Random Friday Thoughts – Elegance, Running, Pride

It’s been a while since the last Random Thoughts post.

They usually come at the end of a busy week when I’ve not had the time to sit and write a more cohesive post.
You may be thinking, “Dave, your posts are usually quite short, they can’t take long to write!”
Which is valid, but I’d argue that brevity is harder than verboseness.

Brevity requires economy, efficiency even elegance.
This elegance requires skill. It requires the ability to apply Occam’s razor and strip away anything unnecessary.

This is something I attempt to apply in my writing, but it’s also something we should apply to our training.

Great training sessions get a lot done done with the least time, and the least fuss. They are efficient and elegant.
During the last Indian Clubs workshop I talked about how small my Indian Clubs syllabus is and compared it to Boxing.

A Boxer has 4 punches to choose from, yet look at what they can do with those four punches.
Watch Katie Taylor or Lomachenko and you will see poetry in motion, artistry, elegance, but it’s still if you boil it down just four punches.
Jab – Cross – Hook – Uppercut


You’re gym sessions should revolve around:
a Jab – Upper Body Push
a Cross – Upper Body Pull
a Hook – Hip Hinge Movements
an Uppercut – A knee break / squat type movement

Now, your cross may be an overhand, looping, a feint, a superman punch, low to the body……..
Which means our Upper Body Pull can be a bent over row, inverted row, dumbbell row, a landmine row a face pull and so on and so forth.

Here’s a video clip from my last Indian Clubs workshop talking about a similar point:

This segways us nicely to Workshops..

We have 3 places remaining for next months Running workshop with Helen Hall.
Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

Why should you attend?

  • Runners are very frequently injured, this is more to do with poor biomechanics/technique than it is footwear or running surface
  • Cardiovascular fitness, or rather a well developed aerobic system underpins all other aspects of fitness, most notably your ability to recover.
  • Leg strength is highly correlated to longevity and health, ok running won’t give you maximal leg strength, but it will certainly keep you strong in a real world manner
  • Being able to simply lace up and step out your front door to run is the ability to step out and get some peace and quiet, some moving meditation, to “refresh the blood”
    Head out to the mountains and that effect is amplified ten fold

Helen Hall is probably the best authority on running well that I’ve come across.
Workshop details are all here if you click the image:

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Last thought:

Do something this week that you will look back on with pride.
What it is exactly is unimportant.
But this time next week, next month or even next year you should be able to look back and be proud of that accomplishment, no matter how small.

You can tell me what you did if you like, or keep it to yourself. It’s all good.
Just do something.



Dave Hedges

The Art of Running Efficiently, Effectively and Injury Free


If you believe the internet then running is:

  • Going to make you fat and weak, cos “cardio”
  • Not natural for human beings
  • Will ruin your knees
  • Will hurt your back
  • Will cause plantar fasciitis

And a whole lot of other misconstrued, conformation bias lead claims.

Claims that are mere correlation, not causation.

If you follow my work, you will know that I approve of running.
It IS completely natural for the human being to run, to run well, to be able to run at a variety of speeds of a variety of distances.

And while it is very true that a great many runners fall victim to injury, mostly in the lower body, I believe that this has nothing to with the act of running itself and everything to do with the body being ill prepared for running.

It’s my opinion that poor biomechanics are more to blame than poor choice of shoes.
Many runners take on ambitious weekly mileages with little to no thought on how they run.

And the myths that are spouted by the running media is, well, pure mythology. Very little talk of bio mechanics, of introspectively developing a smooth, efficient style that optimises your individual attributes.
And those that do talk about running methodology, usually try to get everyone to fit into a one size fits all approach.

And I’m sure I don’t have to convince you that one size does NOT fit all.

But then through my Anatomy in Motion studies, I met a fellow practitioner named Helen Hall.
Helen, it turns out, is a running coach, a bike fitter, an accomplished Ironman Triathlete who runs the Perpetual Forward Motion School of Efficient Running (PFM)

When she launched her book “Even With Your Shoes On” I was on the waiting list and received a very early copy.
Which I devoured voraciously.

