Follow Us

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weight Training for Optimal Karate Performance

lisa deadlift 230#

I am regularly asked if I weight training and if I suggest karate athlete’s weight train for better performance.

Two thing to consider before adding weight training to your karate training
First, research found that karate training is one of best sports for all around conditioning, second only to basketball. This research is fairly old. With the additional of more pad work and the heavy bag training to karate training in the last 15 years, I believe that karate may be first now.

Second, the best way to improve in karate is to train in karate.

If you don’t have extra time, stick with just the karate training. If you are getting regular karate workouts and can add more continue reading.

Everything you know about weight training is wrong

Well, at least, it’s wrong if you want to improve your speed and strength for the Martial Arts.

The fitness and weight lifting industry is dominated by the bodybuilding. The bodybuilding industry is concerned with muscle size and tone while you as a karate athlete are concerned with speed, strength, and conditioning that can lead to better performance.

Bodybuilding workouts will get you toned and make you look fit but we are looking for functional muscle for karate. I have trained many bodybuilders in karate and was amazed how clumsy and slow they were doing karate since they looked so in shape.

Important Differences in Training Routines
When weight training in karate, it’s important that your sessions don’t create muscle soreness that will effect your karate workouts and still build the strength your muscles need for speed, power, and endurance.

If you train slow, you’re becoming a slow Martial Artist. Excessive muscle soreness will slow you down in your training and interferes with speed and power development. Muscle soreness should be achieved during your regular karate workouts not during weight training.

Here’s some rules for better athletic training
#1 Never lifting to failure – A very common practice in body building type of workouts is to lift for failure, that means to lift until you need assistance for the last rep. This is effective in building muscle mass but poor at building functional muscle and will create muscle soreness that interferes with your karate workouts.

#2 Look for full body movements – Full body movements like Deadlifts, Squats, Olympic lifts, Chest Presses train and require coordination of multiple muscle groups which transfer well to athletic movements.

#3 Avoid Slow Reps – Slow Reps again are a bodybuilding technique that won’t help and may slow your athletic performance. Remember, to become fast, you need to train fast.

#4 Short efficient workouts – Few exercises, low rep volume, longer rest period, and heavy weights are the way to go.

Sample Deadlift Workout

Here’s an 8 week deadlift workout routine that I just completed. The results of this workout were pretty impressive considering that it took less than 10 minutes per week. In 8 weeks, I gain 4 lbs of muscle while losing 6 lbs of fat. My deadlift max increased by 60 lbs to 300lbs beating my personal best from 11 yrs ago.

The Workout
The workout is twice a week, one light day on Monday and a heavy day on Friday.

The light day never changes. It consists of 3 sets of 3 reps at 50% of the max you’re trying to achieve with 3 minute rests between sets. The light day helps maintain your strength but it also works as a gauge to see if you are getting stronger. The light days should feel lighter as you get closer to your max attempts in week 8.

The heavy days start with the Max attempt in week eight and you subtract 10 lbs off every week until you get to the week 1. The 10 lb increase each week is between 2% (5lbs) to 5% (12.5lbs) of your max. The number of reps starts at two sets of 5 and reduces as you get closer to the 8th week with 5 minutes rests between sets.

Here’s a breakdown of my previous deadlift workout cycle
Light Day 3 min Rest
150 X 3/3/3

Heavy Day 5min Rest
Week 1: 180 x 5/5
Week 2: 190 x 5/5
Week 3: 200 x 5/5
Week 4: 210 x 5/5
Week 5: 220 x 3/3
Week 6: 230 x 2/2
Week 7: 240 x 2/2
Week 8: 1st Attempt 250, 2nd Attempt 280, 3rd Attempt 300 lbs

Well, there you have it. What do you have to lose by trying it out?

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

Monday, May 30, 2011

Improve your reaction time, speed, and sen-no-sen in kumite at home with...

Click Here if you can't see the video

Hello fellow karataka, Today, we're going to teach you an at home drill to quicken the reaction time of your techniques.

TV Response Drill
Here's a great way to speed up your reaction time and reflexes with the TV Response Drill. Training reaction drills at home are difficult because you don't have a partner to react to.

So, here's the drill

Turn your TV on and mute the sound.
Face the TV in a Guard Stance.
Pick a technique to practice.
Every time the scene or camera angle changes throw the technique, for example a jab or a reverse punch.

