Monday, November 9, 2015

A simple karate exercise routine

I threw out my back a few days ago, and It's just now feeling well enough to do a little training. Kata only no exercising for me, which I hate. Exercise fills a different need for me than the karate. Some people feel that physical fitness and the martial arts go hand in hand that being a better weight lifter will make them a better karateka. I'm not picking on lifting it's just that "workouter" sounds weird. Exerciser? While physical conditioning is a must if you're an athlete, policeman, a member of our armed services or anything else that's highly active and intense, it just isn't all that necessary for self defense. If being big and strong was all you needed to overcome others than martial arts books would look more like exercise books. I personally workout to look good naked. Oh and the health benefits. I forgot about the health benefits.

There are benefits to being at least moderately in good shape for karate. You can train longer, you'll be less prone to injury, and you'll just be healthier. One of the true benefits of exercise on karate is weight. If you're a skinny guy, like I used to be, bulking up will give you more power. This has nothing to do with muscle power and everything to do with mass. If you have more mass, and you learn to put it in motion than you'll have more power. So if you want you can just sit on the couch and each junk food and it will do the same thing. But it's unhealthy, and you won't look good naked.

Here's a very simple workout routine that you can do to help both your karate and your body. You perform five sets of burpees with one kata repetition between each set. So it will look like this.

This is a burpee.

Kata (warm up)
1st set of burpees
2nd set of burpees
3rd set of burpees
4th set of burpees
5th set of burpees

Depending on how many burpees you pick for each set this routine will only take you about 15 to 20 minutes. When I've done this, I use the kata portion as a rest meaning I go slow. I like to practice kata slow anyway, but I don't go fast. If you want to go fast you can, but the burpees will kick your butt.

Picking the number of reps is the tricky part. I'd experiment a little, maybe start with 5 for each set. If you're really gung ho than you can do 10 per set. I'd wait at least a day between routines, but no more than two days of rest. For steady improvement, just add one repetition to a set each workout. So you'll start with 5-5-5-5-5 and the next workout will be 6-5-5-5-5 and the next workout will be 6-6-5-5-5 and so on.

This has worked really well for me in the past. It's basically just a version of interval training, but without all the timers and junk. I like it because it gives you a good workout, you don't need equipment and you can do it basically anywhere.