The approach laid out is anathema to the majority of other running coaches.

The PFM style is way of encouraging self learning. To offer exercises and drills that offer experiential learning with a set of progressions based on where you actually are.

A way of finding how you and your body can run without developing the issues that are “expected” in fact, because your develop “your” running, the potential is there to clear up the causes of those problems as your joints move better, in greater synchronicity, loading the correct tissues in the correct manner, ie the manner in which they have evolved to be loaded, a way that is actually built into our DNA.

That is possibly the longest sentence ever written……

Enough waffle, lets get to the point.

Helen will be in Dublin to teach this method in person for one day only.

On April 6th, 15 lucky people will spend the day with Helen, and myself of course, on a one day workshop where she will bring the information in her book to life.

The day is strictly limited to 15 places, first come, first served.
If you don’t book, I can’t promise you a place, I expect this to sell out as there’s already been interest as I’ve been setting this up.

This will tell you all about the topics we’ll be covering, the times and location and most importantly, how to secure your spot:

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You don’t have to be runner to benefit from this.

Running is superb supplementary training to develop the aerobic system for any sport. Especially for Combat Athletes and Kettlebell Sport competitors.

To please the marketing gods, here’s another booking link:

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I hope to see you there


Dave Hedges

Conditioning Made Easy part 3 – Cardiac Output or Building an Aerobic Base

Aerobic training doesn’t necessarily mean dancing around in a leotard with big hair

It’s not the 80’s any more…..

But it does need to be done.

Your cardio vascular system underpins everything else, the other cooler energy systems rely on the aerobic system for replenishment, to take over when they’re done and keep you moving forward.

In the last round of the fight, in the last quarter of that game, this is where you are going  to wish your aerobic system was better developed.

Traditionally you’ve had two choices:

Cheesy aerobics classes or long slow boring cardio (ie running/roadwork)

Roadwork has been a staple of boxing training since day dot, and for good reason.

Is that really all we have?

Hell no!

Aerobic training simply means training that emphasises the aerobic system, this is best done by keeping the heart rate in the 70-80% of max for an extended period of time, at least 20 minutes up to a few hours.

How you do that is completely up to you.

The most fundamental of all aerobic practice is known as Cardiac Output training.
This is what we think if as endurance work like running or cycling.
In reality the method is unimportant, it is the response in the body that we are looking for.

Cardiac output is just that, the volume of blood the heart can pump out in a single beat.

Training at around 120 to 150 bpm for at least 30 minutes (up to 90+ minutes) helps develop this ability to pump more blood per beat.

Suggested exercises for this:
Skipping, Jogging, Cycling, Kettlebell Swings, Indian Club Swinging, Mace Swinging, Shadow Boxing, technique work specific to your sport, light weights moved though large ranges (curl and press, squats, lunges etc).

Even walking at a fast pace is great for this.

You can change exercise as often as you wish, maybe every 45 seconds, maybe every 5 minutes or anything in between.
You may do a single activity, you may lay out several.

Pick exercises that are as relevant as possible, so runners, run. Swimmers swim. Fighters punch and kick or do animal flow type drills. If it’s the end of the week and you’re knackered, just walk or string together a series of mobility exercises.

Here’s the kicker, push too far above 150bpm and it’s currently thought that the heart chambers don’t have enough time to fill up to capacity and receive the stretch we’re looking for.

It’s a good idea to wear a heart rate monitor to prevent you driving too hard, but in time you’ll get a feel for the required intensity.

A sure fire way to keep the intensity down is to keep the mouth shut and breathe solely through the nose.

Very often I personally cycle, run or skip while holding a tea spoon of liquid in my mouth (usually olive oil, sometimes salt water). This ensures I keep the mouth closed.
The added bonus of this it helps keep our sinuses hydrated and reduces mucus production, you may find you are snotting everywhere at the start, but after a few session, you’ll be breathing easier than ever before.


