T Nation

Lifting for Taekwondo

I am having a bit of an issue. I have 3 very high level teenagers in olympic style taekwondo,and besides olympic lifts, I do not know how to address the needs they have for their sport. So I have come to the board for help.

They have to keep their weight down,yet maintain explosiveness. If anyone can give me ideas,i would appreciate it. Here is a clip of some footage of “Good” taekwondo.

Have them practice their sport.

[quote]blazindave wrote:
Have them practice their sport.[/quote]

But he was asking for lifting advice… I’m sure he is having them practice their sport.

I think the Olympic lifts are your best bet with some squatting (especially some OH squats) at higher intensities and lower reps. The problem with TKD is that it requires a lot of strength-endurance, but you might as well build that through training in the sport, and focus on power/explosiveness in the weightroom.

Just be careful with tapering off in coming into competition. When I was very seriously doing TKD, I made the mistake of lifting too close to a competition and got knocked around in one due to it. (lifting isn’t well understood or utilized in the TKD… or at least it wasn’t around 2000)

Look up stuff from Alwyn Cosgrove. I heard he was OK at Taekwondo at one point in his life.

[quote]PureBreeze wrote:
I am having a bit of an issue. I have 3 very high level teenagers in olympic style taekwondo,and besides olympic lifts, I do not know how to address the needs they have for their sport. So I have come to the board for help.

They have to keep their weight down,yet maintain explosiveness. If anyone can give me ideas,i would appreciate it. Here is a clip of some footage of “Good” taekwondo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RW6pBqtrx10&feature=related[/quote]

How old are they?
Do they have minimum standard levels of strength in the main, compound movements (Olympic Back Squat, Front Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Overhead Press)?
What kind of Olympic Lifting protocol are you using?
Beginner Level Weight Lifters, Intermediate level??

There is no simple, cookie cutter answer…but for beginner level pretty much anything works. I’d keep reps under 8 and maintain good nutrition…zigzag for muscle growth and fat loss. No more than 3-5% above fighting weight. However, Steven Lopez would weigh 185 in off-season when he fought at 149 for 2000 Olympics. The Lopez’s use a guy named Danny Arnold for their speed-strength training. He is the “key” to their success in my opinion. I’d say less than 1% of the international level Oly tkd players are prepared to the level that Danny Arnold has the Elite TKD Center’s athletes prepared.
http://www.plex.cc/1clients.htm

Charles Staley has some great, basic programs for developing speed, speed-strength, and power for Martial Arts. If you want to build on your Olympic Lifting program, Mike’s Gym (Mike Burgener, Senior International Coach) is a great resource.

OTC (Olympic Training Center) for Taekwondo athletes used to have “strength” training prior to 6 weeks out. Then would lower the reps and increase weight for Olympic lifts closer to competition. Also, they’d incorporate a Circuit style workout using weights interspersed with plyos. Using same weights, reps, etc…they were expected to decrease the time it took to finish the workout closer to the competition date. Give time to recover beginning 1.5-2 weeks out.

Alwyn Cosgrove, he is a former internation TKD champ and is generally a genius (albeit a crazy bastard who will make you hate him and yourself when you do his programs). Enjoy