There are countless examples of military and ex-military personnel who have taken up martial arts; a good example is the US Marine Corps Martial Arts Programme (MCMAP) established in 2001. These rigorous training sessions do not fall hard on them because they are used to military-type drills. In fact, a workout plan for the ultimate warrior can be practiced by anyone looking to increase muscle strength, stamina, and endurance. Raising your fitness level, military-style, is possible if you start training as if preparing for a real combat operation. Care to know what such a workout is comprised of?
The Benefits of a Punching Bag
In some military organisations, martial arts training is mandatory because close combat is a reality of their calling. However, civilians may lack a sparring partner so they turn to punching bags as a worthy substitute. A typical punching bag is filled with a special kind of foam, but there are also ones that are filled with water. Whatever the filling of your preferred punching bag, its outer core should be strong enough to withstand the toughest of punches.
When it comes to training sessions that involve the use of a punching bag, they mostly resemble boxing practices. There are jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts all neatly combined into a series of punches. However, if you are really up for a challenge, you can adopt some kickboxing techniques to work your legs as well. Just do not forget to stretch well before attempting a high-kick against the punching bag. It might send you to the ground if you lose your body balance!
Lifting like a Bodybuilder
One of the biggest mistakes people who are training for combat make is staying clear of heavier weights. They falsely deem them as a thing for professional bodybuilders exclusively. However, increasing the number of repetitions without a steady increase in weight may stymie your strength gains.
However, you need to be ready and prepared to perform with heavier loads. As a general rule (and in simple terms), the heavier the weight the lower the repetitions, ‘reps’, and the lighter the weight the higher the reps – entailing strength and endurance-building respectively.
You are not going to steadily increase the weight as you normally would (think 10% rule), but this does not mean that you should stick to the (same weight) kettlebell you started off with months ago.
Differentiate between Strength Training and Conditioning
Combat or tactical athletes often think that they can do all at once so it is not uncommon to find people combining strength training with conditioning. The two should never be mixed during any period, let alone within a single training session. Lifting heavier weights requires time for your muscles to rest.
By forcing the muscles to go from one set to another without properly resting them, you are risking injury. Performing high reps in circuit fashion and not resting enough between sets are two common mistakes you can make while training for combat. Remember, in the world of bodybuilding, rest is as important as working out.
Sticking to the Basics
When it comes to lifting, the ultimate warrior’s plan is rather simple when it comes to the exercises that might be included. Standard exercises will generally include squats, rows, pull-ups (heaves), bench press, deadlifts, and push-ups (press-ups) to name a few. The reason behind this ‘plainness’ is the fact that combat training is not body sculpting, as you are focusing on groups of muscles, rather than on particular muscles.
A soldier needs strong arms to climb a rope and, although aesthetically pleasing, not a six-pack for show. Furthermore, by sticking to the basic exercises, you work out more than one part of your body, which increases overall strength. If you do everything right, you can expect your stamina and endurance levels to rise as well. Further, ‘basic’ exercises will increase your explosiveness, which is at the core of any tactical athletes training.
It is important to note that tactical athletes perform a variety of single and compound exercises, exercises based on natural body movements, and stretching and mobility as part of their training programmes. It is important to develop proficiency in the basic movements achieving good technique and form before progressing on to more advanced or technical exercises.
A 6-week Training Example Schedule
In case you are wondering whether combat training is right for you, you can try out this example 6-week training schedule. Perform barbell squats, pull-ups, bench presses, bent-over rows, shoulder presses, and stiff-leg deadlifts to test your ability to powertrain.
Training for combat requires brain as well as brawn. You need to follow a progressive and well-planned training schedule and start lifting and punching like a real warrior!