T Nation

Measuring Goals

I know I should have a goal that is measurable. I would like to increase my punching power/speed. Does anyone know of an objective way to measure progress in this without using really expensive equipment? I’m at a loss.

To-Shin Do

i’d like to say being able to do more speed reps per unit of time but the dynamics of a punch include much more then just arm/chest thrust. also remember that you need to pull back inorder to push forward so you can’t neglect rowing type motions. laters pk

Punching Speed:

  1. Get a friend.
  2. Get a stop-watch.
  3. Have friend time you while you punch as many times as possible in X seconds. 1, 5, and 10 second times tend to work rather well.

Alternately:
Place a towel or something similar under your arm (you should be able to brace it against your rib-cage). Try to punch and recoil before the towel falls.

Punching Power:
The only semi-accurate way I know to measure actual force is to get a bag-force meter. I used to have one hooked up to a Wave punching bag. Basically it is something that connects to the bag and calculates bag compression vs. compression time. Not perfect, but it works fairly well. Unfortunately, I have no idea where to find the meters. I got mine from an old sensei.

If I remember correctly, the meter could also calculate striking speed. Useful little gadget.

Remember: regardless of the method used to calculate speed/power, it only counts if you use good form.

IIRC, 70% of a persons punching/batting/swinging power comes from the core.

Go chop some wood. =)

Yeah, I’ve been hitting the dumbbell rows to strengthen my back. Mostly to help realign my shoulders, but I recognize the value of having a fast “re-chamber” of my fist.

I’ve been doing 21st Century Core Training to hit the mid-section. I enjoy Full Contact Twists for some reason. I would love to get a tire and go to town on it with a sledgehammer, but that will probably have to wait for a while. I’m getting a heavy bag for Christmas (crosses fingers) so that’ll help me too.

To-Shin Do

Well I’m not an expert in martial arts, but here’s what Id suggest:

work on the close grip bench press, as that movement is very similar to punching.

To monitor speed, you could take roughly 40-50% of your max, and have someone time you for doing 3 quick reps. Periodically retest your 3 rep max time (using the same weight for all future tests) to see if it has improved. Either that, or strive to increase the weight you use for the 3-rep speed test, with the intention of matching your previous time with a lighter weight.

To monitor strength, just work on increasing your 3-rep max. I only say 3 rep because I personally dont like using heavy singles…uncessary risk of injury.

Just ideas…