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Now that I have your attention lets talk about ways to condition your body in preparation for combat. First of all, it is not easy, you need to train HARD to achieve this objective. Combat in sport or self defence is very stressful to the body and highly anaerobic in nature therefore your training should be, now, it is not feasable to spar or fight every day of the week for safety reasons so we have to find other intense exercises to get similar results.

When out running, many combat athletes are happy with an easy 3-4 mile jog, they feel that they are getting all the fitness they need from this exercise alone, well nothing could be further from the truth.

When we are fighting in any combat sport we rely on our fast twitch muscle fibres (the ones that are used for explosive power), but when training at a slow pace we are promoting our slow twitch muscle fibres (the ones used for long distance running etc). We need to find the balance, anaerobic training should be dominant (around 70-80%) with aerobic training making up the rest of the equation, we know for aerobic training we can do skipping, jogging and swimming etc, but what about anaerobic training?

HIIT (high intensity interval training)

This means working for a period at full intensity (around 20 seconds) and then light exercise (active rest) for the same period before repeating the cycle. The most obviouse way to incorparate this type of training is in running,

lets look at an example:

. Run (near sprint) - 20 seconds

. Jog - 20 seconds


At first I recommend doing seven intervals, working your way up to twelve, here is a sample six week programme:

. Week 1 - seven intervals

. Week 2 - eight intervals

.Week 3 - nine intervals

. Week 4 - ten intervals

. Week 5 - eleven intervals

. Week 6 - twelve intervals

As you can see, there is clear progression in this type of exercise, by just adding one extra interval a week, in just six weeks you would have taken your anaerobic fitness to new levels!

Try this simple but VERY effective routine for the next six weeks and notice the difference, it will blast any 4 mile jog out of the water!


You can incorparate this training priciple into any workout, lets look at a few examples:

. Squats

. Punch out drills

. Star jumps

. Press ups

. Burpees

You can do one exercise for the complete circuit i.e seven intervals of squats, or you can use variety and hit different body parts per interval. Lets see an example:

. Squats - 20 seconds

. Light jog on spot - 20 seconds

. Punch out drills - 20 seconds

. Light shadow boxing - 20 seconds

Thats two intervals, repeat this double four times (for a total of eight) and you have yourself another very effective exercise. Heres more:

. Burpees - 20 seconds

. Light jog - 20 seconds

. Star jumps - 20 seconds

. Light jumping jacks - 20 seconds

. press ups - 20 seconds

. Light jog - 20 seconds

. Squats - 20 seconds

. Jumping jacks - 20 seconds

. Punch out drills - 20 seconds

. Shadow boxing - 20 seconds

Thats five intervals, you can repeat some of the exercises eight times or use different exercises, either way make sure you enjoy it and it won't let you down!

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