Armour Building Exercises

I just re-read this article by Dan John:

It really interested me, and I was just wondering what everyone else’s armour-building exercises are?

Thanks!

EDIT: Basically “armour-building” exercises are ones that you feel prepare you for contact/collision. He lists snatch-grip deadlifts, KB front squats and power snatches to overhead squats as examples.

Taken as to mean building “useful” muscle to protect against collision/contact-

Neck bridges

Chins/pullups

High catch hangcleans

Front squats

Bench

Pushups

Bruce Lee used to think like this. He said your core protects all your vital organs and he strove to make his like iron. I remember in high school rugby practice we used to do hanging leg raises while another kid punched you in the stomach. That was pretty cool.

This is a sort of collision preparedness I guess, but my shins are crazy hard and desensitized from deadlifts. The way I pull, the bar kind of bashes into my shins every time. I have permanent long, white scars down both shins. Also the bone itself is denser. I have a visible sort of ridge along my shin where the bone has grown thicker to withstand the impact of hundreds of pounds over several years. Also I can’t hardly feel anything when I get hit on the shins anymore. I always thought this would be fantastic for leg kicks.

Why not simply practice the whole contact thing like football players? Next time in the gym just start tackling people or ask them to tackle you.

[quote]infinite_shore wrote:
Why not simply practice the whole contact thing like football players? Next time in the gym just start tackling people or ask them to tackle you.[/quote]

Why not be a man about it and jump in front of moving cars? Get hit by enough cars and gettin’ tacled by Ray Lewis will feel like a hug from your favorite aunt.

Any lift were your entire body is being worked or contracted. Something like squats push press.Mostly squats I would say have the best athletic purpose carryover. Loaded carries as well.

Sandbag work would fit the bill quite well I think.

Grasping the canvas bag toughens up your hands and shouldering/carrying the bag places a fair bit of contact stress on the body.

I always thought they were lifts that not only improved strength but helped to develop a certain level of pain tolerance and mental fortitude, like 20-rep squats with a 10RM weight.

[quote]csulli wrote:
Bruce Lee used to think like this. He said your core protects all your vital organs and he strove to make his like iron. I remember in high school rugby practice we used to do hanging leg raises while another kid punched you in the stomach. That was pretty cool.

This is a sort of collision preparedness I guess, but my shins are crazy hard and desensitized from deadlifts. The way I pull, the bar kind of bashes into my shins every time. I have permanent long, white scars down both shins. Also the bone itself is denser. I have a visible sort of ridge along my shin where the bone has grown thicker to withstand the impact of hundreds of pounds over several years. Also I can’t hardly feel anything when I get hit on the shins anymore. I always thought this would be fantastic for leg kicks.[/quote]

That’s cool haha. I know muay thai fighters train their shin bone density by kicking hard objects. Pretty cool video lol.

[quote]WhiteFlash wrote:
Taken as to mean building “useful” muscle to protect against collision/contact-
[/quote]

Yeah that’s pretty much my understanding, though he didn’t clearly define it. I think he also mentioned strengthening connective tissue and he emphasises movements that involve getting off the ground, so I guess it’s a little more than just the muscle. I’m not sure though.

[quote]jbpick86 wrote:
I always thought they were lifts that not only improved strength but helped to develop a certain level of pain tolerance and mental fortitude, like 20-rep squats with a 10RM weight. [/quote]

Yeah that makes sense. Certainly the lifts Dan John suggests are all ones that require mental fortitude!

[quote]furo wrote:

[quote]csulli wrote:
Bruce Lee used to think like this. He said your core protects all your vital organs and he strove to make his like iron. I remember in high school rugby practice we used to do hanging leg raises while another kid punched you in the stomach. That was pretty cool.

This is a sort of collision preparedness I guess, but my shins are crazy hard and desensitized from deadlifts. The way I pull, the bar kind of bashes into my shins every time. I have permanent long, white scars down both shins. Also the bone itself is denser. I have a visible sort of ridge along my shin where the bone has grown thicker to withstand the impact of hundreds of pounds over several years. Also I can’t hardly feel anything when I get hit on the shins anymore. I always thought this would be fantastic for leg kicks.[/quote]

That’s cool haha. I know muay thai fighters train their shin bone density by kicking hard objects. Pretty cool video lol.

