T Nation

Charles Staley

This question is geared for Charles, but anyone who is familiar with his work may be able to help. Charles’ Book breaks training down into periods but he also shows a plan for Aerobic endurance. Well if your training for the martial arts already, should you be doing the weight program + aerobic program + your Martial Art training. I find it difficult enought to maintain the convergent phase training program on top of my MA training. I do MA training M/W for 2 hours and Friday for 1. Then I try to get weights in on T/TH/S but that really leaves one day of complete rest and I find myself taking TH off as well, cause I get pretty tired. I also do 4-5 cardio sessions in the am, 30-45min on the bike. So Should the aerobic recomendations be considerd a period in training themselves?

Sorry if I was to long winded. Anyone on the T-mag staff or Readers familiar with Mr. Staley that could help would be great. If Mr. Staley reads this hope you can help.


I’m slightly confused by your question, but I’ll try to take a stab at what I think you’re asking.

First, often, if a client was anywhere near a fight, I would not have him/her on a full CPT schedule...we'd only be attending to the most critical aspects of strength development. The strength workouts gradually trim down more and more as the fight approaches. One way to do this with CPT is to gradually reduce the circuits every week, until you're down to only the core exercises three weeks out. No strength training the week before. This reduction in workloads allows time and energy for more sport-specific training elements. Performance of the core exercises should be enough to maintain the strength that was developed for a while.

Also, in my system, an element (meaning motor quality and/or muscle group) is not just automatically trained— it's only addressed if I think it needs to be. Elements which are already well-developed are put on "the back burner" so to speak, to allow time and energy to be spend on priorities.

My definition of priorities? Glad I asked! Here you go:

“Elements which are needed, but poorly developed, which are foundational to other elements, and trainable, given available resources.”

In other words, focus on weaknesses which can be resolved given the time frame, and context you’re working in. After all, the definition of a problem is a condition which is thought to ne negative, and which is resolvable. Bad weather isn’t a problem for example, because you can’t do anything about it.

Hope that gives you food for thought...

Mr. Staley,

Sorry If I wasn’t to clear. But you pretty much answered my question. I’m a fairly big guy and not all of it is muscle, I want to get leaner. I’m 6’2" 230 with about 25% Fat and would like to be 210 15% F, I’ve always been big, even when I competed I was an estimated 10% Fat and yet had abs, so I figure 15% would be pretty lean for me. So my point is since at this moment I need to become more aerobic to last through a match, should I follow your Aerobic prescription and lay off weights while I do so. When I don’t prepare for a competition my class scedule still remains the same, so correct me if I’m wrong. Your saying to focus on a particular aspect - lets say speed strength to increase punching power - therefore I would concentrate more on the chest and shoulders in my workouts. And each month or so I could change focus. Then when I prepare for a competition, I can slowly decrease the weights and increase sparring and tactical prep?

I guess in another wa I'm basiclly asking if I hit the Dojang 3 days a week, 2 2hour sessions and 1 1 hour session, is training 2 more days a week w/ concentration a a specific goal enough. And should I be doing low endurance cardio on top of this?

Thanks for all the help.
Your book is great, I bought an extra copy and am going to pass it around the Dojang to recomend it.


For a fight you want anaerobic endurance, not aerobic. An aerobic base is good to have, but jogging or cycling aren’t going to build the type of endurance you need.