Nasal breathing carries the added bonus of having a more direct stimulation of of the diaphragm so you use more of the lung.
You will also benefit from the stimulation of Nitric Oxide (NO) in the sinuses, this is a vaso dilator which means it opens the blood vessels and further aids in the development of cardiovascular efficiency or aerobic fitness.

If you can make you’re own NO, then there’s NO need to wasting your money and shit like this:

Get in anything from 1-3 cardiac output session per week and see how much better you feel.
You should find you recover faster from more intense training, you tire less quickly and generally feel like you can go all day.

I’ll talk more on Aerobic development in the next installment of this series, there are other factors to consider, such as stimulating mitochondrial development or cardiac threshold work.


Dave Hedges

Monday Mobility – Swing Your Clubs!

Last week we restarted our Monday Mobility series with a great Thoracic Mobility drill ( <– that was a link to it in case you didn’t spot it)

Lets stay on a theme, the upper back, shoulder and chest. Ie, the thoracic region.

If there was a single catch all for the entire thoracic region, I’d have to say the Indian Club is it.

Last weeks drill showed you how to extend the spine, which open the ribs and allows the scapula to move more freely.
Swinging the Indian Club shows the shoulder blade how to move.

This little video is a few of the swings we use with the club, including some that add in the lower body:

The key is to allow the weight of the club to take you.
You follow the club, you allow IT to do the work.
You feel it pull on you, extending the limb and opening out the motion.

Meaning your muscles can relax (within reason of course), this relaxation allows the centrifugal pull from the club to place a gentle traction on the joints of the arm and shoulder, load and stretch the muscles in each and every direction within the swing and allow “overactive” to chill out while “underactive” wakes up.

Another way to think of this is, you’ve used last weeks stretch to prep for movement, now we get that movement oiled up and smooth.

This is an old (2012) video tutorial of the absolute basics:

Since then we’ve learned a lot.

The big thing, which I hope you’ll spot watching the first video and comparing it to the second, is that we have discovered the value of the extension, of allowing the club to draw us into a reach.

It’s this reach that is magic.
And it’s a major point we labour in our workshops, the next of which is very soon:

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If you come to the workshop, we will ensure you leave competent with the clubs, and you’l have your own set of Pahlavandles to continue practicing with.

I’ll see you there.

Dave Hedges

Conditioning Made Easy part 2 – Circuits

Welcome to the second part of the “Conditioning Made Easy” series.

If you missed part 1, it’s here: http://wg-fit.com/wp/blog/conditioning-made-easy-part-1/

This week, as promised, I’m talking about circuit training.
I’ve been a huge fan of circuit training since I began training.

My early years of weight room training started back when I was a 16yr old spotty little shit.
I hung around at school with the lads on the rowing team, they were ranked around number 12 in the UK at the time.
My Karate instructor, the late Jack Parker had told me I needed to be stronger, so I asked the Rowers if I could join their weight sessions
They asked the Coach, he said yes, and the rest is history.

But Coach had a wicked training style.

He gave us a few minutes to warm ourselves up while he laid out a circuit.
Then he’d walk us through each station once.
Then he hit the start button and for the next 20 minutes we went flat out.

After that, we set up the heavy stuff.

This influence can still be seen on the methods I employ today.

But enough of my history. Are circuits a good choice for developing high levels of conditioning?

Yes, is the short answer.

In my “WMD” eBook I have a chapter devoted to the circuit training method with a couple of dozen examples of actual circuits we’ve used in Wg-Fit as part of our Kickboxer conditioning program (article continues below the image)

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They key to good circuit training it to have an plan.
Decide before you lay it out what you training effect the circuit should elicit.

Are you wanting cardio?
Faster recovery times?
Local muscular endurance?
Mental Fortitude?
Are you developing the aerobic or alactic energy systems?

Knowing what aspects of fitness you want to emphasise will tell you what time, duration, work to rest, exercises and loads to use.

