You could also consider “Getting Stronger” the first part of this post entitled “Getting Stronger Without Gaining Weight”. Competitive martial artists have to worry about weight classes, and they’re always trying to maximize strength without sacrificing endurance, flexibility, and explosiveness.
Ever train with someone with mountains of muscle but who couldn’t punch through a wet paper bag? That’s because power comes from speed–not just raw strength! Workouts that incorporate plyometrics with strength have a way of improving explosiveness and, thus, power. Here’s an example:
1. deadlift 2-3 reps at 95% max
2. squat or box jump 5 times
3. rest five minutes
4. deadlift 5 reps at 85% max
5. squat or box jump 5 times
This lower body workout is adapted from the Barry Ross protocol as described The Four Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. I have had good results with it. It’s simple, effective, and doesn’t cause any undue soreness to hamper your skill training.
Here’s an example of Ross’s protocol applied to punching rather than jumping. This video, and techniques it features, are a little rough, but it shows how you can gain practical strength for the martial arts without bulking up.
Do you have tips to share? Let us know in the comments. We also hope all you dads out there like our new site! Stay tuned to both blogs for more on this type of strength training.