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Here is another good article from the Sports Fitness Advisor Blog, it is called “Plyometrics for Martial Arts”.
Here is a teaser;
Plyometrics for martial arts will help to increase your explosive power, your speed and your ability to change direction quickly. On their own, plyometric drills have limited effectiveness. They are most useful when performed in conjunction with a strength training program. In fact without a strength base, plyometric training can do more harm than good.
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Well, I say book “review”, it’s probably going to be more of a book gush, because the second edition of Rippetoe and Kilgore’s Starting Strength is the best fitness book I have ever read.
A lot of people discover Starting Strength either through forums like Strength Mill, or through Crossfit, but my route was a little different. I’ve spent seven of the last eight (northern hemisphere) summers in Australia, usually at the University of Melbourne, and while there I’ve been able to use the gym at Melbourne University Sports. It’s the best equipped gym, with the best trained staff, that I’ve found anywhere. It was there that I first got a good answer to the question “so what’s up with this stuff creatine?” (I stopped taking it), where I first heard the word “plyometrics”, and where I once saw the single most impressive exercise I have ever seen performed in a gym. (There aren’t any videos of body builders doing it on Youtube, but I did find a video of a child gymnast doing them here. The guy doing them in Melbourne them was 6ft+ and built more like a rock-climber than a rugby player. He did single reps with perfect control and when the trainer who was with him said: “how does it feel?” the guy responded in a thick Australian accent “still feels like my head is gonna explode.”)
Anyway, this year, when I walked into my programming session, the trainer asked me what my goals were, and I told him I wanted to put on as much muscle as possible. I wanted to be able to lift more, move faster, strike harder, and to injury proof my knees and my shoulders. I told him that I was already doing a lot of squats and lunges, and if he could teach me anything new and fun, that would be cool. I told him that I was 32, and concerned that gaining muscle was only going to get harder as time went on.
So he taught me to deadlift. The deadlift starts with a barbell on the ground, and you reach down and pull the bar off the floor, stand up straight (so that the barbell is against your thighs) and then you put it back down. It’s a simple movement that uses lots of big muscles and many people can eventually build up to deadlifting more (sometimes significantly more) than their own weight. But you only have to glance at the movement to see that this is not the place to get careless with your form. So I spent a fair few evenings surfing the web trying to find out as much as I could about correct form for my cool new exercise, and in doing so I quickly came across this video, in which Mark Rippetoe coaches the deadlift:
Olympic lifts! Athletes! (rather than those shiny guys with the big chests and teeny legs) Women! Reasons-for-doing-things-the-way-he-says! All pretty cool, thought I. Anyway, I studied the video
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