Can I lift weights and do martial arts?

There is a common misconception that lifting weights will make your martial arts bad. This is absolutely true if the weight training is not done correctly!

Research has shown that a generalised bodybuilding program decreases activation of motor units (responsible to coordinate contractions of muscles) which can result in making your strikes, kicks and technique look “a bit off” and “can’t get it right” no matter how hard you try.

The good news is that weight training can be programmed specifically for martial arts!

Do I need to train outside of martial arts sessions?

Physical training done outside your martial arts is essential for optimising your performance. The complex components of this sport involve upper and lower limb strength, power and agility to efficiently transfer the force of strikes. As most matches generally last 3 minutes of several rounds, a high demand is put on both aerobic and anaerobic systems – the physiological demands of the sport need to be replicated in training through conditioning programs to help you get through the rigors of sparring and/or competitions!

The integration of weight training into your routine will help build a strong, force generating base to execute the techniques and strikes. The conditioning component will help you get through the 3 minutes of high intensity bouts where you are required to receive and throw your most powerful punches and kicks at your component.

Injury Prevention

This sport has a greater risk of sustaining injuries, whether its during sparring/competitions or muscular imbalances due to one sided nature of martial arts. Research suggests that the most common injuries sustained are musculoskeletal injuries (stress fractures, strains) – which can be reduced by following a specialised weight lifting and conditioning program!

It is important that you find a program that fits in with your personal needs and schedule while helping you throw stronger punches to get through the gruelling 3 minutes of sparring or competitions. If you are looking for a holistic approach to improve your performance or you simply want to challenge yourself – give us a call!

Adrianna Pelegrin

Exercise Sport Scientist