Category Archives: martial arts conditioning

“You really like your weights”

This comment was from a Boot Camp participant, he was telling me about some other peoples boot camps and various training methods used by other kickboxing coaches.
Nearly everything he told me about these other peoples methods left me thinking, that’s good, but there’s better.
Many of the coaches out there, particularly in the martial arts world are “old school”. While there certainly has been a resurgence of old school training methods over recent years, particularly with the reintroduction of
the Kettlebell the increase in popularity of strongman style training and of course the crossfit cult.
This doesn’t mean we should blindly follow those that have gone before. Weshould look at what our predecessors have done as well as the new research and in the trenches experience of our peers.

We must “Stand on the shoulders of giants”

Add to that the fact that Wild Geese is better equipped than many other gyms, particularly the older style martial arts centres. This is something we count ourselves very lucky to have achieved.
One thing I have noticed in the older kickboxing generation, many of whom are now coaching, so their ideas and methods are being passed on, is a view that weight training slows you down and bulks you up, that you shouldn’t lift weights for the legs. A view that is not shared by any other athlete in the sporting world. The fastest men on the planet, 100 metre sprinters, are also among the strongest and best built. The other combat sport, wrestling does not share this view point, they spend hours at a time lifting anything and everything, they have speed, strength and agility that is almost unmatched anywhere else.

So why a boxer / kickboxer can’t apply the methods every other sport so successfully uses, I have no idea.
Those participating in the Wild Geese Boot Camp are using these new, old school methods. They are lifting heavy Kettlebells, performing sprints and loaded cardio. We are looking to bring up the weak areas that I have observed in the kickboxing population. These weak areas are also very prevalent in general population.

“A training program that only works on your weaknesses may well be the most beneficial, but most boring, training program you ever use” – T-Nation

Here are the 3 primary areas of focus on the Wild Geese Boot Camp, areas that we hit in different ways throughout the course, but will be significantly improved by the end:

1 – Posterior Chain Strength.
In Simple terms this means all the muscles on the back of the body, in
particular the hamstrings, glutes, lats and spinal erectors. The hamstrings
and glutes are responsible for extending the hip, as in when you come up
from a squat or attempt to jump. You also extend the hip in order to punch
or kick efficiently. The erectors spinea and lats are core muscles that
stabilise the torso and shoulder, allowing for better transfer of power from
the hip into the shoulder.
Which brings us to

2 – Power transfer from lower to upper body.
This is a two pronged task. The first prong is technique, something I will
not touch with you, that is the job of your skills coach (Richie/Ronan). The
second prong is my area, core stability. No amount of sit ups and leg raises
will stabilise and create stiffness through the core like lifting a heavy
weight, especially if it is lifted with a single limb (as in today’s
finishing section). I will be introducing a lift to you lot this week that
will seriously improve this power transfer, which means that you will build
a rock solid core that can efficiently transfer hip drive to shoulder drive.
In other words you’ll go from hitting hard, to hitting like a train.

3 – Power generation under fatigue.
This is key. The ability to still hit hard even when your blowing out your
arse is vital. Skipping and star jumps help, but we are training this skill
specifically. More so on a Wednesday when we combine the running with the
weight lifting. Lifting a weight directly after a run is much more difficult
than doing it fresh (i.e. on Monday), so we are training the body to use a
it’s varying energy systems and helping the nervous system become as
efficient as possible.

You’ll notice, I hope, none of the training revolves around beasting you till you puke. I could do that to you easily, and this is what many trainers and most trainee’s think is expected from a workout, especially a “Boot
Camp” workout.
We are taking a much more considered approach, we are looking to make you stronger, increase endurance, develop power and build tenacity.
We are not looking to create fatigue, we are looking to create the ability to manage and overcome fatigue.
While I do talk about fighters a lot, the camp is open to all. If you’ve neve trained in your life, it may come as a bit of a shock to the system, if you have a training history, hell, it may still come as a shock.
All I ask of you is your commitment, you must be prepared to come into every
session and give it 100%
Your 100% may not be the same as the guy next to you, but that doesn’t matter, all that matters is you give it your all.
If you want to participate in the Boot camp, the next one will commence on the 2nd August. Numbers will be limited, so drop us a line ASAP to confirm a place.