For a simple example, if you’re developing aerobic capacity, you keep the loads light, so single kettlebell lifts, bodyweight drills etc, but the durations long and the rest periods short.

For alactic, you increase the intensity of the exercises, so more power oriented moves and higher loads, and keep the overall duration short.

An aerobic circuit may last 20 minute to an hour, looking to keep the heart rate in and around the 130-150 BPM (it’ll vary up and down, we’re talking averages here) for the duration.
Alactic, the circuit will last 2-6 minutes, but you will perform 2-4 rounds of the circuit with 3-5 minutes rest between each round, each round should be red lined.

Notice how these are two very different animals looking for two very different outcomes.

One isn’t better than the other, they’re merely different. It’s up to you (or your coach) to select which is most appropriate to your wants and needs.

After you’ve considered this, the actual exercise choices are secondary.
Staples of almost any circuit will include:
Upper Body Push (press/push ups…..)
Upper Body Pull (pull ups/various rows…)
Hinge (RDLs, Kettlebell Swings….)
Knee Dominant (Variations on Squats, lunges/step ups)

Other stuff includes things like:
Battle Ropes, Slam Balls, Direct core/ab work, Bag work, Skipping, Carries, Throws, Footwork Ladders etc

The actual choices are pretty much unlimited.
Just so long as it all adds up to benefiting the training plan and moving you towards your chosen goals.
As an exercise choice guide I’d strongly suggest you include elements you need to bring up, for most that’s glutes, hamstrings and upper back (did I mention swings and inverted rows earlier?)

Now, lay out a circuit and get to work.
If you’re short of ideas, check out the WMD manual:
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Dave Hedges

Monday Mobility: Thoracic Extension

It’s been a long time since we had a Monday mobility post.
So we have a nice one for you today.

Thoracic extension is a bug bear for many.
Without good T-spine movement we can say good bye to a good overhead position, we may experience tightness in the musculature on the front and upper sections of the shoulder, we may even have pain in the back.

We may not.

But with the modern lifestyle of sitting, as I am right now tapping this out on the computer, we are on the whole, in need to of good spinal mobility in our lives.
If you play any sport that uses a flexed posture (boxing, BJJ/Judo cycling, rugby……..you get the idea) or an overhead sport like Kettlebell Sport, you’ll really like this.

So I invite you to try this.

You need something to lie over, I’m using a large slam ball, I could have used a punch bag or a bench or a foam roller.
The bendier you are, the higher the support you’re likely to need.

Have a watch:


View this post on Instagram


How to get taller…… Not really. But you certainly feel that way. Thoracic extension, stretching the lats, the serratus anterior, the intercostals, the abs, the diaphragm all in one simple drill. You can clearly see my range of motion improve over the minute here as I allow the weight of those 2.5kg weights to pull my hands closer to the floor. As I actively relax And as I as movement by way of the hip lift and lower. The trick is to let the hands come towards the floor as the hip lifts and keep them still as the hip lowers. Do as many as you need to to feel change. And don’t forget to breathe #wgfamily #irishfitfam #thoracicmobility #thoracicextension #mobility #shoulder #shoulderrehab #sportsinjury #bjj #judo #kettlebellsport #girevoy

A post shared by Dave Hedges (@dave_hedges) on


The instructions:

  • Set up with the upper back only on the support / fulcrum
  • Take a pair of light weight plates, as you get better, use LESS weight
  • Start with the hips high and the hands close to the floor
  • Let the weights hold you hands in place as you lower the hips down
  • Keep moving up and down, nice and slow, asking permission from the body to go gradually further.
  • Doas many reps as you need to feel a change (This clip shows me stiff as a board, my first set lasted 2 mins, I did two subsequent sets of 20 pulses until I felt no further change)
  • Relax as much as possible and DO NOT hold the breath

And that’s it.

Go easy at first, best that you’re warmed up before going for it.
You never know, with enough practice you might end up being able to do this:

Have fun.

