There are two main reasons people come to train at Krav Maga Swindon. One is obviously to learn effective self defence skills. The other is to gain or improve on personal fitness. Most people who approach us about training ask the same question: How fit do I have to be to start Krav Maga? The answer is not very! People do sometimes wait to be fit before starting to train with us but that’s not the best strategy – often they will never reach their goals because it’s always an if this then that scenario… when I am fit… When I have more time… etc. The better way is to see Krav training as a fantastic way to get yourself in the best shape of your life.
Why Krav Maga Training is a Great Path to Fitness
Going to the gym has its disadvantages. Firstly, you’re nearly always alone at the gym, working only off the back of your own personal discipline, a discipline that’s hard to maintain as time goes on, especially if you don’t have the readies for an expensive personal trainer. Secondly, it’s hard to push your limits when you’re working by yourself and the exercise is boring. People statistically do not stay training at a gym consistently. They go for a while and quit. That’s because it’s hard to keep going when the exercise is the activity. I mean really, what do you learn from lifting weight, apart from getting better at lifting weight? In a Krav Maga class, surrounded by very motivated people who encourage you and push you on, it’s much easier to reach for your goals. Also, the Krav Maga actually distracts you from the exercise. You’ll be focused on learning a new skill and the fitness will be a bonus – you won’t be focused on the grind of repetitive exercise.
Starting out with fitness at Krav Maga Swindon
When you come to your first Krav Maga class in Swindon, here are some things to remember:
- We were all beginners once. People remember what that’s like.
- Wherever you train, there are people fitter than you. And some that are not fitter than you.
- Our members take a pride in helping new starters pick up the basics of Krav Maga. It helps them cement their knowledge and experience. You will always find a warm welcome and a supportive start.
- Everyone rests sometimes. New people rest more frequently. In the first few weeks you’ll simply need longer and more frequent breaks during training. No one cares that you take time to recover. (Refer to point 1.)
- Compete only with yourself. That’s the only benchmark you ever need.
High Intensity Interval Training
With few exceptions, HIIT training is spoken about extremely highly as a proven method of rapidly improving cardiovascular fitness. And it’s very relevant to Krav Maga training because violence is totally anaerobic. Get into a fight and it will be short bursts of all-out exertion, not steady-state, aerobic work over 12 rounds. Most fights in the real world are settled in just a few seconds. In short, HIIT is a crucial part of what we do here at Krav Maga Swindon
Anaerobic – The Lowdown, in Layman’s Terms
- Your body turns oxygen and sugars into energy.
- You can only burn so much oxygen. The maximum amount you can process is called VO2 Max. Work any harder and your body will switch over into a different chemical process, called Anaerobic Work, which is energy production in the absence of oxygen.
- Whereas aerobic work can be sustained for hours, anaerobic work will burn you out in seconds because it produces a lot of toxic byproducts such as lactic acid. Training the anaerobic metabolism can push the window of how long you can sustain maximal exertion.
One key study in the subject of improving anaerobic and aerobic thresholds is the Tabata Protocol. At Krav Maga Swindon, we use Tabata as a regular part of our exercise. Combined with steady state work throughout the week, Tabata HIIT can give you a massive boost in reaching your training goals. You get bonus calorie burn for hours afterwards too, if that’s your bag.
Obviously, getting to fitness means more than simply turning up to class. You’ll progress a lot faster if you do some fitness training at home too. Tabata is a great way of doing just that, as it’s a short, punchy workout that you can fit in at any time. To read more about Tabata, see the Wikipedia article on HIIT, or Krav Maga Swindon’s page over on our sister site www.kravmagaswindon.co.uk/tabata-protocol.html
Your Action Plan – Beginners at Krav Maga Swindon
Based on the research that says it’s best to mix HIIT with steady state, here’s what a good fitness action plan might look like.
- Aim to kit Krav about two times a week. Count on a 1000+ calorie burn that will contribute massively to getting you in shape.
- Try to do one instance of Tabata every day you’re not at Krav. It’s a 15 minute workout if you warm up properly and you can select pretty much any exercises to fill the intervals, even Krav movements so you can build skill at the same time.
- Try to do 3 instances of steady state exercise of at least 45 minutes at 140-170 bpm heart rate, one a day spread evenly throughout the week, totalling 3 instances in the week. This will compliment the HIIT and give you a great all round fitness.
- Drink more water. Everyone needs to do that.
- Try to rduce intoxicants so that you’re only drinking on weekends. That way your body has time to sort itself out. And try to put in a balance of good foods. You can still treat yourself – the great thing about regular exercise is that it really burns through calories.
- Stick at it. This’ll be easier than simply going to the gym because you’ll have a whole class of people you train with that you’ll want to see, and a skill you’ll want to keep learning.
Adrenal Response and HIIT
At Krav Maga Swindon, there’s another reason we regularly use HIIT. High intensity training kicks the heart rate up massively and we know from experiment that high heart rate over time is responsible for the same short term deterioration of cognitive and fine motor skills as that caused by adrenal load. Knowing this, we are able to apply HIIT during technical drills as a form of pressure that accurately simulates reproduction of technique under high adrenal load. This gives us a way to objectively test technique without actually putting people in fear, and hence danger.
The Inner Opponent
You want goals. All humans do. It’s innate. And when you achieve a goal you grow stronger and better able to achieve more goals. Iron discipline and resilience to fear means taking charge of the Inner Opponent. And hard workouts are one of the only things guaranteed to bring you right into the face of that opponent so that you can deal it a blow. It’s the voice in your head that’s telling you to back down, to quit, to take a break, and if you can beat it, it will be weaker the next time, and you stronger. And what else are we in the business of doing, if not teaching you to find your strength?
For more information about fitness regimes suitable for Krav Maga in Swindon, get in touch or ask your instructor – we help people to fitness as part of our job, and we’re happy to help you just the same.