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not losing striking speed in lieu of strength...

Okay…in a nutshell…

after about 10 years of martial arts training, I’m changing things up a little…

I’m into another phase of training…(still practicing techniques and stuff) but now is strength and size…(i personally want to bulk up a little) and I’m discovering my striking speed is starting to decrease. Now I guess that may be natural, but I don’t want to lose too much (if I can fix it now, b4 it’s too late, more the better).

All I can think of/do is upper body stretches (so as not to lose relaxation…). Any other ideas? Thanks.

Do a search on this topic…this question (well, similar anyway) just came up a day or two ago. A bunch of us weighed in with some thoughts.

A few things come to mind, that will actually improve your speed and strength (F = ma, afterall) They did improve mine.

  1. Powerlifter training: training like a bodybuilder will get you big, but the structural hypertropy (size gain) is not neccessarily going to give you functional speed or strength. Your'e better off trying for functional hypertropy, which you get by training like a powerlifter. Generally speaking, you want to stay in the 1-6 rep-to-failiure range, and then descend on the last set with a drop-set.
  2. The 1-6 Method:This is more properly called Post-tetanic Neural Training or somehting. Anyway, it involves doing a 1RM lift, followed by a 6RM set 3-10 minutes after. This ostensibly lets you lift more for the 6RM set than you would without the 1RM set, as well as giving you the neural training advantage of the 1RM lift. My current program is built around this. there's an article on T-Mag...
  3. Explosive lifts, ballistic lifts & plyometrics:Every lift you do should be done as an explosive lift. Try to lift the weight as fast as possible without compromising technique. The weight may move slowly, but the fact that you are trying to move it explosively is good enough.
    You may also want to reduce the weight and do explosive lifts (where you actually move the weight fast, instead of just trying to do so), or ballistic lifts, where you throw the weight upwards. I like to ballistic bench presses on a smith machine.
    There's also the plyometric push-ups and stuff which you probably already do. In addition, you can get a rubber medicine ball, which bounces, and you can throw it around. Bouncing it off a wall and catching it is pretty good fun, although I've knocked the plaster off a wall with this excersise, so use someone elses wall...

Hope this helps.

Oh, by the way, heavy strength training, and especially DOMS plays havoc with you strech reflexes.

PNF (Proprioceptive Neural Facilitation) stretching really does help. If you don’t do it already, learn how and start. I really messed up my hip flexibility in a fall, and rehbilitation PNF helped a lot. With a bit of practice, you can use the stuff in the gym to help you do it alone.

Also, you may want to invest in a foam roller and learn how to use it. It’s a not altogether unpleasant feeling if you are accustomed to deep stretching and makes a huge difference in loosenig up a day or so after a heavy workout. I suppose a sports massage might help, if you have a masseuse handy… but who does? .

Tracers got it pretty much covered.

One thing I might add in my own experience and is often the case with alot of martial artists is they think that by training the prime mover (agonist) they will increase power. But what they find is a decrease in speed and subsequently power. You must also train the antangonists to be as strong as the agonists. So if you want a powerful kick you would actually hurt your performance by just training your quads. The nervous system will try to avoid joint overextension and if the antagonists aren’t powerful enough then the movement will have to be decelerated earlier at the expense of speed and power.

Just to reiterate Tracers points non-functional hypertrophy is useless to most athletes. Train dynamically as well as for max strength, like the westside barbell method. Use explosive plyometrics as well.

if your working out you have to take into account that fact. your exhausting them and cause damage to them in order to stimuate growth, of course your not gonna have the speed you had while off the training. need to give your body the chance to adjust and heal.
i have been a martial arts teacher for 11 years and always noticed that when i was bulking or weight training hard that those weeks i wasnt in top form. i believe thats to be expected it the price you pay for the payoff that comes later. the best thing to do in your martial training is to try and keep up the pace you had previously while still weight training and itll all fall together