Dave Hedges

6 Warm Up Options That Will Keep You Ready For Anything

Over the years I’ve lost count of the number of guys I’ve had coming to Wild Geese week in, week out, lifting kettlebells, barbells, moving their bodyweight around.

Many take part in martial arts, maybe kickboxing or Muay Thai, maybe Judo or BJJ

Some mountain bike

And then one day they come in limping

“Oh Dave I’ve hurt my [knee/groin/hamstring/back]”

“Oh shit,” I reply, “What were you doing?”

“Nothing much, played a bit of 5 a side with the lads yesterday, think I did it then”

Yes, more of my crew have suffered injury from a kick about with the lads on a Wednesday night, than they have had lifting weight or taking part in full contact martial arts.

Why do we think that is?

The answer is simple, and when I explain it to the lads, they realise how simple.

Nobody warms up for a friendly kick about.

BUT, within 5 minutes of the game starting, they’re charging around like it’s the last 5 minutes of the World Cup final!

Think about it…

Sprints, from a standing start.
Cutting and direction changes.
Body to body clashes, often from the side.

Now, it’ll take you all of 5 minutes to Google the sports science literature of the forces and injury risks of sprinting from a standing start and fast / plyometric direction changes.

Would it surprise you if I told you that most field sport injuries occur off the ball, with no contact from another player?
Yes, you literally hurt yourself.

So what are we going to do about it?

You are going to WARM UP!

Yes, be the weirdo

While they’re point and laughing at you before the game, you’ll be out manoeuvring them during it AND you’ll be far less likely to the guy hobbling around at the end of the game!

How do we warm up?
Here’s a selection of the typical Wild Geese style warm ups:

Skipping and Joint Mobility:

These are a few of the 100 rep warm ups we use in our lunchtime sessions, these are shown at real speeds, notice how they only take 7-10 minutes to complete:

If skipping isn’t an option (I don’t know why it wouldn’t be, a rope costs around a tenner and takes up no space in your bag) sub in jogging on the spot, jumping jacks, cross crawls, lateral shuffles etc.
Keep the more dynamic drills to later in the warm up, so the lateral shuffles should be left until the last set of skipping.

And this one is an old video showing warming up the upper body with Indian Clubs:

Which brings me neatly to the sales pitch….

I’m running an Indian Club workshop on March 2nd, you really should attend, but there’s only 8 places remaining (at the time of publishing this) and I’ll not accept any more than that.
Everything you need to know about the workshop is here:

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So now you have no excuse for missing training because of a kick about with the lads.
It’s as simple as warming up, same as you would do if you came to the gym.

As ever, if there’s any questions, drop me a comment below.

Chat soon

Dave Hedges

Conditioning Made Easy part 1

“the rally cry for my football players is “strong legs, strong lungs”.” – Jim Wendler

Conditioning is a blanket term, it really means the same thing as “fitness”

I prefer the term conditioning as it brings about the right imagery.
Fitness can be anything from aerobics to bodybuilding and is often aesthetically driven. But conditioning brings about images of heroic feats of strength and endurance.

You think of someone who’s well conditioned, you tend to think of them as athletic.

So that’s my bias explained for the terminology, but what does the terminology actually mean?

It means, a well conditioned athlete is more than capable to face the demands of their sport.

And that’s about it.

Therefore to condition an athlete, we need to understand their sport.
Hence why I like to work with martial artists and adventure sports folk, as that is my personal background and I understand that the best.

Wg-Fit client Seb atop the podium of the Milan Challenge BJJ event

For the non athlete, the person who trains simply to be fit, there is no specific demands to meet. No lines to colour inside of.
For the non athlete, we aim to tick all the boxes so that they can be ready for pretty much anything, anytime.

We call this GPP in our fancy coaches speak. It means “General Physical Preparedness”
I prefer “GHP” as in “General Human Preparedness”

I don’t believe for even a second that you can be well conditioned without considering the mental side to be of equal (or greater) importance as the physical.

