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Old 04-19-2017, 06:10 AM
Star Dragon Star Dragon is offline
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 8
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Default Ways of increasing your strength and endurance

This is in reply to questions that I have been asked privately by another forum member.

I do think that you should train strength and endurance 2-3 times a week, but there is no need for hour long workouts or a lot of equipment.

When we're talking about strength training (as opposed to bodybuilding), I have made good experiences with a condensed approach that focusses on muscle chains rather than individual muscles. For this, a few exercises will be sufficient. Even with limited equipment, you could be doing dips, chin-ups, kettlebell swings, and leg raises (holding on to a pull-up bar).

After a month or so, vary the exercises, so your muscles don't get too used to them. For instance, do push-ups (elevate your feet for increasing the difficulty!), pull-ups, kettlebell deadlifts, and isometric leg raises on the floor (lifting both the head and the legs, and holding the position for up to twenty seconds).

Do two sets of each exercise, at least two to three times a week, although five times would be preferable. As for the number of reps, keep them low; actually, five reps are sufficient in order to develop strength. I am currently experimenting with staying a bit below the maximum number of reps I could do, which I know goes against popular theory, but seems to be the way that many Russian athletes have been training for decades, and it seems to work well for me as well. However, the resistance used should be increased periodically.

Even if you don't have barbells and dumbbells that allow adjusting their weight, you can accomplish this by choosing a more challenging variation of a bodyweight exercise or additionally using a weighted vest and/or ankle/wrist weights (all of these should be adjustable). With kettlebell exercises, you may simply start using a heavier kettlebell once in awhile.

All that said, there is quite a different approach that I have been previously following for several months, with good results as well: Tabata training. I have mentioned it in connection with resistance bands on another thread not long ago. It is extremely effective in the areas of endurance gain and weight loss, but it does build up muscles as well. That's what I particularly like about it: It allows you to work on strength, power and endurance all at once in a single session of about half an hour. This is ideal, if you are short of time.

The method can be done using many different exercises, including bodyweight and kettlebell ones. I will explain it in detail in a subsequent post, if somebody asks me to do so.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:23 AM
lokate lokate is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 269
Default Hello star dragon

Great post. I am very interested in your tabata protocol.
Can you give example routines? Espacially if you Just have only a few kettlebells, pull up bar and dipstation?
And if course a heavy bag to kick and punch.
Would be great because i dont like those supplementary workouts that take to long.
And what are your thoughts about running?
Do you think you need to run everyday or every other day?
And if so do you combine that with other training?
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:56 AM
lokate lokate is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 269
Default PM

Hello, you can PM me to if you want.
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:12 AM
Star Dragon Star Dragon is offline
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 8
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A Tabata exercise consists of eight sets of 20 seconds duration each, separated by 10 seconds of rest. A Gymboss timer helps get this right.

The exercise can be almost anything, but it should push you to your limits. If it's a cardio exercise, do it as intensely as you can. If it's a strength exercise, use a degree of resistance so high that you won't quite make it through the 20 seconds during the last two or three sets of the exercise. Then make it your goal to be able to do so within the next few weeks.

I recommend you do five exercises in a session, with a break of one to two minutes in between them. That way, a session will take about half an hour to complete. Some people like to do more, or less, though.

I suggest three sessions a week, although some do this kind of training almost daily.

As always, it is best you listen to your body and respect the feedback it gives you.

You could focus on a particular group of muscles in each session. For instance, let the Monday session begin with four minutes of dips, followed by four minutes of push-ups, followed by bench presses etc. The drawback is that your chest and triceps will be aching crazy two to three days later.

Another approach would be to work your whole body in each session. For instance, start with dips, followed by kettlebell swings, pull-ups, leg raises, and perhaps standing calf raises eventually (because you haven't really done anything else to address the this muscle previously). You can replace these exercises by different ones in your next session, if you like; let's say: Some variety of push-ups, kettlebell deadlifts, kettlebell cleans, weighted sit-ups, kettlebell russian twists (for the obliques).

Always take note of the weights used and the number of repetitions done. Gradually increase the resistance or the repetitions.

Regarding your question about running: This is highly efficient for increasing your endurance and also your leg strength if done in a Tabata format. In this case, however, I would dedicate the whole session to running, not do different exercises within that half hour.

But remember that any kind of exercise that lets you breathe like a locomotive is suitable to increase your endurance if done in the Tabata way.

You could do some of your bag work this way too, but keep in mind that it should be pretty intense - perhaps doing fast series of punches and lots of kicks.

Needless to say that, for high intensity interval training to be safe, your heart should be in a good condition.

Happy training!

If you have any further questions, let me know.
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