What would you change?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Vergilius, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. Vergilius

    Vergilius Brown Belt

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    Hi guys

    I'm in my thirties and train shotokan karate 3 times a week for 1 1/2 hours. It's your traditional mix of katas, kumite and kihon with a somewhat random mix of strength or conditioning exercises thrown in. The karate training itself is at a high level, though, with some very good senseis.

    Apart from this I run 5-7k two times a week at a pace of around 12 km/hour to make sure I'm ok for the harder sparring sessions.

    I also go to the gym 2-3 times a week and work out my upper body (stomach, chest, arms and back). I'm not particularly organized in what I do - I just try to do one exercise for every part of the upper body at as heigh a weight as possible for 4x8 reps. I have a very sensitive lower back that easily gets injured so I do machines instead of free weights for fear of aggravating it.

    I eat healthily enough, homecooked meals, no junkfood etc. but don't follow any particular regimen and I'm a bit addicted to Coca Cola.

    Finally, I have a full-time job, a wife and two lovely kids, so I can't really justify spending more time on fitness than I do. However, I do stay in shape all the year around, hoping to live a long, active life with my family.

    I'm 6'2'' and 176 pounds and have been called skinny all my life. On the whole, I'm fine with the way I look, but I wouldn't mind gaining a few pounds of muscle. I recently thought that I ought to share my routine with someone and get some advice on what I could do better or if any parts are batshit insane - so if you, o wise and mighty sherbro, were to change one or two things about my regimen, what would they be?:icon_chee

    Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any advice - hoping for some nice, simple things to make me a little better!
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  2. btwrestler119

    btwrestler119 Green Belt

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    In before the flaming begins.

    A good place to start is the FAQ, lots of good info there.

    A couple of general pieces of advice...

    1. Where is the lower body strength training?!?! More important than upper body strength training IMHO.

    2. The running (at the distance and pace specified), although it is good for your aerobic conditioning and work capacity is not the best way to improve your sparring stamina. Better would be timed intervals at a faster pace with some rest in between to better mimic rounds of sparring.

    3. If you want to gain a few pounds of muscle, you need to count your calories and weigh yourself daily. In doing so, you'll find out work intake level keeps you at the same weight. Once you find a maintenance level of calories just add about 250-500 calories per day (preferably protein or fat).

    Also, what is wrong with your back?
     
  3. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    I'd say you want to figure out why your lower back is sensitive and easily injured, and work on preventing that. Then you can stop mucking about with machine based, upper body only, stuff, and do a quality routine, like one of the ones in the FAQ.
     
  4. Vergilius

    Vergilius Brown Belt

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    Thanks, I appreciate it!

    Regarding my back, I'm not quite sure how to explain it, because it wasn't explained to me in English, but basically the lower back is supposed to form an "s" but mine is straight and stiff which means it's easy to injure - the muscles around it can be strengthened to make injury less likely but it cannot be completely "fixed".

    The reason I don't do lower body training at the gym is because we tend to do a lot of that in Karate (squats and of course the kata movements - I know it isn't optimal, but it's... something and I don't have oceans of time at the gym).

    I'll keep what you said in mind!
     
  5. ironwolf

    ironwolf Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Ditch the coca cola that shit is toxic.

    ....kids too.
     
  6. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    Well then start by strengthening the muscles around your back to prevent injury, and figure out what other sorts of exercises would allow you to train more seriously but mitigating risk of injury. Which probably requires some research or consultation with a doctor of sports medicine, on your part. At the very least, if you could explain, as specifically as possible what sort of training would reduce the risk of back pain or injury, and what is most likely to aggravate it, then some more specific suggestions could be made.
     

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