Alright! A testimonial, at last.
Guys, HIIT training works wonders and it's fast. Twenty to thirty minutes max. It burns a ton of calories and it will completely transform your aikido endurance. Aikido and HIIT are extremely well-suited to one another.
Another argument for lifting weights is the aging process. The average person loses 2% of their muscle mass each year after the age of 25. This is a double whammy. It's pretty common to gain 10 pounds over 10 years at this point. Unfortunately, what you've really done is put on 15 pounds of fat and lost 5 pounds of muscle. Weight training helps alleviate the aging process by helping you to prevent the bodies natural tendency to lose muscle as it ages. Aerobic training will not help here.
There is one more benefit to muscle. It burns more calories than fat. By adding muscle you literally burn more calories just by walking around. It's a double win, you look better by having more muscle and you look better because it helps you to lose weight.
Finally, as Kevin has so eloquently pointed out, every major sporting activity uses weights. Golfers, bowlers, NFL quarterbacks, NBA players, baseball players, all of whom require touch at an extreme level, lift weights. All of them. In my opinion, it's the single largest differentiator between today's athletes and those of 30 years ago.
Look into it, it works, and it fits with the art.
Michael Neal wrote:
High intensity interval training and weight training has completely transformed my body since I started Aikido about 9 months ago.
When I don't slack off on my HIIT training, my endurance during randori is practically a cakewalk. Last week I did randori after skipping the HIIT for a number of weeks and I thought I was going to die.
Weight training, both lower and upper body, has given me the ability to take much better ukemi. Even when I mess up a high flying breakfall my muscle devlopment prevents injury and helps lessen the impact.
I have not lost any flexibility either. In fact, I continue to gain in flexibility so long as I stretch properly after lifting.
I am glad I listened to Kevin Wilbanks and others about this when I started because I can't imagine how horrible practice would be if I relied only on Aikido and distance running to get in shape.