Monday, September 21, 2009

Don't Rest...DO Something!

A fighter's time is usually very limited. This is especially true for amateur and entry level professional combat athletes, who typically must juggle a job and family time as well as a rigorous training program. One has to spend every minute training as productively as possible. In my opinion rest periods between sets or circuits are a waste of that very valuable time. So many spend their time period sitting around watching the clock or shooting-the-shit with the other gym rats. A fighter needs to put some productivity back into their rest periods.

There are many ways to better utilize your rest periods. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Skipping Rope: When I'm trying to improve my cardio I really like to spend my rest periods skipping rope. Skipping rope is great for improving, what author and Chinese Wrestling champion Matt Furey calls, "lung power". Even when I'm working on heavy singles (for raw strength) I'll skip rope between lifts.

2. Shadow Boxing: This is a great way to add some athletic (or sport) specificity to your gym workouts. 1-2 minutes of shadow boxing between sets or circuits is a great way to improve your conditioning, your technique, and strength all at the same time.

3. Penetration Step Drill: Another great sport specific training drill for those who train MMA or submission wrestling. Similar benfits to shadow boxing but geared more for wrestlers and grapplers.

4. Plank Holds: When I really feel like torturing myself I like to work plank holds during my rest periods. Planks are great for developing core strength and build a great deal of mental toughness. Multiple sets of 2 minutes plank holds will develop an iron will and laser focus.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. In your own training feel free to be creative. You can work reaction drills, rehab drills for an injured body part, or work on balance drills. It's up to you. Just make sure the drills you work during your "rest periods" don't interfere with the performance of the primary exercises you are working.

Now get off your ass and go train...and train hard.

Josh Skinner

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