Some Examples to Try

* Jab - Kizami Zuki
* Traditional Reverse Punch -- Gyaku Zuki
* Boxing Cross
* Boxing Combos -- 1-2 Punch & 1-2-3 Punch
* Front Kick - Mae Geri
* Round Kick -- Mae Washi Geri

Wrap up
Practice this drill a few times at home, outside of class and watch how your speed and reaction time become lightning fast in class. Before you know it, you'll be beating your opponent to the punch every time. Your Sen-no-sen will be instantaneous and instinctual during kumite.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quick Plyometric Workout at Home with a Heavy Bag

Click Here if you can't see the video

Plyometrics are a terrific way to increase athletic speed and performance. This workout incorporates different plyometric exercises with the heavy bag.

This workout consists of four exercises that you will perform twice.

Workout Details
To complete this workout set your Gymboss Timer for 8 rounds of 15 sec. rest and 30 sec. work.

Perform each of the follow exercises for 30 secs each and repeat twice.

Heavy Bag Pushups
Switch Foot Box Drill
Heavy Bag Rotation
Side to Side Bag Jump

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tim Ferris’s 4-Hour Body – Slow Carb Diet Review

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming SuperhumanTim Ferris’s book, The 4-Hour Workweek, is one of my favorite books under the business category. When I heard he wrote another book called The 4-Hour Body on fitness and lifestyle topics that I am obviously interested in, I placed a pre-order for the book and couldn’t wait to see what is inside.

The 4-Hour Body is written in Tim’s fun to read style with stories of his adventures in life-hacking. After reading the book, I decided to put his Slow Carb Diet to the test.

The Slow Carb Diet in a Nutshell
The Slow Carb Diet is based on 5 basic rules and is very similar to Paleo Diet.

The five rules are…
#1 Avoid “White Carbohydrates” – Which means All bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta, tortillas, and fried foods with breading.
#2 Eat the same few meals over and over again - Construct each meal with one pick from each of the three groups – Proteins, Legumes, Vegetables
#3 Don’t drink calories
#4 Don’t eat fruit
#5 Take One Day off per Week – Pick one day a week to eat whatever you’re craving.

My Results
Originally, I was going to do this diet for 4 weeks but leg cramps caused me to stop the diet early ~ I’ll explain later.

The Slow Carb Diet did work. My start weight equaled 180lbs and after three weeks my end weight equaled 173.5lbs. I loss 2% in body fat and using the dumbbell swing protocol given in the book, I gained 2lbs of muscle.

Pretty impressive results!

Advantages of the Slow Carb Diet

Besides being effective, I believe this diet has some significant positives.
1. Simple Rules - Makes planning easy and limit your options. This is important in a diet because in my experience, people tend to stretch allowable food items and convince themselves that it’s ok.
2. Excellent Energy Level throughout the day – I use this test for most diets by asking “Do I feel energetic throughout the day?” This diet passes the test.
3. Never hungry – This was the first diet that I tested in which I felt like I was eating too much. I felt like I was stuffing myself at every meal and didn’t have the craving to snack.
4. Four meals per day – Most another similar diets require 5 to 6 small meal per day. Eating four times per day is much more manageable.

5. Economical - Since this diet is all natural foods and doesn't require expense protein supplements, this diet is one of the cheapest diets that I've experienced. In fact, my grocery bill was way lower than my normal grocery bill.

Disadvantages of the Slow Carb Diet

1. Limited Options – Ok, I called this an advantage above. Well, this is also a disadvantage because it can get boring. It didn’t bother me because I tend to make one thing and eat it all week, but for some, this may be difficulty.
2. Calf Cramping – I experienced significant calf cramping from a possible nutrimental deficiency. You may want to take vitamins with this diet. I don’t particularly like diets for the long haul if they are not well balanced and require vitamin supplements.

I learned a lot about cooking beans which I realize now that I often negotiated in my eating. It made me research recipes and I will definitely add more bean recipes to my eating in the future.

These results were similar to the results that I received on the Body for Life and Zone Diet plan.

One thing to expect when starting this diet is that most of us have a sugar addiction and the first few days expect to go through sugar withdraw which includes symptoms like headaches. Make sure you drink a lot of water these first few days to counteract the effects.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532