your aikido?

I'm not talking about body building as in professional body building, but as in typical healthful exercise such as using free weights, dumbbells and aerobics. I've been doing aerobic weight training a la The FIRM And it has been very effective for me in regards to weight loss, strength trianing, improving my stamina and flexibility. This practice has definitely improve my ability to practice aikido. (Of course this is supplement with healthful eating and no-fad diets.)

I'm definently talking the physical side of aikido, here. But how do you all feel about it, because I believe it's a myth that we shouldn't weight train.

People I have trained with said that when I lift weights they can notice that my throws and locks are much stronger despite me not recognizing that I am using more strength.

I usually lift about three times a week, mostly bodybuilding style exercises because I would rather look lean and balanced like a natural bodybuilder than big and bulky like a weight lifter. I also run hard for about 30 mins 4 times a week. I think doing cardio and weights is the best. If I don't I find it difficult to move in aikido because I lack the stamina to cope with the extra weight from bulking up.

People do weights or running for different reasons which may not have anything to do with aikido.

drDalek 02-27-2004 03:09 AM

Quote:

Bronson Diffin (Bronson) wrote:
So what do some of the exercisey folks here think about getting a weight vest (near bottom of page) and doing aikido while wearing it?

So a double layer, heavyweight, sweat drenched canvas gi with massive unwieldy seams and reinforced patches arent heavy enough for you?

Actually it sounds like a cool idea, I often thought about using ankle weights while doing basic tai-sabaki and practicing getting off line with a partner to improve my speed but putting the weight on the torso itself would probably be more likely to strengthen the correct muscles than ankle weights.

Dont shaolin kung-fu guys practice their horse stance chi-gong with wrist weights?

James Giles 02-27-2004 03:32 AM

Re: Re: How many of your weight train...
 
Quote:

Darin Hyde (darin) wrote:
I usually lift about three times a week, mostly bodybuilding style exercises because I would rather look lean and balanced like a natural bodybuilder than big and bulky like a weight lifter.

What do you mean by bodybuilding style exercises? Do you mean less weight more repetitions. Could you elaborate a little bit on the types of weight lifting exercises you perform? I would really appreciate it because I am interested in lifting weights but I don't want to bulk up. Thanks, James

Chris Birke 02-27-2004 04:05 AM

A weight vest sounds like a great idea, if only for the added endurance.

I don't have enough personal before/after rexpirence to vouch, but I've always been told that nothing prevents injurt (esp from blunt trauma) than having some extra muscle on you (This straight from Royler Gracie, no less). So cheers to that idea.

paw 02-27-2004 06:49 AM

James,
Quote:

To some of you that work out with weights as a supplement to your Aikido training, what specific exercises do you focus on? Squats? Bench press? Curls?
Briefly...compound movements (think multi-joint or whole body movements) like squats, deadlifts, bench press, lunges, cleans, snatch, etc...
Quote:

So will working out with light weights and more reps give me strength without bulking up? And if so, can some of you out there give me some suggestions for the types of exercises to do during weight training that will help with Aikido?
Maybe. Light to moderate weights with many reps is basically what bodybuilders use for a general routine to bulk up (well, that and a few other things). Some people gain muscle mass more easily than others, you might be one of those people.

I would, at least experimentally, increasing the weight, decreasing the reps and dropping the volume. Instead of, say: squats, leg press, leg curls, hamstring curls, calf raises...then abs and home. I would try squats (for 5 sets of 5 reps), calf raises, then abs and home.

Also, make sure you're doing complete movements and if necessary use the time savings from you're now shorter routine to add stretching exercises.

Regards,

Paul

giriasis 02-27-2004 08:15 AM

Quote:

So will working out with light weights and more reps give me strength without bulking up?
It has for me, but then again women, in general, have a hard time bulking up at all. I think the key is that you also do flexibility training as well and not let your muscles get tight.
Quote:

And if so, can some of you out there give me some suggestions for the types of exercises to do during weight training that will help with Aikido? Thanks, James
With the workouts I use, there are a lot of squats, dips and lunges, and leg presses (step-ups onto a 14" box). We also do a lot of floor work for the legs as well. These include outer and inner side leg raises, bridge and table work. I found these exercises get my legs strong and has really made doing suwari waza, hanmi handachi and getting up from rolls a lot easier.

Core work includes ab and back exercises these really will help your ukemi. AND, I've also discovered you really learn to find your center this way to. While doing ab exercises I make sure to focus on pulling my navel through to the ground and focus on proper breathing. You breath out on the crunch and in when you go back down. It's better to do your crunches slow and deliberate focusing on form rather than trying to do a 100 ab crunch marathon.

For upper body, pushups and pec-flys for the chest, shoulder presses, delt flys, delt lifts and other shoulder exercises are great to protect your shoulder joints. And biceps curls (double, single, hammer curls) tricep presses (french press and kickbacks) and tricep dips are great for the arms. I've discovered an improved grip strength, and I attribute that to the bicep curls (I use 10 pounders)(I guess I need strong wrists to stabilize the weight).

They way TheFIRM workouts incorporates their reps and sets is that they will do at least two to three sets for a given body part/exercise. The reps with vary their tempo and include pulses for shorter range of motion and then change back to longer range of motion. I'd suggest going to Sports Authority and check out the Body Sculpt video. (you can use a chair or 13-14" tool box for a high step).

The FIRM's main demographic is women but men do benefit from these as well. They have videos that are pure sculpt, pure cardio, and cardio plus sculpt. The cardio plus sculpt videos are their classic style workouts, but may be a little do dancy for a male's taste. (I'd say that for their carido tapes except perhaps Super Cardio(VHS)/Super Cardio Mix[DVD, chaptered and programmable], which is killer for cardio) But I think you can easily enjoy their pure sculpting tapes, just use challenging weights.

Of course you can apply similiar principles at a gym or with your own home gym. You don't have to use the videos. But their a no brainer for me because I don't have to sit an plan out a work out. I just have to pop a tape in.

Mark Mueller 02-27-2004 09:05 AM

There is a wonderful program called Crossfit which I have been using with great success. The workouts are usually short but intense in nature. The variety is wonderful as they emphasize lifting, gymnastics and body weight exercises. The programs are easy to adapt to your skill level and they provide you with the Workout of the Day (WOD).

Check it out at www.crossfit.com


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