SEA Games

Endurance Training for Wrestling

Wrestlers put too much emphasis on endurance and the reason is if you lose your "air," your chance of getting mangled by your opponent increases. Then why is it that you find yourself huffing and puffing event if you could finish a marathon? That only means one thing. Aerobic endurance means nothing on the mat.

Aerobic Endurance's Place

No, I haven't lost my sanity yet. And you read it correctly; AEROBIC ENDURANCE MEANS NOTHING ON THE MAT. Have you seen a marathoner up close? How do they look like? Not to take away anything from marathoners because running marathons is really tough. Aerobic training has made their body soft, light and lacking muscle mass, strength and power. That is a direct adaptation to aerobic training. Aerobic training has made their body that way so as to cope with the constant pounding on the pavement.

So what is the problem with that? Other than looking like a glutton punished in Purgatorio in Dante's Divine Comedy (La Divina Comedia for you literature lovers), that body is not designed for strength and power. Attributes that are of prime importance in wrestling.

Analysis of Wrestling

Wrestling is an anaerobic sport. It has two rounds, three minutes each. If you watched a wrestling match live, you will see that there will be a burst of action, then the pace slows suddenly, then draws to a halt for a while, then its pretty random. There is no constant exertion of effort and surely you won't be utilizing the aerobic system.

The answer: Anaerobic Endurance Training

Anaerobic means without air. Don't mind and don't be misled by the fancy term. It doesn't mean that you will wrestle without breathing but what it really means is that you don't utilize oxygen to fuel your activity. So how do you train endurance anaerobically? Try these routines for improving anaerobic endurance:

Body Weight Circuits:

* Situp Pullup
* Position yourself under a pull up bar.
* Lie down.
* Do an explosive situp to stand up then jump.
* Grab the bar then do a pullup.
* Repeat.
* Try doing this for 30 seconds to two minutes.

Jogging Bear Crawls

* Jog for 20 seconds.
* Crawl for 20 seconds.
* Repeat up to 2-6 minutes.

Ali Shuffle Mountain Climbers

* While standing, shuffle your feet back and forth for 30 seconds.
* Then crouch to push up position, drive one knee up to chest level and out stretch the other, alternatively for 30 seconds. Try doing this four times.

Grip Training for Arnis

"Absorb what is useful, dismiss what is not." Bruce Lee might have been credited for that quote but that phrase has been an unwritten law followed by organisms ever since the dawn of time. It has also been conceptualized by evolutionist Charles Darwin himself. Then why did it turnout differently for Arnis? Why are the masters of old hit harder? Faster? And have a firmer grip than practitioners of today? That is what you think.

Now and Then

At a time that notion masters of old are better than today seems to be true. The masters of old are farmers and lumberjacks. That would explain their superior preparedness since they were accustomed to hard work. They hoe the ground, till the soil, chop some woods, and carry heavy things. Now the typical master looks like somebody who just came out of bed, bloated like a drunkard, coughs and spits phlegm so thick it clogs the sink. They turned into chain smokers and measures strength on how many spirited drinks they could chug.

The Evolution and MMA Connection

The growth of Mixed Martial Arts has sent shockwaves in the martial arts world. They saw that no single martial art is best. They found out that the simplest punch, kick and takedowns are the most effective. And they also paid attention to conditioning. Locally, some arnisador got the message. Evolve or cease to exist.

Grip training for arnis

Grip in arnis is as important as grip strength for rock climbers. You lose your grip and you will get mangled. In arnis you lose your weapon and you will get bashed. Here are some grip strengthening drills for arnis:

Hit tires with different strikes. This drill teaches your hand grip to be reactive. You cannot just grip the stick as hard as you can and strike wildly. Doing so will tire your hands instantly and the chances of you losing your stick rises.

Use thicker sticks. This drill is used so as you won't get accommodated with the practice and will introduce new stimulation to your training.

Swing heavy sticks/lead pipes. To improve your speed strength you must wield heavier stick or pipes. Although use this drill sparingly because it might disrupt your technique.

Chin ups with towels. This drill is works your grip strength harder than conventional chinups since you are constantly slipping you will have to grip harder.

Wet towel twists. Stop using the washing machine dryer and not only will the saving come a long way on your electric bill but you also get to strengthen your grip.

