T Nation

How was my Combat Conditioning Article?

Hey guys, I have been out of town for a week and did not get a chance to see what the feedback was for my article. What did you guys think? I would like to write a follow-up on how to combine combat conditioning with functional weightlifting exercises. Good idea?

I liked the article and I LOVE handstnad pushups, well the few I can do I love. The only thing I thought the article was missing was an how to make up your own workout. for example, did you only do 25 pushups a day and increased the number by five every other day or what? Thanks -Watts-

Yeah bro, you did a good job. There was a post on it over the weekend. You got some good feedback. And some of us wanted to see a follow-up article. I also suggested getting photos of yourself doing the exercises, especially the handstand pushups for the new people. A second article is a good idea. Do it up Mike!

Mike: There’s a thread entitled “Note to Mike Mahler” date 20-Apr-2001 in which several people gave your article the big “thumbs up” (including me). Again, nice job on the article, and I for one would be very interested in the other article you’re considering.

Nate Dogg thanks for your support and I appreciate your feedback. Alos, I wanted to use my own pictures, however Matt was against that(Long story :slight_smile: Watts, I plan on writing a follow-up article that details routines and how to combine the exercises with weights. As for your question, do not train Handstand pushups to failure. Just do three sets evenly spaced throughout the day. In other words do 15 in the morning, 15 in the afternoon, and 15 in the evening everyday or every other day. Do the reps straight and then stop. When you can do three sets of 15, do three sts of 16 and so forth. However, once you can do sets of ten easily, I would start using chairs or stools to increase the range of motion.

Mike, I thought the article was great. I used to take Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes and will be taking them up again next month. When I get through my Ian King workout in June, I’m going to try some of your routines and probably pick up Mike’s book. In the meantime, I’m going to do the bridge exercise if nothing else but to increase my flexibility and neck strength for when I get back into the dojo. Thanks!

I thought your article was great. I have been doing the bridge and have been seeing a huge improvement in flexability and lack of back pain. Our fraternity pledges aren’t happy that I found these new exercises but I think they’re great for my workout. I ordered the book and would definately like to see another article. Thanks -Jared

Good article, bro’! I second the follow up!

The article was well written and very interesting. I definitely would like to see a follow up article on incorporating these exercises with weight training!

I think the article was good for those involved in martial arts competitions, but not good conditioning for a real fight.
I train in BJJ and I can see the application for a BJJ tournament or NHB tournament, but not a real fight.
Let me elaborate. Most of the exercises focus on muscular endurance. Muscular endurance is necessary in many tournaments, but not a real fight. Even for a tournament you need speed and maximal strength as well.
I realize that this was not meant to be a comprehensive article on combat training. I would be interested in how you incorporate weight training for maximal and speed strength with the exercises in the article.

Kickass journalistic work, Cap’n. I did handstand pushups a long time ago when training under the tutelage of Chris Carraci’s “Navy Seal PT Workout” (My initiation into the world of functional pain)But doing them once again, and now with proper form and the strength to support myself, I feel great. As I stated in a previous post, after doing two (non-consecutive) minutes of Back Bridge work I felt a euphoria in my lumbar region that was, well, nearly orgasmic. Hindu Pushups do getcha pumped as well. I plan on incorporating the bodyweight only exercises into my program on my fourth workout day every week. Again, thanks for the slab of enlightenment, man.

“No! I wanna holler the loud funny words!”- Stimpy


I take full contact karate and hybrid grappling at my university. I started adding that to my workout and my workouts feel twice as good at least. I thought it was a great article. I thought everything was explained so it was easy to follow and it added something to my workout to give it some more “life.”

I think the Royal Court’s great. It’s really come at an opportune time since I won’t be able to go to the gym very much during exam time and won’t be able to lift much during the summer. The exercises really leave me feeling invigorated. I’d really like to know what kind of progression you used. How much do you think this type of training contributed to your fat loss?

Good article. It is a shame you used Matt Furey for your subject mater.

Good article but you shouldn’t have used Matt Furey. He didn’t invent these exercises, he is not in good shape, he makes claims about his fighting ability that aren’t true and he badmouths extremely skilled fighters. He is the joke of the MMA community.

Actually, Furey usually looks really good, expecially in that ab training book of his, very ripped. Granted, he didn’t look that good in those pics in the article. Then again, he’s not a shaved and tanned bodybuilder- he’s a fighter.

Just out of curiosity, Mike, how many sets of handstand pushups do you reccomend per workout? Thanks.

“I don’t even need a catchphrase”


Thanks for the support and feedback guys! I am going to start my next article this week on how to combine CC with functional weightlifting exercises and reveal some sample programs and what supplements I used. I will use my own pictures in this article and I think that you guys will find the information more applicable to your routines. Thanks again

Monkeyboy Eric, I do A variety of sets for handstand pushups. Right now, I am doing them between two chairs to increase the range of motion. The first workout, I do 10 sets of 1 using a 4-2-1 tempo. Second workout, I do 8 sets of 2, same tempo. Third workout, I do 6 sets of 3, then 4 sets of 4, and then 2 sets of 5. If completed in terms of reps, I will start over with 10 sets of 2 with one minute breaks, 8 sets of three with two minute breaks, 6 sets of 4 with two minute breaks and 4 sets of 5, and then 2 sets of 6 and so forth. This keeps the variety present and allows me to do something different at each workout. If you are just starting out, I would do three evenly spaced sets throughout the day. For example, do a set of five in the morning when you get up, a set of five in the afternoon, and then a set of five in the evening. Once you can do that, go up to 6 and so forth. Once you can do sets of 10 comfortably, I would start using stools or chairs to increase the range of motion(Makes a huge difference). My triceps have grown considerably since I started this exercise on chairs. The other day, I was getting a massage and the therapist stated that I have serious triceps development and that she is the first client that she has had to use both hands on the triceps! Pretty cool. With all the blood rushing to your upper body when you do this exercise, it is not too surprising that the results are incredible!

Great article Mike. I want to tell that I have not done any of the pushups or squats but I have had miraculous results with the back bridge. After my college football days (7 years ago) my lower back and neck gave me constant pain from all of the pounding and hang cleans. I have been doing the back bridge for 4 weeks and it is the first time in my life I can turn my neck to the left without pain and my lower back feels a lot better.