Martial Arts Workouts and Excuses

Ok I’m gonna rant a little bit today. I’ve worked with some people who come in to my class solely for a workout. They don’t care about the self defense. They don’t care about the belts or uniforms. They just want that six pack showing again.

I’m ok with that. I really am. What I’m not ok with is the excuses:

Excuse # 1: “Oh there’s too much technique involved in this!” This is a load of Bull. It’s an excuse, and it’s laziness talking. If you’ve ever been to a personal trainer (a good one), they will tell you NEVER SACRIFICE FORM!  Form = technique, plain and simple. When you are working out with proper form, you are recruiting a larger group of muscles and those muscles are the real calorie burner there!

Excuse #2: “I don’t care about building muscle. I just want to do a cardio workout.” What it comes down to is this: Muscle burns calories constantly. Muscle burns fat, even when not working out. (called the afterburn effect) Working out your muscles increases the calorie burning capacity. A workout that develops all of your muscles and cardio at the same time actually results in a much higher calorie burn. When you do a cardio workout, guess what you’re working: a muscle that you call your heart! And if you only do cardio workouts, the other muscles on your body will continue to deteriorate, thus lowering your overall metabolism and fat burning capacity.

Excuse #3: “I don’t really want to train my muscles and get bulky like a bodybuilder.” You will only look like a bodybuilder if you train and diet to be a bodybuilder. That’s not how martial artists train. We train for functionality, mobility, speed, and agility. Bodybuilders often don’t fit that description (often, not always). Martial artists, men or women, often carry a very lean, toned physique, even if they work their muscles.

Excuse #4: “It’s something I’d like to do, but I need to get in shape or lose some weight first.” BACKWARDS!!! Ok, that’s a little harsh. But if you don’t start working out, working your range of motion, how do you expect to lose that weight to begin with? How do you expect to develop that flexibility? You see Black Belts that can kick sky high or have the agility of a cat, but every black belt has started where you are today: as a white belt. It’s a progression. And where exactly do you plan to start? Why start anywhere else? Waiting will only set you back in your goals.

Excuse #5: “There’s too much stretching. I don’t really care that much about flexibility.” You should. Flexibility is great for much more than just martial arts and throwing high kicks or showing off the splits. Whether you are an athlete or not, having a wide range of motion is extremely important for reducing injuries. Strains, sprains, pulled muscles, and weak joints; all of these injuries are results that can result from insufficient or improper stretching. Now let me ask you, if you’ve ever been to a doctor before for one of these injuries, what do they tell you to do? STRETCH! They will give you a diagram of a number of different stretches that you can do to aid in the recovery of those injuries.

Well, thank you for letting me get that rant off my chest. It just bothers me when people are so used to inaction, they find ways to keep themselves from really improving their lives. Let me know what you think of these, and if you’ve been making one of these excuses, how you are approaching your health from here on out.

Let\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s hear your thoughts!