We can break down GPP (GHP?) many ways.
Which is why so many different systems exist, which is largely where all the confusion comes in.

But let’s start with Wendler’s quote above, “Strong legs, strong lungs”
You really can’t go far wrong if you keep that front and centre in your mind.

Weak legs are non optional in my book. I’m not interested in simply squatting a tonne of weight, but I want legs that can go and go and go. As well as squat a tonne of weight….

Legs burn a lot of energy, especially big tree trunk legs.
If we don’t train them for energy efficiency they are going to take a huge toll on us.
There’s no real suprise that the entry requirements for a fighter trying out for the pre UFC MMA competitions, Shooto and Pride, fighters would have to knock out 500 Hindu Squats as part of the fitness testing.


The legendary Clarence Bass showing perfect form on the Hindu Squat

500 Hindu’s is not that much, most people can achieve that if they put their mind to it.
A handful of my Wg-Fit crew have, either because of upper body injury, or as a personal challenge done 1000 reps in a single set.
No, that’s not a typo.

I strongly suggest that you work hard at making 100 reps an arbitrary task, something suitable for a warm or a finisher.
Then shoot for the 500.
Once you have it, maintain it.

It’s attainable for most (injury history obviously allowing)
It will reward you with higher endurance in the legs, frequent high rep training will help recovery of the legs after more intense trainings, and it should keep the joints fresh and healthy.
Try adding a high rep set after a lower body training, or after your sports training.

Squats are not the only option, far from it.
We also run.
Hills are best. As is using a variety of speeds and durations.

Check put this post of Walter Peyton that Ross Enamait posted:

For longer durations, good baseline standard to achieve and maintain is a sub 60 minute 10Km.
Really you should be able to run 10Km much faster than that if you went hard, but I’m talking about a baseline level, a level you can achieve on any given day.

If you have access to a sled, then you have access to a great conditioning tool.
Due to the nature of my gym’s floor, I can’t have a sled, but should we ever get a bigger venue with space for a carpeted track, it’s top of the list of kit to buy.

For a fighter to develop baseline conditioning, we want it pushed at a relatively slow pace for time. Match the sled push to the fight rules, for example 3 x 3 minute rounds with 1 minute breaks.
So speed and load is determined by your ability to keep the sled moving for that time duration.

Now, I can hardly do a conditioning focused article without mentioning the Kettlebell.
High rep swings may just be one of the most advantageous things you can possibly do.
What’s high rep?
Sets of 100+
Or sets of 3-5 minutes

Not only do these build the hip power, but their adding resilience to your lower back and grip.
That can’t be bad.

I’m going to leave you now with this.
In the next part I’ll discuss the value of circuit training as a conditioning method.

Till next time


Dave Hedges

Should we elevate the heels when we squat?

If a person struggles to squat without a heel lift, should we allow them or should we focus on getting them better able to squat with flat feet?

Or is it really just a cut and dried choice like I’ve suggested above, or is more nuanced than this?

Long story short, it’s much more nuanced.

The question came up on the social media, it got many answers, mostly showing clear coaching biases.

And this is a problem.

It’s one that I have been guilty of in the past.

Here’s a thing:

My bias doesn’t matter a damn.


What matters is the client, their wants and their needs.

And if using a heel lift gets them to their goals and causes no further issues or injuries, then why the fuck wouldn’t you use one?


Why might we need a heel lift?

  • Not enough ankle dorsiflexion
  • Not enough femoral internal rotation
  • Not enough knee external rotation (looking ground up)
  • Not enough spinal extension (thoracic)
  • Too much spinal extension (lumbar/cervical)
  • Sub par Scapula movement and GH external rotation
  • Unable to stabilise the lumbar (read core, read psoas/iliacus/diaphragm etc)

The list could go on.

