Interval training, or HIIT(High intensity interval training), can be a very great addition to any martial arts workout routine. It will help you get out of the plateau your fitness objectives no matter what type of training you do. Interval training can even help you be creative when you are at burn out mode.
With a baby in my life and a jam packed schedule, I found myself burning out and losing motivation to stay disciplined in martial arts training. With that said, instead of sitting on the couch eating potato chips and drinking a Mountain Dew, I decided to try and be a bit creative as well as knocking off additional pounds I have accumulated over the summer.
Interval Training Warm Up
To start off the routine, you should start off with a warm up. Normally, my warm ups are pretty intense, but this routine was quite deceptive to say the least. Below is a list of the exercises performed, duration, and sets.
5 rounds / sets | 10 second intervals with a 5 second rest
- Running in Place
- Mountain Climbers
- Jumping Jacks
- Tuck Jumps
By the fourth round, you will definitely feel the sweat. After the routine, remember to stretch thoroughly before continuing.
Weight Training Intervals
This is optional, but I have noticed significant gains when working on kip ups, so I incorporated this into my workout routines. With similar principles in the warm up, perform the following weighted exercises. The only difference is you will perform them at 30 second intervals with a 15 second rest period.
30 seconds | 15 second rest | 5 rounds / sets
- Bench Press
- Pushups on Medicine Ball
- Alternating Bicep Curls
- Squat Front Kicks
- Shrugs or Shoulder Press
This is a workout I chose to work on my upper body strength, but I added the squat kicks to help limber up my legs for the martial arts portion of my training.
Martial Arts Interval Training
In this segment, now we will focus on martial arts technique. The goal of this interval training is three fold. One, you are going to focus on perfecting technique so it is solid. Two, you will work on making sure the technique is explosive and powerful. Finally, you want to push your level of conditioning and endurance.
30 second intervals | 15 second rest | Sets 1 and 3
- Jab – Cross Combination
- Jab – Cross Combination, other side
- Uppercut – Hook Combination
- Uppercut – Hook Combination, other side
- Rapid Punches or Horse Stance Punching
The above, you are focusing on both sides; your strong and weak sides. This will help develop a more well rounded technique no matter which angle you are going. It is true your stronger side will always dominate, but when necessary, perfecting your weak side will help you in a bind.
30 second intervals | 15 second rest | Sets 2 and 4
In this session, you will perform kicking technique.
- Alternating Front Kick or Push Kick
- Back Leg Round Kick
- Back Leg Round Kick, other leg
- Side Kick
- Side Kick, other leg
For sets 2 and 4, you will perform basic kicking technique. Feel free to swap out a kick that you need most help with.
At this point, you can choose to add another interval segment. I chose to incorporate more advanced technique and 4 count combinations such as the jab – cross – jab – jump reverse side kick. You could also choose to do 5 sets of intense shadow boxing training, which I will do the next go around.
This workout routine really got me out of my funk, revitalized why I train, and put a new spring in my step, so to speak. Interval training has many benefits. It speeds up metabolism, thus burning more calories and fat, and it also incorporates a type of high level intensity that will surely benefit martial arts practitioners or any other sports athlete. This routine will definitely be something I put into my daily training. I hope you do you.