at-tack [uh-tak]
to set about (a task) or go to work on (a thing) vigorously: to attack the workout; to attack the job with zeal

Friday, 2 March 2012

Fight Conditioning Tip #1

Physical preparation is paramount in the fight game. Tonight I saw a fighter coming up to a fight that is not prepared physically. In combat sports it is insanity to enter a fight without being ready while the other man is. Sure, sometimes the more skilled but less conditioned athlete will win early but what if the other guy brings something in his game that messes you up, if an answer isn't found soon you may be S.O.L. So for anybody looking to fight here's a tip and something to help you put it into action.

Conditioning is king in the ring, for your conditioning to be great you need to work hard, very hard on your conditioning. If this where an easy sport everybody would be a fighter, but not everyone is talented or disciplined enough to make it. The great thing about bringing the intensity is that working hard takes no, and you can beat a more skilled opponent with superior conditioning (or you could lose to less skilled opponents if yours sucks too bad). So why not work hard and make yourself that much more invinvible? Below is the "borg scale", check it out.

This is a way of measuring how hard you are really working. The interesting thing here is that the # you pick is generally pretty close to the percentage of your heart rate reserve (this isn't maximal heart rate, there is a difference I will explain soon). Much of a fighters conditioning will come from 7 and higher.

A fight is an intense burst of activity and your training should reflect that. If you ran at a sort of hard pace (4) for an hour how much do you think that would prepare you for a really really hard fight (9) that lasts three 5 minute rounds? or three 3 minute rounds? Well let's see...the first obvious thing is that your run is a 4 on the borg scale and the fight is a 9, so you aren't ready for that level of activity and you WILL gas. Don't get me wrong, the run will help prepare you but it is not sufficient alone. Your routine should at least be near the level of intensity as the event you are preparing for.

Now, I promised to explain how the borg scale can help you estimate how hard you are working as far as your heart rate is concerned. The # you estimate on the borg scale is pretty close to the % of HRR you are using (4 out of 10=40%, 7 out of 10=70% and so on) but most people aren't quite tuned in to their bodies to this level so using your HRR percentages for several months can help you get in tune with yourself and make all estimates in the future more accurate. Using your HRR instead of just you MHR (maximal heart rate) is better because it takes into consideration your fitness level as well as your age letting you tailor your routine to your own abilities and therefore make better gains. All exercise machines in gyms use your MHR but the percentages based on this alone are not accurate especially for quite fit or very unfit individuals, you may end up working too hard or too light going by the tables on these machines.

Before this information can be any use you will need to know your resting heart rate (RHR), if you wish to have a very accurate number you will have to record your pulse as soon as you wake up (before even moving) for 3 days and then take the average.

Figuring out your maximal heart rate (MHR):
220-(your age)=MHR
This is supposedly the maximum heart rate you can achieve during exercise.

Figuring out your heart rate reserve (HRR):
MHR-RHR(resting heart rate)=HRR
This is the number of BPM you have to exercise with basically.

Figuring out your heart rate reserve percentages:
HRR x (0.6=60%, 0.7=70% and so on) + RHR=The percentage you wanted

Heres an example from start to finish for a 20 year old male of average fitness with a RHR of 70 who wants to exercise at 80% intensity.

(130 x 0.8) + 70=174bpm is the heart rate he wants to get up to to achieve an 80% intensity level.

If he where using just the maximum heart rate method like most machines use they would have told him to exercise at 160bpm, only 70% of his heart rate reserve! a far cry from the 80% he was shooting for! For the machine to be correct you would have have the exact same heart rate at 45 years of age! This machine is basically giving a 20 year old man the workout a 45 year old man should be doing, ridiculous.

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