Weight training is incredibly important for martial arts. Yes, it makes you stronger. And yes, it makes you faster.
But that’s NOT the most important reason to weight train.
The most important reason to lift weights is to prevent injuries which in turn increases the amount of time you can spend training and increases your longevity in your art.
A while ago I asked world champion powerlifter Chris Duffin what the most important weightlifting exercise was, and he had a very interesting answer.
He said that it was any exercise that loaded your spine axially, i.e. in a downward direction from the cervical vertebrae all the way down to your pelvis.
Now Chris has taken this to an absolute extreme. He’s squatted over 1000 pounds for reps. He’s deadlifted over 1000 lbs for reps. And he’s squatted 800 pounds a day for an entire month.
According to Chris it doesn’t matter if you’re squatting or deadlifting, using a straight bar, hex bar, transformer bar, or doing farmer’s carries; the important thing is that your spine bears weight in a downward direction. Done correctly this increases bone density, improves core stability, and can actually be part of healing injured discs.
Here’s Chris Duffin talking about this in a little more detail…
I hope you found this useful.
If you want more then please catch my in depth conversation with Chris on episode 236 of The Strenuous Life Podcast. It’s a really good episode!
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