My Theory on the purpose of bodyweight exercises

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Matt Thornton, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. Matt Thornton

    Matt Thornton Amateur Fighter

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    Alright. For anyone who's new to the powerlifting forum, I am in no way a big contributer to this thread. My strength needs some work. So whenever I'm on here, I either have my mouth shut (err... more like hands tied; I'm not really talking am I) and listen, or I ask questions. So Urban, Carnal, Coach D; whoever, I could totally be wrong on this. So of course feel free to give your 2 cents.

    So. Bodyweight exercises. From what I understand, there's a bit of a debate on these. They've sometimes gotten a bad reputation because of guys like Matt Furey. To me, they're not a replacement for lifting weights, but they still serve an important purpose in a Combat Athletics program.

    If you're wondering what bodyweight exercises will do for you, don't think they will make you as strong as lifting weights. "I can do 400 straight pushups! I'm really strong!" While that's an incredible feat to accomplish, 400 pushups straight is more an indication of your muscular endurance, which really is not a determining factor in pure strength or power.

    I'm also a little tired of hearing "They make you control your own body weight." If you weigh 210 pounds, you weigh 210 pounds. Plain and simple. The difference between a 210 pound man doing a handstand pushup, and doing an overhead press with 210 pounds, is that the pushup takes a little more balance.

    But, what they WILL do for you, is 2 things that are very important, not just in Combat Sports, but sports in general: mental discipline, and muscular endurance.

    Mental discipline. This is one of the main things I pulled out of Ross Enamait's "Underground Guide to Warrior Fitness." If you don't have this book, definitely check it out. It's a total No-B.S. approach to training. It basically tells you to suck it up, stop being a pansy, and get your ass training. The thing I've found with exercises like pushups, is you can do a lot more than you think you can. The average person will stop doing pushups when they feel pain. The warrior will keep cranking them out. When you continue to push yourself with lots of pushups and sprints and bodyweight squats, you're building mental discipline. You're teaching yourself to ignore pain and fatigue, and to keep going, and this is a determining factor in victory, especially in combat. I can't tell you how many guys I've rolled with, who in the first 3 minutes, will be kicking my ass, because they have 2, 3, or 4 years compared to my 4 months in No Gi BJJ, but if I can defend those submissions for the first 3 or 4 minutes, I've actually beaten them, because they got tired and gave up.

    Muscular Endurance. It's something else that's really important. For those of you who do MMA, we do a tough sport to condition for. Because we're combining stand-up fighting, wrestling, and ground fighting, our bodies demand different types of training. I see it like this: for stand-up fighting, your body is going to rely more on explosive strength. Plyometrics are key to giving you faster, harder punches, quicker and more powerful kicks, and fast takedown shots. Once you reach the clinch range (whether you're in the Thai clinch, Greco clinch, or you're grabbing his legs driving for a takedown), this is where strength comes more into play. Powerlifting is important for the strength you need to dominate in the clinch. When you hit the ground, while strength and explosiveness are important, you're going to need muscular endurance. Bodyweight exercises, IMO, are really good for this. Anyone who's wrestled at a meet or competed in a grappling tournament can attest to how tired your muscles get. Muscular endurance is something you really need, and sometimes it's neglected.

    Don't get me wrong. Plyometrics, powerlifting, and bodyweight exercises aren't strictly confined to one area of MMA. You need speed, strength, and endurance in all areas of fighting. Plyos are also great for an explosive takedown, as well as an explosive bridge in Jiu-Jitsu. And powerlifting will help you in whatever you do.

    I just see it like this. If you're a competitive athlete, especially a combat athlete, these 3 types of exercises are equally important. While a lot of people just stick with Plyos and Powerlifting (mostly because they're just more fun), I think bodyweight exercises play an important role in giving you both muscular and mental endurance, which is something that's really going to help you in the long run.
     
  2. True2KungFu

    True2KungFu King Of No Pants

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    not bad, i like to mix plyos and weights and bodyweight stuff and weights. I usually crank out as many knuckle or handstand pushups as i can after im done doin dips or military press, i do unweighted pullups as well.
     
  3. There was nothing wrong with bodyweight exercises, never was something wrong, never will be anything wrong.

    Add them into any training program and it can only benefit you.
     
  4. OpethDrums

    OpethDrums Banned Banned

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    muscular endurance is important because you need energy to perform the action. fighters only have to be strong enough to manipulate the opponent, and they have to be able to do it as hard as they can the whole time.
     
  5. The fact of the matter is you can gain perfect, functional, relevant muscular endurance for your sport (striking, grappling, mma) by simply training in and practicing that sport (hitting the bag,sparring, rolling). This will also increase you skill level and experience in the sport.
     
  6. savage-

    savage- White Belt

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    You can definitely use bodyweight exercises to gain endurance but you need strength training to get a higher max strength. My only concern would be bulking up too much, like for straight punches wouldn't having big biceps slow you down a little. Even if only detectable by some kind of specialized equipment. It's been shown that if you weaken some opposing muscles with static stretches, like the hip flexors, you can jump higher. Would you have to stretch your biceps before a match?

