by Al Alvir
- Static stretching. There is evidence that Dynamic Stretching (movement stretching, such as is the basics of Yoga and Pilates) is the best replacement for static stretching before a workout. You won’t lose strength and you prevent injury better. Dr. Stuart McGill supported this notion saying, “Static stretching deadens the muscle from a neural perspective, diminishing the stretch reflex and reducing peak strength and power.” Do static stretching after training or in lieu of training.
- Classes. Especially if you know what you’re in for – meaning, you’re not a newbie to knowing your own needs – you should sign up for one to one training and working out during free gym hours (for the non-boxing gym settings). You should be sick of being the fit novice in class spending minimal time training essential fundamentals instead of warming-up. Or being the out-of-shape guy spending the whole class catching up and holding pads for someone else, or being the advanced fighter doing the same thing you’ve been doing for years. Classes are better than nothing and you will progress, but they still hold you back from progressing efficiently (see articles on PPT™)
- Lifting weights. Work core and body weight for conditioning. Not that lifting free weights doesn’t help, but there’s too much in a fighter’s schedule to worry about standard lifting, risking injury by stressing isolated muscles. Instead, core and muscle stabilization routines can cut your conditioning work by 1/3 by triggering muscle fibers that you hardly use like “stabilizing muscles.” This dynamic routine will make you realize new power and strength in combat. Although I think the fad is that fighters have replaced lifting weights with the same amount of time used for flipping tires and lugging prowlers and sandbags, it does works better – so much so that they should do the latter so they’ll have more time to fight. You should cut every piece of conditioning down and replace it with sparring and technique work. Trainers have the habit of using “linking” (drills that match-up to fight situations) to replace actually “doing.”
- Crunches and sit-ups. Do the Power Wheel (with foot straps) instead. There are various routines. You will suffer beatifully. A good estimation: 1000 sit-ups per day = 200 wheel crunches. Be able to take Cung Le spinning back-kicks to the midsection all day and have the time to train how to not have to.
- The treadmill. The physics behind it is that it is assisting your strides. In real walking or running, you are pushing your weight forward and you create your own momentum. A treadmill provides perpetual momentum. If you master the treadmill, you can just lean forward and lift your leg. Run three miles on an indoor track compared to three miles on a treadmill, and you’ll see how much easier the latter is. Better yet, just do interval sprints.