[/quote]
The sounds he makes after his kicks reminds me of something I’d hear in a bon jovi song

[quote]Diddy Ryder wrote:
Sandbag work would fit the bill quite well I think.

Grasping the canvas bag toughens up your hands and shouldering/carrying the bag places a fair bit of contact stress on the body.[/quote]

Nice idea, I hadn’t thought about sandbags :slight_smile:

[quote]WhiteFlash wrote:
High catch hangcleans[/quote]
Yep, definitely something mentally and physically transformative with hang cleans. Explode up (you punch the bar), rack the bar (bar punches you back), stand up (you win).

Also, jerks. Something primal about throwing a heavyass weight overhead and that nano-second after you lockout, having to think, “And now I stand up.”

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]WhiteFlash wrote:
High catch hangcleans[/quote]
Yep, definitely something mentally and physically transformative with hang cleans. Explode up (you punch the bar), rack the bar (bar punches you back), stand up (you win).

Also, jerks. Something primal about throwing a heavyass weight overhead and that nano-second after you lockout, having to think, “And now I stand up.”[/quote]

Throwing a jerk works also. oh, wait…

Zercher Squats and heavy Turkish Get Ups always make me feel like I’m building armor.

[quote]booksbikesbeer wrote:
… heavy Turkish Get Ups always make me feel like I’m building armor.[/quote]

Good to hear! I’ll be doing a lot of them once I start S&S :slight_smile:

[quote]furo wrote:

[quote]Diddy Ryder wrote:
Sandbag work would fit the bill quite well I think.

Grasping the canvas bag toughens up your hands and shouldering/carrying the bag places a fair bit of contact stress on the body.[/quote]

Nice idea, I hadn’t thought about sandbags :)[/quote]

I made one a couple of years ago that holds 6-7 10kg bags of sand, and used to shoulder, squat, and carry it in the basement. Really challenging to press overhead.

Unfortunately I haven’t used it at all since I moved house, and it’s probably going to end up at the tip unless I can find it a good home.

Thats Buakaw, one of the most aggressive Muay Thai fighters. He could probably kick a palm tree down on a good day.

[quote]chobbs wrote:

[quote]furo wrote:

[quote]csulli wrote:
Bruce Lee used to think like this. He said your core protects all your vital organs and he strove to make his like iron. I remember in high school rugby practice we used to do hanging leg raises while another kid punched you in the stomach. That was pretty cool.

This is a sort of collision preparedness I guess, but my shins are crazy hard and desensitized from deadlifts. The way I pull, the bar kind of bashes into my shins every time. I have permanent long, white scars down both shins. Also the bone itself is denser. I have a visible sort of ridge along my shin where the bone has grown thicker to withstand the impact of hundreds of pounds over several years. Also I can’t hardly feel anything when I get hit on the shins anymore. I always thought this would be fantastic for leg kicks.[/quote]

That’s cool haha. I know muay thai fighters train their shin bone density by kicking hard objects. Pretty cool video lol.

[/quote]
The sounds he makes after his kicks reminds me of something I’d hear in a bon jovi song
[/quote]

[quote]furo wrote:

[quote]WhiteFlash wrote:
Taken as to mean building “useful” muscle to protect against collision/contact-
[/quote]

Yeah that’s pretty much my understanding, though he didn’t clearly define it. I think he also mentioned strengthening connective tissue and he emphasises movements that involve getting off the ground, so I guess it’s a little more than just the muscle. I’m not sure though.
[/quote]

The physical needs of most “agressive” sports are fairly similar, and thinking about this and Collucci’s response (sorry, no idea how to double quote) I’d break the armor building into categories. I also think that one of those categories should be lifts where you both apply and absorb force, like the high catch hang clean, heavy push presses, power cleans… lifts like that.

So, you’d have your general strength- bench, squat (front and back) and weighted pullups

Force- cleans, push presses

Bodyweight- (you can get a lot of mileage out of these from going super high rep, to isometrics, static holds, options are damn near limitless) pushups, pullups, planks, neck bridges

The last category would I guess fall under conditioning, but it’s as much mental callusing as it is physical- heavy farmers walks, sled pushes, pulls and sprints, battle ropes, jump rope rope, sprints…

Add in some body balance work (curls, face pulls, extensions, whatever YOU need) and you’re building a strong, athletic machine.

This is exactly how I’ve been training lately and progress has been awesome. Honestly, if most people trained like this and didn’t eat like morons there’d be a lot more quality physiques.