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We asked strength and conditioning coach Krool for some tips on how to improve your stamina:
The old method of going running and plodding along, if you take sports specific training and apply it to what a fighter would use in a fight, I don’t think it’s really that effective, if you really look at it. If you think of running a 5k, unless on your 5k route you’re doing sprints and there’s different exercises you’re going to bring, then that’s not really functional enough.
It’s just boring going on the road and running, the old school boxing idea of going on a run. In this day and age everything has to change a bit. You could be running for four minutes and then picking up the pace for two minutes on your run, then half pace, picking it up to three quarter pace. Doing a full sprint for 30 seconds or a minute, then recovering. Runs will be more effective if you have the coach, the coach is interactive with the fighters and the coach is on a bike and the coach picks up the pace of the fighters. It brings a different element.
If it’s plodding along, it’s just conducive to injuries eventually. You don’t need to do 10k runs. 5k, with all the other training they’re doing is perfect.
I’ll do lots of explosive exercises with either a tornado ball or I’ll use a medicine ball. I’ll do lots of explosive throwing. So imagine him throwing punches but not in a boxing gym, I’m taking him out of the boxing environment so we might do that in the park.
With a medicine ball, I’ll have him crouching down, getting up and exploding, twisting maybe from your left to your right, so that’s making sure he’s getting enough leverage in his punches. He has to extend to his right side and throw the medicine ball either against a wall, throw it to me and wait for me to get it back to him. He’ll keep on twisting from left to right or from right to left. We’ll do a minute on each side, so his obliques really get strong.
Again if you just have someone lying on the floor doing a sit up, or doing sit ups with oblique twists, it’s not really functional and it’s not really sports specific because he’s not really going to lie down on the floor and fight on the floor, he’s going to be standing up and throwing punches. Again you have to relate the sport that you’re involved in to the exercises that you’re doing.
Knees slightly bent so you’re getting a lot of work out of your core and lower back, because that’s where the power comes from. We have them swinging the kettlebell between the legs, doing two swings basically (imagine them throwing two punches) going half [way up first], then the full American Swing all the way up and have the biceps and the ears in one straight line. So you first go half [way up] then you go full.
Sometimes I have people doing them for a minute. Boxers especially, when you take them out of their comfort zone, mostly it’s when they’reworking on minutes and they’re working on time. It’s mind over matter working through your exercises.
When I do a kettlebell work out, I’ll have them doing those kettlebell swings for a minute then [with 30 seconds rest inbetween], upright rows with the kettlebell, then single kettlebell swings with one arm, so it’s building up the power individually with each arm, you’ll swap arms obviously. For single arm movements I’ll do that for 40 seconds or 45 seconds. Once they start improving you can take it further. Then you can have them changing direction with a kettlebell. It’s working on foot movement, how they pivot in the ring. You bring that dimension into it, where you’re pivoting on the right leg, turning to the left and pivoting on the left leg and turning to the right. As you go up you pivot and when you come down you’ve changed direction, it’s part of the kettlebell swing. You can have them squatting and pressing with single arms again. Instead of swinging now you’re going into a full press. So you go from a full squat, getting as low as possible, and then extending your arm above your head into a shoulder press, using that as a punch. You’re not punching forward you’re punching straight up. Off that, once you’re getting that, you can then add a lunge forward, throwing the punch, then stepping back into the squat again. You bring the footwork into it.
YOU CAN TRY
- KETTLEBELL swings 1 min, rest 30 seconds
- UPRIGHT row 1 min, rest 30 seconds
- SINGLE arm swings, 40 seconds each arm,rest 30 seconds
- KETTLEBELL Swing with pivot, 1 min, rest 30 seconds
- SQUAT and press, 40 seconds each arm
YOGA helps your mental focus. Because it’s Bikram and it’s done in a hot room it also helps stretch out the muscles. Boxers put a lot of stress on the muscles so he’s doing two hits in one, the mental focus, having to stay in that room for almost two hours or an hour and a half, he’s controlling his respiratory system and he’s also working out a lot of the lactic acid in the stretches and in the hot room itself.
*For training information and workouts from some of the biggest names in combat sport don’t miss the Fighting Fit: Train like the Stars special*