Many do get a near instant improvement in their squat if we

  • Mobilise the ankle to open up dorsiflexion
  • Get a hockey ball into the iliacus for a bit
  • Activate the psoas and glutes with low level, targeted exercises
  • Roll the pec minor and activate the upper back
  • Positional breathing drill to improve diaphragm use

This rather convoluted sequence gets most moving better so we can now have them squat.

If they can squat, maybe, just maybe those changes we made will dial in a little bit.


But then, how do we squat?

  • Front squat
  • Back squat
  • To a box
  • Box squat (yes that’s different to to a box)
  • Goblet
  • Zercher
  • Split Squat
    • Front foot elevated
    • Back foot elevated
    • Long or short split
  • Step up/down

Which version of the squat will give them the response we are looking for from doing the exercise in the first place?

No. Just no.

And don’t forget to ask the client what they want.

So like most things in physical culture, a simple question may not actually be a simple question.

So here’s a few riders.

  1. No one NEEDS to squat.
  2. If they insist on squats, find the best one for them, if that means a heel lift, or a box, so be it.
  3. Use any rehab/intervention exercises as warm up and/or active rest
  4. Talk with the client to ensure that you are both on the same page

One big thing we must be mindful of is putting doubt into someone’s mind.

The recent developments coming out of the neuroscience world, of which the pain science community is of particular value to us as coaches, clearly warns against telling people they are broken.

In fact, other than in a very clear cut case, it’s probably best to not give any diagnosis at all, rather to to jump straight to the intervention plan with a focus on the desired outcome.

A person thinking that they are broken does NOT help them in any way.
Show them that they are still capable, and they will likely come back from whatever injury much much faster.

We’ve covered a few points here.

But in short it comes down to this.

  • Give the client the best training they can receive, the training that will bring them towards their goals, and if that means we have to adjust exercise performance and technique, then so be it.
  • There is no one way to do any exercise.
  • No exercise is essential.
  • They are merely movements we use to develop selected attributes.

As we are training the person, if we are trained to, we can use the warm ups and the rest periods to work the rehab drills.

It’s not rocket science.

But it may mean putting away preconceived ideas as to how things are to be done.

And that means putting your ego aside.


Dave Hedges

How We Structure Combat Sports Training



Hi, my name is Dave and I:



Not just Kung Fu, but all the martial arts.

The reason I do what I do now is because in 1988 I walked into St Martins Junior Karate Club, Lancaster, England and decided that I was going to learn Karate.

So to now have a number of highly skilled martial artists / combat athletes coming to me for their S&C work is a dream.

But, enough about me….

Martial Arts, aka, Fighting, asks a huge amount of the body and mind.

To be relaxed enough that you are fast
To be strong enough that you have power
To be tight enough you can resist
To be mentally sharp enough to remain focused through fatigue.

All that while working against someone who is actively trying to stop you.
It is, or should be about as pure a competition as is possible.

That said, in order to tip the scale to your advantage, a good quality strength and conditioning program should be part of your training.

Not, your standard gym bunny workouts, but a thought out program specific to your needs.

And while specific to the individual and the requirements of their individual art, there are a few things that almost never change:

You will deadlift.
You will do Kettlebell Swings.
You will work all elements of the strength continuum

Here’s Eric Cressey talking about Strength-Speed continuum, this lecture is equally valid for strength-endurance:

So depending on the athlete, we may train them as follows:

Monday: Strength focus – Deadlifts, Presses and accessory work
Weds: Aerobic focus – circuit for time, lots of swings, inverted rows, crawling and running.
Friday: High intensity – We vary these but it’s usually some kettlebell complex or bodyweight circuit of the kind that makes you want to go home after your 2nd round.

Hang on, I’ve just described our bootcamp program

Our Bootcamp was designed for fighters, several of our members are from the Irish Karate Kyokushin, including world number 11 Aneta ne Rudyte (who just won best female fighter and 1st place at the Lituanian Open this weekend)

others from Judo and a variety of other backgrounds.

If you’re interested in finding out more about what we do, drop a comment below or send us an email

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Dave Hedges

….it's an Attitude