Saturday, December 12, 2015

Karate Programming: the hardware

I've spent a little bit of time writing about this in other posts, but I figured I dedicate a couple completely to this idea. The idea is that you can program yourself. Your body and your brain are adaptable. It's how we learn, it's how we get stronger and it's pretty easy to do if you know how to do it.

Training your body is very easy especially when it comes to physical attributes. We may not all have the genetics to look like Arnold in his hay day, but we can definitely make ourselves better. The answer is steady increase in intensity at planned intervals. It doesn't need to be much of an increase. We're not Olympic athletes for the most part. We can throw out much of what professional athletes do, because we're not training for a big game. We're training for an unforeseeable event that we hope will never happen.

All you need to know is how your body adapts to exercise. When you workout your body adapts by overcompensating the recovery of your muscles for future stress. This over compensation period occurs one to three days after you workout. It's important that you increase the intensity of your workout within this time frame, so that the pattern repeats itself. If you workout after this super recovery period your muscles will have reverted back to their previous state because you didn't stress them again during the appropriate time.

This is all you need to know about exercise. Pick some exercises you enjoy doing and go for it, and you can forget everything you ever read in the muscle rags.

It's important to recognize that professional athletes have huge amounts of resources behind them including constantly evolving manufactured performance enhancing drugs, which change the way you train. Steroids for example almost completely change the way you lift. When you take steroids, which I don't and never have, all you need to do is get your reps in. You've taken out your body's natural cycle of recovery, adaptation and hormone secretion. Basically the more you lift, the bigger you get.

The mental aspects of karate training is where careful planning and knowledge of how we build neural pathways for skills come into play. I'll elaborate on this more in the next post.