Best Workouts outside of the dojo?
Since we have a wellness culture where a large majority of our students and teachers follow a clean diet, exercise regularly, supplement and train very hard multiple times a week I wanted to offer some insight since a lot of us cross train or supplement our mat training with other forms of exercise. Again, if reaching Shodan and beyond is your goal pay very close attention to the following:
Let me first say that any form of exercise, e.g. crossfit, weight training, cardio, ‘HIIT’ or ‘Steady-state’, aerobic, walking, Boot Camps, Group Training is all extremely positive to your health and depending on what specific fitness goals you have those different styles will lead you to positive results. For example, if you are training for a 1/2 marathon or iron man, sure, you want to do a specific cardio regimen for that style of training. And if you’re trying to cut body fat, then building muscle through compound lifting movements with the right amount of calories and macros will help you achieve that. And so on and so on…I don’t want to talk specifics on Calories and Supplements here, but depending on your type of workout, body type, and genetics will all determine what/how you should consume nutrition (E.g. eat)
Ok back to workouts, in 17 years of Aikido training and 115+ seminars and preparing for Shodan, Nidan and Sandan tests, I have found the best style of ‘outside the dojo’ workouts to be a combination of a ‘HIIT’ Style Full body movement along with developing your CORE. So lifting weights for an hour will not help you prepare your body for Shodan level stamina, strength and power. Running on the treadmill or swimming for an hour also won’t specifically help that cause. Developing your CORE through a series of exercise like planks, mountain climbers, and supermans along with interval style cardio will simulate the level of a 25 min Aikido Shodan exam along with 2-3-days of seminar training before that. So something like:
-holding a plank for 60-seconds
– 30-seconds of ‘Koho tento undo’
– 30-seconds of mountain climbers
rest for 20 seconds
repeat 4 times.
The stamina part is actually being able to move your whole body in different positions while moving your partner hence the ‘HIIT’ style and again steady-state cardio won’t simulate the feeling of being out of breath, followed by a pause, followed by another burst of energy.
You are also training your mind and your body to relax in a stressful situation. Even in shape, running on the treadmill at 5mph at a constant is predictable. Adding the ‘HIIT’ element trains your body to adapt and respond to the next new part or move.
If you think you’re fit, ask yourself, am I Aikido Shodan fit? What’s the difference? Shodan fit means you can train for 2-3 days of the seminar at a high level front and center on the mat with the super-fit 3rd Dan’s and Up while being under the microscope by the TC, and then go out and rock your Shodan test with plenty left in the tank.
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