Not packing enough power in your punch? Are your sweeping skills just not cutting it in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class? Well look no further. This is your definitive guide on how to gain martial arts power through strength training.
First of all, you must understand that your body functions as a unit. Muscles work together when the body is in action not as single parts. We must therefore, as intelligent beings, train the body as a single unit. Mere bicep curls will not cut it in our endeavors for functional strength gains. However, compound lifts will definitely do the job as they train the muscles together and enable you to harness the potential to increase strength and power greatly.
Strength Training Equipment: You will need an Olympic barbell, weight-plates, a bench and a power rack or squat rack.
If you happen to be on a budget or simply prefer to do things yourself you can follow this link to our how to guide on making your very own squat rack. (Coming Soon.)
Compound Strength Training Exercises: You should focus on the following strength training exercises. As beginners it is recommended that you read Mark Rippetoe’s book ‘Starting Strength’ which is very recommended if you wish to successfully perform the following lifts safely and properly. You can get it from here Starting Strength (2nd edition). Alternatively, you can watch the videos below to get some general instruction as to how to perform the exercises.
[Please note: the following videos do not belong to MMAhype but to their respective Youtube posters and have been taken only for your reference.]
The Bench Press
Other useful exercises:
- All Olympic lifts (build explosiveness)
- Weighted Chin ups
Putting it all together
There are many ways you can put together these exercises to successfully improve your martial arts power through strength gains. The key is finding the strength training workouts that benefit you. A tried and true method is putting compound lifts together in a 5×5 fashion, that is, 5 reps for 5 sets with extra weight added to the barbell weekly. It is also important to rest in between lifting days to allow your body to recuperate.
For example, Monday: Bench press 5×5, Bent Over Rows 5×5 Wednesday: Squats 5×5, Military Presses 5×5 Friday: Deadlifts 5×5, Weighted Chin-ups 5×5.
Other successful strength training exercises include barbell complexes which are lifts performed consecutively without dropping the barbell. For example you do 6 deadlifts followed by 6 bent over rows followed with 6 power-cleans followed by 6 front squats and finally 6 military presses to finish it off.
Barbell complexes not only increase strength but also endurance and are a great tool when used properly. They are also fun as you can be creative with them and make your own routines.
To Finish it Off
Power in martial arts is necessary for throws, strikes and grappling amongst other things. With strength training your martial arts power through strength gains can greatly improve. You will be able to punch harder, lift heavier, throw faster and grapple with ease. Remember to eat big and eat healthy as diet and strength gains go hand in hand. Lift big and eat big and your strength game is sure to improve and consequently your power in MMA and other martial arts will follow.