Health and fitness FAQ by Adam McGuigan and Knight_Errant This thread is designed to answer the more common questions asked about working out, nutrition and supplementation that occur in this forum, and to give a basic idea of the kinds of workouts, nutrition programs and supplements used by modern martial artists. First, if you have any questions about bodyweight exercises, stretching or nutrition, PLEASE READ THE STICKY THREADS PROVIDED AT THE TOP OF THIS SECTION. Kickchick put a lot of work into these and she will send you to bed without any supper if you don't read them. The top ten H+F threads is also a good place to look before you post, there are some great links in there too. How do I get big guns/ripped abs/nice legs/a 'Bruce Lee body'? The short answer is that you don't. If you are vain enough to center your entire routine on acquiring a particular 'look', you could try a good bodybuilding forum. Yes, there are certain exercises that will develop some body parts more than others. I recommend that you use them, however, as part of a balanced, structured routine aimed at improving your athletic performance. The world does NOT need another upper-body-pumper. Relevant threads: http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21203 http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5323 http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25232 Will 10000 push ups and 10000 sit-ups do anything? If you’re aiming for strength (and you should be), the answer is no, no matter what “master” or other so-called expert may say. There are far better ways to use bodyweight callisthenics, mainly by performing the more difficult ones that employ less leverage to make the exercise harder e.g. One-legged squats, one-arm push ups, pull ups etc. Callisthenics can be used very well for endurance, but doing 100s of reps of one exercise gets you good at doing those and not a lot else! Mixing them all together is a much better method. As always, don’t forget the stickies! Tons of goodies here: http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16534&page=1&pp=15 So how should I actually use weights in conjunction with my MA? The core belief of our health and fitness team here at MAP is that the best way to use weights in conjunction with martial arts is to use simple, progressive barbell and dumbbell compound exercises such as squats, bench presses, deadlifts, etc. http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23594 What is *insert exercise here*? Try looking in the following websistes: http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/exercises.htm http://www.netfit.co.uk/bodmen.htm http://sparkpeople.com/resource/exercises-printable.asp Video Library of Proper way to Lift Weights & Exercise Performance http://creative-health.com/main/gat...2Fdefault. asp VideoGym http://www.menshealth.co.uk/videos/ What should I do for cardio? Martial artists should aim towards doing more in terms of high-intensity cardio. What that means is: Energy is supplied to the muscles by 3 means. You can find out more about them here: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/dennis29.htm Cardio for martial arts is geared more towards the phosphagenic and glycolitic systems, i.e. shorter, more intense periods of activity. Shadowboxing is a very effective way of doing cardio for martial arts. Other methods are interval training, sprinting, skipping, etc. For somebody who needs to fight 3 minute rounds, running 5 miles in the morning is a REAL waste of time. Shadowboxing is probably the best cardio you can do for MA. And bagwork. And skipping. Relevant threads: http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25489 http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25662 http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25363 What do you think of X diet? How should I be eating? Most diets, except the incredibly ludicrous ones, work well for what they are designed to do. A lot depends on the person. Typically, diets for martial arts should feature smaller meals eaten more regularly with high protein content. Relevant threads: http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24929 http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25247 http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21483 Relevant article: http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459881 Article on supplements: http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27566 Don’t forget the nutrition sticky: http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6740 Will lifting weights make me too big/slow/inflexible/stunt my growth and give me hairy palms? NO. http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15989 This post by our buddy BeWaterMyFriend addresses the idea of weight training at a fairly young age: http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showpost.php?p=399445&postcount=6 Please help me, I have a grading coming up and my instructor says if I can't do the number of pushups required, then he will show me what a 'supplex' is. There are no magic formulae for increasing the number of pushups you can do. Read that sentence again. Take a look at the following thread: http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15210 How can I learn to do the splits? All shall be found here, in the mighty stretching sticky: http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6306&highlight=splits If it isn’t there, you aren’t looking because it is alllll there! I am injured but I don’t want to stop training. What should I do? STOP TRAINING That’s the bottom line. If it’s worrying you, go to a doctor or preferably an experienced physiotherapist. General family doctors are often inexperienced in the field of exercise and an expert opinion from a true professional in the field will give you a better and probably more optimistic idea of how long it will take to recover and the action you should take. If the injury isn’t so bad, rest it. The R.I.C.E. principle can be very useful for strains and knocks: http://www.martialartsplanet.com/magazine/fitness/matrainwthoutpain1.htm Check out ‘safe and effective training’ while you’re there; http://www.martialartsplanet.com/magazine/fitness/safeeffectivetraining.htm. The best form of cure is prevention. Should I use supplement X? Think and think again before buying athletic supplements. Remember that this is something you are going to have to continue buying for a long time. Relevant threads; http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13569 http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22375 What book should I get for more information on subject X? There are a few books and videos we have personally found to be useful and/or have had good reviews. Sean Cochran's complete conditioning for martial arts. http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0736002502/qid=1106846819/martialartspln=21 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0736002502/qid=1106846917/martialartspln=20 Scrapper’s workouts; http://www.trainforstrength.com/merchandiseaudio.shtml ‘Warrior workout’ by Ross Enamait http://www.rossboxing.com/ Building an Olympic body through bodyweight conditioning by Coach Christopher Sommer- not available yet. The team renzo gracie workout http://store.speedtrainingstore.com/trforwatereg.html Be sure to buy using our amazon link http://www.martialartsplanet.com/support.htm Why is the word tone so repulsive to people around here? ARGGGGGGGGGGH! See here for the truth and some funny comments http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25529&page=6&pp=15 Well ladies and gentlemen, that is all. If you have mowed through this FAQ, the stickies and searched for the relevant subjects and still feel that you don’t have the answer you are looking for, feel free to create a thread and spark new discussions!