Over the years, Pakistani’s have become more conscious of being fit. For most guys though, being fit means, being big and strong. Having the physique of Arnold is what is striven for. Body building gyms are popping up all over the country and as you walk down the street you see more and more guys with the broad build one gets from spending hours in the gym pumping iron. However, having a body builders body does not mean one is physically fit. Ask that body builder to run a kilometer and you might see him gasping for air after 2 minutes, heck, ask him to do 25 push ups in a row and you might see him struggling.
The martial artist and combat athlete requires what is known as functional fitness. Doing a bicep curl, no matter what the weight – is not functional fitness. Being able to lift yourself up over a wall, or being able to run at top speed for a specific amount of time, is. Functional fitness is fitness that can benefit you in a real life situation and in the case of a martial artist or combat athlete that situation is a fight.
Now please note, I am not saying that lifting weights is useless, an MMA fighter NEEDS to lift weights to get stronger. However, what most people don’t know is that you can lift weights to get stronger and you can lift weights to get bigger. However, this is a topic that needs to be covered by itself. For right now were focusing on the fundamentals.
The fundamentals that need to be covered for any serious athlete involved in combat sports are strength, flexibility and cardiovascular. Even within these three area’s there are different kinds aspects that need to be tended to. To break it down, lets look at each of these three area’s one by one.
Strength – There are two major aspects to this. One is muscular endurance and the other is maximal strength. Muscular endurance is how long your muscles can work in a weight bearing exercise, an example of this would be how many push ups or squats you can do. Maximal strength would be the maximum weigh you can bench or squat in one rep.
Flexibility – There are two aspects to this as well. One is active flexibility and the second is passive. Active flexibility is how you can kick. Passive flexibility is how far you can reach when trying to touch your toes. Active involves movement, passive does not.
Cardiovascular endurance – This is simply how efficient your heart and lungs are doing hard work. Pretty straight forward. An example that everyone can understand is how fast an individual can run a kilometer in and how tired they get doing it.
Hopefully this will give the reader a basic understanding of what is required of a combat athlete. Within these fundamentals of combat fitness,one can go even more in depth and and in detail and further break these down. For example some experts list seven different types of stretching and flexibility!
However, it is important to understand the big picture first before breaking it down even further. Those who stay up to date with the website will learn step by step the best way to reach your athletic potential.
In summary, every martial artist and combat athlete must pay equal attention to the three fundamentals of combat fitness. Your only as strong as your weakest link.