Lever lifts. This is the reason why carpenters have a vise like grip and as a bonus this develops the forearm muscles that will make Popeye envious.

A few other grip guidelines

The grip required in arnis does not require you to have a strong crushing or pinch grip. Grip training should be a secondary to a good general workout, then add the grip training.

Built Like A Rower
By Carlomagno Canta, CSCS; Photography by Bahaghari MFI

What strike you most when you see a rower? The whole physique that is built like a marine, powerful upright posture and big wide backs. Surely something to be envious about. So you want a physique like that? Read on.

Analysis of Rowing

Rowing is a good exercise that utilizes your whole body. The common misconception about rowing is it is a good aerobic exercise. The event is to short and doesn't really make use of the aerobic energy system. What it does is it really pushes your anaerobic lactic acid threshold.

The Bad Side

So you‚re excited to try rowing but found out that the activity may be healthy but the venue isn't. Manila Bay has suffered so much from our negligence and lack of concern. It has become the biggest septic tank and people still won't stop throwing garbage there. Also when you go beyond the American embassy you will see a lot of ships that is easy to behold then remember that they were spewing a lot of smoke exhaust giving your lungs another beating. Health workers have examined the bay's water and found out that the level of coli form is very high that it might give you diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever. This is a sign that everybody has the responsibility to take care of the environment.

Creating a rower's body without going to the gym

The good news is you bay will not be using those rowing machine. The bad news is you will be using a barbell and possibly a harder routine to boot. The routine will be utilizing the Tabata system invented by a Japanese speedskating coach. The effectivity of the routine is evidenced by the very muscular legs of the speedskaters.

Power Snatch

Load: 20-50 percent of your rep max
Do a set for 20 second, rest 10 seconds in a hang position or you may place the bar on the preacher curl apparatus. Repeat eight times and this will give you a total of four minutes and maybe the hardest routine you ever done.

Building A Boxer's Midsection
By Carlomagno Canta, CSCS; Photography by Bahaghari MFI

The most prominent part of a boxer's physique is his midsection. It is born out of function and necessity. They just have to have it to survive frequent blows to the midsection. Here are a few movements that you could add on your program in your quest for a prizefighter's midsection:

Standing Overhead Presses

Boxers have great sets of shoulders. Having a weight balanced above your head is the best way to develop your core. A boxer's midsection is often correlated with superb shoulder development.


Power cleans are not only good for developing power but, as a bonus, it also help teach your core how to absorb shock.

Front Squat

In the front squat you are force to tense your abdominals or the weight of the bar will crush you. This is the best way to teach ab pressurization and building your virtual belt.


Deadlift should always be a mainstay on just about everybody's program. Just look at a powerlifter's midsection and you will know why I don't need to explain how a deadlift could be a good ab developer.


Try relaxing your abs while doing a pullup and watch yourself struggle to do one.

Ab Wheel

One of the best ab equipment ever developed but was not given the respect it deserves. You could see them placed along side those solar suits, tummy tucker, and paperweight dumbbells in your friendly neighborhood sports shop. Grab one and give it a try.

Circuit Training for Football/Soccer
By Carlomagno Canta, CSCS; Photography by Bahaghari MFI
Circuit training is a training method where you divide your training into stations. Instead of finishing all of your set of an exercise before moving on to the next exercise, you will do a set of every exercise in your program and after doing one of each will constitute a circuit.

The problem is weight resistance training has been frowned upon by some athletes because they fell that it makes them slow and limber. The problem is not resistance training but lazy and ill-informed coaches designing their program. They just let their athletes go on circuit training comprised of every machine in the gym. No wonder the athletes digress doing circuit strength training. Machine = seated exercise and fixed pattern.

The program

The program will comprise of full-body routines, compound exercise and freeweights.

About the authors

Carlomagno Canta is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the internationally renowned Colorado based National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and has handled the strength and conditioning program of three Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) champions, Alvin Aguilar, SEAG gold medalist, Marcus Valda, and the RP Softball Team, 2004 bronze medalist in the World Cup in New Zealand. He is also Men's Health Philippines' Fitness advisor.

Sixto Carlos is a 15-year veteran in Arnis and has thought the US and Philippine Marines, US Rangers, and various martial artist about stick and knife-fighting.


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