    The mental part is probably going to be overlooked or glossed over by everyone here probably :p nice try though.
     
  7. Tallguy76

    Tallguy76 White Belt

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    Not always true. Bodyweight exercises are a good way to increase work capacity as part of GPP. You have to have an adequate level of GPP before you move on to SSP. In a good program GPP forms the foundation and transitions seamlessley into SSP. Can't build a house on a shaky foundation.
     
  8. CrazyAZNRedneck

    CrazyAZNRedneck Orange Belt

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    You should stretch your muscles all the time. It's not about having big or strong muscles that will slow the firing of the opposing muscles, but tight muscles most certainly will.

    To thread starter:
    Plyometrics ARE bodyweight exercises. Just like doing a push-up, but that you are going to clap at the top or doing a bodyweight squat, but that you are jumping as high as you can.

    As far as mental toughness is concerned, the Shamrocks would often test a potential fight by making them do 500 squats (no barbell, just bodyweight). Frank said that that was one of the best ways to test someone's mettle.

    All in all, I do not do "regular" bodyweight exercises. I find that my training time is better spent doing something else. Mental toughness can be trained doing other things, such as bench pressing 495 for heavy partial (my max is about 455) or making yourself keep running even though you're tired. Muscular endurance can be trained with high rep ranges with weights and that allows me to keep better track of what muscles are stronger than others. Porportional muscles give you less chance of injury.
     
  9. yomon

    yomon Green Belt

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    it's all about different types of strength.

    1.Regualr bodywieght exercises like regular pushups, regular squats will give you endurance

    2.Balistics like one hand pushups, pistols, and anything that uses alot of stabalizing is great for core strength

    3.Plyometrics of any form are great for explosive power.

    4.Powerlifting works you limit strength

    while limit strength is nice to have, but it is absolutly usless without being completly confident in your ability in the first three steps. This is why powerlifting is not a valued form of training for most MMA artists.
     
  10. Ted-P

    Ted-P Brown Belt

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    First of all, it's the limit strength that should come first before Sports specific movement or plyometrics.

    Not the other way around. Not just powerlifting, but weight lifting in general. You can't improve in terms of plyometrics much as you incorporate weight lifting and plyometrics.

    http://www.veloforce.net/Articles.html
     
  11. yomon

    yomon Green Belt

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    Have you actualy tried just a routien of the top three steps?

    i've been doing it for over 7 months now and it definatly gets you tons stronger. I have yet to hit the limit with these exercises.

    i learn through my own experiences not some article on the net that may be right or wrong.
     
  12. Ted-P

    Ted-P Brown Belt

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    I just trust Martin Rooney and the other concurring experts who know their stuff.

    I'm not doubting that it makes you stronger. But who knows?

    Have you ever tried to incorporate Lifting with SPP and plyo?
     
  13. yomon

    yomon Green Belt

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    MOST BRILLIANT POST HERE!!!!
     
  14. yomon

    yomon Green Belt

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    yes i have, and i have found that most of the time your spending too much time trying to recover from the weight lifting and your conditioning starts to suffer. In my experience it has been counter productive to the "Means To An End" theory.
     
  15. Ted-P

    Ted-P Brown Belt

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    Do you train anaerobic endurance?

    Not only that don't know you realize you have to recover from plyometrics. too? That's why they don't recommend people training plyometrics too often either.

    Ever try out workout combining both lifting and plyo? Not separately, because that would be terrible.

    NOt imposing.

    genuine questions and recommendations.
     
  16. yomon

    yomon Green Belt

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    i realize that you must allow for recovery in plyometric training, as well, and my training programme acounts for that. But it is not the same overhalue surgery that your body has to perform after heavy lifting, and if your dynamicly lifting you might as well be doing plyo's for all the good it's doing to your speed.

    if you must know my trianing is a balanced mix of intensity and cardio work with 1 day breaks in between each sessions. Based around the common knowledge of variety being ultimate.

    i have 3-4 sessions a week and only 1 -2 will be plyo's. the rest is stabilityStrength and speedEndurance training. Intensity always high and failure each session. 2-3 mile run done every workout day as well.
     
  17. Dolorem666

    Dolorem666 Yellow Belt

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    it'll build up your endurance for cure. your specific cardio etc will go through the roof if your train and spar regularly, but here we're talking about what makes you stronger.

    lately, i've been doing various pull-ups with the chinning bar and because my bench is outside, if it rains i can't bench, however, i'm finding that pull-ups are almost as good a workout for the entire upper body as any benchpressing. different grips and hand placements make a lot of difference. i dunno if it's just me being weird, but i reckon it's helping to tone my abs aswell... might just be me...
     
  18. Herculean

    Herculean Purple Belt

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    a little more ? try a whole lot more , and to add to that they are gaining agility while working their stabilizers aswell

    oh yeah .. nice post =)
     

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